Archive for the ‘openings’ Category

Ruy Lopez Richter Variation

Thursday, August 13th, 2009

Inspired by another game I recently played against a friend on Facebook, over the next few posts, I’d like to dig into a tricky line in the Open Ruy Lopez called the Richter Variation, characterized by the move 7.d5, instead of the more usual bishop retreat.

Its namesake may sound familiar as he’s well known for his contributions to Sicilian theory, in particular the Richter-Rauzer variation (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5).

Anyway, I digress. For a taste of the possible fireworks, here’s an illustrative miniature from the man himself.

I’ve been meaning to give this line a try for a while now, so knowing my friend’s repertoire includes the Open Ruy, I thought our online correspondence game would make for a great outing. Alas, despite notching the point, I really think he missed a couple wins. I’ll first present it sans commentary then come back to it as a launching point for further investigations.

If you’ve played any games in this line, from either side, please share your experience and moves in the comments.

Women’s World Chess Championship: Semifinal Pairings

Monday, September 8th, 2008

No tiebreakers needed this round! That means, tomorrow, the ladies finally get a well-deserved rest day before the following formidable match-ups get underway:

  • Alexandra Kosteniuk – Pia Cramling
  • Hou Yifan – Humpy Koneru

The veteran Cramling could probably be seen as something of a surprise, but she played some rather efficient chess in taking advantage of an apparently out-of-form Stefanova.

Today’s games were particularly interesting to me on account of their openings. It’s always exciting to see a rising star like Hou Yifan playing a somewhat offbeat opening that with which you yourself have been known to tussle. In this case, the exchange Caro-Kann, with Bd3 as White. Can’t say that I’ve been all too successful with it, as Braden Bournival can happily attest. But, I enjoy the ease of development and simple plan, nonetheless.

The other game of import to me was Kosteniuk’s crush of Ushenina from the black side of a Nimzo-Indian. Having studied the awesome Chess Openings For Black with the idea of abandoning my beloved King’s Indian Defense (I still waver about ending that lifelong relationship, and return to it from time to time), the fireworks in this one impressed.

So, what does the book have to say about this line?

Ack! It doesn’t. 4…d5 is not its recommendation, and since it’s a repertoire book, it only has to give you a primary move or two against each variation of the opponent. I could’ve sworn I’d seen this whole wild 11.Be5 0-0 line in recent high-level play. Perhaps it was one of Kramnik’s games?

Serious chess. Serious fun!