This move continues development for Black. It puts pressure on the e pawn, and aims to protect the d5 square. This variation is marginally preferred to the 2...d5 response, and is statistically a better win-rate for Black (as per ChessBase.com).
3.e5 immediately pressures the Black knight, and is by far the most popular response. It also continues White’s assault on the centre, and aims to reinforce with d4.
- 1.e4 c5 2.c3 Nf6
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