Ruy Lopez: Exchange Variation: Repertoire Preparation


The world champion Lasker routinely employed exchange variation of the ruy lopez to win in world championship matches, and he remains an exception. Other world champions have employed it, but only when they wanted to draw.

For starters, here is a game from Lasker.


The Lasker - Tarrasch game demonstrates the basic strategy of White - exchange all pieces and win the end game!
Black of course need not be so obliging, and therefore can play more enterprisingly. Here is a game between Yandemirov and Inarkiev. This game shows the right move order - 5.Nc3 defending e4 and thereby, threatening Nxe5.
There is a way for Black to avoid Queenless middlegame by playing 5...Qd6. Here is a model game between Kengis and Yuneev.
Finally, White needs to know one cricitcal response - if Black plays immediate ...Bg4, White needs to respond with h3.
It appears that the best response to Exchange Ruy is ...bxc6 instead of ...dxc6. In practice, it is seen very rarely.
Here is a short modern game to handle this.