Complete Spanish Repertoire for Black - Sidelines
Welcome to the second and final Ruy Lopez database by GM Michael Roiz. In this survey, the author deals with all the variations except Breyer (which was covered in Part 1 ). True to his approach, Roiz provides you with reliable lifetime solutions. In many lines, he suggests new concepts or revives well forgotten old approaches. The vast majority of the lines are based on understanding. Once you finish and understand the current database, even if you do not follow every new game, you will enjoy a complete solution for your problems against Ruy Lopez. Thus, you will have plenty of time to focus on other aspects of your chess preparation.
The database consists of 18 theoretical chapters and 18 interactive tests.
The database starts with the Exchange Variation.
On the diagram, we have a very important structure where Black should be well prepared. The general strategical ideas are very simple White wants to exchange all the pieces and to play an endgame where his pawn majority on the kingside will guarantee him an advantage. As compensation for the double pawns, Black gets the bishop pair.
Chapter 1 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 – 5.Nc3 and Rare Lines for White
In this chapter, you will find analyzed all minor lines for White as 5.Nc3, 5.Nxe5, 5.d4, 5.d3
All these continuations deserve some attention but failed to pose serious problems for Black.
GM Roiz explains very clear the plans for Black and easily equalizes in all the lines.
Chapter 2 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.0-0 Bd6 5.0-0 Bd6
This is the main line for White and GM Roiz suggests the non-trivial 5…Bd6.
The main line follows 6.d4 exd4 7.Qxd4 f6
Undoubtedly, the key position of 5...Bd6 line. From now, both player's plans are clear: White would try to attack the bishop on d6 with his knight and put pressure along the d-file while Black's main task is completing the development and moving his king towards queenside.
Chapter 3 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Bxc6
Losing a tempo looks absurd, but White is trying to take advantage of the drawbacks of placing the knight on f6. Indeed, in some cases, the e5-pawn cannot be covered by f7-f6. Still, one tempo means a lot in Ruy Lopez and Black equalizes without serious troubles.
Chapter 4 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d4
A gambit line that was especially common in the middle of the 19th century. It was played by such great players of that time such as Paul Morphy and Andersen. Nowadays, with strong engines, such lines are just not working and White is the one who needs to keep equality.
Chapter 5 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Qe2
The favourite move of the Dutch GM Sergey Tiviakov. In comparison to 5.Nc3, White keeps the possibility to build up a pawn centre with c2-c3 and d3-d4. At the same time, White vacates the d1-square for his rook. Nevertheless, this plan seems somewhat artificial. By this early queen sortie, White delays the development of his minor pieces. Black should continue developing and open the centre with ...d7-d5 in an appropriate moment.
Chapter 6 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Qe2
Just like after 5.Qe2, White vacates d1 for his rook, so d2-d4 might follow soon. Moreover, there are many possible transpositions to 5.Qe2. This modification is much more common on the high level and took place in the practice of many top players including Anand, Ivanchuk, Svidler and more.
We reach the main tabiya of this line after the moves: 6...b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.d3 Re8
White can decide to keep the tension in the centre by playing moves like 10.Bg5, 10.Rd1, 10.Nd2, 10.Re1 or to grab the pawn by playing 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxe5.
GM Roiz proves that Black is fine in all the lines.
Chapter 7 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Bxc6 dxc6 - Sidelines for White
This is an improved version of 5.Bxc6 - including 5.0-0 Be7 clearly favours White. In fact, this can be seen on the high level quite often, starting from Capablanca's games! Even Garry Kasparov won several model games from the White's side. White has 2 main plans: put pressure on the e5 pawn and open the position with d2-d4 in an appropriate moment, or play Nh4 followed by f2-f4.
In Chapter 7 the reader will find all the sidelines for White such as 7.Qe1, 7.Nxe5, 7.Qe2, 7.Nc3.
Black has two typical ways to met these plans. One is the pin ...Bg4 which can be quite annoying for White, the other is to quickly transfer the f6-knight to better square and to support the e5-pawn by f7-f6.
Chapter 8 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.d3
Undoubtedly, the main continuation. White covers the pawn on e4 and prepares the flexible development of his minor pieces. In comparison to other lines, now 7...Bg4 would practically force Black to exchange his light-squared bishop which would favour White. That's why Roiz recommends 7...Nd7. This leads to a manoeuvring game where Black equalizes with an accurate play. The position is unbalanced with many pieces on the board, which gives both sides a chance to play for a win.
Chapter 9 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 - Sidelines for White
This old move was mostly considered to be a toothless way of avoiding the main Ruy Lopez lines. However, nowadays many top players use it as one of their main weapons. Some of the theoretical paths are explored until move 20 or 25.
GM Roiz suggests 5...b5 6.Bb3 Bc5
In most of the lines Black develops his bishop on e7, but this time the author prefers this ambitious way of development. The reason is obvious: White already played 5.d3, so attacking the Bc5 with d3-d4 would be connected with a loss of a tempo. In this chapter, the reader will find the moves 7.Bg5, 7.Be3, 7.Nc3, 7.a4 while the main move 7.0-0 is dealt with in the next chapter.
Chapter 10 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.0-0
The most common and flexible move. From now, there are few various transpositions into the previous Chapter.
The arising positions resemble the Italian Game. Roiz explains in details the subtleties of the position.
Chapter 11 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Nc3
This natural developing move was common 100-150 years ago and was successfully employed by such great players of that time as Paulsen and Blackburne. Nowadays, it is considered less flexible than 5.0-0 since it locks the c-pawn and diminishes White's control of d4. Black should just continue developing by means of 5...Be7. The main line continues 6.0-0 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.Nd5 Na5!
Black exchanges the powerful bishop on b3 with an equal game.
Chapter 12 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.Nc3 d6 9.a3
This modest-looking setup is extremely popular on the highest level nowadays.
The peak of this variation was 2016 when Sergey Karjakin played it against Magnus Carlsen in the World Championship match.
Later all top players (including Carlsen) used it occasionally. White's idea is to save the light-squared and to play Nd5 with some long-term pressure. Black has several ways to react. GM Roiz suggests straightforward 9...Na5 followed by 10...Be6. The position remains complex, but GM Roiz proves that Black should be able to equalize.
Chapter 13 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4 b4 - Sidelines for White
The a4 line becomes really popular recently.
White first developing his pieces and only then start occupying the centre with c2-c3 and d3-d4.
In this chapter, the author analyzes 9.Nd2 and 9.Re1 which usually lead to a calm, manoeuvring play. Black can even lose a tempo to play 9...Bc5 followed by 10...d6. The arising positions resemble the Italian Game.
Sooner or later White should play c2-c3 which will allow bxc3 with a counterplay on the centre and on the "b" file.
Chapter 14 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4 b4 9.a5
A challenging move - it separates Black's queenside's pawns and makes Be7-c5 questionable. On the flipside, the pawn on a5 turns a cause of worries.
The most solid plan for Black is to keep the bishop on e7 and to play 9...d6 followed 10...Be6
Chapter 15 - 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.d3
This somewhat modest way of handling the position is known since 1905. Instead of 9.h3, followed by d2-d4 or immediate 9.d4 White delays the thematic advance till he transfers his knight on g3. As the practice proves, Black mostly manages to exploit this loss of tempo (mostly White shouldn't play d3-d4 when his f3-knight can be pinned, so he has to play h2-h3 anyway). The plan with Nb8-d7 doesn't make so much sense here. Black should continue in "Chigorin" way by 9...Na5 followed by 10...c5. It is obvious that White can't pose serious problems in this line if Black knows what to do.
Chapter 16 - 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4
This aggressive move was first employed in the middle of the 20th century by great Pillsbury. Black's setup is somewhat exposed by b7-b5, so this definitely looks challenging. The author suggests 9...Bg4 10.c3 0-0 11.h3 Bh5!? with a double-edged play.
Chapter 17 - 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.d4 Bg4 10.d5
This move was first seen more than 120 years ago but gained its popularity mainly in 70'es. Releasing the tension in the centre is double-edged: White seizes lots of space and attacks the knight, locks the powerful b3-bishop and offers Black a clear plan of counterplay, based on ...c7-c6 and ...f7-f5 breaks. The author suggests flexible 10...Na5 11.Bc2 Qc8.
The main difference, between 12...Qc8 and 12...c6 is that in our line Black can meet 13.h3 with 13...Bd7.
In the position of the diagram, Black's plan is to break the centre with c7-c6.
Chapter 18 - 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.d4 Bg4 10.Be3
This is by far the most common way of handling the position. White manages to maintain the tension in the centre, even though the pressure on the pawn on e4 is usually annoying.
The author suggests a very interesting plan for Black here - 10...Bh5
This somewhat ''mysterious'' retreat invites White to show his cards, while the Bh5 cannot be attacked by White's pieces.
The author analyzes 11.h3, 11.a4 and 11.Nd2 in this position, but Black has good chances in all variations.
As always the database ends with 18 interactive test positions. This section features the most important positional ideas in each line. Below, you can take a look at 5 of the tests.