How to Play Chess: Sacrificing the Q and focal point f7 weakness

One of the most popular openings is the Ruy Lopez; many defenses are tried through the years and one of the modern approaches relatively speaking is the Arkhangelsk variation and sidelines. So set up your pieces, copy this lecture and be prepared for an exciting trip through the countryside of the 64 squares! Opening: Arkhangelsk (Modern line).

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Bc5 6.c3 [6…Nxe4? 7.Qe2 and 8.d4 when the Kt retreats gives white very good play.]

6…b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.d4 exd4 9.cxd4 Bb6 10.Bg5 [Here a classic going back to 1859, Loewenthal vs. Morphy, London, went 10…Bb7 11.Nc3 Ne7 12.Re1 h6 13.Bh4 g5 14.Bg3 Kf8 15.Qd3 c5 16.e5 dxe5 17.Bxe5 Kg7 18.Bxf6 Kxf6 19.Qe3 Qd6 20.Ne5 cxd4 21.Ng4+ Kg7 22.Qxe7 Qxe7 23.Rxe7 dxc3 24.Rxf7+ Kg6 25.Ne5+ Kh5 26.Bd1+ g4 27.Bxg4+ Kg5 28.Rf5+ Kh4 29.g3 mate.]

10…0-0 11.Nc3 Bg4 12.Nd5 [Lets look at some alternatives here. 12…Bxf3 13.gxf3 Bxd4 14.Rc1,and; 13…Nxd4 14.Nxf6+ gives White a powerful attack.]

12…Bxd4 13.Nxd4 [White here gets an inspiration and carries out a splendid attack with a Q sac tossed in!! Note that this type of position occurs occasionally so you should always consider if the Kt pin is really a pin. Commentary and analysis suggested also the strong move 13.Rc1 but who can blame White for this brainstorm solution!]

13…Bxd1 14.Nxc6 Qd7 15.Raxd1 Nxe4 16.Ne5 Qe8 [It is worth noting the SqCt 12/6. White now demonstrates the inherent weakness of the f7 square on the board.]

17.Nxf7 xf7 18.Nxc7 Qb8 19.Nxa8 Nxg5 20.h4 Kf8 21.hxg5 Ra7 22.Bd5 Aristizabal – Ramirez, Bogotá 1992. After 20..Ne4 21.Rfe1 Nc5 22.Nc7 Nxb3 23.Re8+ Qxe8 24.Nxe8 Nc5 25.Rxd6 Watson-Schiller analysis]

There are many variations within this opening system. You can find more on this opening and many others in the excellent work: Survive & Beat Annoying Chess Openings–The Open Games by Schiller & Watson.

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