Covering with the Knight (3… Nc6) is a popular reaction to the Moscow Variation (3. Bb5+), and this position is also often achieved via a slightly different move order – 2… Nc6 3. Bb5 d6.
There are two main plans for White – either to immediately take the knight 4. Bxc6+ bxc6, with a rather static position, better pawn structure for White and a bishop pair for Black, or to play like in Ruy Lopez, i. e. to castle followed by Re1. After 4. O-O Bd7 5. Re1 Nf6 move 6. c3 is covered in our Line 460, so Line 459 deals with other reactions from White, but mostly with the flexible 6. h3. After 6… e6 7. c3 Black has a few good ways to continue, but 7… Ne5 seems to be the easiest path to equalization.
[Diagram: White to Move] S. Rublevsky – E. Sveshnikov, Herceg Novi 1999. Black is behind in development and White can get a strong initiative with energetic play. Rublevsky found the best way to do it, so can you do it, too?
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