Once a player moves from a beginning skill level to the intermediate skill level the strategy changes completely. When we first learn to play chess we strive for a check mate in as few moves as possible. We endeavor to catch our opponent off guard to gain a quick victory.
At more advanced stages we change to a strategy of board position and the gradual reduction of our opponent’s strength. We accomplish this by applying the standard point value of the individual pieces. The Queen is worth 10 points, the Rook is worth 5 points, and the Bishop and the Knight are worth three points and pawns one point. You may find some variations of these values such as the Bishop and Knight being worth two and one half points but this matters not. The power of the Queen speaks for itself. The two point difference between the Bishop/Knight combination and the Rook is based solely on the ability of the Rook in combination with the King to affect a check mate. The King paired with a Bishop or Knight cannot check mate an opponent.
The goal of this opening from white is to gain board position and to win two points from black- to trade a white knight for a black rook. Let us start by playing the basic strategy strictly from white which gives us an opportunity to see the white position only and the possible play sequence without the clutter of the black pieces. First move kings pawn to king pawn four.
Then king’s bishop to queen bishop four residing on a red diagonal. Next move kings knight to king’s bishop three. You already see that the last knight move could have been to king rook five but this move would expose the knight to attack from black queen’s bishop also on a red diagonal. Move queens’ pawn to queen pawn two so that queen’s bishop can protect the king’s knight after the next move from white. Next move the knight at king’s bishop three to king knight five. Black would have the same number of moves but based on varied sequencing the white knight next moves to kings bishop seven. The white knight cannot be captured as it is protected by the bishop sitting at queen bishop four. Black would never sacrifice the queen so the white knight would move to kings rook eight winning blacks kings rook after black moves the black queen to safety. Assuming black will pull out all stops to capture the invading white knight, white has gained a two point advantage. Most often the white knight who won the black rook can win a black pawn prior to being captured which would be three point swing in whites favor…
The sequence of this white open can be varied based on blacks response to each move from white, that’s why seeing the board strictly from white allows a change in sequence that still brings the desired result. After a black opponent has been victimized several times by this play sequence they will see that a guaranteed safeguard is to move blacks kings knight to black kings rook three. This move provides direct support to the attacked square black’s king’s bishop two. This defensive move from black puts a white knight and a black knight touching on a black diagonal. If black executes this knight play the white knight retreats back to either white king’s bishop three or white king’s rook three depending on pawn position and the continual threat from black queen’s bishop. Once the white has seemingly retreated the black knight is exposed for capture from white queen’s bishop. This swap should always be made from white. The point exchange bishop for knight is even but after the exchange black has a doubled file and an open file in front of black’s knight. White has eliminated the possibility of a black castle on king’s side of the board.
This sequence has many other variations for white depending on the responses from black such as moving white queens knight to queen bishop three or even castling to whites king side. This opening attack can take anywhere from six moves to eight or more to complete the exchange of pieces or the pawn doubling. The variations are many which affords white an opportunity to disguise the intended target; the black kings rook. Play this sequence numerous times so that the variations become automatic in response to blacks board position. In fact, play white and black in practice and this will teach us all strategies and counter strategies but primarily reinforcing the white attack with variations. This sequence from white will serve as an excellent opening game strategy.
The next opening is called the Ruy Lopez,
The very first moves of a chess match are aptly named “the opening”. Since White moves first, his is White’s opportunity to set the tone of the play, keeping in mind that the primary goals are to gain control of the center board, create opportunities for the mobility of White’s major pieces, and to set up sequences of play that lead to the capture of Black’s pawns and pieces.
The Ruy Lopez is a very old opening named after a 16th century clergyman; Ruy Lopez. Lopez conducted a comprehensive study of chess openings and included the opening subsequently named after him in a 150 page chess book he wrote. Even though the opening was named after him, it was recorded in 1490 in a paper titled the Gottengen manuscript. The Ruy Lopez never caught on in the chess world until the mid 1800’s when a Russian named Jaenisch rediscovered the opening and begin to play the Ruy Lopez in tournaments. In modern international chess play, Bobby Fischer and Gary Kasparov have made the Ruy Lopez their favorite opening.
The basic Ruy Lopez is three moves. White moves Kings Pawn to e4, then kings’ bishop to b5 and kings knight to f3. The knight can be moved ahead of the bishop as a preference. Take a careful look at White’s position after just three moves. The bishop threatens the black king and his pawn, the white pawn and white knight are maneuvering at center board while simultaneously preparing to castle. The Ruy Lopez provides for offense and defense, both, in just three moves. Maybe more importantly, Black must forget all previously considered options and drive the white bishop from b5.Black’s first move most likely would be either kings’ pawn to either e5 or e6 followed by black kings knight to f6 to support the black pawn and to avoid ceding control of center board. Once the white knight is posted to b5 black must respond defensively to protect the black king. Black cannot move black queen pawn as he cannot move into check so that leaves only two options for black. First, Black could move black queens’ knight to c6. If the knight is chosen to block the white pawn, white can leave the bishop in this menacing position or trade his bishop for the black knight. If White selects the trade option, White will have created a doubled pawn file for Black, making the second ineffective. The doubled pawns would be sitting on c7 and c6. The second blocking option Black could chose would be to move queen bishops pawn to c6. If a pawn block is chosen, White would retreat his bishop to a4. Black often decides to continue driving the white bishop back and could move queens knight pawn to b5 forcing the white bishop to retreat to b3. If Black decides to block with the pawns, the white bishop will sitting on an attack angle threatening a black castle on black kings side as a queen side castle is impossible with two pawns off the pawn row; a very strong position. Examine the board position; White is developing at center board while black is split with pieces in play on both sides of the board. The game is far too early for Black to be playing both sides of the board. Black has also extended his pawns with no support from the major pieces.
An additional opportunity for White is to win the black pawn that may be sitting on e5. Black does not have an effective response to attack the white pawn at e4 as his attention has been devoted the driving off the white bishop. If White elects to avoid the black pawn capture, the next move could be a castle followed by advancing the white queens, bishop and knight pawns to bring more pressure to center board. These other options for White occur after the bishop threat is temporarily neutralized, but offer many attacking options for White generated from the Ruy Lopez. The White opportunities and variations from the Ruy Lopez opening are numerous making the Ruy Lopez a must-learn. Armed with tese, you are ready to be a great chess player!