Sunday, 3 January 2010

Play the Ruy Lopez!

My small opening repertoire has been pretty much unchanged for the best part of twenty years. (Blimey - when I started out on that sentence I hadn't realised just how long it was. To be fair I hardly played for ten of those years, but still). I've been trying to introduce some new lines, but it's not so easy.

Among the problems is that I only play about 20-25 games a year. So, for example, I bought Andrew Greet's Play the Ruy Lopez at some point in early 2008 - shortly after this game, come to think of it. Since then, I reckon it has taken me 17 tries with 1. e4 to get 1. ... e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 in reply. (I've had three French, three Sicilian, three Caro-Kann, three Alekhine, three centre-counter, and one Petroff in the meantime).

Part of me thinks that this is rather unlucky, but actually it was much the same story in the previous year or two - which I perhaps should have checked before buying the book!

I suppose I ought to get into online blitz, which should give plenty of opportunity to try out openings. I have tried, but somehow I've never really enjoyed it.

Anyway, in this game I finally got to play 3. Bb5. Opponent was helpful enough to go more or less down a main line, and it went... OK, I suppose. 15. b4 seems to be wrong, and I lost a pawn shortly afterwards. Opponent probably should have put me away, but I managed to get the pawn back and was glad to take a draw in a position that still felt a little tricky.