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Bobby Fischer almost exclusively preferred 7 itb3 in his games, and the same choice was made by the majority of his followers. It is therefore logical to compare 7 0-0 with the main continuation.

Given that the white bishop is almost certain to move to b3, it is clear that White cuts down his further choices by playing 7 0-0 - this is noticeable in the variations with ...£)c6 and ...¿.e7. However, 7 0-0 is advantageous because it renders 7...£lbd7 dubious (see below), so 7 0-0 should be viewed as narrowing the choice for both sides. In Fischer's time ...<£)bd7 was not considered a serious idea for Black and White saw no benefits in 7 0-0 at all...

As a follow-up: White can start with 7 0-0 if he desires to play a3 or a4 and avoid variations such as 7 a3 b5 8 Aa2 £.b7 or 7 a4 £lxe4.

This is one of three critical replies to 7 0-0 which are stronger now than after 7 Ji.b3. The other good replies (7...£>c6 and 7...®c7!?) tend to transpose to a Classical Sozin.

c) 7...b5 8 JLb3 is the same as 7 kb3 b5 8 0-0 (there 8 0-0 is not forced but it is still the main move, so for adherents of 7...b5 systems there is little difference between 7 0-0 and 7 ¿b3).

dl) 8...&c6 - 5...thc6 6 &c4 e6 7 0-0 a6 8 jjlb3 Wc7. This move-order makes some sense as it avoids the lines 7..&C6 8 a3 and 7...%c6 8 a4.

d2) 8...£e7 (see 7..±e7 8 k.b3 y&c7) is also possible.

d3) 8...£sbd7 is risky in view of 9 3Lxe6 (9 f4 is best answered by 9.. .b5!, rather than 9...£lc5 - 7 Lb3 fobd7 8 0-0 ¿hc5 9 f4 Wc7 in Chapter 7) 9...fxe6 10 £)xe6 ®c4 11 £>d5 £ixd5 12 exd5 "if7 13 b3 with serious compensation, Milu-Vajda, Bucharest 1999.

e2) 8 Eel is good; e.g., 8...i.e7 9 £.xe6, 8...®c7 9 ±xe6! or 8...£)c5 9 b4 £icxe4 10 &xe4 ^xe4 11 2xe4 d5 12£>xe6!.

e3) 8 JLxe6 fxe6 9 ^xe6 is also very dangerous: 9...®b6 (9...Wa5 10

&d5!? &xd5 11 exd5 <&f7 also does not guarantee safety; e.g., 12 ,&d2!? ®a4 13 Eel) 10 £>d5 £ixd5 11 exd5 £>c5 (ll...£sf6? 12 Ae3 Wa5 13 b4; ll...<4>f7 12 Ae3!?) 12 £>xf8! <&>xf8 (12...Sxf8 13 ®h5+!) 13 ®f3+ <&g8 14 Sel ¿d7 (14...Wd8 15 ±g5 Wf8

16 ®xf8+ <&xf8 17 i.e7+ ±) 15 2e7 Sf8 (15...±e8? 16 &h6!) 16 ®g3 2f7

17 Sxf7 &xf7 18 ©f4+ <&g8 19 J.e3! with an advantage for White, Istra-tescu-Badea, Romanian Ch (Bucharest) 1994.

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