I've recently begun studying openings, and I've been practicing the Ruy Lopez.

My game began:

  1. e4 e5
  2. Nf3 Nc6
  3. Bb5

Generally the black response is

  1. ... a6

and then I can either play the exchange variation or back up my bishop to Ba4.

Instead he played

  1. ... d5

I responded by ignoring the threat to my pawn and the next few moves were

  1. o-o dxe4
  2. Nxe5 Qd5

At this point I decided to make the exchange and backed up my knight

  1. Bwxc6 bxBc6
  2. Ng4

Did I respond correctly? Is there a named variation for that black response? If anything it was enough to throw me off. A few moves later I traded queens and forked his king and rook, but I can't tell if my advantage came from a bad move by my opponent or as a result of his atypical opening leaving him in a disadvantage situation.


3... d5 is not listed here so it is a safe bet there's a problem.

It looks like an overreach, with both Black pawns being vulnerable.

I'd go for a pawn steal.

[FEN ""]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d5
4.Nxe5 a6 5.Bxc6+ bxc6 6.Qe2 {White has better development, better pawns, and a free pawn.}


The variation proposed is interesting and the one favoured by the computer. I went further and thought when seeing your variation (d5) that it reminded me of certain variations of the Ponziani, with one single (huge) difference: white has not yet played c3. So, taking on d5 to implement Cc3 came to my mind, with the following variation (as a sample and not definitively concluding - and with computer assistance): 1.e4, e5; 2. Nf3, Nc6; 3. Bb5, d5; 4. exd5, Qxd5; 5. Nc3, Qd6 (for instance); 6. Qe2,Nge7; 7. Nxe5, Be6; 8. f4, 0-0-0; 9. Ne4, Qd4; 10. c3, Qb6; 11. Nc4 etc. With a good advantage to white. Of course, the line first proposed by another intervenant is less "messy" and more clear-cut but I just propose another option. It remains to you to make your choice. The variations we both propose are different in nature. The first respondent proposes you a material advantage in exchange for the bishop pair (for what it is worth without convenient development). My variation also proposes a material advantage but doesn't surrender the bishop pair. Furthermore, my variation keeps the center solid (pawns in the center), somehow avoiding counterplay and hindering free piece play on black's part. The idea of d5 is thematic, of course, but premature and clearly inferior but it has one advantage: you are on your own and one single misstep and problems appear. It could be interesting in blitz play but not more, i think. The positions arising after d5 should be examined by you (and possibly others) with computer assistance to refute your missteps in analysis and to get an idea of how to handle various responses.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.