Loving the Lopez

Loving the Lopez


Hello to all chess players and fans!  Today I’m going to tell you about the Ruy Lopez.  Some of you might 

have been deceived by the title and be here looking for Jennifer Lopez.  Well, if that’s true, you can either leave or hang on and learn some new ideas and plans regarding the Ruy Lopez.  Now, let’s get to the point.



It is perhaps the greatest most complex opening out there. I respect this opening as it was proven that if white plays the lines correctly, he will carry a small advantage. It’s also a great opening since it explains development, castle early, and build an attack. This opening was invented sometime in the 1400's by someone named Ruy Lopez.  But like everything else, it has pitfalls and other ways that can make you look like a complete fool.  Here is a game sample of the Ruy Lopez between two 1800 rated players.

This opening is Divergent. It is uncontrollable and you never know

what could happen.  Your opponent could play a variety of different openings that stop development or push on your kingside.  This happens, so just roll with it.  




You are fired up on the Lopez so you try it out right away in your next game.  Everything is going great until your opponent makes an unexpected move, in your eyes a blunder.  But is it?

Now you look like a fool and, if white knows how to milk this trap, you will lose both bishops and one pawn.  He is quite safe. Under 10 moves into the game, he is comfortable with the option of castling and nothing to do except wait for you to attack.  But who says white milks the trap?  What if he doesn’t know how or doesn’t seize the opportunity? What if you are left in this position?

Many master games have proven that this is not a lost position but that white carries a small advantage.  If you don’t mind looking like a fool and making your opponent feel like he really pulled one on you, just notice that he moved out his knight instead of his bishop and do the same.  He will move out his bishop then and you will be safe.  But what if he tries the trap now? 

Basically, after he moves out his bishop, you are safe to play the rest of the Lopez without worries.



Here is a game I played the Ruy Lopez against my future chess coach. 

As the computer analyst shows, I made blunders. We all do. Here is a game that Carlsen played against Sergei Zhigalko during the World Rapid Championship.

This game is great and is the perfect opportunity to show you the danger of this opening. Carlsen played very well.



The Lopez is all about development and keeping your king safe.  So now that that’s done, now what?  Should you try to snag a pawn?  Or should you just infest the squares around your king with pieces?  Let’s see what Capablanca does.

In this game, Jose saw an advantage and moved to accommodate it.  But if you prefer defense, you can look at my previous blogs The STONEWALL and The STONEWALL Part II



Watch out for the Lopez trap.  At first glance, it will look like an even trade. You might even feel good about your winning chances.  Sadly, most players can't pull it off and lose within 40 moves.  So basically, DO NOT LET THIS HAPPEN.  But to leave you in a good note...a blitz game I played last week. 

 Blondie: You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig.   So, do you have the gun or the shovel?