31 votes
Accepted

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 ...
user avatar
  • 12.9k
27 votes
Accepted

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'...
user avatar
  • 11.8k
21 votes
Accepted

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 ...
user avatar
  • 11.8k
20 votes
Accepted

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 ...
user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Why is the move 4.Nc3 rare in Bird's defence?

While it is true that at the moment white is leading in development, the move Nc3 interferes directly with white's plans. This is why it is seldom played. From now on I will severely criticize this ...
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 ...
user avatar
  • 21.7k
10 votes
Accepted

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 ...
user avatar
  • 12.9k
9 votes

Yes or no: should a 'reverse' Ruy Lopez be played as black?

I think that this question comes from a fundamental misunderstanding that many beginners have but more experienced players don't even notice, which I wrote about in this answer. The short version is ...
user avatar
  • 14.5k
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 ...
user avatar
  • 5,123
9 votes
Accepted

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" ...
user avatar
  • 7,468
8 votes
Accepted

What's the problem with 5. Nxe5 in Spanish Exchange?

After 5. Nxe5, black has two ways to recover the pawn. The first is 5... Qd4, forking the knight on e5 and the pawn on e4. White cannot defend both so has to move his knight, after which black takes ...
user avatar
  • 7,388
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 ...
user avatar
  • 19.8k
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.
user avatar
  • 6,081
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 ...
user avatar
8 votes
Accepted

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 ...
user avatar
  • 31.9k
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.
user avatar
  • 1,135
7 votes
Accepted

Is this a legitimate defence to Ruy Lopez openings?

It is extremely uncommon for Black to play like this at the higher levels, and that is because, as you stated, it's pointless. Black achieves nothing in particular by this chase, and White ends up ...
user avatar
  • 7,332
7 votes
Accepted

Should I play the Cozio defense deferred?

The Cozio defenses, both with 3....Nge7 (1) and 3....a6 4.Ba4 Nge7 (2), have been played by top grandmasters like Nakamura and Aronian. According to the Game Database of ChessTempo both variations are ...
user avatar
  • 5,438
7 votes
Accepted

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 ...
user avatar
  • 10.2k
7 votes
Accepted

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. ...
user avatar
  • 3,924
7 votes
Accepted

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 (...
user avatar
  • 5,438
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 ...
user avatar
  • 11.8k
7 votes
Accepted

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'...
user avatar
  • 13.1k
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 ...
user avatar
  • 12.3k
6 votes

Yes or no: should a 'reverse' Ruy Lopez be played as black?

The opening known as Ruy Lopez is characterized by white playing 3.Bb5 after 1. e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6. There are lines where black plays Bb4, but these aren't called Ruy Lopez. For Bb4/Bb5 to make much ...
user avatar
6 votes
Accepted

What are Black's plans in this position from the Breyer defence?

After 17 Bxc5 Bxc5 18 ed Qxd5 no pawn is lost due to the mate threat at g2. Black has two active bishops and threatens Rad8 with pressure on the d pawn. If white does not exchange pawns then black can ...
user avatar
  • 467
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 ...
user avatar
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 ...
user avatar
  • 12.9k
6 votes
Accepted

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 ...
user avatar
  • 6,081

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible