Ruy Lopez with 6.Qe2 and Marshall-like antidote

Ruy Lopez with 6.Qe2Sometimes we meet rare variants on boards. Like in the case of Ruy Lopez 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 and now 6.Qe2 instead of usual Re1. What is the idea behind the white’s move and should black afraid of it? Or does black even have any weapon?

The move 6.Qe2 has this idea: the queen protects the pawn on e4 and the rook is going to d-column. The dark side of this plan is that it costs one tempi and white can miss it in the future.

The black’s usual reply is 6…. b5 7.Bb3 and now there is possibility to choose from two moves: 7…. 0-0 or 7…. d6. Today I would like to show you nice “Marshall-like” variant which appear on the board in the of the black’s rochade.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Qe2 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5!?

If white accepts the sacrifice of the pawn, he must be prepared to defend his position. Like in usual Marshall attack. Let’s look at several short variants.

Side variant 10.h3

Weaker is 9…. Nxd5

I am going to “organize” thematics tournament of some chess engines to see the possible continuations in this variant and I will publish here the games a few days later.