Progress continues on our "quick" series on the Ruy, and I'm still hopeful that we'll finish before 2013! We're up to part XV now, our second on the main line of the Open Ruy. Last time we looked at Keres' 9.Qe2, and the next two Open Ruy shows will cover 9.c3 and 9.Nbd2. In between is this week's show, which features the logical developing move 9.Be3.
It's a sensible try, developing a piece and immediately joining the fight for the important c5 square. I think that with accurate play Black can hold the balance here, but accurate play is required, as several very natural tries leave White with an advantage. It might be a bit much to call 9.Be3 a surprise weapon, but I suspect that it could prove more effective at the club level than the more common 9.c3 and 9.Nbd2.
Watch the 9.Be3 video here; it's free (one-time only free registration is required) and will be available on-demand for the next month or so.