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Too offbeat?

French - Tarrasch Defence 3...h6 [C03] with GM Gawain Jones and IM Tom Rendle

Recently Black has been testing various third moves and Howell-Short saw Nigel repeat the offbeat 3...h6, which worked so well for him at the London Classic. David avoided castling with 8.a3!?:

Diagram after 7...Nc6

and succeeded in taking over the initiative on the kingside.

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