Monday, January 22, 2007

Open Spanish for black: any good references?

I want to start playing the Open Ruy as black (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Nxe4!). Are there any good books or resources out there on this? I have found only two books, one Open Ruy Lopez by Flear, doesn't look very good (he focuses on move nine and later, and doesn't provide much explanation). The other is called Open Spanish by Krasenkiv and I have ordered it at Amazon. I have no idea if it is any good. I'd appreciate any pointers.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm also interested in the Open Ruy for Black.

I'm pretty pessimistic about the book you ordered, simply because the default opening book falls smack into the category that you rightfully disembowelled in your last posting.

Even the best of the genre have lots of faults.

Take the Alburt/Zhindi/Perelshtyn
"Openings for Black explained".

I am still baffled by a line on page 112, (Accelerated Dragon) where, out of the blue in a quiet position, Black suddenly goes beserk and sacrifices a pawn for no apparent compensation, positionally or tactically.

Then we are told that "Black has compensation". Huh?

I haven't fed the before and after positions to an engine yet, admittedly, but after all, this stuff is supposed to be aimed at patzers, not GMs.

1/22/2007 04:08:00 PM  
Blogger dfan said...

You missed a move - it's 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. 0-0 Nxe4. And the reason that Flear's book starts at move 9 is that the next three moves for both sides are pretty automatic. You should know why they're good moves so that you can react well if your opponent doesn't make them, but there's really no theory until move 9.

1/22/2007 04:43:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Dan: thanks, I added in the missing moves in my post.

If moves were really automatic, then the book should address this, and show some examples of steering off course. Often moves that are considered worse than the main line are worse by millipawns. Also, he does spend some time on alternate moves after 5...Nxe4, played by GMs, so they aren't automatic. If they aren't automatic for GMs, then for the patzers they are definitely not.

In his defense, his book is not meant for patzers. It isn't a general open Ruy reference, but a specialists' tome, addressing the most popular GM lines when it was written.

1/22/2007 05:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

mark morss has some good articles about defending the Ruy


1/22/2007 05:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about THIS book?

The following is a review based on an extract from the book about the Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez

But i allready pointed out this book to you before. People are allready calling this a classic. And i am sure to get a copy myself and one of the second volume (which is not out yet) as well. This first volume covers everything after 1.e4. Basic plans and ideas behind particular openings are described in detail, sometimes using illustrative games. Some detailed analysis of critical lines is presented, but this is not intended to be comprehensive; rather it aims to show how the general themes play out in concrete lines.

Otherwise, you might be interested in this one. Specifically about the Ruy. Covering the open as well as many other lines. Is on my "want to have books" list as well :-)

1/23/2007 12:51:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Edwin: I've got that book and will have to take a look at his treatment of the Open Ruy. The Emms book looks good: too bad it is out of print. I'm keeping my eyes open for it.

1/23/2007 12:56:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I meant that the link is a review based on an extract from the book about the Open Ruy. Scroll down where the Open Ruy is explained. You might want to keep the rticle because of it ;-)

1/23/2007 12:57:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Edwin: to say it covers everything after e4 is a bit of an overstatement. No chapter on the Scotch, nothing on the French exchange, etc.. But he did that on purpose: he sacrified breadth for a fair bit of depth, and he tried to include openings that at least address similar themes to the Scotch etc..

1/23/2007 12:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You allready got the book? How long? And what is your opinion of it?

1/23/2007 12:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You should try the French Tarrasch :-)

You might like it better then the exchange variation.

Check out a Tarrasch example.

1/23/2007 01:03:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Edwin: I've only read the intro, so I don't have a strong opinion about it. I tend to prefer book-length treatments of a single opening rather than the shotgun approach.

I'm adopting the repertoire against the French in Chess Openings for White, Explained. I haven't studied it yet, though, and have no idea what it is called. They play 3. Nc3.

1/23/2007 01:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is the Winawer. If you really like that variation, you should really check out this cool game.

1/23/2007 03:25:00 AM  
Blogger wayward son said...

"have no idea what it is called. They play 3. Nc3."

It depends on what Black plays:
3...Bb4 is the Winawer
3...Nf6 is the Classical
3...dxe4 is the Rubinstein.

I agree with their recommendation of 3. Nc3. I think that the French is one of those openings that can kill you quickly if you are facing it blind. I know someone who switched to opening with the queen pawn because he hated the french so much. I was destroyed the first dozen times I faced the French. In fact one internet game this summer where I was White went like this

1. e4 e6 - 0-1 I resigned instead of facing the humiliation again.

At that point in time I decided that the only way that I could be comfortable facing it as white was to get more exposure to it by playing it as black - I still don't know theory on the French and I am far from an expert, but I easily reach decent positions as black or white and the games are won or lost based on the middle and/or endgame, not the opening. Now it is my favorite opening to face as white and to play as black.

1/23/2007 03:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right wayward son, i should have included Black's options after 3.Nc3 because those determine the course of the game and what variation it becomes. I just thought that by playing 3.Nc3 you want to provoke Black into playing the Winawer. You're also very right about how to get a good game against an opening you hate facing, and that is to play the opening (you hate facing) yourself. I've read it as an advice somewhere a long time ago. Problem is, i think a lot of players who are having a hard time studying their openings of choice, are not really anxious to start playing another (extra) opening for the sake of getting a playable game. But it is the best way. So, You're just starting your blog? Is it about chess?

And sorry for the misguiding information i gave in the 1st place concerning 3.Nc3, Blue. Like i said, i should have added Black's three main options. But the game is still very cool ;-)

1/23/2007 05:25:00 AM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Someday I'll add 1. d4 to my repertoire, and maybe I'll start to hate it less when I face it as black :)

1/23/2007 11:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My goodness. . .all this discussion about playing the French and the Tarrasch as Black. . .better look out or you'll be playing just like me someday. . .

[Bahahahahahahahahaaaa. . . welcome to the Dark Side!]

1/23/2007 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger wayward son said...


I do plan on starting a blog - probably 2. One on chess and one on politics, literature and life in general.

But I keep on telling myself that I am not allowed to start until I finish school as right now I work full-time as a flight paramedic and also do full-time schooling to reach the highest level of certification which should be around May or June. So I have very little free time at the moment and spend way too much of it on the internet as it is. If you want I will let you know when I start a chess blog.

1/23/2007 01:52:00 PM  
Blogger Blue Devil Knight said...

Jim: don't encourage them.

1/23/2007 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure wayward, let me know when the blog's up. I'll add it to my sidebar :-)

And you're right again! You should finish your school first ;-)

But this discussion was about the Spanish, right? Sorry Blue :-)

1/23/2007 08:24:00 PM  
Blogger wayward son said...

Well I did set up a blog and did my first post. I probably will not have too much time for it over the next couple months, but I will update it when I can.

I decided to use wordpress.

1/24/2007 06:50:00 PM  

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