As the title above states, how should one play as Black vs. the Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation? In other words, after `

 [FEN ""] 
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Bxc6 dxc6

(The Exchange Variation), White's Pawn structure is superior, and an endgame would eventually favour him, for the potential Passed Pawn. But Black's compansation, it is said in the books, is in the Bishop Pair. But in practice, what strategy (or strategies) should Black adopt, to make this a real thing and not just an abstract advantage?


  • 5
    Too many different lines to give a comprehensible answer... do you have questions about concrete variations? If not, the answer will also not be concrete: Put your bishop on good diagonals, try to open the position, exchanging queens is also okay, ...f6 is a very good move early in many variations, followed by Ne7-g6, in other variations you can pressure the knight on f3 via Bg4, you can but bishops on c5 and b2 and castle long in some variations
    – B.Swan
    Aug 7, 2020 at 17:17
  • Endgames won't necessarily favour White - as you mentioned, Black has the bishop pair. Aug 7, 2020 at 19:29
  • 1
    @InertialIgnorance The endgame will favour White if all the pieces come off. White will be able to make a passed pawn with its majority, whereas black will not be able to. Aug 7, 2020 at 19:40
  • 1
    @lolololol ol Sure in a pawn endgame, but not all endgames. Aug 7, 2020 at 20:40
  • I understand, the question is maybe too broad or vague, but your comments are of some help anyway Aug 7, 2020 at 20:48

1 Answer 1

  1. Do not exchange pieces, since this will bring White close to a winning endgame.

  2. Use your two bishops and open up the board, so that you get a better middlegame.

  3. Put your doubled pawns into action.

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