The Ruy Exchange Part 2 by GM Magesh and GM Arun

The Ruy Exchange Part 2 by GM Magesh and GM Arun‎

GM gmarunchess
11 | Opening Theory

Last week we studied how white can convert his minute structural advantage into something useful in the Exchange Ruy Lopez. Black's agenda here would be opposite to White's ideas as one would expect. Black has a pair of bishops, but lacks space to complete his development. He/she nevertheless has a very solid position and if he does not make any irrational weaknesses then it would not be easy to break through for white.


The one astonishing thing that we noticed last week was that black can pretty much end up in a completely lost position without making any glaring mistake. This is just a simple trait of positional battles. When one side keeps playing natural moves without focusing on the pivotal point of the position, then it is bound to end up badly. In this opening, black's kingside pawns play a very important  role. As we know that black's queenside majority is really not of much use since no passed pawn can be created there. The kingside pawn structure decides many factors. There are some positions where it is good to exchange the e4 pawn by playing f5 and there are some positions where just keeping things intact is more vital. However, the correct choices can only be made with better experience.


Today we will take a look at some of those games where black has handled the position correctly. When we say correctly, it can even imply not doing anything if that is what the position really warrants. The first game is a game from a good friend and our country mate Surya Sekhar Ganguly. Unfortunately for him, in this game he is on the receiving end from Nigel Short.



That game was very simple; black just managed to put his pieces in the right places and the result just followed. The key to playing such subtle positions is the understanding of the endgames arising from the opening. One such player with a very good understanding, another team mate from India, Sasikiran, Krishnan systematically takes the game away from his opponent in the next game.



Like we had said earlier, maintaining a solid position without erring in itself can be a huge task. Being patient is more often rewarded in this type of position and you will see more of it in our next game. Our last game, played by Micheal Adams during his early days in the limelight, emphasizes the importance of being patient.




We hope our readers have a gained a good understanding about the positions in the Ruy Lopez Exchange and some related to it.


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