Friday, July 22, 2016

Classical Ruy Lopez 3.Bb5 Bc5

It is hard to imagine the days of the 1970s when there were few books on openings, no personal computers, and no databases. For those of us who lived far from big cities, our best form of chess competition was by postcard. Hank Ross and I met for eight games in APCT events. We chose a variety of openings. Somehow I won all our games.

Usually we played two games at a time on the same postcard. We got a postcard with moves one day and replied the next day. Typically we played about one move per week in each game. In the Classical Ruy Lopez 3.Bb5 Bc5, first I made sure to castle quickly on the kingside. I knew I wanted to do that. My further play would depend on Black’s defensive choices.

A natural continuation is 4.0-0 d6 5.c3 Bd7 6.d4 when White has good chances. Instead our game continued 4.0-0 Nf6. I played for the central pawn fork with 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.d4. Black went wrong with 6...Bd6? Then White would be winning after the best reply is 7.dxe5! Here I tried the tricky move 7.f4?! It worked this time.

Black’s knight was trapped when he took with 7…Nxe4? After 8.fxe5 Be7 9.Qf3, White won a piece due to a mate threat on f7. Hank Ross played on until checkmate, since he had to write to me for a while anyway to play our other game.

Sawyer (1980) - Ross (1700), corr APCT P-388, 1978 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.0-0 Nf6 5.Nxe5 Nxe5 6.d4 Bd6? [6...a6 7.Be2+/=] 7.f4?! [7.dxe5! Bxe5 8.f4 Bd6 9.e5 Bc5+ 10.Kh1 Ng8 11.Nc3+-] 7...Nxe4 [7...Nc6 8.e5 0-0 9.exf6 Qxf6 10.c3 b6=] 8.fxe5 Be7 9.Qf3 Ng5 10.Bxg5 0-0 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 12.Bd3 Qb4 [12...d6 13.Nc3+-] 13.Qe4 g6 14.Nc3 c6 15.a3 Qe7 [15...d5 16.axb4 dxe4 17.Nxe4+-] 16.Qf4 d6 17.exd6 Qe6 18.Rae1 Qg4 19.Qf6 Be6 20.Rf4 Qh5 21.Rh4 Qa5 22.Rxh7 [Or 22.Rxe6!+-] 22...Kxh7 23.Re5 Qd8 24.Rh5+ Kg8 25.Rh8# 1-0

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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