You are on page 1of 18

SpanishTorture?

TheRuyLopez
SubmittedbyDrDaveonTue,31/08/201019:11

TableofContents[show]

Introduction*

TheIdeasbehindtheRuyLopez*

SomeKeyVariationsoftheRuyLopez*

VariationsoftheRuyLopezwithout3...a6*

Strongpointlineswith...d6,...Nge7and/or...g6.*

Activelineswith...Bc5and/or...Nf6*

Makeamesswith3...Nd4*

VariationsoftheRuyLopezwith3...a6*

TheExchangeVariation*

TheClosedMorphyDefence*

TheTchigorinCounterattack*

ModernvariationsintheClosedMorphy.*

Indexofgames:*

Bibliography*

Introduction
TheSpanishpriestRuyLopez,whowasthestrongestplayerofhisday,describedinthe1500stheopeningwhich
nowbearshisname.Atleast,theBritishandAmericansknowitastheRuyLopez:inEuropetheyaremorelikely
tocallittheSpanishGame,andTartakowerwrylyreferredtoitasSpanishTorture.(BecauseIwasbroughtupin
EastAngliaandnotSpain,Idescribeditforyearsasthe"RoyalOpez",butIbelieveitisproperlypronounced
morelike"ReeLop'eth".)

ItremainsthemostimportantoftheKing'ssideopenings,andisstillgenerallyconsideredthebestwaytokeep
White'sinitiativegoingafter1...e5.ItisnoaccidentthatmostofthegamesinBronstein'sbook"200Open
Games"beginwiththeRuyLopezopening.

TheideasforeachsideintheRuyLopezareverymanyandvaried;Ihopebelowtointroducesomeofthebasic
conceptsandgiveyousomelandmarksforyourownexplorationofthisneopening.

TherstfewmovesoftheRuyLopezopeningareeasytofollow:1.e4e52.Nf3Nc6isverynatural.Themoves
oftenplayedbyjuniorshere,3.Bc4and3.d4,arealsoeasytounderstand,butmaynotbethestrongest.3.d4,the
ScotchOpening,leadstoanearlyclashbutperhapsalsoanearlysimplication,withalossoftensionandthus
winningchancesforbothsides.TheItaliangamewith3.Bc4,hittingf7andhopingtodeter...d5,paradoxically
ratherinvites...d7d5andanearlyexchangeinthecentre,withequality.Thisisbecausethelogicalfollowup3.
Bc4Bc54.c3Nf6,resultsinBlackregainingcontrolofthed5point.

TheRuyLopezmove,3.Bb5,keepstheideaoftakingoverthecentrewithd2d4(orwithc2c3andd2d4),but
rstdoesanumberofimportantotherjobs.LikeintheItalianGame,theBishopclearsthewayforWhiteto
castle,andthenplayRf1e1.Butonb5ratherthanc4theBishopcannotbehitby...d7d5.IfBlackdoesever
movethedPawn,thehalfpinoftheKnightonc6becomesafullpin,underminingBlack'scontrolofe5andd4.

Intheshorttermthereisanimmediatethreat:theBishopattackstheKnightthatdefendsthepawnattackedby
theKnight(thehousethatRuybuilt).ItwouldbegreatforWhiteifitworkedsosimply,butafter3...(pass);4
Bxc6,dxc6!5Nxe5?!Qd4!Blackwillregainhispawnthroughthedoubleattack.So,theimmediatethreattothe
Pawnisn'tquitesodeadly,butonceWhitehascastledand/orprotectedtheePawnthethreatwillbecomereal.
Also,thePawnone5isaloteasiertogetatthantheoneonf7,andBlackcangetbadlytieduporjuststiand
crampedtryingtoholdontoashareofthecentre.

TheothertacticalpointtonoteisthatthecounterattackbyBlackone4by...Nf6canbemetbyWhitecastling,
sinceafter...Nf6xe4WhitehasRf1e1:ifWhitedoesnotwinapiece,itisatleastoftenawkwardforBlacktoget
theKing'ssidesorted.So:1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5Nf64.OO!Nxe45.d4!andWhitehasanedge.

Themostnaturalsequenceofmovestryingtoholdontoe5leadstotroubleforBlack:after1e4,e5;2Nf3,Nc6;
3Bb5,d6;4d4,Bd7;5Nc3,Nf6;600,Be7;7Re1,exd4;8Nxd4,OO;9Bf1!(tostoptheexchanges
threatenedby9...Nxd4)whenBlackhaslotsofpiecesbutnotenoughspace.

WhydoesBlackplay7...exd4whenIsaidtheideaistoholdoninthecentre?Tarrasch'sfamoustrapshowedthat
Blackcannotplay7...00becauseoftheforcingcontinuation8.Bxc6Bxc69.dxe5dxe510.Qxd8
Raxd8[10...Rfxd8allows15Kf1seelater11.Nxe5Bxe412.Nxe4Nxe413.Nd3f514.f3Bc5+15.Kf1]11.Nxe5
Bxe4[11...Nxe412.Nxc6]12.Nxe4Nxe413.Nd3f514.f3Bc5+15.Nxc5[15.Kf1Bb616.fxe4fxe4+;15.Kh1Nf2+
16.Nxf2Bxf217.Rf1]15...Nxc516.Bg5Rd5[16...Rde817.Be7]17.Be7Re818.c4winningtheexchange.(If
instead10...Rexd8Whitewouldhave15Kh1(15...Rxd3;16fxe4).)TarraschwonagamewiththisagainstMarco
AFTERpublishingitasanalysis!(Ifinstead10...Rexd8Whitewouldhave15Kh1(15...Rxd3;16fxe4).)

TheselineshadastrongeectonplayerswhostartedtorealisejusthowgoodtheRuyLopezis.TheGiuoco
Pianoisagreatopeningforyourearlychessyears;theRuyLopezisanopeningforlife.

Blackhasmanylines,whichfallintobasicallytwoapproaches(asusual):defenceorcounterattack.Defenceof
thestrongpointate5wehavelookedatwith3...d6,theSteinitzDefence,(or3...a6;4Ba4,d6,theDeferred
SteinitzDefence),butwehaveseenthatthepointcannotbeheldforlong;counterattackmaybeattempted
with3...Nf6,theBerlinDefence,or3...a6;4Ba4,Nf6;theMorphyDefence.TheMorphymove3...a6wasan
importantrenementofBlack'sresources,makingtheBishopchooseitsdiagonalandallowingthepinbreaking
...b5.ReubenFinegivesaninstructivecomparisonofvariationswithandwithout...a6:

InreplytotheMorphytheobvious5Nc3isratherboring,butWhitecanplay5OOsince,aswehaveseen,Black
cannotreallywinthee4pawn.TheMorphyhasitselfastrongpointline,5OO,Be7;6Re1,b5;7Bb3,d6,
theClosedMorphyDefence,andacounterattackingline,5OO,Nxe4;6d4,b5;7Bb3,d5,theOpen
MorphyDefence.Thesearesystemsofgreatrichness,andtheClosedMorphybestavoideduntilyourchess
understandingiswelladvanced.

TheIdeasbehindtheRuyLopez
Whiteplaysforanimmediatebreakinthecentre
5d4or5Qe2(ideaOOandRd1)or5.Qe2/6.Qe2leadtomorefamiliaropenandattackingepawnstylesof
game.Anexample:1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.d4exd46.OOBe77.Re1b58.Bb3d69.Bd5
Nxd510.exd5Ne511.Nxd4OO

Thisisabouteven,and,Ihope,agamejuniorswouldenjoyplayingaseithercolour;thesevariationsareagood
introductiontotheRuyLopez.

Blackplaysforanimmediatebreakinthecentre
ThisisprobablyagoodwaytoplaytheRuyforBlackinyourearlycareer.TheOpenMorphyDefencereliesabove
allonpieceactivity,andobeystwogoodgeneralopeningrulesforBlack:

(a)IfyouropponentletsyoutakeacentralPawn,takeitoifyoudonotloseapiece(viz.1.e4e52.Nf3Nc6
3.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Nxe4andnowafter6.Re1Blackisinnopin,so6...Nc5or6...Nd6arequiteallright.)

(b)Aimtoplay...d5yourselfifyoucan

GrandmastertheorysuggeststhatBlackistakingonratheralotofweaknesseswhenplayingthisway,butthat
maynotbesoimportantifyouarenotplayingGrandmasters.SiegbertTarrasch,whowassoeectiveplaying
theRuyasWhite,preferredtoplaythiswayasBlack,andsincethenMaxEuwe,VictorKortchnoi,ArturYusupov,
JanTimmanandViswanathanAnandhaveallbeenhappytoplaytheOpenMorphyatWorldChampionshipand
Candidates'level,soyoucanseethatthisisnotverymuchofahandicap.

TheveteranEnglishplayerVernonDilworthsuggestedthemostaggressivewayofplayingtheOpenMorphyas
Black:

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Nxe46.d4b57.Bb3d58.dxe5Be69.c3Bc510.Nbd20011.Bc2Nxf2

BlacksacricestwoactivepiecesforaRookwhileWhiteisstillgettingtheQueen'ssideorganised.Blackwill
followupwith...f6,attackingdownthefle.
Blackcanplaymorecalmlyatmove11(11...Bf5isfashionablesinceKortchnoiadoptedit),orearlier
play9...Be7(Euwe'spreference)or9...Nc5(Kortchnoi'sotherpreference).Theselinesareallrathercomplexand
thereisalotoftheoryonthem,butuntilyouropponentsknowallthetheory,getstuckin!

Thereareseveralotherlineswhereweseeanearly...d5byBlack:

...d5intheMarshallGambit,afavouriteofclubplayers:1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Be76.Re1
b57.Bb3008.c3d59.exd5Nxd510.Nxe5Nxe511.Rxe5c6,e.g.12.d4Bd613.Re1Qh414.g3Qh315.Be3Bg4
16.Qd3Rae817.Nd2f518.f4Kh819.Bxd5cxd520.Qf1Qh521.Qg2Re422.a4bxa423.Rxa4g524.Nxe4fxe4
25.Rxa6gxf426.Rxd6fxe327.Rxe3Bh328.g4Qxg429.Rg3Qd1+01,KostenHebden,1982.

...d5inthenormalClosedMorphy:e.g.Kasparov,G(2800)Karpov,A(2730)[C92]Wch35KK5USA/FRA(New
York)(8),19901.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Be76.Re1b57.Bb3d68.c3009.h3Nd710.d4Bf6
11.a4Bb712.Be3Na513.Bc2Nc414.Bc1d5!TN

...d5intheClassicalDefence:1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5Bc54.c3d5?!!Ormoresanely,UnzickerFischerLeipzig
19601.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5Bc54.c3Nf65.d4Bb66.00007.Re1exd48.cxd4d59.e5Ne410.Nc3Bg4
11.Bxc6bxc612.Nxe4dxe413.Rxe4Bxf314.Qxf3Bxd415.Be3Bxb216.Rb1f517.exf6

AndwhereverelseWhiteisslack,e.g.1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.Nc3or5.d3whenBlackshould
getcastledandlookfor...d7d5.Tiviakov,S(2625)Sokolov,I(2665)[C86]Wijk(10),19961.e4e52.Nf3Nc6
3.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.Qe2Be76.c3007.00b58.Bb3d59.d3Re810.Re1h611.Nbd2Be612.Nf1Bc513.Ng3
a5(...01,41),

White'soutpostond5
TalBronstein[C96]1956

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Be76.Re1b57.Bb3d68.c3009.h3Na510.Bc2c511.d4Nc612.Nbd2
Qb613.dxc5dxc514.Nf1Be615.Ne3Rad816.Qe2g617.Ng5c4!18.a4Kg719.axb5axb520.Rb1Na521.Nf3Qc7

EveryWhitepieceisqueuingupbehindtheepawn,waitingfor...
22.Nd5!22...Bxd523.exd5

White'spiecescontrolmanycentralsquares,andtheBishopshavenewavenuesofattack.

23...Rfe824.Qxe5Qxe525.Nxe5Nxd526.Ra1Nb327.Bxb3cxb328.Bh6+!28...Kg8?!29.Nc6Rc830.Rad1Rxc6
31.Rxd5f632.Rxb5g533.Rxb3Kf734.Rb7Re635.Rxe6Kxe636.h4Rg837.f4Bc5+38.Kf1gxh439.Rb5Rc840.f5+
Kd641.b4h342.Rxc5h243.Bf4+10

White'soutpostonf5
ThisisasimplewaytoplayallcloseddoubleKing'sPawnpositions:parkaKnightonf5andplayforaKing'sside
attack.

Teichmann,RSchlechter,C[C90]Karlsbad,1911

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Be76.Re1b57.Bb3d68.c3009.d3

Whiteplaysquietlyinthecentre,hopingtoavoiddistractionsthere.

9...Na510.Bc2c511.Nbd2Qc712.Nf1Nc613.Ne3Bb714.Nf5Rfe815.Bg5Nd716.Bb3Nb617.Bxe7Nxe718.Bxf7+
Kxf719.Ng5+Kg820.Qh5Nxf521.Qxh7+Kf822.Qxf5+Kg823.Qg6Qd724.Re310

White'scentralplay
YoushouldneverforgetthatoneofthekeyaimsforWhiteintheePawnopeningsistotakeoverthecentrewith
c3andd4.IfBlacktakeshiseyeotheballWhitecanswitchtothisplanwitheect,andinfactWhitecanwina
lotofgamesthroughsimpledominationofthecentre.Morespaceandmoremanoeuvrabilitymeanschancesof
attack:

Fischer,RBarczay,L[C95]SousseiztRd:1,1967

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Be76.Re1b57.Bb3d68.c3009.h3Nb810.d4Nbd7

11.Nh4exd412.cxd4Nb613.Nf3d514.e5Ne415.Nbd2Nxd216.Bxd2Bf517.Bc2Bxc218.Qxc2Rc819.b3Nd7
20.e6fxe621.Rxe6c522.Ba5Qxa523.Rxe7Qd824.Ng510
White'sKing'ssideattack
TheBishopthatlurksonc2isanaceupWhite'ssleeve:whileBlackisdistractedelsewhereWhitecansuddenly
whipoutaKing'ssideattack.Agloriousexampleofthiswas:

Kasparov,G(2800)Karpov,A(2730)[C92](20),1990

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Be76.Re1b57.Bb3d68.c3009.h3Bb710.d4Re811.Nbd2Bf812.a4
h613.Bc2exd414.cxd4Nb415.Bb1c516.d5Nd717.Ra3f518.Rae3Nf619.Nh2Kh820.b3bxa421.bxa4c422.Bb2
fxe423.Nxe4

23...Nfxd524.Rg3Re625.Ng4Qe826.Nxh6c327.Nf5cxb228.Qg4Bc829.Qh4+Rh630.Nxh6gxh631.Kh2Qe5
32.Ng5Qf633.Re8Bf534.Qxh6+[34.Nf7+isMatein6!34...Qxf735.Qxh6+Bh736.Rxa8Ne737.Rxf8+Ng8
38.Rgxg8+Qxg839.Qxh7#]34...Qxh635.Nf7+Kh736.Bxf5+Qg637.Bxg6+Kg738.Rxa8Be739.Rb8a540.Be4+
Kxf741.Bxd5+10

Whitecanalsosaynonchalantlythat:Blackiscramped,andsowillnditdiculttoorganiseadefence,soIwill
attacktheKinginanyevent.Thesituationisusuallymorecomplexthanthisbluntnessimplies,butthecoreplan
isstillplayed:

NunnShort(Brussels)[C98]1986[JDMN]

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Be76.Re1b57.Bb3d68.c300

[8...Na59.Bc2c510.d4Qc711.h3Nc612.Be30013.Nbd2Rd814.Rc1Bd715.Nf1b416.d5Na717.c4Nc818.g4
Nb619.b3a520.Ng3g621.Kh2a422.Rg1axb323.axb3Bf824.Qd2Ra225.Bg5Bg726.Qe3Rda827.Bb1R2a3
28.Ne1Kh829.Qd3Ng830.Nc2R3a731.Rcf1Be832.Be3Nd733.Ne1Qd834.g5Qa535.h4Qd836.h5Qe737.Nf3
Nb638.Rh1Qd739.Kg2Ne740.hxg6fxg641.Rh3Bf742.R1Bg843.Nf5Rf844.Nxg7Kxg745.Qe210
Capablanca,JoseKupchik,Abraham/NewYork(07)1915]

9.h3Na510.Bc2c511.d4Qc712.Nbd2Nc613.d5Nd814.Nf1Ne8
"InoldentimesWhitewouldoftenattackbyg4andNg3intheClosedSpanish;onceinawhileWhitewouldbreak
throughwithaNf5sacrice,butnowitisrecognisedthatsolongasallBlack'spiecescanreachtheKing'sside,a
directattackshouldnotwork.Thus,theemphasishasswitchedtodiversionaryQueen'ssideplay,withaKing's
sideattackbeingreservedforafavourablemomentwhenBlack'spieceshavebeenluredaway.Moreover,the
King'ssideattackisusuallybasedonf4ratherthang4,sinceonlyf4oersthechanceofactivatingthelight
squaredBishoponc2."

"White'spreliminarya4giveshimcontroloftheale;thismaynotappearrelevanttotheconductofaKing's
sideattack,butwatchwhathappenslater!"JohnNunn

15.a4

[15.g4g616.Ng3Ng717.Kh2f618.Be3Bd719.Qd2Nf720.Rg1Kh821.Raf1Rg822.Ne1Raf8=Robatsch
Padevsky,Amsterdam1972]

15...Rb816.axb5axb517.b4c418.Ng3g619.Nh2Ng720.Rf1Bd721.f4Bh422.Qf3f523.fxe5dxe524.exf5Bxg3
25.Qxg3Nxf526.Qf2[26.Qe1+/]26...Nb727.Ng4h528.Ra6hxg429.Rxg6+Ng730.Rxg7+[30.Rxg7+Kxg731.Bh6+
Kxh6(31...Kg832.Qxf8+Rxf833.Rxf8#;31...Kh832.Qxf8+Rxf833.Rxf8#)32.Qh4+Kg733.Qh7#]10

Black'sQueen'ssideattack
Ofcourse,whatelsemaydistractBlackfromdefenceoftheKing'ssideisanopportunitytoattacktheQueen's
side,andthisattackcansucceedagainstthebestopposition:

Kasparov,G(2700)Karpov,A(2720)[C92]Wch32KK2Moscow(5),1985

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Be76.Re1b57.Bb3d68.c3009.h3Bb710.d4Re811.Nbd2Bf812.a4
Qd713.axb5axb514.Rxa8Bxa8[14...Rxa8?!15.Ng5]15.d5Na516.Ba2!?N16...c617.b4Nb7!18.c4
Rc8!?[18...Nd8+=]19.dxc6?![19.Qe2]19...Qxc6=20.c5?![20.Bb2]20...Nd821.Bb2
21...dxc5!=+22.bxc5Qxc523.Bxe5Nd724.Bb2Qb4!25.Nb3?![25.Qb1]25...Nc5/+

Blackhastheadvantagebutthereisstillalotoftensionintheposition.

26.Ba1Bxe427.Nfd4Ndb728.Qe2Nd629.Nxc5Qxc530.Qg4Re831.Rd1Bg632.Qf4Qb433.Qc1Be434.Re1Qa5
35.Bb3Qa836.Qb2b437.Re3Bg638.Rxe8Qxe839.Qc1Ne440.Bd5Nc541.Nb3Nd301

White'sQueen'ssideattack
Often,BlackwillstakeoutsomespaceontheQueen'ssidewith...a6and...b5.Whetherinagivenpositionthis
representsQueen'ssidecounterplayorQueen'ssideweaknessesisoneofthekeyRuyLopezquestions!

KarpovWesterinen,H[C87]1974

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4d65.00Bd76.d4Nf67.c3Be78.Nbd2009.Re1Re810.Nf1h611.Ng3Bf8
12.Bd2

Modest,butWhiteisnotsomuchconcernedtopointabatteringramataweakspot(therearen'tany)asto
maintainaexiblepositionwhereBlackwillbelessabletorearrangethepiecestocounterWhite'slatestidea.

12...b513.Bc2Na514.b3c515.d5Nh716.h3Be717.Nf5Nb718.a4bxa419.b4a520.Bxa4axb421.cxb4Bf822.Bc6
Qc723.b5Nf624.Qc2Reb825.Ne3Bc826.Nc4Be727.b6Qd828.Ra7

Thepointofusinganopenleistoprovideinvasionpointsforrooks,althoughit'sunusualforaRooktoarriveon
theseventh,supportedbyaPawn.Blackcannotbearthis,buttheexchangeconcedesamonsterpawnona7.

28...Nd729.Qa4Rxa730.bxa7Ra831.Qa6Qc7

Black'spiecesarestandingoneachother'stoesandcannotescapetheattackofWhite'spieces.TheBlackRook
hasnowheretomoveto.

32.Bxd7Qxd7[32...Bxd733.Nb6]33.Nb6Nd834.Qa110

(seealsotherstgameoftheDeepBlueKasparovreturnmatchin1997)

Black'sKing'ssideattack
NotacommonoccurrencebutthereareseveralattackingplansforBlack.Thereareseveral...Bg4lineswherean
incautioush2h3canbemetby...h7h5!
1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5d64.c3Bg45.h3h5!or

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Bxc6bxc65.OOBg46.h3h5!

AmorecomplexlineisseenintheArchangelVariation:1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00b56.Bb3
Bb77.Re1Bc58.c3d69.d4Bb610.Bg5h611.Bh4Qd7

BlackannounceshisintentiontoabandonallsubtletyandplayforaKing'ssideattack.

12.a400013.axb5axb514.Bxf6

[14.Na3g515.Bg3h516.dxe5(16.h4gxh417.Bxh4Rh618.Nxb5Rg819.Qd3exd420.cxd4Nb4)16...h417.exf6
hxg318.hxg3g419.Nd4Rh720.Bd5Rdh8=+BCO2]

14...gxf615.Bd5Rhg816.Kh1Qg417.Rg1exd418.cxd4f519.Nc3fxe420.Nxe4Qf521.Nc3Nb422.Bxb7+
Kxb7KlovansShirov87=BCO2

Blackalsohassomegambitlines:aswellastheMarshallAttack(seeabove),Blackhasseveralopportunitiesto
play...f5.Theimmediate3...f5(or3...a64.Ba4f5)isoftenfrowneduponbutalsooftenplayed,andifWhiteisa
littleslowintheSteinitzVariationBlackmayplaytheSiestaVariation,afarfromsleepyline.

Reti,RCapablanca,J[C74]Berlin(14),1928

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5d64.c3a65.Ba4f56.d4fxe47.Ng5exd48.Nxe4Nf69.Bg5Be710.Qxd4b511.Nxf6+gxf6
12.Qd5bxa413.Bh6Qd714.00Bb715.Bg700016.Bxh8Ne517.Qd1Bf318.gxf3Qh301

SomeKeyVariationsoftheRuyLopez

VariationsoftheRuyLopezwithout3...a6
ThesearelessimportantatGMlevelthanthemainlineswith3...a6,butatclubleveltheyhavemanyvirtues:less
theoretical,lesswellknown,andoftensimplertounderstand.Moreover,Ioftenndthatclubplayerswhen
facedwith3...a6oftenplay4.Bxc6,andiftheydoplay4.Ba4,after4...Nf6theycannotbetrustedtoplay5.OO,
andinsteadplaysomeclodhoppingmovelike5.d3or5.Nc3.Whilethesearenotparticularlystronglinesthey
maybemorestodgythanyouwouldwishtoplayagainstasBlack,andmanyoftheseoldlinesmayleadtomore
openorcomplexgamesatclublevel.Theymaybegroupedasfollows:
Strongpointlineswith...d6,...Nge7and/or...g6.
Blackcanholdthecentrewithout3...a6usingoneorsomecombinationofthesemoves.White'sstrongestplanin
eachcaseisundoubtedlytoplayanimmediatec3andd4,withorwithoutOO.Blackcanthenhopetoslugitout
inaroughlyequalposition(althoughBlackhasnotyetcastledandmaynditawkwardifhehasnotcastledand
thecentreopensup.)

HindermannFelixYudkovskyYair[C60/02]05EuropeanYouthU14Boys,TallinnEST,1997

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5Nge74.c3g65.d4exd46.cxd4d57.e5Bg78.Bg5009.h3Bf510.Nc3Be411.Nxe4dxe4
12.Bxc6bxc613.Nd2h614.Bxe7Qxe715.Nxe4Rad816.Qa4Qh417.Qxc6Rxd401

Activelineswith...Bc5and/or...Nf6
BothFischerandparticularlySpasskyhaveexperimentedwiththeClassicalVariation(3...Bc5),andtherelated
BerlinClassical3...Nf64.OOBc5.AgainWhiteisbestadvisedtogoforcentralbreak,andagainitisreasonable
forBlacktohopeforequality.

AdyJJSpasskyBV[C65]London,1984

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5Nf64.00Bc55.Nxe5Nxe56.d4a67.dxe5axb58.exf6Qxf69.Nc3c610.Qh5d611.Bg5
Qg612.Qh4h613.Bf4b414.Ne20015.Ng3Re816.Rfd1d517.Be3Be718.Qf4Bd619.Qh4Bxg320.hxg3Qxe4
21.Rd4Qxc222.Rxb4Rxa223.Rxa2Qb1+24.Kh2Qxa225.Bxh6Qb126.Be3Qc227.Qg5f628.Qh5Re529.Qh4c5
30.Ra4Rxe331.fxe3g532.Qh6Qxa433.Qxf6Qc634.Qxg5+Kh735.Qe7+Kg636.g4Bxg437.Qh4Qd6+01

Makeamesswith3...Nd4
Oneonitsown,Bird'sDefencehasneverbeenrefutedandleadstouniquepositionsinwhichWhitemaybe
uncomfortable,oratleastlessuent:

ShortNigelDIvanchukVassily[C61]Linares(Spain),1989

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5Nd44.Nxd4exd45.Bc4Nf66.Qe2Bc57.e5008.00d59.exf6dxc410.Qh5b611.fxg7
Re812.d3cxd313.cxd3Ba614.Qf3Qe715.Bf4Qe216.Nd2Qxf317.Nxf3Bxd318.Rfe1Be219.Bxc7d320.a3a5
21.Bf4Re422.Bd2Rae823.Bc3a424.Ng5Rc425.Rad1Rc826.Ra1Rd827.Nf3Rxc328.bxc3d229.Rxe2d1Q+
30.Rxd1Rxd1+31.Ne1Rc132.Re4f533.Re8+Kxg734.Kf1Rxc335.Ke2Rxa336.Nd3Ra2+37.Kf3Ra338.Rd8Rc3
39.Kf4a340.Rd7+Kf841.Ne5a242.Kxf5a1Q43.Rd8+Kg744.Rd7+Kg801

VariationsoftheRuyLopezwith3...a6
TheExchangeVariation
Wehaveseenthatafter1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Bxc6dxc6Whitecannotwinapawnwith5.
Nxe5becauseof5....Qd4.

WhatyoumaynotknowisthatWhitecanplaythislinetowin,becauseinsomesense,heisalreadyapawnup!

Letmeexplain.

Ifyouhaveanextrapawn,youshould:

exchangeopieces,notpawns
createapassedpawn
advancethepassedpawnandeither:

1.forceyouropponenttogiveupmaterialtostopitqueening,or
2.forceyourwayintotheopponent'spositiontotakematerialyourself(usuallypawns)

Withthisinmind,let'slookatthepawnformationafter1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Bxc6dxc65.d4exd46.
Qxd4Qxd47.Nxd4:

Now,iftherewereonlyKingsontheboard,Whitecouldeasilycreateapassedpawnwithf4,e5andf5ande6.

ButBlackcannotdothesameontheotherside,unlessWhiteallowsallthefrontpawnstocometoa4,b4andc4,
whenthereisatrickwith...b3!e.g.axb3,c3!bxc3and...a3.AslongasWhiteavoidsthattrap,thepassedpawnon
theKing'ssideshouldwin.

ThisiswhatImeanbyalreadybeingapawnup.YouhaveanextrapawnontheKing'sside,andBlack'sextra
Queen'ssidepawnisuseless.Thisisnottheonlythinggoingonintheposition(elsetheLopezwouldbeaneasy
winforWhite)butitisaconstantfallbackplanforWhite.

EmanuelLaskerplayedthisseveraltimes,andmorerecently,BobbyFischerdiscoveredthatyoucouldalso
play5.OO!withanawkwardmomentforBlack,becausenowtherereallyisathreattothee5pawnwhichisnot
easytomeet.

Lasker,ETarrasch,S[C68]Duesseldorf,1908

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Bxc6dxc65.d4exd46.Qxd4Qxd47.Nxd4c58.Ne2Bd79.b3Bc610.f3Be711.Bb2
Bf612.Bxf6Nxf613.Nd200014.000Rd715.Nf4Re816.Nc4b617.a4a518.Rxd7Nxd719.Rd1Ne520.Nxe5
Rxe521.c4Re8
22.Nh5Rg823.Rd3f624.Kd2Be825.Ng3Bd726.Ke3Re827.Nh5Re728.g4c629.h4Kc730.g5f531.Ng3fxe4
32.Nxe4Bf533.h5Rd734.Rc3Rd135.Kf4Bd736.Re3Rh137.Ng3Rh4+38.Ke5Rh339.f4Kd840.f5Rh4

41.f6gxf6+42.Kxf6Be843.Nf5Rf444.g6hxg645.hxg6Rg446.Rxe8+Kxe847.g7Kd748.Nh4Rxg749.Kxg7Ke6
50.Nf3Kf551.Kf7Ke452.Ke6Kd353.Kd6Kc354.Kxc6Kxb355.Kb510

TheClosedMorphyDefence
ThisistheclassicbattlegroundintheRuy.BlackmaynditdiculttoholdtightintheclosedMorphy,but
perhapsnotasdicultasitisforWhitetokeepeverythingundercontrol.Therearesomeclassicpositional
themeshere,determinedbythepawnformation:

1.Space:Apartfromanycommitmenttopassiveplaybeingbadmatchtactics,aslongBlackhasaPawnond6it
willalwaysbealittlemoreeasyforWhitetomanoeuvrethanBlack,fortheBlackpositionhasabottleneckonthe
dle.SteanexplainsthatthisiswhyWhitespendssomuchtimeintheopeningavoidingtheexchangeofthe
lightsquaredBishop:whileBlackretainsallfourminorpieces,thisslightcrampwillbemostclearlyfelt.

2.Flexibility:Moreover,itisextremelyimportanttohavegoodmanoeuvringskills,becauseatanypointthePawn
formationcanshift:fromthebasicformation(a)wecangoatleastfourdierentways(bebelow)...
AnotherlineofthoughtIfounduseful:

NunnOlafsson(Teesside)[C54]1982

1.e4e52.Bc4Nf63.d3Nc64.Nf3Bc55.00d66.c3Qe7[6...007.Nbd2a68.Bb3Ba7]7.Nbd2a68.Bb3009.Re1
Be610.Nf1[10.Bc2]10...Ba711.Bc2

"...whyistheRuyLopez(whichthisopeninghasvirtuallybecome)sodicultforBlacktocombat?Lookatthe
presentposition:Black'spiecesaresensiblydeveloped;hehasasmuchspaceasWhite;hispawnsarestrong.Yet
hehasproblems."

"TheanswerseemstobethatinthistypeofRuyLopezpositionBlackcaneasilygetcaughtinasituationwhere
hisgamecannotunfold.Hereforinstance,WhitehashisplansofNg3f5andlaterd4,butitislesseasyforBlack
tondsomethingprotabletodowithoutweakeninghimselformakingsomeseriousconcession.Hispieces
maylookreasonablyplaced,buttheycannotreadilyachieveanythingconstructiveorrelevant.Ishouldmakeit
clearthatthisdoesnothavetohappeninaLopez;itisfarfrombeingabadopeningforhim.Butinpracticeone
error(6...Qe7)canleavehiminmisery.Andso,ifaplayerseemstohavearespectablegame(inaRuyLopezor
anyotheropeningforthatmatter),yetstillloses,hismisfortunemayoftenbetracedbacktothislackoflifeinhis
position."NUNNANDGRIFFITHS

WealsorecognisethatthetensionmayevenbeaddedtobyBlackplaying...c5,(theTchigorinline)seelater.

(a)ClosedKPcentre,Tensionform(RuyLopez)

Blackmayresolvethetensionbyplaying...e5xd4(c3xd4)whichresultsinanunbalancedpositionwhereWhite
hasanextracentralPawn(b).

(b)DoublePawncentre,KPunopposed
TheseadjacentPawnsinamoreopenpositionconferabiggeradvantage,butinamoreopenpositionmaybe
morevulnerabletoattacke.g.alongtheele.

Whitemayresolvethetensionintherstformation,byplayingeitherd4d5(givingaclosedcentre(c)withan
advanceddPawn),orbyplayingd4xe5(...d6xe5)withabalanced,semiopenKPcentre(d).

(c)ClosedcentrewithadvanceddPawn.

TheadvanceddPawngivesaspaceadvantage,particularlyontheQueen'sside.ToplayforawinthecPawn
andmaybebPawnshouldbeadvanced,toseizemorespaceandperhapsopenlinesonthatside.Theopponent
mayconsideranadvanceofthefPawntounderminethedPawnandcounterattackontheKing'sside.

(d)Balanced,semiopenKPcentre

ThisisaverycommonformationinKPopenings.IfneithersidecanachieveasharpadvanceofthefPawn,play
willbedominatedbypieceplayoneitherwing.TherearenaturalpostsforKnightsond5andf5(d4andf4for
Black),andifBlack'scPawnhaspushedtoc5earlier,thed5pointisevenmoreattractive.Controlofthedleisa
goodideabutcanusuallybecountered,resultinginexchanges.Occupationofthemutualoutpostsf5andf4by
Knightsislessstraightforwardtocounter,andwhileyouropponentissortingoutthatthreat,itmaybethatyou
cangetthedlethen.

(e)SemiopenunbalancedKPcentre.

TheePawnconfersaspaceadvantageandattackingprospectsontheKing'sside,whichmaybeaddedtobyf2
f4.TheePawnisexposedonthehalfopenle,andshouldberestrained(e.g.by...Re8)frombreakingopenlines
fortheattackbye4e5.Black'sbreak...d6d5isanaturalplantodissolvethecentre.

TheTchigorinCounterattack
So,asaresultoffacingallthishassle,BlackdevelopedaplanofQueen'ssidecounterplayintheclosedMorphy:

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Be76.Re1b57.Bb3d68.c3009.h3Na510.Bc2c511.d4

Black'sideaistwofold:tomaintainthee5pointinthecentre,whileattackingontheQueen'sside.

Almosteverylegalmovehasbeentriedhere:

11...Qc7wasTchigorin'soriginalrecipe

11...Nd7wasfamouslytriedbyKeres

11...Bb7isagoodideabutmaybesquashedbyd4d5,soBlackmayprefertoprefacethiswith11...cxd4.After12.
cxd4aswellas12...Bb7wealsoseetwonewideas:12...Nc6and12...Bd7
AswehaveseenWhitehasavarietyofplansinresponse:

(a)justtomanoeuvre,keepingthetensionaslongaspossibleandimprovingthepositionofyourownpieces,
relyingontheslightextraspacereferredtoabove

(b)breakuptheQueen'ssidewitha2a4,

(c)sealthecentrewithd4d5(aRuyLopezformationwhichhasalotincommonwiththeKing'sIndian!),

(d)openupthed5outpostwithdxc5(ordxe5).However,WhiteisnotyetterriblyclosetoputtingaKnightond5,
andBlackcannowthinkaboutaplanlike...c5c4,and...Na5b7c5d3,withamonsterBlackKnightond3.Infact,
Blackcanaimfor...c4whetherornotWhiteexposesthed5point,andcanplayforitfromformationsotherthan
themainlineTchigorin.

KasparovKarpov(1990),m14

Sothisisaformationthatrequiressomedelicatefootworkbybothplayers.

ModernvariationsintheClosedMorphy.
MorerecentlyBlackhasexperimentedwithmorerestrainedplansthantheTchigorin,hopingtoavoidthe
disadvantagesofthisline(decentralisedKnightona5,potentialQueen'ssideweaknesses)andinstead
manoeuvremoreadroitlytosecureadequateplayacrosstheboard.Theselineshaveincluded,after1.e4e5
2.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Be76.Re1b57.Bb3d68.c3009.h3:
TheBreyerVariation,9...Nbd7,whereBlackhopestoreorganisehispiecessmoothlyatatimewhenWhiteisby
nomeanswelldeveloped.Thiswasthe'grower'whenIwasaboy,andisstillanimportantline.

TheSmyslovVariation,9...h6,waitingforWhitetoshowhishand,alinewhichhasbeensupercededby...

TheFlohrZaitsevVariation,9...Bb7,whichhasbeentheheightofcurrentfashionsinceZaitsevshowedthatthe
oldplanwith...Na5(e.g.Fischer,RJStein,L,1967)waslesssafethanreorganisingwith...Re8and...Be7.Thisisa
prettyheavyweightGMlineoutsidemyownexperienceandIwon'tcommentfurther,butyouwillseeitabout:

Kasparov,G(2700)Karpov,A(2720)[C92]WCh32KK2Moscow(9),1985

1.e4e52.Nf3Nc63.Bb5a64.Ba4Nf65.00Be76.Re1b57.Bb3d68.c3009.h3Bb710.d4Re8

[IfWhitewants,thereisadrawtobehadby11.Ng5Rf812.Nf3]

11.Nbd2Bf812.a4h613.Bc2Nb814.Bd3c615.Nf1Nbd716.Ng3Qc717.Bd2g618.Qc1Kh719.b3Bg720.Qc2Nf8
21.Be3Ne622.Rad1Rac823.Bf1Bf824.Rd2Qb825.Qb1Ba826.b4Bb7

Amazing:26moveswithoutanyexchanges.AndithasbeensuggestedthatWhites27thwasinferiortoQa2!

27.axb5axb528.Red1Qc729.Rc1Bg730.Rcd1Rcd831.dxe5dxe532.Rxd8Rxd833.Rxd8Nxd834.c4bxc435.Bxc4
Ne836.Qa2Nd637.Bb3Nb538.h4Nd439.Bxd4exd440.h5Qe741.Qd2c542.Qc2cxb443.hxg6+fxg644.Qc4h5
45.e5Bxf346.gxf3Bxe547.f4Bxf448.Qg8+Kh649.Bc2Qg750.Qxd8Bxg351.fxg3Qe552.Qf8+Kg553.Kg2

Indexofgames:

TalBronstein[C96]1956*

Teichmann,RSchlechter,C[C90]Karlsbad,1911*

Fischer,RBarczay,L[C95]SousseiztRd:1,1967*

NunnShort(Brussels)[C98]1986[JDMN]*

Kasparov,G(2700)Karpov,A(2720)[C92]Wch32KK2Moscow(5),1985*
KarpovWesterinen,H[C87]1974*

Reti,RCapablanca,J[C74]Berlin(14),1928*

Lasker,ETarrasch,S[C68]Duesseldorf,1908*

NunnOlafsson(Teesside)[C54]1982*

Kasparov,G(2700)Karpov,A(2720)[C92]WCh32KK2Moscow(9),1985*

Bibliography
+STEANSimpleChess(Faber)

+EUWE/KRAMER,TheMiddleGameVol.1(Bell)

+SUETINTheCompleteSpanish(Batsford)

+FISCHERMy60MemorableGames(Faber)

+SUETINModernChessOpeningTheory(Appendix)(Pergamon)

+KING/PONZETTO,UnderstandingtheSpanish(Batsford)

+KARPOVTheOpenGameinAction(Batsford)

+BARDENTheRuyLopez:WinningChesswith1.PK4!(Pergamon)

=YUDOVICHSpanishwithout3...a6(Batsford)

=THOMASSpanish5.d4!(ChessPlayer)

TAULBUT,HowtoplaytheRuyLopez(Batsford)

+SUETIN,TheCompleteSpanish(Batsford)

=YUDOVITCH,Spanishwithouta6(Batsford)

=SOLTIS,WinningwiththeRuyLopezExchangeVariation(ChessDigest)

=RUNKE,MeetCARL(CentreAttackinRuyLopez)

=FILIPOWICZ&KONIKOWSKI,4...d5intheCordelDefence,SpanishGame(RuyLopez)(ChessEnterprises)

up Steve
Slav H
or
Semi?