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I've seen this opening choice by black a few times recently. I'm really not sure how to respond to it, but this is how I've handled it so far:
To me d5 seems to make sense. Any suggestions? Thanks for any help.
It looks like after d5, white will eventually have to play c4, but then b5 could be a pain. Maybe a4 first?
I'd be more likely to play Nf3, develop a piece and protect the pawn with a piece other than the queen. Looks like it could transpose to a Scheveningen Sicilian.
I see the point. I was hoping for a large space advantage. This was kind of the idea I had.
Of course I know I'm not taking into mind all of black's posibilities.
It's like a modern benoni structure but instead of queenside play compensating black for the space disadvantage you get to recapture with the e pawn and I think white has a small solid plus for nothing. Another difference is there's no pawn on c4 which is favorable to white. Your bishop has more scope and c4 can be used for a knight or bishop instead.
I think this is considered an inferior opening for black... but my database has some (not many) games with it so that's odd. It may have been used in the past in hopes of grinding out a draw or to avoid prep or something like this.
3. d5 is good but the c4 a4 plan is not so good. I'd happily plant a knight in the hole on b4 with Na6-b4
The benko-like idea of b5 is interesting... You can't really get the bishop on a6 though because with the e pawn out of the way white's bishop is helping on that diagonal. Also white has the additional plus of the open e-file (more activity for his pieces). So even compared to a benko it just look like another inferior version IMO.
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