[July 10, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
Sicilian Defense, Modern Variation – Moscow Variation (Canal Attack)

[Line 461 : 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. Bb5+ Bd7]

Move 3… Bd7 is the simplest way for Black to respond to the Moscow Variation of the Sicilian Defense. Black wants to exchange a pair of Bishops, and thereby ease the development of the remaining pieces.

White has an interesting option in 4. c4, postponing the capture on d7 and offering his opponent to trade the Bishops himself on b5. Since after 4… Bxb5 5. cxb5 Nf6 6. Nc3 White typically gets more pleasant positions in view of his space advantage on the queenside, Black should avoid capturing on b5. Instead, he can continue with e. g. 4… Nf6 5. Nc3 g6 6. O-O Bg7 7. d4 cxd4 8. Nxd4 O-O, which should be about equal.

White usually opts for 4. Bxd7+, and now 4… Nxd7 is a good alternative to the main 4… Qxd7.

After 4… Qxd7, the main move is 5. c4 (Line 462), and 5. d4 is our recommendation for beginners. Players of White often choose 5. O-O, where after 5… Nf6 White has two moves of approximately the same strength: 6. Qe2 and 6. Re1; in either case Black has a few paths to equality.

[Diagram: White to Move] Black Queen and Knight are misplaced, and it’s a signal that White should make his attack more concrete. How can he get a winning position in just a couple of moves?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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