Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...c5/2. Nf3/2...d6/3. d4
The aggressive advance of White's d-pawn forms a classical centre (pawns on e4 and d4), a strong formation which threatens to gain a large space advantage by a subsequent d5 or e5. Black is therefore compelled to break up White's centre.
In the Sicilian, this is easily achieved with the exchange 3...cxd4, the control of d4 being the major reason the c-pawn was moved to c5 originally. With this natural move Black acquires a majority of central pawns and half-opens the c-file.
3...Nc6 invites either d5 or dxc5 with a strong initiative.
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4
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- Batsford Chess Openings 2 (1989, 1994). Garry Kasparov, Raymond Keene. ISBN 0-8050-3409-9.