GM Ivan Cheparinov finished a new fascinating project - in two databases, he will provide the full Ruy Lopez Repertoire. While in the first part of his Ruy Lopez journey, GM Cheparinov covered everything except the position arising after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0, he deals with it in this part. The database consists of 12 theoretical chapters, 12 interactive test positions, a Memory Booster, and a Video Version (6.5 hours).
GM Ivan Cheparinov finished a new fascinating project – in two databases, he will provide the full Ruy Lopez Repertoire.
Many players are hesitant to try the Ruy Lopez opening due to its complexity. Aside from the theoretical overload, Ruy Lopez necessitates a subtle understanding of the arising pawn structures. There is, however, some good news. You will have a reliable lifetime weapon if you put in the necessary effort.
In the first part of his Ruy Lopez journey, GM Cheparinov covers everything except the position arising after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 which will be dealt with in this part.
True to his analytical approach, Cheparinov comes up with many interesting novelties and fresh directions. Obviously, this course does not refute the Ruy Lopez. The suggested lines, however, force Black to play extremely precisely for many moves. Therefore, this repertoire has tremendous practical value.
The database consists of 12 theoretical chapters, 12 interactive test positions, a Memory Booster, and a Video Version (6.5 hours).
Now, we shall take a closer look at Cheparinov’s recommendations.
The database starts with 5…d6. Our repertoire against this line goes 6.c3 Nxe4 7.d4
This line is playable for Black, although White is slightly better without much risk. This system is covered in Chapter 1.
The next four chapters feature the very important Open Spanish. The first important tabiya occurs after 5…Nxe4 6.d4
Black’s main move in this position is 6…b5. Another very important option, however, is 6…Be7 which was popular around 5-6 years ago. It’s a decent line, but if White knows how to play against it, Black will have some problems. Cheparinov’s main line goes 7.Re1 b5 8.Rxe4 d5 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.Rxe5 bxa4 11.Qe2 Be6 12.f4
This line is very suspicious and Black is playing for a draw, while White is not risking anything.
The main position of the Open Spanish arises after 6…b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.c3
In this position, Black has three main options – 9…Nc5, 9…Bc5, and 9…Be7.
The line 9…Nc5 10.Bc2 Bg4 is the only way for Black to fight for equality, but nevertheless, White is still pressing and is slightly better at the end of this line.
After 9…Be7 is quite an important line in which objectively Black is fine but a lot of knowledge is required. At the end of the day, even if Black knows a lot, the arising positions will still need to be defended well in practical games.
The most aggressive line goes 9…Bc5 10.Nbd2 0-0 11.Bc2 Nxf2! 12.Rxf2 f6 13.Nf1 Bxf2 14.Kxf2 fxe5 15.Kg1
Black has 3 main moves: 15…Bg4, 15…Qd6, and 15…Qd7. The positions arising from these lines are probably fine for Black, although Black needs to know a lot. Even in that case, White can still put some pressure on the opponent and Black has to be accurate until the very end.
Chapters 6 and 7 are dedicated to 5…Bc5. White’s most ambitious reaction is 6.c3.
At this point, Cheparinov analyzes many options for Black. The main line, however, goes 6…0-0 7.d4 Ba7 8.Bg5 This is an aggressive move that gives White at least a small advantage and a very safe position.
Chapter 8 is dedicated to 5…b5 6.Bb3 Bb7
At this point, the recommendation is 7.Nc3!? Bc5 8.Nd5 when White’s plan is to play d4 sooner or later with a promising position.
Chapter 9 deals with 6…Bc5 which enters the famous Arkhangelsk Variation.
Cheparinov’s suggestion is 7.a4 Rb8 8.c3 d6 9.d4 Bb6 10.a5
If Black is very well prepared, he will get close to equalizing, however, even in that case, precise play will be required in the later stages of the game.
Against the main line 5…Be7, we play 6.d3.
This is an interesting way to avoid a lot of theoretical lines like the Marshall Variation, Chigorin, Breyer, and so on. This is more practical for White and objectively, it’s not worse than 6.Re1 which is the main line. With 6.d3, White has decent chances to fight for the advantage.
Black’s main move in this position is 6…b5.
Chapter 10 deals with 6…d6 which is a decent try for Black, although it’s a bit passive. The main line here goes 7.c3 0-0 8.Re1 Re8 9.Nbd2 Bf8 10.Nf1 h6 11.Ng3 b5 12.Bb3!
With his last move, White is provoking …Na5. He has better prospects with correct play.
Chapter 11 features the position arising after 6…b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4
Black has different options such as 8…Rb8, 8…Bb7, and 8…b4. All of them are playable, but in any case, White has a small but very pleasant advantage.
The final Chapter 12 examines 7…d6 8.Bd2
This is a rarer move that has the idea to prevent Na5 for now and eventually to develop the b1-knight on c3. In addition, White keeps the option to play a3 or a4. This is an interesting try from a practical point of view, and even though it’s difficult to prove an advantage, White can pose a lot of problems to Black along the way.
Chapter 1 – 5…d6
Chapter 2 – Open Spanish Early Deviations
Chapter 3 – Open Spanish 9.c3 Nc5
Chapter 4 – Open Spanish 9.c3 Be7
Chapter 5 – Open Spanish 9.c3 Bc5
Chapter 6 – 5…Bc5 6.c3 Rare Moves
Chapter 7 – 5…Bc5 6.c3 b5 7.Bc2
Chapter 8 – 5…b5 6.Bb3 Bb7
Chapter 9 – 5…b5 6.Bb3 Bc5
Chapter 10 – 6.d3 d6
Chapter 11 – 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 0-0
Chapter 12 – 6.d3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.Bd2
About the Author:
GM Ivan Cheparinov [FIDE 2718]
is a four-time Bulgarian champion (2004, 2005, 2012, 2018). GM Cheparinov competed in the FIDE World Cup in 2005, 2007, 2009, 2015, and 2017. In 2018, he switched his national federation to Georgia.