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Lopez de Segura (Sigura), Ruy

  • Last updated on 8/8/07, 1:40 PM.

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Ruy Lopez (1530-1580) was a Spanish priest and one of the leading players of his day.  In 1559-60 he went to Rome to attend an ecclesiastical conference.  It was there that he defeated all the best players in Rome, including Leonardo.  In 1561 he proposed the 50-move rule to claim a draw and introduced the word gambit (specifically, the Damiano Gambit 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 f6 3.Nxe5).  In 1561 he wrote Libro de la Invencion Liberal y Arte del Juego del Axedrez, muy vtil y prouechosa.  It was the first major chess book since 1512 (almost 50 years), when Damiano wrote his chess book.  In 1572 he returned to Rome and again, defeated the top Italian players.  In 1574-75 he was in the court of King Philip II of Spain and lost a match with Leonardo.  Ruy Lopez did play a blindfold simultaneous exhibition, which impressed the king.  Ruy Lopez received a solid gold rook and chain from King Philip, along with ownership to one of the richest parishes in the land.   In his writings, Ruy Lopez claimed that 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 d6 (Philidor’s Defense), was better than 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6. 

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