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In the Pirc proper Black has excellent prospects to outplay his opponent in the quiet lines and to gain dangerous counter-attacking chances in the aggressive ones Here White's extra tempo comes in handy in both the positional and tactical variations Note that the diagram can also arise after 1 ^f3 d5 2 g3 3 ii.g2 e5

As is often the case when the roles are reversed. Black reacts to a modest opening with a particularly ambitious variation Here are a few examples of what can happen a) 4 Ag4 5 h3 Ah5 6 0-0 H"» is a similar attempt to launch an early offensive Passive play from White is exactly what Black is hoping for, so it is imperative that White strikes quickly while his development lead still matters In Andersson-Romanishin, Cienfuegos 1977, White provided model play — 7 c4' e4 8 &h4 dxc4 9 £>xf5 cxd3 10 g4 JLg6 and now 11 JLxe4 would have left White well on top b) 4 J«Le7 usually leads to 'c', but here Black still has plans for his f-pawn 5 0-0 J.e6 6 c3 f5, Norwood-Sherzer, Prestwich 1990, went 7 Wz4 (7 e4i'? dxe4 8 dxe4 tfxdl 9 Sxdl fxe4 10 afd2 is interesting) 7 Wd? 8 b4 e4 9 b5 exO 10 bxc6 lfxc6 11 lfxc6+ bxc6 12 Axf3 with an edge to White in the queentess middlegame thanks to his superior pawn structure, upon which the next phase of the game concentrated — 12 £lf6 13 £)d2 Kb8 14 &b3 c5 15 Ae3 ad7 16 c4,? d4 17 Af4 Ad6, when 18 Axd6 cxd6 19 Sfbl was necessary c) 4 af6 is the reliable, sober option 5 0-0 jLe7 6 c3 and now cl) 6 0-0 7 £ibd2 Ee8 8 lfc2 Ae6 9 b4 &d7 10 b5 &a5 11 &b3'

c5 (II 12 cxb3 opens (he a-file for White as well as helping him prise open the g2-a8 diagonal with c3-c4) 12 £xa5 #xa5 13 c4 with the better game for White, Dzindzichashvili-Kortchnoi, Tilburg 1985

c2) 6 a5 As a rule it is better to prevent queenside expansion 7 £)bd2 0-0 8 e4 with a further branch c21) 8 dxe4 9 dxe4 Ac5 10 *c2 Ae6 11 £>g5 Ag4 12 h6 13 £>f3 &d7 14 &e3 Ae6 15 Hdl

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