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Alterman’s Gambit Guide: Siesta Variation #2

Opening: C74: Ruy Lopez - modern Steinitz defense, siesta variation

Player(s):

The Siesta Variation in the Modern Steinitz (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 f5) is a dangerous weapon against the Ruy Lopez and is anything but sleepy. It is very similar in style to the Janisch (or Schliemann) Gambit but can prove more potent as accepting the gambit can see White getting a rude wake-up call by being hit with a quick and ferocious kingside attack. Many believe it has Spanish origins due to the name, but it is in fact derived from the location of the 1928 Budapest tournament, held in the Siesta Sanatorium, where Jose Raul Capablanca successfully deployed it against Andreas Steiner. Capablanca viewed it then to be "too risky," but modern-day champions of the Siesta, such as the Russian GM Valeri Yandemirov, have developed the shaper play around it.

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