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

Point Count Chess, NO. 158, p225
Lombardy v. Horowitz, 1956

In both No.156 & No.157, Black initially gave White the Half-open e-file, only for White to swap it, as he created his Half-open d-file, in the process of gaining the Advanced e5-Pawn (with the capture of Black's e5-Pawn).

In No.158, Black doesn't wait for the swap, and plays to give White the Half-open d-file, while claiming the Half-open e-file, for himself.

H&M-S point out that "the queen file sometimes becomes fully opened, with White in control of it." No.158 shows how this happens, following the creation of the two adverse Half-open Files.

Beneath the ChessFlash viewer, you'll find my analysis of the position featured in Point Count Chess:
  1. PCC, p.225, No. 158, after 8.Nxd4
  2. Result of the Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (3 of 3).
  3. Summary of the Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (3 of 3).
  4. PGN

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

Position #1, My Analysis
PCC, p.225, No. 158, after 8.Nxd4

After: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.O-O Be7 7.e5 Ne4 8.Nxd4

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 158 - Page 225
After: 8.Nxd4

1. The creation of the Half-open files

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 158 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (3 of 3), After 5...exd4
Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(3 of 3), After 5...exd4
After 5...exd4, Black creates both Half-open files, with the capture of White's d-Pawn (5...e5xd4).

2. White gains his Advanced e5-Pawn

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 158 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (3 of 3), After 7.e5
Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(3 of 3), After 7.e5
After 7.e5, White moves his e-Pawn into its Advanced position.

This is a variation from No.156 & No.157, where White had to create the Advanced e5-Pawn, out of his d-Pawn (in the process of creating his Half-open d-file).

3. White completes the exchange of Pawns

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 158 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (3 of 3), After 8.Nxd4
Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(3 of 3), After 8.Nxd4
After 8.Nxd4, White finally captures Black's former e-Pawn (8.Nf3xd4), which had earlier created the two Half-open files, when capturing White's d-Pawn (5...e5xd4).

At this stage, as it's Black's turn to move, White is one Tempo behind, in the Tally of Developed Pieces, but that's due to the extra move spent in gaining the Advanced e5-Pawn.

Now comes the main focus of this example ...

4. The creation of the fully Open d-file

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 158 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (3 of 3), After 8...Nxd4 9.Qxd4
Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(3 of 3), After 8...Nxd4 9.Qxd4
After 8...Nxd4 9.Qxd4, White's Queen completes an exchange of Knights, following the capture of his Nd4 (8...Nc6xd4 9.Qd1xd4).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 158 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (3 of 3), After 9...Nc5 to 11.Be3
Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(3 of 3), After 9...Nc5 to 11.Be3
After 9...Nc5 to 11.Be3, there is a brief period of further development, as White brings his out his Queen Knight (10.Nb1-c3) and Queen Bishop (11.Bc1-e3).

Meanwhile, while Black takes the opportunity to Castle Kingside (10...O-O).
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 158 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (3 of 3), After 11...Nxa4 12.Qxa4
Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(3 of 3), After 11...Nxa4 12.Qxa4
After 11...Nxa4 12.Qxa4, Black gives himself the advantage of the Bishop-pair, by trading his remaining Knight, for White's light-Bishop (11...Nc5xa4), with White's already developed Queen completing the trade (12.Qd4xa4).

This exchange is due to Black's anticipation of an Open Center, which will benefit the fast-paced Bishops, over the slower-paced Knights.
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 158 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (3 of 3), After 12...d5 13.exd6 e.p.
Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(3 of 3), After 12...d5 13.exd6 e.p.
After 12...d5 13.exd6 e.p., both Center files become fully Open, when White accepts Black's offer of an exchange of Center Pawns, via En Passant (12...d7-d5 13.e5xd6 e.p.).

Black's dark-Bishop completes the trade (13...Be7xd6).

While both Center files are fully Open, H&M-S's focus, in No.158, is on White gaining Control of the Open d-file. So, that's where my analysis will focus, also.

[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

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

H&M-S suggest gaining Control of the Open File (d-file) is White's desired outcome, following the creation of his Half-open d-file. They say "the queen file sometimes becomes fully opened, with White in control of it."

Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 158 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (3 of 3), After 14.Bf4 to 15...Qxd6
(RESULT) Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(3 of 3), After 14.Bf4 to 15...Qxd6
After 14.Bf4 to 15...Qxd6, White provokes an exchange of dark-Bishops.

After that, White feels he's ready to take Control of the Open d-file ...
Point Count Chess - IE - Diagram 158 - Half-open File, Queen File in the Ruy Lopez (3 of 3), After 16.Rad1 Qb6
(RESULT) Half-open File,
Queen File in the Ruy Lopez
(3 of 3), After 16.Rad1 Qb6
After 16.Rad1 Qb6, supported by the King Rook (Rf1), White's Rook comes out to occupy the Open d-file (16...Ra1-b1), forcing Black's Queen to evacuate the file, for her own safety (16...Qd6-b6).

White's Rook takes Control of a Useful Open File (d-file).

[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

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

  1. The Half-open files are created. Though, this time, Black deliberately gives White his craved-for Half-open d-file, while Black creates the Half-open e-file, for himself (5...e5xd4).

  2. White's Advanced e5-Pawn comes from a simple advance (1.e2-e4 » 7.e4-e5), instead of having to gain it with the d-Pawn, by capture, as in No.156 & No.157.

  3. There follows a short period of further development, plus expansion, during which material is exchanged -- Knights (8...Nc6xd4 9.Qd1xd4), and Black trades Knight for light-Bishop (11...Nc5xa4 12.Qd4xa4).

  4. Both Center files become fully Open, after an exchange of Pawns, via En Passant (12...d5 13.exd6 e.p).

  5. There's a final exchange, of dark-Bishops (14.Be3-f4 Bc8-f5 15.Bf4xd6 Qd8xd6).

  6. White claims Control of a Useful Open File (d-file), with his Queen Rook (16.Ra1-d1), forcing Black's Queen off the d-file (16...Qd6-b6).

[Jump to ChessFlash Viewer]

PGN

[Event "New York (USA)"]
[Site "New York (USA)"]
[Date "1956"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "?"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[White "William James Lombardy"]
[Black "Israel Albert Horowitz"]
[ECO "C77"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "96"]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d4 exd4 6.O-O Be7 7.e5 Ne4 8.Nxd4 {PCC p.225 No.158} Nxd4 9.Qxd4 Nc5 10.Nc3 O-O 11.Be3 Nxa4 12.Qxa4 d5 13.exd6 Bxd6 14.Bf4 Bf5 15.Bxd6 Qxd6 16.Rad1 Qb6 17.Nd5 Qc5 18.c3 Bg6 19.Qf4 Rae8 20.b4 Qd6 21.Qxd6 cxd6 22.Ne3 Re6 23.Rd4 Rc8 24.Rc1 b5 25.c4 Kf8 26.h3 Be4 27.Rcd1 Rc6 28.a4 bxc4 29.Nxc4 Bc2 30.Ra1 Re4 31.Rxe4 Bxe4 32.Ne3 Rb6 33.f3 Bc6 34.Rc1 Bxa4 35.Rc8+ Be8 36.Nd5 Rc6 37.Nc7 Ke7 38.Rxe8+ Kd7 39.Rh8 Rxc7 40.Rxh7 Ke6 41.Rxg7 d5 42.h4 Rc4 43.Rg4 d4 44.Re4+ Kf6 45.Rf4+ Kg7 46.h5 Rxb4 47.h6+ Kg6 48.h7 Rb8 1/2-1/2

End.

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