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31 votes
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Why, or how, can GMs make mistakes in opening books?

In such a case, I would consider an editing blunder. Can you give the moves that lead to that position ? I would not be surprised, for instance, if the comment was written with respect to the same ...
Evargalo's user avatar
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26 votes
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Why is the Ruy Lopez a sensible opening for white?

Sure black's a6-b5 come with tempo, but let's say at a very basic level, if you just compare pieces, structure and development progress, you can see that white is: Ready to castle whereas black hasn'...
Ellie's user avatar
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22 votes
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Why always 4...dxc6 and not 4...bxc6 in the Ruy Lopez Exchange?

Good question. Indeed 4..bxc6 is extremely rare compared to the main line, and the reasons are multi-fold specially strategically, but foremost, from a concrete point of view it leads to a rather poor ...
Ellie's user avatar
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22 votes
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"Daddy, why don't you take the e4 pawn?"

Open Ruy Lopez Nxe4 is indeed very legitimate - this is the Open Ruy Lopez and was very popular until the beginning of 20th century. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with it, it's just a bit ...
Matija Sirk's user avatar
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21 votes
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Why is 4…Bb4 an inaccuracy in the Berlin Defense?

Easy: The bishop not only shoots thin air, but also asks to be kicked around with c3, such that White wins a tempo with a move he likes to play anyway in Italian/Spanish positions to make a big center ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
16 votes

Ruy Lopez Main Line - Why not Be7 before Nf6?

Practically/psychologically Nf6 makes White's life a bit harder because it also leaves open the possibility of following up with Bc5 (I see that this is called the Møller defense). This kind of thing ...
Noam D. Elkies's user avatar
14 votes

Ruy Lopez - why does Black not take e4?

5...Nxe4 leads to the Open Spanish. It's a respectable opening with some very long lines, as is typical of the Ruy Lopez. One thing it does not do though is win a pawn, because White can easily win it ...
Allure's user avatar
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10 votes
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How do you deal with the pinned knight on f3 in the Ruy Lopez (as white)?

Black cannot exploit the pin with ...Nd4: not at once because the Nc6 itself is pinned, not later because c2-c3 is on your plan anyway. This means that you should not panic and can concentrate on ...
Evargalo's user avatar
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10 votes
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Why is the Cozio defense in the Ruy Lopez not played more often and what's white's best try to defeat it?

The major reason is that it is played so rarely is that if white does not comply and take on c6, the Ne7 is poorly placed blocking the Bf8, and if the knight goes to g6, that just does not look like a ...
PhishMaster's user avatar
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9 votes

Finding a plan in the Archangels Spanish when white plays Be3 to exchange the dark-squared bishop

In the final position, the black pieces are pointed toward the king side, so logic says that you should attack there. The two obstacles are the bishop pinning the f-pawn and the control provided by ...
Mike Jones's user avatar
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9 votes
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Why should Black capture with different pawns in these similar Spanish game variations?

As you attempt to understand chess, one thing that you are probably coming to realize is that almost every rule has exceptions. This is one of the most interesting ones. The "general rule" ...
Philip Roe's user avatar
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9 votes
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As Black, how do you deal with the double pawns in the Ruy Lopez exchange variation?

Short: You don't. Long: Those pawns will be a liability whatever you do (only in rare cases they do a breakthrough on the queenside - there was a very famous game with a b5 break), they aren't even ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
9 votes

Ruy Lopez Main Line - Why not Be7 before Nf6?

Why does no one play Be7 first? Because Nf6 is more forcing. It attacks the pawn on e4 forcing white to do something about the threat. Castles indirectly does this by opening the possibility of Re1 ...
Brian Towers's user avatar
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8 votes

About how to respond to this atypical black defense in the Ruy Lopez

3... d5 is not listed here so it is a safe bet there's a problem. It looks like an overreach, with both Black pawns being vulnerable. I'd go for a pawn steal. [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 ...
Tony Ennis's user avatar
8 votes

Is this knight sacrifice a good idea?

The sacrifice is quite dubious. Besides the answers with 10.Nxe5, 10. Rxe5 is simply two knights for a rook and there is no attack for Black.
Ywapom's user avatar
  • 6,111
8 votes

Why always 4...dxc6 and not 4...bxc6 in the Ruy Lopez Exchange?

First of all, you are correct in your assessment, that taking towards the center normally is preferred. The reason for this is, that taking towards the center usually (!) allows for easier development ...
Benjamin Raabe's user avatar
8 votes

Ruy Lopez - why does Black not take e4?

White does not lose a pawn here as e4 was indirectly defended via castling. For example, after ...Nxe4 6. Re1 Nf6 white can take the e5 pawn to restore material balance.
d4zed's user avatar
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7 votes
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Why is 5.c3 the most common move in the Ruy Lopez, Berlin defence, Beverwijk variation?

I'm not really familiar with this variation, but c3 is a typical move in the Ruy Lopez for a couple of reasons: one, which you already mentioned, is to support d4 (and in this variation, d4 has the ...
itub's user avatar
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7 votes
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In the Schliemann defense, who does Schliemann refer to?

According to the section of the Wikipedia page on the Ruy Lopez, it's named after a German lawyer, Adolf Karl Wilhelm Schliemann (1817-1872), although it doesn't say why his name is attached to it. ...
Herb's user avatar
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7 votes
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Why is 5...Be7 played before ...b5 in the main line of the Closed Ruy Lopez?

After 5....b5 6.Bb3 Be7, white has the strong option to play 7.d4. Now, 7....exd4 is a mistake, as white obtains a big advantage after 8.e5 Ne4 9.Bd5, which was played in Grischuk-Nepomniachtchi (...
Maxwell86's user avatar
  • 5,546
7 votes

Firouzja vs Kovalev: what went wrong for black in the opening?

tl;dr: Wrong move order by black in the opening: the c4 advance must be prefaced with Nd7 in the played Zaitsev variation. That said, and although your hunch about the early c4 is correct, I'm afraid ...
Ellie's user avatar
  • 12k
7 votes
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How to realize this +2 evaluation in the Ruy Lopez, Steinitz defense

First things first, I don't believe thinking in terms of computer evaluation is useful at all for humans. We don't look at a position and go "Well, I guess that's about a +0.54". Instead, I'...
David's user avatar
  • 16.3k
7 votes

Ruy Lopez Main Line - Why not Be7 before Nf6?

5...Be7 will almost always transpose into 5...Nf6 followed by 6...Be7, so there's no special line to worry about. However after 5...Nf6 Black still has other options We usually want to develop first ...
David's user avatar
  • 16.3k
6 votes

About how to respond to this atypical black defense in the Ruy Lopez

The variation proposed is interesting and the one favoured by the computer. I went further and thought when seeing your variation (d5) that it reminded me of certain variations of the Ponziani, with ...
JohnHawking's user avatar
6 votes

What are White's main ideas in the exchange variation of the Ruy Lopez?

The main idea, in the exchange variation of the Ruy is "exchange." White will play d4 next, followed by offering the exchange of queens in order to head for an early endgame. That's because he's ...
Tom Au's user avatar
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6 votes
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White's Response to the Norwegian Defense

6.O-O seems more flexible than the immediate 6.d4. After 6.O-O, Black's e-pawn needs attention and he typically plays 6...d6. Most likely the moves will transpose, but it appears Black has more ...
Ywapom's user avatar
  • 6,111
6 votes

White's Response to the Norwegian Defense

If you choose 6.d4 you must consider it either as a gambit or as a prelude to a queen sortie, since after 6...exd4 7.Nxd4?! Bb7 [not 7...c5? 8.Bd5!] 8.Nc3? c5! followed by c4 traps the Bb3. 7.Qxd4 is ...
Evargalo's user avatar
  • 16.4k
6 votes

What is the long-term idea of the Ruy-Lopez opening?

The answer to this is way beyond my pay grade, but I may be able to say something that prepares you for a better answer. You are not only comparing two very different opening systems (London System ...
Philip Roe's user avatar
  • 8,633
6 votes

Why is the Ruy Lopez a sensible opening for white?

Note that while black gains space on the queenside, the advanced pawns offer white some opportunities later on to undermine black's pawns with a timely a4-push. Moreover, the queenside expansion doesn'...
Scounged's user avatar
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