[March 08, 2019] Updated Opening Line by Trajko Nedev:
Sicilian Defense, Richter-Rauzer Variation – Main Line with 7… a6 8. O-O-O Bd7

[Line 476 : 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Bg5 e6 7. Qd2 a6 8. O-O-O Bd7]

From the initial position of this opening line there are two substantially different continuations for White – 9. f4 and 9. f3.

The first of the two is more direct, where after 9. f4 b5 10. Bxf6 gxf6 11. Kb1 Qb6 12. Nxc6 Bxc6 occurs the critical position. Here, White usually opts for either 13. f5 or 13. Qe1, while 13. Bd3 is also quite possible. The general evaluation is that these positions are easier to play with White, though Black is able to get sufficient counterplay with a few accuracies.

The other option 9. f3 is a more strategical approach, and in this line Black also needs to be careful not to get into inferior positions. The two most popular replies after 9… Be7 are prophylactic 10. Kb1, and the Bishop retreat 10. Be3, followed by g2-g4 and later g4-g5.

[Diagram: White to Move] Black Bishop on h6 is active and it seems like Black has a sufficient compensation for the pawn. Yet, there is a way for White to gain an advantage with an unexpected blow! Can you find it?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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