Tomas Bragesjös Ruy Lopez games and Petroff games

Introduction

Since 2011 I play the white side in either Ruy Lopez or the Berlin variation of Ruy Lopez with Nc3 aka Spanish Four Knights. I have also Scotch Four Knights in my repertour as well. There are a few lines where Scotch Four Knights can transpose to Spanish Four Knights positions that can also be reached via Ruy Lopez and I have reached this in several over the board games.

Spanish Four Knights is a universal system that can be reached via Ruy Lopez Berlin, Three Knights game, Vienna Game, Nimzovich defence, Petroff Defence and Alekhine defence. Four Knights are relatively common in Petroff events at at ICCF, I have both met it several times in various versions and played it myself several times. My statistics vs a local FIDE Master who is an Alekhine expert increased much when I got him out of hes pet defence by playing 2 Nc3.

My conclusions about Ruy Lopez for white

I have played different Ruy Lopez systems in both over the board play, in online blitz + rapid divisons play and in Correspondence Chess games. My conclusions are thats difficult for white to get much in whites different Ruy Lopez variations, but that whites position looks more comforatable in all cases and only white can play for a win.

The Four Knights Ruy Lopez is very intresting in over the board games but and I think it gives white the better play in every line except Nd4 variation. I still prefere white in over the board games after 0-0. But in Correspondence Chess it is very difficult to win if black is realy carefull. I still rated whites chanses as higher.

I tried a early Qe2 Ruy Lopez system in a few games in winter 2020 and white does not have much black has often better and more aggresive lines than books or DVD for white covers.

In Januari 2022 I tried delayed Qe2 version in a few Correspondence Chess games for fun to see what happends. My conclusions are that white does not get anything speical there either, I have no idea what Tivikaov sees in white position, but other the other hand he does not play Correspondence Chess.

I have played different d3 systems in particullary Correspondence Chess games and in my experience white gets more in the a4 anti Marshall than in the earlier d3 setups. Is a bit ticky but it is possible to get an edge vs Open Spanish.

I have also played a line invented by GM Caruana with a quick a4 meeting b4 with d4, a line that works vs both vs Marshall and closed systems. This line is deadly in over the board games and I won some Correspondence Chess games with it as well but in Correspondence Chess some players found improvment that gives white very little concrete, appart from the more comfortable position.

As an experiment I have also tried the odd looking 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 Bxc6!? in few games. I works extremly well in over the board games, I won over several FM:s in Licess games and I have a incredible high score in total with it. The line was recommended in a white repertoar video serie and I tried it in a few Correspondece Chess games as well to see what happeneds but I doubt I gives anything that computers likes so probebly equal but more easy to play the white pieces.

Correspondence Chess

I played the Berlin variation of Ruy Lopez with Nc3 aka Spanish Four Knights in all of my white games in five Petroff tournaments at ICCF, including in one final tournament.

I have also played it in team matches for Team Sweden as well as in over the board team matches for local club. I have also played it in normal tournaments, both over the board and at ICCF. I played Scotch Four Knights in one event to get more variation and also in some rated events but Scotch Four Knights appers rather boring in Correspondence Chess. I switched into a normal Petroff mainline instead in a later event.

My conclusions was that both Spanish Four Knights and Scotch Four Knights are very good openings in over the board games but not strong in Correspondence Chess vs players with a elo over 2100 where black often equalizes. Therefore I switched towards Ruy Lopez, including a main line vs Berlin. I also switched into a mainline vs Petroff and a mainline vs Alekhine.

I can also add that I played 2 draws vs a 2600 Elo GM in one of the Petroff events, but it is not rated so it is nothing to brag about.

However former FIDE World Champion GM Alexander Khalifman wrote a new book about Spanish Four Knights with several new ideas in mind so I returned into Spanish Four Knights as try out in Correspondence Chesss again to look at hes in new ideas in a later event. I have also played it in a few none thematical events in order try out Khalifmans new ideas.

In thematical tournaments at ICCF

Start yearEventPointsResult
2016WSTT/RD/019 - Russian Defence, C424,5/8: +2 =5 -13rd place .
2017WSTT/RD/022 - Russian Defence, C426/8: +4 =4 -01st place .
2017WSTT/RD/023 - Russian Defence, C425,5/8: +3 =5 -02nd place .
2018WSTT/RD/28 - Russian Defence, C424,5/8: +2 =5 -13rd place .
2018WSTT/RD/Final 05 - Russian Defence, C424/8: +0 =8 -03rd place .
2019WSTT/RD/30 - Russian Defence, C426/8: +4 =4 -02nd place .
2019WSTT/RD/32 - Russian Defence, C424,5/8: +1 =7 -02nd place .
2020WSTT/RD/34 - Russian Defence, C426/8: +4 =4 -01st place .
2021WSTT/RD/Final 08 - Russian Defence, C424,5/8: +2 =5 -13rd place .
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