Ruy Lopez, Exchange Variation: White wins

The Exchange Variation of the Ruy Lopez: examples of White wins

 

  1. Introduction
  2. Deffner,R - Brueggemann,J [C68], NRW
  3. Lasker,Emanuel - Steinitz,W, Moscow, 1896
  4. Lasker,Emanuel - Tarrasch,S, Duesseldorf, 1908
  5. Lasker,Emanuel - Janowski,D, Paris, 1909
  6. Lasker - Capablanca, St.Petersburg, 1914

Introduction

You may know that after:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6

  ...White cannot win a pawn with 5. Nxe5 because of 5....Qd4.

  What you may not know is that White can play this line to win, because in some sense, he is already a pawn up!

  Let me explain.

  If you have an extra pawn, you should:

exchange off pieces, not pawns

 

create a passed pawn

 

advance the passed pawn and either:

- force your opponent to give up material to stop it queening, or

- force your way into the opponent's position to take material yourself (usually pawns)

 

  With this in mind, let's look at the pawn formation after

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d4 exd4 6. Qxd4 Qxd4 7. Nxd4

 

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XxX-+xXx
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pPp+-PpP
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Now, if there were only Kings on the board, White could easily create a passed pawn with f4, e5 and f5 and e6.

  But Black cannot do the same on the other side, unless White allows all the front pawns to come to a4,b4 and c4, when there is a trick with ...b3! e.g. axb3, c3! bxc3 and ...a3. As long as White avoids that trap, the passed pawn on the King's side should win.

  This is what I mean by already being a pawn up. You have an extra pawn on the King's-side, and Black's extra Queen's-side pawn is useless.

  Emanuel Lasker played this several times, and more recently, Bobby Fischer discovered that you could also play 5. O-O! with an awkward moment for Black, because now there really is a threat to the e5 pawn which is not easy to meet e.g. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O f6 6. d4 exd4 7. Nxd4 c5 8. Nb3 Qxd1 9. Rxd1 and compared to Lasker's line, you are even further ahead in development. You do need to be prepared for other lines e.g. 5...Bg4.

  I quote Lasker's most famous successes with this line below; just in case you think this is all ancient history, here is an example from the German Bundeslige from recent years.

  White's plan, as ever, is to advance on the King's-side to get a passed pawn or entry for attack.


Deffner,R - Brueggemann,J [C68], NRW

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d4 exd4 6. Qxd4 Qxd4 7. Nxd4 Bd7 8. O-O O-O-O 9. Nc3 Bd6 10. Re1 f6 11. f4

 

-+jT-+sT
+xXl+-Xx
x+xL-X-+
+-+-+-+-
-+-NpP-+
+-N-+-+-
pPp+-+pP
R-B-R-K-

11... Bg4 12. Nf3 Nh6 13. h3 Bc5+ 14. Be3 Bxe3+ 15. Rxe3 Bxf3 16. Rxf3 Rd2 17. Rf2 Rhd8 18. Re1 b5 19. Rxd2 Rxd2 20. Re2 Rxe2 21. Nxe2

 

-+j+-+-+
+-X-+-Xx
x+x+-X-S
+x+-+-+-
-+-+pP-+
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pPp+n+p+
+-+-+-K-

21... c5 22. Kf2 Kd7 23. g4 Kd6 24. Ke3 c4 25. Nd4 c5 26. Nf3 Nf7 27. h4 a5 28. g5

 

-+-+-+-+
+-+-+sXx
-+-J-X-+
XxX-+-P-
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pPp+-+-+
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28... a4 29. Nh2 h5 30. gxf6 gxf6 31. Nf1 Nh8 32. f5

 

-+-+-+-S
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+xX-+p+x
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pPp+-+-+
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32... Ke5 33. Ng3 Nf7 34. Nxh5 Nd8 35. Ng3 b4 36. h5 b3

 

-+-S-+-+
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pPp+-+-+
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37. cxb3 axb3 38. axb3 cxb3 39. h6 c4 40. Ne2 Nf7 41. h7 Nh8 42. Nf4 Nf7 43. Ng6+ Kd6 44. Kd4 1-0

 

 


Lasker,Emanuel - Steinitz,W, Moscow, 1896

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. Nc3 f6 6. d4 exd4 7. Qxd4 Bd6 8. Be3 Ne7 9. Nd2 c5 10. Qd3 b5 11. Qe2 c4 12. Qh5+ g6 13. Qh6 Kf7 14. f4 Qf8 15. Qh4 Nc6 16. Nd5 f5 17. Qf6+ Kg8

 

t+l+-DjT
+-X-+-+x
x+sL-Qx+
+x+n+x+-
-+x+pP-+
+-+-B-+-
pPpN-+pP
R-+-K-+r

18. Qxf8+ Bxf8 19. Nxc7 Rb8 20. O-O-O Kf7 21. Nf3 h6 22. e5 Be7 23. Nd5 Bd8 24. h4 Rg8 25. Rhe1 Be6 26. Bc5 b4 27. Ne3 Rb5 28. Bd6 c3 29. b3 a5 30. Rd3 a4 31. Nd4 Nxd4 32. Rxd4 Bxh4 33. Re2 axb3 34. cxb3 Be7 35. Nc2

 

-+-+-+t+
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-+-Bl+xX
+t+-Px+-
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+pX-+-+-
p+n+r+p+
+-K-+-+-

35... g5 36. Bxe7 Kxe7

 

-+-+-+t+
+-+-J-+-
-+-+l+-X
+t+-PxX-
-X-R-P-+
+pX-+-+-
p+n+r+p+
+-K-+-+-

37. Nxb4 gxf4 38. Nc6+ Kf7 39. Rxf4 Rg4 40. Rd4 h5 41. Nd8+ Ke7 42. Nxe6 Kxe6 43. Rd6+ Ke7 44. Rh6 Re4 45. Rf2 Rbxe5 46. Rxh5 Ke6 47. Rh6+ Kd5 48. Rf6 Kd4 49. Rd6+ Kc5 50. Rd8 Re2 51. Rf3

 

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51... Rxa2 52. Rxc3+ Kb4 53. Rc2 Rxc2+ 54. Kxc2 Re2+ 55. Rd2 Re4 56. Rf2 Rg4 57. Kb2 Re4 58. g3 Re5 59. Rf4+ Kb5 60. Ka3 Rd5 61. Rf3 Ka5 62. b4+ Kb5 63. Kb3 Kb6 64. Kc4 Kc6 65. Rb3 Re5 66. b5+ Kb6 67. Kd4 Re4+ 68. Kd5 Re8 69. Kd6 Re1 70. Rf3 Kxb5 71. Rxf5+ Kc4 72. g4 Kd4 73. g5 Rg1 74. Ke6 Ke4 75. Kf6 Ra1 76. g6 Ra7 77. Re5+ Kf4 78. Re7 1-0

 


Lasker,Emanuel - Tarrasch,S, Duesseldorf, 1908

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d4 exd4 6. Qxd4 Qxd4 7. Nxd4 c5 8. Ne2 Bd7 9. b3 Bc6 10. f3 Be7 11. Bb2 Bf6 12. Bxf6 Nxf6 13. Nd2 O-O-O 14. O-O-O Rd7 15. Nf4 Re8 16. Nc4 b6 17. a4 a5 18. Rxd7 Nxd7 19. Rd1 Ne5 20. Nxe5 Rxe5 21. c4

 

-+j+-+-+
+-X-+xXx
-Xl+-+-+
X-X-T-+-
p+p+pN-+
+p+-+p+-
-+-+-+pP
+-Kr+-+-

21... Re8 22. Nh5 Rg8 23. Rd3 f6 24. Kd2 Be8 25. Ng3 Bd7 26. Ke3 Re8 27. Nh5 Re7 28. g4 c6 29. h4 Kc7 30. g5 f5 31. Ng3 fxe4 32. Nxe4 Bf5 33. h5 Rd7 34. Rc3 Rd1 35. Kf4

 

-+-+-+-+
+-J-+-Xx
-Xx+-+-+
X-X-+lPp
p+p+nK-+
+pR-+p+-
-+-+-+-+
+-+t+-+-

35... Bd7 36. Re3 Rh1 37. Ng3 Rh4+ 38. Ke5 Rh3 39. f4 Kd8 40. f5 Rh4 41. f6

 

-+-J-+-+
+-+l+-Xx
-Xx+-P-+
X-X-K-Pp
p+p+-+-T
+p+-R-N-
-+-+-+-+
+-+-+-+-

41... gxf6+ 42. Kxf6 Be8 43. Nf5 Rf4 44. g6 hxg6 45. hxg6 Rg4 46. Rxe8+ Kxe8 47. g7 Kd7 48. Nh4 Rxg7 49. Kxg7 Ke6 50. Nf3 Kf5 51. Kf7 Ke4 52. Ke6 Kd3 53. Kd6 Kc3 54. Kxc6 Kxb3 55. Kb5 1-0

 


Lasker,Emanuel - Janowski,D, Paris, 1909

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d4 exd4 6. Qxd4 Bg4 7. Nc3 Qxd4 8. Nxd4 O-O-O 9. Be3 Bb4 10. Nde2 Bxe2 11. Kxe2 Bxc3 12. bxc3

 

-+jT-+sT
+xX-+xXx
x+x+-+-+
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-+-+p+-+
+-P-B-+-
p+p+kPpP
R-+-+-+r

12... Nf6 13. f3 Nd7 14. Rad1 Ne5 15. Rd4 b6 16. f4 Nd7 17. Rhd1 c5 18. R4d3 Nb8 19. Kf3 Rde8

 

-Sj+t+-T
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p+p+-+pP
+-+r+-+-

20. f5 f6 21. g4 Re7 22. Bf4 Rhe8 23. Re3 Nc6 24. g5 Na5 25. h4 Nc4 26. Re2 Rf7 27. Rg1 Kd7 28. h5 Nd6 29. h6 fxg5 30. Rxg5

 

-+-+t+-+
+-Xj+tXx
xX-S-+-P
+-X-+pR-
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+-P-+k+-
p+p+r+-+
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30... g6 31. fxg6 hxg6 32. Rxg6 Ref8 33. Rg7

 

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33... Rxg7 34. hxg7 Rg8 35. Rg2 Ne8 36. Be5 Ke6 37. Kf4 Kf7 38. Kf5 1-0

 


Lasker - Capablanca, St.Petersburg, 1914

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. d4 exd4 6. Qxd4 Qxd4 7. Nxd4 Bd6 8. Nc3 Ne7 9. O-O O-O 10. f4 Re8 11. Nb3 f6

 

t+l+t+j+
+xX-S-Xx
x+xL-X-+
+-+-+-+-
-+-+pP-+
+nN-+-+-
pPp+-+pP
R-B-+rK-

12. f5 b6 13. Bf4 Bb7 14. Bxd6 cxd6 15. Nd4 Rad8 16. Ne6

 

-+-Tt+j+
+l+-S-Xx
xXxXnX-+
+-+-+p+-
-+-+p+-+
+-N-+-+-
pPp+-+pP
R-+-+rK-

16... Rd7 17. Rad1 Nc8 18. Rf2 b5 19. Rfd2 Rde7 20. b4 Kf7 21. a3 Ba8 22. Kf2 Ra7 23. g4 h6 24. Rd3 a5 25. h4

 

l+s+t+-+
T-+-+jX-
-+xXnX-X
Xx+-+p+-
-P-+p+pP
P-Nr+-+-
-+p+-K-+
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25... axb4 26. axb4 Rae7 27. Kf3 Rg8 28. Kf4 g6 29. Rg3 g5+ 30. Kf3 Nb6 31. hxg5 hxg5 32. Rh3 Rd7 33. Kg3 Ke8 34. Rdh1

 

l+-+j+t+
+-+t+-+-
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+x+-+pX-
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+-N-+-Kr
-+p+-+-+
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34... Bb7 35. e5 dxe5 36. Ne4 Nd5 37. N6c5 Bc8 38. Nxd7 Bxd7 39. Rh7 Rf8 40. Ra1 Kd8 41. Ra8+ Bc8 42. Nc5

 

r+lJ-T-+
+-+-+-+r
-+x+-X-+
+xNsXpX-
-P-+-+p+
+-+-+-K-
-+p+-+-+
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1-0

Chess Quotes

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