Sjakk-bøker Åpningsbøker 1 e4-åpninger Spansk

The Ruy Lopez, move by move

Nivå B-D
Utgivelsesdato September 2011
Pris 255 NOK
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En fin bok om Spansk åpning, pedagogisk både som introduksjon til de viktige variantene og grundig gjennomgang av mange ferske mesterpartier der leseren blir engasjert gjennom spørsmål.

Stormester McDonald er dyktig til å presentere denne store og sentrale åpningen på en behagelig måte. Etter trekkene 1 e4 e5 2 Sf3 Sc6 3 Lb5 bruker han mest plass på ulike hovedvarianter etter 3... a6 4 La4 Sf6 5 0-0 der hvit fortsetter med Te1, h3, c3 og d4, men viser i starten også flere partier med 5 d3 som blant andre vår egen Magnus Carlsen noen ganger benytter med en viss suksess.

Parti nr 1 i boka er det svært instruktive og instruktivt presenterte partiet Carlsen - Topalov, Nanjing 2010. Magnus dukker senere i boka opp med hvitseier også mot Geir Sune Tallaksen (nå Østmoe) i 2005 og mot Aleksander Beljavskij i 2006.

Forfatterens innledning

In this book we’ll examine one of the most famous and popular of openings: the Ruy Lopez. It has been used, or defended against, by virtually all the greatest players in the history of chess. Play begins 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5. (diagram)

White starts a positional attack by putting pressure on the knight that defends the e5- pawn. Such a method was recommended by the Spanish Priest Ruy Lopez in 1561, which is why it is called ‘the Spanish Opening’ in many countries. It is useful to compare the situation here with that in the Sicilian Defence. For example consider the opening moves 1 e4 c5 2 Nf3 d6 3 d4 cxd4 4 Nxd4 Nf6 5 Nc3 e6 (or equally 5...g6 or 5...a6) (diagram)

White pieces enjoy control of four ranks, whilst the black pieces have three ranks, with a ‘no man’s land’ on White’s fifth rank between them. White can instruct his lively pieces to prepare an assault on the black king. He can also quite reasonably elect to castle queenside and push his kingside pawns. (diagram)

Similarly, in the typical French pawn structure, White’s pieces enjoy more space after 1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 e5, or equally 3 Nd2 Nf6 4 e5 or 3 Nc3 Bb4 4 e5, though the semi-blocked nature makes it harder for him to start an attack. Still, White has been able to deny the black knight the important f6-square.

Now turning to the Ruy Lopez, let’s look at a standard position after, say, 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 0-0 Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 c3. (diagram)

Here space is equal – four ranks each, with the pieces operating on their first three ranks, and the pawns taking up positions on the two ranks between them. So far so good for Black: his pieces are easily developed, his king is difficult to attack, and the white pieces can’t do much. But in establishing his pawn on e5, and maintaining it there with the assistance of ...b5, Black has compromised the safety of his pawn structure. In the diagram position, White is ready to attack e5 with d2-d4, and the b5-pawn with a2-a4. This means that the pawn on e5 is both an asset – it restrains the energy of the white pieces – and a liability as it is a target for attack with d4. Regarding the pawn on b5, if Black manages to develop his pieces efficiently, and White plays with insufficient accuracy or vigour, it might become a virtue – the spearhead of a queenside pawn advance. But certainly for the opening phase, and often long into the middlegame, the pawn on b5 remains fragile. We might say that the fate of the b5-pawn is one of the most important factors in deciding the outcome of a Ruy Lopez game. As the game develops, with White playing a2-a4, Black often has to tie down one of his big pieces to defend b5, thereby losing energy. For this reason he is often looking for ways to sacrifice the pawn for an advantage elsewhere, or for a ‘trick’ that will allow its exchange for a healthier white pawn.

Nonetheless, it has to be repeated that the pawns on b5 and e5, though potential targets and a structural liability, are also doing a valuable job. The e5-pawn stops White over running the centre with the advance e4-e5, which would energize the white pieces as a prelude to an attack on the black king. The pawn on b5, whilst statically weak, is guarding the c4-square – as will be seen, this can be a useful post for a white knight in the middlegame. It also blocks an attack by White on the a6-pawn that sits behind it. Thus Black doesn’t like having the fragile pawn on b5, but in reply to an attack with a2-a4 he even less desires to remove it with ...bxa4.

Here we have a paradox: the Ruy Lopez is often called a solid opening, but it might well be described as the most ‘unsolid’ defence to 1 e4! No other mainline opening exposes the black pawns to such long-term attack. Black is buying a safe and full development, and restraining the power of the white pieces, at the cost of a couple of static blemishes in his pawn structure.

Is it a price worth paying? Well, players have argued over this for more than 100 years, and the question still hasn’t been settled. At the time of writing players such as Anand, Topalov and Carlsen are playing the Ruy Lopez for both sides, making me recall the quotation attributed to Grandmaster Bogoljubow: ‘When I’m White I win because I’m White, when I’m Black I win because I’m Bogoljubow’.

It is hoped that this book will deepen the reader’s understanding of positional chess. At various points as you study the games there will be questions and exercises, ranging from the general (‘what do you think is the best plan?’) to the tactically acute (‘what happens if Black grabs the pawn?’). If these seem too easy or too hard, or to have no clear answers, never mind! You are at least learning the right questions you should be asking yourself in a certain type of position, and that is half the battle when it comes to finding good moves. When opening theory comes to an end, a difficult stage of a game is reached wherein opportunities are either converted into a promising long-term plan or allowed to fade away due to irresolute play. For this reason, most attention has been given to the late opening/early middlegame phase. Where necessary, supplementary games and excerpts have been added to further reinforce the ideas under discussion.

I hope you enjoy examining the great ideas of great minds in this book.

Neil McDonald Gravesend June 2011

Detaljert info
Innbundet? Nei
Type Bok
Språk Engelsk
Antall sider 317

Produktet er en del av serien Move by Move åpningsbøker

En ny og annerledes serie av åpningsbøker som startet i 2011. Åpningene blir gjennomgått grundig med spørsmål og svar som engasjerer leseren mer direkte i prosesssen gjennom hvert parti. Det er i hovedsak repertoarbøker med instruktive og stor grad ferske partieksempler.

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