Ruy Lopez

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The Ruy Lopez begins:

  1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 2Nc6 3.Bb5

This is the one of the oldest and most popular openings. It is called the Spanish Game or the Ruy Lopez. It is named after a Spanish priest who lived in the 16th century and wrote a book about this opening in 1561. It is a favourite opening of World Champion, Gary Kasparov, Former Champion, Bobby Fischer and British Grandmaster, Nigel Short..

Play may continue:

3...a6 4.Ba4 {White cannot win a pawn here by capturing the Knight as 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.Nxe5 Qd4 and the Queen simultaneously attacks the Knight and pawn.} 4...Nf6 5.0-0 {White ignores the attack on the e4 pawn preferring to continue developing her pieces.} 5...Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 {Preparing to play d4.} 8...0-0 9.h3 {Preventing Black's Bishop from playing g4 and pinning the Knight.}

Reaching the following position:

The game may continue:

Fischer - Shocron
Mar del Plata, 1959

9...Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 Bd7 13.Nf1 Rfe8 14.Ne3 g6 15.dxe5 dxe5 16.Nh2 Rad8 17.Qf3 Be6 18.Nhg4 Nxg4 19.hxg4 Qc6 20.g5 Nc4 21.Ng4 Bxg4 22.Qxg4 Nb6 23.g3 c4 24.Kg2 Nd7 25.Rh1 Nf8 26.b4 Qe6 27.Qe2 a5 28.bxa5 Qa6 29.Be3 Qxa5 30.a4 Ra8 31.axb5 Qxb5 32.Rhb1 Qc6 33.Rb6 Qc7 34.Rba6 Rxa6 35.Rxa6 Rc8 36.Qg4 Ne6 37.Ba4 Rb8 38.Rc6 Qd8 39.Rxe6 Qc8 40.Bd7 1-0  {If 40...Qxd7 41.Rxg6+ wins the Black Queen.}

After 3...a6  White can also played the exchange variation as follows: 

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6

Play may continue:

Fischer - Gligoric
Havana Olympiad, 1966

4...dxc6 5. O-O f6 6. d4 Bg4 7. c3 exd4 8. cxd4 Qd7 9. h3 Be6 10. Nc3 O-O-O 11. Bf4 Ne7 12. Rc1 Ng6 13. Bg3 Bd6 14. Na4 Bxg3 15. fxg3 Kb8 16. Nc5 Qd6 17. Qa4 Ka7 18. Nxa6 Bxh3 19. e5 Nxe5 20. dxe5 fxe5 21. Nc5+ Kb8 22. gxh3 e4 23. Nxe4 Qe7 24. Rc3 b5 25. Qc2 1-0 {Black is down two pieces.}

The Ruy Lopez is a very popular opening and there are many variations. Here are are a few of the main ones.

After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5

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Black may continue in various ways:

Classical Defence

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.0-0 0-0 6.d4 Bb6 7.Re1 d6 8.Bg5

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Berlin Defence

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Nf6 4.0-0 Nxe4 5.d4 Be7 6.Qe2 Nd6 7.Bxc6 bxc6 8.dxe5 Nb7 9.Nc3 0-0

rl_berlin.gif (4580 bytes)

Steinitz Defence

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 Bd7 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.0-0 Be7 7.Re1 exd4 8.Nxd4 0-0

rl_steinitz.gif (4721 bytes)

Schliemann Defence

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 f5 4.Nc3 fxe4 5.Nxe4 d5 6.Nxe5 dxe4 7.Nxc6

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Defences with 3...a6

Modern Steinitz

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 d6 5.c3 Bd7 6.d4 Nge7 7.0-0 Ng6

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Open Defence

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4 6.d4 b5 7.Bb3 d5 8.dxe5 Be6

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Closed Defence

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0

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Marshall Attack

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Nxe5 Nxe5 11.Rxe5 c6

rl_marshall.gif (4523 bytes)

A Brief Survey of the Openings

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