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Subjectively, I expect Black is more ready to face 3.c3 Alapin ideas than 3.c4 Maroczy Bind plans.
It seems you haven't realized that 3.c4 e6 4.d4 cd4 5.Nxd4 a6 is an old Kan line which isn't giving black any trouble. So, white usually delays d2-d4 with 4.Nc3 etc, but still if Black plays ...b6, ...Bb7 and ...d6 we have a pretty standard hedgehog.
I find the way Black handled the opening in this game very instructive:
I am sure 1.e4 c5 2.c3 Qc7 is better for white
BTW, when i played this as black peeps b3egan to throw things like 3.a3, 3.h3 and even 3.e5?
I would probably concider 3.g3, but these three moves (especially 3.e5) are totally stupid.
@SmyslovFan: I'm curious about this 3.c4 idea. The merits of the Maroczy bind are pretty well established, as are the drawbacks. Are you saying it's especially effective against 2...Qc7, or just a good line, in general, against the Sicilian? After 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 a6, and the routine follow-up 5.d4 cxd4 6.Nxd4 Nf6 7.a3 (maybe better is 7.g3) Nc6 (or even the bizarre 7...Nxe4), I don't see any clear advantage for white. But I'm sure I'm missing all kindsa' stuff.
I think SmyslovFan was just mistaken suggesting the Maroczy bind after Qc7. If black played an early d6 for some reason then Qc7 would look quite silly, but as I said at the beginning of the thread you should expect e6 to follow Qc7, where the bind is just not effective.
Qc7 is a particularly useful move against a maroczy bind set-up when black has played e6. Black's position typically resembles a hedgehog formation. Common ideas are to place a bishop on b7 ,which is now supported by the queen, or to play e5, which is also supported by the queen. Additionally there may be chances for black to play Bd6, since white often weakens the g3 square with a move like f3, and black may also wish to contest the f4 square if white prepares to push that pawn.
@pellik: You might be right. In fact, in post #13, SmyslovFan does not specifically recommend the immediate 3.c4 after 2...Qc7. It's ironic that the originator of the line, Quinteros, played an "early d6" in the game sighted, and promptly got crushed. I say 'ironic' because it's generally agreed, at least in this thread, that d6 is a lemon for black. I guess Miguel realized this, because he gets in a real early e6, even before Qc7 in the game Einarsson Halldor vs Quinteros Miguel A and wins convincingly. The game is not technically a Quinteros Variation because of the move order, though. Incredibly, I arrived at same position as in that game in a blitz game last night, deviating at move 14 with Nf3, instead of Rf2. It's ridiculous for a woodpusher like me to second-guess a 2300 player, so Rf2 may be best. But the idea of playing f4 in the first place is to eventually advance to f5 and open a line for the DSB. Swinging the knight back to the kingside blocks the a8-h1 diagonal, thereby defending g2 and supports a later Bg5. Anyway, I got a good game, and I couldn't resist posting it.....
I know. It's a ridiculous move. The line I expected was 15...Bc5+ 16.Kh1 Nb4 17.Qe2, when I think white still has an advantage.
BTW, why didnt black castle at all?
going to live chess to support the black side, if you find me there challenge me!
You're right! After 15...Bc5+ 16.Kh1 Nb4 17.Qe2 O-O-O, it looks like white is toast. Phooey!
for some reason i gambled 3 pawns and a rook and won
now, did quinteros forgot to castle???
Of course you're joking about Quinteros "forgetting" to castle (in the game with Mecking in post #13). But I don't think he really had the opportunity, once he decided to play 8..Bh6. I thought this made no sense, trading a B that was likely to be useful on the kingside for white's undeveloped bishop. Why didn't he just put it on the obvious square g7 and put his knight on f6, with a KID type set-up? He must have had something else in mind, or, more likely, my suggestion has big flaws in it. Anyway, after the knight recaptures 9...Nxh6, there's no way it wasn't going to be driven back. I suppose after 10.h4, black could have tried ...f5, and if 11.Qd2 f4, trying to close it up, and then maybe O-O. But it looks terrible. At some point early on, black should have got in a6. Hindsite's 20-20.....
thats what i was thinking . where is pfren?
I did realise the transposition was possible, I didn't realise that it's considered to not give Black any trouble. I spent a few days trying to find information about this variation. In my own games, I have scored very poorly from that position.
I've had trouble playing the Black side of this position, especially when White follows the game Anand-Morozevich line. I think it looks good for white.
But I'm willing to learn. What did Morozevich do wrong in this game? I was never thrilled with Moro's 10...Ne5, but I had a game as Black where I was suffocated after 10...Be7. Is there a model game for Black in this variation?
Regardless of whether 3.c4 is best for white, I don't think c3 is a panacea either though. Polgar was able to get a very comfortable position in the game I mentioned earlier.
I forgot to mention...
In 2006, Alexander Khalifman argued that White should play the Maroczy bind with Bd3 and f4 against the Paulsen-Kan in OFWAA 8. He argued that White has greater space and freer development. He suggested that White should be able to prove his advantage with careful planning rather than by a specific move order.
However, he recommended
which "emphasizes the unstable placement of his opponent's queen on c7, since Black has not managed yet to place his pawns on a6 and e6."
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