[April 17, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Vadim Zvjaginsev:
Sicilian Defense, Alapin Variation with 2… Nf6 (incl. Stoltz Attack)

[Line 420 : 1. e4 c5 2. c3 Nf6 3. e5 Nd5 4. Nf3 Nc6]

There are two major choices for White on the fifth move – one is the immediate reaction in the center with 5. d4 cxd4 6. cxd4, and the other is the Stoltz Attack (5. Bc4 Nb6 Bb3).

Against the first of the two Black shouldn’t have problems to obtain equality with 6… d6 7. Bc4 Nb6, and after 8. Bb5 the simplest continuation is 8… dxe5 9. Nxe5 Bd7.

In the Stoltz Attack, White keeps the tension for a while, postponing the d2-d4 advance. Black usually opts for 6… c4 7. Bc2 d6 8. exd6 Qxd6, followed by g6, Bg7 and O-O, or looks for simplifications with 6… d5 7. exd6 Qxd6 8. O-O Be6, in either case with good prospects.

[Diagram: White to Move] H. Nakamura – M. Vachier-Lagrave, Caleta (rapid) 2016. Vachier-Lagrave was unaware of the nice opening trick, which was not forgiven by Nakamura, who obtained a substantial advantage. What is the best way for White to proceed from the diagrammed position?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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