[February 06, 2018] Updated Opening Line by GM Bojan Vučković:
Sicilian Defense, Paulsen Variation – Taimanov-Bastrikov Variation with 6. Nxc6

[Line 452 : 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nc6 5. Nc3 a6 6. Nxc6]

The Paulsen Variation with early 5… a6 allows White to capture the knight on c6, where Black is practically forced to recapture with his b-pawn – 6… bxc6. White’s main reaction is then 7. Bd3, followed by 7… d5 8. O-O.

After 8… Nf6, White has a choice among several equally promising options: 9. Re1, 9. Qf3 and 9. Qe2; he can also opt for some reasonably interesting sidelines.

Though Black’s position has a reputation of being solid, it is quite tricky and demands careful treatment.

[Diagram: White to Move] It seems like Black has enough resources to defend his king, but White’s unexpected tactical blow breaks through his opponent’s defense. How can White reach a practically winning position?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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