60 ( +1 | -1 ) I'm just beginning to play the Ruy Lopez,and I don't know much about the theory as yet. here is a game with myself as black, and I was wondering if people could maybe point out mistakes I made in the opening, and maybe a little analysis on the speculative move 21...c5
6. Nxe5 Nxe5 7. d4 is a more combatitive for White.
No need to make this commitment so soon, you may want to play ...d5 all in one go later on and it costs you little to retain the option. 7... b5 8. Bb3 O-O or 8... Bb7.
7. c3 O-O 8. d4 Ba7 9. h3 b5 10. Bc2 Bb7 11. d5
One of the strengths of White's position is his flexible pawn center and it's better to retain that flexibility for as long as it's practical. In this position, White would like to play Nbd2-f1 to reroute the knight and this is difficult in the position at hand; Black simply has too much central pressure. 11. Be3 is no good due to 11... exd4 12. cxd4 Nb4 13. Nbd2 Nxc2 14. Qxc2 when White loses his valuable bishop. Preparing Be3 with 11. a3 is too slow since 11... Re8 12. Be3 exd4 13. cxd4 Na5 puts White's center under heavy pressure. However, playing d5 before Black has played ...c5 is usually poor since Black can then respond with ...c6, ruining White's center pawn wedge. Trying to wait with 11. a4 accomplishes nothing due to 11... exd4 12. cxd4 Nb4. I'm not sure White has any options that are fully satisfactory here.
11... Na5 12. b3 Bc8
12... c6 13. dxc6 Nxc6 ruins White's center.
Trying to win a queenside pawn, I suppose, but that's asking too much. 13. a4 c6 14. dxc6 Nxc6 15. axb5 axb5 at least gives White some open lines for his pieces, but with such poor development and no strong center as compensation, White wouldn't have much play.
This looks like an ugly post for the knight. White can stop Black from rerouting the knight to c5 far too easily for this to be effective. Instead, a return to 13... Bb7 is likely best, when 14. b4 can be met by 14... Nc4 15. Bxc4 bxc4 16. Nbd2 c6.
Now Black's b7-knight will be shut out of play for awhile.
14... Bd7 15. Be3 a5 16. Bxa7 Rxa7 17. a3 axb4
Black is not going to make progress immediately in freeing his knight, so he might as well play 17... c6 18. dxc6 Bxc6 breaking up White's pawn center.
18. cxb4 Qe7
Now 18... c6 is not so good in light of 19. dxc6 Bxc6 20.Nc3 Qb6 21. a4 bxa4 22. b5 Bd7 23. Nxa4 and White has some queenside play. Perhaps 18... Qa8 is best to tie down a few of White's pieces to the defense of the a3-pawn to gain time for ...Nd8 and ...c6, brining the poor knight back into play.
19. Nc3 Rfa8 20. Qb3 Qe8 21. Rec1 c5
21... c6 is the same thing but the move played gives White more ways to go wrong.
And White duly goes down the wrong path. 22. dxc6 Bxc6 allows Black to get his knight back into the game with ...Nd8 and ...Ne6, but at least this wouldn't drop material and give Black an immediate attack on the queenside.
22... Nxc5 23. Qc2 Rxa3 24. Rxa3 Rxa3 25. Nxb5
Well, 25. Ne1 might have held out longer, but after 25... b4 26. Nb1 b3, White is getting strangled on the queenside. Now White is simply down a piece.