[March 09, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
Sicilian Defense, French Variation (incl. Kramnik Variation)

[Line 440 : 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 without 3. d3, 3. d4]

As a reaction against the French Variation (2… e6) of the Sicilian Defense, apart from 3. d4 (Lines 442-456) and 3. d3 (Line 441), White has several other possibilities and 3. Nc3 and 3. b3 are some of the interesting sidelines.

Early King’s fianchetto (3. g3) is one of the most popular options. Black, on his behalf, has a number of setups to choose from. Move 3… Nf6 forces White to chose the way how to defend the attacked e4-pawn, and the common reactions are 4. Qe2, 4. e5 and 4. Nc3. After 3… Nc6 4. Bg2 Black again has a few choices, and both 4… Nf6 and 4… d5 can be frequently seen on the highest level.

In the Kramnik Variation (3. c4) White postpones the d2-d4 advance until he has developed his kingside pieces. The game often continues in the following mold: 3… Nc6 4. Nc3 Nf6 5. Be2, where moves 5… b6 and 5… d5 look most promising for the players of Black.

[Diagram: White to Move] Black is currently a Rook up, but White can get a strong attack with accurate play.

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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