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Moves : dxc6 ! bxc6 (back)
The Ruy Lopez exchange, White gives up the advantage of the bishop pair, but gains compensation by damaging black's pawn structure.
White has a long range plan of creating an endgame where he is able to profit from a king side majority while Black is unable to due to the doubled pawn on the Queen's side.
Traditionally, this opening has not being very popular at the top level, but Fischer had some success with it in the 60s.
Note: White doesn't actually win the e pawn with this move because dxc6 Nxe5 Qd4 recovers the pawn.
Contributors : Tim Bredernitz, Adrian Tan
[ECO "C68"] [Opening "Ruy Lopez"] [Variation "Exchange variation"]
dxc6 : 480 games, White ELO av : 1675, Black ELO av : 1690
1-0 : 38.4% , 1/2-1/2 : 20.8% , 0-1 : 40.8%
bxc6 : 41 games, White ELO av : 1339, Black ELO av : 1327
1-0 : 61% , 1/2-1/2 : 2.4% , 0-1 : 36.6%
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