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Peculiar but Black has settled on this because 7 ... d6 does not equalise, e.g. 7 ... d6 8^f4! and now:

b) 8 ... 4^g6 9 Qg3 4^hS (9 ... Qe6 10 £d4 &f7 11 £>fS± Euwe) 10 Qf2 4^hf4 11 £d4 c6 12 #d2 #aS 13 Qe3 £>e6 14 .Qc4± Furman - Levenfish USSR Ch. 1949.

c) 8 ... £>f3 9 ^f3 ^e6 (9 ...<lg4 10 #f2^e7 11 J2.c4±> 10 ^.d3 ^,e7 11 0-0 0-0 12 e5± Taimanov.

A lot of dynamic energy is taken out of the Black position if he shuts down his dark squared bishop, hence 7 ... J^db. An exchange on f3 is planned followed (hopefully) by £eS and d7 - d6.

White has two important choices:

Putting Black under pressure and forcing an exact reply.

9 #f3 XJieS

9 ... ^e7 is horrible, e.g. 10 £}d6 #d6 11 £d2 A 0-0-0± and 9 ... J2.b4 rather strands the bishop out of play, e.g. 10 c3 11 £g5 We7 12

0-0-0 d6 (12 ... #e4? 13 #e4 4>4 14 gel d5 15 ^c4±) 13 &f6 \&f6 14 £>d6! cd6 IS #hS ©e7 16 ^aS Chramsov -Launs, Moscow 1975. Black's plan of _Qlb4 - a5 - b6 followed by d7 - d6 is sound enough but it takes too long to execute.

10 &f4

Continuing with forcing play. White reckons with either 10 ... £f4 11 #f4 d6 12 e5!± or 10 ... d6 11 £e5 deS 12 #c3±

11 ... @d8 was previously played but it allows White too much leeway, e.g. 12 #g3! Be8 (12 ... £y4? 13 £e5! <£g3 14 &c7 ®e8 15 <£>d6) 13 QfiS #e5 14 #g7 4>4 IS #e5 geS 16 £c4± Black can't entertain too many hopes of equality with his king in the centre.

12 &c4 Taimanov's suggestion.

Bellin correctly adds that 12 <£c7 &c7 13 £c7 dS is slightly better for Black.

13 ghfl &f4

14 #f4 d6= Black has got rid of his bad bishop and can look forward to the middlegame with confidence.

In fact this is a typical Staunton scenario. White has the early chances but he must commit his position to get them.

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