Studying Old Games (Part 9)

I’ll make this the last Ruy Lopez for a little while, but once again it’s a deeply instructive one. Defending the Closed Spanish Black defends against White’s threatened attack by massing his pieces on the kingside (14…Ne8, 15…g6, 16…Ng7 and 17…f6 are key moves in the construction of his defensive formation). Later on Black also breaks out with 21…f5, taking the initiative in the same way Black can in the King’s Indian Defence.

Nowadays we are of course familiar with this plan, but at the time it was still being worked out. There were no computer databases to help masters figure these things out, that had to use their own brains together with the board and pieces.

Nigel Davies

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About NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Besides teaching chess, Nigel is a registered tai chi and qigong instructor and runs several weekly classes.