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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence (Read 38585 times)
Michael Ayton
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #51 - 08/03/11 at 17:48:11
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Interesting stuff. But why, after 7 Ba4 d6, is 8 f4 now considered the main line, rather than 8 Bb3? I know it's been played much more often, but then so has 8 Nd2. Is there now consensus as to what Black should do after 8 Bb3? (I was guessing that 8 ...Ne7 9 f4 f5 might be the way to go but neither this nor anything else looks reliable to me ...)
« Last Edit: 08/04/11 at 06:33:58 by Michael Ayton »  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #50 - 08/03/11 at 02:13:02
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Just FYI: for those looking for sources, I posted a Bird Defense Bibliography in 2008:
http://kenilworthian.blogspot.com/2008/11/birds-defense-bibliography-c61.html

Since then, Sokolov's excellent "The Ruy Lopez Revisited" (New in Chess 2010) is the most important addition.

I have a lot of success with the Bird Defense and find the majority of my opponents do not know what they are doing.  A recent case in point:
http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/games/java/2011/balakrishnan-goeller.htm
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #49 - 07/28/11 at 14:21:21
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micawber wrote on 02/19/06 at 19:52:35:
I liked the analysis of the variation
1.e4,e5 2.Nf3,Nc6 3.Bb5,Nd4 4.Nxd,exd 5.0-0,Bc5 6.Ba4,c6
but I wonder if the following variation doesnt cause more trouble:
1.e4,e5 2.Nf3,Nc6 3.Bb5,Nd4 4.Nxd,exd 5.Bc4
when neither 5...c6 or 5...Bc5 seem very good ideas.
So black should probably continue:
5.Bc4,Nf6 6.0-0,d6 when 7.c3 should grant white a small advantage.

I would like your comments on this

In chessbase(keys) the main line is 5.Bc4 Nf6 6.0-0 Ne4 7.Bf7+ it seem rather complicate
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #48 - 07/27/11 at 11:47:49
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Tater_Salad wrote on 11/13/05 at 02:05:35:
after playing a few games, i have to stick with my original assessment that 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4 4. Nxd4 exd4 5. O-O Bc5 6. d3 c6 7. Ba4 Ne7 8. f4 isn't nearly as good for white as it may look. i think the problem with a lot of these bird lines is that both engines and humans have the tendency to jump the gun with d5, and i'm not really sure why. i'm not a big praxis guy, but one that i actually abide by almost religiously is not breaking open the middle of the board before castling unless the particular tactics of the position deem it necessary. in these lines, its not as if white has so much going that the immediate c6/d5 is neccessary to push him back. white is still trying to get developed, and those moves will still be there in the meantime.

anyways. after 8....o-o, 9.f4 has been the most common response for me to this point. its pretty hard to develop otherwise, and 9...f6 is blacks best reply, so at least it doesn't waste another move.


Maybe it is time to dig up this thread and state that after 10. f5, according to Greet, White has a strong attack. The question is if the Bishop is out of play, and for that matter, if it matters to White's attack since Black has some pieces out of play.

Some analysis by Sokolov seem to suggest Black is ok in other lines, but I have to say they look very suspicious, with a rook on h7 e.g.

Markovich's idea of playing an early c3 might be White's best option.

Another way is to have the discussion under the Spanish repertoire-thread.
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #47 - 02/07/07 at 13:48:24
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Quote:
I liked the analysis of the variation
1.e4,e5 2.Nf3,Nc6 3.Bb5,Nd4 4.Nxd,exd 5.0-0,Bc5 6.Ba4,c6
but I wonder if the following variation doesnt cause more trouble:
1.e4,e5 2.Nf3,Nc6 3.Bb5,Nd4 4.Nxd,exd 5.Bc4
when neither 5...c6 or 5...Bc5 seem very good ideas.

5...Bc5 is a trap (that I've won the odd game with). White can win a pawn with 6.Bxf7+!

Still, I'd be interested to know how 5.Bc4 fares if Black knows to avoid this trap.
  
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CraigEvans
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #46 - 03/06/06 at 18:02:51
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Quote:
In an earlier post, you stated that after 

"1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.0-0 c6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Re1 d6 8.c3 Ng4 9.h3 Ne5 10.d3 Qb6!? 11.Bb3 Be6 12.Bxe6 fxe6 13.cxd4 Qxd4 14.Nc3!

"the white d-pawn is obviously immune"


That might be true in view of 14...Qxd3 15.Qb3, but what if I play 14....0-0-0 (in order to protect b7 and to get my king into some safety)? The pawn is still hanging then, and I am sure you would not want to protect it with 15.Re3, as 15...g5 should be clearly better for Black (as the centre is completely fixed and Black has a good grip on the dark squares). 15.Qb3 may be well met with 15...d5, and although the configuration looks a bit shaky (e.g. 16.Be3 Qxd3 17.Bxa7!? or 16.exd5 exd5 17.Be3 Qxd3 18.Bxa7!?), I did not find an immediate way to refute it (I don't have an engine at my hand, so tactical oversights are possible), although I admit that this are just ideas to get the conversation going again. If there is no refutation, d3 is still hanging, and Black can complete his development while having a strong centre.


I've been looking at the position after 16.Be3 Qxd3 17.Bxa7? and it looks pretty horrendous for black. I'm assuming black continues with 17...Bd6, but then 18.Bb6! Rdf8 19.Rac1! seems to give black quite a headache.

Perhaps I'm missing improvements for black here, but this is looking pretty terrible to me, and if this is the case then 11...Be6 would be unplayable and 11.Bb3! would be a critical test. 11.a3 and 11.Na3 seem to give white a small edge as well (which is unfortunate, since I was looking to take up the Bird with these ideas).

Best wishes,
Craig
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #45 - 02/19/06 at 19:52:35
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I liked the analysis of the variation
1.e4,e5 2.Nf3,Nc6 3.Bb5,Nd4 4.Nxd,exd 5.0-0,Bc5 6.Ba4,c6
but I wonder if the following variation doesnt cause more trouble:
1.e4,e5 2.Nf3,Nc6 3.Bb5,Nd4 4.Nxd,exd 5.Bc4
when neither 5...c6 or 5...Bc5 seem very good ideas.
So black should probably continue:
5.Bc4,Nf6 6.0-0,d6 when 7.c3 should grant white a small advantage.

I would like your comments on this
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #44 - 02/17/06 at 21:45:55
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@ AvH

Thanks for your post. Yes, 11.Bxd5 cxd5 12.Bf4 seems to be very strong and I don't see an convincing way for Black to continue  Sad
I wonder what IM Wisnewski would do here ...
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #43 - 02/17/06 at 10:56:06
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Interesting posts. Sorry, Tater_Salad, I didn't manage to get with your comments on the 7 Ba4 Bird's before the "great crash". Looking at the position after 4 Nd4 ed 5 0-0 Bc5 6 d3 c6 7 Ba4 Ne7 8 f4, I notice that 8 ...0-0 hasn't been played very often and I wondered why. Perhaps, following 9 f4 f6, 10 Nd2 isn't the best move. What if instead White goes for a caveman attack with Qh5 and Rf3--h3? -- how should Black respond? After say 10 ...d5 11 Rf3 Bd6 12 Rh3 Qa5! (=) the caveman gets clubbed back, but obviously White can avoid this. After e.g. 12 Bb3 here isn't Black at risk of getting a cramped and thankless position?
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #42 - 02/15/06 at 15:01:47
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I've looked at these variations a few months ago and I also think that after 10.Qg4 Ne3 11.Qh5 white is winning. 10...Qf6 may be an alternative. I think 10.Qh5! is a very good move. After 10...Kd7 I think white should play 11.Bxd5 and after cxd5 12.Bf4. In my opinion white is clearly better. Qe5 or Be5 or Nd2-b3,f3 may be coming. Black's d4 pawn is very weak and black's king isn't comfortably placed at d7. Black's other possibility is 11...Bxd5, but I don't really see what's wrong with grabbing the pawn: 12.Qg4+ and white's again clearly better, so I don't like 10...Kd7. I, however don't see a good alternative so I just play 7...d6, which is a bit safer.
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #41 - 02/15/06 at 14:08:59
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Hello,

what do you think about these sidelines:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd 5.0-0 c6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.d3 d5 8.exd Nxd5 9.Re1+ Be6

And now either:

a.) 10. Qg4;  on ICC I've noticed that most players prefer 10 ... Ne3 now, but after, for example, 11. Qh5 g6 12. Qe5 Black seems to be in trouble.

b.) 10.Qh5 Kd7 as occured in Izrailev-Wisnewski 2003. Kd7 looks indeed quite interesting and I would like to know whether you think it is rather an experimental move or whether Black has good chances to hold this positions.
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #40 - 11/13/05 at 02:05:35
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after playing a few games, i have to stick with my original assessment that 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4 4. Nxd4 exd4 5. O-O Bc5 6. d3 c6 7. Ba4 Ne7 8. f4 isn't nearly as good for white as it may look. i think the problem with a lot of these bird lines is that both engines and humans have the tendency to jump the gun with d5, and i'm not really sure why. i'm not a big praxis guy, but one that i actually abide by almost religiously is not breaking open the middle of the board before castling unless the particular tactics of the position deem it necessary. in these lines, its not as if white has so much going that the immediate c6/d5 is neccessary to push him back. white is still trying to get developed, and those moves will still be there in the meantime.

anyways. after 8....o-o, 9.f4 has been the most common response for me to this point. its pretty hard to develop otherwise, and 9...f6 is blacks best reply, so at least it doesn't waste another move. now after 10. Bf4 d5 11. Bb3 Kh8 white still doesn't have any plans that look all that promising to me. this particular game went 12. a3 b6 13. Kh1 Bd6 14. Qe2 dxe4 15. Qxe4 Bxf4 16. Rxf4 Re8 17. Bf7 Bxf5 18. Qxd4 Rf8 19. Bb3 Qxd4 20. Rxd4 Rad8 21. Rxd8 Rxd8. sure, white could have tried harder for some complications, but i dont really see anything there that would give the upper hand.

the rest of the game is pretty boring unless you enjoy watching computers butcher end games. 22. Nd2 g6 23. Re1 Nd5 24. h3 a5 25. Nf3 Rd6 26. c4 Nf4 27. d4 Re6 28. d5 cxd5 29. cxd5 Rd6 30. g4 Bd7 31. Nd2 f5 32. Nc4 Rxd5 33. Ne5 Rd4 34. Nxd7 Rxd7 35. gxf5 Rd3 36. Be6 Rxh3+  7. Kg1 Rd3 38. f6 Rd6 39. f7 Nxe6 40. Rxe6 Rd1+ 41. Kg2 Kg7 42. Rxb6 Kxf7 43. Rb7+ Kf6 44. b4 Rd2+ 45. Kf3 Rd3+ 46.  f4 g5+ 47. Kg4 Rd4+ 48. Kf3 axb4 49. Ke3 Rh4 50. axb4 h6 51. b5 Ke5 52. b6 Rb4 53. Rb8 Kd5 54. Kf3 h5 55. b7 Rb3+ 56. Kf2 Rb2+ 57. Ke3 Kc6 58. Rh8 Rxb7 59. Rxh5 Rg7 60.  f3 Kd5 61. Kg4 Rg6 62. Rxg5+ Rxg5+ 63. Kxg5 {Draw}  1/2-1/2
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #39 - 11/12/05 at 13:32:37
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Quote:
I don't really know anything about these lines, but I had thought (1) that 7 Ba4, not 7 Bc4, was the test of Black's play, and (2) that after 7 Ba4 Ne7, 8 f4 gave White the advantage. Am I wrong?


i dunno, maybe, but it doesn't really look all that hot to me at first glance. f4 is nice in that it covers e5, but does white really even have the time for that? there is already the problem of developing the queenside pieces, and f4 further limits that by blocking off g5 and f4 from the dark squared bishop. f4 also creates a couple of nice places for black to position his pieces, on d5 and f5, after the inevetiable pawn push in the center.

after 8...O-O how does black go about developing his queenside and dealing with d5, which frees up black as well as knocking white out of sole control in the center? unless their is some tactical finesse working in white's favor in this position, it looks at least equal, if not better for black to me.
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #38 - 11/12/05 at 04:36:13
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I don't really know anything about these lines, but I had thought (1) that 7 Ba4, not 7 Bc4, was the test of Black's play, and (2) that after 7 Ba4 Ne7, 8 f4 gave White the advantage. Am I wrong?
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #37 - 11/12/05 at 01:10:15
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unless improvements have been found for white, i don't really see what was ever wrong with the 5...Bc5 lines for black. this is the analysis that i have:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4 4. Nxd4 exd4 5. O-O Bc5 6. d3 c6 7. Bc4 (7. Ba4 Ne7 8. Nd2 d5 9. exd5 Nxd5 10. Re1+ Be6 = karpov-kapreichik) d5 8. exd5 cxd5 9. Bb5+ Bd7 10. Bxd7+ Qxd7 11. Nd2 Ne7 12. Nb3 Bb6 13. Bg5 f6
14. Bd2 a5 = rohde-christiansen

white's best chance seems to be with 6.Qh5, but i'm really not so convinced in this move. 6. Qh5 Qe7 7. d3 Nf6 8. Qh4 c6 9. Ba4 is supposed to be slightly better for white, but i'm not so sure that 8...c6 is the correct move in the first place. Bg5 is really white's only strong source of play at this point, so why not tend to that side of the board first with 8...0-0? not that it is the only option, but after 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bxf6 Qxf6 11. Qxf6 gxf6, white really has a hard time converting this practically forced end game into a win. computers analyze the position as a clear advantage for white, but they have a hard time pushing it through, because its hard for white to activate his rooks where he needs them to be active and take advantage of black's sloppy pawns. here is a little 40 in 10 game i just now made where the engine fails to bear out its assessment of the position:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4 4. Nxd4 exd4 5. O-O Bc5 6. Qh5 Qe7 7. d3 Nf6 8. Qh4 O-O 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bxf6 Qxf6 11. Qxf6 gxf6 12. a3 c6 13. Bc4 Rd8 14. Nd2 d5 15. exd5 cxd5 16. Bb3 a5 17. Ba4 Be6 18. f4 Bf5 19. Nb3 Bb6 20. Rae1 Rac8 21. Rf2 Kf8 22. h3 h5 23. Rfe2 Bd7 24. Bxd7 Rxd7 25. Rc1 h4 26. Kf2 Re7 27. Rxe7 Kxe7 28. Nd2 Kd7 29. Kf3 Re8 30. Rb1 Re7 31. Kf2 Re6 32. Nf3 Rc6 33. Rc1 Bc7 34. g3 hxg3+ 35. Kxg3 Bd6 36. Kg4 Rb6 37. b3 Bxa3 38. Ra1 Bb4 39. Kf5 Re6 40. Nxd4 Re3 41. Ra4 b6 42. h4 Rh3 43. Kxf6 Rxh4 44. Ke5 Bd6+ 45. Kxd5 Rxf4 46. c3 Rg4 47. b4 Rg5+ 48. Kc4 f6 49. Ra2 Be7 50. bxa5 Rc5+ 51. Kb3 bxa5 52. Ne2 Rg5 53. d4 Rg2 54. c4 Bb4 55. c5 Kc6 56. Kc4 Rg4 57. Kd3 Kd5 58. Ra4 Rh4 59. Nc3+ Bxc3 60. Kxc3 Rh3+ 61. Kd2 Rg3 62. Ke2 f5 63. Rxa5 Kxd4 64. c6 Rc3 65. Rxf5 Rxc6 66. Rf4+ Kd5 67. Kd3 Rd6 68. Rd4+ Kc5 69. Rxd6 Kxd6 {Draw} 1/2-1/2


  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #36 - 11/11/05 at 14:50:45
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After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4 4. Bc4 Nxf3+ 5.Qxf3 doesn't White just stand better?

P.S. Is there any good literature about the bird?
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #35 - 10/13/05 at 08:32:22
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Charles_G's suggestion cries out for human input which I've no time right now to give it, but my Fritz suggests the immediate Bxd6 is nothing and prefers:

(I)  16 b3 Qa5 17 Qg3 Bf6 (17 ...Rad8 18 Re3!) 18 Re3 Be5 19 Red3 b5 20 cb cb 21 Be5 de 22 Nd5 (but Black defends after 22 ...Bd5 --?).

(II) 16 Qe2 a6!? (is 16 ...Qb6 OK, this patzerish piece of carbon wonders?) 17 c5 d5 18 b4 with some advantage?
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #34 - 10/13/05 at 07:25:46
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The "latest" literature I could dig up for this subject were two rather thin booklets by Colin Leach (somewhere in the 80s) and one by P. Romario in the 90s.

Since the "main line" mentioned above was published in the 60s, no one dared to take as a more serious matter; something I want to change!

Therefore I was trying to start a discussion about several critical lines; the main line already took some shape.

About those d3 sacs; I don't get many games with that (no tournament game so far, just a few games on the net, though they were quite fun) - but if you have any specific questions, feel free to ask and I would be glad to try to answer them!
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #33 - 10/12/05 at 11:40:57
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Ive been taking a look at this line and i want to ask how bad is really the position for black after e4 e5 Nf Nc Bb5 nd4 Nxd4 ed 00 c6 Bc4 Nf6 Re1 d6 c3 Ng4 h3 Ne5 d3 Nxc4 dc4 bc3 Nc3 Be7 Bf4 00 Qd3 Be6 Rad1 and last, the correct Re8.. arent the chances balanced? I would like to know those awesome engines say about this position.

Also, it would be nice to see the lines where black sacs a pawn for the initiative, specially the ones in d3 when the knight is on e5. You guys should search for the game between Joel benjamin vs. Soltis its one of those sac lines.

Anyone know any latest literature published on this opening? I have a very old book by Soltis and McCormick..

Ok everyone! thanks.
Cheesy Grin Smiley Wink
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #32 - 10/12/05 at 08:45:31
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Greetings!

I'd hate to see this discussion vanish, so I felt to ask a few questions since I am now more willing (as having more time) to analyze possible problems:

@MichealAydon

In an earlier post, you stated that after

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.0-0 c6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Re1 d6 8.c3 Ng4 9.h3 Ne5 10.d3 Qb6!? 11.Bb3 Be6 12.Bxe6 fxe6 13.cxd4 Qxd4 14.Nc3!

"the white d-pawn is obviously immune".

That might be true in view of 14...Qxd3 15.Qb3, but what if I play 14....0-0-0 (in order to protect b7 and to get my king into some safety)? The pawn is still hanging then, and I am sure you would not want to protect it with 15.Re3, as 15...g5 should be clearly better for Black (as the centre is completely fixed and Black has a good grip on the dark squares). 15.Qb3 may be well met with 15...d5, and although the configuration looks a bit shaky (e.g. 16.Be3 Qxd3 17.Bxa7!? or 16.exd5 exd5 17.Be3 Qxd3 18.Bxa7!?), I did not find an immediate way to refute it (I don't have an engine at my hand, so tactical oversights are possible), although I admit that this are just ideas to get the conversation going again. If there is no refutation, d3 is still hanging, and Black can complete his development while having a strong centre.

@kevinludwig

Your last statement was that Black has difficulties in an upcoming endgame since after

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.0-0 c6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Re1 d6 8.c3 Ng4 9.h3 Ne5 10.d3 Qb6!? 11.a3 Nxc4 12.dxc4 bxc3 13.Nxc3 Be7 14.Bf4 0-0 15.Bxd6 Bxd6 16.Qxd6 Qxb2 17.Qb4 Qxb4 18.axb4 Be6 19.c5

"what ends up happening, is instead of playing e5 and allowing the bishop to outpost on d5, the computer suggests f2-f4-f5, dislodging the bishop from e6 while denying the square d5 (g2-g4 may come later also). Then the King improves via Kf2-Ke3. ... White's king seems better prepared to penetrate."

I'd like to challenge that statement, as I would like to know how White can make concrete progress:

- When playing 19...Rfd8, White should be forced to play Rd1 to prevent ...Rd4. Granted, it is possible to come up with f2-f4-f5 and Kf2-e3, but the Bishop will find a rather safen haven on c4. I do not see how White can manage to restrict the bishop.

- It is even possible to regroup the bishop to a6, where it relieves the a-Rook of his duty to protect a7 AND where it protects b7 as well. Due to the fixed pawns it is not even possible for White to dislodge the bishop from there, as the knight will never get any access to c7.

- White will never gain control of the d-file. On the other hand, I do not see why Black should fear an endgame Knight vs. Bishop. While White should not be able to exploit his kingside majority, Black might be very able to do so with his queenside majority. There are not any weaknesses in the black camp, and the white knight will have a hard time creating some. Granted, Black does not have great winning chances, but that's life Smiley

But enough for now. I'd be glad to get some "fresh eyes" on my thought. Of course, people are also welcome to discuss any other lines than the main line; Bird's Defence is so full of possibilities!
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #31 - 07/04/05 at 17:14:57
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Good stuff! Having had a better look at 15 ...0-0 I'm sure you're right to suggest it's reasonable for Black -- I was wrong to dismiss it. I asked Fritz about this as well. After 16 Bd6 Bd6 17 Qd6 Qc4 18 Rad1 it suggested the plan of ...f6, ...Qf7 and ...Be6. This might look a bit passive but it seems quite solid and Black might expand with ...f5 later acc. to Fritz, e.g.: 18 ...f6 19 Re3 Qf7 20 b4 Be6 21 Qc5 a6 22 Red3 f5 23 Rf3 Qg6 24 Qe7 Qf7 (24 ...Rf7 seems OK too after 25 Qh4 Re8 26 Rd6 fe 27 Re3 Ref8 or ...Rf3!?) 25 Qf7 Rf7 26 e5 Re7 27 g3 Bb3 28 Re1 Rd8 29 Rfe3 Kf7 30 f4 Ke6 =.

So maybe 14 Be3 isn't so terrible after all! Kevinludwig's endgame plan after 14 Bf4 is still looking a serious threat though! I wonder if you've come up with anything here, Christoph? -- maybe the future of 10 ...Qb6 depends on Black drawing the teeth of this line ...
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #30 - 07/01/05 at 04:59:45
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So, I had a rather quick look at the position in the line with 11.a3!?

As already mentioned by AvH, I can't see what is wrong with the position after 11...Nxc4 12.dxc4 bxc3 13.Nxc3 Be7 14.Be3 Qa6 15.Bf4 0-0!

White can play 16.Bxd6 Bxd6 17.Qxd6 Qxc4 when he may gain control over the d-file, but how much is that? Black can comfortably blockade the e-pawn, and White does not manage to get his knight to d6 for example, as Black can play ...Bf5 in response to e4-e5
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #29 - 06/28/05 at 00:10:40
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Agreed, Black's perspectives are long-term (bishop pair, or [if White trades on e7] light-squared Bishop against Knight) at best - but not necessarily worse. Just let me get my hands on a board so I can analyse the position a bit Smiley

I can't promise to have results quickly ... But the Bird will prevail! Smiley
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #28 - 06/27/05 at 16:18:19
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Well, I admire your assiduity and I'm sure you are right in principle not to give up. But as well as suspecting White is always going to be better after 11 a3 I'm also worried by the lack of counterplay in many of these lines. Take for example the line you mention with 17 e5 0-0 18 Ne4. I can see that this is very messy and that it could be that Black can defend if he plays highly accurately, but isn't it true that most of the practical chances are with White and Black faces a thankless task showing he's OK here? If 18 ...Re8 then maybe 19 Re3, and I'd wager the late great Henry Bird himself would much rather have White. I haven't at all given up on the Bird's -- it's just that with so many much more exciting variations to investigate (e.g. Bird's original 5 ...h5!?) I don't myself fancy devoting more time to this line just yet. But of course I'll hang in if some interesting analysis appears ...
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #27 - 06/27/05 at 14:08:21
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Don't give up the Bird so quickly Smiley

As for my original proposal, 18...Qe7 indeed does not seem to work after 18.Qc7; 21.Qc4! is a strong move I have not considered.

However, what if after 14.Be3 Qa6 15.Bf4 Qxc4 16.Bxd6 I play the immediate 16...Qe6? White does not get the chance to place his queen on c7, and he must react since his bishop is now attacked. Should White choose 17.Bxe7, I don't see problems after 17...Qe7, since after 18.Nd5 (for example) Black can simply play 18...Qd8, after which White has gained nothing. Should he retreat the bishop on the h2-b8 diagonal, Black can castle and shouldn't have problems, too. Finally, White can play 18.e5, but then I will castle as well, and the pawn is comfortably blocked. White may have prospects with Ne4, but Black might be able to occupy the e-file with Re8 and trade on d6 in the exact moment.

All these ideas are (yet again) born without any sight on the board, since I don't have one here. But maybe one of you might take up for Black and investigate a bit more?

And if all that should fail (I still need to find a response to the f2-f4-f5 plan in the "endgame"), I am sure there are still alternatives after 11.a3!?

But one step at a time...
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #26 - 06/27/05 at 13:30:48
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I don't see it either, AvH! Moreover 15 ...0-0 looks grotty too. So unless Christoph can come up with something pretty drastic, 14 Be3, and possibly also the 14 Bf4 ending, look to put the 10 ...Qb6 idea under a cloud, from under which I for one suspect it will not emerge ...

Of course the Bird's as a whole is far from dead, and maybe we need to start looking at other lines. One possibility is to play ...Qb6 on move 8, as Tolush used to do. Anyway, if I get time later I'll start a new thread on Mr Bird's combative and interesting variation.
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #25 - 06/26/05 at 14:39:55
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@Cwisnewski

In the 14.Be3 Qa6 variation 18.Qa3 isn't possible btw, but after 18.Qc7 Qe7?! white has the strong move 19.Nd5 after which white is (I think) better. Black might be holding the draw, but I wouldn't like playing this as black  Sad. For example 19...cxd5 20.exd5 Be6 21.Qc4! white already wins a pawn after 0-0 so black should play 21...Rc8 but after 22.Qb5+ Qd7 23.Qb3! white also wins a pawn. What is the refutation of 19.Nd5? I don't see it.
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #24 - 06/26/05 at 04:51:45
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@MichaelAydon

Again, I have no board with me, but remember to have analysed your line earlier with the "inventor" of 11.a3

I think we also had 14.Be3 as our "main line", thinking that Black might be able to hold on by playing 14...Qa6 15.Bf4 Qxc4 16.Bxd6 Bxd6 17.Qxd6 Qe6 18.Qc7 (we only had 18.Qa3, but this might be similar) Qe7

Now, if White trades queens, Black won't have any problems at all. On the other hand, if White does not trade queens, what should he do? Black can comfortably develop with Be6 and 0-0. I don't see any problems with Black's position here.

@KevinLudwig

As I pointed out earlier, I only had a short look at the whole variation. But I will surely have a deeper look over the next week. I do think, too, that this is the crucial line for the whole system.
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #23 - 06/25/05 at 17:45:02
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Hi AvH and thanks for this. As is often the way, I realised as soon as I'd made my last post that I'd forgotten to look at [14 Be3 Qa6 15 Bf4] 15 ... 0-0! Maybe this is OK for Black? If so Kevinludwig's idea might be looking the strongest, and perhaps a serious threat to the whole line? I'm sure this ending will get examined in more depth over the coming days/weeks -- after all it should be possible to work out whether it's winning or drawing.

The only other idea I've had is 11 a3 dc 12 Nc3 and now 12 ...Be7. Looks horribly slow and a bit desperate but who knows ...
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #22 - 06/25/05 at 15:00:27
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@kevinludwig

I indeed think that your plan is very interesting and it may be better than my original plan, but also in your variations the d6 square may be useful for white.

@Michael Ayton

You might/may be right that 14.Be3 is the move. At first sight I thought that 14...Qc7 would be just fine for black, but indeed only then your idea Bf4 with c5 may be very good for white. I only very shortly looked at 15.Bf4 Be6 16.c5 Rd8 and I thought black didn't have problems, but his position is just terrible. White can play either 17.Re2-d2 of 17.Qa4 (Fritz8) with a good position for white.
14...Qd8 just sucks as you are back in the old main-line, with white having played the extra moves Be3 and a3. Be3 won't be a useful won tempo, but a3 is I think just a small extra advantage for white, above the already clear advantage he has in the main line without Qb6.
After 14...Qa6!? 15.Bf4 black can also castle and after 16.Bxd6 Bxd6 17.Qxd6 Qxc4 we have almost the same position as I analysed a bit in my previous post. The difference is that black now has taken the d-pawn instead of the b-pawn. I'm not sure which side benefits the most from this difference. If the idea from kevinludwig really gives white a clear advantage this variation of course can only be in black's favour.
This was it for now, any comments?
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #21 - 06/25/05 at 08:19:48
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I had another look at the 10 …Qb6 Bird’s last night, and I’m afraid I’m not a happy bunny. 11 a3! seems to me really strong. After 11 …Nc4 (11 …Be6 12 cd Nc4 13 dc Bc4 14 b4 then Bb2 looks good for White) 12 Nc4 dc (12 …Be6 13 cd transposes to 11 …Be6) 13 Nc3 Be7 14 Bf4!? 0-0 15 Bd6 Bd6 16 Qd6 Qb2 17 Qb4 Qb4 18 ab Be6 19 c5 Rfd8, I agree that Black should be holding after White’s e4-e5 and Nc3-e4-d6 and that Kevinludwig’s f4-f5 plan might be more promising. But isn’t 14 Be3 very strong? AvH’s 14 …Qc7 might be the worst response (what does Black do after 15 Bf4 threatening c5?), but Black’s position also looks thankless after both 14 …Qa6 15 Bf4 Qc4 16 Bd6 Bd6 (or 16 …Qe6 17 e5 0-0 18 Ne4) 17 Qd6 Qe6 18 Qc7 and 14 …Qd8 15 Qd3 0-0 16 Rad1. These positions are very messy and maybe Black can defend some of them OK, but it seems a rather grim task. So what do you think Black’s best line is here, Christoph?

All this makes the other variations a bit academic for me, but here’s what I concluded:

(I)      Kevinludwig’s 11 cd Qd4 seems OK for Black after either 12 Be3 Qb2 or 12 Na3 Nc4. (In the line he gives 17 d5 immediately might be better than 17 a4, but still no problem.)

(II)      The 11 Na3 dc 12 bc Be7!? 13 Bb3 0-0 lines need much more analysis, but could well be OK.

(III)      11 Bb3 Be6!? (11 …Be7 still seems OK as Black survives the quick attacks, though White’s Bc2/cd/Nc3/Be3 plan is possible here too) is very interesting. After Tracke’s 12 Be6 fe 13 cd Qd4 14 Nc3! the d-pawn is obviously immune and Black must play 14 …Be7, but he looks to be surviving after 15 Be3 Qd3 16 Qb3 0-0 (16 …Qa6? 17 Qe6 Qc4 allows the 18 Nd5! idea) 17 Qb7 Bf6 18 Rad1 Qc4!?.
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #20 - 06/25/05 at 04:11:38
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CWisnewski:

Fritz does not like Black's position at all in the line given after 19. c5. What ends up happening, is instead of playing e5 and allowing the bishop to outpost on d5, the computer suggests f2-f4-f5, dislodging the bishop from e6 while denying the square d5 (g2-g4 may come later also). Then the King improves via Kf2-Ke3. The computer wants to play your b6 idea, but white will not take on b6, and if black exchanges on c5 then white goes Ra1, and maybe Ra6, targetting a7 and c6 pawns. Also, trading a second pair of rooks on the d-file (after centralizing the king via Kf8-Ke7) didn't seem good either...white's king seems better prepared to penetrate.

As a side note, I have been inspired by this thread to take up Bird's defence in my online games. So far, the games have been a lot of fun. Thanks for the interesting ideas.
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #19 - 06/23/05 at 10:43:52
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I briefly looked at some of the variations; not at all though, since I stopped at the first possible "offroad".

I already talked to AvH on ICC, but I haven't been able to convince him so far. However, I promised him to elaborate my opinions in a post, and maybe some of you others have an opinion as well.

In the variation given after 11.a3 Nxc4 12.dxc4 dxc3 13.Nxc3 Be7 14.Bf4 0-0 15.Bxd6 Bxd6 16.Qxd6 Qxb2 17.Qb4, I am not yet convinced that Black is worse here. Let me explain:

After 17...Qxb4 18.axb4 Be6 19.c5 White does seem to have prospects if he can get a knight to d6. However, this can only be done if he plays e4-e5 (and then Nc3-e4-d6), which takes time.

Black can play 19...Rfd8 in the meantime. The idea is to trade a pair of rooks (which White is forced to, I think, since otherwise, for example if White plays 20.e5 to get his knight to d6, Black can attack b4 by 20...Rd4 which is not that accomodating for White in my opinion) to relieve the pressure of a7. If White exchanges rooks on the d-file, in order to proceed with his original plan to occupy d6 with e4-e5, then Black has a nice outpost on d5 for his bishop as well. And, if a pair of rooks is gone, Black probably can play b6 (as soon as the rook is gone from the a-file, which he is after the exchange on the d-file) and either trade on c5 or get hanging pawns (which are no weakness thanks to the Bishop d5) against a weak pawn b4. In both cases, I even like Black better.

Any opinions on these thoughts? Those have been only brief, but I don't see how White can claim any advantage.
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #18 - 06/22/05 at 06:17:37
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Interesting analysis!

I currently don't have a board at my disposal, but will sure have a look at that line when I am coming home.

Will post some thoughts later.
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #17 - 06/22/05 at 06:16:46
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Hmmm, some problems with 'bold'. I wanted to make a and a1 etc. bold but that didn't work  Sad
Here is the post again, but then without the 'bold stuff'
Can someone delete the previous please?
Hi,
Interesting topic!, it would be great if black could equalize with the bird against the Ruy Lopez as I'm just trying to find a decent variation as black against the Ruy  Cheesy. In the main line 10...Qb6 is indeed very interesting! Here are some analysis after 11.a3 where black goes back into a sort of the old main line. The logical move 13...Be6 (preparing 0-0-0 and then maybe once d5) runs into Nd5 and after Qd8 white calmly plays Bf4 and Qd4 and he centralizes the rooks preparing the e5 break and he is much better. So no 13...Be6, but maybe 13...Be7. Then after 14.Be3 Qc7 (not Qxb2 15.Nd5) or 14.e5 black should be fine, but 14.Bf4 is interesting, for example: a:14...0-0 15.Bxd6 a1Rd8? 16.Nd5!! a2: 15...Bxe6 16.Qxd6 Qxb2 17.Qb4! (Qd2 18.Re3! threatening Rd1 so for example Qd4 19.Rd1 Qe5 20.Qd6! Qxd6 21.Rxd6 and c5 and white's better) 18...Qxb4 18.axb4 and white's I think better because of black's weak a-pawn and white can create a stronghold for the knight on d6.
b:14...Qxb2. Now the logical move b1:15.Qd4? doesn't work, because of 0-0! (not 15...Bf6 16.e5) 16.Reb1 Bf6 17.e5 Bxe5 18.Bxe5 dxe5 19.Qd3 Bf5! b2: 15.Re3!? This is a nice move. From this great square the rook defends the knight and indirectly also the a3 pawn, because of Nd5!, so if white gets a free move he will play Rb1 Qxa3 Nd5! winning, so black moves the queen back to b6. 15...Qb6 16.e5!? White's much better developed so he breaks in the center. 16...dxe5 17.Bxe5 and here b21:0-0 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Rxe7 and  I think white is clearly better. Maybe black should try 18...Qxe3!? when I think the position is unclear.
b22: Qd8 18.Qxd8+ Kxd8 19.Rd1+ Ke8 b221 20.f4? preparing Bd6 and after Be6 f5 doesn't work because of the easy 20...Be6. B222 20.Bxg7! Rg8 21.Bf6 Be6 22.Bxe7!? Kxe7 23.f4!? and after white playing 24.Ne4 I quite like white's position.
b23: Be6? This is just bad, because of 18.Bxg7 Rg8 19.Rxe6! fxe6 20.Qh5+ Kd7 21.Rd1+ Kc8 22.Qf7 +-
c: Be6 now Nd5 doesn't work, but white has 15.Bxd6 and now c1 15...Bxd6 16.Qxd6 Rd8 (Bxc4?? 17.Nd5! +-; 16...Qd8 e5 and white's better) and here just as in line a 17.Qb4! Qxb4 18.axb4 a6 and here it seems like black doesn't have enough compensation for the pawn.
c2 15...Rd8 16.c5! and white's just winning.
There may be lots of flaws in my analysis, but these analysis show that white is better in almost all lines. Does anyone have comments on these analysis? I worked about 4 hours on it, so I would be pleased if someone would respond  Wink. Possibly, black shouldn't play 13...Be7 at all?!
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #16 - 06/22/05 at 06:07:49
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Hi,
Interesting topic!, it would be great if black could equalize with the bird against the Ruy Lopez as I'm just trying to find a decent variation as black against the Ruy Cheesy. In the main line 10...Qb6 is indeed very interesting! Here are some analysis after 11.a3 where black goes back into a sort of the old main line. The logical move 13...Be6 (preparing 0-0-0 and then maybe once d5) runs into Nd5 and after Qd8 white calmly plays Bf4 and Qd4 and he centralizes the rooks preparing the e5 break and he is much better. So no 13...Be6, but maybe 13...Be7. Then after 14.Be3 Qc7 (not Qxb2 15.Nd5) or 14.e5 black should be fine, but is interesting, for example: :14...0-0 15.Bxd6 Rd8? 16.Nd5!! : 15...Bxe6 16.Qxd6 Qxb2 17.Qb4! (Qd2 18.Re3! threatening Rd1 so for example Qd4 19.Rd1 Qe5 20.Qd6! Qxd6 21.Rxd6 and c5 and white's better) 18...Qxb4 18.axb4 and white's I think better because of black's weak a-pawn and white can create a stronghold for the knight on d6.
:14...Qxb2. Now the logical move b1:15.Qd4? doesn't work, because of 0-0! (not 15...Bf6 16.e5) 16.Reb1 Bf6 17.e5 Bxe5 18.Bxe5 dxe5 19.Qd3 Bf5! b2: 15.Re3!? This is a nice move. From this great square the rook defends the knight and indirectly also the a3 pawn, because of Nd5!, so if white gets a free move he will play Rb1 Qxa3 Nd5! winning, so black moves the queen back to b6. 15...Qb6 16.e5!? White's much better developed so he breaks in the center. 16...dxe5 17.Bxe5 and here :0-0 18.Bxg7 Kxg7 19.Rxe7 and  I think white is clearly better. Maybe black should try 18...Qxe3!? when I think the position is unclear.
: Qd8 18.Qxd8+ Kxd8 19.Rd1+ Ke8 20.f4? preparing Bd6 and after Be6 f5 doesn't work because of the easy 20...Be6. B222 20.Bxg7! Rg8 21.Bf6 Be6 22.Bxe7!? Kxe7 23.f4!? and after white playing 24.Ne4 I quite like white's position.
: Be6? This is just bad, because of 18.Bxg7 Rg8 19.Rxe6! fxe6 20.Qh5+ Kd7 21.Rd1+ Kc8 22.Qf7 +-
: Be6 now Nd5 doesn't work, but white has 15.Bxd6 and now 15...Bxd6 16.Qxd6 Rd8 (Bxc4?? 17.Nd5! +-; 16...Qd8 e5 and white's better) and here just as in line a 17.Qb4! Qxb4 18.axb4 a6 and here it seems like black doesn't have enough compensation for the pawn.
15...Rd8 16.c5! and white's just winning.
There may be lots of flaws in my analysis, but these analysis show that white is better in almost all lines. Does anyone have comments on these analysis? I worked about 4 hours on it, so I would be pleased if someone would respond  Wink. Possibly, black shouldn't play 13...Be7 at all?!
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #15 - 06/20/05 at 23:19:52
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My first impression was that white should try to take advantage of the black king position. So,

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4 4. Nxd4 exd4 5. 0-0 c6 6. Bc4 Nf6 7. Re1 d6 8. c3 Ng4 9. h3 Ne5 10. d3 Qb6!? 11. cxd4 Qxd4 12. Be3 Qxb2 13. Nbd2.

Fritz has three recommendations here:
13. ...b5. This comes out equal, but only because of a repetition that white has a hard time to avoid. 14. Rb1 Qc3 15. Rc1 Qb2. But, if 15. ...Qb4 or 15. ...Qa5, white will have a lot of fun from what I can tell. Too bad about the repetition...
13. ...Nxc4. This is just bad I think. 14. Nxc4 Qf6 15. e5! Qd8 16. exd6 Be6 17. f4!, etc.
13. ...Be7 Looks safest. 14. d4 Nxc4 15. Nxc4 Qb5 16. 0-0 17. a4 Qa6 18. d5, more or less equal, but I guess I would begin to prefer black here because of the bishops.

So when I started writing this post, I was hoping white had something, but I guess not...
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #14 - 06/16/05 at 12:01:04
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Whoa, this conversation really gets interesting!

@Michael Aydon

I will sure have a look at your ...Be7 lines. Those seem to be very interesting.

I analyzed ...Be6 a few hours with danish IMs Pedersen and Fries-Nielsen; we (or rather they, since I mainly took the black pieces) could not find any way for White to get a clear advantage. Another idea was to play 12.Bc2 (in order to protect d3 and "threaten" cxd4 followed by Nc3 and Be3 when the black queen could get into trouble), but Black maybe can play 12...c5!? then, with the idea to protect the pawn and free c6 for the knight. Black's pawn structure seems strange after a trade on d4, but the Bc2 is weak and Black's prospects on the queen side (nice piece play, open c-file) looked promising.

I don't say that Black can equalize easily in all variations, but the positions are not worse but rather unclear at best! An assessment I would take in any game (especially if the arising positions are unfamiliar with the "normal" Ruy Lopez player).

@tracke

After 11...Be6 12.Bxe6 fxe6 13.cxd4 Qxd4 14.Nc3 ... Isn't d3 just hanging? Or what am I missing here? (I don't have a board at my disposal, so it could just be an oversight Smiley)

@Paddy

Thanks again for the additional sources. Another idea White could try is 11.a3!? The idea is to threaten cxd4 followed immediately by Be3, as Black cannot take on b2 because of Ra2 (and the queen is lost!). Black can "transpose" into the main line with ...Nxc4 and ...dxc3, when the moves a2-a3 and ...Qd8-b6 are inserted. Black has to be careful not to run into Nc3-d5 motives, but I think the weaknesses on the queen side are a factor that favor Black (compared to the original main line).
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #13 - 06/16/05 at 06:28:19
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[quote author=Michael Ayton  link=1118828898/0#6 date=1118847195]Thanks Christoph! -- interesting! So: 11 Na3 dc 12 bc and then? Maybe 12 ...Nc4 13 Nc4 Qd8? Is that right? I can see this is going to be sharp and complicated but is ...d5 going to happen? (14 d4!?, 14 Rb1!?)
[/quote]

Here are the only games I can find with 10...Qb6, answered by 11 Na3 in both cases. Not much help, but possibly useful as a starting point.

[Event "ICCF World Cup"]
[Site "corr"]
[Date "1994.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Hoffmann"]
[Black "Berg"]
[Result "1-0"]
[ECO "C61"]
[Annotator "Paddy"]
[PlyCount "125"]
[EventDate "1994.??.??"]
[Source "?"]
[SourceDate "?"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4 4. Nxd4 exd4 5. O-O c6 6. Bc4 Nf6 7. Re1 d6 8. c3 Ng4 9. h3 Ne5 10. d3 Qb6 11. Na3 Be7 (11... dxc3 12. bxc3 Qa5 13. f4 Nd7 (13... Qxc3 14. Rb1 Nxc4 15. Nxc4 Qd4+ 16. Be3 Qf6 17. e5 dxe5 18. Bd4 (18. fxe5 Qg6) looks better for White e.g. 18... Be6 19. Bxe5 Qg6 20. Rxb7 Bc5+ 21. d4 O-O 22. f5 Qxf5 23. Ne3 Qg5 24. h4 Qxh4 25. dxc5) 14. Nc2 Nb6 15. Bb3 Qxc3 16. Bd2 Qf6 17. Rc1 Be6 18. Ne3 Be7 19. Ng4 Qh4 20. Be3 Bxb3 21. Qxb3 Bd8 22. a4 Qe7 23. a5 Nc8 24. Bd4 O-O 25. f5 Qd7 26. f6 Bxf6 27. Bxf6 h5 28. Ne3 gxf6 29. Qd1 Ne7 30. Qxh5 Kg7 31. Nf5+ Nxf5 32. Qg4+ Kh7 33. exf5 Rae8 34. Qh4+ 1-0 Zalys,I-Sarar,J/cr 1984/ (34)}) 12. cxd4 Qxd4 13. Nc2 Qb6 14.Be3 c5 15. Bd5 O-O 16. d4 Nc6 17. Rb1 a5 18. b3 Be6 19. Bxe6 fxe6 20. d5 exd5 21. Qxd5+ Kh8 22. a3 Qc7 23. Red1 b5 24. Rbc1 Rac8 25. f3 Rf6 26. Kh1 Rg6 27.
Ne1 b4 28. a4 Ne5 29. Nd3 Nxd3 30. Rxd3 Rf8 31. Rc2 Bh4 32. e5 Be7 33. exd6 Rxd6 34. Qe5 Qd7 35. Rxd6 Bxd6 36. Qe4 Qc7 37. Rd2 Be7 38. Qe6 Rf6 39. Rd7 Rxe6 40. Rxc7 Kg8 41. Bxc5 Bxc5 42. Rxc5 Re3 43. Rxa5 Rxb3 44. Rb5 Rb1+ 45. Kh2 b3 46. a5 Ra1 47. Rxb3 Rxa5 48. f4 Kf7 49. g4 Ra7 50. Kg3 Ke6 51. Rb6+ Kd5 52. f5 Ke5 53. Re6+ Kd5 54. Re8 h6 55. Kh4 Rc7 56. Kh5 Rc3 57. Kg6 Rxh3 58. Kxg7 Rg3 59. Kxh6 Rxg4 60. f6 Rf4 61. Kg6 Rg4+ 62. Kf5 Rg1 63. f7 1-0

The above (including the header details) can be copied into a text file then saved as pgn and read by Chessbase. Fritz etc.
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #12 - 06/16/05 at 05:21:35
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Hi Tracke

Sorry, brainstorm! -- I've now corrected the post.

I've only looked at this briefly (and it has to be said, pub 'analysis' ain't analysis!), but aren't the following good for Black? -- please correct me if I'm wrong.

11 Bb3 Be7 12 Kh1 dc 13 f4 and now:

(i) 13 ...Qf2 14 Rf1 Nd3 15 Nc3 Qg3

(ii) 13 ...cb 14 Bb2 Qf2 15 Be5 de

In (ii), how does it help White if his King is on h2 rather than h1?
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #11 - 06/16/05 at 04:41:53
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[quote author=Michael Ayton  link=1118828898/0#10 date=1118893161][...]we looked mainly at 11 Bb3 Be7 12 Kh1?!, realising this is too slow after 12 ...dc 13 f4? Qh4 (or indeed 13 ...cb).[...][/quote]
Qh4 ?? What do you mean? I think that 11.Bb3 is strongest and analyzed 11...Be7 12.f4!? dc+ 13.Kh1/Kh2, what is a transposition. It´s very sharp but I see no real reason for White to avoid this.
After 11...Be6 I play 12.Bxe6 fe 13.cd Qxd4 14.Nc3. Again I prefer White.
Maybe 11...a5?!

tracke  :)
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #10 - 06/16/05 at 03:39:21
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Hi Christoph! In the pub we looked mainly at 11 Bb3 Be7 12 Kh1?!, realising this is too slow after 12 ...dc 13 f4? Qf2 (or indeed 13 ...cb). But yes, 11 ...Be6!? looks interesting too!

I'm wondering now about something like 11 Na3 dc 12 bc Be7 13 Bb3 0-0 14 d4 Ng6 15 Nc4 (15 Qf3!?) Qc7 16 Rb1!? (16 ...Be6!?, 16 ...b5!?). Looking forward to more later!
« Last Edit: 06/16/05 at 05:22:34 by Michael Ayton »  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #9 - 06/16/05 at 02:31:44
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I thank you, Michael. This is the lively conversation I was looking forward to.

I agree, the whole line is very interesting. And the move 11.Bb3 occurs very often in my games. What possible moves to continue have your friends analyzed? If I recall correctly, my main move was 11...Be6 to keep the pressure on.

Will be home tonight, so maybe I can hook up and post some more ideas.
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #8 - 06/15/05 at 17:44:41
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Thanks very much for this -- I now see the point of delaying/omitting the Bishop capture, partly because I and some clubmates (the strongest being around 200 BCF) have just been looking at this in the pub tonight! Actually we were looking at 10 ...Qb6 11 Bb3, and we concluded Black is OK! The whole line is very interesting, and I for one would love to see more on this when you reconnect with your analysis.


  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #7 - 06/15/05 at 15:57:57
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@Michael Aydon

I don't have much material on the whole 10...Qb6 line, as well as I don't have that much practical experience (in most games White players don't get that far and deviate earlier).

As for 8.d3, I think this is harmless. Black can play 8...Be7 which prepares the advance ...d6-d5. I don't see how White can successfully prevent that. Black should be able to equalize then.

About your question: I don't think that Black should trade on c4 as long as he is not forced to do so (The white bishop doesn't do anything that harms Black). Perhaps he can develop with Be7. Or he can trade with Be6 (which would support ...d5 additionally, and maybe even give Black some play on the f-file). I don't know as I am not at home at the moment and therefore cannot consult my analysis. But I'll post some more thoughts on this later.
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #6 - 06/15/05 at 14:53:15
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Thanks Christoph! -- interesting! So: 11 Na3 dc 12 bc and then? Maybe 12 ...Nc4 13 Nc4 Qd8? Is that right? I can see this is going to be sharp and complicated but is ...d5 going to happen? (14 d4!?, 14 Rb1!?)

Is 8 d3 nothing?
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #5 - 06/15/05 at 14:00:06
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@Michael Ayton

I currently don't have access to my analysis (will post more details on this later), but my first thought is that after 11.Na3 Black can take on c3, and contrary to the main line, White has to take with the pawn on c3.

Granted, the Queen seems to be misplaced on b6 then, but so is the Na3 ... and I am not sure yet if White's pawn structure is favorable. If Black manages to play his typical break ...d6-d5, the hanging pawns could be a longterm weakness - while Black "only" has to take care of the half-open b-file. But those are only spontanouos ideas.

@Paddy

Thanks for your post! I have been trying for ages to get my hands on serious postal and/or correspondence games on the Bird. Is there any way to get this survey you mentioned?

In the meantime. Are there any opinions as to whether (besides the main line already mentioned) there are any systems threatening the Bird?
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #4 - 06/15/05 at 13:18:50
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Quote:
The point is, that every single author in every single chess book about the Ruy Lopez, that has been published since Max Euwe's "Theorie der Schacheröffnungen" in the 1960s, virtually took the following "main line":

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.0-0 c6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Re1 d6 8.c3 Ng4 9.h3 Ne5 10.d3

where everyone only states "and after 10...Nxc4 11.dxc4 dxc3 12.Nc3 White has pressure on d6 and therefore a comfortable position".

I agree with that. BUT, Black does have other possibilities! He can play 10...Qb6!?, which I consider a viable alternative


Hi Christoph,

Welcome to the forum!  You might be interested to know that the strong English postal player Keith McLaughlin plays the Bird's Defdence at every opportunity and even has a good score defending 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.0-0 c6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Re1 d6 8.c3 Ng4 9.h3 Ne5 10.d3 Nxc4 11.dxc4 dxc3 12.Nxc3 Be7 13.Bf4 0-0.

There was a big survey of his use of the Bird's in the latest issue of the BCCA magazine Correspondence Chess.

I'll have a look at 10...Qb6 though - looks interesting!

PS Against 1 d4 d5 2 c4 Keith McLaughlin plays the Chigorin!
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #3 - 06/15/05 at 13:14:45
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What's Black's plan after 11 Na3 intending cxd4 and Nc2?
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #2 - 06/15/05 at 12:27:42
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Not necessarily what I had in mind for an answer, but I take it as a start for a conversation.

The point is, that every single author in every single chess book about the Ruy Lopez, that has been published since Max Euwe's "Theorie der Schacheröffnungen" in the 1960s, virtually took the following "main line":

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.0-0 c6 6.Bc4 Nf6 7.Re1 d6 8.c3 Ng4 9.h3 Ne5 10.d3

where everyone only states "and after 10...Nxc4 11.dxc4 dxc3 12.Nc3 White has pressure on d6 and therefore a comfortable position".

I agree with that. BUT, Black does have other possibilities! He can play 10...Qb6!?, which I consider a viable alternative (I discovered this move myself, although I found later that it was mentioned as a brief note without any analysis in a small booklet written by Colin Leach back in the 1980s). I played it in some tournament games and on numerous occasions on ICC, both with good results. Players in my area even avoid the Ruy Lopez against me, because they haven't found a way to secure an advantage yet.

But in this forum, maybe someone will convince me Smiley
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
Reply #1 - 06/15/05 at 09:40:21
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If it were, it should be the headline of every chess publication... As I see it the Ruy is the only try at maintaining some advantage against 1. ...e5. So it would definitely render 1. e4 (already heavily plagued by the good scores of  the Sicilians)  an inferior opening move...
  
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Ruy Lopez - Bird's Defence
06/15/05 at 04:48:17
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I dare to make a challenging statement:

Bird's Defence (3...Nd4!) allows Black to equalize!

So, I am interested: What is your try to create an advantage against the Bird?!
  

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