[September 19, 2017] Updated Opening Line by Slaviša Brenjo:
Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation (Miscellaneous)

[Line 381 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 without 4. Ba4]

The main variation of the Ruy Lopez (4. Ba4) is dealt with in our Lines 383-413, while this opening line covers a good part of the Exchange Variation (4. Bxc6). After the almost exclusive response 4… dxc6 White has two sidelines (5. Nc3 and 5. d4) at his disposal, but 5. O-O is by far the predominantly played move. Two of the frequent choices after 5. O-O – 5… f6 and 5… Bg4 are the topic of our Line 382, while other playable options can be found here.

Variation 5… Qf6 6. d4 exd4 7. Bg5 Qd6 8. Nxd4 has recently become increasingly popular, where both 8… Be7 and 8… Bd7 lead to positions with roughly equal chances.

Another fashionable continuation is 5… Bd6 6. d4 exd4 7. Qxd4 f6, where again Black has sufficient resources to equalize.

From other notable options for Black we will mention 5… Be6, 5… Qd6, 5… Be7 and 5… Ne7; among them 5… Be6 is our recommendation for club level players.

[Diagram: White to Move] L. Vajda – Ki. Georgiev, Herceg Novi 2008. Black’s last move was capturing the Bishop with 16… Be7xg5, expecting the obvious 17. Nxg5. However, there is a stronger reply for White, leading to an almost decisive edge. Can you find it?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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