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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"? (Read 868 times)
Glenn Snow
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #16 - 01/19/21 at 21:23:09
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As far as White Ruy Lopez repertoire books go, I believe Opening Repertoire: The Ruy Lopez by Doknjas has been well received.
  
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MaxJudd
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #15 - 01/16/21 at 01:50:49
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Stigma wrote on 01/15/21 at 21:17:30:
an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 01/15/21 at 17:58:16:
I liked Flear's Offbeat Spanish so much I bought it a second time after my first copy went for a walkabout. I also liked his Open Ruy Lopez and once owned it, but books on the open don't age well.

Granted that the theory doesn't age well, can't the Open Ruy book still be useful for explanations and a historical perspective? Or are the lines played today so different from 20 years ago even that is irrelevant?

I'll admit I never studied the book in any detail, largely because I very rarely played either side of the Ruy Lopez. But I'm trying to justify still having it on my shelf...

I have both the Flear books and liked them a lot but if I were looking to get familiar with Spanish structures etc. to supplement and help choose repertoires from either side  (which you need to do before you dive deeper), I would start with McDonald's Move by Move book from 2011 mentioned below.  It is the best opening MTM book that I own . . .  not that I have all of them.  Getting deeper into the middle game with explanation is really important for many of these Spanish positions and he really does a great job of making them understandable and then you can have a feel if you prefer to play the Schliemann, Open, Berlin, or Marshall etc. as Black or the Exchange, 6. d3,  or anti-Marshall etc. as White.  At that point rather than looking at a survey, you can find a more drilled down book Chessable course, video or database.
  
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cathexis
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #14 - 01/15/21 at 23:46:21
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AOC said:

Quote:
Old theory at a minimum is important background for understanding new theory, and I often find myself in old theory anyway when my opponent is surprised and doesn't know anything. New theory sometimes is just different, other times it's actually better, and it's essential to know when that's true. But unless we are at least familiar with the old theory, how could we know?


I found this a very intriguing line of thought. To go completely off-topic it highlights precisely the cost of remaining silent in an era of "Cancel Culture." A literary analog to your remark would be this quote about one of my fav authors, M.R. James:

Quote:
to be civilized in James's eyes is to have a respect for the past, its architecture, its literature, its beliefs which have more truth in them than is at first apparent.


I hope you see the relevancy. Again, off-topic but for truthfulness in citing my source, see here FWIW:

https://www.hippocampuspress.com/warnings-to-the-curious-sheaf-of-criticism-on-m...

Excuse the interruption if you're bothered,

Andrew
  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #13 - 01/15/21 at 23:16:56
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I don't know if I can help you with your justification. Is there a chance you would be helping a student prepare this opening?

I'm not opposed to old theory. For example I recently purchased Larsen (1967) Praktische Eröffnungstheorie: Was soll Schwarz spielen? Die Offene Variante in der Spanischen Partie!, and Krasenkov (1995) The Open Spanish. I went through the Larsen book pretty carefully but I didn't really like his choices. Krasenkov I just skimmed for now. To be honest I'm not sure why or when Flear's Open Ruy Lopez stopped being "on my shelf" (it would be in a box actually). If I still had it I would keep it, but I don't have it and at this point would rather get a different book.

Old theory at a minimum is important background for understanding new theory, and I often find myself in old theory anyway when my opponent is surprised and doesn't know anything. New theory sometimes is just different, other times it's actually better, and it's essential to know when that's true. But unless we are at least familiar with the old theory, how could we know?
  
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Stigma
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #12 - 01/15/21 at 21:17:30
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 01/15/21 at 17:58:16:
I liked Flear's Offbeat Spanish so much I bought it a second time after my first copy went for a walkabout. I also liked his Open Ruy Lopez and once owned it, but books on the open don't age well.

Granted that the theory doesn't age well, can't the Open Ruy book still be useful for explanations and a historical perspective? Or are the lines played today so different from 20 years ago even that is irrelevant?

I'll admit I never studied the book in any detail, largely because I very rarely played either side of the Ruy Lopez. But I'm trying to justify still having it on my shelf...
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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Stigma
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #11 - 01/15/21 at 21:11:20
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The sources mentioned in this older forum thread could also be good "next steps":

https://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1552450723

I'm thinking of the video series by Monokroussos and the Chessable repertoire by Logozar (in addition to the ChessPublishing main site, of course).
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #10 - 01/15/21 at 18:44:52
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cathexis wrote on 01/15/21 at 14:47:32:
It is less than half the size of Swiercz's Vol. 1, but at 3/4 the price. If that matters. 

The Swiercz sample shows a huge amount of whitespace. It's the same thing I criticized in another recent Thinker's Publishing book, the name of which escapes me at the moment.

Update: Looking at that sample, I'm not too impressed by:
"1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g5? 4.d4!+- is just crushing in the center."
Brentano's Defense may not be good, but it does need more care than that. What would Gerard Welling say? (There is a document floating around the internet based on Welling's article for The New Myers Openings Bulletin. But for some reason after 4...Nxd4 5.Nxd4 exd4 6.Qxd4 Qf6 it doesn't mention 7.Qe3 given as leading to +/- in Yudovich (1986) Spanish without ...a6. The document covers 7.Qd3, 7.Qxf6, and 7.e5.)
  
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #9 - 01/15/21 at 17:58:16
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I liked Flear's Offbeat Spanish so much I bought it a second time after my first copy went for a walkabout. I also liked his Open Ruy Lopez and once owned it, but books on the open don't age well.
  
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #8 - 01/15/21 at 17:54:01
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John Emms’s Easy Guide to the Ruy Lopez is probably dated now, but, for club players, it was once the best White repertoire book on the market.
  
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Stigma
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #7 - 01/15/21 at 16:19:07
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 01/15/21 at 13:38:05:
If you don't mind older books either of these would be a reasonable one-volume reference on the Spanish, of course with the caveat they are both hopelessly outdated on the Berlin:
  • Suetin (1991) The Complete Spanish
  • Lane (1991) The Ruy Lopez for the Tournament Player

Neither one is a repertoire book a la Bologan. Suetin is a traditional tree style, and Lane is a collection of annotated complete games. Nowadays books tend to be more specialized, one could argue perhaps too specialized.

Speaking of older books, I'm reminded that ChessPublishing's own Glenn Flear wrote three books on the Ruy Lopez for Everyman in the early 2000s (and btw. these don't seem to have been hit by the extreme out-of-print/hard-to-find pricing yet):

Open Ruy Lopez (2000)
Offbeat Spanish: Meeting the Spanish without 3...a6 (2001)
The Ruy Lopez Main Line (2004)

Judging from the quite favorable Amazon reviews, these three books between them should cover most of the Ruy Lopez, with the Marshall Attack the most important "omission". But of course there are other books for that one, including two by Pavlovic and one by Vigorito. Everything with 5...Bc5 (Möller, Arkhangelsk and Yurtayev), the Modern Steinitz (3...a6 4.Ba4 d6) and any unusual stuff on move 4 or 5 likely also missing. And here too the Berlin part is likely even more outdated than everything else.

I only bought the book on the Open myself, mainly because Flear is a recognized Open Ruy specialist. But he is quite good at explaining things, and after all these years the complete game format of these books becomes an advantage. Most of the concrete theory is outdated anyway, so strategic explanations are the main reason they may still be worth getting.

I'm a bit surprised nobody has mentioned Grooten's Understanding Before Moving volume on the Ruy and Italian. I just noticed a 2nd edition of this has been published recently: https://thinkerspublishing.com/product/understanding-before-moving-part-1-extend...
Though maybe the thinking is this book is around the same level as "First Steps" and not a really a step up.

Finally, let me mention Jansa's 2003 Batsford book Dynamics of Chess Strategy, which is much more focused on explaining specific openings than the title suggests. The White side of the Ruy Lopez is one of those openings and gets around 80 pages (the Grünfeld and the Sicilian Scheveningen also feature heavily).
« Last Edit: 01/15/21 at 17:43:02 by Stigma »  

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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #6 - 01/15/21 at 15:49:54
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cathexis wrote on 01/15/21 at 14:47:32:
It is less than half the size of Swiercz's Vol. 1, but at 3/4 the price. If that matters. 

In reality that means Swiercz' entire repertoire will be maybe four or six times as large as Caruana's - I'm not sure if two or three volumes are planned. As the excerpt shows, Swiercz' Volume 1 covers sidelines, the Berlin and the Open: https://thinkerspublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/The-Modernized-Ruy-Lop...

That means these two repertoires have different target audiences. Caruana's book is explicitly titled "for Club Players", and it's a good bet he has carried over most or a lot of the same content as in his three-DVD series for Chessbase.
  

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cathexis
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #5 - 01/15/21 at 14:47:32
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To follow up,

The Swiercz book mentioned by Nestor is expected out on amazon by Feb. 09, 2021. So just a few more weeks! See here:

https://www.amazon.com/Modernized-Ruy-Lopez-Complete-Repertoire/dp/9464201037/re...

The Caruana book mentioned by Pantu as teased for Spring 2021 is now said by Amazon as available in summer; June 29th, 2021. See here:

https://www.amazon.com/Caruanas-Ruy-Lopez-Repertoire-Players/dp/905691944X/ref=s...

It is less than half the size of Swiercz's Vol. 1, but at 3/4 the price. If that matters. 

All the other books mentioned above are still out there though some of the "According to Anand" volumes are over-priced as per the usual business practices. Roll Eyes

Thanks for your replies!


  
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #4 - 01/15/21 at 13:38:05
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If you don't mind older books either of these would be a reasonable one-volume reference on the Spanish, of course with the caveat they are both hopelessly outdated on the Berlin:
  • Suetin (1991) The Complete Spanish
  • Lane (1991) The Ruy Lopez for the Tournament Player

Neither one is a repertoire book a la Bologan. Suetin is a traditional tree style, and Lane is a collection of annotated complete games. Nowadays books tend to be more specialized, one could argue perhaps too specialized.
  
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #3 - 01/15/21 at 13:23:08
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There is a year old single volume repertoire work from Everyman here:

https://everymanchess.com/collections/new-paperback-books/products/opening-reper...

Discussed in this forum here:

https://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1570354453

Caruana has released some DVDs but a book is teased by New in Chess for release in the future:

https://www.newinchess.com/caruana-s-ruy-lopez

  
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #2 - 01/15/21 at 10:30:04
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This has been a noticeable gap in the literature for some time. I think the last attempt at full coverage from White's perspective was in Khalifman's "According to Anand" series. The Lopez book was published in the early 2000s so it's nowhere near up to date, although it would still give a very good grounding in the areas which haven't developed much.

Dariusz Swiercz is currently writing a Lopez repertoire for White (Thinkers Publishing). This may well be what you are looking for, if you can cope with maybe 1,000 pages over two volumes. I believe the first volume is published but I haven't seen it. Also the faithful followers of Quality Chess continue to await with joyful hope the completion of Parimarjan Negi's 1.e4 series, in which he is expected to cover the Lopez as his reply to 1...e5.
  
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Re: OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
Reply #1 - 01/15/21 at 09:00:07
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McDonald offers an introduction to d3 systems as well as main line c3+d4 systems for white.

King's book talks about all the common Ruy Lopez pawn structures, so it can be considered an intro to most white options as well.

Something as detailed as Bologans' book and offering different options for white would be a huge work. I don't think anything like that has been published ?!
  

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OK, First Steps, what about "Next Steps"?
01/14/21 at 23:38:40
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Greetings,

I am not blind to the depth and breadth of published literature on the Spanish but I'd still like to ask a question. So, there seem to be some pretty well-reviewed intro books on the Ruy Lopez like Neil McDonald's, "Move by Move" for a more recent one and King's, "Mastering the Spanish" for an older one. But it seems that, after that book-wise you are going to have to chose some iteration or other like the Marshall, Exchange, etc. And there are a LOT of etcetera's!

If I can be excused for stretching the analogy, I wanted to ask if there is a sort-of "Bologan for the White Ruy Lopez" out there? By which I mean, his two well-regarded books on Ruy Lopez and Black's Weapons sound as if they offer a lot of information, but don't confine themselves to just a single approach, even if Bologan has preferred approaches. Perhaps I wouldn't be too wrong in considering them of intermediate between intro books and single variation treatises. Does such a book exist for White's Ruy Lopez? A Ruy Lopez: Next Steps? Or is it just assumed you will submerge ala Capt. Nemo into the watery depths of this specialty or that?

Hope this makes sense!

Andrew
  
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