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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez (Read 28891 times)
Zarvox
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #39 - 08/22/05 at 12:21:00
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Thanks, Markovich! (It's August '04, actually.) The variation in Shirov-Anand is incredibly complicated.
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #38 - 08/22/05 at 07:40:01
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So what's the way to neutralize 9.Nbd2 in the Open? Markovich? Anyone?


You really should get yourself a subscription to the 1. e4 e5 section of this most excellent website, dear boy.  If you had, you would've seen Nigel Davies October 2004 discussion of Morozevich-Ponomariov, Biel 2004.  You should also look at Delchev-Gyimesi, Nova Gorica 2004 and Shirov-Anand, Mainz 2004.  "Black seems to be back in business," quoth Davies.
« Last Edit: 08/22/05 at 08:49:43 by Markovich »  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #37 - 08/22/05 at 07:31:39
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Nope, I don't have nor have I seen Yearbook 75.

Are you saying that according to Yearbook 75 that some knight move at some point at some time solves Blacks problems in the 9.Be3 line. Perhaps you could supply some exact moves so that I may follow your discussion with more clarity.

Toppylov Grin


Sorry, I was talking about 9...Be7  10. c3 Nc5  11. Bc2 Nd7.    This appears to be doing well in recent games, quoth van der Tak in NIC YB 75, showing some.
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #36 - 08/21/05 at 22:53:05
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So what's the way to neutralize 9.Nbd2 in the Open? Markovich? Anyone?
  
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TopNotch
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #35 - 08/17/05 at 17:20:58
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I could be wrong, but I've a feeling this has been covered somewhere here and refuted.


Yes it has, basically White ignores the Black Knight which actually threatens nothing on g4 and gets on with the usual Lopez business of building a central pawn majority and expanding there and on the Queenside.

In the meantime Black continues to twiddle his thumbs, before eventually deciding to correct his mistake by retreating the misplaced Knight.

Quite an easy winning formula for White to follow methinks.

Tops Grin  
« Last Edit: 08/18/05 at 17:33:13 by TopNotch »  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #34 - 08/17/05 at 08:43:32
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I could be wrong, but I've a feeling this has been covered somewhere here and refuted.
  
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Bela Geczy
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy LopezBela
Reply #33 - 08/17/05 at 08:40:07
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A local master in Denver prefers this Black system:
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Ng4! 5.h3 h5! with amazing results.

Bela
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #32 - 08/17/05 at 05:48:46
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At the risk of taking us further down this deviation from the subject matter, I would argue as, I think, Botvinnik did in one of his games collections, that sacrifice has very little to do with tactics: if a sacrifice has a clear tactical justification , i.e. you get your pawn/piece/rook/queen back with interest, then it is not a sacrifice, but a combination.
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #31 - 08/17/05 at 05:10:10
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"the dichotomy of tactical vs positional player is false"
I completely agree. The biggest virtue of The art of sacrifice is, that it gives long term sacrifices a positional foundation.
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #30 - 08/16/05 at 18:11:37
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Andrew Brett said:

Quote:
[a) If you play the Schliemann, the Marshall, Open, Archangel/Bc5, Zaitsev, you will need to know and keep up to date with theory.

b) Your choice of defence will hinge on whether you prefer tactical or positional play and on whether you would like to attack or defend solidly.


a)I don't think keeping up to date with theory is a major issue for people at this website.

b)  You suggest that positional play is not tactical.  That is a very old and incorrect bias.  The best positional players have always been good at tactics.  In fact, there are many openings which require the good positional player to delve into the deepest thickets of tactics, so the dichotomy of tactical vs positional player is false.

Lastly, I'd love to see some concrete lines in the Open variation too!
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #29 - 08/16/05 at 16:56:06
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You'll confuse non-English-speakers with puns like "mute point."

There is a more or less approving discussion of the line with ...Nd7 in NIC YB 75; have you seen that? I've done well with that move from time to time.

Maybe GM Renet would be good enough to supply some annotated games with 9. Be3.  Are you reading this, GM Renet?

It does strike me as a little odd that 9. Nbd2 was supposed to be the silver bullet against the Open for all those years (one of Kasparov's seconds even said that they had closed the Open Defense), and no sooner is it neutralized than 9. Be3 is hailed, by some, as the silver bullet against the Open.


Nope, I don't have nor have I seen Yearbook 75.

Are you saying that according to Yearbook 75 that some knight move at some point at some time solves Blacks problems in the 9.Be3 line. Perhaps you could supply some exact moves so that I may follow your discussion with more clarity.

Toppylov Grin
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #28 - 08/16/05 at 11:40:05
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It does strike me as a little odd that 9. Nbd2 was supposed to be the silver bullet against the Open for all those years (one of Kasparov's seconds even said that they had closed the Open Defense), and no sooner is it neutralized than 9. Be3 is hailed, by some, as the silver bullet against the Open.
How is 9. Nbd2 neutralized?
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #27 - 08/16/05 at 08:21:34
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The pros and cons of the Dilworth variation maybe a mute point, since currently 9.Be3 is considered very good for White.


You'll confuse non-English-speakers with puns like "mute point."

There is a more or less approving discussion of the line with ...Nd7 in NIC YB 75; have you seen that? I've done well with that move from time to time.

Maybe GM Renet would be good enough to supply some annotated games with 9. Be3.  Are you reading this, GM Renet?

It does strike me as a little odd that 9. Nbd2 was supposed to be the silver bullet against the Open for all those years (one of Kasparov's seconds even said that they had closed the Open Defense), and no sooner is it neutralized than 9. Be3 is hailed, by some, as the silver bullet against the Open.
  

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Andrew Brett
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #26 - 08/16/05 at 02:43:57
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I know I'm a bit late to the debate on how to defend the Ruy , but my thoughts on what I have seen posted are as follows:

a) If you play the Schliemann, the Marshall, Open, Archangel/Bc5, Zaitsev, you will need to know and keep up to date with theory.

b) Your choice of defence will hinge on whether you prefer tactical or positional play and on whether you would like to attack or defend solidly.

Ignoring any theoretical points, if you want to attack the Marshall, Schliemann and the Bird's.

If you want solidity the Berlin ! or defending main line Chigorin or Breyer.

If you want something a bit out of the ordinary - try 3...Na5 (Miles) or 3...Bb4 (Hector-played this a bit).


Of course, I'm not saying that these are the best openings for you as ultimately, it's a question of finding the right defence that suits you. I don't hesitate to point out that there are loads of other defences to the Ruy.

At 1450 level , I suspect the Schliemann would score well.

Regards

Andrew
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #25 - 08/16/05 at 00:52:16
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To Scipio Rex's comments I would add:  when I think of the Neo-Steinitz, the main practitioner I think of, besides Keres, is Capablanca.  For the record, one database I checked had 58 N-S games by Keres (as Black) and 20 by Capa.  One of the games was Keres-Capa, which was a steady draw arising from the c4 Maroczy-Bind-ish variation.  I recall certain games that drew my attention to 4...d6 way back, including Olafsson-Keres, Fischer-Pachman, and Domnitz-Pachman.  I also don't recall any book on the Neo-Steinitz, but there was a section in the 1970s book How to Open a Chess Game in which Portisch (I think) advocated it for Black, presenting a few Keres games/game excerpts.
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #24 - 08/15/05 at 17:40:53
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As for me , I am an addict of 2 Knights Defense , so I am faithful to Open Defence , that leads to the same kind of play : those who use to play 3 Bc4 with White ought to consider this point
And , among the Open Defence , I am chiefly fond of the Dilworth that gave me 66% with Black


The pros and cons of the Dilworth variation maybe a mute point, since currently 9.Be3 is considered very good for White. For example:

[Event "IV Pablo Gorbea Mem Open"]
[Site "Madrid ESP"]
[Date "2000.??.??"]
[White "Korneev,O"]
[Black "Martinez Lizarraga,M"]
[Round "7"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2619"]
[BlackElo "2048"]
[ECO "C80"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Be3 Bc5 10. Qe2 Bxe3 11. Qxe3 Na5 12. Nc3 Nxc3 13. Qxc3 Nc4 14. Bxc4 bxc4 15. b4 O-O 16. Nd4 Qd7 17. a4 Rfe8 18. Rfe1 Rab8 19. h3 Rb6 20. a5 Rbb8 21. Qd2 Rec8 22. Ra3 c5 23. bxc5 Rxc5 24. Rg3 Bf5 25. Qf4 Be6 26. Qh6 g6 27. Nf3 Rf8 28. Ng5 f6 29. Nxh7 [Splat!!]  1-0

[Event "CCA-ICC Open"]
[Site "Lake George USA"]
[Date "2005.??.??"]
[White "Shabalov,A"]
[Black "Mikhalevski,V"]
[Round "6"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2593"]
[BlackElo "2572"]
[ECO "C80"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 9. Be3 Be7 10. c3 O-O 11. Nbd2 Kh8 12. Bc2 f5 13. exf6 Nxf6 14. Ng5 Bg8 15. Nb3 Ne5 16. Bd4 Nfd7 17. Nxh7 Rf4 18. Nf8 Rh4 19. Nxd7 Nxd7 20. g3 Rh6 21. Be3 Bg5 22. f4 Be7 23. Nd4 Bh7 24. Bxh7 Rxh7 25. Nc6 Qe8 26. Qxd5 Ba3 27. Bd4 Bxb2 28. Rae1 Qh5 29. Qg2 Ba3 30. Ne5 Nf8 31. f5 Rc8 32. f6 gxf6 33. Rxf6 c5 34. Nf7+ Kg7 35. Be5 Re8 36. Rf5+ Rxe5 37. Rexe5 Qd1+ 38. Rf1 Qd3 39. Ng5 Nd7  1-0

And with that total carnage I bid you adieu.

Topster Grin 
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #23 - 08/15/05 at 16:31:21
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Hi Markovitch!
I apologize to refer to one of my games
You can find it almost evrywhere , chiefly in MegaCor3 of Harding , but also in corrdatabase and Das Gambit Lexikon :
Heikkinen-Le Page ( Finland-France 1977 )
Is it really += ?
Korthnoi agrees ( but who relies on Kortchnoi's assessments?)
Keres says it's "Unklar"
Estrin assess it as =
Sapoundjiev prefers Black ( but who reads Bulgarian?)
As for me , I followed Sapoundjiev , and I won!
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #22 - 08/15/05 at 13:13:08
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As for me , I am an addict of 2 Knights Defense , so I am faithful to Open Defence , that leads to the same kind of play : those who use to play 3 Bc4 with White ought to consider this point
And , among the Open Defence , I am chiefly fond of the Dilworth that gave me 66% with Black


I share your tastes but I don't like the Dilworth so much.  It is much less an "attack" than a way of converting into a very challenging ending.  Personally I think this ending is +=, but then, so is the initial position.
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #21 - 08/15/05 at 11:31:09
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As for me , I am an addict of 2 Knights Defense , so I am faithful to Open Defence , that leads to the same kind of play : those who use to play 3 Bc4 with White ought to consider this point
And , among the Open Defence , I am chiefly fond of the Dilworth that gave me 66% with Black
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #20 - 08/13/05 at 16:36:58
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I think Markovich is simply quoting from Mark Morss of Hard Chess fame. Grin

Be that as it may I think the Classical and/or the Cozio are reasonable defences to the Ruy for the less sophisticated/experienced player.

I actually play the Classical myself and can attest first hand that it isn't half bad. Moreover it sidesteps the most potent form of the exchange Ruy which can be quite annoying to face at times.

Topalot Grin   


Yes, I find that I almost never disagree with that most estimable fellow.
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #19 - 08/13/05 at 14:01:47
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I think Markovich is simply quoting from Mark Morss of Hard Chess fame. Grin

Be that as it may I think the Classical and/or the Cozio are reasonable defences to the Ruy for the less sophisticated/experienced player.

I actually play the Classical myself and can attest first hand that it isn't half bad. Moreover it sidesteps the most potent form of the exchange Ruy which can be quite annoying to face at times.

Topalot Grin  
« Last Edit: 08/17/05 at 19:25:06 by TopNotch »  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #18 - 08/13/05 at 04:11:52
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Interesting thoughts, urusov. I wonder, though, whether you think Black can get a decent position with the 5 …Bc5 Bird’s if White does play the correct 7 Ba4. When I looked at this recently it seemed good for White. Do you think Black can equalise, and if so what do you think is best play?

You’re probably aware that Christoph Wisnewski has been working hard, in another post here (q.v.), to make 5 …c6 6 Bc4 Nf6 7 Re1 d6 8 c3 Ng4 9 h3 Ne5 10 d3 Qb6!? work. At present the main line seems to be 11.a3! Nxc4 12.dxc4 dxc3 13.Nxc3 Be7 14.Bf4(!), leading, according to kevinludwig, to a good ending for White, but possibly there’s more to be discovered here.

My own anti-Lopez enthusiasm at the moment is for 3 …g6!?.
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #17 - 08/12/05 at 14:23:43
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I am a big believer in the Bird's.  I especially like the line that goes 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.O-O Bc5 6.d3 c6 7.Bc4 (better is 7.Ba4 followed by f4) 7....d5 8.exd5 cxd5 and, despite the doubled pawns, Black has great play.

Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending on your perspective), there is not a lot of good theory out there except in old books--mostly because not many high-level players play it.  And all the theory is pre-computer, so it's not to be trusted.

I'd recommend just looking at a lot of games with the Bird at one of the database sites and getting a feel for the lines that way.  There is also an article online by Watson at the Jeremy Silman site:
http://www.jeremysilman.com/chess_opng_anlys/040208_ruy_lpz_brd_dfns.html
He is looking at a specific, off-beat line, though, so it might not be a lot of help unless you like it... 

If you are adventurous, you might also consider the Schliemann:
http://home.eplus-online.de/schach/jaenisch.pdf
http://www.chessville.com/instruction/Openings/Martin/Sep04b.htm

Some consider it even more playable than the Bird's.  There is a lot of theory on that one.  Smiley

  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #16 - 08/12/05 at 07:25:27
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Hi Folks!

Although I hardly ever play 1...e5 in "serious" OTB games, I must confess that I have a soft spot for the Modern Steinitz (Neo-Steinitz, Steinitz deffered) 1.e4 e5
2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 d6.
Paul Keres used to play this over his entire career. I really like his games with it! Others practioneers are L. Portisch, Aljekhine, Spassky. Not bad company!
'Lesser mortals' in the list are Westerinen and Ciocaltea.
Check out their games. There's great stuff here.
Additionally, the Modern Steinitz is very unpopular nowadays; always a big point in favour of an opening in these database-times. Unfortunately, there are no books on this subject. (At least I don't know of any.)
I think this is the only line that could make me take up 1...e5 as Black!
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #15 - 06/21/05 at 08:49:46
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@Markovich, why not reverse the move order to 3.. Bc5 and 4.. Nf6?
Saves a bit on learning 4d4.


It all depends on what you think of 3...Bc5  4. c3 Nf6  5. d4, which I find much more threatening than 4. d4.  For what it's worth, "Offbeat Spanish" agrees.
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #14 - 06/17/05 at 05:38:21
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Markovich and I have debated this in another thread, but I have forgotten which one ...
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #13 - 06/17/05 at 04:51:26
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@Markovich, why not reverse the move order to 3.. Bc5 and 4.. Nf6?
Saves a bit on learning 4d4.
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #12 - 06/16/05 at 15:18:20
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Quote:
I want to start playing 1...e5 more frequently when confronted by 1.e4, and am trying to figure out what I should play if hit by the Spanish.  For background purposes, I play at about 1450 USCF and have been mucking around with the Scandinavian and French for some time but have never buckled down and studied those lines (mostly because 1.d4 if far more popular with my usual circle of opponents).  I'm looking for something that's solid, provides relative active play and counter-chances, but that is strategically straight-forward as befits my hacker rating.

Unfortunately, the e-books here are little help in my quest.  At the moment, I'm thinking about exploring Bird's Defense or the neo-Steinitz.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Admonitions?  Recommendations?  Warnings? 


For players at your level, I strongly recommend 1. e4 e5  2. Nf3 Nc6  3. Bb5 Nf6  4. O-O Bc5.  My students play this and have good success with it.  Black simply activates his pieces and looks for opportunities.  You have to be familiar with some theory, but so what?   You also have to know how to play against 4. d4, which is no big problem.

White keeps his += birthright with best play, but it does require some sophistication on his part.  I would not wring my hands over this, since White is += after 3. Bb5.

I have played the Schliemann (Jaenisch) a great deal with good success, but I've concluded that it is unsound.  Also it is not really good for a player's chess education, since it sacrifices time in exchange for space -- a dangerous procedure, especially for the inexperienced.
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #11 - 06/16/05 at 14:19:54
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Quote:
As for Birds defence - Black moves his knight twice in the opening just for it to be exchanged  - so not popular with the GM's.


That is a bit too dogmatic in my opinion. Bird's Defence is heavily underestimated thanks to numerous (if not all) authors quoting a certain line given in Euwe's "Theorie der Schacheröffnungen" back in the 1960s.

Bird's Defence is a very nice offbeat, and a serious alternative to those so-called "main lines", but it is very important to learn the ideas behind the lines. Furthermore, it can get very tactical, so I don't know if a 1400 player should employ it. But if you seek fun, and want to throw your opponent off balance, feel free to explore it.

And if you are uncertain about certain lines, feel free to open a discussion Smiley
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #10 - 01/16/04 at 18:11:44
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Just a thought - maybe the Schliemann is worth a try? I played it at the 1450 level when I rarely attempted the Lopez as black, and knowing the lines well, I scored 100% from my games with it. Simple, black usually gets the pawn back or, at least, a position which most white players at that level will crumble in. Black's plan of attack is fairly simple, and it will teach you the values of piece play and attacking quite well. The points you'll pick up from scared white players playing 4.d3 will be a bonus Wink

As for the exchange variation, I've never failed to get a promising position with 5...Bd6.

Regards,
Craig  Grin
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #9 - 01/15/04 at 20:22:29
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Well, since I don't have access to the Kaissiber articles, I guess I'm screwed.  Thanks for the suggestion though.

By the way, please do post this hot new defense in the Exchange Variation that you mentioned.  I play the Exchange Ruy as White upon occaission and would appreciate being forwarned against a new Black weapon!
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #8 - 01/13/04 at 18:38:52
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After 40 years of playing the Sicilian I decided I needed a change and switched to the Paris Variation. As far as I know
it was only dealt with properly in Kaissiber magazine. I never lost with it even against much higher rated players until I tried it in correspondence.

The line is a part of the Moller Archangel complex which is a line of the Ruy Lopez I suggest for black. "Archangel and
New Archangel" by Krzysztof Panxzyk and John Emms is a good book on this line.

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 a6 (Grandmaster Rogers recently played a newish line
          against the Exchange Variation which I will post
          when I get time. It was shown be by a double IM
          both FIDE and ICCF who was impressed).
4. Ba4 Nf6
5. 0-0 Bc5 The Moller Defence
Now there are several moves which you can check out in books.
6. c3 probably best and usually played by persons who do not
   know the theory.
6....d5 This is the Paris variation. (The standard book move is 6..d6.)Do not play this variation unless you obtain the Kaissiber articles. If you know the theory then you will score well as black provided that you like positions where
you must use your pieces very actively and love attacking.
This is a great line for improving club players as it will help you improve your skills in attack and using your pieces.

There is one small problem. Attached is the game where I lost in IECG. Of course in due course this will
wind up on the next version of Tim Harding's Correspondence
Chess CD. (Hint - Megacorr3 CD is just the place to find opening lines that will surpride your opponents)


[Event "IECG-CUP, Preliminary, CP-2003-p-00050"]
[Site "IECG"]
[Date "2003.09.28"]
[Round "-"]
[White "Doblas Francisco Javier, Rubio"]
[Black "Flude, David"]
[Result "1-0"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O b5
6.Bb3 Bc5 7.Re1 Ng4 8.Rf1 Nf6 9.c3 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5
11.Nxe5 Nxe5 12.d4 O-O 13.dxe5 Bb7 14.Nd2 (this move was not covered in the article) Nf4 15.Nf3 Qxd1
16.Rxd1 Nh3+ 17.gxh3 Bxf3 18.Rd7 Rae8 19.Bf4 Bb6 20.Re1 Bc6
21.Rd2 h6 22.h4 Re7 23.Kf1 Rfe8 24.h5 Kf8 25.Bc2 Bf3
26.Bd1 Bc6 27.Bg4 a5 28.Bg3 b4 29.f4 bxc3 30.bxc3  1-0

If anyone can find an improvement for black I will be very pleased.


     
  

I am hopelessly addicted to the King's Gambit
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;DRe: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #7 - 12/20/03 at 17:29:29
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I've never played 1...e5 until this season as I have feared the Ruy Lopez. The line I've found is the Dlworth Attack. Strategically it's not overly complicated, the plan of attack is fairly simple, and if white slips up he gets sat on. All in all not a bad opening system.

Of course, any system which starts on move 12 means that it can be avoided, so you'll have to be prepared for some other lines, but the dilworth is a good choice of system to base your ...e5 defence around I feel.

Otherwise, I quite like 3...Nge7 with the idea of ...g6 in some lines. Little theory and simple to play. Think it's called the Cozio Defence - dont hold me to that though, it's been a while since I dabbled with it.

Regards,
Craig  Grin
  

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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #6 - 10/16/03 at 21:57:06
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Those are some interesting suggestions, but the Bird's is not really so bad.  Many have named the "Offbeat Spanish" (by Glenn Flear, published by Everyman) which states, "The Bird's Defence has the advantage of creating unusual problems for White, but the loss of time for Black's development is an important factor...all in all the Bird's Defence is a useful weapon as it gives winning chances and (even if White is booked-up) gets close to fully equalising."  I'm certainly no expert on the Spanish, but I like this book too.
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #5 - 09/13/03 at 15:17:25
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Quote:
I thought about Smyslov's fianchetto defense, but keep reading from authorities (particularly Glenn Flear's book "Offbeat Spanish" which I own) that the line offers few counter-chances and can be a bit dry.<SNIP>

It's not dry, not the way I play it.  See my other thread, "Two Black TN's in the Spanish Fianchetto".  4. c3 f5!? and you wind up with positions reminiscent of the Russian Defence against the Spanish (3...f5!?), or even the Latvian Gambit (1. e4 e5  2. Nf3 f5?!), though safer than either in my opinion.  5. Bxc6 bxc6  6. Nxe5 Qe7 and Black is equal, or check out the following gambit line:

1. e4   e5
2. Nf3  Nc6
3. Bb5  g6
4. c3   f5
5. exf5 e4
6. Bxc6 bxc6
7. Nd4  c5
8. Nb3  Ba6
9. fxg6 Qg5
10. g3  Qxg6

to be followed by ...Bd3 and White can neither castle, nor smoothly develop his queenside, all for a measly pawn.  Bxc6 is probably never good for White, but opponents at our general level -- significantly under IM (I'm 1900, give or take) -- seem to go in for it a lot of the time.
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #4 - 09/10/03 at 16:46:23
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There's a good book published by Everyman (can't remember who wrote it) called "offbeat spanish" which might be worth it. As to not being able to play the Zaitsev at 1450 USCF, I have to disagree. Real chess is good at any level. I'm not even 1200 USCF and I know some Dragon Yugoslav variations 12-16 moves deep, or even more. Jerry, I would recommend the Zaitsev or Arkhangelsk Variation. Bird and Steinitz are interesting tries, but not really too strong. Zaitsev and Arkhangelsk are fierce, counter-attacking variations (and if you like such fierce chess, you should probably be playing a Sicilian Dragon or Najdorf instead because w/ e5 you have to deal with KG, Italian Game, etc.). Hope that helps.
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #3 - 09/10/03 at 12:29:32
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I thought about Smyslov's fianchetto defense, but keep reading from authorities (particularly Glenn Flear's book "Offbeat Spanish" which I own) that the line offers few counter-chances and can be a bit dry.  If I wanted "solid-but-dry" I'd stick with the Scandinavian!
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #2 - 09/09/03 at 21:44:46
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At club level (or any level  Roll Eyes) 'nearly' any variation can suceed if it suits your style & you get to 'know' it.
A useful guide is GM Emms book 'easy guide to the Ruy Lopez' which gives some information on the various variations of the Spanish, so if you are able to have access to a copy you could go through it and see what you think.
As for Birds defence - Black moves his knight twice in the opening just for it to be exchanged  - so not popular with the GM's.
An active 'try' is the Marshall - for a pawn black gets an  attack & complications.
The Zaitsev or  Open variation may be worth a go, but you would have to spend a bit of time on whichever you decide, which goes for any opening of course, as it is said that the better prepared player has a advantage.
Hope this helps.

I think the Zaitsev and even the open are too complicated for a 1450 player.  But since the original poster is contemplating the Neo-Steinitz, they might also want to consider it's cousin the Fianchetto Variation, 3....g6, championed by former world champion Smyslov.  When you play a slightly offbeat variation like this, you can get the double advantage of psychology plus being better prepared if you know the lines.  Plus it is a completely logical follow up to the Spanish.  White is undermining the defence of Black's e5, so Black prepares to lend it additional defence.
  
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Re: Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
Reply #1 - 08/30/03 at 16:50:42
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At club level (or any level  Roll Eyes) 'nearly' any variation can suceed if it suits your style & you get to 'know' it.
A useful guide is GM Emms book 'easy guide to the Ruy Lopez' which gives some information on the various variations of the Spanish, so if you are able to have access to a copy you could go through it and see what you think.
As for Birds defence - Black moves his knight twice in the opening just for it to be exchanged  - so not popular with the GM's.
An active 'try' is the Marshall - for a pawn black gets an  attack & complications.
The Zaitsev or  Open variation may be worth a go, but you would have to spend a bit of time on whichever you decide, which goes for any opening of course, as it is said that the better prepared player has a advantage.
Hope this helps.
  
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Black Defense vs. Ruy Lopez
08/29/03 at 10:18:31
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I want to start playing 1...e5 more frequently when confronted by 1.e4, and am trying to figure out what I should play if hit by the Spanish.  For background purposes, I play at about 1450 USCF and have been mucking around with the Scandinavian and French for some time but have never buckled down and studied those lines (mostly because 1.d4 if far more popular with my usual circle of opponents).  I'm looking for something that's solid, provides relative active play and counter-chances, but that is strategically straight-forward as befits my hacker rating.

Unfortunately, the e-books here are little help in my quest.  At the moment, I'm thinking about exploring Bird's Defense or the neo-Steinitz.  Thoughts?  Suggestions?  Admonitions?  Recommendations?  Warnings?
  
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