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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) New to the Spanish (Read 7783 times)
ReneDescartes
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #14 - 10/09/13 at 22:19:45
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The first 40 pages of Soltis's Opening Ideas and Analysis for Advanced Players do roughly what you're looking for--not at the lower level of "now the e-pawn is really threatened," but at a somewhat more advanced level, explaining the rationale behind the evolving piece placements in the historical development of the Spanish.
« Last Edit: 10/10/13 at 13:03:18 by ReneDescartes »  
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kylemeister
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #13 - 10/09/13 at 17:37:06
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That puts me in mind of Michael Stean's Simple Chess, e.g.:

"Never in the history of chess have so many moves been repeated so often so quickly by so many people who didn't really understand them.  Have you ever examined these well tried and trusted moves with a critical eye?  Why, for example, should White spend twelve moves to develop just four pieces?  Why waste four of these moves to preserve a Bishop which will in all probability later become 'bad' when White blocks the center with d5?".
  
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sim
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #12 - 10/09/13 at 17:06:14
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Paul van der Sterren wrote a few pages on that theme (what black wants and what white wants in the Chigorin lines) in Fundamental Chess openings. At least I suppose you can find it there; I only read the Dutch edition but I heard the editions have only minor differences.
I don't know how accurate or how deep his explanation is from an objective point of view, but on me it had the effect that I suddenly felt I knew enough to give the Spanish a try. Before, I always had the impression the Spanish was too complicated an opening for me to try, with all kinds of interwoven issues on every side of the board. And then I read those three or four pages in van der Sterren's book. Maybe they didn't teach me a lot, but they tought me enough to give me a sense of clarity about what both sides try to achieve.
  
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LeeRoth
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #11 - 10/05/13 at 18:34:59
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ErictheRed wrote on 10/04/13 at 04:15:50:
In my opinion, one of the keys to understanding the Spanish, or at least the Chigorin lines, is understanding when White should play d4-d5, and more generally how he should handle the central pawns.  All the heavy "theory" is secondary to understanding what pawn formations each side wants as the game develops along and the pieces find new squares. 


Agreed.  But, alas, this book has yet to be written.  One can imagine a how-to-play book that, in addition to explaining the positional considerations and pawn structures, would also trace the development of the Chigorin over the years, present classic games, and then bring the theory up to date.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #10 - 10/04/13 at 04:15:50
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I agree that Mastering the Spanish is a great book--most of that old series was (Mastering the French was phenomenal, one of the best books on chess I've ever seen).  I haven't seen McDonald's newer book, but his work is usually good.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I'd recommend getting the new edition of Soltis' Pawn Structure Chess, which now has a chapter on the Spanish pawn structure.  It shouldn't be the only book you buy to learn the Spanish, but you should definitely read over that chapter (and the rest of the book as well).

In my opinion, one of the keys to understanding the Spanish, or at least the Chigorin lines, is understanding when White should play d4-d5, and more generally how he should handle the central pawns.  All the heavy "theory" is secondary to understanding what pawn formations each side wants as the game develops along and the pieces find new squares.
  
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #9 - 09/16/13 at 18:21:49
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1. Mastering the Spanish by Danny King and Ponzetto


2. Ruy Lopez move by move by Neil McDonald

Buy any of them but both if you can. Truly great books.

Mastering the Spanish is fantastic....it´s my first choice.

It uses the read and play method (instruction and examples followed by games where you can study the instructions in a game). the book teach you all maneuvers and key moves and concentrates on pure understanding of the opening.

The authors have made a great job with this book. I think even a donkey could play the Ruy Lopez after reading it.  Smiley
  

"You must lead your opponent into a deep, dark forest, where 2 + 2 = 5 and
  where the path back out is only broad enough for one of you." (((Mikhail Tal)))
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BlkSabb
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #8 - 07/02/13 at 00:27:30
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I've always liked Greet's Play the Ruy Lopez and Gary Lane's The Ruy Lopez Explained a lot. I'd get both of those. Especially if you get bored with McDonald's d3 setup.

Greet covers sidelines really well and recommends the Worrall with an early Qe2 to cut down on theory.

Lane covers a lot of interesting less theoretical lines like the early d4 stuff seen in the Hydra-Adams match.

They're both great books and will steer you on the right path so you can learn more theory as you become more comfortable with the Ruy Lopez.
  
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TonyRo
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #7 - 06/09/13 at 17:59:26
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Fllg wrote on 06/09/13 at 10:03:49:
I don´t have McDonald´s book but have heard that it recommends an approach with an early d3 as well.



McDonald's book covers the d3 tries first to get the readers's feet wet and acquaint them with the typical structures, but also covers the usual variations as well.
  
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Paddy
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #6 - 06/09/13 at 16:44:20
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TonyRo wrote on 06/09/13 at 02:04:55:
I think that McDonald's book is the new best place to start learning the Ruy.


Seconded!
  
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Fllg
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #5 - 06/09/13 at 13:17:13
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Well, after 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Nf6 you can play 4 d3 followed by 0-0, Re1, c2-c3 and so on playing in Lopez-style.

What do you play after 3...Bc5 ?
  
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #4 - 06/09/13 at 11:50:37
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Yes, I have been having issues with the 2 knights defense.  I have tried playing Ng5 and d4 against it but both aren't working that well.  I'll look at McDonald's book.
  
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Pale Horse, Pale Rider
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #3 - 06/09/13 at 10:35:16
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Fllg wrote on 06/09/13 at 10:03:49:
The Italian Game with d3 and c3 is in many ways very similar to the Ruy Lopez in certain lines.


I agree. If you (the OP) have played the lines 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Kc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 5. c3 Nf6 6. d4 and this is where your problems lie, you might look into 6. d3.
If your problems are in the three knights 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. d3 and now not 4...Bc5 you would probably have to look somewhere else (e. g. the Ruy Lopez). A bit more information on the lines you play would indeed be helpful.
  
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Fllg
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #2 - 06/09/13 at 10:03:49
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The Italian Game with d3 and c3 is in many ways very similar to the Ruy Lopez in certain lines. Of course in the Ruy you can choose lines with an immediate d2-d4 but you may still end with positions in your games not too dissimilar to the Italian Game.

I don´t have McDonald´s book but have heard that it recommends an approach with an early d3 as well.

Maybe you are willing to show some of your own games so that it´s possible to see where your problems are.

  
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TonyRo
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Re: New to the Spanish
Reply #1 - 06/09/13 at 02:04:55
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I think that McDonald's book is the new best place to start learning the Ruy.
  
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chidori251
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New to the Spanish
06/09/13 at 00:37:51
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I've played the Italian for my entire chess life.  Always meeting 2. ... Nc6 with Bc4.  But I've come to realize that it isn't doing the job for me.  So as I lay awake in bed last night, tossing and turning over my failures it hit me.  Play the lopez.  I awoke next morning with the sun rising.  I heard birds chirping and knew that today was the day.  I was a new man.  But then I realized something crucial.  I have no idea how to play the spanish, or even what variations I should be trying to learn.  So can anyone help me?  Smiley
  
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