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Half-open File
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (2 of 3)

Point Count Chess, NO. 157, p224
Example Sequence

Once again, like No.156, this example (No.157) features a swap of Half-open files, by White -- who initially gets the Half-open e-file, but then swaps it with Black, to gain the Half-open d-file.

The purpose of the swap appears to be to attack Black's d-Pawn, applying the Pin against its Queen, to enable White to press for further advantages:

In both examples, White's swapping of Half-open files installs an Advanced Pawn at e5.

The key difference in setup is White's use of his c-Pawn:

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.224, No. 157, after 8...Be6
  2. Result of the Queen File in the Ruy Lopez.
  3. Summary of the Queen File in the Ruy Lopez.
  4. PGN

Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (2 of 3)
My Analysis

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.224, No. 157, after 8...Be6

After: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 157 - Page 224
After: 8...Be6

The creation of the Half-open files

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 157 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (2 of 3), After 5...Nxe4 to 8.dxe5
Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(2 of 3), After 5...Nxe4 to 8.dxe5
After 5...Nxe4 to 8.dxe5, the creation of the Half-open files is virtually the same as No.156, where Black's Nf6 captures White's e4-Pawn (5...Nf6xe4), to create White's Half-open e-file.

Then, after that, White's d-Pawn is involved in White's decision to swap the Half-open e-file (8.d4xe5), to create the Half-open d-file, for himself.

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The Result of the Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (2 of 3)...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 157 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (2 of 3), After 8.dxe5
(RESULT) Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(2 of 3), After 8.dxe5
After 8.dxe5. The most noticeable difference, between No.156 & No.157, surrounds the advance of White's c-Pawn.

In No.156, it was advanced to c3, both giving White's light Bishop a escape route, and becoming the support point for his d4-Outpost.

However, in No.157, White holds back his c-Pawn, for a different purpose (it will force an exchange of Pawns, with Black's b-Pawn, giving Black the the weakness of an Isolated a-Pawn).

Before we get to that, there's a short period of development ...

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 157 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (2 of 3), After 9.Qe2
(RESULT) Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(2 of 3), After 9.Qe2
After 9.Qe2, White develops his Queen to the e-file, attacking Black's e4-Outpost Knight.

This is another variation from No.156 ...

Here, White intends to use his King Rook to apply the Pin against Black's d5-Pawn; so his Queen is used to attack Black's Ne4.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 157 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (2 of 3), After 10.Rd1
(RESULT) Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(2 of 3), After 10.Rd1
After 10.Rd1, White's King Rook is brought across onto White's Half-open d-file, to apply the Pin against Black's d5-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 157 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (2 of 3), After 10...Nc5
(RESULT) Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(2 of 3), After 10...Nc5
After 10...Nc5. This time, Black takes his Ne4 out of danger (10...Ne4-c5).

White's Queen is now temporarily supporting the Advanced e5-Pawn.

The main focus, judging by White's next move (11.Bc1-e3), appears to be to coordinate support at the c4-square, where White intends to attack with his c-Pawn.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 157 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (2 of 3), After 11.Be3
(RESULT) Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(2 of 3), After 11.Be3
After 11.Be3, White's dark-Bishop blocks the path of support from White's Qe2 to the e5-Pawn.

This suggests White never intended the Queen as additional support for the e5-Pawn -- well, not at this moment in the game.

White's Be3 continues to patrol the c1-h6 diagonal, but now attacks Black's former Ne4 (now Nc5).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 157 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (2 of 3), After 12.c4
(RESULT) Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(2 of 3), After 12.c4
After 12.c4, White plays his variation, advancing his c-Pawn to Fork Black's b5- & d5-Pawns.

If Black doesn't capture (12...b5xc4), White claims Black's d5-Pawn, and gains a 2-v-0 Center Pawn advantage.

However, after 12...b5xc4, Black gives himself an Isolated a-Pawn.

This is the result White was seeking, after swapping his Half-open e-file, for the Half-open d-file.

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Summary of the Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (2 of 3)...

  1. The Half-open files are created, with White swapping the e-file (5...Nf6xe4) with Black, as White creates his Half-open d-file (8.d4xe5).

  2. In the process of creating his Half-open d-file, White gains his Advanced e5-Pawn (8.d4xe5), clearing the d-file, ready to apply the Pin against Black's d5-Pawn.

  3. There's a short period of development, as White puts his Queen onto the e-file (9.Qd1-e2); develops his King Rook to apply the Pin to Black's d5-Pawn (10.Rf1-d1); and develops his dark-Bishop so that it ends up attacking Black's Knight, which had relocated to avoid being captured on the e4-Outpost (10...Ne4-c5 11.Bc1-e3).

  4. White launches the attack, with his c-Pawn (12.c2-c4), which will effectively force Black to weaken his Queenside Pawn structure (12...b5xc4), taking on an Isolated a-Pawn, to avoid White gaining a Center Pawn advantage (13.c4xd5).

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PGN

[Event "PCC, p224-225 Diagram NO. 157"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "????.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Horowitz"]
[Black "Mott-Smith"]
[Result "*"]
[PlyCount "23"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Nxe4 6. d4 b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. dxe5 Be6 {PCC, p224 Diagram NO.157} 9. Qe2 Be7 10. Rd1 Nc5 11. Be3 O-O 12. c4 *

End.

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