The Taimanov plays an early ...e6 but doesn't advance the d-pawn. With the d-pawn still on its home square (at least in the beginning) this eliminates the pesky "anti-sicilian" try of Bb5 by White. If White insists on playing Bb5 and then capturing a knight on the c6-square, theory holds that with ...bxc6 Black's center is actually strengthened. The Taimanov also renders White's quick Sozin-esque Bc4 rather harmless as well since there are usually no effective sacrifices with an early Bxe6 because Black has TWO pawns (f7 and d7) still available to recapture upon the e6-square. Another feature of the Taimanov is Black does not develop his king's knight early (instead going for ...Nc6). This means White's attempt at an early g-pawn thrust (g2-g4-g5, as in the Keres Attack of the Scheveningen Sicilian) doesn't have as much bite because there is no knight on f6 to poke at with the advancing pawn. So with the Taimanov, Black is saying, "I'm not going to get into any tactical fireworks out of the gate!" So if any of the above methods by White have bugged you in other Sicilian Defenses, then the Taimanov may be your answer! But there are always trade-offs, yes? (those gosh durned trade offs!). Because Black doesn't play an early ...Nf6, White doesn't have to play an immediate Nc3 to protect his e-pawn... which means he doesn't block his c-pawn ... which means he has the option of playing a quick c2-c4 before developing his queen's knight. This is the Maroczy Bind, with white pawns at e4 and c4 really putting the clamp on Black's attempt to make a pawn break with ...d5. The Maroczy Bind can be a slow maneuvering game, and Black players don't fear it as much as they used to. So... if you don't mind slow maneuvering games where you kind of hang back waiting for your opponent to make a slip so you can counter, then one of White's critical "answers" to the Taimanov is no longer so critical for you. On the other hand, if you don't like defending positions with a bit less space for a while, then you can safely say, "Ahhh, this defense probably isn't for me." Just some things to think about.