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As title above, what is the point of playing the 5.d3 (or 6.d3) Ruy Lopez, when White can play Giuoco Piano (or Modern Italian)? In other words, why play 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.d3 (or 5.0-0 Be7 6.d3), when White can reach a very similar Pawn - and Piece - structure in Giuoco Piano (or Modern Italian), or in the 4.d3 Two Knights, avoiding some uncommon (but potentially dangerous, and in any case demanding in terms of opening preparation) replies to the Ruy Lopez, such as the Schliemann Gambit, the Bird Defense, or - in the 6.d3 case - the Open Spanish (5-0-0 Nxe4), and others?

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  • The same question is: "Why don't you ply 1. e3, avoiding all theory, instead of 1. e4. Even better is to play 1. a3 and play defenses where this push is useful. – Mike Jones Mar 3 at 20:32
  • 1.e3 (not to mention 1.a3, this being basically the waste of the advantage of having White) is so different from 1.e4. The sense of my question is, on the contrary, that the Giuoco Piano structure is almost identical to the 5.d3 Ruy Lopez structure – A. N. Other Mar 3 at 20:47
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    My 50 cents: Chess (especially modern) is hyperconcrete, there's no such thing as "similar", at least at very high level. – Hauke Reddmann Mar 3 at 20:54
  • Interesting, but on these grounds what are the advantages of the 5.d3 (or 6.d3) Ruy Lopez position for White, in comparison to the Giuoco Piano / Modern Italian position? – A. N. Other Mar 3 at 20:57
  • @A.N.Other The Ruy Lopez is a more stable opening, meaning that the probability of a draw is much higher than that of the Giuoco Piano. If your goal is to guarantee a draw in a game, or perhaps, to exploit some theory/sharp lines you know in the Ruy Lopez, perhaps it is a good opening to play. Variety is king in chess nowadays, since opening prep is so expansive. – Don Thousand Mar 3 at 21:04

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