This is 3 common move in Sicilian positions Establishing a pawn on ¿4 would grant White a considerable space advantage, so in order to prevent this Black is provoked into playing his next move

6 ~ * Black takes his share of central territory in return for inhibiting his usually influential king's bishop White is now well placed to profit tiom the closing of the al-h8 diagonal and he prepares to expand on the queenside with the b2-b4 push — highlighting another point behind 6 c3

Black has a choice here of either allowing White to carry through his plan or putting a stop to it with 8 a5 White meets 8 a5 with 9 a4l atter which the lost tempo is a good investment because Black has a hole on b5 which White will use for a knight outpost, usually in conjunction with <5}f3-d2-c4 Since this is noi to Black's taste he elects to continue his development instead

Preparing £c8-e6. which White would otherwise counter with ^f3-gS

If Black continues passively White will simply play to open up 'he game with &d2-b3 and d3-d4. perhaps temporarily sacrificing his d-pawn it necessary Consequently \ itan essays to engineer some play '« distraci his opponent 13 fiel a5

fmimmt fmimmt

Guaranteeing that a white pawn will reach b5 and subsequently force Black to tread carefully on the queenside

15 bxc3 16 ixc3 followed by 0dl-a4 not only leaves the black a-pawn susceptible to attack but also allows White's queen's rook to support his passed b-pawn

16 c4 g5

Black strives to build up pressure on the other flank

17 an

Heading for e3, from where the kmghl can observe both d5 and f5

Note that Black's ostensibly dangerous a- and b-pawns cannot advance Black first has to defend b4 before he can push with a4, and because of White's strong grip on the light squares on the queenside this is by no means easy to organise

Black's only hope is to build up a kingside attack and throw everything at his opponent before White decisively increases his queenside advantage

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