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I know I'll need to study up on openings eventually, may as well start with the open games like everyone suggests. I'll need to study the exchange variation too. Seems like no matter what you have to have opening prep or you'll be sunk. I just need something where I have a clear plan and can make natural moves. Ruy Lopez Exchange: Keep pieces on the board as the pawn structure is a forced win for white in an endgame, so utilize bishop pair. Though I can't make white play it.
Any Ruy Lopez is fine. The defences with early b5 are supposed to have positional downsides instead of tactical ones so as long as you're not playing Karpov you'll be fine.
Thought 7re1 looked a suspicious move because of 7...Ng4, but maybe I am wrong because don't play this opening.
Then white has 8.Rf1,0-0 9.h3,Nf6 10.Re1 again. 7...Bb7 is the mainline.
The actual position in the first diagram is named "Neo-Archangelsk". A regular visitor at top chess, with guys like Anand, Caruana, Shirov et al willing to take Black.
However, the move order is probably inaccurate due to 6.d4. Therefore, 4...Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 is the normal way to get there.
Yeah always gotta take those d4! manouvers into consideration. I was thinking knights before bishops. The d4 square looks like the square of contention, with some possibilities of pressure against e4. I should probably look at some games to get an overview of some middle and endgame plans.
White doesn't seem to make a great deal of progress after 7Re1 Ng4 8Rf1 Nf6 9Re1 Ng4, so it doesn't appear to be a very testing "main line".
That draws by threefold repitition, I don't wanna draw.
The mainline is supposed to be 7.c3 d6 8.d4 Bb6 9.a4 Rb8 10.ab5 ab5 11.Na3, when Black usually sacrifices the b5 pawn to get active kingside play. There is quite a bit of theory, currently it's regarded as OK for Black.
I meant with Bc5, I doubt 7Re1 is white's best option, probably your mention 7Nxe5, 7c3, 7Nc3 or even d3 better options for white.