Ruy Lopez, The Spanish Opening, Great Things come in More Then One Name, pt. 2

Dec 17, 2012, 7:27 AM 1,139 Reads 3 Comments

Hello again everyone.  This is part two on my series of articles concerning the Ruy Lopez opening, also known as the Spanish Opening or Spanish Game.  In part one we talked about the first few moves, e4, e5, Nf3.  Before I continue discussing each move in turn.  I want to add to my points made concering all the merits of this opening.

The opening follows all the rules that are said that need to be followed when playing the opening stage of a game.  The opening develops the pieces, it fights for control of the center.  The opening, as explained in the first article, develops with a purpose, with a built in plan, and coordination in mind.

So lets continue with where we left behind concerning the positions that are created in the opening.  So the position after e4, e5, Nf3, Nc6.







With Nc6 black defends its e5 pawn, and challenges for control of the dark squares.  Both are developing with a purpose.  White is developing while attacking a target, and challenging for control of the center squares. Black is developing to defend its pawn, and at the same time, both it's moves have given it a challenge, to the control of the d4 square, and the dark squares in general.








Bc5 develops another piece, and makes it possible for white to castle in the shortest time possible.  Bc5 also challenges black's defense of the e5 pawn.  Both white moves of bishop and knight have been with the goal of attacking the e5 pawn, that is developing with a purpose and a plan in mind, a coordination of pieces.








With a6, black is asking white, has your plan been sound.  Because black knows that even if white plays Bxc6, that white still cannot take the pawn on e5.  So does that mean that the opening is based on nothing, on a false attack, a false threat.  The answer is no.

The reason why that white's opening play has been built on sound principles, even if in the end he can't take the e5 pawn, because, white can play Ba4.

I will cover more of the positional considerations in my next article.

As Michael Stean, an English Grandmaster and chess author stated when referring to the Ruy Lopez,

"Never in the history of chess have so many moves been repeated so often so quickly by so many people who didn't really understand them." - Michael Stean.

As we explore this opening we will grow a deeper understanding of these moves that are made so naturally, so often, and so quickly.


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