Habla Espanol?

  • GM Gserper
  • | Aug 8, 2010

The summer of 1967 is known as the Summer of Love (The Beatles, hippies, Woodstock, etc). I think the summer of 2010 will be remembered as the Summer of Spain. First Spain wins the soccer World Cup, then Nadal wins Wimbledon and the Spanish celebration continues with Contador's triumph in the Tour De France! Of course if you speak Spanish (lucky you!), then you could watch live reports on all these events by Sara Carbonero (pictured above), who was voted "The Sexiest Reporter in the World." (By the way, if a major US network hired her, I bet many male sport fans would watch her reports even if they don't speak any Spanish).

For the rest of us, who don't live in Spain and don't speak Spanish, we can pay homage to this proud nation by chess means.  How? What a silly question! What can be more Spanish on the chess board than the Ruy Lopez opening (aka Spanish Opening) and particularly the Siesta variation? Despite the sleepy name (siesta is a short nap taken in the early afternoon in Spain), this variation is quite sharp.

You will see that many of the world's top GMs and even World Champions went down in flames facing this dangerous weapon.  So, what is the Siesta variation? It happens after the initial moves 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5. c3 f5!?

It looks amazing that Black can try to seize the initiative and go unpunished, and yet, the variation is absolutely sound and cannot be refuted. See what happened to one of the best Grandmasters of his time Richard Reti when he tried to punish his opponent (who happened to be the great Capablanca!) for the early activity.

(Just like in most of my articles I give you a chance to test your attacking skills, so the games are given as a Quiz.  Please remember that you can always replay the whole game from the first move if you click "Solution" and then "Move list".)


In the next game played in the World Championship of 1948, ex-World Champion Max Euwe tried to improve Reti's play by taking the pawn first (6 exf5) and only then played d4.  Enjoy Black's crushing attack!


In the following game a strong modern GM (and a good theoretician!) tried to improve on Euwe's play. He could be satisfied with the outcome of the opening since he was able to keep his extra material, but Black kept creating unpleasant threats until White cracked under the pressure.
The last victim - another World-class GM, was not familiar with the theoretical line and as a result his opponent was able to win a game without playing one single move of his own!
As you could see, even such a solid, positional opening as the Ruy Lopez can be turned into a hot battlefield.
So, Habla Espanol?


  • 6 years ago


    The picture of the hermosa nina is what makes this article great. Will we see more hotties in the future articles?

  • 6 years ago


    GM Serper

    I want to thank you for posting this blog. I enjoyed it all and always enjoy beautiful women.

    Here in California, my non speaking friends like to watch the Spanish channels even though they don't speak Spanish, just because of the women that report the news.

    Oh my, here she is again. I even cleaned up the ball and the background.

    Now back to the chess siesta version. I went through all of them and it was quite enjoyable. It seems though that to be able to play that version it is necessary that the other person start the Ruy Lopez. Now with the people that I play they don't seem to like it.

    Now here is a beautiful woman and she plays chess. The Ruy Lopez Siesta?

                          Bye for now


  • 6 years ago


    about the the article and about some comments, they my not seem polite.

    but let's see.

    Spain is leading in many areas. if we ,refer only to road cycling we must remember Contador, Pedro Delgado, Once Team,Miguel Indurain( 5 times winner in Tour de France)and many others.

    if the author prefers Sara Carbonero, what to expect.

    should we see a Brad Pitt photo and certainly female players would present some other comments.

  • 6 years ago


    couldnt believe there is a siesta variation in the spanish, i would try it Laughing

    ay! kien pillara a la sara! puto iker le odio

  • 6 years ago


    Very nice article. Hmm, I was never familiar with this line in the Ruy Lopez until now. Thank you, looks like I will be using this line very often if the Ruy Lopez comes up. Smile

  • 6 years ago


    Woodstock 1969

  • 6 years ago


    @the person who posted before me


    emoticono, smiley, gif animado de risa, risas, carcajada, partirse de risa, risotada

  • 6 years ago


    I think its really a shameful thing to lead off this article with these lecherous remarks and photos involving the Spanish newscaster. (It's obvious that is was a selling point of the article: look at some of the comments)

    Chess has traditionally been a male-dominated pursuit. The introduction of women's competitive play is the beginning of an attempt to remedy that. Chess.com has female columnists and players who read these articles, play the puzzles, etc. How are they supposed to feel when the author obviously assumes that readers are male and gratify themselves by looking?

    In the future, it's probably best to stick to the remarks about chess games, and exercise the sensitivity that befits an accomplished thinker.

  • 6 years ago


    Spain is on a roll! Wonderful article, thank you. Woodstock Festival was in 1969.

  • 6 years ago


    very very nice! Thanks for the articleSmile Very hard for me to spot Qg4

  • 6 years ago


    what a great captivating intro. i enjoyed reading that articel. really well constructed. You have true writers talent.

  • 6 years ago


    IT seems pretty much everyone speaks Spanish here.

    Poor Adams.

  • 6 years ago


  • 6 years ago


    What's up with her elbow?

    Excellent article.  Thank you.

  • 6 years ago


    I read the article because of the reporter! What a pretty face! Even better finishes in the game...Qg4 absolutely amazing

  • 6 years ago


    Claro que hablamos español :)

  • 6 years ago


  • 6 years ago





  • 6 years ago


    Why not Qh3 in the first puzzle?

    (after that: Rg8)

  • 6 years ago


    Habla español es mas formal. Hablas español es mas coloquial.

    Creo que "Hablas Español?" estaría bien en el contexto del artículo.

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