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Navigate the Ruy Lopez with Fabiano Caruana

by Sagar Shah - 13/09/2019

Former World Championship challenger Super GM Fabiano Caruana has made three DVDs for ChessBase about various lines in the Ruy Lopez. They will offer you a complete repertoire for White in the Ruy Lopez covering all options after the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5. However, if you are a black player facing the Ruy Lopez, you too are bound to learn quite a bit from this DVD because of Caruana's objective approach towards the opening. The release date is 25th of September. However, we are launching a pre-order for the product, so that you are able to save quite a bit of money. Usually it takes years to learn and understand the intricacies of a major opening like Ruy Lopez. But with these three DVDs you will learn it in 16 hours and 20 minutes from one of the best in the business! 

I once read a post on Facebook by the experienced GM Pravin Thipsay. He said:

I read the last line and began to think what does an all-time great Ruy Lopez player in the history mean? Now that I have thought about this question in some depth let me share them with you.

You can say that this is one of the key and starting positions in the Ruy Lopez. It's Black to move and he has a host of options at his disposal. Firstly you can begin with 9..Na5 hitting the bishop on b3 and then placing your pawn on c5. This is known as the Chigorin. Another possibility is to play 9...Nb8 undeveloping your knight, a brilliant invention by Gyula Breyer, a variation that now bears his name, so that after 10.d4 Black has reorganized his knight with 10...Nbd7 and leaves the c-pawn free to move ahead. Karpov loved the Zaitsev system and he used to begin with 9...Bb7 in the above position. There is also the move 9...Re8 or 9...Nd7. You begin to understand what a rich variety of positions we are talking about here. Let's go a little more deep in one of the variations - say the Chigorin.

White has now three ways to play this position. He can keep the structure as it is. He can close it with the move d4-d5 or he can take on e5 or c5 and trying to play against the d5 weakness. Each of the method leads to different kinds of play where you have to play accurately, so that you can get some edge with white. The basic point is to develop an understanding as to which method is better under which situation.

 

This what I wrote above, deals with only one line in the Ruy Lopez. You have nearly 10-15 such important major lines like the Berlin, Arkhangelsk, Marshall, Anti Marshall, Birds, Schliemann, Cozio, Steinitz, etc. To understand each one of them in depth will take you years because you don't only need the right theoretical knowledge, but also practical skills of having played those positions over the board. There are many sources out there to understand the Ruy Lopez, but perhaps what ChessBase has come up with - Navigating the Ruy Lopez with Fabiano Caruana, a series of three DVDs that has over 16 hours of content, could become the most important resource on this veritable opening.

  Caruana with the co-founder of ChessBase Frederic Friedel at the ChessBase office in Hamburg

Even if you don't play 1.e4 with white or reply 1...e5 with black against 1.e4 it is important that you understand the Ruy Lopez. As Garry Kasparov has rightly pointed out - there are a few openings like the Ruy Lopez and the Queen's Gambit Declined which have been played in numerous World Championships right from the early 1900s. Understanding these openings, doesn't mean that you are understanding only those systems with white and black, but working on them means that you are working on your chess! You are enriching your understanding of the game.

Navigating the Ruy Lopez by Fabiano Caruana

The latest in elite GM training! The Ruy Lopez is one of the oldest openings which continues to enjoy high popularity from club level to the absolute world top. In this video series, American super GM Fabiano Caruana, talking to IM Oliver Reeh, presents a complete repertoire for White.

The DVD is named Navigating the Ruy Lopez because Caruana tries to understand the Ruy Lopez terrain for both colours. Although his main focus is for White in the DVD, when a top player comments on a certain position, he cannot help but be objective about it.

When playing with white Caruana likes to place his knights straight! What about you?! | Photo by Amruta Mokal at the Batumi Olympiad 2018

Learn from the best!

In a total of three volumes, Caruana examines all Black replies after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5. The world’s number two not only shows very concrete lines, but also outlines general approaches depending on the demands of each variation. (you can check the specific lines at the end of the article).

 

How can White keep track of the manifold solid closed set-ups (e.g. the Breyer)? What’s the best way to defuse the risky Schliemann-Jaenisch Gambit? Which transitions to the endgame against the Open Variation are particularly unpleasant for Black? What are the guiding threads to follow against the Berlin Defence?

 

In short, this trilogy not only provides the viewer with a complete premium Ruy Lopez repertoire, but also with fascinating insights into the mindset and chess understanding of a World Championship contender. Epiphanies guaranteed!

From being a talented youngster to becoming the World Championship Challenger, Caruana has picked up a lot of experience in the Ruy Lopez over the years

Video sample

Vol. 1

The Classical Main Lines (Chigorin 9…Na5, Zaitsev 9…Nb7 and Breyer 9…Nb8), Anti-Classical (8.a4), Anti-Marshall (8.a4)

- Video running time: 5 hours

- Database with Caruana’s games in the Ruy Lopez

- Bonus: Training with ChessBase apps — Memorize the opening repertoire and play key positions against Fritz on various levels

Vol. 2

On this Volume: Modern Arkhangelsk (6…Bc5), Open Ruy Lopez (5…Nxe4), Berlin Defence (3…Nf6 and 4.Nxe4), Averbakh Variation (6…d6)

- Video running time: 5 hours 52 min

- Database with Caruana’s games in the Ruy Lopez

- Bonus: Training with ChessBase apps - Memorize the opening repertoire and play key positions against Fritz on various levels

Vol.3

On this Volume: Schliemann Variation (3…f5), Smyslov Defence (3…g6), Cozio Defence (3…Nge7 and 3…a6 4.Ba4 Nge7), Bird’s Defence (3…Nd4), Steinitz Defence (3…d6) and Modern Steinitz (4…d6), Classical Defence (3…Bc5), Norwegian Defence (4…b5 5.Bb3 Na5)

- Video running time: 5 hours 26 min

- Database with Caruana’s games in the Ruy Lopez

- Bonus: Training with ChessBase apps - Memorize the opening repertoire and play key positions against Fritz on various levels

You can buy each volume at Rs.999 + GST = Rs.1178

However, If you buy all three volume together then you get them for Rs. 2499 +GST = Rs.2948. You save ₹588.

Mind you, this offer is only on pre-order. After 25th of September, the cost of this three volume bundle would be Rs.2799 + GST = Rs.3302

Please note: Once you place the order you will send setup files (downloadables) and serial key to activate it on the release date. It is not a physical product. 

Contents of all three DVDs

01: Introduction [04:00]

Anti-Marshall Setup 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4

01: Part 1: 8...b4 9.d4 d6 10.dxe5 dxe5 [38:19]

02: Part 2: 8...b4 9.d4 d6 10.dxe5 dxe5 [28:52]

03: Part 3: 10...Nxe5 11.Nxe5 dxe5 12.Qe2 a5 [19:37]

04: Part 4: 10...Nxe5 11.Nxe5 dxe5 12.Qe2 Bc5 [30:52]

05: Part 5: 8...Bb7 [39:22]

Anti-Classical Setup 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4

01: 8...Bg4 9.c3 0-0 10.h3 Bh5 [32:07]

02: 8...Bg4 9.c3 0-0 10.h3 Bxf3 [20:33]

Classical Main Lines 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3

01: Chigorin: 9...Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 [28:07]

02: Breyer: 9...Nb8 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7 12.Bc2 Re8 13.Nf1 Bf8 14.Ng3 g6 15.a4 [30:30]

03: Zaitsev: 9...Bb7 10.d4 Re8 11.Nbd2 Bf8 12.a4 [30:16]

Repertoire training

01: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4

02: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4

03: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5

04: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Nb8

05: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Bb7

Practice positions

01: Intro Breyer

02: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Bb7 10.d4 Re8

03: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Nb8 10.d4 Nbd7 11.Nbd2 Bb7

04: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7

05: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.a4 Bg4

06: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4 b4

07: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.a4 Bb7

Open Defence 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0

01: Part 1: 5...Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Qe2 Nc5 [37:29]

02: Part 2: 5...Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Qe2 Be7[31:42]

Berlin Defence 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4

01: 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nf5 [55:51]

02: 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nxe5 8.Rxe5 0-0 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Nf5 [65:54]

03: 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nxe5 8.Rxe5 0-0 9.d4 Bf6 10.Re1 Re8 [59:04]

Modern Arkhangelsk 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3

01: 6...Bc5 7.c3 d6 8.d4 Bb6 9.Be3 0-0 10.Nbd2 Bg4 [24:31]

02: 6...Bc5 7.c3 d6 8.d4 Bb6 9.Be3 0-0 10.Nbd2 Re8/Bb7/h6 [55:50]

Averbakh Variation 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0

01: 5...Be7 6.Re1 d6 [18:30]

Repertoire training

01: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4

02: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1

03: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5

04: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 d6

Practice positions

01: Intro Berlin Defence [00:48]

02: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nxe5 8.Rxe5 0-0 9.d4 Bf6

03: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.Re1 Nd6 6.Nxe5 Be7 7.Bf1 Nf5 8.Nf3 d5 9.d4 0-0

04: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6 9.Qe2 Be7

05: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.c3 d6 8.d4 Bb6 9.Be3 0-0

Classical Defence 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

01: 3...Bc5 [29:51]

Bird's Defence 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

01: 3...Nd4 [29:37]

Schliemann Defence 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

01: 3...f5 [48:36]

Cozio Defence 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

01: 3...Nge7 [33:38]

02: 3...a6 4.Ba4 Nge7 [36:48]

Smyslov Defence 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

01: Part 1: 3...g6 4.d4 exd4 5.c3 [12:21]

02: Part 1: 3...g6 4.d4 exd4 5.c3 [30:00]

Steinitz Defence 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

01: 3...d6 [27:36]

02: 3...a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.0-0 Bg4 [24:20]

03: 3...a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.0-0 Bd7/Nf6 [36:27]

Norwegian Variation 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4

01: 4...b5 5.Bb3 Na5 [12:48]

Repertoire training

01: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5

02: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4

03: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5

04: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7

05: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6

06: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6

07: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 b5 5.bb3 Na5

Practice positions

01: Intro Delayed Steinitz [00:35]

02: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.0-0 Bd7 6.d4 Nf6 7.Bxc6 Bxc6 8.Re1 exd4 9.Bxd4 Bd7 10.Nc3 Be7 11.h3 0-07

03: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bd7 6.0-0 g6 7.Nc3 Bg7

04: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 f5 5.d4 fxe4

05: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4

06: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nd4 4.Nxd4 exd4 5.0-0 Bc5

07: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 4.d3 fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6

08: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 4.d3 fxe4 5.dxe4 Nf6 6.0-0 d6 7.Bc4 Bg4 8.h3 bh5 9.Nc3 Qd7 10.Be3 0-0-0

09: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 4.Nc3 g6 5.d4 exd4 6.Nd5 Bg7

10: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nge7 5.c3 g6 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 b5 8.Bc2 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5

11: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nge7 5.c3 g6 6.d4 exd4 7.cxd4 b5 8.Bc2 Bg7 9.d5 Na5

12: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 g6 4.d4 exd4

13: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 b5 5.Bb3 Na5 6.0-0 d6

Bonus

01: Games by Fabiano Caruana

02: Repertoire database

03: Analysis database

It's time to learn the Ruy Lopez from the best! | Photo: Amruta Mokal

Links

All DVDs on Ruy Lopez by Fabiano Caruana


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