C60 Spanish - Dreev – The Cozio Defence (Chess Stars 2014). In this book, we have analyzed one of the oldest variations of the Ruy Lopez -1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nge7. The move 3...Nge7 was particularly popular during the second half of the 19th century. It was played at these times by such outstanding masters like Adolph Andersen and Willhelm Steinitz.
At the beginning and during the middle of the 20th century, the theory of the Ruy Lopez began to develop very intensely and the popularity of this old variation diminished rapidly. It remained in the shadow of the more complicated Chigorin schemes - 1 .e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Nb3 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3, the Marshall counter attack -1 .e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Nb3 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 and the Open variation -1 .e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5. In all these positions, Black's possibilities to seize the initiative proved to be greater...
The 80s and 90s
During the 80ies and the 90ies of the past century, the popularity of the line 3...Nge7 began to increase. Grandmaster Ivan Sokolov made a great contribution to the development of this system for Black and he tested it very often in his games. My long time friend and coach, the international master from the city of Izhevsk Alexander Filipenko was working as a coach in the Russian School of grandmaster Alexander Panchenko and he gave a course of lectures about this variation. Based on his knowledge and experience, during the 80ies and the 90ies of the last century, this system was played quite successfully in the tournament practice by such famous students of this School like grandmasters Alisa Galliamova, Maxim Sorokin and Ruslan Shcherbakov. Meanwhile, the theory of the variation 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 was developing intensely. Black refrained from including the move a7-a6 at this early stage of the game, so that later, he did not wish to transpose to positions from the Steinitz Defence Deferred 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 4.0-0 a6 5.Ba4 d6 6.c3 Bd7 7.d4, or 6...g6 7.d4 Bd7, in which Black ended up in very solid but rather passive positions. He was trying to enter situations which were not so typical for the long maneuvering structures of the Ruy Lopez, but were more similar to the majority of the Open Games in which the value of every move increased considerably. Under these conditions, each mistake by White in the opening stage of the game may lead to Black seizing the initiative.
21st century use
At the beginning of the 21st century, the development of the variation 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 was given a new impulse and its popularity increased considerably. This was connected with the new and interesting idea that Black could give up the center with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 4.0-0 g6 Nc3 a6 6.Ba4 Bg7 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4, or 6.Bc4 Bg7 7.d4 exd4 8.cxd4, reaching very complicated positions with mutual chances. Nowadays, this variation is played by famous grandmasters like Levon Aronian, Sergey Karjakin, Vadim Zvjaginsev, Ivan Sokolov and many others...
Finally, I would like to mention that the entire variation 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 has not been so well analyzed yet.
Dear Opening Master readers, I would like to believe that after you have read this book, you will make your own contribution with your games and analyses to the development of this system...
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Chapter 1 – 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7
Chapter 2 and 3 – 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 4. c3
Chapter 4 – 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.d4
Chapter 5 – 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 4. Nc3
Chapter 6 and 7 – 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nge7 4.0-0
Author: Jan Helbich, SIM
Source: C60 Spanish, Author: Alexey Dreev