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  1. #1
    CC Candidate Master Ausknight's Avatar
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    Question How to defend against this Ruy Lopez variation?

    At the moment I'm opening with the Ruy Lopez and whilst I personally use the classic line of 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc5, I've come across other white players online opening with the following instead :

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    It's a slight variation which puts immediate pressure the following turn with either sacrificing the Bishop with Bxf7+ (forcing the king to take and removing a castle from the equation - Is this actually worth the trade in material?) or threatening the potentially potent follow up with Nh5 (which leads to a nasty Nxf8).

    Question is, how do you defend against this variation?

    Cheers

  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausknight
    At the moment I'm opening with the Ruy Lopez and whilst I personally use the classic line of 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc5, I've come across other white players online opening with the following instead :

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    It's a slight variation which puts immediate pressure the following turn with either sacrificing the Bishop with Bxf7+ (forcing the king to take and removing a castle from the equation - Is this actually worth the trade in material?) or threatening the potentially potent follow up with Nh5 (which leads to a nasty Nxf8).

    Question is, how do you defend against this variation?

    Cheers
    I'm not sure what you're asking. 3. Bc4 can be answered well by 3... Bc5 or Nf6.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

  3. #3
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    Actually, this opening is the Italian game. Anyway, sacking the bishop for a pawn so early in the game is a bad idea for white. Sure black can't castle but he can survive. 3...Nf6 or 3...Bc5 would be normal for black here.

  4. #4
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    As Jono (edit: and Zwischenzug) said, there are a couple of good moves.

    I invariably play 3...Bc5 in that position, because when playing 3...Nf6 Black needs to know the theory after White's 4.Ng5 (Fried Liver Attack, IIRC) and for beginners that's not an easy line to play. With 3...Bc5 the diagonal from Black's Qd8 to the g5 square is not blocked, preventing the immediate 4.Ng5 by White.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  5. #5
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    I haven't been an e4 or e5 player for several years but the line you give is not considered the Ruy Lopez. It is called both the Giuoco Piano (quiet game) and Italian Opening. There are many lines but generally the Bishop sac is not working just yet and Black normally plays 3...Bc5.

    If 4.Bxf7 Kxf7 5.Nxe5+ Nxe5 6.Qh5+ Ke6! seems hair raising but black is better thanks to the material (although his king is exposed and so he has to be careful).

    The usual lines after 3...Bc5 are either 4.b4 called the Evan's Gambit (which can be accepted) or the mainline 4.c3 Nf6 where White will usually play 5.d3 or d4. But things are pretty solid now since the knight on f6 defends the queen checking squares the Bxf7+ move is unlikely to cause any problems for a while.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  6. #6
    CC Candidate Master Ausknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    As Jono (edit: and Zwischenzug) said, there are a couple of good moves.

    I invariably play 3...Bc5 in that position, because when playing 3...Nf6 Black needs to know the theory after White's 4.Ng5 (Fried Liver Attack, IIRC) and for beginners that's not an easy line to play. With 3...Bc5 the diagonal from Black's Qd8 to the g5 square is not blocked, preventing the immediate 4.Ng5 by White.
    Omg there's a line called the Fried Liver Attack?

    That alone makes chess worth playing IMHO! HAHAHAHAHAAHA! LOVE IT!

    Okay, so if my opponent pulls the pin and goes for Bxf7+ I just take back with the king? What then? It kind of leaves me a little exposed which as a beginner worries me a bit. Can I swing across the Rook from h8 to f8 and swing the king back in behind? With no pawn protecting on f7, I just feel like no matter what I do I'm dangerously exposed.

    I guess I need more theory research on this line, or just learn a better response from the classic Ruy Lopez from white.

    I have to admit I'm in the VERY early stages of learning opening lines, so a lot of what I see at the moment I mostly respond with tactical positioning with no theory behind me. I always worry about this because there's a lot of traps for the beginner in many opening lines and it's lead to more than one loss for me.

    At present I generally only open with the Ruy Lopez as white and to be quite honest, respond with rubbish when playing as black. Looks like I need to stick my head into a few books and start a decent education on openings!
    Last edited by Ausknight; 07-03-2009 at 11:24 AM.

  7. #7
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    If you have a high-bandwidth internet connection, a lot of these openings are covered on YouTube (at least in a brief overview, including some of the usual traps to watch out for).

    Beyond that, I can recommend the book series called "Starting Out ..." (e.g. Starting Out: Ruy Lopez) which can be purchased from all good chess retailers and/or Amazon Books. I have about a dozen of them and they give me at least a rudimentary understanding of the themes and usual plans for the major variations of each opening/defence.

    There's also a good website (www.chessgames.com) that has an openings explorer. I am a member there, which allows me to delve into openings/games and see how "normal" most of the moves are in any position.

    If you get really serious, ChessBase or Chess Assistant (I have the latter) gives you more than 3M games which are indexed by opening lines.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  8. #8
    CC Candidate Master Ausknight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    If you have a high-bandwidth internet connection, a lot of these openings are covered on YouTube (at least in a brief overview, including some of the usual traps to watch out for).

    Beyond that, I can recommend the book series called "Starting Out ..." (e.g. Starting Out: Ruy Lopez) which can be purchased from all good chess retailers and/or Amazon Books. I have about a dozen of them and they give me at least a rudimentary understanding of the themes and usual plans for the major variations of each opening/defence.

    There's also a good website (www.chessgames.com) that has an openings explorer. I am a member there, which allows me to delve into openings/games and see how "normal" most of the moves are in any position.

    If you get really serious, ChessBase or Chess Assistant (I have the latter) gives you more than 3M games which are indexed by opening lines.
    That's fantastic, thanks for the info!

    I've just become a member of the ICC as well, is this sort of stuff covered there at all?

  9. #9
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausknight
    Omg there's a line called the Fried Liver Attack?

    That alone makes chess worth playing IMHO! HAHAHAHAHAAHA! LOVE IT!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausknight
    Okay, so if my opponent pulls the pin and goes for Bxf7+ I just take back with the king? What then? It kind of leaves me a little exposed which as a beginner worries me a bit. Can I swing across the Rook from h8 to f8 and swing the king back in behind?
    Yes, that's called artificial castling or castling by hand.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ausknight
    With no pawn protecting on f7, I just feel like no matter what I do I'm dangerously exposed.
    But exposed to what? White's just blown an attacking piece permanently for just minor temporary discomfort.

    NB:
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ausknight
    I guess I need more theory research on this line, or just learn a better response from the classic Ruy Lopez from white.
    Yes, the Ruy is a good opening for White to last a lifetime, unlike the Italian, and should guarantee an advantage against rubbishy Black lines.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

  10. #10
    CC Candidate Master Ausknight's Avatar
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    Talking :)

    Thank you so much for your help there Jono!

    That Fried Liver Attack is something I've seen before actually (I just didn't know it had a name), although it was more of an accident than anything when I come across it

    I personally don't like sacrificing material for positional advantage unless it leads to an overwhelmingly strong position (that's obvious as well).

    As a beginner, the trade off for position is something that goes against our basic playing ethos. Before we have experience and knowledge of opening lines in our repertoire, we usually play hope chess and simple tactical play, of which one of the main priorities is maintaining a material advantage at all times.

    So when the other noobies I play on ICC start throwing 'free' material at me in such a fashion, I start to wonder if the trade off in material for position early on like that is really worth it and these guys are ahead of me in thinking, or if they're simply trying too hard for a quick kill and fall on their swords? Sometimes, I can't see a tactical blunder like this for a well disguised trap, which is why I'm usually cautious about it.

    It would seem that despite my initial confusion, my suspicions are correct - these early game spite checks more or less are just a ?? move

    On opening lines for black though, I've been checking out some of the easier defensive lines from the Sicilian (Najdorf variation) which seem a little safer, although they might be a little advanced for where I am now as it's a lot more moves. Still, it feels more comfortable a response to an e4 opening from white than e5. (As an aside, I really like the tutorials by Jrobichess, nicely presented for a beginner I've found)

    The biggest problem I find with learning my opening lines at the moment is that because I play against a lot of new players at my level, they have virtually no concept of opening theory at all and play any old rubbish to get the action going as soon as possible, so more often than not I have to abandon playing classical opening lines a few moves in simply to defend something I'm not expecting that's throwing early pressure on.
    Last edited by Ausknight; 07-03-2009 at 10:26 PM.

  11. #11
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    Pre-empting Jono's reply perhaps, but the reason that there are tried-and-true opening lines is that the other lines don't work very well. So when someone goes "out of book lines" take a little time to try to work out why. There is a reasonable chance that its either a blunder or an inferior line, so if you can find the right follow-up move you will get an advantage. But I agree that its tough trying to figure that out when you haven't built up your own mental opening library of experience to draw on.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Spiny Norman's Avatar
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    I thought I would give a little example of what I mean. In a game I am playing online at the moment:

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    I'm Black. I normally don't play the Sicilian, and I had never faced 2.Qh5 before. I don't know the theory, but I suspect its not played very often and the reason for that is that it is inferior (premature development of the queen exposes it to attack, "normal" 2nd moves by White are 2.Nf3, 2.Nc3, 2.c3, 2.Bb5 and so on). So I chose 2...Nf6 which develops a piece with tempo (Queen must move). After 3.Qxc5 Nxe4 the queen must move again. Most places it goes, I will follow up with 4...d5 and I have achieved a number of goals:

    -- one of the main ideas of the Sicilian is that Black exchanges his c-pawn for a centre pawn, giving him a central pawn majority ... and I will have achieved something similar, exchanging my c-pawn for the (I think, very important!) e4-pawn.

    -- White has been running around with his queen and has still not developed a minor piece

    -- my d5-pawn gives me occupation/control of the centre and the opportunity for a later e5 pawn thrust to open lines

    Now of course the stronger players here will no doubt expose my shallow thinking and give me 3 reasons why White is better(!), and if so I will take my medicine like a man, but I hope that little explanation gives you an idea of how to approach tackling an unexpected move in the opening.
    “As you perhaps know, I haven't always been a Christian. I didn't go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don't recommend Christianity.” -- C.S.Lewis

  13. #13
    CC Grandmaster Desmond's Avatar
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    Best way to avoid Bxf7 sacs is 1...e6

  14. #14
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Snail King
    Now of course the stronger players here will no doubt expose my shallow thinking and give me 3 reasons why White is better(!), and if so I will take my medicine like a man, but I hope that little explanation gives you an idea of how to approach tackling an unexpected move in the opening.
    I'm not that much of a stronger player than you and I don't think White is any better than Black in that line but by the same token I don't think Black has any huge advantage either (after 4.Qe3 say). However, rather than letting white take the c-pawn with the queen you could have defended it with some useful move like e6 or d6 and then get a tempo on his queen later with Nf6. For example after 1.e4 c5 2.Qh5 d6 3.Bc4 e6, and White's queen just looks plain silly. There is no way for White to get an attack on f7 and you are threatening to play Nf6 winning a tempo whenever you please.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boris
    Best way to avoid Bxf7 sacs is 1...e6
    Why would you want to avoid an early Christmas gift? E.g. from an early age, I loved people trying the Double Muzio against me.
    “The history of the 20th century is full of examples of countries that set out to redistribute wealth and ended up redistributing poverty.”
    “There’s no point blaming the tragedies of socialism on the flaws or corruption of particular leaders. Any system which allows some people to exercise unbridled power over others is an open invitation to abuse, whether that system is called slavery or socialism or something else.”—Thomas Sowell

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