[February 10, 2018] Updated Opening Line by Slaviša Brenjo:
Ruy Lopez, Closed Defense – Anti-Marshall Variation with 8. a4

[Line 395 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6. Re1 b5 7. Bb3 O-O 8. a4 without 8… Bb7]

Move 8. a4 leads to the currently most popular variation of the Anti-Marshall, which occurs quite frequently on the highest level.

One of the popular follow-ups here is 8… b4 9. d4 d6 10. dxe5 dxe5 11. Nbd2 Bc5, seen in a couple of games by Svidler, Caruana and Aronian.

Somewhat less concrete is 8… b4 9. d3 d6 10. a5 Be6 where, again, Black more or less has equal prospects.

There is an interesting sideline for Black – 8… Na5, offering a pawn sacrifice 9. axb5 Nxb3 10. cxb3 Bb7, with sufficient compensation.

[Diagram: Black to Move] White’s queenside is completely undeveloped, and Black just needs to launch a decisive attack on his opponent’s King!

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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