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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence (Read 23267 times)
TalJechin
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #33 - 02/25/06 at 09:27:58
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When reading Davies book I've just come to the DERL, where he recommends black a knight sac for 2 pawns which seems slightly dodgy to me, as black might need to take a perpetual early on in some side lines.

Actually, the DERL (5.0-0 Be7 6.Bxc6) looks quite interesting to me and I don't see why it's so much less popular than 4.Bxc6, as compared to the Exchange variation white has gained 0-0 while black's Be7 needs to move again to cover e5. And then d4 seems to have some more bite than in the exchange.

Anyway, I consulted Keres and he mentions that black can transpose to the Modern Steinitz with 6...bxc6 7.Re1 d6 - which looks like the more fighting choice to me. So knowing something about the Modern Steinitz can be quite useful even if you usually prefer the other main lines...
  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #32 - 02/23/06 at 20:58:00
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Well, this is interesting, Paddy! I guess without knowing who the GM was it's hard to gauge what importance to attach to this anecdote. Was he a GM whose views, and/or books, you respect?

In general I suppose I prefer looking at a chessboard to such 'speculation', since for every strong player expressing a firm opinion on a given subject one can almost always find another to contradict him/her. And in this case one might wonder why, if the Modern Steinitz is so inferior, Mamedyarov is championing it at the highest level. But what do other people think?
  
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Paddy
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #31 - 02/23/06 at 20:29:02
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re Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence

Last year I dared to suggest to a well-known British GM and chess author that there was a real gap in the market here - to my knowledge there has been no book in modern times treating the Modern Steinitzr from Black's point of view. Since it was a defence with a great past (Steinitz, Rubinstein, Capa, Alekhine, Keres, Smyslov, Bronstein...) It might just have a great future. All it would need would be for a great player of today to start scoring well with it for it to swing back into fashion.

I am afraid I was given an extremely sharp put-down; the idea was rejected out of hand on the grounds that he had studied the Modern Steinitz in depth some years ago and there were just too many problematic lines for Black, above all no really satisfactory answer to 5 0-0.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #30 - 02/23/06 at 19:50:08
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With all due respect to His Paulness, I don't think 5. Bxc6+ bc 6. d4 Bg4 can be good (satisfactory) for Black.  (Reminds me of something Seirawan once wrote in a game annotation:  "Pardon?  Please, a little respect for the pawn structure.")  I see that ECO (1997 edition) gives 7. de de 8. Qxd8+ Rxd8 9. Be3 as leading to a clear advantage for White (citing the games Lerner-Nei, USSR 1974 and Cosulich-Unzicker, Bari 1970).  That looks natural to me, since surely 9...Bxf3 (which wasn't played in either of the above games) is no bargain for Black.      

I need to look at some of this other stuff ...
  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #29 - 02/23/06 at 12:08:54
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Re the Norwegian Variation: ChessPub gives Anand--Agdestein [10 Nh4] with the suggested improvement 16 Nf5!, and Pavlovic--Agdestein [10 Qe2] with the suggested improvement 12 ...de!, as both a bit better for White. Any improvements/updates here?

After 5 Bc6 bc 6 d4, Keres's 6 ...Bg4 looks to me an interesting alternative to the usual (and OK?) 6 ...f6. (And better than Keres's other line?: 6 ...ed 7 Nd4!.)

Re the Siesta Variation, there may be no need to give long lines, but the discussion could benefit from a bit more concreteness? What does OFWATA say is best here? I'm assuming 9 Bc2 Bc2 10 Qc2 Nf6 11 d4 e4 12 Ng5 d5 13 f3 h6 14 Nh3 0-0 15 Nd2 ef 16 Nf3 and now is 16 ...Rf7 17 Qg6 Bd6 best? -- as you can tell I don't really know this stuff! (Even if it is, doesn't it have the practical drawback that 18 Bh6 forces a draw?; and what of 18 Bf4 or 18 Nf2?)

Can Black sidestep all this with 10 ...g5!?, or is that too wild? It reminds me of a game where iirc Portisch massacred Korchnoi with an even earlier such thrust: 5 0-0 Bd7 6 Re1 g5!?.

Anyone interested in discussing my cheeky attempt (ibid.) to second-guess Mamedyarov?



  
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Willempie
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #28 - 02/23/06 at 11:32:56
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Hey I am not old Angry

Wink
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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TalJechin
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #27 - 02/23/06 at 10:34:08
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Same here, suppose we're both old enough to remember the olden days when Sportverlag and Batsford were the only chess book publishers...

I think Keres used a temporary pawn sac in one of his games in the Siesta...
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #26 - 02/23/06 at 10:20:36
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Iirc (at work atm) there isnt a pawn lost (after all it is a Capa line) and it isnt a solid positional plus, but the white advantage lies in initiative and an airy king of black. I played a couple of games with it as black in Blitz and the Bd3 manouevre is really a shocker to most white players.

My dad still has those books (you prolly also have the book about all the other open games by Keres). Basically those books were the ones that taught me chess openings and german.
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #25 - 02/23/06 at 09:23:49
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Willempie wrote on 02/22/06 at 22:53:41:
Out of curiosity, is it "Spanisch bis Französisch" by Keres?

5.c3 f5 .exf5 Bxf5 is still playable, though slightly in white's advantage. Khalifman has a seperate chapter on it in Anand 2 (ch 5 line c2 is critical imho). I am too lazy atm to post all the lines so you would have to be more concrete.


Yep! S bis F - though I just noticed that I also have his Vierspringerspiel bis Spanisch, though I suppose they're pretty similar in content.

No need to post any long lines. I was just curious as the Siesta resembles the KG a bit. Is that slight white edge a case of black 'probably not having quite enough for a pawn' or is it a solid positional plus?
  
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #24 - 02/22/06 at 22:53:41
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Out of curiosity, is it "Spanisch bis Französisch" by Keres?

5.c3 f5 .exf5 Bxf5 is still playable, though slightly in white's advantage. Khalifman has a seperate chapter on it in Anand 2 (ch 5 line c2 is critical imho). I am too lazy atm to post all the lines so you would have to be more concrete.
  

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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #23 - 02/22/06 at 11:58:11
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This thread made me take some time off and revisit one of Keres' Sportverlag books on the Spanish. So far I don't have too many answers to contribute, but a few questions...

One line that looked attractive, but I don't see mentioned here is the Siesta Variation, invented by Capablanca it seems, i.e. 5.c3 f5 6.exf5 Bxf5 - is this still considered playable these days?

Another line suggested by Keres that intrigued me is: 5.Bxc6+ bxc6 6.d4 Bg4 7.dxe5 dxe5 8.Qxd8+ (8.Nbd2 f6 9.Qe2 Ne7 10.h3 Be6 11.Nc4 Qb8 12.0-0 Ng6 'and black stands very well Jimenez-Keres, Moscow 1963') 8...Rxd8 9.Nbd2 f6 10.Nc4 Be6 11.Ne3 Bc5 12-Bd2 Ne7 'with excellent black play in Klundt-Keres, Bamberg 1968.' Has white come up with anything here? Or is Bxc6 plus d4 just wrong??

And finally the line 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Na5!? - could it really be this easy?! Well, probably not - but there seems to be a whole lot of strong Norwegians that play it! - Is there any particular theoretical antidote?
  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #22 - 02/21/06 at 13:59:54
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Thanks, kylemeister -- interesting thoughts. I hadn't kept up with Mamedyarov after Corus. I'm sure I was being seriously 'previous' in describing the ...Nf6 line as under a cloud. Judging from Olivier's update M. has occasionally played lines frowned on by theory, but that doesn't mean he hasn't got an answer to 12 a4!?. And taking a quick look at Alekseev--M I feel sure he would play not 12 ...Qe7, but 12 ...ed!?. I've only had time for the very briefest look at this but how about this for starters?:

12 a4 ed!? 13 Nd4 (13 cd g5 14 Bg3 Nh5) Re8 (13 ...g5!?) and now:

(I) 14 Nd2 g5 (14 ...Ne5 may transpose?) 15 Bg3 Ne5 16 ab (16 Bc2 Bg4) ab 17 Qe2 c6!? =?

(II) 14 ab Nd4!? (14 ...ab!? might be an interesting pawn sac?) 15 cd ab 16 Ra8 Qa8 17 Bf6!? (17 f3 Qb7) Bf6 18 Nc3 c6!? (18 ...Qd8!?) 19 e5 Bg7 20 Ne4 de =?

No more than initial thoughts, I hasten to add! But one thing I notice in these lines is Black's lead in development -- which must surely count for something?


  
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #21 - 02/21/06 at 05:57:29
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[quote author=Michael Ayton link=1138105012/15#20 date=1140449827]As has been mentioned in another thread, Mamedyarov’s adoption of the Modern Steinitz at Corus has highlighted some interesting new ideas, and there’s a very interesting summing-up of these in Olivier’s latest update. My first conclusion from this is that the Modern Fianchetto Variation (5 0-0 Bd7 6 c3 Nf6 7 d4 g6 8 Re1 b5 9 Bb3 Bg7) is under something of a cloud because of Kuzmin’s 10 Bg5! h6 11 Bh4 0-0 12 a4!. (Might 12 …Qe7 be an idea here, I wonder?)

The ‘compensation’ is that Olivier’s notes imply the Bronstein Variation (5 c3 Bd7 6 d4 g6 7 0-0 Bg7) is an interesting fighting choice, since after 8 Re1, 8 …Nge7!? is in business: 9 d5 Nb8 10 Bd7 Nd7 11 Be3 0-0 12 c4 h6 13 Nfd2 f5 14 f3, and now, rather than 14 …c5?! as in Polgar--Spassky, 14 …f4 15 Bf2 g5, as in Trujillo Delgado--Semenova, is obviously thematic and looks OK. I was pleased that I’d reached this conclusion independently, but Spassky’s play in that game did look a bit weird!

One question that might arise out of this is whether, in the Rubinstein Variation after 5 c3 Bd7 6 d4 Nge7, Black can usefully, after either 7 Be3 or 7 0-0, play 7 …g6 rather than 7 …Ng6. After 8 d5 can he launch the same attack just as effectively, or can White by avoiding Rf1--e1 save a useful tempo? (A further sophistication might be 7 …h6 intending 8 …g6, as tried in Anand--Yusupov after 7 Be3.) The question is far from academic, since should these lines be OK for Black, he could reach a Bronstein-Steinitz via a Cozio move order! Does Karolyi say anything about 7 …g6 or 7 …h6, kylemeister?

White’s other main try for advantage is 8 Be3!?. Here NCO gives Topalov--Azmaiparashvili which went: 8 …Nf6 9 Nbd2 0-0 10 de Ne5 11 Ne5 de 12 f3 Ba4 13 Qa4 Qd3 14 Rfe1 with a small edge, but Azmai seemed to draw easily enough after 14 …Rfd8. Pete Tamburro suggests something a lot more exciting: 9 …Ng4!? 10 Bg5 f6 11 Bh4 Qe7!?; he continues with (the never-played?) 12 d5 and claims dynamic equality after 12 …Nb8 13 Bd7 Nd7 14 c4 h5 15 Bg3 0-0-0 16 b4 g5 17 h4 Bh6 18 Nb3 Rhg8. Anyone got any thoughts on this? (11 …g5!?, 11 …h5!? and 11 …Ne7!? have all also been played here -- the latter by Smyslov, though he lost!)
[/quote]

Nah, Karolyi just talks about ...Nge7 followed by ...Ng6 (and White then playing d5).  

I would think that missing out Re1 would be of benefit to White in the King's Indian-ish case.  It's an interesting issue, how these positions compare to the actual King's Indian.  One might think that the Neo-Steinitz versions are just worse for Black, because the light-squared bishops are exchanged (generally unfavourable for Black in such a structure).  But comparing the tempi it seems that Black generally comes off better in the Neo-Steinitz case.  E.g., in the case of ...Nge7, ...Nb8 and ...Nxd7 Black has taken the same number of knight moves to get them to e7 and d7 as in the Classical KID; White took two moves to get his pawn to c4; perhaps Black got in ...a6 "for free," though it apparently has both good (preventing Nb5) and bad (weakening b6) sides.  Then again, it seems that White can generally get in Be3 and Nf3-d2 in the Neo-Steinitz case, which looks like an optimal deployment of those two pieces (and something White generally can't achieve in the KID).  Ah, and I suppose Black often has to use a tempo on ...h6 in the Neo-Steinitz.  So maybe the tempo situation is "a wash," unless White has played Re1, when Black has an extra tempo as "compensation" for the unfavourable bishop exchange?  Preliminary thoughts anyway.

Incidentally, I noticed that Mamedyarov continued to play the N-S at the Aeroflot tournament.  He had at least two games with it there.  One of them involved the same line (basically quick d4 without c3) in which Mamed lost to Leko at Corus (the Aeroflot game was about a 20-move draw, against a strong GM).  Another one followed the line you give as putting the Modern Fianchetto under a cloud, but Mamed's opponent (another 2600+ guy) didn't play 12. a4.    
« Last Edit: 02/21/06 at 07:19:34 by kylemeister »  
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Michael Ayton
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #20 - 02/20/06 at 15:37:07
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As has been mentioned in another thread, Mamedyarov’s adoption of the Modern Steinitz at Corus has highlighted some interesting new ideas, and there’s a very interesting summing-up of these in Olivier’s latest update. My first conclusion from this is that the Modern Fianchetto Variation (5 0-0 Bd7 6 c3 Nf6 7 d4 g6 8 Re1 b5 9 Bb3 Bg7) is under something of a cloud because of Kuzmin’s 10 Bg5! h6 11 Bh4 0-0 12 a4!. (Might 12 …Qe7 be an idea here, I wonder?)

The ‘compensation’ is that Olivier’s notes imply the Bronstein Variation (5 c3 Bd7 6 d4 g6 7 0-0 Bg7) is an interesting fighting choice, since after 8 Re1, 8 …Nge7!? is in business: 9 d5 Nb8 10 Bd7 Nd7 11 Be3 0-0 12 c4 h6 13 Nfd2 f5 14 f3, and now, rather than 14 …c5?! as in Polgar--Spassky, 14 …f4 15 Bf2 g5, as in Trujillo Delgado--Semenova, is obviously thematic and looks OK. I was pleased that I’d reached this conclusion independently, but Spassky’s play in that game did look a bit weird!

One question that might arise out of this is whether, in the Rubinstein Variation after 5 c3 Bd7 6 d4 Nge7, Black can usefully, after either 7 Be3 or 7 0-0, play 7 …g6 rather than 7 …Ng6. After 8 d5 can he launch the same attack just as effectively, or can White by avoiding Rf1--e1 save a useful tempo? (A further sophistication might be 7 …h6 intending 8 …g6, as tried in Anand--Yusupov after 7 Be3.) The question is far from academic, since should these lines be OK for Black, he could reach a Bronstein-Steinitz via a Cozio move order! Does Karolyi say anything about 7 …g6 or 7 …h6, kylemeister?

White’s other main try for advantage is 8 Be3!?. Here NCO gives Topalov--Azmaiparashvili which went: 8 …Nf6 9 Nbd2 0-0 10 de Ne5 11 Ne5 de 12 f3 Ba4 13 Qa4 Qd3 14 Rfe1 with a small edge, but Azmai seemed to draw easily enough after 14 …Rfd8. Pete Tamburro suggests something a lot more exciting: 9 …Ng4!? 10 Bg5 f6 11 Bh4 Qe7!?; he continues with (the never-played?) 12 d5 and claims dynamic equality after 12 …Nb8 13 Bd7 Nd7 14 c4 h5 15 Bg3 0-0-0 16 b4 g5 17 h4 Bh6 18 Nb3 Rhg8. Anyone got any thoughts on this? (11 …g5!?, 11 …h5!? and 11 …Ne7!? have all also been played here -- the latter by Smyslov, though he lost!)
« Last Edit: 02/20/06 at 17:15:17 by Michael Ayton »  
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Re: Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
Reply #19 - 02/02/06 at 14:26:03
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No you're right that b5 and Be8 are inconsistant, especially because the bishop is not ready to contest the a2-g8 diagonal.

The line you give seems like best play, looks +/- to me the one game I found held out to a draw in a pawn down endgame:
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 Bd7 6.d4 Nf6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Re1 0-0
9.Nbd2 Be8 10.Bxc6 Bxc6 11.dxe5 dxe5 12.Nxe5 Bxe4 13.Qb3 Bd5 14.c4 Be6 15.Qxb7 Bd6 16.Ndf3 Re8 17.Qb3 h6 18.Bf4 Nh5 19.Nc6 Qd7
I really dislike this position though it may be drawable and is certainly better than 13 .. Bc6.
So it seems I stopped playing it for a good reason Grin
  

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