chessgames.com
Members · Prefs · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense (C62)
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 d6

Number of games in database: 541
Years covered: 1850 to 2014
Overall record:
   White wins 54.9%
   Black wins 20.9%
   Draws 24.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Emanuel Lasker  21 games
Alexander Alekhine  18 games
Showalter  13 games
Wilhelm Steinitz  26 games
Frank James Marshall  10 games
Blackburne  9 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Capablanca vs M Fonaroff, 1918
E Korchmar vs A Poliak, 1931
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1894
Nimzowitsch vs Capablanca, 1914
Alekhine vs Capablanca, 1914
Lasker vs Blackburne, 1899
<< previous chapter next chapter >>

 page 1 of 22; games 1-25 of 541  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. G Medley vs Mongredien 0-158 1850 London mC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
2. Bird vs Horwitz 0-135 1851 London mC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
3. Bird vs Horwitz ½-½54 1851 London mC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
4. R Brien vs Zytogorski  ½-½43 1855 Kling's Coffee HouseC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
5. Cochrane vs Mohishunder  1-019 1855 CalcuttaC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
6. Anderssen vs B Suhle  1-027 1859 BreslauC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
7. O Wuelfing vs Von Hanneken  0-141 1862 WSB-02.KongressC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
8. F Lamb vs A Schroeder  0-151 1862 LondonC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
9. G Neumann vs Anderssen  0-134 1865 BerlinC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
10. De Riviere vs Loyd  1-041 1867 ParisC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
11. De Vere vs Loyd 1-043 1867 ParisC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
12. De Vere vs E Rousseau 1-025 1867 ParisC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
13. Loyd vs E Rousseau  0-126 1867 ParisC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
14. S Rosenthal vs Loyd  ½-½51 1867 ParisC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
15. Winawer vs Loyd 1-051 1867 ParisC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
16. F H Elder vs P Ware  ½-½44 1871 2nd American Chess CongressC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
17. L Benima vs J Lord  0-129 1883 London (Vizayanagaram)C62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
18. Metger vs Tarrasch 0-155 1887 NurembergC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
19. A Gavilan vs Steinitz  0-132 1888 HavanaC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
20. C Golmayo vs Steinitz 0-127 1888 HavanaC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
21. Ponce vs Steinitz 0-126 1888 HavanaC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
22. C Golmayo vs Steinitz  0-136 1888 HavanaC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
23. Allies vs Steinitz  0-124 1888 HavanaC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
24. J W Baird vs N MacLeod 1-024 1889 USA-06.Congress New YorkC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
25. Taubenhaus vs Gossip ½-½61 1889 USA-06.Congress New YorkC62 Ruy Lopez, Old Steinitz Defense
 page 1 of 22; games 1-25 of 541  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Sep-19-05  azaris: 4...Bd7 seems mandatory if Black wants to survive the opening phase. Onischuk has won some games with it, but in Kupreichik vs Onischuk, 1995 he was worse off out of the opening until his opponent mindlessly chops wood into an inferior endgame.

To be honest, I'm kind of burnt out with closed positional games at the moment. One positional mistake and you get to suffer 10-15 moves. There's little chance your opponent will fall for tactics. Sometimes it'd just be nice to play for tactics and mutual attacks. Unfortunately, the Closed Ruy that eventually follows after 3. Bb5 is more of that same closed maneuvering. If everyone played the Ruy like in the 1800's, it'd be much more enjoyable at amateur level.

Sep-19-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: <azaris> tactics and mutual chances? see Ruy Lopez, Open (C80)
Sep-20-05  azaris: <refutor> And how do you get Black to reach for that knight instead of the bishop?
Sep-21-05
Premium Chessgames Member
  refutor: you said you were burnt out with closed positional games, i thought you were implying you played the lopez as black
Oct-20-05  AlexanderMorphy: i think that a6, Ba4 then d6 gives black an early advantage!
Aug-20-06  WTHarvey: Here are some puzzles from C62 miniatures: http://www.wtharvey.com/c62.html
Oct-23-06  Kriegspiel: Could there be anything to the notion of transposing into the Ruy from the Philidor then managing a queenside castle after a trade-off of pieces and a partial demolition of White's center?

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 Nc6 4.Bb5 Bd7

The opening has transposed into the Old Steinitz Defense. If nothing else, Black has avoided the possibility of doubled c-pawns which the Exchange variation brings (with loss of tempo, if Black plays 3...a6 attempting to force the retreat of a bishop which then captures rather than retreats).

5.o-o exd4 6.Nxd4 Nge7 7.Bg5 Nxd4 8.Bxd7 Qxd7 9.Qxd4 Nc6 10.Qd5 f6 11.Be3 g6 12.Nc3 Bg7 13.Nb5 a6 14.Nd4 Nxd4 15.Bxd4 o-o-o 16.Rad1 Rhf8 17.Rad1 ...etc.

Maybe not the best way for Black (or even White) to handle it, but what about the general idea? Cat piss?

Kriegspiel

Oct-23-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <kriegspiel> seems worth a try.

If I were White I would be trying to make it hard for Black to finish development and exchange pieces...maybe 7. Bc4 instead of 7. Bg5, for example? Losing a tempo doesn't seem so bad, since Black will certainly have to move the knight at e7 again. A number of Steinitz' opponents responded to ...Nge7 that way.

In your line I would probably prefer 10. Qc4, 11. Bh4, and 13. 0-0-0.

Oct-23-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: I'm playing a game on gameknot right now that began (I'm white) 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nc6 4. Bb5 Bd7 5. d5 <I discovered that this isn't so common, but I don't know why> Nce7 6. Bxd7 Qxd7


click for larger view

Looks to me like this is very good for white due to the whole good bishop/bad bishop thing. Sort of now an Old Indian, once I play c4. I imagine that as long as the e4 pawn holds, white will have a better game. But that pawn is a bit weak, though it can be defended enough times (Qe2, Nc3, Nfd2, and finally f3) I believe.

Oct-23-06  Kean: hi <gangstaman>, black seems to have a clear attack plan now: he can castle long and then hit e4 via f5, supported by the kt on e7, wich is very typical; then the other kt to f6, g6,Bg7 etc, as you said an indian. kinda all falls in his place for black. but of course white has space and a lot of things to play

Oct-23-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: <Kean> Seems like you're not the only one who figured that out :) -- my opponent played ...f5, castled queenside, and then played ...Nf6 (I believe on moves 7, 8, and 9).

I do have to question the soundness of all this, though. When does black castle queenside in a King's Indian? More to the point, why would black do that? White has the queenside advantage and can rip open that side of the board when he pleases. I feel that this is a strategic mistake that will be more costly than it may first appear.

However, black can fianchetto his bishop and castle kingside instead. Then he would be hiding his king behind his good side, where he decides how and when things open up. This would reach a more typical King's Indian position, only without light square bishops. Based purely on pawn structure, I would have to say that favors white. But someone with more experience in the King's Indian should be able to say who needs their light square bishop more (for instance, white may really need it to hold onto e4, but I'm not sure).

Oct-23-06  Kean: <gangstaman> really? hey you discovered me:). well you are right, seems an odd off-set indian, the black k is quite lonely in the q-side, & i agree that a strong white attack can be developed there. yet, maybe the same goes for him in the k-side. the move that started it all 5.d5 must be in the databases, if so, the next black moves also must be there
Oct-23-06  Kriegspiel: <Ganstaman> After d5 I think I would be more likely to consider Nb8; if White exchanges bishops on d7 you can recapture with the b8-knight and then proceed to castle on the kingside with the other knight on f6 and the bishop either on e7 or fianchettoed to g7.

But note that White has locked the center and the pawns point toward his kingside; furthermore, it is his kingside that is most evacuated and that is (one supposes) the more likely side for him to castle on. I might seriously consider leaving my options open with a waiting move before setting up fully for castling. If White castles kingside then I think I might try to start a kingside attack beginning with a pawnstorm. So, you might try a waiting move of ...h6 and then if White castles o-o you can immediately try g5 with the idea of g4 to dislodge the knight. White may well play h3 (gosh, a light-squared bishop would come in handy for Black now) and now you have one knight you can put on f6 and another one which can replace it. You have two knights; a queen, a rook, and several pawns on the kingside, as well as a bishop that might have some use; put them all to use at once and even if you have to sacrifice a piece you might be able to mate or else to put White on the defensive and win back material as well as expand and positionally dominate on the kingside.

If all of this sounds hopelessly vague, it is. But it is an idea to consider if you want to try taking the initiative under conditions of a locked center. Strike before White gets set up to attack. If worse comes to worse try to position to exchange pieces and neutralize the possibility of a coordinate White attack on your king (which, incidentally, you might want to get to e7 fairly quickly to make way for your other rook, to form a battery (or simply cover) the h and/or g files you prize open. Obviously this isn't the sort of attack to worry about a pawn or two, *provided* that their capture doesn't offer White the prospect of a counterattack before you can finish your attack.

Kriegspiel

Feb-21-07  southpawjinx: Here is one of my games in this opening.

[Event "www.ChessWorld.net server game"]
[Site "www.ChessWorld.net "]
[Date "2007.2.9"]
[Round "NA"]
[White "darthplutonius"]
[Black "GDAVIS45"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Termination "Black resigned"]
[WhiteElo "1754"]
[BlackElo "1685"]
[Mode "ICS"]
[DateLastMove "2007.2.20"]
[ECO "C62"]
[Board "3373529"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.Bxc6+ bxc6 5.h3 Ba6 6.d3 Nf6 7.Bg5 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.Nc3 Nd7 10.Bxe7 Qxe7 11.Re1 Rab8 12.b3 Bb7 13.a4 a5 14.Qd2 Nf6 15.Nd1 Nh5 16.Qg5 Qxg5 17.Nxg5 h6 18.Nf3 f5 19.c4 fxe4 20.dxe4 Rf7 21.Nh4 c5 22.Nc3 c6 23.Nf5 Rf6 24.Ne2 Bc8 25.Ne7+ Kf7 26.Nxc6 Rxb3 27.Nxa5 Rb4 28.Nc3 g5 29.Nd5 Rg6 30.Nxb4 ♗lack resigned 1-0

If you see a better way to play this, please tell me!!

Dec-28-07  Cactus: <Kriegspiel: Could there be anything to the notion of transposing into the Ruy from the Philidor then managing a queenside castle after a trade-off of pieces and a partial demolition of White's center?> In the line you give, white could just play
4.d5 Ne7 (4...Nb4?! 5.c3 Na6 is very bad for the second player, where white can play 6.Bxa6, giving black doubled, isolated rim pawns(!), or simply leave the misplaced knight, and build up a good position.) with a very large advantage for white.
Dec-28-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Cactus> <In the line you give, white could just play 4.d5 Ne7 (4...Nb4?! 5.c3 Na6 is very bad for the second player, where white can play 6.Bxa6, giving black doubled, isolated rim pawns(!), or simply leave the misplaced knight, and build up a good position.) with a very large advantage for white.>

4....Nb4 is certainly a bad move, but after 4...Ne7 or ....Nb8 I don't agree that White's advantage is <very large>. He's a little better, that's all.

<ganstaman: I'm playing a game on gameknot right now that began (I'm white) 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nc6 4. Bb5 Bd7 5. d5 <I discovered that this isn't so common, but I don't know why> Nce7 6. Bxd7 Qxd7...Looks to me like this is very good for white due to the whole good bishop/bad bishop thing. Sort of now an Old Indian, once I play c4.>

IF I were black I would prefer 5...Nb8 and if 6. Bxd7+ Nxd7. You're right that Black has the worse bishop but he's also traded off a pair of minor pieces -- no small accomplishment in a cramped game. A lot of positions that look tight are not really bad at all once a pair or two of minor pieces have come off the board. Here black has good squares for his knights on d7 and f6 and his bishop at g7 or e7. He can also try to trade off the bad bishop with ...g6 and ...Bh6. He's a little worse, but just a little. Most books that look at positions like this counsel white to withdraw his bishop with 6. Bd3 rather than exchanging it. Implicitly or explicitly, they are suggesting that the cramping effect of leaving the bishops on the board is more valuable than leaving Black with the worse bishop. I think the books are right. Note that after 6. Bd3 the black bishop is occupying the only square the Black QN can sensibly move to. ...Bg4 and ...Bxf3 solves the problem at the cost of leaving Black with a permanent positional disadvantage -- he's traded off his good bishop for a knight. After ...Bc8 and ...Nd7 he's lost time and his bishop is out of play. In other words, after 6. Bd3 Black is genuinely cramped; after 6. Bxd7+ Nxd7 he only looks cramped.

This leaves the question why 5. d5 is not more popular. It may be simply that the Old Steinitz Defense was more popular 100 years ago than now, and in those days open positions were more esteemed than closed ones. But a simpler reason is that, if White leaves his pawn on d4, eventually Black will be forced to play exd4, leaving White with a pawn on e4 against a pawn on d6. This gives him a slight but lasting advantage without giving black the readymade King's-Indian style counterattack that he gets after 5. d5. Or, 5. d5 may be unpopular because of this game:

Lasker vs Blackburne, 1899

Never underestimate the influence of a famous brilliancy on opening fashion.

Dec-28-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: Here's another example of Lasker playing d5 against Blackburne in this opening, with much better results:

Lasker vs Blackburne, 1896

Apr-22-09  Fanacas: Fanacas: RonB52734: Even Steinitz was not as successful (according to the database) http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... 11 losses - 3 draws - 4 wins Dont now if yu wil read this i doubt it :P. But steinitz played it many times against lasker and lasker just was a stronger chess player then steinitz.
Apr-22-09  I Like Fish: is there...
a young steinitz defense...
too...
Apr-24-09  Fanacas: Yes first with themove 3....a6 and then 4....d6
May-03-09
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Fanacas: Fanacas: RonB52734: Even Steinitz was not as successful (according to the database) http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches... 11 losses - 3 draws - 4 wins Dont now if yu wil read this i doubt it :P. But steinitz played it many times against lasker and lasker just was a stronger chess player then steinitz.>

Not to mention Lasker played it quite a bit himself.

Repertoire Explorer: Emanuel Lasker (black)

May-09-09  Fanacas: Yes, so there must be something good at it alteast you dont have to do a6 wat weakenens your pawn structure(even if it is just a little).
Sep-28-10  midknightblue: <Keypusher>
a couple comments on your insight. I totally agree with final paragraph about whites' advantage after an eventual ...dxe4, leaving white with a pawn on e4 vs black with a pawn on d6. In fact, this exchange of pawns is virtually forced due to the famous Dresden trap. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 Bd7 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.0-0 Be7 7.Re1 0-0 (7...exd4 was necessary). After 7...0-0 white goes on to a winning advantage with 8. Bxc6 Bxc6 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Qxd8 Raxd8 (Rfxd8 also loses) 11.Nxe5 Bxe4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Nd3 f5 14.f3 Bc5+ 15.Nxc5 16.Bg5 Rde8 17.Be7

After closer analysis, however, I have found that it is actually not wise as white to wait around and hope black falls into this trap.

Despite your suggestion to consider withdraw the B from b5 rather than exchange Bxc6, I like the idea of an early Bxc6 by white on move 7 as suggested by John Shaw in his starting out book on the Ruy. 7.Bxc6 (played early to limit black's options) such as: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 exd4 5.Nxd4 Bd7 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.Qf3 (khalifman's Anand series suggests 8.Qd3, but I was discouraged by the fact that engines are giving black equality or better already with Qd3). Continuing with the line recommended by Shaw 8.Qf3 c5 9.Nf5 Bxf5 10.Qxf5 when white is left with the two bishops advantage. Also note that 8...g6 loses to 9.e5! dxe5 10Bg5! and 9...g6 also loses because of 10.Bg5! with the idea of e5 or Nd5 to follow.

BTW I think that it is pretty cool that the Philidor and old steinitz variation of Ruy directly transpose into each other such as: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 3.Bb5 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 when white has the option of steering back from the philidor positions to the old steinitz variation of the ruy lopez with 6.Bb5. Therefore this is sort of a high yield position to be familiar with because white can see it sometimes via either a ruy or philidor.

Sep-28-10  midknightblue: <gangstaman> I could be wrong, but it seems to me black's plan of f5 undermining your center, followed by Nf6 (bring a lot of pressure on your d5 pawn which is no longer going to be supported by a pawn on e4) is a straight forward and excellent plan for black. As mentioned by both you and Kean, white has perhaps some initiative and black has a bare king but I am not convinced this will mount to anything too worrisome. My reasoning is that white currently has nothing pointing at or occuping the Q side, so it will take at least 3 moves just to get 3 pieces directed towards the vicinity. Clearly this would include Be3, the Q to d2,e2 or perhaps a4 after moving the pawn off c2 , and the Q side knight to a3, c3 or d2. By the time you have accomplished this, your center is obliterated and black may even be able to consider c6, undermining d5. If you recapture on d5 then you invite Ne7xc6 and Black has a crucial defender, as well as a better center. I am speaking in generalities, so closer analysis is obviously necessary, but it just seems to me that black has a clear plan and reasonable chances.
Sep-28-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: <midknightblue> I don't have time to analyze now (and my post was nearly 4 years ago), but if you're interested, here's the full game.

[Date "2006.12.03"]
[White "ganstaman"]
[Black "someone else"]
[Result "1-0"]
[BlackElo "1553"]
[WhiteElo "1792"]
[Termination "normal"]
[PlyCount "55"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 d6 3. d4 Nc6 4. Bb5 Bd7 5. d5 Nce7 6. Bxd7+ Qxd7 7. c4 f5 8. Nc3 O-O-O 9. Qe2 Nf6 10. Ng5 Ng6 11. g3 h6 12. Ne6 Re8 13. exf5 Ne7 14. g4 g6 15. Ne4 Nxe4 16. Qxe4 gxf5 17. gxf5 Rg8 18. h4 h5 19. Bg5 Rh8 20. Rh3 Bh6 21. Rf3 Rh7 22. Bxh6 Rxh6 23. f6 Ng6 24. f7 Rxe6 25. dxe6 Qe7 26. Qxg6 Rxg6 27. f8=Q+ Qxf8 28. Rxf8# 1-0

I'll be back later in the week to see where this is going. For now, all I seem to remember is that 9...Nf6 allowing 10. Ng5 seems like the major mistake.

< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other users.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.


NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific opening and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of Chessgames.com, its employees, or sponsors.


home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | advertising | contact us
Copyright 2001-2014, Chessgames Services LLC
Web design & database development by 20/20 Technologies