464 ( +1 | -1 ) One variation in the Ruy-LopezThis thread is dedicated to the analisys of one sub-sub-variation in the Ruy Lopez (Spanish) opening, and 5 games that I played in this variation. Hope you'll find this interesting!
Here's the variation I often play as white:
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.0-0 Bg4 (Fischer's move) 6.h3 h5 7.d3 Qf6 and now the normal theoretical line is 8.Nbd2 Bc5 with a difficult game for both sides.
But through trial and error I discovered (not as the first, but I did discover it) that white can just as well play 8.Be3. How should black respond ? The most critical line is of course 8...Bxf3, because anything else (eg. 8...Bd6 9.Nbd2) would lead to an inferior version of known lines. Inferior for black, that is... white's bishop is developed to e3 instead of being hemmed on c1, and black's bishop is passive on d6 instead of being active on c5. So, black must call white's bluff and exchange on f3:
8.Be3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Qxf3 10.gxf3 - and we have our ground position.
Black conceded the bishop pair, but white has an ugly pair of doubled pawns on the f-file. If white is given a chance to get rid of them by f3-f4, he'll stand better. That's why 10...0-0-0 is bad, and black must play:
10...Bd6 11.Nd2 Ne7
Again, after 11...0-0-0 12.Nc4 white cannot be prevented from playing f4.
Here are some games I played in this line on the ItsYourTurn server.
The first game is a proof that indeed black must play Bxf3 on his 8th move: otherwise he's stimply stuck with a bad position.
[Event "January 2002 Main #1 Tournament"] [Round "2"] [White "Zdrak"] [Black "The Rat"] [Result "1-0"]
A blunder, the lesser evil was to let white have the d-file with advantage.
20. Bb6+ 1-0
The third game is a complicated one! White eventually manages to make the f3-f4 push with the help of his king (!) and gets the better of it in the endgame but throws it all away with a bad blunder on move 48 and eventually even loses.
Here's game #4, in which white showed that another strategy can be pursued: attack of the black h-pawn. White won this pawn, but a slip in the endgame (plus fine defensive play by black) brought about a draw.
[Event "June 2002 Main #1 Tournament"] [Round "2"] [White "Zdrak"] [Black "o d z y °"] [Result "1/2-1/2"]
And here is a 5th game, identical to game #4 until move 15, when black improves by moving the other rook to d8. This allows him later to achieve good play with 18...f5!. The four-rook endgame seems to be drawish, but the game ends abruptly when black stops making moves, losing on time.
[Event "August 2002 Fast #1 Tournament"] [Round "3"] [White "Zdrak"] [Black "The Priest"] [Result "1-0"]
29 ( +1 | -1 ) The idea of the bishop sacrifice (actually only a pseudo-sacrifice) by Bg4 and h5 was analyzed by Bobby Fischer in the 60's - that was in the period when he played the exchange variation of the Ruy often. Don't know if he actually played the Bg4-h5 idea himself. In Israel, anyway, the Bg4-h5 moves are commonly known as "Fischer Gambit".
44 ( +1 | -1 ) 5... Bg4is definitely NOT Fischer's move. The move was known for a long time before Fischer was even born--back in the days of Capablanca, Alekhine, and all the rest. The current consensus then was that Black could obtain a large advantage by playing 6... h5, so 5. 0-0? was regarded as unplayable. Fischer analyzed the move to show that on the contrary, after d3 and Nbd2, Re1, White has nothing to fear, and revived the whole variation beginning with 5. 0-0.
21 ( +1 | -1 ) So I guess nobody wants to talk about the variation itself ... about the merit of 8.Be3, and various plans for both sides after the exchange on f3 ? Are we going to get stuck over the question "is it Fischer's move or not" ?
154 ( +1 | -1 ) I'm not quite clear on what 8.Be3 accomplishes. 8.Nbd2 is an obvious attempt to avoid doubled pawns, but 8. Be3 allows them (which is the point of Black's play in this line to begin with, so why delay?) by 8... Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Qxf3 10. gxf3 Bd6 as you say. Looks pretty equal to me, whereas in 8. Nbd2, White can usually retain a very slight edge.
8. Be3 only makes sense to me if you're trying to launch a queenside attack, since getting the bishop out of the way first before Nbd2 allows the f1 rook to go to c1 or b1 and the bishop on e3 stares down Black's queenside, but that's not what you're doing in your games. I suppose a case can be made that Be3 supports a d4 advance, but White shouldn't be able to play d4 if Black plays properly.
So after 8. Be3 Bxf3 9.Qxf3 Qxf3 10. gxf3 Bd6 11. Nd2 Ne7 12. Kh1 O-O-O (kingside castling is just silly here) 13. Rg1 Ng6:
14. Rg5 (this doesn't look quite right) Be7 15. Rg2 Bf6 16. Nc4 b6 17. Bg5 Kd7!? (interesting way to defend) 18. Ne3 Bxg5 (the Black king has arrived, the bishop is redundant) 19. Rxg5 Ke6 and I'm not sure White has a decent way to continue since Black has d4 and f4 well under control.
14. Nc4 looks like a better try. Then:
14... Be7?! 15. Rxg6 fxg6 16. Nxe5 looks rather pleasant for White.