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Game of the Month #2!

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Game of the Month #2!

Postby iamachessstudent » Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:25 pm

Hello again everyone!
First, Thank you all that have e mailed me and private messaged me about this column, I'm glad a few of you like it and though I wish it was more..I will keep doing it as I think its fun and educational for everyone!
Having said that, This months game I'm starting to focus on the Classical Openings and a good explanation of them as we go thru a game. I will begin with the E Pawn and work my way through classical openings such as the Ruy Lopez, Sicilian, Caro-Kann and go to others as well; I will use games played here so you can follow and relate to each of them.

Now, this Game of the Month features one of the most ancient and respected E pawn openings: the Ruy Lopez. the Ruy Lopez was named after a Spanish clergyman who in 1561 declared 3.Bb5 to be White's best 3rd move. In his study, he demonstrated that 3...Nge7, which at that time was considered forced (!), is in fact not satisfactory. This opening has been played by every single World Champion to date! and remains a huge favorite at all levels. We will look at the Ruy Lopez after the move 3...a6 for black, since, as a rule the variations without 3...a6 are difficult and lead to a very inferior position without White using much effort.


[Event "m1068411367"]
[Site "net-chess.com"]
[Date "2003.12.10"]
[Round "1"]
[White "davidswhite"]
[Black "angelofthenight"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[WhiteElo "2972"]
[BlackElo "2778"]
[Game "g1068411367"]

ECO Code: C99: Closed Ruy Lopez: Chigorin Defense: 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4

This game is a great example of the positional finesse one uses in a ruy Lopez. Both sides are jockeying for position, with White having that slight, nagging initiative that Black is always trying to break and get equality... Both sides play this game wonderfully, and the end result is very fair.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 {The Ruy Lopez} a6 4.Ba4 {4.Bxc6 is the Exchange Variation, made popular by Bobby Fischer, is now a little out of fashion}...Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 {This denotes the Closed Ruy Lopez, which if black played 5...Nxe4, the Open Ruy Lopez, which leads to a whole other type of game that we will see later} 6.Re1 {Now defending the E pawn}...b5 7.Bb3 d6 {Opening the diagonal for his light squared Bishop and giving extra protection to his E pawn} 8.c3 {Strengthening the center and preparing d4, as well as giving the Bishop a retreat square on C2 If White tries to play 8.d4? first then 8...Nxd4 9.Nxd4 exd4 10.Qxd4?? a nice tactical sequence follows: 10...c5! followed by 11...c4 and the White light squared Bishop is lost!}...0-0 9.h3 {Preventing the pin from the Black's bishop by ...Bg4}...Na5 {This move is the Chigorin Variation, which is the oldest and most popular of the lines in the Lopez. Mikial Chigorin, the Father of Russian Chess, devised and played this back in the 1880's until the early 1900's, until he passed away. Other popular 9th moves here are: 9...Qd7, an idea of Vasily Smyslov,former World Champion 1954-1955; 9...a5!? A Russian experiment; 9...h6 called the Smyslov Variation, also worked out by Vassily Smyslov; 9...Nf6-d7 an idea of the great Paul Keres; 9...Be6 as played by the great Mikial Botvinnik, former World Champion for 16 years, from the mid 1940's and to 1963..with 2 short intermissions in between; 9...Bb7, the Zaitsev Variation played by Anatoly Karpov for many years and also popular; 9...Nb8, the Breyer Variation popular in the 1960's to the 1980's} 10.Bc2 {Retreating the Bishop where he wil eye the H7 square near Black's King}...c5 {contesting his share of the center and fighting for initiative} 11.d4 Qc7 {Again, defending e5} 12.Nbd2 {Developing the Knight and giving black 2 important choices: to keep the position closed or opening up the C file and start active piece play.}...cxd4 {This is the most popular line, with over 3400 games played, more than triple any other move or line in this position} 13.cxd4 Bb7 {Intensifying the pressure on the E4 pawn and inducing White to play D5 and close the position} 14.d5 Rac8 {Threatening the Bishop and gaining time for his Q-side development} 15. Bb1 {Also, 15.Bd3 was played before, but the line White chooses is a more modern attempt to squeeze the position} ...Nf4 {the Knight wants to plant itself on the f4 square to keep White's Kingside in check.} 16.Ndf1 { A typical Knight move in the Lope\..the Knight will transfer itself to G3 or E3 where it has many Center squares or hits around the black K-side squares..both are good place for the Knight!}...Nf4 17.Ng3 {going for the F5 square, very common in this opening. The knight is great there and lashes out at the black squares F7 and H7}...Bd8 { Preparing for the White Knight to and on F5 and attacking the bishop, it retreats without costing black a tempo. 17...Bf6 has also been played, but the bishop just doesn't seem happy there, the E pawn blocks his diagonal and he is related solely to waiting...} 18.Bd3!? {A very interesting and controversial decision! By giving up the Bishop, White is getting rid of the Knight on f4 and relieving the pressure on his King-side, but he gibes up the Bishop pair to do that..which in many lines of the Ruy Lopez. both the White Bishops combine to attack the black King, so White decides to give one up to get rid of a Knight..interesting!}...Nxd3 {of course!} 19.Qxd3 Qc2 {Offering the exchange of Queens and hoping to exchanging more pieces. The more black pieces can reduce, the less he has to worry about and he can look for the Draw in time...} 20.Qxc2 {NOVEL..usually White refuses the exchange and plays 20.Qf1, when the game is full of tension and up for grabs. In my database, White is a winning 100% with this move and YES we were still in theory!} ...Rxc2 21.Nf5 {Maximizing the Knight's worth on this Square and threatening to win the d6 pawn}...Bb6 {counter-threat of winning the Rook after ...Bxf2+} 22.Rf1 f6 {wisely covering the g5 square before White can place a Knight there and/or play h4 and create real K-side threats} 23.b3 {smartly covering the c4 square before Black can place a Knight there and thwart Whites plan to place his Knight on e3}...Bc8 {Or 23...Rd8 24.Ne3 Rc7 25.Ba3 when the game is equal} 24.Be3! {Keeping a small edge and well played!}...Bc5 {If 24..Bxe3 25.Nxe3 {NOT 25.fxe3 when Bxf5 26.exf5 Rfc8 and BLACK has a small edge here due to his control of the C file!} 25...Re2 26.Rfdf1 when White maintains control} 25.Ne1 {Tho not a bad move, I think this is when White misses his only chance of gaining a substantial edge in this game. I think that 25.Bxc5!? tho paradoxical giving up his other Bishop, is the way to get the solid edge. if 25...dxc5 then 26. Ne3! consolidates for White and leaves black struggling and his Rook is serious trouble. The text move was ok , but after black's next move, no better than equality}...Re2! {A great move and preface to an exchange sacrifice that ensures Black of a good and equal game, well thought out !} 26.Ng3 { I really feel here that White saw the next sequence of moves, and finding nothing better,m went along and played it out, knowing it will end up an equal position when the smoke clears} ...Rxe3 {as planned and the best; this exchange sacrifice is good for equality} 27.fxe3 Bxe3+ 28.Kh2 g6! {A very good move, securing the f5 and h5 squares} 29.Rf3 Bb6 30.Rc1 Kg7 DRAWN I think this was a good decision by both players. The game is equal, both sides have defended well and despite White being an exchange up, there is no way for his pieces to invade the Black position. the c file is well protected and black has his K-side position solid.

What a great game and so well-played by both sides! I hope I was able to give you all a feel for the Ruy Lopez and some of its nuances. Next time, we will look an the Ruy Lopez OPEN Variation and see how rich that variation is in complexity and imagination!!
Good luck and good chess!

Joshua
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Re: Game of the Month #2!

Postby energy » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:26 am

iamachessstudent wrote:15. Bb1 {Also, 15.Bd3 was played before, but the line White chooses is a more modern attempt to squeeze the position} ...Nf4


You mean Nh5, I presume?
Nils

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Re: Game of the Month #2!

Postby energy » Wed Feb 20, 2013 9:27 am

iamachessstudent wrote:17.Ng3 {going for the F5 square, very common in this opening. The knight is great there and lashes out at the black squares F7 and H7}


Did you mean e7 and g7 here?
Nils

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Re: Game of the Month #2!

Postby iamachessstudent » Wed Feb 20, 2013 10:56 am

Thank you Nils!:)

YES, after 15. Bb1 SHOULD COME 15...Nh5
I am sorry for the transposition!

And yes the Knight on F5 will pressure G7

thanks for the attention Nils and my apologies!

Joshua
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Posts: 374
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Re: Game of the Month #2!

Postby gmiller » Mon Feb 25, 2013 1:01 am

Greg Miller
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