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Ruy Lopez, Closed (C92)
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O Be7 6 Re1 b5
7 Bb3 O-O 8 c3 d6 9 h3

Number of games in database: 4461
Years covered: 1904 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 32.7%
   Black wins 18.6%
   Draws 48.7%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Vitaly Tseshkovsky  34 games
Andrei Sokolov  32 games
Viswanathan Anand  31 games
Anatoly Karpov  75 games
Predrag Nikolic  64 games
Alexander G Beliavsky  53 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1986
Fischer vs Stein, 1967
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1985
Kotronias vs Bologan, 2007
L Schmid vs Rossolimo, 1949
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 page 1 of 179; games 1-25 of 4,461  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Schlechter vs Chigorin 0-1391904Cambridge SpringsC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
2. Schlechter vs Von Gottschall 1-075190414th DSB Congress, CoburgC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
3. O Bernstein vs Von Bardeleben ½-½62190414th DSB Congress, CoburgC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
4. Schlechter vs Von Bardeleben 1-031190414th DSB Congress, CoburgC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
5. Maroczy vs Uedemann / Erdeky / Kimball / Frit  0-1361906Simul, 5bC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
6. Z von Balla vs L Forgacs ½-½371906OstendC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
7. Spielmann vs Schlechter 0-1311908PragueC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
8. Yates vs G Wainwright 1-0261909British ChampionshipC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
9. G Wainwright vs H E Atkins 0-1451910British ChampionshipC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
10. Yates vs Duras  0-1471911Yates - Duras mC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
11. W Schelfhout vs J Barton 1-0331911Cologne-AC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
12. A Pokorny vs M Fila  1-0211912UJCS Congress, group VIC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
13. Spielmann vs Duras  ½-½471912San SebastianC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
14. S T Sharp vs Kupchik  0-1291915Franklin CC - Manhattan CC mC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
15. R Plats vs A Model  1-0531921Petrograd 1st CategoryC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
16. K Havasi vs M Monticelli 1-0151926Budapest 1st FIDE MastersC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
17. E Kipke vs W E Kunerth  1-0411930Berlin LeagueC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
18. A Selezniev vs D Grigorenko  1-0401933Ch UkraineC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
19. G A Thomas vs G Stoltz  1-0431935Warsaw OlympiadC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
20. P Trifunovic vs A Preinfalk  1-0551938LjubljanaC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
21. Boleslavsky vs Keres  ½-½261941USSR Absolute ChampionshipC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
22. V Trass vs Keres  0-1291942EST-chC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
23. Keres vs Alekhine ½-½381943SalzburgC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
24. Averbakh vs Lilienthal 1-0631944IvanovoC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
25. Bronstein vs Alatortsev 0-1391944USSR ChampionshipC92 Ruy Lopez, Closed
 page 1 of 179; games 1-25 of 4,461  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-24-05  Holden: Thanks, <ughaibu>. 8. c3 ♗g4 9. d3 and the white queen knight will have no trouble making it to f1.

I appreciate the answer.

Jul-31-05  who: In the Zaitsev I just played an interesting (and theoretically important) variation. 9...Bb7 10.d4 Re8 11.Nbd2 Bf8 12.Nf1?! exd4 13.cxd4 Nxe4? (13...Rxe4 allows for 14.Bxf7+ and if 14...Kxf7 15.Ng5+ winning, so 13...Na5 was necessary)14.Rxe4!! Rxe4 15.Ng5 Re7 16.Qh5 h6 17.Nxf7! with all sorts of mating threats 17...Qd8? 18.Nxh6+ Kh7 19.Nf7+ Kg8 20.Qh8#
Jun-13-06  e4Newman: <9...Bb7 10.d4 Re8 11.Nbd2 Bf8 12.Nf1?! exd4>

I'd give 12...exd4?

If you want to exchange, which you don't in this line, I'd prepare with Nb8-d7 first. White has nothin' doin' but wait for black to prepare his c-pawn break.

I never thought about 12.Nf1, looks OK but there are better ways to maintain the initiative.

Sep-05-06  Albertan: Here is my analysis of a game in this variation from the 2006 59th ch Rus Chess League rd 2.

Kosteniuk,A (2534) - Inarkiev,E (2625) Opening:Ruy Lopez Flohr-Zaitsev system (Lenzerheide variation). ECO[C92] 59th ch-RUS 1st League Tomsk RUS (2), 04.09.2006

In this game GM Alexandra Kosteniuk plays GM Ernesto Inarkiev of Russia. Kosteniuk is currently the 405th highest rated chess player in the world with a rating of 2534.She is the 87th highest rated chessplayer in Russia and the highest ranked female player in Russia. Inarkiev was born in 1985 and is from the Republic of Russia. He lives in Moscow.His current elo of 2625 makes him the 88th strongest chessplayer in the world and the 21st strongest chessplayer in the republic of Russia. . He considers chess to be a sport-a martial art! He believes that an outcome of a chess game is determined by mental toughness.An interview of Inarkiev is at: According to this website: " Ernesto is one of the most talented young Russian Grand Masters. His name is connected with a sequel of victory traditions of the Russian chess school. We would like to remind that he was the European Champion U-16, Russian Champion U-20." This game was played in round one of the 59th Championship of Russia - top league.

The game began with the players playing the opening moves in the Ruy Lopez:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

Inarkiev now continued the game by playing:

Morphy's idea forcing Kosteniuk to make a decision about the future of her bishop.

Sep-05-06  Albertan: The two players next made these moves in the game:

4.Ba4 Nf6

5.0-0 Be7

Completing his kingside minor piece development and preparing to castle on the kingside.


Finally protecting her enprise e-pawn.


Spending a tempo to drive her bishop back further which prevents 7.Bxc6 (the delayed exchange variation).

The game continued with these moves being played:

7.Bb3 d6

The move ...d6 is a move usually played by black at this time,giving support to his e-pawn and allowing him to develop his light-squared bishop.


The most popular continuation for White in this position. She creates an escape square for her bishop in case he plays ...Na5.


The most often played move by Black in this position.


She spends a tempo to prevent him from playing ....Bg4.


Developing his last minor piece and aiming it at her king. This move defines the variation of the Ruy Lopez being played:it is known as the Flohr-Zaitsev system (Lenzerheide variation). Flohr was a leading Czech-Jewish chess master of the early 20th century. He became a national hero in Czechoslovakia during the 1930s.Igor Arkadyevich Zaitsev (born May 27, 1938) is a Russian grandmaster of chess.Igor Zaitsev was Karpov's long time second, He is renowned as a very strong analyst. GM Ray Keene dubbed him a 'tactical maniac'. His system in the Ruy Lopez is a favorite of former World Chess Champion Anatoly Karpov, who used it many times in his matches with Kasparov. This system is popular because it develops the light-squared bishop with fianchetto and applies pressure to white's key e4 pawn.

Sep-05-06  Albertan: Returning to the game, Kosteniuk for her next move played:


The main continuation for White at this time, she opens up the diagonal so she can develop her dark-squared bishop and applies more pressure to his e-pawn. Kosteniuk intends to advance her d-pawn to d5 to attack his knight and close the center very soon.


A move almost always played by Black at this time, he indirectly applies more pressure to her e-pawn.He intends to spend a tempo to play his bishop back to f8 (which will allow the rook to give more protection to his e-pawn).


Kosteniuk develops another minor piece, intending to transfer it immediately to f1 (so she can develop her dark-squared bishop).


According to my database this is a move almost always played by Black at this stage of the game in this position.


She spends a tempo to close the center and force his knight from the c6-outpost.


This retreat is by far the most popular continuation for Black, he intends to redevelop this knight to d7. The next move in the game was:


She spends another tempo to allow herself the chance to develop her dark-squared bishop,intending to move this piece again to g3 next move.

Inarkiev next played the move:


The most popular continuation for Black in this position.

Kosteniuk continued the game by playing:


The most popular continuation for White in this position.


According to my database Inarkive also plays the most often played move in this position for Black, forcing her to spend a tempo to move the bishop back to c2.


The lost tempo. His next move in the game was:


This move is the most popular for Black in this position. He creates the threat of 16..cxd5 17.exd5 Bxd5 winning a pawn.


She forces him to spend a tempo to move his attacked knight.


The only move I have black playing in this position in my database, representing the lost tempo.


The only move White plays in this position in my database, avoiding the loss of a pawn at the cost of giving up some of her influence in the center.

The game continued with the two players making these moves:



A move almost always played by White at this time,she attacks his weak f-pawn,tieing his king down to the defense of this pawn.

His next move in the game was:


He spends a tempo to prevent her from playing the pinning move Bg5 and in the process gives his king "luft". [Analysis:According to my database Black has also played the move 18...Nb6 in this position.]

Kosteniuk played continued the game by playing:


Kosteniuk plays a rarely played continuation in my database. Her plan is to move both knights:the one on f3 to h4 and the one on g3 to h5 then move her queen first to g3 then to g6. [Analysis:The main continuation for White in this position is: 19.Nh2 with play most often continuing: 19...Nb6 20.Ng4 Nc4 21.a4 Nxg4 22.Qxg4 Bd7 23.Nf5 Kh7]

Sep-05-06  Albertan: Returning to the moves played in the game, Inarkiev's next move was: 19...Qc7

He gives some more protection to his weak backward d-pawn and in the process connects his rooks. The move 19...Qc7 was first played in this game: [Event "RUS-chT"] [Site "Azov"] [Date "1996.??.??"] [Round "4"] [White "Dolmatov, Sergey"] [Black "Ibragimov, Ildar"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C92"] [WhiteElo "2575"] [BlackElo "2545"] [PlyCount "106"] [EventDate "1996.??.??"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [Source "ChessBase"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Bb7 10. d4 Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. d5 Nb8 13. Nf1 Nbd7 14. Ng3 Nc5 15. Bc2 c6 16. b4 Ncd7 17. dxc6 Bxc6 18. Bb3 h6 19. Qd3 Qc7 20. Nh4 Nb6 21. Ng6 d5 22. exd5 Bxd5 23. Nxf8 Kxf8 24. Nf5 Qd7 25. Be3 Nc4 26. Bc5+ Kg8 27. Ne3 Nxe3 28. Qxe3 Qe6 29. Rab1 Rad8 30. Rbd1 Bxb3 31. Rxd8 Rxd8 32. axb3 Qxb3 33. Qxe5 Re8 34. Qxe8+ Nxe8 35. Rxe8+ Kh7 36. Ra8 Qa3 37. Bd4 h5 38. Ra7 Kg6 39. Kh2 h4 40. Ra8 f6 41. Ra7 Qa2 42. Kg1 Qe6 43. Kh2 Kh6 44. Rb7 Qc8 45. Rb6 Kg5 46. Kg1 Kf5 47. f3 Kf4 48. Kf2 Qa8 49. Kg1 Kf5 50. Kf2 Kg6 51. Kg1 Kf7 52. Kf2 Qc8 53. Kg1 Kg6 1/2-1/2 [Analysis:According to my database, the only other move Black has played in this position is 19...Qc8 ]

Returning to the moves played in the game, for her next move Kosteniuk played:


The move also played by Dolmatov in the above mentioned game. She intends to play this knight to f5 next move.


He creates a triple-attack against Kosteniuk's weak e-pawn which ties down her queen, knight and rook to defend this pawn.By playing this game he has transposed the game from the above mentioned game to the moves played in this one: [Event "EUCup 16th"] [Site "Neum"] [Date "2000.09.26"] [Round "3.2"] [White "Svidler, Peter"] [Black "Almasi, Zoltan"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "C92"] [WhiteElo "2685"] [BlackElo "2665"] [PlyCount "93"] [EventDate "2000.09.24"] [EventType "team"] [EventRounds "7"] [EventCountry "BIH"] [Source "ChessBase"] [SourceDate "2001.01.25"] 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9. h3 Re8 10. d4 Bb7 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. d5 Nb8 13. Nf1 Nbd7 14. Ng3 Nc5 15. Bc2 c6 16. b4 Ncd7 17. dxc6 Bxc6 18. Bb3 h6 19. Qd3 Qc8 20. Nh4 Qb7 21. Ng6 d5 22. Nxf8 dxe4 23. Qe3 Nxf8 24. Nf5 Nd5 25. Qg3 Ng6 26. Nd6 Qc7 27. Nxe8 Rxe8 28. c4 bxc4 29. Bxc4 Qb7 30. Bd2 Ndf4 31. Rac1 Bd5 32. Bxf4 Nxf4 33. Qe3 f5 34. Red1 Bxc4 35. Rxc4 Kh7 36. f3 Qf7 37. Rc2 Nd5 38. Qb3 Qa7+ 39. Rc5 Nf6 40. Kh2 Qb8 41. Rc6 exf3 42. Rxf6 e4+ 43. Rdd6 Re7 44. Qd5 gxf6 45. Qxf5+ Kg8 46. Qxf6 f2 47. Qg6+ 1/2-1/2

Going back to the moves played in the Kosteniuk-Inarkiev game, for her next move Kosteniuk played:


Kosteniuk plays a theoretical novelty for the position,creating a double attack against Inarkiev's d-pawn.


He creates a triple attack against Kosteniuk's triple- defended e-pawn.

Sep-05-06  Albertan: 22.Nh5!?

She leaves her e-pawn enprise (in effect she is sacrificing a pawn) in order to create the threat of Qg3 next move. [Analysis:Hiarcs 8: 22.exd5 Bxd5 23.Ne3 Bxb3 24.axb3 e4 25.Qe2 Ne5 26.Rd1 Rad8 27.Nef5 Nd3 28.Be3 Nd5 29.Bd4 N5f4 =]

The game continued with Inarkiev playing:

He wins a pawn and threatens to win a tempo.


She creates the game ending threat of 24.Nxg7 and if 24...Bxg7?? 25.Qxg7 is mate. The chess program Junior 9 (which has been programmed to understand the concept of "compensation") evaluates that Kosteniuk has sufficient compensation for her pawn. [Analysis:Hiarcs 8: 23.Nxf6+ Nxf6 24.Qg3 Kh7 25.Rd1 Nd5 26.a4 g6 27.axb5 axb5 28.Rxa8 Qxa8 29.Nh4 Bg7 ]

Returning to the moves played in the Kosteniuk-Inarkiev game, Inarkiev next played the move: 23...Nxh5

He wins a piece and a tempo by attacking her queen.


The lost tempo,however she takes advantage of the fact that his f-pawn is pinned to create the threat of 25.Qxf7+ which leads to a forced checkmate in 5.


The program Junior 9 evaluates that Kosteniuk has sufficient compensation for the knight and pawn.


This move regains her piece and creates the devastating threat of 26.Bxh6 gxh6 27.Nxh6 Re6 28.Nxf7+ Kg7 29.Bxe6 Kf6 30.Nd6 Kxe6 31.Qg6+ Nf6 32.Nxb7 Bxb7 33.Rad1 Rc8

Play in the game continued with Inarkiev playing:

He spends a tempo to guard his weak f-pawn.


Kosteniuk intends to move her bishop back to c2 in order to create a triple attack against his pawn on e4. [Analysis:Junior 9: 26.Bxh6 gxh6 27.Nd6 Bxd6 28.Qxh6+ Kg8 29.Re3 Nf8 30.Rg3+ Ng6 (the only move) 31.Rxg6+!? fxg6 32.Qxg6+ Kh8 33.Qh6+ Kg8 34.Qg6+ =with the likely outcome of the game being a game ending in draw by repetition of position.]

Sep-05-06  Albertan: Going back to the moves played in the Kosteniuk-Inarkiev game, Inarkiev next played:


He intends to move this rook to f6. [Analysis: Junior 9: 26...Re6 27.Be3 Rc8 28.Rad1 Bxb3 29.axb3 Qc6 30.Rc1 Rg6 with sufficient compensation for the pawn.] The game continued with Kosteniuk playing:


Creating a triple attack against his pawn on e4 threatening to win it next move.Junior 9 gave a poor evaluation to this move. [Analysis:Junior 9:Better was 27.Rd1: 27.Rd1 Bxb3 28.axb3 Rc8 29.Bd2 Kh7 30.Rac1 Nf6 31.Be3 Qc6 with compensation for the pawn.] Inarkiev's next move in the game was: 27...Rc8

Attacking Kosteniuk's unprotected c-pawn winning a tempo. [Analysis:Junior 9: 27...Nf6 28.Bg5 Nh7 29.Be3 Rc8 30.Rad1 g5 31.Qg3 Rxc3 32.Bb1 Nf6 with insufficient compensation for the pawn.]

Going back to the moves played in the game, Kosteniuk next played:


The lost tempo. He now played a knight move:

Intending ...Nc4. [Analysis:Junior 9: 28...Rg6 29.Bxe4 Nf6 30.f3 Bxe4 31.fxe4 Rc4 32.Ng3 Be7 33.Nf5 Bd8 ]

The game continued with Kosteniuk playing:


[Analysis:Junior 9: 29.Bxe4 Bxe4 30.Rxe4 Qd5 31.Rd1 Nc4 32.Ne3 Nxe3 33.Rxe3 Qxa2 34.Rd3 Be7 35.Qh5 Kg8 And White has insufficient compensation for the pawn.]

The players next played these moves in the game:
29...Nc4 30.Bc1

She spends a tempo to save her bishop from extinction.His next move was: 30...Rf6

Attacking her knight,threatening to win a tempo.Kosteniuk for her next move decided to sacrifice her knight on h6:


For the moment regaining material equality.

Sep-05-06  Albertan: 31...Rxh6

The only way to recapture the piece, capturing with the g-pawn is impossible as this would leave the rook hanging.

The two players played these moves next in the game:

32.Bxh6 gxh6

Leaving Kosteniuk up a pawn. Junior 9 evaluates that Inarkieve has sufficient compensation for the pawn.

Kosteniuk's next move in the game appears to be a mistake:


Junior 9 gave a poor evaluation to this move. [Analysis:Junior 9: 33.Bxe4 Bxe4 34.Rxe4 Qb6 35.Rd7 Qg6 36.Rg4 Qe6 37.Rd8 Rxd8 38.Qxd8 Qd6 =]

Returning to the moves played in the game, Inarkiev next played:


Overprotecting his pawn on e5.


[Analysis:Junior 9: 34.Qg4 Rg8 35.Bxe4 Bxe4 36.Rxe4 Qc6 37.Kh2 Bf6 38.Qf5 Rg5 39.Qf3 Be7 ]

The game continued with Inarkiev playing:

He overprotects his f-pawn in preparation for a advancing it to f5. [Analysis:Junior 9: 34...bxa4 35.Rxd5!? Qxd5 36.Bxe4 Qd8 37.Qf5 (37.Bf5 Rb8 38.Ra1 Qf6 39.Rxa4 e4 40.Bxe4 Nd2 41.Qf5 Qxf5 42.Bxf5 Bxc3 ) 37...Kg8 38.Bc2 Nd2 39.Qh7+ Kf8 40.Bxa4 Rxc3 41.Bc2 Qg5 ]

Play in the game continued with the two players playing these moves:

35.axb5 axb5

A mistake. [Analysis:Junior 9:Better was 36.Qf5: 36.Qf5 Nd6 37.Qh5 Rd8 38.g4 f6 39.Re2 Rd7 40.g5 Bf7 41.Qh4 fxg5 42.Qg4 Qc7 43.Bxe4 h5!? 44.Qxg5 Nxe4 45.Rxd7 Qxd7 46.Rxe4 Qd1+ 47.Kh2 Qf3 ]

Returning to the moves played in the game, for his next move Inarkiev played:


He spends a tempo to support his pawn on e4. [Analysis:Junior 9:Better was 36...exf3! 36...exf3 37.Rxd5 Qxd5 38.Qf5 f2+ 39.Qxf2 Qd2 40.Re2 Qf4 41.Bd3 Qc1+ 42.Kh2 Qxc3 43.Bxc4 Qxc4 ]

The game continued with the players playing these moves:

37.fxe4 fxe4

[Analysis:Junior 9:Better was 37...Bf7: 37...Bf7 38.Qf3 f4 39.Bb3 Ne3 40.Bxf7 Nxd1 41.Rxd1 Rxf7 ]

Kosteniuk's next move in the game was:


[Analysis:Another idea was to play 38.Qg6 with this variation possible: 38.Qg6 Nb2 39.Rxd5 Qxd5 40.Bxe4 Qg8 41.Qc6 Qf7 42.Kh1 Na4 43.Re3 Qf6 44.Qxb5 Qf1+ 45.Qxf1 Rxf1+ 46.Kh2 Rc1 ]

Returning to the moves played in the game, he next played the move:


[Analysis:Junior 9: 38...Na3 39.Rd2 e3! 40.Rxe3 Nc4 41.Qg6 e4 42.Rxd5 Qxd5 ]

Her next move was:


Kosteniuk offers to exchange rooks on f1.

Sep-05-06  Albertan: The game continued with the two players making these moves:


40.Rxf1 e4

He spends a tempo to reduce the mobility of her bishop. [Analysis: (a)Junior 9: 40...Nd2 41.Rf6 Bxf6 42.Qxh6+ Kg8 43.Qxf6 Qc6 44.Qxe5 Qe6 45.Qg3+ Kf7 46.Qf4+ Ke7 47.Qc7+ Ke8 48.Qb8+ Kd7 49.Qxb5+ Bc6 50.Qe2 Kc7 ; (b)Hiarcs 8: 40...Qc6 41.Rc1 e4 42.Bb3 Be5+ 43.Kg1 Bb8 ]

Returning to the moves played in the game, she next played a queen move:


[Analysis:Shredder 8: 41.Bd1 Nd2 42.Rf6 Bxf6 43.Qxh6+ Kg8 44.Qxf6 Bc4 45.Kg1 Qg7 46.Qd8+ Kh7 47.Qh4+ Kg8 48.Qd8+ Kh7 49.Qh4+ Qh6 50.Qe7+ Kg6 51.Qe8+ Kg7 52.Qd7+ Bf7 53.Qxb5 Qf4 54.Bg4 Qf2+ 55.Kh1 Qf1+ 56.Qxf1 Nxf1 57.Kg1 Bc4 ]

The game continued with Inarkiev playing:

[Analysis:Shredder 8: 41...Kh7 42.Qh5 Nd2 43.Qf5+ Kg8 44.Rc1 Qf7 45.Qg4 Nf1+ 46.Kh1 e2 47.Qc8+ Bf8 48.Qg4+ Kh8 49.Qh4 Qc7 50.Qf6+ Bg7 51.Qxf1 exf1Q+ 52.Rxf1 e3 53.c4 Qg3 54.cxd5 Be5 55.Rf8+ Kg7 56.Kg1 Kxf8 57.Bd3 Qe1+ 58.Bf1 Qf2+ 59.Kh1 Qxf1# ]

Kosteniuk next played the move:

[Analysis:Shredder 8: 42.Bd1 Qd5 43.Kg1 Qd2 44.Qxe4 Nd6 45.Qg6 Bf7 46.Qb1 Bxc3 47.h4 e2 48.Bxe2 Qd4+ 49.Rf2 Ne4 50.Kh2 Qe5+ 51.Kg1 Bd4 52.Qe1 Qf4 53.Bf3 Nxf2 54.Qxf2 Qc1+ 55.Kh2 Bxf2 56.Be2 Qf4+ 57.g3 Qxg3+ 58.Kh1 Qh3#]

Returning to the moves played in the game, for their next moves the two players played:


Preventing ...d2. however this move is a blunder.

Inarkiev now found a nice idea in the position and played:


Threatening 44...Be5 which would force Kosteniuk to play 45.Qxe5 to prevent checkmate.

Sep-05-06  Albertan: These moves were played next in the game:

44.Qh5 Nd2

Attacking her rook winning a tempo. [Analysis:Shredder 8:A better idea is the pawn sacrifice 44...e2! with this variation possible: 44...e2 45.Bxe2 Ne3 46.Rg1 Kh7 47.Bxb5 Be5 which forces 48.Qxe5 Qxe5 49.Bd7 Bc4 50.g3 Qh5 51.Bg4 Nxg4 52.Kg2 Ne3+ 53.Kh2 Nf1+! 54.Rxf1 Bxf1 55.c4 Qxh3+ 56.Kg1 Qg2#]

Returning to the moves played in the game, Kosteniuk's next move in the game was:


The lost tempo.


Creating the threat of 46...Nf1 (which forces 47.Rxf1 due to the threat of 47...Qh2#).

These moves were next played in the game:

46.Qe8+ Kh7
47.Qd7 Qf4

He again threatens 48...Nf1 which forces 49.Rxf1.

48.Bg4 Nf1 0-1

He threatens 49...Qh2# so she resigned,as she is forced to either play 49.Qf5+ or 49. Rf1 Analysis:Shredder 8: 49.Qf5+ Qxf5 50.Bxf5+ Kg8 51.Rxf1 Bxf1 52.Be6+ Kh8 53.Bg4 Bxc3 54.Kg1 e2 55.Bxe2 Bxe2 56.Kf2 Bd3 57.Kg1 Bxb4

Mar-28-07  soughzin: Hi I have a pretty simple question and you can decide how dumb it is : ). In the closed Ruy Lopez why does white frequently play a4? Chess is often a battle for a tempo and in the positional dance of the Ruy I often see white play a4, black plays a sensible move elsewhere, later white exchanges on b5 and doesn't seem to benefit much from it.
Mar-28-07  e4Newman: <soughzin:> it depends upon the exact position. generally you're right, it costs an immediate tempo for a longer term threat. you would only use it in the closed or semi-closed positions of the ruy. it makes black ponder white's counterplay on that side. very effective in the marshall gambit for example (8.a4). rook pressure down the a-file or an attack on the black b-pawn are often possible.

i don't have the exact link but i remember a good example from one of the deep blue-kasparov games where the computer (as white) developed a beautiful, long term, winning plan down the a-file. Also, 12.a4 is a major line in the Zaitsev/Flohr. See some of the games from the Karpov-Kasparov '86 Rematch. Oh yeah, and i've used a4 as white against the archangel/moller too.

very deep, this lopez is

Mar-28-07  square dance: you're probably referring to an anti-marshall system which goes: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4.

click for larger view

8.c3 would allow ...d5 and introduce the marshall attack. 8.h3 is another way to avoid the marshall attack.

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  Colonel Mortimer: a4 = 1) Weaken the advanced Black Queenside 2) Open the a file for White's rooks 3) Disrupt/disuade Black's Queenside expansion 4) Exchange a wing pawn for a knight pawn giving a slight endgame advantage. 5) Avoid the Marshall 6) Constructive waiting move
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  Colonel Mortimer: 7) Allow the Bishop an escape square on a2
Mar-28-07  ganstaman: No, everyone is wrong. You push your rook pawns up in order to develop your rooks to the center of the board. Generally, it goes something like this: 1. a4 e5 2. h4 d5 3. Ra3 Bxa3 4. Rh3 Bxh3 and you get the idea. I guess black played extremely precisely here and figured out white's plan, but that doesn't happen all the time. But do notice that both of black's bishops are now on the edge of the board and under attack, so it's not so bad anyway.
Nov-17-08  Cactus: It seems that the black side of the main line Ruy Lopez is struggling of late. Perhaps a reason for the huge rise in Berlin Defence adherents?
Nov-17-08  Open Defence: well I am engaged in an interesting Zaitsev Battle and I have found IMHO that while some of the late middle games and end games arising from the well trodden paths are objectively equal, they require a very high standard of play so White has the easier game practically speaking
May-24-11  Capcom: Looking through the Opening Explorer, I noticed that the most common move order is 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 <d6 8 c3 O-O 9 h3> Why doesn't Black take advantage of White's neglecting to meet ...d6 with h3 as he is 'supposed to'? Can't Black inconvenience White with ...Bg4 as he does in the 9.d4 variations?
May-24-11  MaxxLange: <Capcom> As I understand it, there's just not much point to ...Bg4 if White hasn't played d4 yet, and 8...0-0 is a more useful move for Black.

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O Be7 6 Re1 b5 7 Bb3 d6 8 c3 Bg4 9 d3 is fine for White, for example. Moves like Nbd2, h3, and Nf1 with the idea Ng3 are going to force Black to retreat or trade off the Bg4 in a few moves, after which White can prepare d4

May-25-11  Capcom: <MaxxLange> I suppose your right. The extra tempo for Black (from d2-d3-d4) is less important than the two bishops in the closed position. Thanks.
Jul-07-15  Psihadal: For many years now I've been struggling to choose my favourite 17th move as black in the main line Zaitsev of the Ruy Lopez:

Either 17...f5 to undermine white's centre and to bring black's queen's bishop back into play; or 17...c4 to create a strong knight outpost on d3, sometimes at the cost of a pawn and to play on the queenside. Sometimes I like one variation, but then I suddenly feel more comfortable in the other one, only to switch again the next day.

What are your guys thoughts?

Jul-07-15  Psihadal: I probably should have posted the entire variation for those who are unfamiliar with it or don't remember it:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 d6 8. c3 O-O 9.h3 Bb7 10. d4 Re8 11. Nbd2 Bf8 12. a4 h6 13. Bc2 exd4 14. cxd4 Nb4 15. Bb1 c5 16. d5 Nd7 17. Ra3

And now black has a choice between 17...f5 and 17...c4

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