Neo Arkhangelsk Ruy Lopez

The so-called Neo-Arkhangelsk variation of the Ruy Lopez begins with the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 (diagram).

This is different from the Arkhangelsk Variation where Black plays 6..Bb7. In the Neo-Arkhangelsk (or Modern Arkhangelsk), Black won’t look to fianchetto the light-squared bishop, but instead wants to play ..Bg4 at some point in order to increase pressure on White’s center.

The main move from White is 7.a4, which was explored previously here. You can also check out play after 7.c3 in this video here. In this third part, IM Robert Ris takes a look at the alternative, 7.d3.

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