In this game, which took place in Tilburg in 1994, we see Khalifman on top of his game with the black pieces. The opening is a Sicilian, Richter Rauzer, where white opens the door for black to come crashing through on the queenside. The game is not short of tactical complications, and the first breakthrough comes with black’s uncompromising 17… c4! The attack that follows on the queenside is typical of opposite side castled positions where one attack coalesces before the other. Here, Khalifman is able to passively leave his queen hang in the breeze while conducting his attack with the spectacular 23…exd5.
Category: 1. e4 e5
It’s been a century since the philidor was a popular defense in top level chess, however, despite its reputation for passivity it still makes an occasional debut here and there in modern day tournament chess. Personally, I am not someone who seeks to punish my opponents for playing a less fashionable defense, and so i usually play the quiet lines with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3. d4 exd4 4.Qxd4 Nc6 5.Bb5… usually after 5…Bd7 I capture on c6 and play for a nagging long term advantage. However, some people like to try and blow their opponent off the board, and certainly the author of “Fire On Board” falls into that category. If the main lines against the philidor aren’t sharp enough for your taste, and you really want to throw the kitchen sink at the philidor, consider Shirov’s 5.g4 gambit as in the following game. The ideas behind this gambit are similar to the ideas behind Shabalov’s gambit in the meran semi-slav, but way crazier.
Today I was flipping through a couple game collections, looking for some good games that show some ideas for black in our ongoing series in the Open Ruy Lopez, but came across the following three games where Lasker handles the white pieces. The first game I included because it demonstrates a nice, simple idea of chigorin’s that has fallen out of fashion, but is nonetheless a strong rejoinder. The second features the debut of a move which is now common theory, as well as a very famous king and pawn ending with a “reti-like” maneuver.
Earlier this week, I wrote a post on the Ruy Lopez Breyer games that Anand and Carlsen have been playing recently. So, when Mamedyarov uncorked a lovely novel idea against shirov yesterday at the Tal Memorial in Moscow, I had to post it here. In the game, the new idea involves the pawn sacrifice 17…b4! This breaks up white’s queenside pawns, and black will get excellent play with his queenside rook along the open file and 4th rank. The rook swings into action and crosses along the fourth rank all the way to the kingside of the board, where it harasses white’s king for the rest of the game. A lucid and fascinating concept from the Azerbaijani – comments by chessvibes-
Continuing in our series of posts on the Ruy Lopez, Open, I thought I would go over some of the ideas in the Howell attack, an interesting sideline that involves a queen sacrifice. After the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb4 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7. Ba3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 we have the following position which is extremely common in the Ruy lopez open:
Lubomir Kavalek – Anatoly Karpov, Montreal 1979
Throughout his lengthy chess career, Anatoly Karpov has been a leading exponent of the Ruy Lopez with both colors. His principled encounters with Victor Korchnoi to a very large degree defined the modern theory of this opening; however, in all those games Karpov played with White pieces. This game is one of those rare instances when he ventured to play the Open Variation with Black.
The open ruy lopez was a career favorite of Viktor Korchnoi, who played it consistently and with success against top flight opposition. The game could not be more different from the closed, maneuvering ruy lopez of the chigorin, breyer or zaitsev variations. In the open, black places his knight centrally and looks for active piece placement to immediately apply pressure on the white camp.
In his last few encounters with the black pieces against Anand, Carlsen has employed the Ruy Lopez Breyer variation three times and drawn all three games. As a fan, it’s odd to see these two battling in an open game so deeply in the same variation, almost matchlike, because both of them tend to be 1.d4 players. While the world anticipates the real match to come between these two (though that may not happen) I can’t help but wonder if this “battle in the breyer” is serving merely as a proxy for their behind the scene preparations in the catalan, or would they attempt to surprise one another with 1.e4 in a match setting? More on the Breyer, after the jump…