RUY LOPEZ

RUY LOPEZ

GM__Sanand
GM__Sanand
Sep 4, 2012, 7:16 AM |
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The Ruy Lopez,[1] also called the Spanish Opening or Spanish Game, is a chess opening characterised by the moves:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5

The Ruy Lopez is one of the most popular openings, with such a vast number of variations that in the Encyclopaedia of Chess Openings all codes from C60 to C99 are assigned to them.

History

The opening is named after the 16th century Spanish priest Ruy López de Segura, who made a systematic study of this and other openings in the 150-page book on chess Libro del Ajedrez written in 1561. Although it bears his name, this particular opening was included in the Göttingen manuscript, which dates from around 1490. Popular use of the Ruy Lopez opening did not develop, however, until the mid-19th century when Carl Jaenisch, a Russian theoretician, "rediscovered" its potential. The opening remains the most commonly used amongst the open games in master play; it has been adopted by almost all players during their careers, many of whom have played it with both colours. Due to the difficulty imposed on Black's player, and the fact that Lopez was a priest during the Inquisition, a common nickname for the opening is "The Spanish Torture".

[edit] Basics

At the most basic level, White's third move attacks the knight which defends the e5 pawn from the attack by the f3 knight. White's apparent threat to win Black's e-pawn with 4.Bxc6 dxc6 5.Nxe5 is illusory—Black can respond with 5...Qd4, forking the knight and e4-pawn, or 5...Qg5, forking the knight and g2-pawn, both of which win back the material with a good position. White's 3.Bb5 is still a good move, however: it develops a piece, prepares castling, and sets up a potential pin against Black's king. Since White's third move carries no immediate threat, Black can respond in a wide variety of ways. This opening has been dubbed the "Spanish Torture" because Black has to struggle a long time in order to achieve equality.[2]

Traditionally, White's objective in playing the Ruy Lopez is to spoil Black's pawn structure; either way Black recaptures following the exchange on c6 will have negative features for him, though he thereby gains the bishop pair.[3] White does not always exchange bishop for knight on c6, however, but usually in the various forms of the Exchange Variation (ECO C68–C69).

[edit] Main variations

The theory of the Ruy Lopez is the most extensively developed of all open games, with some lines having been analysed well beyond move thirty. At nearly every move there are many reasonable alternatives, and most have been deeply explored. It is convenient to divide the possibilities into two groups based on whether or not Black responds with (3...a6), which is named the Morphy Defence after Paul Morphy, although he was not the originator of the line.[4] The variations with Black moves other than 3...a6 are older and generally simpler, but the Morphy Defence lines are more commonly played.

[edit] Black defences other than 3...a6

Of the variations in this section, the Berlin and Schliemann Defences are the most popular today, followed by the Classical Defence.[5]

  • 3...g6 (Smyslov Defence or Barnes Defence)
  • 3...Nge7 (Cozio Defence)
  • 3...Nd4 (Bird's Defence)
  • 3...d6 (Steinitz Defence)
  • 3...f5!? (Schliemann Defence)
  • 3...Nf6 (Berlin Defence)
  • 3...Bc5 (Classical or Cordel Defence)

[edit] Smyslov Defence

Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
8 a8 black rook c8 black bishop d8 black queen e8 black king f8 black bishop g8 black knight h8 black rook 8
7 a7 black pawn b7 black pawn c7 black pawn d7 black pawn f7 black pawn h7 black pawn 7
6 c6 black knight g6 black pawn 6
5 b5 white bishop e5 black pawn 5
4 e4 white pawn 4
3 f3 white knight 3
2 a2 white pawn b2 white pawn c2 white pawn d2 white pawn f2 white pawn g2 white pawn h2 white pawn 2
1 a1 white rook b1 white knight c1 white bishop d1 white queen e1 white king h1 white rook 1
Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
Smyslov Defence
Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
8 a8 black rook c8 black bishop d8 black queen e8 black king f8 black bishop h8 black rook 8
7 a7 black pawn b7 black pawn c7 black pawn d7 black pawn e7 black knight f7 black pawn g7 black pawn h7 black pawn 7
6 c6 black knight 6
5 b5 white bishop e5 black pawn 5
4 e4 white pawn 4
3 f3 white knight 3
2 a2 white pawn b2 white pawn c2 white pawn d2 white pawn f2 white pawn g2 white pawn h2 white pawn 2
1 a1 white rook b1 white knight c1 white bishop d1 white queen e1 white king h1 white rook 1
Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
Cozio Defence

The Smyslov Defence, Fianchetto Defence, or Barnes Defence (ECO C60), 3...g6, is a quiet positional system played occasionally by Vasily Smyslov and Boris Spassky, becoming popular in the 1980s when it was shown that 4.c3 a6! gives Black a good game.

It was later discovered that 4.d4 exd4 5.Bg5 instead of 4.c3 a6 gives White the advantage, and as such the variation is rarely played today. An interesting gambit line 4.d4 exd4 5.c3 has also been recommended by Alexander Khalifman, although some of the resulting positions have yet to be extensively tested.

[edit] Cozio Defence

The Cozio Defence (ECO C60), 3...Nge7, is distinctly old-fashioned, and the least popular of the defences at Black's third move. Although Bent Larsen used it occasionally with success, it remains one of the least explored variations of the Ruy Lopez.

[edit] Bird's Defence

Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
8 a8 black rook c8 black bishop d8 black queen e8 black king f8 black bishop g8 black knight h8 black rook 8
7 a7 black pawn b7 black pawn c7 black pawn d7 black pawn f7 black pawn g7 black pawn h7 black pawn 7
6 6
5 b5 white bishop e5 black pawn 5
4 d4 black knight e4 white pawn 4
3 f3 white knight 3
2 a2 white pawn b2 white pawn c2 white pawn d2 white pawn f2 white pawn g2 white pawn h2 white pawn 2
1 a1 white rook b1 white knight c1 white bishop d1 white queen e1 white king h1 white rook 1
Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
Bird's Defence
Solid white.svg a b c d e f g h Solid white.svg
8 a8 black rook c8 black bishop d8 black queen e8 black king f8 black bishop g8 black knight h8 black rook 8
7 a7 black pawn b7 black pawn c7 black pawn f7 black pawn g7 black pawn h7 black pawn 7
6 c6 black knight d6 black pawn 6
5 b5 white bishop e5 black pawn 5
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