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Keres Spanish (5. Nc3 Qd6)

  • #1

    So here we have a Keres Variation in the Exchange Spanish where Black plays 5... Qd6 in reply to White's 5. Nc3. Typically in the exchange, White will play 5. 0-0 where Black must decide how to defend the e5 pawn. Here, White opts to defend e4 and attack d5 if the pawn on c6 is dislodged instead of hitting at Black directly in the center. Play can be either very positional or very sharp depending on how Black plays the opening.

    The major difference that exists between this and the f6 Keres that was posted by another player is thatĀ  Black has not developed his f pawn to f6, though he still can in many aspects of the game should he decide to.

    So, our line we will look at goes like this:

    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. Nc3 Qd6 6. d4 exd4 7. Qxd4 Qxd4 8. Nxd4 Bd7 9. Be3 O-O-O 10. O-O-O.

    Here is the diagram showing the ope


    White's best chances it would seem, would lie in the following line: 10... Ne7 11. Nde2 Ng6 12. Nf4 Ne5 13. Nd3 Ng4 14. Bf4 Be6 15. f3 Nf6, finally playing Be3 on the 16th move, locking out Black's f6 Knight and limiting the Bishops pair's scope over the board and once exchanges are done, giving White chances at a King side pawn majority. However, playing 16. g4 allows Black to still have some life it would seem and the score changes to Black's favor when his g and h pawns are ready to come down and promote.

    A side note to this line, Black found a drawing line in 15... Rxd3 where neither side could claim an advantage even with Black holding the Bishops pair through the whole game.

    Our first game will look at White's 16. Be3 move and try to come up with some ways to alter White's strategy to give Black some equality.

    Some brief content rules in this forum:

    1. please be respectful of each others opinions even if they vary.

    2. If you use an engine for any analysis, please provide the details and parameters used to obtain your analysis and the engine used.

    All lines and games presented here are from the website 365chess.com. All moves are considered as best moves in highest amount of games played with best percentages being picked for both sides with at least 10 games played until the postitions are pared down to one or two specific lines and the resulting games examined. Feel free to suggest a move from move 6 onwards for consideration of posting and i will do my best to put a few different games in showcasing that particular line or move if it is available to download. Also, feel free to post some of your own games from this opening as well with annotations if possible so we can see how mere mortals approach the handling of this variation.

  • #2

    Also of note is this line in response to 5... Qd6 that might be worth looking at:

    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. Nc3 Qd6 6. d3 Ne7 7. Be3 c5 which scored well for Black in the gameĀ  Mastrovasilis(2435) vs. Thorfinnsson (2220), 2001, 0-1

  • #3

    So here is a blitz championhip game played on icc.com in 2002 between Dragan Solak and Viktor Mikhailevski which showcases the 16. Be3 move. Solak goes on to win in this match yet when playing 16. g4 in the second game, loses as well.

    Here, White's Kingside pawn majority won out in the ending. White might have had a better time of it if he had played 9. Bf4 but as the text shows, this was a very tough struggle to achieve a superior position for most of the game.

    Questions on this game:

    1. How well does White fare if 9. Bf4 instead of 9. Be3?

    2. How much difference did the Knight play in the opening for Black and were there any resources for White to limit the traveling of this piece?

    3. Could Black have played better than allowing White to transfer his c pawn over into a 5 v 4 pawn majority and if so, where?

    Please justify your analysis on the merits of the position and what would appear to be the best moves for both sides and not merely an opinion as to what "looks good." Also, please cite any references you might use so that others who are interested might look into these ideas as well.

    The next game in the thread will demonstrate what really goes wrong with White playing 16. g4 in the same line.

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