Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Ruy Lopez Berlin Steinitz Combo

My game vs Bob Muir was a King Pawn Philidor to Scotch to Ruy Lopez Steinitz to Berlin combo. What do I mean by “combo”? I'm not referring to a restaurant “combo” of a meal with a drink. It chess, “combo” has other meanings. In tactics, it is a series of moves that accomplish some goal. In openings, it is a transposition that unites more than one opening. Either of us could have varied at any point from moves two to five and reached a different position.

We began with a Philidor Defence after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4. Black responded with 3...Nc6. This can be reached via a Scotch after 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 d6. Instead of playing 4.dxe5 or 4.d5, I chose 4.Bb5. This is a Ruy Lopez. A common Steinitz continuation is either 4…exd4 or 5…exd4. After Black played 4…Bd7 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.0-0 and we have a line in the Ruy Lopez Berlin Variation. The normal continuation to reach that line would be 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb4 Nf6 4.0-0 d6 5.d4 Bd7 6.Nc3. I don’t like my idea to treat this like a King’s Indian Defence after 7.Bg5 h6 8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.d5. Black got a strong attack here. Other seventh moves in the notes (7.dxe5 or 7.Re1) look better.

My Chess Training Repertoire this week covers the Four Knights Game. My email goes to those subscribed to my list at 11:45 AM Eastern time Thursday.

Sawyer (2010) - Muir (1800), Williamsport, PA 14.11.2000 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nc6 4.Bb5 Bd7 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.0-0 Be7 [6...exd4 is more normal here] 7.Bg5!? [7.dxe5 Nxe5 8.Bxd7+ Qxd7 9.Nd4 0-0 10.Nf5+/=; 7.Re1 exd4 8.Nxd4 0-0 9.Bxc6 bxc6 10.Bg5 h6 11.Bh4= and 1/2-1/2 in 18. Sawyer - Riesenbeck, corr CCLA 1980] 7...h6 8.Bxf6 Bxf6 9.d5 Ne7 10.Qd3 Ng6 11.Ne2 0-0 12.Bxd7 Qxd7 13.c4 Rab8 14.b4 a6 15.a4 Rfe8 16.Rfc1 Qe7 17.a5 Nf4 18.Qc2 g5 19.Ng3 Kh7 20.Nf5 Qf8 21.Ne1 g4 22.Nd3 Qg8 23.Ra2 [23.Nxf4! exf4 24.e5+-] 23...Qg5 24.Rd1 h5 25.c5 h4 26.Rb2 Nxd5 27.cxd6 cxd6 [27...c6 28.Nc5+-] 28.Nxd6 Red8? [Hastens the end.] 29.Nxf7 Qg6 30.Nxd8 Qxe4 31.Ne6 h3 32.Ne1 [32.Ndc5!+- is the strongest move here.] 32...Qxc2 33.Nxc2 Nc3 34.Rd7+ Kg6 35.Ne3 Nb5 36.Rbd2 Nd4 37.Nxd4 exd4 38.Nxg4 Re8 39.f4 Bh4 40.g3 Be7 41.Re2 1-0

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