The Paulsen Sicilian begins with the moves 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 (diagram).
This variation was named after the 19th-century chess master Louis Paulsen, where play usually continues 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6. There are other options on move 3 for White, such as the 3.c3 Alapin, but in this four-part series, GM Damian Lemos recommends the move 3.b3.
Unlike other Sicilian openings such as the Rossolimo, playing 3.Bb5 is not very effective because Black has not put a piece on c6, nor can the king be given a check.
This 3.b3 option, on the other hand, is flexible and allows us to see how Black will proceed before we decide where we want to develop our pieces.
Follow along with Damian as he looks at a game between Bogoljubov and Bluemich from 1925:
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