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i iene Variation ate alter | 2nd Edition PAU ANOLE ‘A Leth da Variation Revised 2nd Edition > Andrew Soltis Chess Digest, Inc. O"ULL UM SUTUUT A, Copyright© 1995 Andrew Soltis All rights reserved under Pan American and International Copy- right conventions. ISBN: 0-87568-197-2 This is a revised and expanded 2nd edition of the 1st edition pub- lished in 1992. Added are 23 important theorical revisions and one game. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a re- trieval system, or transmitted in any form, or by any means: elec- tronic, electrostatic, magnetic tapes, mechanical photocopying, re- cording, or otherwise, without prior and current permission from the publisher. Author: Andrew Soltis Editor: Ken Smith Computer Typesetting: Elaine Smith Cover: Elaine Smith Proofreader: Hugh Myers, Sid Pickard and Bob McLean Final Preparation & Diagrams: Ken Smith Publisher: Chess Digest, Inc.®, 1601 Tantor, (P.O. Box 59029) Dal- las, Texas 75229 Send the publisher $2.00 for the New Chess Guide that catalogs every chess book for general sale in the United States. You are given publishers, page counts, notation, and critical reviews, Also included is a free Chess Improvement Course for Beginners up through Master level players. Wi aa Variats TABLE OF CONTENTS Page CHAPTER ONE 5 Introduction 5 Fischer-Spassky, Sveti Stefan 1992 A Little Strategy, A Little History 10 The Terrible Pin 13 Endgames, Endgames, Endgames 15 CHAPTER TWO 25 1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 Bb5, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0 The Pin 5...Bg4 CHAPTER THREE 37 1e4, e5 2 Nf6, Nc6 3 Bb5, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0, Bet ‘The Main Line Pin 6 h3, h5! CHAPTER FOUR 49 1 e4, e5 2 Nf6, Nc6 3 BbS, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0 The Endgame 5...f6 and 7...c5 CHAPTER FIVE 72 1e4, e5 2 Nf6, Nc6 3 BbS, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0, £6 Other 6 d4, exd4 lines CHAPTER SIX 79 1e4, e5 2 Nf6, Nc6 3 BbS, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0 Modern Main Line 5...f6 6 d4, Be4 Winning Wi Variati CHAPTER SEVEN 86 1 e4, e5 2 Nf6, Nc6 3 BbS, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0 Bronstein's 5...Qd6 CHAPTER EIGHT 94 1 e4, e5 2 Nf6, Nc6 3 Bb5, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0 The Irregulars 5. 95 5. 98 5. 102 5. 105 5. 109 CHAPTER NINE 111 How Fischer Played It (Chap: Que Int qicho) CHAPTER ONE: Introduction When the first edition of this book appeared in 1992, it evoked a good deal of interest - particularly after a certain day that September. What prompted the interest that day was a curious inci- dent off the coast of what was then Yugoslavia: FISCHER-SPASSKY Ninth Match Game Sveti Stefan 1992 1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 Bb5, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0, £6 6 d4, exd4 7 Nxd4, c5 8 Nb3, Qxd1 9 Rxd1, Bg4 10 £3, Be6 11 Nc3, Bd6 12 Be3, b6 13 a4, 0-0-0 14 a5, Kb7 15 e5, Be7 16 Rxd8, Bxd8 17 Ned 17... Ke6?? 18 axb6 exb6, 19 NbxeS! Bc8 20 Nxa6 fxe5 21 Nb4 Resigns! The ringside annotators immediately focused on White's theo- retical novelty at move 17 - and Black's answering blunder. But 17 é Winning With The R E Ne4 was hardly new: it had been played successfully twelve years before - and at a Yugoslav international tournament, no less. Clearly, Bobby Fischer was well aware of the analysis and Boris Spassky wasn't. And that's precisely the value of good opening preparation. I have a special fondness for the Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez because it was the first opening 1 felt I knew. There really wasn't that much to know about it when, as a high school Class B player, I began giving up my bishop on the fourth move. Few opening books of the day devoted more than a column of analysis to the Ex- change Variation - and fewer gave more than a footnote to my favorite line in it, 5 0-0. What attracted me to it was a mixture of reasons: (a) Nobody else seemed to know anything more about this opening than I did. (b) You could learn to play a major opening - the Lopez - without having to memorize reams of main-line theory, and (©) It placed an onus on Black. This last reason was odd, since in most opening systems it is White who attacks and Black who can sit back and wait for his oppo- nent to prove that he has something. But after 1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Ne6 3 BbS5, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 White assumes a small but perceptible advan- tage in pawn structure. All things being equal - which, admittedly, they rarely are - White should win the endgame. Later, some computers reputedly tested this all-things-being- equal theory. In hundreds of simulations the computers found that in the basic Exchange Lopez pawn structure - White pawns at a2, b2, 2, e4, £2, g2 and h2 versus Black pawns at a6, b7, 6, c7, f7, g7 and h7 - White should, in fact, win. Chapter One: Introduction At the time I began playing the Exchange Lopez, long before the computer era in chess, this oversimplified view about its endgame potential comforted me because it meant Black had to prove some- thing, not White. Black had to show that he had compensation for his crippled queenside pawn majority. If he doesn't, if he simply ex- changes pieces, White can create a passed kingside pawn that is not balanced by anything on the queenside. I found this was a theory that could be put into practice. SOLTIS-L. RASCHEN Marshall C.C. Fall A" Tournament 1964 1 4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 Bb5, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0!, £6 6 d4, exd4 7 Nxd4, c5 8 Nb3, Qxd1 9 Rxd1, Bd7 10 Bf4, 0-0-0 11 Nc3, Be6 12 Rxd8ch, Kxd8 13 Rdich, Kc8 14 Kf1, b6 15 Nd5, Bxd5 16 Rxd5, Ne7 17 Rd1, Ng6 18 Bg3, Be7 19 Ke2, Rd8 20 Rxd8ch, Kxd8 21 Ke3, Bd6 22 f4, Kd7 23 Nd2, b5 24 Nf3, Ne7 25 e5, NfSch 26 Ke4, Nxg3ch 27 hxg3, fxe5 28 Nxe5ch, Bxe5? 29 Kxe5 29...c6 30 g4, Ke7 31 g5, a5 32 £5, a4 33 a3, b4 34 c4, b3 35 f6ch, gxf6ch 36 gxf6ch, Kd7 37 £7! Resigns. White sweeps the queenside pawns away and wins the race after 37...Ke7 38 £8(Q)ch, Kxf8 39 Kd6, Kf7 40 Kxc6, Kf6 41 KxcS5, Kg5 42 Kb4, Kg4 43 5, etc. Winning With The R At the same time, I was reading books that described the Ex- change Variation as a terrible opening. White very rarely won when he played 4 Bxc6 in those books. In fact, he usually lost. What both- ered me is that often his loss had nothing to do with the way he played the opening. Here is a typical example. It was played in the same legen- dary tournament in which Emanuel Lasker used the White side of the opening to defeat Jose Capablanca and overtake him in the race for first prize. ALEKHINE-EM. LASKER St. Petersburg 1914 1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 BbS, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 Nc3, £6 6 d4, exd4 7 Qxd4, Qxd4 8 Nxd4, Bd6 9 Be3, Ne7 10 0-0-0, 0-0 11 Nb3!, Ng6 12 Bc5, Bf4ch! 13 Kb1, Re8 14 Rhel, b6 15 Be3, BeS 16 Bd4, Nh4 17 Rgl, Be6 18 f4!, Bd6 19 Bf2, Ng6 20 f5!, Bxb3 21 axb3, Nf8 22 Bxb6, Bxh2 23 Rh1, cxb6 24 Rxh2, b5 25 Rel, Nd7 26 Ndi, a5 27 Rh3, b4 28 Nf2, Nc5 29 R(3)e3, a4! 30 bxa4, Nxad 31 5}, fxe5 32 Rxe5, Reb8 33 Ned, b3 34 Re2, Nb6!, 35 exb3, Nd5 36 24, h6 37 g5, hxg5 38 Nxg5, Nf6 39 Re7, Rxb3 40 Rg2!, Nd5. Both sides have played resourcefully and it appears White has the upper hand. Actually, he should play 41 Rel, after which a draw is almost assured. 41 Rd7?? Rd3! But now White must lose the Exchange because 42...Rdlch 43 Ke2, Ne3ch is threatened, in addition to 42...Ne3ch. And since 42 Kel allows 42...Raich and 43... Nb4 mate, White had to play 42 Rxd5, Rxd5. But his moderate drawing chances began to evaporate soon after 43 Ne6, Kf7 44 Rxg7ch, Kf6 and he resigned 45 moves later. For the rest of his life Alekhine stated with authority that the Exchange Variation favored Black. (Lasker knew better. His victory over the then-almost-unbeatable Capablanca came a few rounds later.) But, it seemed to me, a major cause of White's problems in this and similar games won by Black was his choice of fifth move. Why develop a knight on c3 that doesn't go anywhere, except, as in the above game, to dl? And why, with 7 Qxd4, should White rush into an endgame? If Black wants an ending, I thought, let him do the forcing of it. And that's when I began to appreciate 5 0-0. By indirectly safeguarding the e-pawn, it threatened Black's pawn (6 NxeS5, Qd4 7 Nf3, Qxe4?? 8 Rel). And the endgames that result from 5 0-0 are much better than the 5 Nc3 ones, They can even end quickly: ing With ‘The R : \ BARENDREGT-SLIWA Marianske Lazne 1961 1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 BbS, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0, £6 6 d4, exd4 7 Nxd4!, c5 8 Nb3, Qxdi 9 Rxd1, Bd7 10 Bf4, 0-0-0 11 Nc3, Re8? 12 Nd5!, Bc6 13 Nxe7, Rxe4 14 £31, Re2 (14...R1f4 15 Ne6!) 15 Na8! (threatens 16 Nb6 mate!), b5 16 Nb6ch, Kb7 17 Nd7, Bxd7 18 Rxd7ch, Kc6 19 Re7ch, Kb6 20 Re8, Nh6 21 Rb&ch Resigns (¢.g. 2/...Kc6 22 Rd/ intending 23 NaS mate) A Little Strategy, A Little History The Exchange Variation is not particularly complex from a strategic point of view. But to start out, it's worth comparing it with the main line of the Lopez. With the moves 1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 BbS White makes an indirect threat to the e-pawn. He knows that even if he had a free move he could not win a pawn directly (3... "pass" 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 NxeS, Qd4!). But he realizes that at some point he will have protected his own e-pawn and at that point the threat of Bxc6 followed by Nxe5S will become very real. Chapter One: Introduction 1 In the early days of the Ruy Lopez, Black tried a variety of third moves, but had some difficulty dealing with this indirect threat to his center pawn. As soon as White defended his own pawn with d2- 43 or Nc3, they began to flounder. Even some of the best players in the world would meet 1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 Bb5, Nf6 4 d3, for example, with 4...Bd6?. That move does meet the 5 Bxc6 threat - but delays his development horribly. Enter Paul Morphy. In his celebrated match with Adolph Anderssen in 1858, Morphy popularized the move 3...a6 as a means of dealing with the threat to the e-pawn. The move had been tried in the previous decade by players who didn't understand it and who met 4 Bad with 4...b5, thereby driving the bishop from one good diagonal to a better one - weakening the Black position in the process and get- ting nothing in return. But Morphy had a better idea. After Anderssen responded to his 3...a6 with 4 Ba4, Morphy continued 4...Nf6! 5 d3, BeS (the pawn is still safe because 6 Bxc6, dxc6 7 Nxe5, Qd4 threatens mate as well as the knight). Anderssen appreciated this last point and re- plied 6 ¢3, reviving the threat of Bxc6. But Morphy illustrated the usefulness of his third move by now inserting 6...b5!, He then castles quickly and can even play ...d7- 2 Winning With The Ruy Lopez E \ d5, after which Morphy had solved his most serious opening problem. (After two unsatisfactory Lopezes, Anderssen switched to J a3!? for the rest of their match.) And as a result of the American's success, the "Morphy Defense" became the basis of the main Lopez lines, which to this day are characterized by 1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 BbS, a6 4 Bad, Nf6 5 0-0, Be7 and if 6 Rel (or 6 d3, 6 Nc3, etc), then 6...b5!. The Exchange Variation alters the sequence of events slightly. White exchanges on 6 before he defends his e-pawn. And, since most Black defenders now use 3...a6 instead of developing moves such as 3...Nf6 or 3...Be5, White can accomplish this with a gain of time. After 3...a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0 White is well ahead in development. In fact, Black has no pieces off his first rank. How then should Black defend the e-pawn? If he plays 5...£6, White should be eager to force an exchange of center pawns (6 d4, exd4) that leaves Black's e6 hole as a potential target (see Chapters 4- 5). If he plays 5..Qd6 or 5..Bd6 or 5...Qf6 (Chapters 7-8), his Pieces block the development of other pieces. Chapter One: Introduction The Terrible Pin But, said the theoreticians, there had to be something wrong with 5 0-0. They found the flaw in the form of 5...Bg4, establishing an annoying pin. If White can break the pin, the position should favor him. This is particularly true after 5...Bg4 6 h3, Bxf3?!, since the ex- change of the light-squared bishop deprives Black of his primary claim to compensation for his double-pawns. After 6...Bxf3 we are heading once again into a very favorable endgame for White: BERNSTEIN-BENKNER Amsterdam Olympiad 1954 1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 BbS, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0, Bg4 6 3, Bxf3?! 7 Qxf3, QF6? 8 Qxf6!, Nxf6 9 d3, BeS 10 Nd2!, Nd7 11 Ned, f6 12 g3, 0-0-0 13 Kg2, Nb6 14 Nxb6ch, Bxb6 15 £4, Rhe8 16 £5, c5 17 b3!, BaS 18 Be3, Bc3 19 Rbl!, b6 (/9...Bd4? 20 Bd2! traps the Bishop by 2/ c3!) 20 g4, Kb7 (20...h6 21 h4, Rh8 22 Rhl, Ka7! was the recommended defense with the king coming to the kingside rescue) 21 g5, Ke6 22 h4, Re8 23 Kf3, Rdf8 24 Ke2, bS 25, hS, b4. Wi . Variati 26 h6!, exh6 27 gxf6, Rxf6 28 Rel, Rxgl 29 Rxgl, Bd4? (29...R/7 was necessary) 30 Rg7, Bxe3 31 Kxe3, a5 32 Rxh7 Resigns. A bit trickier than this is the realization that after 5 0-0, Bg4 6 h3 Black cannot gambit a pawn with 6...Bh5, since the weakened White kingside following 7 g4! is not really that weak. I appreciated this after seeing the first nine moves of Fuchs-Udovcic, Berlin 1962, which went 7...Bg6 8 Nxe5, Qh4 9 Qf3 and “leaves Black insuffi- cient compensation for a pawn” (Leonard Barden in The Ruy Lopez, 1963). What I didn't know until later is that Black went on to win that game. I had better luck. SOLTIS-A. STERN Marshall C.C.Championship Preliminaries 1964 1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 Bb5, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0, Bg4 6 h3, BhS? 7 g4!, Bg6 8 Nxe5, Qh4 9 Qf3, Nf6 10 d3, BcS 11 Kg2, Bad4 12 Nxg6, hxg6 13 Qg3, Qh7 14 Nd2, 0-0-0 15 Nf3, BcS 16 a3, Ne8 17 e5, £6 18 Be3, Be7 19 Rh1, Qg8 20 Of4, g5 21 Qed, Rd5 22 c4, Rd7 23 Rael, 26 24 exf6, Bxf6 25 Bxg5, Bxb2 26 c5, Nf6? 27 Qb4, Rxd3 28 Qxb2, Rxf3 29 Bxf6!, Qd5 30 Re5!, Rxf2ch 31 Kxf2, Qxh1 32 Bxh8!, Qh2ch 33 Kel, Qgich (33...Qxb2 34 Re8ch) Chapter One: Introduction 15 34 Kd2, Qg2ch 35 Re2, QdSch 36 Qd4, Qa2ch 37 Kel, Qbich 38 Qadil Resigns. The real test of 5...Bg4 6 h3 was 6...h5!, another idea of the imaginative, turn of the century Russian Semyon Alapin. At move six, the advance of the h-pawn constitutes a piece sacrifice which is only temporary if accepted at move seven - but may be permanent and unsound if Black leaves the bishop at g4 at move cight, nine, ten and so on, The original idea of the Dutch master Johan Barendregt was to meet 6...h5 with "7 d4!", which threatens to keep the piece with 8 hxg4, hxg4 9 Ng5. Barendregt also hoped to obtain sufficient compensation if Black met 7 d4 with 7...Bxf3 8 Qxf3, exd4 9 Rdl or 8...Qxd4 9 Nc3. But it was soon discovered - circa 1964 - that in the latter line Black need only retreat his queen to e6 via 9...Qc4! to sharply reduce White's compensation to almost nothing. At the time, it seemed that was the end of the 5 0-0 revival. But it was only the beginning (See Chapter Three). Endgames, Endgames, Endgames You had better like to play the endgame if you're going to handle either side of the Exchange Variation. The queens go off the board very early in quite a few of the key variations. Sometimes it is White's decision to trade queens (See Chapter Six) and sometimes it is Black's (Chapter Four). More often than you'll see in other openings books, we'll be examining the full score of some 40-, 50- and even 60-move games. A number of illustrative examples are included in the pages that follow. And because so many of the key variations we will consider lead to forcing play in an endgame, you will find that our analysis will conclude not in a "plus-over-equals" -- but in a "and White wins". To give you a feeling of what Black is up against in the Ex- change Ruy Lopez, we'll begin with a typical recent game: ROMERO-VAN der STERREN Wijk aan Zee 1991 led es 2Nf3 Ne6 3 BbS a6 A Bxc6, dxc6 50-0 £6 The most popular defense by Black. It accounts for more than half of all Exchange Variation games these days and is considered in Chapters Four-Six. 6d4 exdd This sentences Black to a somewhat passive endgame. The more active 6...Bg4! is examined in Chapter Six. 7 Nxd4 5 The only really consistent plan, although Chapter Five con- siders middlegame alternative strategies. 8 Nb3 Qxd1 9 Rxdi Bed Whether this is a finesse that improves Black's defensive chances - or just a waste of time - was debated through much of the past 15 years. It is still seen often. 10f3 Be6 11 BE4 (Chaplet One: Inroduction We'll consider the attack on the forward c-pawn (1/ Be3, b6 12 a4) in Chapter Four. The text allows - if not virtually forces - Black to swap down to a bishops-of-opposite-color ending. 1... 4 12.Nd4 0-0-0 The point of his last move. Now 13...c5 is threatened. 13 Nc3 BeS 14 Ne2! White makes sure he will recapture on d4 in the coming ex- change of minor pieces with a knight, thereby preventing Black from playing ...Ne7-c6. 14... Ne7 15... Bxd4 White's knights are very strong (/5...Bf7 16 Kf2, Ng6 17 Nf5!) and Black decides he has better drawing chances without them. However, he is already thinking about drawing. Black's chief problem Wi . : : in this and many similar Exchange Variation endgames is that he lacks counterplay. This opening is not like the typical 1 e4 Open Game, but re- ally has some of the flavor of a 1 d4 game. In the King Pawn games it is often White attacking somewhere - usually in the center or kingside - and Black matching him stroke for stroke. If the attack ends, the po- sition is frequently dead even. (Black does not need counterplay to survive, just good defense.) But in Queen Pawn openings, White often establishes an early positional advantage, such as deriving from a pawn majority on the queenside or an edge in space there. Black, in such positions, is forced to complicate matters elsewhere, such as with a kingside attack. Here we have a similar struggle. White's positional advantage was staked out with his fourth move. All things being equal, he will win with his kingside majority. He will (a) bring his king towards the center, such as to f2, then (b) trade two pairs of rooks along the d-file, and then (c) create a passed kingside pawn. Black usually finds it very difficult to create his own passed pawn. Therefore he needs some other form of counterplay. 16 Nxd4 Bf7 17 Kf2 Rd7 This seems to be playing into White's hands by offering to trade all four rooks, But with only one open file, such a series of ex- changes is inevitable. If Black avoids trades (e.g. 17...Rde8?!) he will simply be surrendering a great open line to the enemy. Also, we must consider the alternative strategy, the mobiliza- tion of his own majority. The way to do that is ...b7-b5 and ...c7-c5, in one move order or the other. But it was Jose Capablanca who pointed out that advancing Black's queenside pawns in the Lopez. is a double-edged sword. The more they advance the greater is their ag- gressive power - and the lesser is their defensive ability. Once Black Chapter One: Introduction _______19 starts pushing pawns, he will have to start defending pawns (e.g. 17...c5 18 Ne2, b6 with play as in the game). 18 Ne2 Rhd8 19 Rxd7 Rxd7 20 gat Signaling his intention to advance his kingside pawns (h2-h4 and g4-g5 with or without support from /3-/4 and Kf3). 20... b6 Hoping to anchor a knight on dé after 21...c5 and 22...Nc6. 21. Ng3 5 22.3! A key defensive move. Black will not be able to create a passed pawn now through pawn-only-moves. White will avoid ex- changing on b4 himself. And if Black ever gets his pawns to b4 and a4, where they threaten ...a3!, White will anticipate that by pushing his own a-pawn to the third. That mini-position - White pawns at a3, b2 and c3 versus Black pawns at a4, b4, c4 and cS - is an important one to understand because Black will not be able to promote using only pawn moves. White, however, will most likely be able to create a kingside passer using just pawn moves. And on that basis, White has won hundreds of Exchange Lopezes. 220 Ne6 23 £4 This keeps the knight out of e5 and thereby out of d3. (Black's rook can always go to d3 but, lacking a target there, it doesn't have the impact of a knight on d3.) 23... Be6?! Black needs counterplay, but this (which hopes for 24 £5?) is the wrong way to get it. He should begin thinking about extreme Measures such as 23...g5! with the idea of 24 fxg5, Ne5 25 h3, Nd3ch. This game is typical of how a Black defender places too much faith in passive defense. 2Ah3 26 25 Ke2 Rd3 26 Rdl! Rxdl? Playing into White's hands. Black should get his king into play with 26...Kd7, since 27 Rxd3, cxd3ch 28 Kxd3, Bxa2 makes Black's queenside pawns healthy again. 27 Kxdl Kd7 28 Ke2 Ke7 Black's king lacks a point of penetration and White can meet 28...Kd6 with either the slow buildup (29 Kf3, 30 h4 and 31 g5) or the immediate 29 f5, Bishop moves 30 Bf4ch followed by h3-h4 and Ke3. 295 Bf7 30 Bf4 White must keep the knight off e5 since otherwise he is vul- nerable to a ...Nd3 raid. The key to winning such endgames as White is to make sure your queenside is secure before trying to promote on the kingside. White can generally avoid pawn-queening races because time is on his side. Chapter One: Introduction 0. 32 Nfl! Careful. At first it seems White has an alternative winning plan in 32 Ke3 followed by a sacrificial 33 e5! that will allow White to occupy e4 powerfully with the knight or king. In such positions there are usually several good winning plans. But here 32 Ke3? would be an error because of 32...Kd7! embarrassing the bishop. After 33 Bb6, Kd6 Black gets to occupy e5 while White doesn't get the use of e4. And Black need not fear 34 eSch, KxeS!, 32... Kd7 33 Bg3 Ne5? This natural-looking advance was available for the last few moves, but it is actually a form of positional surrender. 34 Bxe5! Of course. White gets a protected, passed pawn and targets at eS and g5 for his knight. Black's only (dim) hope is that somehow White will not be able to penetrate further with his king. 34... fxeS 2 wi With The Ruy Lopez Exchange Variati 35 Ne3 Kd6 36 Kf2 Ke6, Black feints in the direction of ...Kb6-a5 and ...b5-b4 but he must have known that White would be winning on the kingside with £5-£6 and Nf5-h6 long before he could have made inroads on the other wing. There was, however, nothing better. On 36...Ke7 37 Kf3, Kf6 White can play 38 NdSch!, Bxd5 39 exd5 with a won king and pawn ending. (But he must remember the rule about the queenside mini-position, so that after 39...b4 40 Ke4, aS 41 d6, a4 he plays not 42 Kd5??, a3! but 42 a3!). 37h4 h6é On 37...gxh4 White continues most simply with Kg2-h3xh4, 38 £6 Now the h-pawn is doomed. Black finds a means of keeping the game going for nearly ten moves. 38... Kd7 39 NES. gxh4 40 Nxh6 Bg6 41 Kf3 Ke6 42295 h3 Or 42...BhSch 43 Kg2, b4 44 Kh3, Bf3 45 £7, Ke7 46 26, K£8 47 Kxh4, Bxe4 48 Kg5, Kg7 49 NfSch, Bxf5 50 Kxf5 and wins. 43 NtS BhSch 44 Kg3 h2 45 Kxh2 BES ‘sew 46 Kg3! Bhi Taking the e-pawn allows 47 f7, Kxf7 48 Nd6ch, while 46...Bh5 allows another knight check, on g7. 47 Kf2! Black Resigns The Bishop actually gets tapped now by 48 Ng3, since 47...Bxe4 again loses to 48 £7. Our analysis of Black's defenses to the Exchange Variation will be considered in this order: CHAPTER TWO: The Pin (5...Bg4) - Introduction CHAPTER THREE: The Main Line Pin (6...45) CHAPTER FOUR: The Endgame (5...f6 and 7...¢5) CHAPTER FIVE: Other 5...f6/6...exd4 subvariations 2 Wis : A CHAPTER SIX: Modern Main Line (5...f6/6...Bg4) CHAPTER SEVEN: Bronstein's 5...Qd6 CHAPTER EIGHT: The Irregulars (5...0e7?!, 5...Of6?, 5...Bd6!?, 5...Ne7, 5...Be??) and finally an analysis of the variation’s pioneer —- CHAPTER NINE: How Fischer Played It. HAPTER T : The Pin (5...Bg4) Intr ion We'll start our analysis with what used to be called the "book refutation" of 5 0-0. led 5} 2Nf3 Nc6 3 BbS a6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 The other recapture, 4...bxc6?!, has been discredited for so long, it only appears in the games of players unfamiliar with "book" Openings. Black's pawn structure appears to be healthier when sepa- rated into three pawn islands than into two. And he can still regain his pawn after 5 Nxe5 with 5...Qg5!. But after 5 d4! Black lacks the counterplay he usually gets from the half-open d-file in 4...dxc6 lines. Play would then continue 5...exd4 6 Qxd4 and now 6...d6 7 0-0, Nf6 8 Nc3, Be6 9 Bgs, Be7 10 Qa4 with good central and queenside pressure (/0...Bd7 1] Rad1, 0-0 12 e5!, Nd5 13 Bxe7, Qxe7 14 Nxd5, cxd5 15 Qa3! or 13...Nxe7 14 Qh4). Black does better with 6...c5! 7 Qd3, Ne7 to control dark squares, But in comparison with a "book" line of the Steinitz Defense Deferred (/ e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 Bb5, a6 4 Ba4, d6 5 Bxc6ch, bxc6 6 d4, exd4 7 Qxd4, c5 8 Qd3) here White has an extra tempo and he should be able to put it to good use with play such as 8 Nc3, Ng6 9 Be3, Be7 10 0-0-0!, d6 11 NdS. Finally, there is an ancient trap to be avoided - 4...bxe6 5 d4, exd4 6 Qxd4, Qf6 and now 7 Qd3! followed by 0-0, and Nd4-f5 assures an edge. But not 7 e5, Qg6 8 0-0, Bb7 9 e6?, which seems to win after 9...fxe6 10 Ne5, but actually loses to 10..Qxg2ch! 11 Kxg2, cSch!. White should "put the question" to the bishop before Black can add pressure to the f3-knight by way of ....Qf6. In our main line, we'll see that Black gets that queen move in anyway. The difference is the addition of the pawn moves h3 by White and ...h5 by Black gives White the extra option of capturing the bishop at the right moment. In a way, 6 h3 is an echo of Black's third "question-putting" move, since 3...a6 is played under the assumption that after 4 Ba4 Black gains an extra option (a later ...b5). We now have three possibilities but only the third is signifi- cant: (a) 6...Bh5? and (b) 6...Bxf3 analyzed in this chapter, while (c) 6...h5! occupies the next chapter. Chapter Two: The Pin (5...Bg4) 21 (1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 Bb5, i Bxc6, dxc65 0-0, Bg4 6 _h3) 6. BhS? A dubious gambit. Tgat ‘There is no solid reason to give Black a chance to defend the e-pawn with 7,..Bd6 -- except in the mistaken hope that Black will repeat the errors of the 1975 Correspondence game Trommsdorf- Duchardt, which went 7 d3, Bc5? 8 g4!, Bg6 9 NxeS, Qh4 10 Kg2, 0-0-0 11 Ne3!? (Just 1] Nd2 and 12 Naf3 is safe enough), Ne7 12 f4, h5?? after which 13 g5! forced resignation because 14 Nf3 will win the trapped queen. a Bg6 Unlike comparable positions in the delayed Exchange Vari- ations (e.g. 1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 BbS, a6 4 Bad, Nf6 5 0-0, Be7 6 Bxc6, dxc6 7 d3, Bg4? 8 h3, BhS 9 24, Nxg4!?) Black cannot even sacrifice a piece for two pawns here. 8 Nxe5 This wins a pawn since 8...Bxe4? would allow 9 Rel with a deadly battery lined up against the king. 8... Qh4 A natural move but perhaps not the best since White can oust the queen almost immediately. An Indonesian player named Sampouw used 8..Bd6 twice at Melbourne 1975. One game gave him compensation after 9 Nf3, h5 10 g5, Be7 11 d3, h4 12 Bf4, £6, but in the other (vs. Jamieson) Black had scant compensation following 9 Nxg6!, hxg6 10 Qf3, BeS (/0...Qh4 11 e5!) 11 c3, c5 12 Na3, Qh4 13 Ned, f6 14 b4!, exb4 15 d4!. ‘The latest finesse for Black is 8...f6 and then 9 Nxg6, hxg6 10 Q£3, Qd6 11 Nc3, 0-0-0. This gambit was tried in Benjamin-van der Wiel, Cannes 1992, but worked out poorly after White returned the pawn via 12 d4!, Qxd4 13 Rdl, Qc4 14 Rxd8ch followed by Bf4 and Qe3. 9 Q83 This covers the kingside quite nicely and will allow him to reorganize his position with a subsequent Kg2 and Rh1. Typical play would be 9...f6 10 Nxg6, hxg6 11 Kg2 and now 11...0-0-0 12 43, Bd6 13 Rh1!, Ne7 14 Nc3!, g5 15 Ne2 or 13...g5 14 Nc3, Ne7 15 Be3 (Pantaleev-Kristov, Bulgaria 1965). B (1 e4, e5 2 Nf3, Nc6 3 BbS, a6 4 Bxc6, dxc6 5 0-0, Bg4 6 h3) Black reduces the pressure on eS but at the cost of his light- squared bishop, the piece that represented his compensation for the doubled c-pawn. If he proceeds to castle kingside and handle the middlegame routinely, he insures a slight but clear inferiority. For example: (1) 7...BeS 8 d3, Ne7 9 Nd2, 0-0 10 Nc4, Ng6 11 Qg4! in- tending to push his f-pawn after the key g2-g3/Kg2 maneuver (IL...Re8 12 93, Nf8 13 Kh2, Qd7 14 4, f6 15 Qxd7 and 16 Be3 with a neat edge, Malevinsky-Borisenko, U.S.S.R. 1972). (2) 7..Bd6 8 d3, Ne7 9 Nd2, 0-0 10 Nc4, f6 11 Qg4, RE7 and now 12 £4, exf4 13 Bxf4, Bxf4 14 Qxf4, Ng6 was a “grandmaster draw", in Trapl-Blatny, Bedin 1975 (although White is better). But 12 g3 is a superior preparation for the f-pawn's advance, as in (1). White wants to preserve pawn control of eS (f4/..exf4/gxf4!) in these lines, (3) 7...Ne7 8 d3, Ng6 9 Be3 (or 9 Nd2 and 10 Ne4 as in the previous two subvariations), Be7 10 Nd2, c5 11 Ne4, 0-0 12 a4, a5 and now either the usual Qg4/g3/Kg2 plan or the immediate 13 Qg3 and 14 f4 should favor White, even if it means giving up a bishop for a knight on f4. A sample game was Tukamakov-Kosenko, U.S.S.R. 1975, which ended remarkably quickly: 13 Qg3, Re8 14 f4, exf4 15 Bxf4, Nxf4 16 Qxf4, Rf8 17 Rf3, Ra6 18 Qd2, Qddch 19 Kh1, Rfa8 (an odd maneuver -- reaching for f6 by way of a6) 20 Raf, Rf6 21 Rxf6, Bxf6 22 RFS! (intending to trap her majesty with Rd5), Be7 23 Qf4, Bd6 24 Qf3, 26 25 Rd5, Qg7 26 e5, Be7 27 Rd7, Re8 28 Rxc7, Qh6 29 Nd6 Resigns. Note that 25 RdS is stronger than 25 Rxf7. (4) 7...Nf6 8 d3, Be7 9 Nd2. Now the Black e-pawn is highly vulnerable to Ne4 and Qg3. If Black tries 9...b5, then 10 Qg3, Qd6 11 Nf3! wins a pawn safely (/[...Nd7 12 Qxg7). (5) And as mentioned in Chapter One, the endgame that re- sults from 7...Qf6 8 Qxf6, Nxf6 just plays into White's hands. This was known as far back as the great London tournament of 1883 when. Simon Winawer beat George MacKenzie with a more radical treat- ment than we usually see: 9 d3, Bd6 10 Nc3, h6 11 £4, 0-0-0 12 fxe5, Bxe5 13 Be3, b6 and now 14 d4!?, Bxd4 15 Bxd4, Rxd4 6 e5, Nd7 17 Rxf7, Nxe5 18 Rxg7, Rd7 19 Rxd7, Kxd7 20 Rf1 and White won in 68 moves. A modern -- and more thematic -- illustration was Fuchs- Blatny, Varna 1962 in which Black sought to stop the advance of the enemy f-pawn: 9 d3, Nd7 10 Nd2, BcS 11 Ned, f6 12 g3!, 0-0-0 13 Kg2! (this preparation for 14 4 should by now be familiar to you), 25 14 Be3, Rhg8 15 Rhi!, h5 (intending to push the g-pawn to g4 to avoid the opening the file after 16 h4) 16 Rafl, Rg6 17 hd, g4 18 Bxc5 and 19 f4 with an obvious edge. Tone Qd7 Chapter Two: The Pin (5...Bg4) 31 This is an attempt to complicate matters by castling queen- side, perhaps with a kingside pawn storm via ...f6/..g5/..h5 and eventually the line-opening ...g4. The pawn storm, however, can usually be thwarted by an offer to exchange queens (Qg4 or Qf5). Or, if White prefers, he can play for his own mate with a general queen- side advance by pushing pawns to a4, b4, and eventually, b5. Note that the Black queen needs to control some of the lost light-colored squares. On 7...Qd6? we have a position similar to Bronstein's 5...Qd6 (see Chapter Seven) but with the important dif- ference that in the latter, Black keeps his second bishop on the board. In another early game, Winawer-Englisch, London 1883, Black played 7...Qd6 8 d3, £6 9 Nd2, 0-0-0 10 Ne4 and then discovered he had nothing better than 10...Qe6. But after 11 Qg3 (preparing 12 f4), g5 12 a4, b6 13 Be3, Ne7 White decided against the attractive end- games available with a timely Qg4 and instead turned to the queenside -- 14 £3, Ng6 15 Qel, a5 16 Qc3, Bb4 17 Qb3. I'm going to give the rest of this game because it well illus- trates many of the Exchange Variation themes that are as true in the 1990s as in the 1880s. It's also a very fine game: 17...Qe7 18 g3, h5 19 Kg2!, h4!? 20 g4 (closing the kingside and banking on the opening of the other wing), Rhe8 21 Kh2, Nf8 22 ¢3, Bc5 23 Rad1, Ne6 24 Qc2, Bxe3 25 Nxe3, Qc5 26 NfS, Rd7 27 Rd2, Red8 28 Rfdi, Nf4 29 d4, Qc4 30 d5!, cxd5 31 exd5, Kb8 (3/...Rxd5?? allows a fork on €7) 32 Qed, Qxe4 33 fxe4. With a passed d-pawn, White needs a breakthrough but the closed natured of the wings forces him to become creative: 33...Kb7 34 RE2, c6 35 c4, c5! 36 Ne3, Re8 37 Ral!, Rc8 38 Ra3, Re8 39 Rb3, Rc8 40 Nc2, Ra8 41 Kgl, Re8 42 Kfl, Ra8 43 Rff3, Re8 44 Ne3, Rc8 45 Nf5, Re8 46 RbS!, Ka7. 47 bal, axb4 48 a5, Rb8 (48...bxa5 49 RxaSch, Kb6 50 RbSch and Rxc5) 49 Rb3, Re7 50 Rbi!, Rd7 51 Ral, Rbb7 52 axb6ch, Kb8 53 Ra6, Rd8 54 Rxc5, Nxh3 55 Rea5, Ke8 56 ¢5!, b3 57 c6, b2 and Black resigns. Back to the main line: 83 This position has generally been considered favorable for White -- except by Viktor Korchnoi, who has periodically placed his faith in the Black setup. He has played both 8...Bd6 (and ...Ne7-26) and 8...Ne7 here, usually transposing into the same position. Chapter Two: The Pin (5,.Be4) 3 Black can transpose into the main line with 8...0-0-0 9 Nd2, £6. However, Alexei Suetin believes 8...0-0-0 to be premature because of 9 Bd2! with a speedier attack: 9...f6 10 b4, g5 11 a4, h5 12 Qe3 (evading the line-opening 12...24 by threatening to enter Black's back door with 13 Qa7!), Kb8 13 Na3! with a strong attack after the b- pawn reaches the fifth rank. 8. £6 There is less promise to a plan of 8...Ne7 followed by kingside castling with ...f5 because the resulting hole on e4 grants White a wonderful outpost. For example, 8..Ne7 9 Be3, Ng6 10 Nd2, Bd6 11 Ned, 0-0 12 Rfd1 -- to push the d-pawn -- £5?! 13 exf5, RxfS 14 Qg4, Qf7 15 NaS!, Nf4 16 Nxb7!, Be7 17 Qf3 with a large advantage (17...Nxd3 18 Qxc6, Nxb2 19 Nd6! or 17...Nd5 18 Qe4, Rb8 19 NaS, Rxb2 20 Nxc6, Bd6 21 Na8! -- Ghizdavu-Liljedahl, Nice Olympiad 1974). Note that White can also transfer his QN to g3 via e2 in these lines: 8...Ne7 9 Nc3, Ng6 10 Be3, Bd6 11 Ne2, 0-0 12 Ng3, Nf4 and now 13 Bxf4 is OK, but better is 13 d4}, e.g, 13..Ne6 14 dxe5 fol- lowed by Nf5 and Rad1 (Bernstein-Steiner, Groningen 1946). When Black plays for ...f7-f5 it is important for White's queen to gain access to the light-colored squares. This was highlighted in Nunn-Korchnoi, Wijk aan Zee 1985 with a slightly different move order: 8...Bd6 9 Nd2, Ne7 10 Ned, 0-0 11 Be3, £5?! 12 exf5, Rxf5 13 Qe2, Ng6 14 Nd2, Raf8 15 Ne4, and now 15...Nf4 16 Bxf4 just reaches the kind of good-knight-versus-bad-bishop that tradition- ally favors White. Korchnoi, well aware of such niceties, played 15,..Be7 and after 16 Qg4!, Qe8 17 Ng3, R(5)f7 18 Rael, c5 19 Qc4! and White made slow progress (19...0c6 20 Qe4, Qb6 21 b3, Kh8 22 Qd5 in- tending Ne4). 9 Nd2 0-0-0 10 Ned innit change Vari ‘This nicely-placed knight can work against the enemy king position from a5 or defend his own king (from f5 via e3). White just has to choose between the attacking plan or the endgame. Depending on what Black does now, one may be superior to the other. For ex- ample, a kingside pawn storm by Black will probably be best met by a queen exchange (Qf5 or Qg4). But a slower procedure by Black would allow White a free hand on the queenside. 10... hs Black goes for the mate (...g5-4) while stopping Qg4. Among other scenarios for him are: (1) 10...Bd6 invites 11 Bd2 and 12 b4. But the best example of 10...Bd6 was Bohm-Kinnmark, Eksjo 1974 which saw White opt for the ending with 11 Qg4, Qxg4?! 12 hxg4, Ne7 13 Be3, c5 14 a4, Nc6 15 g3!, Rd7 (/5...Nd4 16 Bxd4! only helps White) 16 Kg2, Rhd8 17 g5, Nb4 18 Racl with a slight edge. Both h7 and f6 are targets. (2) 10...Be5 and now the queenside attack will gain a tempo when White gets a pawn to b4. In Watanabe-Ballmann, World Junior 1988 Black prospered when White mishandled the attack: 11 Bd2, h5 12 a4, g5 13 Ne3, Kb8 14 b4, Bd4 15 Rabl, Rf8 16 b5!?, exbS 17 axbS, axb5 and now 18 Rb3, intending 19 Rfb1, c6 20 ¢4 or Chapter Two: The Pin G..Be4) 8S 19 3, Bxe3 20 Qxe3 is dangerous. But White erred with 18 Nf5?, Nh6 19 Nxh6, Rxh6 20 Bxg5, Rg6 and although he had regained his pawn, the game was drawn in 46 moves. (3) 10...Ne7? is questionable because it makes the advance of the g-pawn difficult (17 Be3, g5? 12 Qxf6) and because the alterna- tive scheme of 11...c5 and 12,..Ne6 is easily stopped by 11 Be3 or 11 b4, with play similar to Fischer-Kramer in Chapter Nine. On 11 Be3, Qe6 12 a4 Black, having lost a tempo, can still try to push the g-pawn now that the f-pawn is protected. However, 12...g5? 13 Qg4!, Qxg4 14 hxg4 is a most favorable version of the endgames we've examined in this chapter. In Hug-Teschner, Berlin 1971 Black was lost soon after 14...h5 15 gxh5, Rxh5 16 g3! (by now a familiar theme), Bg7 17 Kg2, Kd7 18 Rhi1, Rxhl 19 Rxhl, Rh8 20 Rxh8, Bxh8 21 Be5 and White has all the advantages in the minor piece ending, particularly because of the light-square holes on the kingside, e.g. 21...Nc8 22 Ne3, Ke6 23 Kf3, Bg7 24 Kg4, Nd6 25 KhS5, Kf7 26 Bxd6!, cxd6 27 Nc4 and 28 Na5. 11 Bd2 White could also slide into a slightly favorable endgame with 11 Ne3 and 12 Qf5. But accepting the challenge offers greater chances for a larger advantage. IL... Kb8 Not the only move here. It secures some safety if and when the a-file is opened. We are following Bronstein-Nei, Tallinn 1971 which continued: 12b4 25 13 a4 And here White obtained a slight edge with 13...g4 14 Qg3! (to keep closed the more dangerous file, the h-file). Then 14...gxh3 15 Qxh3, Qxh3 16 gxh3 would leave White with the greater kingside changes because he can open matters with his f-pawn and is closer for exploitation with his king. In the Bronstein game Black developed with 14..Bh6 15 Bxh6, Nxh6 but then 16 h4 kept matters closed (/6..,f5? hangs the e- pawn). There followed 16...Qd4 17 Rabl, f5!2 18 Qxe5, fxe4 and now 19 Qxd4, Rxd4 20 b5!, exd3 21 cxd3, axb5 22 axb5, c5 (better 22...cxbS 23 Rxb5, Rxd3 although 24 Rfbl, b6 25 Rxh5, threatening 26 Nxb6, still favors White) 23 b6, Nf5 24 Rb5. Chapter Three: The Main Line Pin (6..n5) BT CHAPTER THREE: The Main Line Pin (6...h5) Historically, it was the strengthening of this variation for White that made the Exchange Lopez a popular opening. Today, the line remains crucial -- but rarely played. If it weren't for the improve- ments discovered for White in the 1960s, this 6...h5 would retain the bad name it achieved in the earlier part of the century. But with those improvements, it is probably too dangerous for Black to play regu- larly. le4 5 2Nf3 Ne6 3 BbS a6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 50-0 In 1948 Reuben Fine described this move as "weak because Black can safely reply 5...Bg4!". He gave 6 h3, h5 7 d3, Qf6 8 hxg4, hxg4 9 Ng5, Qh6 10 Nh3, Qh4 11 Kh2, gxh3 12 g3, Qh7 and, al- though White has managed to close the dreaded h-file, the advantage lies with Black. As we will show, White should not play 8 hxg4. ss Bed 6h3 hs! 743 This is the key line that Johan Barendregt of the Netherlands championed virtually alone in the late 1950s and early 1960s -- only to become disillusioned after a crushing loss at the hands of Rudolf Teschner at the European Team Championship, Hamburg 1965. Barendregt believed that was the end of 5 0-0 -- but the postmortems that followed provided major improvements, and Bardendregt-Tesch- ner actually turned out to be the beginning of this opening's history. With 7 d3 White enables himself to meet the pressuring of the pinned knight (7...Q/6) with reinforcements (8 Nbd2). But before we examine the main line, it's worth mentioning an alternative procedure for White. He can vary with 7 ¢3 with the idea of accepting the doubled pawns in the endgame of 7...Qf6 8 d4, exd4 9 exd4, Bxf3 10 Qxf3!, Qxf3 11 gxf3, 0-0-0 12 Be3 (12...f5 13 Nc3, Nf6). If Black accepts the gambit with 10...Qxd4, then 11 Rd1, Qc4 12 Bf4 offers plentiful compensation. Back in the late 1960s it was believed that 7...Qd3 “forced a draw" because of the piquant idea of 8 hxg4, hxg4 9 Nxe5, Bd6! 10 Nxd3, Bh2ch with a perpetual check. Later it was found that 8 Rel! significantly improves White's chances because again the endgame is good for him despite the backwardness of his d-pawn: 8...Bxf3 9 Qxf3, Qxf3 10 gxf3, 0-0-0 11 KfL!, Be7 12 Ke2, Bg5 13 Na3, Ne7 14 Rgl, Bh6 15 Nc4!, £6 16 h4, cS 17 d3 (De Wit-Van der Sterren, Amsterdam 1985). Tow Qf6 It makes a little sense for Black to bug out now with 7...Bxf3 8 Qxf3, since the addition of ...h7-h5 and d2-d3 makes the position close to ones we saw in the last chapter. However, after 8...Qd7 Chapter Three: The Main Line Pin (6...n5) 39 White can vary from the previous prescription (9 Nd2, 0-0-0 10 Nc4, £6 11 Bd2) and attack the e-pawn instead with 9 Qg3, 6 10 f4!. Then 10...exf4 11 Qg6ch offers a nice version of the endgame following 11...Qf7, e.g. 12 Qxf7eh, Kxf7 13 Bxf4, BeSch 14 Kh1, Bd6 15 Nd2, Bxf4 16 Rxf4, Ne7 17 Rafl, Rad8 and now instead 18 b4? (an over-finesse which might have been punished by /8...a5 19 bxa5, Ra& in Kapeyush-Zhivodoy, U.S.S.R. 1977) White should simply follow with 18 eS. On the other hand, if Black continues to offer the bishop on #4 but does so without 7...Qf6, he runs into some trouble. For exam- ple, on 7...Be5 White strengthens his defenses with 8 Be3!. The only serious alternative to the main line is 7...Bd6, which deserves serious consideration since 8 hxg4, hxg4 9 Ng5, Nh6 gives Black some com- pensation of a long-term nature (e.g. 10 d4, Qe7 11 d5, BcS 12 g3, 0- 0-0 as in a 1983 Soviet game). After 7...Bd6 White should follow this simple, solid prescrip- tion, which is useful in most of the main lines of the Pin Variation: He should create a flight square for his king at f1, bring his QN to c4 and eventually threaten to take the bishop on g4. Black's bishop will then be faced with a choice of a retreat, an unfavorable exchange on f3 or a dubious sacrifice. For example, 7..Bd6 8 Rel, Qf6 9 Nbd2, Ne7 10 Ne4 and 10...0-0-0 11 hxg4!, hxg4 12 Ng5!, with its threat of 13 Qxg4ch is good for White - whereas 12 Nh2?, Rxh2! 13 Qxg4ch, Kb8 14 Kxh2?, Qxf2 15 Bh6!?, Rh8! is not (Skyrinya-Gara, Riga 1984). Therefore, Black should back out gracefully with 10...Bxf3 11 Qxf3!, Qxf3 12 gxf3 with the usual slightly inferior endgame (/2...0-0-0 13 f4; 12...Ng6 13 Kf1) to come. White may even take the Bishop immediately at move eight: 8 hxg4, hxg4 9 Ng5 and then 9...Nh6 10 Rel (to create a flight square), Qe7 11 Be3. m Winning With The R a . Black can regain his piece with 11..f6 12 Qd2, fxg5 13 Bxg5, Qe8, but White keeps an edge from superior pawn structure. His king is secure after 14 Bh4 and Bg3/Kg1 (Sanchez-Uriarte, San Sebastian 1993). 8 Nbd2 Once again the queen trade (8 Be3, Bxf3 9 Qxf3) is tempting but not as ambitious as White can be. He hopes, eventually, to be able to threaten to take on g4, thereby forcing Black into something un- pleasant such as 8...Be6 or 8...Bxf3. 8... Ne7 The power of the queen trade is revealed by the overly ag- gressive 8...g5? and the reply 9 Ne4, Bxf3 (else Bxg5) 10 Qxf3, Qxf3 11 gxf3 after which the weakness of the kingside pawns is underlined by 11...f6 12 h4!, gxh4 13 £4 or 12...24 13 Kg2, both favoring White. The move 8...Ne7 fits in with Black's scheme of shifting pieces on the kingside (...Ne7-g6-f4) while anticipating the further attack on his e-pawn. Black also has, however, two perfectly reason- able developing moves with his bishop: (1) 8...Be5 has the drawback of leaving the e-pawn hanging so that on 9 Nc4, the threat of Nxe5 leads to 9...Bxf3 10 Qxf3, Qxf3 11 gxf3, 6 12 f4!, exf4 13 Bxf4, 0-0-0 14 Be3 and White has an excellent end- game because of the attack against g7 following 14...Bxe3 15 Nxe3, Ne7 16 f4, Rdf8 17 £5! or 16...5 17 e5, Nd5 18 Rael, Nxe3 19 Rxe3, h4 20 Kf2 and 21 Rg1 (Pokojowczyk-Sliwa, Poland 1977). (2) 8..Bd6 -- protecting the e-pawn and typically transposing back into our main line below after 9 Rel, Ne7 10 d4, Ng6. Note that in many of these lines White feels it necessary to play Ne4, even if this means trading queens on £3. However, 8...b5, would stop the knight move. A 1976 correspondence game showed White getting an edge with 9 Nb3, Bd6 10 a4, Ne7 11 axbS, cxbS 12 Be3, but he should probably just develop as in other lines with 9 Nb3, Bd6 10 Be3 (or 9 Rel, Bc5 10 Nb3 and 11 Be3), thereby taking aim at the newly created hole at 5. 9Rel This unassuming move actually serves several defensive pur- poses. It gives the White King an important escape square at fl (and also at e2) in case the h-file becomes too hot. The same fl-square can also be used for one Knight's defense of its brother after a subsequent hxg4/...nxg4/Nh2. and Ndfl!. There is also the possibility - which occurs in our main line - of advancing the d-pawn with the tactical help of the Rook at el. In general, forcing the Queen trade on f3 is favorable when White can quickly undouble his f-pawns. If White wants an alterna- tive to 9 Rel, then 9 Ned is a forcing candidate, since 9...Ng6? 10 hxg4, hxg4 11 Bg5!, Qe6 12 Nh2 would kill the attack. Some grandmaster games - including one candidates match game, have seen 9 Ned, Bxf3 10 Qxf3, Qxf3 11 gxf3, Ng6! after which White's pawns remain doubled and Black stands reasonably well (/2 Be3, Be7 13 42 _________—_— Winning With The Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation Khl, Bf6 14 a4, 0-0-0 15 a5, Nh4 16 Na2, Ng6 and 17...Nf4, Hort- Spassky, Reykjavik 1977). Doe Ng6 As mentioned earlier, White's plan is to develop defensively until he can either capture on g4 or force Black to preserve material equality by moving that bishop. If Black has second thoughts about the bishop at move nine, he quickly gets the worst of it: (1) 9...Be6 10 Nfl, g6 (and not 0...Ng6?? because of the Q- tapping // Bg5!) 11 b4! with impending pressure on the e-pawn from Bb2, e.g. 11...c5 12 bxc5, Ne6 13 Be3, Qg7? 14 Rbi, 0-0-0 and now 15 Qc1!, Kb8 16 Qa3, Ka7 17 Rb2! and White soon had a winning attack in Filipowicz-Trajkovic, Belgrade 1976; (2) 9...Bxf3 10 Nxf3, 0-0-0 - a comparison with the previous chapter shows White is better on all fronts - 11 Be3, Rd7 12 Qd2, Ng6 13 b4!, Bd6 14 a4 and in Tatai-Jean, Monte Carlo 1967 Black tried to offset the impact of the pawn storm with 14,..Nf4, only to discover after 15 Bxf4, Qxf4 16 Qxf4, exf4 17 b5! that it had not lost its punch. 17...cxb5 18 axb5, Bb4 19 bxa6!, bxa6 (/9...Bxe/ 20 a7!) 20 Rxa6!. 1044 C Three: T Line Pi 5 3 This blocks the key f2-c5 diagonal and therefore threatens to capture on g4. Compare with 10 hxg4?, hxg4 11 Nh2? and now the thematic 11...Rxh2! 12 Kxh2, Qh4ch 13 Kgl, BeS! wins for Black. But now, after 10 d4, it becomes riskier for Black to leave his Bishop hanging on g4. The natural 10...0-0-0 allows 11 hxg4!, hxg4 12 Nh2, Rxh2 after which White kills the attack with 13 Qxg4ch!, Kb8 14 Kxh2, c.g. 14...Qxf2 15 Rfl, Qxd4 16 Nb3, Qc4 17 Bg5, Rc8 18 Be3!, Be7 19 Ba7ch, Kxa7 20 Qxc8, Qxe4 21 Rael resigns (Schneider-Wademark, Eksjo 1978). 10... Bd6 Once more 10...Bxf3 is a concession that Black has mis- played the opening (// Nxf3, Bd6 12 c3 and now 12...Nf4 13 Bxf4, Quf4 14 Qcl favors White slightly, while castling on either wing runs into Bg5 or Ng5). If the 6...h5 variation is going to be resuscitated in the future, the most likely route will be by way of 10...Nf4!?. After 11 hxg4, hxg4 12 Nh2 Black's best is 12...Nxg2! after which 13 Kxg2, Rx- h2ch! wins for Black - but 13 dxe5!, Qh4 14 Ndfl gives White an even game. This last variation was pointed out, incidentally, by a computer. But 12 g3! is a solid defense that can lead to a serious ad- vantage for White after 12...Qh6? 13 Nh4, g5 14 Qxg4, gxh4 15 gxf4! or 12...Bb4 (to eliminate a defender with ...Bxd2) 13 gxf4!, Qh6 14 Kf! and the king walks safely away, e.g. 14..Qxf4 15 NxeS!, Rhich 16 Ke2, Rh2 17 Nd3, Qh6 18 Nfl! s (Adorjan- Horner, London 1975). This means that after 10...Nf4 11 hxg4, hxg4 12 g3, Black must regain the piece with 12...gxf3 13 Qxf3, Ne6 (so that the N reaches d4 after a Q-trade) 14 dxe5, Qh6! 15 Nb3, Qh2ch 16 Kfl, BeS! with considerable complications, In Povah-Corden, Birming- 44 Winning With The Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation ham 1977 White emerged victorious after 17 Be3 (not 17 Nxc5, Nd4! 18 Qg2, Qhich), Bxe3 18 Qxe3, 0-0-0? (18...Qh3ch!) 19 QF3! but the practical chances may be more balanced than it appears. White may improve with 17 Qg2, Qh5 18 Nxc5 and then 18...Nxc5 19 Be3, QeS 20 c3 with a small edge. This is better than 20 Qf3, 0-0-0 21 Qf5, Qxf5! 22 exf5, Na4 which turned to Black's favor in Malyutin-Laguminia, Forli 1991. 11 hxg4! At last White can make this capture. 11... hxg4 12. Nh2 White must not open the h2-d6 diagonal voluntarily (72 dxe5?, Bxe5! 13 Nxe5?, Qh4! or 13 g3, 0-0-0 14 Nxe5, Nxe5 threat- ening 15...RhIch! 16 Kxh1, Qxf2 and mate along the h-file). 12... Rxh2! At first it seems that 12...exd4 wins because of 13 Ndfl, Bxh2ch 14 Nxh2, Qh4 or 13 g3, Rxh2!. However, the subsidiary benefits of White's 9th and 10th moves are revealed by 12...exd4? 13 eS! after which White obtains a clear edge in all lines: (a) 13...Bxe5 14 Qxg4, Rxh2 15 Nf3!, Rh8 16 Nxe5 or, (b) 13...Bxe5 14 Qxg4, Rh4 15 Qf3!, 0-0-0 16 g3, Rh7 17 Ned, or, (©) 13...Nxe5 14 Ne4, Qh4 15 Nxd6ch, exd6 16 Bf4, £5 17 Bg3!, QhS 18 Qxd4, 0-0-0 19 RxeS! - Grodzensky-Amzaev, Cor- respondence 1975. 13 Qxg4! This is what White missed in the semifinal game (Barendregt-Teschner, European Team Championship, Hamburg 1965). Instead, he played 13 Kxh2? and after 13...Qxf2 14 Re2, exd4ch 15 e5, BxeSch 16 Rxe5ch, Nxe5 17 Kh1 (/7 Qf! or 17 Ne4 allow 17...Nf3ch! and wins), 0-0-0 and resigned in view of 18 Nfl, Rh8ch 19 Nh2, g3!. As the foremost champion - at that time - of 5 0-0, Baren- dregt said afterwards, "I've lost not a game but a variation." The postmortem discovery of 13 Qxg4 changed a lot of minds. 13... Rh4 The endgame forced by 13...Qh4 appears balanced and in his authoritative Russian-language book (1982) on the Ruy Lopez, Yefim Geller gave 14 Qxh4, Rxh4 15 Nf3, Rh8 16 Be3, £6 17 g3, 0-0-0 18 Rad1, Rhe8 as roughly equal. White may obtain more out of the position by way of a timely exchange on e5, thereby creating the 3-vs.-2 pawn majority on the kingside that is more “promotable" than Black's 4-vs-3 queenside majority. In Geller's line, for example, 18 Kg2, Rhe8 19 dxe5 is an 6 Wi with T E . improvement: 19...Nxe5 20 Nxe5, Rxe5 21 Bd4, Re6 22 Bc3 fol- lowed by exchanges of rooks and perhaps bishops. It is important to appreciate how White wins such a position because it is the underlying premise of the Exchange Variation - all things being equal, White's majority beats Black's majority. (After 5 0-0, all things were not equal: Black has two bishops to White's one.) The position after 22 Bc3 can be won with play such as in this amateur game, Valkesalmi-Backe, Hallsberg 1980-1: 22...g5 23 Radi, Rde8 24 £3, Be5 25 Rd3, Bxc3 26 Rxc3, f5 27 Rce3, f4 28 R@)e2, Rh6 29 Rh, Rxh1 30 Kxhi, Rh8ch 31 Rh2, Rd8 32 Kg2, Rd1 33 gxf4, gxf4 34 Kh3, Ral 35 a3, Rb1 36 c3, Rel 37 Rg2, Rxg2 38 Kxg2, Kd7 39 Kh3, Ke6 40 Ke4, KeS5 41 c4, c5 42 a4}, b6 43 b3!, c6 44 Kg5, bS 45 Kg4! (Black cannot create a passed pawn), 45...bxc4 46 bxc4, Kd4 47 Kf5! (so that Black's c-pawn will not queen with check), 47...Kxe4 48 e5, Kb3 49 e6, c4 50 e7, c3 51 e8(Q), c2 52 Qb8ch, Ka2 53 Qxf4, Kb2 54 QeSch. Black Resigns. It is important to realize that memorizing specific moves in such an endgame is not as important as the basic principles - paralyz- ing Black's majority, creating your own passed pawn, neutralizing the enemy rooks. Aside from the line given above, there is 15...Rh5 and the procedure 16 3 and 17 dxe5. In a few games 16 ¢3, f6 was seen, with one example running 17 dxe5, Nxe5 18 Nxe5, Bxe5 19 Be3, Rd8 20 Rad1, Rxd1 21 Rxd1, Ke7 22 Kf1, Rh4 23 f3, Rhich 24 Ke2, Rh2 25 f4!, Bd6 26 Kf3 and White was winning (Kyhle-K. Karlsson, Rilton Cup 1980-1). 14 Qf5! Barendregt was one of the first to show the strength of this forcing move, after which an endgame can scarcely be avoided. 14... Ne7 . in Line Pin (6. .h5 7 Black can preserve the integrity of his pawn structure with 14..Rf4 15 Qxf6, Rxf6 but 16 Nf3 (preventing castling or piece re- treats because of Bg5 or dxe5), 16...Re6 17 dxe5, Nxe5 18 Nxe5, Bxe5 19 3, 0-0-0 20 Be3 is another version of the favorable ending mentioned in the note to 13...Rh4. Typical play would then be 20...f6 21 £3, Re7 22 Rad1, Bd6 23 Kf2, c5? 24 c4!, b6 25 b3, Rh8 26 Rh1, Ree8 27 Rxh8, Rxh8 28 f4, Re8 29 Kf3, Kd7 30 Rd5, Ke6 31 fSch, Ke7 32 Bf4 and in Nurmi-Henao, World Junior 1975 White won soon after 32...g5 33 fxg6, Rg8 34 Bxd6ch, cxd6 35 RhS, b5 (35...Rxg6 36 Rh7ch, Ke6 37 Rb7) 36 Rh6, 15 Qxf6 gxf6 The doubled pawns are temporary since White will eventually play dxeS. It will then be just as hard for White to create a passed pawn when Black has his at eS and £7 as when they are on f7 and g7. Two examples of thematic play by White: (1) Slow kingside expansion - 16 dxeS, fxe5 17 g3, Rg4 18 Nfl (or 18 Kg2, 19 Nf3 and 20 Rh1), 0-0-0 19 £3!?, Rg6 20 Be3, £5 21 Bf2, RIB 22 Kg2, Ref6 23 Nd2, Ng6 24 exfS, Rxf5 25 Re4, Re5 26 Be3, Nf4ch 27 Bxf4, exf4 28 24, Rd5 29 Re2, BeS 30 Ned4!?, Bxb2 31 Rht, Bd4 32 Rh7, Be3 33 g5, Rdl 34 Kh2, Rd7 35 Rh6 and despite his pawn minus, White eventually cracked through in 81 moves thanks to his passed pawn and rooks in O'Donnell-G. Garcia, Saint John Open 1988. (2) Play for exchanges - 16 NE3, Rh5 17 Be3, 0-0-0 18 g3, Rdh8 19 dxeS! (19 Kg2, f5! equalizes), fxe5 20 Kg2, Kd7 21 Rhl, Rxhl 22 Rxhl, Rxh 23 Kxhl, c5 24 Kg2, Ne6 25 3, b5 26 Nd2, c4 27 £4, exf4? (Black should temporize with ...Nd8-e6-c5) 28 exf4, £6 29 Kg3, Ne7 30 Kg4, Ke6 31 Nf3, c5 32 fSch, Ka7 33 Bf4, Nc6 34 Bxd6, Kxd6 35 Kfa! (35 KhS, Ne5! 36 NxeS, Kxe5 37 Kg6, b4! complicates), 35..b4 36 eSch!, fxe5 37 Ke4, aS 38 Nd2, a4 39 Nxcdch, Ke7 40 a3!, bxa3 41 Nxa3!?, Kf6 42 Ned, Ne7 43 Ne3. Black Resigns - Adorjan-Perecz, Hungarian Championship 1972. Chapter Four: The Endgame (S.,,f6 and 7,05) _________49 CHAPTER FOUR: The Endgame (5...f6 and 7.65) While there are many different endgames that may arise in the Exchange Variation, there is one that has become a major subvaria- tion and the focus of the attention of the world’s best players. Al- though improvements seemed to be appearing regularly during the late 1970s and early 1980s, they have not overthrown the basic conclusion that White stands very well. led es 2Nf3 Nc6 3 BbS a6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 50-0 £6 Here 6 d4 is the natural continuation, but 6 h3 has been tried recently to avoid the main line of 6 d4, Bg4. After 6 h3 Black can try to punish the novelty with 6...g5!? 7 d4, g4, but after 8 hxg4, Bxg4 9 ¢3, Bd6 10 Nbd2, Qd7 11 Nc4 White has a promising game (Gurie- li-Cuevas, Debreczen 1992). 6d4 exd4 For alternatives, see Chapter 6. 7 Nxd4 It is important to make Black pay a positional price (i.e. the weakening of control of d5 and the vulnerability of the e5 pawn) for the trade of queens. The complacent 7 Qxd4 allows Black too easy a game (7...Qxd4, 8...Bd7 and 9...0-0-0).