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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Learning the Ruy Lopez (Read 10620 times)
blueguitar322
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #24 - 08/08/08 at 00:36:26
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This is a quote from an earlier thread.

ANDREW BRETT wrote on 04/19/08 at 15:34:30:
Khalifman's Anand repertoire is good but I don't actually think his main lines are holding up - his anti Marshall 8 h3 is totally defanged, the anti Breyer isn't as critical as 15 b3, the anti-Zaitsev has been defused by Bacrot's be6 idea, the open with Ng5 is only draw as shown first by Ponomariov although I think Kevin O'Connell alluded to the fact that Korchnoi had found this 25 years ago, The Chigorin lines need to be re-examined in light of Marin's book and also bear in mind that Anand plays something different v Carlsen in the Graf variation to what is in the book. Mamedyarov has also develped the Steinitz deferred.The book is excellent for putting some of the offbeat nonsense in its place . However, 3.. bc5 4 0-0 isn't that strong (4 c3 is the best move) as nd4 is almost equal.
Is there anything else I need to be aware of?

It looks like 9 Be3 is the way to go in the Open...I have no good sources other than Khalifman (who doesn't cover these lines) so can anyone help me out with some of the lines? According to the ChessPub guide, it looks like there's some transpositional possibilities to both the Keres (9 Qe2) and the old main line (9 c3).
  
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MNb
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #23 - 07/30/08 at 00:50:38
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There seems to be a little misunderstanding: I was writing about TimS's recommendation 5.Nc3 f6 6.d4. Of course 5.0-0 is quite another league.
  

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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #22 - 07/29/08 at 16:21:32
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I'm not sure what I think about this.  I played the Exchange Ruy regularly, not for my whole life, but for a number of years (and well beyond 18/1900) ...
  
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Strategy_Rules
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #21 - 07/29/08 at 14:00:21
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MNb about the Ruy Lopez Exchange:
[quote]One should play such a line his whole life, unless ones interests are very limited. For ten games or so it can be quite useful.[/quote]

I actually played exactly 9 tournament games with the Ruy Lopez Exchange (with white).
Maybe I should drop it after one more game with it  ;)
No, just kidding  :)

My advice is just: Play a variation that you like for this or that reason.
It should suit your style and should not be objectively bad (equality is the minimum for white !).
Of course I would not recommend to use the Ruy Lopez Exchange variation as your only weapon against 1...e5. Its always a good idea to learn something new :)
After 1.e4 e5 I regularly played with white: bishops opening, Ruy Lopez Exchange, Scotch, Scotch 4 knights, Italien with c3/d3 and 2.Nc3 Nf6 3.g3. Nice mixture, isnt it ?  ;)
  
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TimS
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #20 - 07/29/08 at 12:16:14
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MNb wrote on 07/28/08 at 17:03:48:
TimS wrote on 07/28/08 at 09:32:43:
The main line after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.Nc3 goes 5...f6 6.d4 exd4 7.Qxd4 when White has a much better pawn structure. With normal play, White can create a passed pawn on the kingside while Black cannot do the same on the queenside. White also has more space in the centre and a lead in development. Black's compensation is the bishop pair. If Black doesn't know how to use this, White is effectively a pawn up.


TimS is absolutely right. But White better should play through a lot of games to find out what to do if Black by any chance does know how to handle the pair of bishops.

Sound advice!
  
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MNb
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #19 - 07/29/08 at 00:52:24
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blueguitar322 wrote on 07/28/08 at 20:55:18:
MNb wrote on 07/28/08 at 17:03:48:
TimS wrote on 07/28/08 at 09:32:43:
The main line after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.Nc3 goes 5...f6 6.d4 exd4 7.Qxd4 when White has a much better pawn structure. With normal play, White can create a passed pawn on the kingside while Black cannot do the same on the queenside. White also has more space in the centre and a lead in development. Black's compensation is the bishop pair. If Black doesn't know how to use this, White is effectively a pawn up.


TimS is absolutely right. But White better should play through a lot of games to find out what to do if Black by any chance does know how to handle the pair of bishops.

I used to play the exchange Ruy quite a bit, but considering the majority of opponents at my level play 1...e5 (I think like 45% of my online games as White, compared to 35% Sicilian) I just got tired of playing that one line over and over. Plus long-term, I think I'm better served by studying the main lines.

That's true as well and also very understandable. One should play such a line his whole life, unless ones interests are very limited. For ten games or so it can be quite useful.
  

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blueguitar322
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #18 - 07/28/08 at 20:55:18
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MNb wrote on 07/28/08 at 17:03:48:
TimS wrote on 07/28/08 at 09:32:43:
The main line after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.Nc3 goes 5...f6 6.d4 exd4 7.Qxd4 when White has a much better pawn structure. With normal play, White can create a passed pawn on the kingside while Black cannot do the same on the queenside. White also has more space in the centre and a lead in development. Black's compensation is the bishop pair. If Black doesn't know how to use this, White is effectively a pawn up.


TimS is absolutely right. But White better should play through a lot of games to find out what to do if Black by any chance does know how to handle the pair of bishops.

I used to play the exchange Ruy quite a bit, but considering the majority of opponents at my level play 1...e5 (I think like 45% of my online games as White, compared to 35% Sicilian) I just got tired of playing that one line over and over. Plus long-term, I think I'm better served by studying the main lines.

And while I'm learning the main line Ruy, I can always fall back on 2 f4!, which will always be first in my heart.
  
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #17 - 07/28/08 at 20:51:00
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Emary, your post is outstanding and very helpful to me indeed. And your point about studying the minor lines is very true - already, in 5 online corr games, I've seen 3...Nd4 twice and 3...Nge7 once (the other two were 3...d6 and 9...Nb8).

I haven't yet looked too deeply at the Berlin endgame, but remember Kramnik getting beat soundly just a short time ago (though his whole tournament was pretty bad, it might just be his focus on the upcoming match w/ Anand). I know Khalifman spends a lot of ink on the Berlin endgame...I'll be looking at that shortly. Haven't decided if I'm going to follow Khalifman or not.

I've also started a few games as Black in the Ruy, just to learn a little about the Black experience (1...c5 for me) and already half the games involve 4 Bxc6. I can imagine quite a few Black players will pick lines that avoid this, if possible.

I'd very much enjoy reading about your experience/thoughts on lines after 3...a6.
  
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MNb
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #16 - 07/28/08 at 17:03:48
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TimS wrote on 07/28/08 at 09:32:43:
The main line after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.Nc3 goes 5...f6 6.d4 exd4 7.Qxd4 when White has a much better pawn structure. With normal play, White can create a passed pawn on the kingside while Black cannot do the same on the queenside. White also has more space in the centre and a lead in development. Black's compensation is the bishop pair. If Black doesn't know how to use this, White is effectively a pawn up.


TimS is absolutely right. But White better should play through a lot of games to find out what to do if Black by any chance does know how to handle the pair of bishops.
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez, third move alternatives
Reply #15 - 07/28/08 at 10:57:25
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Hello!

I am a Class A player and started to play the Ruy Lopez two years ago to improve my strategic abilities. (I played Bishop's opening and King's gambit before)

Most of my opponents played (or transposed to) the Modern Steinitz with 5...Ld7 or
deviated already at move three,
often because they don't like the Exchange Variation.

Only a few played the main line (3...a6 4.La4 Sf6 5.0-0 Le7 6.Te1 b5
7.Lb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3) They all continued with the Chigorin or the Zaitsev.

Nobody played the Arkhangelsk or the Moeller.
Nobody played some rare systems with an early Lg4.
Only one opponent tried the Marshall.
Only one opponent played the Open Defence.  Tongue

Fourth move deviations ( except  the Modern Steinitz)  have been very unpopular
because of the Exchange variation, but there were two exceptions:

1) One opponent provocated and confused me:
4...b5 (he wanted to avoid some Delayed Exchange Variations and to gain time on the clock) 5.Lb3 Sf6 6.Sg5?! (6. 0-0 is good and probably transposes back to the main lines)  d5! 7.exd5 Sd4! ...

2) Another switched to 3...a6 4.La4 f5 after some losses against 3...f5 4.De2 in a Blitz session.

Since Khalifman's books are your main source I want to make a few comments from the perspective of a Class A - player:

Take the rare lines (chp 14) seriously!! 

3...d5 was once played against me in a serious tournament game ??

3...g5 tries to drive away the knight, of course.

3...Ld6 probably tries the regrouping Sf6, 0-0, Te8, Lf8,
which is by no means bad in the Spanish Four Knights,
but too slow in the Lopez after energic play.

3...Df6 was investigated by Gunderam in the Sixties.
Be careful and don,t play 0-0 too early.

3...Lb4 tries to trick White into an improved version of
the classical defence. 

3...Se7 most likely transposes to the Modern Steinitz, if you follow Khalifman's suggestions. 
It is played frequently because it is a way to get there and avoid the
Exchange variation.
Since it was recommended in a recent SOS (Secrets of Opening Surprises),
maybe you will face it soon.

3...g6: Khalifman's gambit (d4, c3) may be dangerous, but I think it is very unpractical, because 3...g6 is indeed very rare.
There is nothing wrong to play in Lopez-style with c3 and d4, play will most likely transpose to the Modern Steinitz or some line of 3...Se7.

3...Sd4 is a rare Bird indeed, but black succeeds in getting an unusual position. 
Khalifman made the serious mistake to repeat it against Kasparov after he achieved a draw . Have a look in his book to see the opening phase of their second game. 

3...d6 is surprisingly popular. This is a passive defence, but very solid. The very young Karpov played it with some success! For a first reading I would skip Khalifman's chp 17 on the Old Steinitz and study chp 23 instead (3...Sf6 4.0-0 d6) This move order avoids dangerous white setups with 0-0-0 and  is very common.

Classical Defence 3...Lc5
If black wants to get the Berlin Classic (Sf6 and Lc5) it is very attractive to start with 3...Sf6. Since many people are afraid to play the Berlin Endgame, they make an early concession like 4.d3 or 4.De2. So I guess if someone starts with 3...Lc5 he has something special in mind.
Maybe
1) agressiv: 4.c3 f5 combined with 4.0-0 Df6.
From my own experience as black both lines give good practical chances against an unprepared white player, especially in blitz or rapid games, but black must know his stuff well. I think this approach is not popular, because people enjoying sharp lines would go for the Jaenish.

2)more solid:  4.c3 Se7  (this was suggested in a recent SOS) combined with 4.0-0 Sd4.

Since 4...f5 is really messy, perhaps it would be more practical to start with 4.0-0 against 3...Lc5. But then Df6 gains in strength, if white plays this line passively he could be worse very quickly.
To sum up: after Khalifman's 4.c3 study 4...f5 carefully,
if you choose 4.0-0 study 4...Df6 carefully.

Jaenisch Gambit 3...f5.
4.Sc3 is maybe the best move, but very impractical for an amateur. If someone adopts the Jaenisch, it is his main defence against 1.e4. So at our level he certainly knows the theory much better than you, which is a very big advantage in this lines.
4.d3 is a good and practical alternative, but since it is such a natural move your opponent will have much experience with this one, too. 
4.De2 is an underrated offbeat try. Jaenish players usually don´t like to start their own game on move four  Grin
4.d4  results in a piece-sacrifice, maybe it is worth a look?!

Berlin Defence 3...Sf6
Don't play moves like 4.d3 or 4.De2, imho it is too easy for black!
Study careful the Berlin Classic Sf6 & Lc5, it is seldom but critical.
If you are afraid of the Berlin-Endgame, then play
4.0-0 Sxe4 5.Te1 Sd6 6.Sxe5 Le7 7.Lf1 as recommended in
"Kaufman, The Chess Advantage in Black and White"
Since Kaufman suggests the Berlin Endgame as blacks main defence against 1.e4, I would take his advice seriously and try to avoid this  endgame. It has little to do with standard Lopez play and is difficult to play for white, so I would not play it as a Lopez starter. (I adopted the Berlin Endgame with black, so I play it with white just to learn, but my white results are poor.)
7.Ld3 is an aggressive alternative. It was discussed in the famous match Steinitz-Zukertort. Steinitz defended accurately, but maybe your future opponents have not the defensive skills of Steinitz.

I hope my post helped you a little.
I will post some comments to the variations after 3...a6 soon.


  
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #14 - 07/28/08 at 09:32:43
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trw wrote on 07/28/08 at 02:36:38:
TimS wrote on 07/27/08 at 09:53:59:
sub-1900 players tend not to handle the bishop-pair very well, meaning White is effectively almost a pawn up.


is that a bad joke?

Perhaps I should have elaborated. The main line after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.Nc3 goes 5...f6 6.d4 exd4 7.Qxd4 when White has a much better pawn structure. With normal play, White can create a passed pawn on the kingside while Black cannot do the same on the queenside. White also has more space in the centre and a lead in development. Black's compensation is the bishop pair. If Black doesn't know how to use this, White is effectively a pawn up.
  
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #13 - 07/28/08 at 02:36:38
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TimS wrote on 07/27/08 at 09:53:59:
sub-1900 players tend not to handle the bishop-pair very well, meaning White is effectively almost a pawn up.


is that a bad joke?
  
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #12 - 07/27/08 at 09:53:59
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Another route would be to play the Exchange Variation against 3...a6 while practising your repertoire against all other replies, which are very common up to at least 2100 level.
If you do go this route, I would suggest looking at 5.Nc3 rather than the more common 5.0-0. There are model games by Lasker, Capablanca and Alekhine, among others, from circa St Petersburg 1914. The basic ideas are easy to learn and sub-1900 players tend not to handle the bishop-pair very well, meaning White is effectively almost a pawn up.
  
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #11 - 07/26/08 at 17:42:36
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I suppose that Watson and Khalifman might be an excellent combination indeed.

Incidentally, I notice that Tivi played 5. Qe2 today, but his (FM) opponent put his bishop on e7.
  
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Re: Learning the Ruy Lopez
Reply #10 - 07/26/08 at 16:28:31
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see inbox blueguitar  Cool
  
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