[April 06, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Trajko Nedev:
Ruy Lopez, Morphy Defense – Miscellaneous (incl. Modern Steinitz Defense, Caro Variation & Schliemann Defence Deferred)
[Line 383 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 without 4… Nf6]
Apart from the main variation of Ruy Lopez (4… Nf6) covered in our Lines 384-413, there are also a couple of notable alternatives for Black.
Modern Steinitz Defense (4… d6) is solid, yet somewhat passive option. The most promising reply is 5. O-O, where the main line goes 5… Bd7 6. d4 exd4 7. Nxd4 b5 8. Nxc6 Bxc6 9. Bb3, followed by c2-c4, Nc3 and Re1, with a small space advantage for White. There are also other possibilities, such as: 5. c3, 5. Bxc6 and 5. c4, but, with accurate play, Black is generally able to get good prospects there.
An interesting sideline 4… Nge7 is appropriate for club level players, since it does not include too much opening theory. White is generally slightly better after 5. c3 g6 6. d4 exd4 7. cxd4 b5 8. Bc2, though Black is not without his chances.
The idea of the Caro Variation (4… b5) is to trade the Knight for the light-squared Bishop after 5. Bb3 Na5, followed by Nxb3. White gets better piece development and, consequently – more promising positions.
Schliemann Defense Defered (4… f5) leads to a dubious position for Black after 5. d4 exd4 6. e5 Bc5 7. O-O, with more than sufficient compensation for White.
[Diagram: White to Move] Z. Hracek – R. Biolek, Czech Republic 2010. Black’s kingside is weakened, which allows White to gain a big edge with a nice tactical trick. Can you find it?
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