[August 31, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Bojan Vučković:
Ruy Lopez, Morphy Defense – Normal Variation (Miscellaneous)

[Line 386 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O without 5… Nxe4, 5… Be7]

In addition to the Closed Defense 5… Be7 (Lines 391-413) and the Open Variation 5… Nxe4 (Lines 389-390), Black has two more viable choices, namely 5… b5 and 5… Bc5.

After 5… b5 6. Bb3 move 6… Bc5 (Lines 387-388) is the most frequently played option, while 6… Bb7 is an alternative of about the same strength.

The idea of 6… Bb7 is to react against 7. c3 with 7… Nxe4, where White has sufficient compensation for the pawn, but Black should not be worse. In the case of calm 7. d3 Black is fine both after 7… Be7 and 7… Bc5, while after 7. Re1 Bc5 8. c3 he can equalize with 8… d6 9. d4 Bb6, as well as with 8… O-O 9. d4 Bb6.

Move 5… Bc5 is a sideline, where Black’s position after 6. c3 O-O 7. d4 Bb6 should be roughly equal.

[Diagram: White to Move] P. Negi – W. Spoelman, Wijk aan Zee 2007. White Knight on g5 is under attack and Black can meet 16. Nxe4 with 16… Qxh4. Is there a better continuation for White in the diagrammed position?

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