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    Entries in Ruy Lopez (31)

    Friday
    Aug312012

    This Week's ChessVideos Show: Quick Ruy XXXIV: The Breyer Variation

    At last, the grand finale of the Quick Ruy series! The Breyer System (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 Nb8) is especially popular nowadays, and with high profile authors like Larry Kaufman and Boris Avrukh (forthcoming) advocating it, that is unlikely to change in the near future. So in this week's show I look at what several sources say, both pro and con, and do my best to both offer improvements for both sides and to help viewers understand what sorts of things they ought to do, to make sense of the mass of theory.

    After 34 shows, I hope that anyone who wants to play the Ruy with White will have all the external tools necessary to play it with success, and likewise for those who wish to play one variation or another with Black. And for those of you who won't touch the Ruy with either color, there's good news too: the series is over!

    Saturday
    Aug252012

    This Week's ChessVideos Show: Quick Ruy XXXIII: The Complicated Zaitsev Variation

    The quick Ruy Lopez series is almost at an end - there's just one more episode left after this one! As the coverage now is of big main lines, there's a lot to discuss, and this week's episode on the Zaitsev Variation (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 Bb7) is huge: 83 minutes long.

    So here's my recommendation: break your viewing up into three parts. The first part, through 19:30, examines relative sidelines for both sides. Everything after that starts with the position reached after 10.d4 Re8 11.Nbd2 Bf8 12.a4 h6 13.Bc2 exd4 14.cxd4 Nb4 15.Bb1 c5 16.d5 Nd7 17.Ra3, and now there are two main lines: 17...f5 and 17...c4. I cover the first from 19:30 through about 52:45, which is where I'd recommend taking a(nother) break, and then the rest is on 17...c4.

    I think I've managed to provide a good overview of the line, a decent summary of a lot of the theory, and - on a number of occasions - some new analysis that goes beyond and corrects existing theory. The show is free, as always, and I hope you enjoy it. Next week is the grand series finale, on the Breyer (9...Nb8)!

    Sunday
    Aug192012

    This Week's ChessVideos Show: Quick Ruy XXXII: The Chigorin Variation

    In this week's ChessVideos show, we examine one of the meatiest variations in the entire Ruy Lopez, the Chigorin Variation. (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 Na5) This complex is too rich to be exhaustively covered in a single video (obviously!), but there is enough material here to get you started and then some. After 10.Bc2 c5 I examine both 11.d3 (but fairly briefly) and 11.d4, and after 11.d4 both 11...Nd7 and 11...Qc7 are covered in some depth. As a sort of ad for the video, I'll note that the research I did on the Graf Variation (11...Nd7 12.Nbd2 [12.dxc5 is examined as well] 12...exd4 13.cxd4 Nc6) helped me to win a pretty easy and devastating victory over a strong IM (albeit in blitz) - it's good material!

    As always, the show is free. Two more to go in the Quick Ruy series: the Zaitsev is next, and then we'll finish up with the Breyer.

    Sunday
    Aug122012

    This Week's ChessVideos Show: Quick Ruy XXXI: 9th Move Sidelines

    Much to the viewers' Chigorin, the Chigorin and other 9th move mainlines will have to wait another week. After doing 30 shows on the Ruy, it seemed improper to skip over Black's 9th move options like 9..h6, 9...Qd7, 9...Be6, 9...Nd7 and 9...a5, so I didn't. This week's show also covers the Gajewski Gambit, the (ostensibly) "Improved" Gajewski Gambit, and two alternatives for White as well: 9.a3 and 9.d3. Now, at last, the ground has been cleared, and we can move on to the Chigorin, Zaitsev and Breyer Variations. And then, no more Ruy Lopez shows - at least from me - for a long, long, long time!

    As always, the shows are free. Enjoy!

    Monday
    Aug062012

    Last Week's ChessVideos Show: Quick Ruy XXX, The Yates Variation

    We've reached our last stop before the 9.h3 main lines of the Closed Ruy in the 30th episode of the Quick Ruy series as we cover the Yates Variation. It's quite a decent variation in its own right, and it has the further merit of avoiding the Marshall Gambit. (It can be reached either "voluntarily" with 7...d6 8.c3 0-0 9.d4 or as an Anti-Marshall: 7...0-0 8.d4 d6 9.c3.) White also gets to avoid a considerable amount of theory with the Yates too, so while it may not offer as many chances for an edge as the 9.h3 lines, it's a very practical choice for club players. And since even some very strong grandmasters (like Emil Sutovsky) use it on a regular basis, it's clear that it has not been completely "solved" by Black either.

    So if you're interested in examining this line for either color, have a look at my video coverage here. The show is free, as always!

    Saturday
    Jul282012

    This Week's ChessVideos Show: The Quick Ruy XXIX: Marshall Main Lines

    We're getting close! It's episode XXIX in our series on the Ruy Lopez, and this time around the main lines of the Marshall Gambit are under review. We start with the traditional main lines with 12.d4 Bd6 13.Re1 Qh4 14.g3 Qh3 15.Be3, then move on to 15.Re4 and finally 12.d3. There's a lot of material there, but I've done my best to pick out the most important lines and at least give a good sense of the key variations along with some of the typical motifs that apply in many Marshall sub-systems.

    As always, the show is free - have a look!

    Saturday
    Jul212012

    This Week's ChessVideos Show: The Quick Ruy XXVIII: Marshall Gambit Sidelines

    Our expeditious series on the Ruy Lopez continues in its brisk way; we're up to episode XXVIII now! There's a lot of material in this episode, as I present no fewer than four variations associated with the Marshall Gambit.

    First, there's one final anti-Marshall line: 8.c3 d5 9.d4. Some players might try this rather than an 8th move Anti-Marshall if they want to check to see if Black was only bluffing the Marshall. As it's far less promising than 8.a4 or 8.h3, however, they'd be better served by choosing one of those lines instead, or simply braving the Marshall.

    Next, we look at inferior versions of the gambit that Black might try: 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 e4?!/? (the Steiner Gambit); 9...Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 Nf6?!/? (Marshall's original recipe); and 11...Bb7 (also used by Marshall). The first two are probably clearly better for White (at least!), while the latter is a bit better but still somewhat problematic if my analysis is correct.

    But is it? Have a look and let me know! The show is free, as always.

    Tuesday
    Jul172012

    Yet Another ChessVideos Show: The Quick Ruy XXVII: Anti-Marshall Lines

    It's like Christmas in July for Ruy Lopez fans, as the "Quick Ruy" series moves on to episode 27. This time around we have a look at anti-Marshall variations, especially 8.a4, 8.d4 and 8.h3. Those lines (especially the first and last) have their drop of poison, so those who reach either side of an anti-Marshall will want to have a look.

    As always, the show is free - enjoy!

    Thursday
    Jun282012

    This Week's ChessVideos Show: The Quick Ruy XXV, Neo-Archangelsk Part III

    After taking some time off from the "Quick Ruy" series, this week I've resumed with the final episode on the Neo-Archangelsk system (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5). It looks like it isn't doing very well in the main line at the moment, but sooner or later I'm sure Shirov or Caruana (or both) will come to its rescue. In the meantime, this week's video should give you a decent overview of where things currently stand.

    As always, the video is free (free registration required) and is available on-demand for the next month or so.

    Thursday
    May032012

    This Week's ChessVideos Show: Quick Ruy XXIV, Neo-Archangelsk Part 2

    We move boldly on to part XXIV of our series on the "Quick" Ruy, which I hope to finish before receiving solicitations from AARP. (I remain optimistic!) We've been looking at the Archangelsk variations and are now 2/3 of the way through with the Neo-Archangelsk, which begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5. Last time we examined lines where White plays Nxe5 before Black gets in ...d6; this time, we look at positional lines starting with 7.c3 and 7.a4.

    While the most principled lines are the sharpest and most theory-intense, it's possible for White to "just play chess" too, and some players will find that the most attractive option. So for those who do, or for those who play this with Black and need to know what to do about it, this week's ChessVideos show is for you. Next time, we move on to the absolute main line, which can arise after various move orders, e.g. 7.a4 Rb8 8.c3 d6 9.d4 Bb6 10.Na3 0-0 11.axb5 axb5 12.Nxb5.

    The video is available for free (free registration is required, if you haven't done it already) and on-demand for the next month or so. Enjoy!