1.e4 e5 for Black - Repertoire against the Ruy Lopez
This product includes all the videos from the workshop as well as the PGN file related to the training sessions. Overall, the material consists of 9 hours of video and a PGN database which includes 141 files!
You will find the following lectures:
✅ Typical Ruy Lopez Strategies
✅ Steinitz Deferred - Rare Lines
✅ Steinitz Deferred - Main Line
✅ Chigorin Variation - On the Way to the Main Line (Part 1)
✅ Chigorin Variation - On the Way to the Main Line (Part 2)
✅ Chigorin Variation - Main Line
Now, we shall take a look at the different lectures.
Typical Ruy Lopez Strategies
Before dealing with the theoretical subtleties, GM Papaioannou deals with the typical strategies that every 1...e5 player must know. The starting point of this lecture is the position on the diagram.
In the introduction to this lecture, GM Papaioannou writes, "In my opinion, the most important strategies are:
1. The Double Capture structure or the "e4" vs. "d6" pawn structure - Black is taking twice on d4 and is getting counterplay on the "c" and "e" files. This structure is usually good for Black, especially when his dark-squared bishop is on "g7"
2. The dxe5 structure - White exchanges on e5 and gets a symmetrical position - This was Fischer's speciality, and he won some beautiful games using this idea. Nowadays, it is clear that this structure is not dangerous for Black if you know the correct way of handling it.
3. White is closing the position and winning space by pushing d4-d5 - This is a highly complex structure, and we must be cautious. The general rule is that the move d5 is not dangerous for Black if it is not coming with a tempo or if our light-squared bishop is not on "b7"
4. Black is seeking a counterplay by playing c5-c4 - This is one of the most typical ways for Black to get counterplay. He is advancing the c-pawn, followed by Nc5, and advancing the pawns on the queenside. One rule you must remember is that c5-c4 advance is good, mainly when White is already committed to a4 or a3.
5. White's knight is coming on f5 - As a rule, Black players shouldn't allow White's knight to come on "f5". Black should cover the square by playing g7-g6 or be ready to exchange his light-squared bishop for the knight.
Here is an interesting fragment taken from the lecture:
Steinitz Deferred - Rare Lines
This lecture is an introduction to the so-called Steinitz Deferred/Smyslov Variation arising after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6
As you will see, this variation can be played almost entirely by relying on typical plans and ideas. Apart from a few forced lines that you need to remember, everything else is not based on concrete theory. That's why you can play this variation all your life and your opponents will not be able to prepare against you. In more than 70% of your games, White will opt for setups based on c2-c3 followed by d2-d4. These main lines are dealt with in the second lecture dedicated to this variation. In this lecture, I examine the possible deviations such as 5.Bxc6, 5.Nc3, 5.d4, and 5.c4. Note that White can play c2-c4 before or after castling. Both scenarios are examined in this lecture. The conclusion is that Black is doing more than fine in all these lines if he knows what he is doing.
Below, you shall take a look at one of the lines.
Steinitz Deferred - Main Line
This lecture is focused on the main lines of the Steinitz Deferred/Smyslov Variation. The main tabiya arises after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 Bd7 6.d4 g6 7.0-0 Bg7
It's amazing that this position can be played almost entirely on understanding. Since White has tremendous choice (when hundreds of transpositions are possible) trying to remember concrete lines makes no sense at all. Instead, you should think is setups. White has three basic approaches of handling this position - keeping the tension in the centre, releasing the tension in the centre with dxe5, and closing the position with d4-d5. Strangely enough, the plans with d4-d5 are the worst possible option (even though they are considered the most principled). After studying the theoretical files, you are strongly advised to take a look at all the model games. In these games, you will find a practical application of the important concepts.
Here is one of the important lines:
Chigorin Variation - On the Way to the Main Line (Part 1)
Let's take a look at the position arising after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6
Before you finally reach the Chigorin main line, there are a few alternatives that you must know, and quite possibly, you will get in your games frequently. Not much theory knowledge is needed in these alternatives. All you need is some precise moves first and then a typical Spanish way of playing. Both players have many ideas, and we get a safe position with nice counterchances!
In the position on the diagram, instead of the main move 4.Ba4, White can also take on c6, entering the so-called Exchange Variation. In this case, Papaioannou suggests 4...dxc6 5.0-0 Bd6 By far the best line in the Spanish exchange. 5... Qd6!? and Qf6 are also considered good fighting moves. GM Papaioannou demonstrates how Black can fight for a win in the resulting positions.
Another important branching point arises after 4.Ba4 Nf6
An important idea here is 5.d3. This is a decent alternative if White wants to avoid the main lines! He can go d3 on move 5 (which allows a g6-Bg7 setup because the bishop is still on f8) or play d3 on move 6 (after we play Be7). This somehow limits Black's choices, but still, Black has a good game! The system is very interesting, not particularly dangerous if Black knows what he is doing.
In this lecture, Papaioannou also covers 5.Nc3 and 5.Bxc6.
Below, you shall take a look at one of the examples:
Chigorin Variation - On the Way to the Main Line (Part 2)
The starting position of this lecture arises after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7
At this point, besides the main move 6.Re1, Papaioannou examines 6.Bxc6, 6.d3, and 6.d4. The move 6.d3 is particularly challenging and you need to study it very carefully. Once again, however, it's not a matter of theory. You should understand the subtleties of the arising positions.
This lecture also covers the so-called Yates Variation which occurs after 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.d4. If Black knows what he is doing, this line is not particularly challenging.
Below, you can see one of the model games taken from the lecture.
Chigorin Variation - Main Line
The initial position of the Chigorin is being reached after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7
In this position, White's best move is 12.d5. The alternative 12.Nbd2 is an inaccurate move but you will see many players playing it. We will see how to react to it properly and what Black's ideas are in such positions.
In response to 12.d5, Papaioannou's favourite reaction is 12...Bd7. Probaby the most important idea that you should remember is that in such closed positions, we often go for Rubinstein's maneuver, which is putting the pawns on f6 and g6, and playing Nb7-d8-f7, Nh5-g7. In some cases pushing c4 is also good and we will see when.
Another interesting continuation is 12...Nd7. Here, the idea is that the knight first goes to b6 and then Black continues with Bd7 and his ideas. We will see that Black can go for half of Rubinstein's maneuver, bringing the knight from a5 to f7. Also, we will see ideas with c4 and a5 play on the queenside.
Below, you shall take a look at one of the examples: