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Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4 (C69)
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Bxc6 dc 5 O-O f6 6 d4

Number of games in database: 2238
Years covered: 1867 to 2017
Overall record:
   White wins 31.6%
   Black wins 24.7%
   Draws 43.7%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Jan Timman  34 games
Eduardas Rozentalis  32 games
Gadir Guseinov  30 games
Oleg Romanishin  29 games
Svetozar Gligoric  26 games
Michael Adams  20 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Mecking vs A Rocha, 1969
Fischer vs Unzicker, 1970
Fischer vs Gligoric, 1966
Piotrowski vs J Sokolow, 1971
K Haznedaroglu vs J Isaev, 2010
Privalov vs V Malaniuk, 1974
<< previous chapter next chapter >>

 page 1 of 90; games 1-25 of 2,238  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. G Reichhelm vs Mackenzie  0-137 1867 MatchC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
2. Paulsen vs J Minckwitz ½-½24 1870 Baden-BadenC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
3. Winawer vs Englisch 1-059 1883 LondonC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
4. Winawer vs Mackenzie 1-068 1883 LondonC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
5. E Schallopp vs Harmonist 0-128 1887 FrankfurtC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
6. E Schallopp vs Englisch  1-062 1887 FrankfurtC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
7. E Schallopp vs Blackburne ½-½42 1887 FrankfurtC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
8. E Schallopp vs A Fritz  1-043 1887 FrankfurtC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
9. J Holzwarth vs G Marco  ½-½17 1890 Kolisch MemorialC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
10. E Schallopp vs Alapin  1-024 1890 ManchesterC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
11. Lasker vs J Mortimer  ½-½38 1892 London B.C.A. MastersC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
12. W Pollock vs J Mieses 0-154 1895 HastingsC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
13. O Bernstein vs B Leussen  1-047 1902 DSB-13.Kongress Hauptturnier AC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
14. J Esser vs Olland  0-132 1903 MatchC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
15. W John vs E Dyckhoff 0-110 1904 ?C69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
16. W John vs O Bernstein 0-133 1904 Coburg (Meisterturnier)C69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
17. E Dyckhoff vs G Schories  0-140 1905 Barmen-DC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
18. E Schallopp vs K Moll  1-024 1907 Berlin JubileeC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
19. E Schallopp vs Przepiorka  0-147 1907 Berlin JubileeC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
20. K Moll vs Prokes  0-122 1913 Berlin-PragueC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
21. Read vs G Gundersen  0-128 1916 Victoria ChC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
22. L Szwarcman vs Alekhine 0-139 1916 St PetersburgC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
23. O Bernstein vs Alekhine ½-½26 1922 ParisC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
24. O Bernstein vs W Rivier  1-046 1932 BerneC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
25. O Bernstein vs L Steiner 1-042 1946 Australia versus France Radio MatchC69 Ruy Lopez, Exchange, Gligoric Variation, 6.d4
 page 1 of 90; games 1-25 of 2,238  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-10-06  xKinGKooLx: <Stevens: hey, like i said, try it out in a few games. unless you play at a very high level, it's unlikely that your opponent will equalise quite so easily.> Hey Stevens, I tried my 5. h3 out in a game last night and I won! Not that my opponent played perfectly of course! <If you play c3, black can then make it difficult for you to play d4 and then the c3 square is not available for the knight.> Yeah, I realised that c3 followed by d4 in this line is quite bad so I avoided it.

<themadhair: After your 5...f5 I like 6.Nc3 Nf6 7.Qe2! Bd6 8.exf5 Bxf5 9.Nxe5 Qe7 10.f4 with ideas of Be3 and 0-0-0. That knight (or pawn if black swaps) on e5 could be a real headache for black.> Thanks, themadhair, I'll remember that line, it's very helpful.

Jul-10-06  themadhair: <xKinGKooLx> Even if your pet line isn't the best (and lets be honest - none of us here are qualified to say otherwise with certainty) if you do enough research on it your pet opening can become quite a weapon OTB.

As a side note I always had a penchant for the Cozio defence (3.Nge7) against the ruy. Not nearly the best but since it avoids so much theory and is playable it was worth learning it. Really puts an opponent off if they have never seen it.

Jul-10-06
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Well, it might transpose into this game:

Alberto Mendes vs Jorge Costa, 2001

Jan-14-07  Brucehump: The endgame with only the pawns as shown in the diagram (and the Kings, of course) is won by White. This is the basic idea of this opening variation.

Curiously enough, I've seen an article in a chess magazine from last year 'proving' it is a draw, based on the traditional endgame books. This was the mistake, as many times in this opening the trick to wining the endgame is moving f5 before e5, which goes against Capablanca's wisdom of "Candidate first". There is an opening book about the Spanish Exchange that in the first chapter shows how the pawn endgame is won.

Jan-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: <Brucehump: The endgame with only the pawns as shown in the diagram (and the Kings, of course) is won by White.>

Without saying this is true or not, I have issue with the 'of course.' It is not obvious to me that the doubled d-pawns for black is enough to make it a clear win for white.

Just to be clear, this is the position, probably with white to move:


click for larger view

Is the position right, and has it actually been proven to be a forced win for white?

Jan-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: Ah, just read this: <There is an opening book about the Spanish Exchange that in the first chapter shows how the pawn endgame is won.>

Which book, and can anyone reproduce some of the analysis or give a summary?

Jan-14-07  nescio: <ganstaman> I don't have a book with an analysis, but I'll try to explain. First, it is not your diagram position that is often cited as winning for White, but rather this one:


click for larger view

which you can imagine to be reached by 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.d4 exd4 6.Qxd4 Qxd4 7.Nxd4 and subsequent exchanging all the pieces but the pawns.

The winning plan has three stages:
1. Bring the king to the centre
2. Put forward the pawns at the kingside
3. Create a passed pawn

The defending plan includes the following:
1. Bring the king in the centre
2. Play actively on the queenside to make problems there for White.

Example:
1.Ke2 Ke7 2.Ke3 Ke6 3.f4 c5 4.c4 c6 (4...b5 5.b3!) 5.a4 b5 6.b3 f6 7.a5 b4 8.g4 g5?! (desperation) 9.e5! gxf4 (9...fxe5 10.fxg5) 10.Kxf4 fxe5+ 11.Ke4 (still with a majority on the right wing, which will serve to occupy the black king, while the white king gains access to the queenside) 11...h6 12.h4 Kf6 13.g5+ hxg5 14.hxg5 Kxg5 15.Kxe5 Kg4 16.Kd6 Kf4 17.Kxc6 Ke4 18.Kxc5 Kd3 19.Kxb4 and White wins easily. Hope this example makes it a bit clearer.

Jan-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: <nescio> Thanks, that does look good. I guess the issue with this opening just being a simply win for white is that 1) getting all the pieces exchanged off without allowing black to either alter the pawn structure or advance his king already is near impossible and 2) as above, white often castles (?) so that his king isn't as centralized as in the ideal position.

So then, is it really interesting even that the position without pawns is a win for white? He can't achieve that position anyway, right? Or is it that it puts the onus on black to really do something before allowing any more big exchanges?

Out of curiosity, how is this position evaluated (white to play)?


click for larger view

Jan-14-07  nescio: <ganstaman> Games with this opening aren't a simple win for White. In fact, I don't think White is better, but Black has to play very actively with his two bishops to overcome the disadvantage of the pawn structure. That's the reason Lasker gave for using this opening as a weapon against opponents who wanted to draw. Playing passively for a draw is just not feasible. As for the White king not being in the centre after castling, it needs only one extra move to reach e2 from g1 than from e1, so I don't think that is an important difference.
Jun-23-07  Bridgeburner: <ganstaman>

I ran my engine for 24 ply on your starting position sans pieces, and it rates the position as equal. The top five lines presented at that level of ply were

1. = (0.15): 1.e4 e5 2.Ke2 g5 3.Ke3 c5 4.g3 Ke7

2. = (0.14): 1.d4 b5 2.Kd2 d5

3. = (0.12): 1.g4 e5 2.e4 b5 3.h4 Ke7 4.d3 Kd6 5.Kd2 f6 6.c4

4. = (0.12): 1.b4 d6 2.e4 c5 3.b5 g5 4.Ke2 h5 5.Ke3 e5 6.a4 a6 7.g3 Ke7 8.b6 Ke6

5. = (0.11): 1.f4 d5 2.d4 Kd7 3.Kd2 Ke6 4.Ke3 b5 5.g4 a5 6.h4 f5 7.g5 h6

These are lower initial evaluation than with all the pieces on the board.

I ended up on this page trying to work out why Gligoric never seemed to have played the Gligoric Variation. I am assured by <Caissanist> and <brankat> that the Gligoric Variation is characterised by Black's 5...f6 rather than by White's 6.d4 (after 5.0-0). Gligoric has played 5...f6 more than any other top player.

Oct-07-07  Bob726: After exd4 Nxd4 c5, Is it better for white to retreat to e3 or b3? The stats are way better for e2 but b3 seems better to me ( Attacks c5, eyes a5 then what the knight is doing on e2
Dec-29-07  Open Defence: I better not catch you around here <technical draw>
Dec-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <OD> Well if you can be here so can I. And I see that white wins 30.9 % to 22.5%. Good start. Also Fischer played and won with it. Now I'm no Fischer but I once saw a picture of him.
Dec-29-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Black does have the two bishops. Rubinstein, who knew more about the endgame than just about anybody, would happily take the black side of these Ruy Lopez exchange variations, and win.
Feb-12-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  suenteus po 147: Does anyone have the complete score (or know where to find it) for Martinovic-Vukovic, 1977 1-0 from Smederevska Palanka? I have a partial gamescore following this position:


click for larger view

1...c5 2.Ke2 b5 3.c4 Rd6 4.f4 g6 5.g4 b4 6.Re5 Kc6 7.Re7 Rd4 8.Ke3 Rd1 9.Rxh7 Ra1 10.f5 gxf5 11.g5 Rxa2 12.g6 Rg2 13.g7 1-0

Jan-07-12
Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: An opponent once played the unsual 6.d3!? which I thought was kind of passive, yet proved quiet effective. Even the cg database reflects some success in recent years for this line.

btw there seems to be some confusion as to the correct ECO for 6.d3 Some online ECO Codes databases define C69 at 5.O-O others at 5...f6 and still others not until 6.d4

Should 6.d3 be classified as C68 because chessgames.com seems to have these games under C69.

Oct-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <Optimal Play> SCID gives C69 after 5...f6.

Which, fwiw, strikes me as the correct place to "fork" the ECO codes, since it gives the game a different character thereafter.

BTW - in <CG>'s Opening Explorer, there are no "notable" Black wins after 5...f6. Which strikes me as somewhat biased - <CG> really can't find a single win by Black which might be considered "notable"?!

Oct-20-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: This is one of the things I like about chessgames.com ...

You can post a question and eventually somebody will provide an answer, even 3 years & 9 months later! :)

Anyway, <zanzibar> you make an interesting point about 5...f6 being the appropriate cut-off move for the ECO.

I think the correct cut-off should be...

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Bxc6 (C68) Ruy Lopez opening: exchange variation

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 (still C68) Ruy Lopez opening: exchange variation, with 4...dxc6 (since 4...bxc6 is rarely played)

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 5 0-0 (still C68) Ruy Lopez opening: exchange variation, with 4...dxc6 5.O-O (since anything other than 5.O-O is rarely played)

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Bxc6 dxc6 5 0-0 f6 (becomes C69) Ruy Lopez opening: exchange variation, with 4...dxc6 5.O-O f6 (since most players --- close to half -- play 5...f6 but just over half play something else from a variety of options).

Therefore, IMHO the Gligoric variation (5...f6 not 6.d4 since it appears he popularised the black side of this opening) should be C69 but exclude 6.d4

Although that's probably academic since 6.d4 overwhelmingly follows in this variation, hence my initial confusion as described in my earlier post.

Anyway, regarding notable games, aren't they calculated by finding the games which most frequently appear in user's games collections?

Which means it's not chessgames.com which decides an opening variationís notable games, but the members themselves!

Oct-21-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <optimal play>, well, better late than never.

Here's the classification straight from the horse's mouth:

http://www.chessinformant.org/conte...

C68

<

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 a6

without 4. Bc6, 4. Ba4

4. Bc6 without 4... dc6

4... dc6 without 5. 0-0

5. 0-0 without 5... f6>

C69

<

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 a6
4. Bc6 dc6
5. 0-0 f6

>

So, there's no mention of moves beyond move 5.

Oct-21-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: Here's another breakdown which is nice:

http://www.365chess.com/eco/C68-C69...

Oct-21-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  Pablouned: Karpov as black.

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

Oct-21-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: <zanzibar> Thanks!

So ECO C69 is officially...

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bc6 dc6 5. 0-0 f6

regardless of the 6th move.

And yet there's still confusion as per the 365Chess.com website which lists C69 as only 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O including variations 5...Bg4 (Alapin gambit) & 5...Qd6 (Bronstein variation)!?

Oct-21-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: <optimal play> Yes, seems you've spotted a big discrepancy.

Both <365chess> and <ChessTempo> throw the Alapin into C69:

... http://www.365chess.com/eco/C69_Ruy...

... http://chesstempo.com/gamedb/openin...

<chess.com> seems to suggest C69 in the general:

... http://www.chess.com/opening/eco/C6...

but is of two minds in the actual. Compare the PGN of these two games:

... http://www.chess.com/games/view?id=...

... http://www.chess.com/games/view?id=...

where it's C68 in one, and C69 in the other.

<RedHotPawn.com> on the other hand, seems to like C68, e.g.

... https://www.redhotpawn.com/chess/gr...

Somehow, it doesn't seem logical to me to arbitrarily throw the Alapin into C69.

SCID splits it off into one of its special subcategories - C68o. Now, that makes sense to me.

Oct-21-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  zanzibar: By the way, I always think of C68 as being the Exchange Variation, where BxN had to be there.

But no... as long as 3...a6 is played and the bishop doesn't retreat to a4, it gets classified as C68.

E.g. <1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bc4> is a C68.

Oct-21-15
Premium Chessgames Member
  optimal play: No wonder chessgames.com is also confused!

They also have the games all mixed up between C68 & C69 seemingly regardless of black's 5th move!

<I always think of C68 as being the Exchange Variation, where BxN had to be there. But no... as long as 3...a6 is played and the bishop doesn't retreat to a4, it gets classified as C68.> Yeah, I noticed that on the chessinformant website!

That makes no sense!

If there's no exchange, how can it be called the Exchange Variation?

Talk about being open to interpretation!

I would maintain that <1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bc4> must be C60 Ruy Lopez opening: Morphy defence, with 4.Bc4

The whole point of having an encyclopedia of chess openings is to logically categorise the different variations, but there doesn't appear to be much logic or even consistency to the C68-69 group!

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