Ideas in the Accelerated DragonIdea #7 - When White plays Nxc6
As a general rule, Black is happy when White plays Nxc6. For these reasons:
- After Black recaptures with a pawn. White can no longer play Nd5, which is usually strong for White.
- If Black recaptures with the b-pawn, then the d-pawn advance will be supported by the new pawn on c6.
- If Black recaptures with the b-pawn, the open b-file and dark square bishop makes the square b2 a target. Especially if White castles queenside.
- If Black recaptures with the d-pawn, the open d-file can lead to simplifications or tactics favorable for Black.
So in most of the lines of the Accelerated Dragon, White only plays Nxc6 to get out of tactical trouble.
How do you decide whether to re-capture with the b or d-pawn. The answer: re-capture with the b-pawn unless White would be able to play an immediate Bd4 threatening to exchange dark square bishops (like after Black plays ...Ng4) and the d-pawn re-capture would prevent that move.
There is one advantage of this move for white, however. Eliminating Black's knight on c6 enables the move e5. With this in mind, there is one line where strong players have tried Nxc6. The proper timing is on move 7 right after Black plays Nf6, so that e5 comes with an attack on the knight.