Arkhangelsk Variation – Lifetime Solution for Black

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Modern Chess


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Arkhangelsk Variation – Lifetime Solution for Black

Welcome to the latest opening project of GM Boris Avrukh – Arkhangelsk Variation. Having worked on this opening with Fabiano Caruana, Avrukh is one of the biggest Arkhangelsk experts in the world.

About the Author

GM Boris Avrukh

World-renowned chess Grandmaster Boris Avrukh (peak rating 2668, September 2009) has enjoyed an illustrious career spanning over three decades.

At the age of 19, Boris earned the title of Grandmaster, and since 1998, he has been a permanent member of the Israeli National Team, with whom he has participated in seven Chess Olympiads, five European and one World Team Championships.

GM Avrukh’s Individual achievements include:

1990 Soviet Union Champion under 12. World Champion
1998Gold medal – Olympiad in Elista, Russia – 6th Board
Bronze medal – Olympiad in Calvia (2004), and Turin (2006).
2000 and 2008 – Two-time Israeli Champion
Top Prize at several other International Chess Tournaments, including Paris (1998), Biel (2001, 2002), Politiken Cup (2010) and Zurich (2010).

GM Avrukh has trained some of the world’s elite players, including Vladimir Kramnik, Boris Gelfand, Hikaru Nakamura, Fabiano Caruana, Teimour Rajabov and Wesley So. He has also trained Israel’s National Team, and England’s National Team. The silver team medal at World Team Championship 2019 Kazakhstan is the biggest accomplishment so far.

Boris is also a well-renowned published author.

What will I learn from the course?


The tricky line 7.Nc3.

As Avrukh explains, “Instead of the normal Ruy Lopez with c2-c3 followed by d2-d4, White tries to get his knight to the d5-square. This sideline is very easy to prepare for White players.” After 7… 0-0 8.d3 the recommended repertoire choice is 8…h6 in order to avoid the pin with Bg5.

7.d3 line (Diagram).

Avrukh: “A very important line, which can also arise through the 5.d3 move order, if Black responds with 5…b5 6.Bb3 Bc5 7.0-0 etc. With this positional approach, White avoids heavy theoretical variations while playing some standard Ruy Lopez/Italian ideas. This is the main reason why this approach has a lot of followers. On the other hand, from my personal experience, I have to admit that Black’s play is much easier and more straightforward compared to other Ruy Lopez variations, where the dark-squared bishop is developed to e7. Not surprisingly I have witnessed a lot of examples where Black played Be7-c5 in d3-systems, wasting tempo and at the same time believing it’s worth it.” 7…d6 “In this chapter, I decided to avoid examining White’s a4-idea, except for 9.a4 in the mainline, since it will be covered with the 7.a4-move order.” (Avrukh).

And more, in 6 hours of video instruction on how to play with Black in the Arkhangelsk Variation of the Ruy Lopez.

Additional information

Type of Video

Running Time

6+ hours

Production House


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Content Outline

  • Chapter 1 – 7.Nc3Closed
  • Chapter 2 – White’s Rare 7th MovesClosed
  • Chapter 3 – 7.Nxe5 Nxe5 8.d4Closed
  • Chapter 4 – 7.d3Closed
  • Chapter 5 – 7.c3 d6 8.d4 Bb6Closed
  • Chapter 6 – 7.a4 Rb8 8.Nxe5 Nxe5 9.d4 without axb5Closed
  • Chapter 7 – 7.a4 Rb8 8.axb5 axb5 9.Nxe5 Nxe5 10.d4Closed
  • Chapter 8 – 8.d3 with the insertion of 7.a4Closed
  • Chapter 9 – 7.a4 Rb8 8.c3 d6 9.d4 Bb6 10.a5Closed
  • Chapter 10 – 10.Qd3 and 10.axb5 axb5 11.Qd3Closed
  • Chapter 11 – 7.a4 Rb8 8.c3 d6 9.d4 Bb6 10.Na3 0-0 11.axb5 axb5 12.Nxb5 Bg4 Alternatives to 13.Bc2Closed
  • Chapter 12 – Alternatives to 17.Kh1Closed
  • Chapter 13 – 17.Kh1Closed
  • Test Section