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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White (Read 23357 times)
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #43 - 05/22/09 at 16:54:38
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CraigEvans wrote on 04/30/09 at 18:32:27:
Firstly - Zatara. I would never recommend 1.d4 for beginners or aspiring players. A lot of club players around 1500-1800 have played 1.d4 or 1.Nf3 religiously and are very solid players... with absolutely no tactical awareness or imagination. Closed openings will stifle players who are learning the game, and I am a huge advocate of playing open positions and gambits with both colours whilst improving. Positional understanding and mastery of closed positions will come with experience, but if one is completely unable to string together any sort of tactics, then positional players will not be able to convert their advantages. Playing 1.e4, or at worst the BDG, will make white players acutely aware of the value of the initiative, provide them with the skills to counterpunch or even "swindle" should their positions not be great, to search out and successfully navigate tactics where they are favourably there. Once this is learnt, or at least the player reaches a fair proficiency with tactics, then they can ally this with positional development and mastery of closed positions, and we have a good player on our hands. I think there was an element of jest in Schaakhamster's comment about giving a novice a book on tactics and a BDG opening manual... but there is more than some truth as well. If you can get a beginner to quickly improve his/her tactics and attacking play, then this will stand him/her in good stead in the short-term, and as long as he/she then works on his or her other parts of their game in due course, they can become a good player. I do not know of many people who've made 2200+ without gaining experience in open and tactical positions before graduating into positional understanding.


This is very well put, so I started a thread about the quote at my blog (http://tinyurl.com/qtdw3h).

My main points in contention:

At the patzer level where I reside, the question is how many moves before the tactical fireworks begin, not whether there will be sharp clashes. Indeed, playing d4 against rank patzers like myself may be a good thing. We are likely to get impatient and prematurely attack. Games between patzers in d4 lines are not going to generate the kind of slow positional masterpieces you'd find in a strategy book written by a GM. Someone will make a mistake, and tactics will follow.

Don't get me wrong, I've had a lot of fun with my kooky gambit e4 lines, especially the Danish/Goring. But I also am starting to appreciate games where it takes longer for the fireworks to begin.

The most important things, in order, for a patzer in choosing an opening are:
1) Do I like it and am I comfortable playing it?
2) Does it have fatal flaws that people at my level are able to exploit in practice?
3) Are there other things I should focus on that will help my game more than opening study?
4) If the answer to 3 is no, then what opening should I focus on?

The above quote seems to invert the list, which would screw up a patzer's head by making him worry at all about openings.

Principles of the opening for patzers usually include the following:
a) Knights before Bishops.
b) Castle soon.
c) Move central pawns first.
d) Don't move the same piece twice.

While I have never seen a list that says "Open with e4 as white or else you will severely retard your growth as a chess player", rule b bears most directly on this discussion. Playing e4 lets you castle in fewer moves. Ironically, this points to the importance of closing ranks around the King early in the game.

At any rate, I hope this isn't too far off topic, but a very provocative and interesting claim from Craig!
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #42 - 05/16/09 at 15:44:39
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Greet's "Play The Ruy Lopez" definitely covers Bc5 on moves 3 and 4 (and doesn't seem to think much of it), and given his thoroughness, probably it covers the other lines as well, though I do not have my copy to hand to confirm this.
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #41 - 05/16/09 at 12:22:01
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Are there books, chapters of books, etc which cover either from
Black's point of view or White's point of view, lines where Black plays
an early Bc5?

Either on move, 3, 4, 5 or 6?

Thanks
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #40 - 05/09/09 at 07:50:45
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I agree with you totally, but just saying it may be time for something new. Although it would be a big task covering all the main line Ruy variations.
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #39 - 05/08/09 at 21:52:12
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najdorfslayer wrote on 05/08/09 at 20:03:39:
Khalifman's Opening for White according to Anand Vol 2 is inaccurate is a few ways already even though it was only published in 2003!

For example in the line

1.e4.e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 d5 (The Gajewski variation)

It gives d5 as a ? and 11.exd5 e4 12.Ng5+-
Which is now nonsense as if you look on Chess Base Black has a massive + score!



let's see; the Gajewski only surfaced in 2007 and shocked the whole chessworld because almost nobody thought that one could play that way. Hardly something you can hold against a book published in 2003 (I think Khalifman was one of the few that even considered the move back then).
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #38 - 05/08/09 at 20:03:39
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Khalifman's Opening for White according to Anand Vol 2 is inaccurate is a few ways already even though it was only published in 2003!

For example in the line

1.e4.e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 d5 (The Gajewski variation)

It gives d5 as a ? and 11.exd5 e4 12.Ng5+-
Which is now nonsense as if you look on Chess Base Black has a massive + score!
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #37 - 05/08/09 at 17:34:40
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I've won plenty of games with the Goring Gambit at the 1600-1800 level- most opponents don't know how to deal with it.  But I agree that it isn't a good reason to avoid 1...e5- for one thing, if Black wants to avoid the tricks and traps following 4...dxc3, but also avoid the drawish Capablanca endgames after 4...d5, then 4...Nf6 and 4...Nge7 are perfectly good responses.  4...Qe7 might also be playable but I think it gives White the additional possibility 5.Bd3 (as opposed to 3...Qe7 in the Danish against which White has nothing better than 4.cxd4 Qxe4+).

Note that after 4...d5 there is the deviation 5.Bd3 which does not promise an advantage but avoids those endings (5...dxe4, 5...Nf6 and 5...Bg4 are fine for Black, and the risky 5...dxc3 is playable).  3...d5 against the Danish has a similar problem after 4.exd5 Qxd5 5.cxd4 Nc6 6.Be3.

After 4...dxc3 5.Bc4 cxb2 6.Bxb2 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Nf6, I think the approaches with 8.0-0!? are underestimated as well as being largely unexplored- checking through the lines with Fritz showed that it's surprisingly easy for Black to go wrong.  Still, there's probably a way for Black to get the better game even here.
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #36 - 05/08/09 at 16:25:31
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MNb wrote on 05/07/09 at 20:28:21:
Schaakhamster wrote on 05/07/09 at 06:47:59:
Once you have navigated the tactical waters of the Danish equality seems a real possibilty early in the opening even if white doesn't make a mistake.


You're too modest. Equality is not a real possibility, it's a fact. After 4.Bc4 (or 5.Bc4 in Görings move order) cxb2 it's even more. (Note, if Markovich were consequent, he would have called 5...Nc6 6.Nf3 Bb4 the Göring Gambit). White should play 4.Nxc3, a move some American nut baptized Half-Danish (brrrr). White has sufficient compensation then, but not more. No offense to Markovich of course; he is certainly not a nut.

The Göring Gambit via 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 is still a great opening for young improving players: all white pieces go to natural squares, there are some basic threats, moves are easy to find. My son has scared the other kids of his club to death last few months - nobody of them dares to play ...e5 anymore. Smiley



how is anyone scared of the boring goring? You play it once and you're scare the first time... the second time around you only worry you might get a draw instead of a win but you know you won't lose so there is no fear. Why stop e5 cause of goring? This is the last reason on earth to quit e5... one of the easiest openings to neutralize.
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #35 - 05/08/09 at 15:41:40
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MNb wrote on 05/07/09 at 20:28:21:
The Göring Gambit via 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 is still a great opening for young improving players: all white pieces go to natural squares, there are some basic threats, moves are easy to find. My son has scared the other kids of his club to death last few months - nobody of them dares to play ...e5 anymore. Smiley


I fully agree.  I didn't know you had a son, by the way, still less one of 14 years.  Congratulations (sounds a little funny but I guess that's what I mean).  I'm glad he's with the game, too.
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #34 - 05/08/09 at 15:38:10
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Off-Topic replies have been moved to this Topic.
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #33 - 05/07/09 at 20:28:21
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Schaakhamster wrote on 05/07/09 at 06:47:59:
Once you have navigated the tactical waters of the Danish equality seems a real possibilty early in the opening even if white doesn't make a mistake.


You're too modest. Equality is not a real possibility, it's a fact. After 4.Bc4 (or 5.Bc4 in Görings move order) cxb2 it's even more. (Note, if Markovich were consequent, he would have called 5...Nc6 6.Nf3 Bb4 the Göring Gambit). White should play 4.Nxc3, a move some American nut baptized Half-Danish (brrrr). White has sufficient compensation then, but not more. No offense to Markovich of course; he is certainly not a nut.

The Göring Gambit via 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 is still a great opening for young improving players: all white pieces go to natural squares, there are some basic threats, moves are easy to find. My son has scared the other kids of his club to death last few months - nobody of them dares to play ...e5 anymore. Smiley
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #32 - 05/07/09 at 12:35:59
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I agree about 3...d5.  I maintain that acceptance of the double pawn offer followed by ...Nc6 and soon ...Bb4 is the way to go.  It would require a lot of preparation, and considering the infrequence with which one encounters that Danish, 3...d5 is much more practical.  But if you knew your opponent played the Danish, it would be a different story.

Of course there is the single pawn offer, but I think Black has good winning chances there as well.
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #31 - 05/07/09 at 12:31:21
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Markovich wrote on 05/07/09 at 12:24:59:
Once you have navigated the tactical waters of the Danish, the win seems a real possibilty even if white doesn't make a mistake.



I'll take your word on it; to me the mainline and 3... d5 seem equal and a bit drawish. Haven't looked at other lines.
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #30 - 05/07/09 at 12:24:59
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Once you have navigated the tactical waters of the Danish, the win seems a real possibilty even if white doesn't make a mistake.

The claims that my respected chessfriend CraigEvans makes about the supposed potency of the Belgrade after 5...Be7 remind me of a visionary's reports of his meetings with God -- no offense intended either to Craig or to religious believers -- I just find them hard to believe.

I suppose that Craig and I will have to have some games of chess before he'll convince me that White has any real winning chances there.
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #29 - 05/07/09 at 06:47:59
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CraigEvans wrote on 05/06/09 at 20:55:05:
I tend to see a lot less of 1...e5, but it's true that from my experience the blck players play the main line Lopezes or Two Knights/Italian positions pretty well on the whole, whereas their defensive play against the Belgrade/Danish is pretty suspect at times.

Still, for people who want to play the Lopez, of course it's a great opening, and probably objectively second-strongest for white after the BDG.  Wink


I haven't studied the Belgrade good enough to say anything about that but the Danish doesn't really bother me.

I do wonder if the suspect play of your opponents is down to lack of knowledge of how to play against these openings. Once you have navigated the tactical waters of the Danish equality seems a real possibilty early in the opening even if white doesn't make a mistake. In the Ruy this doesn't seem the case.

An other explanation could be the short-term consequences of mistake for black in the opening.  If black plays a faulty move against for instance the Danish the consequences are quite dire, often leading to defeat in a few moves. After a mistake in the Ruy Lopez you'll often, as black, suffer a long time but due to imperfect play at our level he might be able to escape due to mistakes of his oppponent.

These factors might explain the dominance of the Ruy Lopez at GM-level: they have the skills to punish black if he goes wrong and there are no easy equalisers for black.
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #28 - 05/06/09 at 20:55:05
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SWJediknight wrote on 05/01/09 at 17:21:22:
I always think of the "if you don't play the Ruy you're missing out on a side of chess and it's a big shame" as like saying "if a football team that normally plays a particular style doesn't try out a different style then they're missing out on another side of football and it's a big shame".  Or you're missing out if you don't have children, or you don't spend at least a year living in Australia, etc.  In a sense I agree with the "you're missing out" part of it, but its relevance to the individual depends on what the individual wants to get out of chess.  


Exactly. You're missing out on another side of chess by not playing 1.g4 as well, yet there aren't too many maniacs trying to recommend this to all chess players (shush, Lev).  Grin

Quote:
As an aside in my competitive games at the 1600-1900 level I seem to face 1...e5 in reply to 1.e4 in roughly two games out of three, and they tend to defend much better against the Ruy than against the Danish or Goring.


I tend to see a lot less of 1...e5, but it's true that from my experience the blck players play the main line Lopezes or Two Knights/Italian positions pretty well on the whole, whereas their defensive play against the Belgrade/Danish is pretty suspect at times.

Still, for people who want to play the Lopez, of course it's a great opening, and probably objectively second-strongest for white after the BDG.  Wink
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #27 - 05/02/09 at 15:22:41
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Please. Kasparov terrorized his opponents with 1.d4 in his youth. And anyone who has studied Vukovic knows what a fearsome attacking weapon 1.d4 was in the hands of Alekhine and Capablanca.


It must be said that Kasparov mainly played 1.e4 up to 1978/79. At that point he was about to earn his first Elo-rating which was around 2550 and good enough to beat top GMs (Polugajevsky, Vaganian, Browne etc.) on a quite regular basis.
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #26 - 05/01/09 at 17:21:22
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I always think of the "if you don't play the Ruy you're missing out on a side of chess and it's a big shame" as like saying "if a football team that normally plays a particular style doesn't try out a different style then they're missing out on another side of football and it's a big shame".  Or you're missing out if you don't have children, or you don't spend at least a year living in Australia, etc.  In a sense I agree with the "you're missing out" part of it, but its relevance to the individual depends on what the individual wants to get out of chess.  

The other thing is that these arguments start with, "it would be a shame not to at least try the Lopez" and then once the player starts playing the Lopez, they progress to "why not play the Lopez almost exclusively since it is objectively a better opening than the others".

As an aside in my competitive games at the 1600-1900 level I seem to face 1...e5 in reply to 1.e4 in roughly two games out of three, and they tend to defend much better against the Ruy than against the Danish or Goring.
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #25 - 05/01/09 at 13:13:46
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My guess would be that it varies rather with where you're playing. As I remember I've faced it a reasonable amount, although rarely(never?) from the sort of really well prepared opponent who would be a problem.

One person is a pretty useless sample though - I've somehow managed not to face a single Nardojf since switching back to 1 e4 a couple of years back. That isn't because people have stopped playing it!

I don't know if anyone collects reliable stats for what openings really are popular at (various grades of) club level? They won't make most databases of course.
Maybe internet blitz games but opening there is something else again.

Certainly no outright need to learn to play the lopez but for me its one of those openings which is so rich that its a real shame not to at least try, especially if not playing at a level with lots of computer prep etc.
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #24 - 05/01/09 at 11:01:37
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Just on the Ruy it is possible to play it slightly more sharply by using 9 d4 rather than 9 h3 in the main line or even 5 d4 for that matter. Not saying that these lines are that strong .

I agree with Craig's observations on tactics and the use of the initiative being a key to success. On the other hand, it can be dangerous for a player's development to have totally relied on gambits since for some of them they don't work so well at higher levels .

I don't agree that it's essential to learn the lopez to be over 2200 elo for 1e4 players. Gawain Jones and Stewart Haslinger have done well over the years with the Scotch for example.

One issue that does seem to be arising out of this discussion is how often do 1e4 players face 1..e5 . From what I've read it doesn't appear to be that popular.
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #23 - 05/01/09 at 11:00:02
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Aziridine wrote on 05/01/09 at 08:52:23:
Quote:
Closed openings will stifle players who are learning the game... I do not know of many people who've made 2200+ without gaining experience in open and tactical positions before graduating into positional understanding.

Please. Kasparov terrorized his opponents with 1.d4 in his youth. And anyone who has studied Vukovic knows what a fearsome attacking weapon 1.d4 was in the hands of Alekhine and Capablanca.
Quote:
quite frankly, I'd rather cut my eyes out with a rusty scalpel than play some of the long, patient manoeuvering games that frequently occur in the Ruy.

It's unfortunate you're blinding yourself to a completely different side of chess. Some of us are having twice as much fun as you are Wink


Kasparov could have opened h4 and he still would have terrorized a lot of players.  Grin


  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #22 - 05/01/09 at 08:52:23
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Quote:
Closed openings will stifle players who are learning the game... I do not know of many people who've made 2200+ without gaining experience in open and tactical positions before graduating into positional understanding.

Please. Kasparov terrorized his opponents with 1.d4 in his youth. And anyone who has studied Vukovic knows what a fearsome attacking weapon 1.d4 was in the hands of Alekhine and Capablanca.
Quote:
quite frankly, I'd rather cut my eyes out with a rusty scalpel than play some of the long, patient manoeuvering games that frequently occur in the Ruy.

It's unfortunate you're blinding yourself to a completely different side of chess. Some of us are having twice as much fun as you are Wink
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #21 - 04/30/09 at 18:32:27
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Okay,

Firstly - Zatara. I would never recommend 1.d4 for beginners or aspiring players. A lot of club players around 1500-1800 have played 1.d4 or 1.Nf3 religiously and are very solid players... with absolutely no tactical awareness or imagination. Closed openings will stifle players who are learning the game, and I am a huge advocate of playing open positions and gambits with both colours whilst improving. Positional understanding and mastery of closed positions will come with experience, but if one is completely unable to string together any sort of tactics, then positional players will not be able to convert their advantages. Playing 1.e4, or at worst the BDG, will make white players acutely aware of the value of the initiative, provide them with the skills to counterpunch or even "swindle" should their positions not be great, to search out and successfully navigate tactics where they are favourably there. Once this is learnt, or at least the player reaches a fair proficiency with tactics, then they can ally this with positional development and mastery of closed positions, and we have a good player on our hands. I think there was an element of jest in Schaakhamster's comment about giving a novice a book on tactics and a BDG opening manual... but there is more than some truth as well. If you can get a beginner to quickly improve his/her tactics and attacking play, then this will stand him/her in good stead in the short-term, and as long as he/she then works on his or her other parts of their game in due course, they can become a good player. I do not know of many people who've made 2200+ without gaining experience in open and tactical positions before graduating into positional understanding.

As for what openings I'd recommend... The guioco piano, scotch and king's gambit are excellent openings for any aspiring player as white to become familiar with, the openings which emphasise the initiative, development, and quickly targetting black's achilles heel on f7. The danish/goring, and even the BDG (here we go...) are also not bad choices for developing attacking and creativity and resourcefulness - as long as the openings are used as a stage in development and not as a repertoire for life. For my first few seasons I played the KG (with very good results, and without much theory), along with several dubious gambit lines against various other tries, and with the occasional BDG or Bird thrown in for variety. I've played the Ruy a few times (with some success), but based my 1.e4 repertoire around the Belgrade since passing 1800 (yet to lose from 10-12 games), and in the last year or so I have started to play 1.d4 against selected opponents (i.e. anyone who plays the sicilian or caro-kann, or anyone I know to play the dutch.).

I admit and agree that there are sidelines in the Ruy such as the Exchange, the Worrall et al... and these can form part of, or indeed much of the basis of, a repertoire. However, the question was on the main line Lopez, and my response was tailored to the same.

As for "a couple of critical lines", my personal feeling is that there are far more critical lines than in any other opening, and that the level of knowledge and understanding required to competently play the positions is far greater than both the level needed to play almost any other white opening with confidence, and also a far greater drain on time than I have at my disposal.

If your aim is 2200+ play and a real, deep understanding of chess... then the Lopez is almost unquestionably the way to go. If your aim is to enjoy chess... well, quite frankly, I'd rather cut my eyes out with a rusty scalpel than play some of the long, patient manoeuvering games that frequently occur in the Ruy. Each to their own, but that sort of chess doesn't appeal to me, I don't have the understanding in order to successfully play it and, despite my positional uselessness and dogmatisms, I've broken 2000 FIDE which is pretty much the only target I ever had for myself. I play for enjoyment and, whatever arguments are given about stifling development and so on, I simply would not want to play chess anymore if I had to play the Ruy. I'm sure I'm not the only person who feels this way, either.

(Incidentally, I've seen plenty of people get cut to pieces playing routinely against the Bird defence... I do not think the line is 100% reliable but I certainly think it is more dangerous than you give it credit for, and I believe there was some correspondence IM/GM who used it frequently with excellent results even in that format).

My main argument is that white has so much to worry about already with the sicilian, caro-kann, pirc, alekhine, french, scandinavian etc... the entire Ruy Lopez complex, even as a general overview and relying on understanding from there on, is a lot of work for an amateur who might get to play it once a month in league games. I suppose this will always vary from person to person however and, if you are able to digest even a small fraction of the theory on the Lopez and put your knowledge effectively into practice on it, then you're a far better person and player than I.  Wink
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #20 - 04/30/09 at 07:50:31
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CraigEvans wrote on 04/28/09 at 21:16:04:
Yes. I'm sure you could learn all of the above lines if you had a free decade. Given that Kasparov couldn't crack the Berlin (even taking into account that the players we play will not be Kramnik), and that Radja continues to make the Schliemann work at super GM level, and that some of the critical lines in the Zaitsev are not reached until move 20+ with countless deviations and move-order subtleties between moves 9-20, not to mention the open leading to a sharp struggle (as does the Archangel), and black can essay one of 6 or 7 other closed lines which all havetheir own positional nuances and ideas, I think you might be trivialising white's task somewhat here.

So there are a couple of critical lines, which opening hasnt? One advantage of the Ruy is that even if you stray from the best path you still have the initiative. This goes in particular for the closed lines. Against all the lines you mention you can do 2 things, go for the most critical lines or choose a sideline. In both cases a perfect memory isnt necessary as you will usually still end up with the initiative. Ie if you go for the Schlieman main line (the one Emms and Khalifman go for) the worst that can happen is an opposite bishop ending a pawn up.
Quote:
Not to mention that you are completely ignoring options for black like the Bird, Cozio, 3...Bc5 etc - not necessarily critical tries, but all again relatively sharp systems where white can go quickly wrong if he's not careful.

I simply disagree with this. If you play standard developing moves and aim for c3 and d4 in most cases, you wont go wrong.
Quote:
When you add all the above on top of needing lines against the Petroff, Philidor, Latvian, Elephant, and then throw on the fire all black's other possible 1.e4 defences...

The Petrov may be a worry (though there are easy lines there as well), the others arent. They usually are only a bother in blitz as you may need to think a little deeper.
Quote:
I suppose your question boils down to what you feel you need to know. But if you want to play the Lopez well as white, you have one hell of a lot of work to do, just on that. I have always been of the opinion that no amateur does (or should) have enough time to really learn and understand the Lopez, and his time is better spent elsewhere learning simpler systems. I have no doubt that 3.Bb5 is white's strongest continuation, but whether it is the most time-efficient way to spend your study time, is a wholly different matter.

Learning and understanding the Ruy is imo impossible unless you are a Russian GM whose name starts with a K Grin
I do however think that the only way to try and do that is to actually play it. I am sure people will have their setbacks, but I think in the long run it is a much better investment than the other lines. You get to work with the initiative, kingside attacks, queenside attacks, nipping nasty counterpunches by black in the bud, space advantage and last but not least you get an actual middle game.
Quote:
The problem with the Lopez is that, usually, the stronger player will win at U2200 level. If white does not know the opening well, then he will be gifting black major chances that the Lopez is not meant to give black - white will be at a huge disadvantage if he misplays the opening. Most of black's "inferior" tries like 3...Bc5 and 3...Nd4 are still potent enough to cause problems if white does not know them. Black's major tries (Zaitsev, Chigorin, Breyer, Keres etc) are major, major opening complexes, and a white player who is not familiar with both the theory and the understanding of the openings is in danger of finding himself rapidly being outplayed by a black player who has studied them. This sort of understanding takes a lot of memorisation of long lines, as well as studying a lot of games in each particular line, really working to understand the move orders and subtleties in every position.

The real question is if that is necessary at all. Sure you could learn all the lines in Khalifman by heart, but I dont think it is necessary (I find it very useful but more for analysis after the game or to look up a critical line). I am more in agreement with Cox in his intro in his 1d4 book.
Quote:
If this sounds like a couple of afternoons sitting back with a book and a beer, then feel free. To me it seems like a hell of a lot of work for an opening which you would probably get in 1/5th of your games (assuming that 50% you play as black, and 60% of your white games people meet 1.e4 with something other than 1...e5, 2...Nc6 - in most cases this figure is probably even higher).

I would think it is even lower. Out of my last 7 games as white I had none in the Ruy Wink
Still I dont think it is a reason to skip such an opening.
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #19 - 04/29/09 at 13:56:23
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Well this a common problem: short vs long term improvement. Give a novice a book on tactics, teach him the BDG and watch him devour other beginners.  Grin

  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #18 - 04/29/09 at 12:47:58
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Hi,

Kaufman's "Chess Advantage in Black and White" gives a repertoire based on the Exchange-variation. His suggestions against black's deviations at move 3 are very ecconomic, but nethertheless White has
some chances to achieve an advantage.
For players rated below 2000 these third move deviations (and the Modern Steinitz) are the most important lines in praxis.


Btw
most lines of the Ruy are much more "forgiving" than let's say the King's gambit and can be played without too much preparation at amateur level.
If white has mastered black's third move deviations, then it is easy to proceed step by step to the main lines, because there are Qe2-, d3-Nc3 and exchange- lines - at least for starters who want to play it save.   

Nethertheless I would agree that the Italian game with c3 and d3 combined with the d3 variation against the two-knights is the better choice beyond 2000 if you are mainly interested in winning as many rating points as possible, but the Ruy is more demanding and more fun. If you have the opportunity to analyse your games with a stronger player you will learn more by playing the Ruy Lopez.
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #17 - 04/29/09 at 09:39:30
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Also - having played a bit at a semi decent club level without knowing all that much theory - I have to say that up to some it isn't that hard an opening to play on semi understanding.

There's an obvious danger of running into really prepared black players but it really is easy to overstate this threat. Also quite possible to take a lot of heavy theory out with semi side lines of course.

Its certainly less work dependent than something like the open sicillian!
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #16 - 04/29/09 at 09:30:42
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ANDREW BRETT wrote on 04/29/09 at 08:33:28:
I agree with Craig's comments on the volume of work to be done for the lopez. Although it's not that great for those needing to save time might do better with the Guioco Piano with 4 c3 5 d3 etc

Indeed a lot of work
but also a lot of fun
and you as White that you have an advantage (not in the Giucco Piano!)
therefore I play it with White and Black - understanding is the key to success

As Shirov says on his DVD (free out of my mind - he certainly tells it differntly):
"Is it possible to play the Ruy Lopez just with positional understanding - probably not. Is it possible to memorize all the lines - probably not. Therefore you need to work on both aspects"
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #15 - 04/29/09 at 08:33:28
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I agree with Craig's comments on the volume of work to be done for the lopez. Although it's not that great for those needing to save time might do better with the Guioco Piano with 4 c3 5 d3 etc
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #14 - 04/29/09 at 00:13:25
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@CraigEvans Just curious what other systems do you recommend vs 1...e5 as white and are you recommending 1.d4 rather than 1.e4 even for developing players??
thanks,
Zatrara
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #13 - 04/28/09 at 21:16:04
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Quote:
Is it really that hard to play the Lopez as White?  I'm actually asking, since I don't play it myself, but how much do you really need to know?If you know the Schliemann and Berlin, have a line against the Open, know a bit about the Zaitsev and Archangel, and have a general sense of what you're doing in the Closed, seems to me that you can probably do OK. The rest of it is either seldom played or pretty logical.


Yes. I'm sure you could learn all of the above lines if you had a free decade. Given that Kasparov couldn't crack the Berlin (even taking into account that the players we play will not be Kramnik), and that Radja continues to make the Schliemann work at super GM level, and that some of the critical lines in the Zaitsev are not reached until move 20+ with countless deviations and move-order subtleties between moves 9-20, not to mention the open leading to a sharp struggle (as does the Archangel), and black can essay one of 6 or 7 other closed lines which all havetheir own positional nuances and ideas, I think you might be trivialising white's task somewhat here.

Not to mention that you are completely ignoring options for black like the Bird, Cozio, 3...Bc5 etc - not necessarily critical tries, but all again relatively sharp systems where white can go quickly wrong if he's not careful.

When you add all the above on top of needing lines against the Petroff, Philidor, Latvian, Elephant, and then throw on the fire all black's other possible 1.e4 defences...

I suppose your question boils down to what you feel you need to know. But if you want to play the Lopez well as white, you have one hell of a lot of work to do, just on that. I have always been of the opinion that no amateur does (or should) have enough time to really learn and understand the Lopez, and his time is better spent elsewhere learning simpler systems. I have no doubt that 3.Bb5 is white's strongest continuation, but whether it is the most time-efficient way to spend your study time, is a wholly different matter.

The problem with the Lopez is that, usually, the stronger player will win at U2200 level. If white does not know the opening well, then he will be gifting black major chances that the Lopez is not meant to give black - white will be at a huge disadvantage if he misplays the opening. Most of black's "inferior" tries like 3...Bc5 and 3...Nd4 are still potent enough to cause problems if white does not know them. Black's major tries (Zaitsev, Chigorin, Breyer, Keres etc) are major, major opening complexes, and a white player who is not familiar with both the theory and the understanding of the openings is in danger of finding himself rapidly being outplayed by a black player who has studied them. This sort of understanding takes a lot of memorisation of long lines, as well as studying a lot of games in each particular line, really working to understand the move orders and subtleties in every position.

If this sounds like a couple of afternoons sitting back with a book and a beer, then feel free. To me it seems like a hell of a lot of work for an opening which you would probably get in 1/5th of your games (assuming that 50% you play as black, and 60% of your white games people meet 1.e4 with something other than 1...e5, 2...Nc6 - in most cases this figure is probably even higher).
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #12 - 04/28/09 at 21:01:58
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LeeRoth wrote on 04/25/09 at 14:10:05:
John Emms Easy Guide to the Ruy Lopez gives a mostly main line repertoire for White in one small, compact volume.  I say mostly since, if memory serves, he opted for an anti-Marshall.  But as that was being played by Kasparov at the time, its hard to complain about that.  

Yes and it is a very good one, it also overlaps a lot with Khalifman which is handy, who incidentally also recommends an anti-Marshall
Quote:
Is it really that hard to play the Lopez as White?  I'm actually asking, since I don't play it myself, but how much do you really need to know?If you know the Schliemann and Berlin, have a line against the Open, know a bit about the Zaitsev and Archangel, and have a general sense of what you're doing in the Closed, seems to me that you can probably do OK.  The rest of it is either seldom played or pretty logical.

Exactly.
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #11 - 04/27/09 at 19:49:32
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Glenn Snow wrote on 04/27/09 at 19:10:49:
Didn't Aagaard say here at the forum that he would be doing a "Grandmaster Repertoire" book with 1.e4?  If so then I don't see how he can recommend anything but the Spanish.


I am expecting Scotch.

  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #10 - 04/27/09 at 19:10:49
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Didn't Aagaard say here at the forum that he would be doing a "Grandmaster Repertoire" book with 1.e4?  If so then I don't see how he can recommend anything but the Spanish.
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #9 - 04/25/09 at 14:44:49
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ANDREW BRETT wrote on 04/25/09 at 06:34:44:
The difficulty is that the main line Spanish doesn't actually give that much for white and the sort of positions that arise are probably beyond an average player's skill level.


Really? I was under the impression that White was quite good.  I'm not sure about the difficulty of playing these positions, not having had the experience.  You may be right.  If it were a straight kingside attack that would be one thing (that's why the everlasting King's Indian is so popular), but White often has to play on both sides of the board.  But I think many players would appreciate a handy guide for doing just that.  I suppose you can learn it from studying games, but a lot of players like to have their hand held.  I do.
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #8 - 04/25/09 at 14:10:05
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John Emms Easy Guide to the Ruy Lopez gives a mostly main line repertoire for White in one small, compact volume.  I say mostly since, if memory serves, he opted for an anti-Marshall.  But as that was being played by Kasparov at the time, its hard to complain about that. 

Is it really that hard to play the Lopez as White?  I'm actually asking, since I don't play it myself, but how much do you really need to know?If you know the Schliemann and Berlin, have a line against the Open, know a bit about the Zaitsev and Archangel, and have a general sense of what you're doing in the Closed, seems to me that you can probably do OK.  The rest of it is either seldom played or pretty logical.


  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #7 - 04/25/09 at 06:34:44
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The difficulty is that the main line Spanish doesn't actually give that much for white and the sort of positions that arise are probably beyond an average player's skill level.

I am not sure that white can claim an edge against the Marshall as demonstrated by Aronian and Leko. The Zaitsev seems in good shape, the Breyer is not in much trouble (see Kamsky's nice win yesterday v Grischuk) and in the Chigorin although white gets space advantage can he convert it (see Marin's masterpiece for the case for the defence and see Svidler's cd cd nc6 efforts which seem to be holding),

If you add the numerous subvariations on the Ruy eg Moller, white has quite a lot of work to contend with and the practical player may well do better to copy Greet's Worrall ideas
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #6 - 04/25/09 at 00:15:21
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a think even a more thematic approach would do such the often seen a4 ideas or Nd2-f1-g3 scenarios.
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #5 - 04/24/09 at 21:46:23
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TonyRo wrote on 04/24/09 at 14:57:26:
I think I'd expand the GM Repertoire 1. e4 series out to more books. Give 1...e5 it's own book, 1...c5 it's own book, give the French + Caro in one book, and cover the rest in another. I don't think 4 books is out of line for an ambitious 1. e4 repertoire. It makes more sense from a publisher's perspective to do it that way anyway.  Grin

That is exactly the reason for the slow decline of 1.e4 at my level. All 1.e4 books either go the Khalifman way (ending up with 25 volumes Grin) or much worse call it an "attacking" repertoire yet suggest feeble lines (even though the analysis may be decent). Emms' "attacking with 1.e4" is anything but attacking (quality is decent though)

I think you can do it in two (as quality chess seems to want to do), but then you would have to do it like Palliser in his d4 book (skipping the absolute main lines for main sidelines). Eg book 1, sicilians with Be2/Be3 (where you get the same structures a lot) and against the Ruy the closed where you push d5 when applicable. In book 2 French with 3.Nc3 (Bg5 against Nf6 and something with a4 against the Winawer), CK 3.Nc3 but not the main lines with h4 and against the other stuff just basic lines which secure a += (Be2/Be3 vs Pirc, exchange or 3.Nf3 against the alekhine, main line against the Scandi and coffee for the rest).
Basically a lot like my own lines. It is not die-hard theoretical, but it is very nasty to play against as black. Still I maintain that it will be more theory than a 1.d4 repertoire.
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #4 - 04/24/09 at 15:31:10
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Markovich wrote on 04/24/09 at 12:45:10:
Well friends, I'm sorry to disappoint, but there isn't one.  

I bring this up because I think there is a big gap in chess openings literature right now that some enterprising house, such as Quality, could exploit with a repertoire treatment, like Avrukh's 1.d4 d5 book, right down the main lines of the Spanish.  I admit that it's a huge subject, but so is 1.d4 d5.

The Spanish is so important, and so difficult to come to grips with, that I'm pretty sure there would be a big market for this.

I could even see two volumes: I. Closed Spanish, II. Other.

Oh wait, I forgot Khalifman.  I don't know, that series seems so unbelievably massive.

Not so keen on Greet's Play The Ruy Lopez then?
Answering my own question, I guess you don't regard the Wormald as sufficiently mainline (and you probably aren't in the minority there).
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #3 - 04/24/09 at 14:57:26
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Khalifman's book is dense because the Main Line Ruy Lopez is dense! It would be tough to make a work smaller than that I think. Of course, I think the focus could have been better. Give some of the rarer lines in the notes with slightly less coverage and add coverage and more explanation to the important main lines, maybe with some example games.

That said, Willempie's idea of making one book on the Ruy Lopez + Sicilian and the other one about the rest looks a little optimistic. If you covered 1...e5 and 1...c5 adequately in one book it would be ~500 pages in my opinion.

I think I'd expand the GM Repertoire 1. e4 series out to more books. Give 1...e5 it's own book, 1...c5 it's own book, give the French + Caro in one book, and cover the rest in another. I don't think 4 books is out of line for an ambitious 1. e4 repertoire. It makes more sense from a publisher's perspective to do it that way anyway.  Grin
  
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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #2 - 04/24/09 at 14:43:00
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Markovich wrote on 04/24/09 at 12:45:10:
Well friends, I'm sorry to disappoint, but there isn't one.  

I bring this up because I think there is a big gap in chess openings literature right now that some enterprising house, such as Quality, could exploit with a repertoire treatment, like Avrukh's 1.d4 d5 book, right down the main lines of the Spanish.  I admit that it's a huge subject, but so is 1.d4 d5.

The Spanish is so important, and so difficult to come to grips with, that I'm pretty sure there would be a big market for this.

I could even see two volumes: I. Closed Spanish, II. Other.

Oh wait, I forgot Khalifman.  I don't know, that series seems so unbelievably massive.

Bit contradictory aint it?
Khalifman too massive? It is 2 books of which the first is quite thin and the 2nd is thick, but not too thick. If you havent finished it you cant start any complaints Wink
Anyway I dont think 1d4 and 1e4 are comparable in the amount of theory if you go for the main lines.

Apart from that there is:
Starting out the Ruy, one of the books that imo is underestimated.
Play the Ruy, ok that one is not exactly main lines, though it is in some of the sidelines.
Apparently quality chess is coming with 2 1e4 books. I doubt they will skip the Ruy. If they are smart they make one about the Ruy and sicilian and the other about the rest.
  

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Re: New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
Reply #1 - 04/24/09 at 13:36:14
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A few years ago, "Play the Open Games as Black" was published by GM John Emms. Gambit Publications 2000.

An after that, has been published:

* "The Ruy Lopez, a guide for black" by Sverre Johnsen, Gambit Publications, 2007.

* "Beating the Open Games" by Mihail Marin. Quality Chess, 2008.

* "A Spanish Repertoire for Black" by Mihail Marin. Quality Chess, 2007.

* "Dangerous Weapons: 1.e4 e5" by John Emms. Everyman Chess 2008.

As we know "The Spanish Torture" was the term coined to express that if you want to play the Spanish from the black side, you will suffer to equalize the game, so White should be slightly better in every main line.

Do we really need a Spanish Repertoire Book from the White Side? Wink


Markovich wrote on 04/24/09 at 12:45:10:
The Spanish is so important, and so difficult to come to grips with, that I'm pretty sure there would be a big market for this.

I could even see two volumes: I. Closed Spanish, II. Other.

Oh wait, I forgot Khalifman.  I don't know, that series seems so unbelievably massive.

  

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New Spanish mainline repertoire book for White
04/24/09 at 12:45:10
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Well friends, I'm sorry to disappoint, but there isn't one.  

I bring this up because I think there is a big gap in chess openings literature right now that some enterprising house, such as Quality, could exploit with a repertoire treatment, like Avrukh's 1.d4 d5 book, right down the main lines of the Spanish.  I admit that it's a huge subject, but so is 1.d4 d5.

The Spanish is so important, and so difficult to come to grips with, that I'm pretty sure there would be a big market for this.

I could even see two volumes: I. Closed Spanish, II. Other.

Oh wait, I forgot Khalifman.  I don't know, that series seems so unbelievably massive.
  

The Great Oz has spoken!
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