Friday, April 19, 2013

Tabiya: Ruy Lopez, Exchange

White players may choose the Ruy Lopez Exchange variation against stronger players, because of its drawish reputation, likewise for the deferred exchange. I am trying 1.e4 e5 in my online games and run into several Ruy exchanges.

This may be a mistake, as a strong player should make good use of the two bishops, while white's the long term endgame advantage of the pawn structure is far away.

Ruy Lopez Exchange:

After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.O-O Kaufman recommends 5...Bg4. The mainline 5...f6 holds onto the e-pawn and a positional struggle ensues.

Ruy Lopez Exchange after 5...Bg4
 6.h3 will be met with h5, and white cannot afford to take the bishop, because he will have to return the piece and give black a fierce kingside initiative. 7.d3 Qf6  This is my Tabiya for the Ruy Exchange:
Ruy Lopez Exchange: Tabiya
I will attack on the kingside. If I castle it will be queenside. This will not be the kind of quiet game a player choosing the exchange should be expecting.

Ruy Lopez Deferred Exchange:

White can defer taking on c6.  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Be7 6.Bxc6 dxc6 7.d3 Nd7:

This is quieter than the line for the exchange. Though white has "wasted" a move with 4.Ba4, I will also lose tempo getting my Bc8 developed. I will most likely castle kingside and try to impede d3-d4 to avoid the "lost endgame" pawn structure. 7...Bg4 is not as strong as in the regular exchange, because the black queen cannot pop out to f6 easily.

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