Bird by Bird — Table of Contents

The “Bird by Bird” series was originally published on dana blogs chess between November 2008 and July 2009. It’s a survey of the opening variation that I have relied upon more than any other in my opening repertoire — the Bird Variation of the Ruy Lopez (1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4).

For those of you who would like to study chess on your iPhone or iPad, I recommend Andres Hortillosa’s SmartChess! app, where you can purchase “Bird by Bird” using the In-App Bookstore. (In fact, it was one of the very first “books” offered through that app.) The SmartChess! interface makes it possible to step through the analysis much more conveniently than you can on a Web page.

However, if you don’t mind the traditional blog post format, click below and read on (for free!).

  • Bird by Bird, Part 1. Introduction and Main Ideas.
  • Bird by Bird, Part 2. The “Egg on Face” Subvariation, 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nd4 4. Nxd4 ed 5. c3? Qg5.
  • Bird by Bird, Part 3A. The f4 Subvariation, 5. O-O g6 6. d3 Bg7 7. f4 (focusing on lines where White plays Bc4).
  • Bird by Bird, Part 3B. The f4 Subvariation, focusing on lines where White plays Ba4.
  • Bird by Bird, Part 3C. The f4 Subvariation: A reader’s letter rehabilitates the idea 7. f4 c6  8. Ba4 d5!?
  • Bird by Bird, Part 4. Center Subvariation: 6. c3 Bg7. This chapter is my favorite because another blogger, IM Mark Ginsburg, had presented 6. c3 as the refutation of the Bird. There is a fundamental flaw in Ginsburg’s analysis that I do not think has been pointed out anywhere else.
  • Bird by Bird, Part 5. The Bashful Bishop Subvariations, 4. Bc4, 4. Ba4, and 4. Nxd4 ed 5. Bc4.
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