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Poll Question: Among all lines in Spanish the Modern/Deffered Steinitz is:
bars   pie

passive but with less theory    
  14 (19.4%)
solid but not a play for win    
  13 (18.1%)
active (specify why)    
  5 (6.9%)
recommended (specify why)    
  5 (6.9%)
not recommneded (write why)    
  8 (11.1%)
cuts down a load of theory    
  15 (20.8%)
White has an edge (where)    
  12 (16.7%)




Total votes: 72
« Created by: rossia on: 02/16/11 at 12:23:55 »
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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Slay the Spanish! (Read 93482 times)
NeverGiveUp
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #131 - 08/11/11 at 08:36:41
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Arcticmonkey wrote on 08/04/11 at 15:09:38:
I have a slight problem. Although i don't even think it's sound and hasn't really been played seriously ever, i was wondering about the Yanderimov Gambit in Taylor's book. Specifically the line:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.0-0 Bg4 6.h3 h5 7.d3!?

Someone played this against me in blitz and even though i won, i was curious and checked it after the game. Isn't this just better for White!? I cant find it in Taylor's book either...

This line actually isn't very critical. 7. ... Qf6 is quite all right though sharp, but the easiest option for black is undoubtetly 7. ... Bd7(!) when black will be playing Nge7, f6, g5, Ng6 with a strong attacking position on the kings side.
The only real critical test of the Yandemirov is the main line where (unfortunately) black seems to be losing. I don't think I will be playing it with black; it's just too risky.
  
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Arcticmonkey
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #130 - 08/04/11 at 15:09:38
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I have a slight problem. Although i don't even think it's sound and hasn't really been played seriously ever, i was wondering about the Yanderimov Gambit in Taylor's book. Specifically the line:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.0-0 Bg4 6.h3 h5 7.d3!?

Someone played this against me in blitz and even though i won, i was curious and checked it after the game. Isn't this just better for White!? I cant find it in Taylor's book either...
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #129 - 05/29/11 at 14:38:02
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kylemeister wrote on 05/25/11 at 14:14:05:
8. Nbd2 has been given in ECO as leading to a slight advantage for White, e.g. 8...b5 9. Bc2 Bg7 10. Nb3 O-O 11. de de 12. Nc5 Bg4 13. h3 Qe7 (Kaplan-Keres, San Antonio 1972) 14. hg Qxc5 15. g5 += Keres.

Edit:  I see that Taylor does mention this, recommending 11...Nxe5; "after 12. Nxe5 de 13. Nc5 Bc6 14. Be3 Nd7 White has absolutely nothing."  Looks a bit optimistic to me.


So yea perhaps 14...Qe7 is a little better, at least its an alternative
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #128 - 05/29/11 at 14:29:45
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BabySnake wrote on 05/29/11 at 13:42:26:
I have to admit I can't find where Taylor mentions this, can you point me to a page number?


top of page 90
the line starts as note 'b' on the previous page
  

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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #127 - 05/29/11 at 13:42:26
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kylemeister wrote on 05/25/11 at 14:14:05:
8. Nbd2 has been given in ECO as leading to a slight advantage for White, e.g. 8...b5 9. Bc2 Bg7 10. Nb3 O-O 11. de de 12. Nc5 Bg4 13. h3 Qe7 (Kaplan-Keres, San Antonio 1972) 14. hg Qxc5 15. g5 += Keres.

Edit:  I see that Taylor does mention this, recommending 11...Nxe5; "after 12. Nxe5 de 13. Nc5 Bc6 14. Be3 Nd7 White has absolutely nothing."  Looks a bit optimistic to me.


I have to admit I can't find where Taylor mentions this, can you point me to a page number?
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #126 - 05/26/11 at 17:12:30
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I think if you are playing the Lopez as black, you should probably be studying quite a few of these positions Smiley

Anyway, I think it's more comparing the Bf8 vs g6 and Bg7.  Bf8 doesn't weaken the kingside and the bishop keeps some hope of activity elsewhere - the Bg7 can be rather passive.

In comparing the Breyer position I'll say I think that having Bb7 and Nbd7 vs Bd7 and Nc6 favours black when the bishop is on g7.  Everything is better placed for the ...d5 break which makes it harder for white to maintain the tension.

Also, white can try to take advantage of black's ambitious move order.  Lines I've looked at that I think are possible promising for white are:

5 0-0 Bd7 6 d4 Nf6 7 c3 g6 8 Re1 b5 9 Bb3 Bg7 10 Bg5!? which Taylor is dismissive of (via a different move order).  However in my database of TWIC games I see white going +9 =3 -1 here, with Navara, So, Alekseev and others bashing the likes of Malaniuk, Mamedyarov and Sadvakasov.

5 0-0 Bd7 6 d4 Nf6 7 c3 g6 8 Re1 b5 9 Bc2!? also looks promising. 9...Bg7 10 Nbd2 0-0 11 h3 Nh5 is Taylor's only line, but 12 Nf1 h6 13 Ne3 transposes to Kobalia-Naumkin, Moscow 2009 when 13...Nf4?! 14 Nd5 seems good for white already.  I don't think black can get away with kingside activity while the tension remains in the centre.

Anyway, I've decided that I prefer white in this variation although it's playable for black, and that Taylor's book raises more questions for me than it solves.  I doubt I'll play this in serious games.

NeverGiveUp wrote on 05/26/11 at 10:43:21:
NeverGiveUp wrote on 05/26/11 at 09:45:05:
Along these lines I have been playing 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 g6 6.c3 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nbd2 b5 9.Bc2 Bb7 for a long time, where you get a classical main line RL type position for black with the bishop already on g7 so with a few extra tempi for black, in particular if white goes d4 afterwards which he usually does.

Sorry guys, his line should read 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.c3 g6 7.0-0 Bg7 8.Nbd2 0-0 9.Re1 b5 10.Bc2 Bb7


Marin used to play this way as black with great success, but in A Spanish Repertoire for Black he is quite pessimistic for black after losing badly (he admits this is subjective, and gives the game with light notes).  It's more accurate to say it is a tempo down for white on the variation we are discussing i.e. 4 Ba4 d6 5 0-0 Bd7 6 d4 Nf6 7 c3 will eventually transpose, except with d4 instead of d3 for white.

Even assuming he is being too pessimistic here, I'm not sure I'd want to give white an extra tempo... Undecided
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #125 - 05/26/11 at 10:43:21
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NeverGiveUp wrote on 05/26/11 at 09:45:05:
Along these lines I have been playing 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 g6 6.c3 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nbd2 b5 9.Bc2 Bb7 for a long time, where you get a classical main line RL type position for black with the bishop already on g7 so with a few extra tempi for black, in particular if white goes d4 afterwards which he usually does.

Sorry guys, his line should read 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 d6 6.c3 g6 7.0-0 Bg7 8.Nbd2 0-0 9.Re1 b5 10.Bc2 Bb7
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #124 - 05/26/11 at 09:45:05
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Pantu wrote on 05/25/11 at 18:28:00:
In the meantime when looking at one of the positions my memory started prodding me.  This is what it saw:

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 d6 5 0-0 Bd7 6 c3 Nf6 7 Re1 g6 8 d4 b5 9 Bb3 Bg7 10 Nbd2 0-0 11 Nf1 h6[1]12 h3 Re8 13 Ng3

and

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 h6 10 d4 Re8 11 Nbd2 Bf8 12 Nf1 Bd7 13 Ng3 (the main line of the Smyslov Variation).

So what do we see? Black has played g7-g6 and Bf8-g7 in the Modern Steinitz line and Bf8-e7 and Be7-f8 in the Smyslov Variation.  Otherwise it's the same.  So it would be fruitful to look at this and decide in which location the bishop is best.  Marin covered this variation in CBM 129.

If the conclusion is at least that they are roughly equivalent, 5 Bxc6+ isn't a big deal and white's deviations don't give anything then black does get an easy Closed Ruy Lopez type position.

A further note is that in the MS if black refrains from g6 and plays Be7, we can transpose directly into the Smyslov if after ...b5 white plays Bb3, but Bc2 is stronger as black's normal plan involves 13...Na5 in the above Tabiya.


Thanks for this: it is a very interesting parallel between two variations which is not obvious at all!
It implies that players who want to play this line would be well adviced to study Smyslov's variation as well, or at least the parts of it which are similar.

So is the bishop better on e7 or g7? Keres in his annotated games says it doesn't make much difference. However in the Breyer, which I played ages ago (bishop on e7), black at some stage goes Re8, Bf8, g6, Bg7, so spends two extra moves getting his bishop of g7 compared to the MS variation, and playing this to me is admitting the bishop is better on g7! I don't really know the Smyslov variation but I suppose there black could go g6 and Bg7 as well and the same argument applies.

Along these lines I have been playing 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 g6 6.c3 Bg7 7.0-0 0-0 8.Nbd2 b5 9.Bc2 Bb7 for a long time, where you get a classical main line RL type position for black with the bishop already on g7 so with a few extra tempi for black, in particular if white goes d4 afterwards which he usually does.

Of course if you play the Smyslov regularly most of the time -if not always- you will not get there because white will deviate. So the MS may be a better way to get there, maybe?
   
So is it all plain sailing? Yesterday I looked at the line 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.0-0(!) Bd7 6.d4 Nf6 7.Bc6:!? Bc6: 8.Re1 ed4: 9.Nd4: Bd7 10.Nc3. Again Taylor may be slightly optimistic here, ECO gives this as +=. Taylor makes the point that compared to the regular Steinitz, black can go Qc8 followed by b5 and Qb7, because the pawn is on a6. But I wonder if white cannot just prevent this by going a4 himself? [maybe black can go b6 and Qb7 then?] += is probably the right assessment since white has more space. Black does have the bishop's pair and a solid position though so maybe can hold on. This variation is probably a better choice for white rather than allowing the b5 line. What do you guys think?   

  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #123 - 05/25/11 at 20:13:47
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Some of you guys might be interested in this:

http://www.chesscafe.com/text/skittles405.pdf
  

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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #122 - 05/25/11 at 18:44:54
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Pantu wrote on 05/25/11 at 18:28:00:
[1] Taylor is actually dismissive of 11 Nf1, saying 11...exd4 12 cxd4 Bg4 and "it is hard to see how white can avoid a shattered kingside" with nothing else.  I'm curious as to how the shattered kingside will compete with the centre and the bishop pair after something like 13 Bg5 Bxf3 14 gxf3 h6 15 Be3, it's certainly not totally clear that everything is OK for black.


Had another look at this, and realised that white can't keep the two bishops without allowing counterplay after 15...Na5 e.g.  16 Bc2 Nc4 17 Bc1 c5.  So perhaps it's not that bad, but it's still not too clear.
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #121 - 05/25/11 at 18:28:00
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I've been tempted by the Modern Steinitz for a while, as an 'easy' way to get Closed Lopez type positions.  I've also been looking at play 1 e4 e5 as black for a while without ever finding anything satisfactory.  I wasn't too hopeful about Taylor's effort, and I have had the chance to look at it (I haven't bought it).

I'd briefly looked at the theory before and wasn't interested in 5 0-0 Bg4 as it seemed borderline unsound and I wanted something I didn't need to memorize.  So his 5 0-0 Bd7 6 d4 Nf6 7 c3 g6 looked interesting, especially as when I was a junior my pet line in against the Ruy Lopez was 3...a6 4 Ba4 b5 5 Bb3 g6?! later replaced by 5...Nf6 6 0-0 g6?!.  Eventually I worked out the refutations of these before anyone played it against me...so I looked at this variation first.

First brief look through seemed to suggest Taylor was awfully keen on suggesting that white's best move was dxe5 at several points, when various "normal" Closed Ruy Lopez moves and strategies for white were ignored.  Not sure if this is just his promotion for black or that he just hasn't played this much for either colour.  So it didn't like I would get much from the book apart from inspiration.

In the meantime when looking at one of the positions my memory started prodding me.  This is what it saw:

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 d6 5 0-0 Bd7 6 c3 Nf6 7 Re1 g6 8 d4 b5 9 Bb3 Bg7 10 Nbd2 0-0 11 Nf1 h6[1]12 h3 Re8 13 Ng3

and

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 h6 10 d4 Re8 11 Nbd2 Bf8 12 Nf1 Bd7 13 Ng3 (the main line of the Smyslov Variation).

So what do we see? Black has played g7-g6 and Bf8-g7 in the Modern Steinitz line and Bf8-e7 and Be7-f8 in the Smyslov Variation.  Otherwise it's the same.  So it would be fruitful to look at this and decide in which location the bishop is best.  Marin covered this variation in CBM 129.

If the conclusion is at least that they are roughly equivalent, 5 Bxc6+ isn't a big deal and white's deviations don't give anything then black does get an easy Closed Ruy Lopez type position.

A further note is that in the MS if black refrains from g6 and plays Be7, we can transpose directly into the Smyslov if after ...b5 white plays Bb3, but Bc2 is stronger as black's normal plan involves 13...Na5 in the above Tabiya.

[1] Taylor is actually dismissive of 11 Nf1, saying 11...exd4 12 cxd4 Bg4 and "it is hard to see how white can avoid a shattered kingside" with nothing else.  I'm curious as to how the shattered kingside will compete with the centre and the bishop pair after something like 13 Bg5 Bxf3 14 gxf3 h6 15 Be3, it's certainly not totally clear that everything is OK for black.

His main game is 11 h3 Re8 when 12 Nf1 exd4! wins a pawn unless white enters a drawing line with 13 Ng5, which does look convincing.
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #120 - 05/25/11 at 15:55:41
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kylemeister wrote on 05/25/11 at 14:14:05:
8. Nbd2 has been given in ECO as leading to a slight advantage for White, e.g. 8...b5 9. Bc2 Bg7 10. Nb3 O-O 11. de de 12. Nc5 Bg4 13. h3 Qe7 (Kaplan-Keres, San Antonio 1972) 14. hg Qxc5 15. g5 += Keres.

Edit:  I see that Taylor does mention this, recommending 11...Nxe5; "after 12. Nxe5 de 13. Nc5 Bc6 14. Be3 Nd7 White has absolutely nothing."  Looks a bit optimistic to me.


I can clearly see where he's coming from though: The Bc6 is very well placed and the Nc5 is going to be exchanged.
This line certainly looks very doable for black.
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #119 - 05/25/11 at 14:14:05
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8. Nbd2 has been given in ECO as leading to a slight advantage for White, e.g. 8...b5 9. Bc2 Bg7 10. Nb3 O-O 11. de de 12. Nc5 Bg4 13. h3 Qe7 (Kaplan-Keres, San Antonio 1972) 14. hg Qxc5 15. g5 += Keres.

Edit:  I see that Taylor does mention this, recommending 11...Nxe5; "after 12. Nxe5 de 13. Nc5 Bc6 14. Be3 Nd7 White has absolutely nothing."  Looks a bit optimistic to me.
« Last Edit: 05/25/11 at 15:38:30 by kylemeister »  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #118 - 05/25/11 at 10:03:20
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I've been analysing this a little bit myself. Gives a slight advantage to white IMO. An interesting try for white is the following, not given by Taylor, Jansa or Sokolov:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.0-0 Bd7 6.d4 Nf6 7.c3 g6 8.Nbd2!? b5 9.Bc2 Bg7 10. dxe5 Nxe5 11. Nxe5 dxe5 12. Nb3!? 0-0 13. Be3

The idea is to save a tempo by not playing 8. Re1 as advocated by most. Withdraw the white squared bishop to c2 to leave the b3 square for the knight. Then aim for the weak spot c5 with knight and black squared bishop.

PS. I very much like Taylor's book. It has a lot of really good material and I like his writing style. Great explanations of ideas and plans and the historical perspective (Keres etc) is a hit for me. But as previously mentioned he seems to miss some critical lines.
  
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Re: Slay the Spanish!
Reply #117 - 05/25/11 at 08:12:38
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kylemeister wrote on 05/23/11 at 21:08:07:
Speaking of that last line, one of the things Taylor apparently ignored is 11. b4.  That was considered a problem for Black by Timman when he annotated Motylev-Timman 2005 in NIC magazine (the game also appeared in an article by IM Tibor Karolyi in the Yearbook and was cited by MCO).


If the d5 line would be a serious problem for black in the Rubinstein (I am investigating) then black has a very serious alternative in 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.0-0(!) Bd7 6.d4 Nf6 7.c3 g6 8.Re1 b5 9.Bb3 Bg7 what is Taylor's recommendation against 5.0-0. This line has been played by Keres himself several times and is very solid. What do you guys think - is this line equalising for black? If not, then why not? It may well be critical for the verdict of the whole MS.
  
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