Ruy Lopez: Open Defense

32 | Opening Theory

The Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez has been played by Euwe, Reshevsky, Keres, Smyslov, Korchnoi, Yusupov, Timman, and Anand among others. William Addison used it to obtain a draw against Fischer.

As the following game shows, the early moves are played for well established reasons and deviations to throw the opponent off are not always successful. In particular, Black's 7...d5 is best instead of 7...exd4. After 7...d5, I would advise White to stick with 8.dxe5 and not try 8.Nxe5 as played in this game.

The game was played through the mail (now called snail mail), which gave the players time to consult books and other players. Playing correspondence or postal chess was a good approach to learning chess, along with over-the-board (OTB) chess at various time limits from hours to minutes. When this game was played, there were no computers with databases and playing engines to consult (legally or illegally).

The notes to the game were also done the old fashioned way, by me without consulting the engines (legally).

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