Friday, September 25, 2015

Open question

Jan Timman, "Danish Delight", New in Chess, 2015#6, pages 99-100.

Question: since the Open Ruy Lopez is characterised by the move 5...Nxe4, how, in selecting 6. d3 after Black has played 5...Be7, has White succeeded in avoiding it?


Anonymous said...

It's a question of move orders. You can play 5. d3 if you want to avoid the Open and reach the same middle game. The disadvantage of 5. d3 is that Black has 5. .. Bc5 which is a different type of game. Equally if 3. .. Nf6, then 4. d3 avoids the Berlin, but allows 4. .. Bc5 .

I have a personal theory that it's easier to play against the slow lines with d3, than the sharper lines with d4. Once White has played d4, as Black you have dxe5 or d5 to be concerned about. With the pawn on d3, you can regroup without having any immediate tactics to worry about.

Depending on move order, White can sometimes recover the tempo lost by d2-d3 and d3-d4 by being able to play Ba4-c2. Also if .. Bg4 is not a threat because an early Bb7 has been played, then omitting h3 gets it back. That's not always so useful as you may need h2-h3 in order to play Nf3-h2 or Nf1-h2.

There's lots to know and the traditional opening theory approach of labelling defensive ideas as Chigorin, Keres, Smyslov, Zaitzev, Breyer etc. is not terribly helpful since you may need to use ideas from all of them to combat a d3 approach.


ejh said...

It's a question of move orders

Well it's not, it's a question of why make a note about 6. d3 which would actually apply to 5. d3 but which doesn't apply to 6. d3.