34

The Ruy Lopez is pretty much the epitome of opening principles. White opens with the king pawn to claim the center, and black counters in the same way. Then white develops a knight (knights before bishops!) to attack black's pawn. Black defends the pawn with a knight. Finally, white develops a bishop to b5 where it works in harmony with the knight to ...


30

In such a case, I would consider an editing blunder. Can you give the moves that lead to that position ? I would not be surprised, for instance, if the comment was written with respect to the same line where ...Bb7 is played instead of ...Bb6. r2qr1k1/1bp2pp1/p1n4p/1pbnp3/P7/1BPP1N2/1P3PPP/R1BQRNK1 w - - 0 14 In this position 14.axb5 leads to nothing but ...


26

Sure black's a6-b5 come with tempo, but let's say at a very basic level, if you just compare pieces, structure and development progress, you can see that white is: Ready to castle whereas black hasn't yet developed either kingside pieces, so at least 2 tempi away from castling. This translates into white having a safer king 1-2 tempi earlier, which means ...


19

Good question. Indeed 4..bxc6 is extremely rare compared to the main line, and the reasons are multi-fold specially strategically, but foremost, from a concrete point of view it leads to a rather poor position for black after the immediate d4-exd4-Qxd4 and white's completely controlling the centre: [title "Important concrete reply"] [fen "r1bqkbnr/2pp1ppp/...


18

There is a more subtle issue here. Why is 3.Bb5 more popular / better / more interesting than the Italian game 3.Bc4? In the Ruy Lopez, white isn't really going to win the e5 pawn, and the bishop is anyway going to be kicked back to the b3-f7 diagonal giving black the free moves a6 and b5, so why not play Bc4 in the first place? The answer is that the ...


16

While it is true that at the moment white is leading in development, the move Nc3 interferes directly with white's plans. This is why it is seldom played. From now on I will severely criticize this move, but it is by no means a losing one or one that offers any immediate advantage to black. In every opening, but this is particularly important in the Ruy-...


11

I use the Spanish system on a daily basis. During my early years, I have been told that the Spanish system is one of the most complicated systems and should be learned at a later stage of the chess development ladder. Yes, technically, the white light squared bishop has four squares to choose from after 1.e2-e4, namely e2, d3, c4 and b5. Bf1-e2 is not so ...


10

The Ruy Lopez is probably one of the most analyzed openings in chess. You can find plenty of resources on the Internet. (Wikipedia's article on the Ruy Lopez is a good point to start). I would recommend that you not go searching for "winning lines". You first need to understand the principles that lie behind each move of this opening. Once you have that ...


9

Playing ...b5 later is not bad for black. Playing it immediately isn't so great, but Black almost always plays ...b5 at some point (unless White plays Bxc6 first!). The main reason to play ...a6 early is that you can now play ...b5 any time you want to if you decide that you don't White to take the knight on c6. If you don't play ...a6, and then later ...


9

In the final position, the black pieces are pointed toward the king side, so logic says that you should attack there. The two obstacles are the bishop pinning the f-pawn and the control provided by the doubled e-pawns. Stockfish pushes the a-pawn to chase away the bishop and uses the queen to apply pressure on e3. Pressuring and exploiting white's dark-...


8

A huge amount of theory has just been discovered in the Marshall Attack (I'm assuming you mean the line in the Ruy Lopez). However, this variation has recently fallen out of practice among top level GMs because white has been hard-pressed to find decent replies to the most critical lines. Basically, I would recommend playing one of the anti-Marshall games (8....


8

After 5. Nxe5, black has two ways to recover the pawn. The first is 5... Qd4, forking the knight on e5 and the pawn on e4. White cannot defend both so has to move his knight, after which black takes on e4 with check and has a fine game. The second is 5... Qg5, forking the knight on e5 and the pawn on g2. White again has to move his knight, leaving black ...


8

I think that this question comes from a fundamental misunderstanding that many beginners have but more experienced players don't even notice, which I wrote about in this answer. The short version is that openings describe moves made by both players, not by one player. The Ruy Lopez is 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5, not "1.e4, then 2.Nf3, then 3.Bb5". Given this, ...


8

The sacrifice is quite dubious. Besides the answers with 10.Nxe5, 10. Rxe5 is simply two knights for a rook and there is no attack for Black.


8

First of all, you are correct in your assessment, that taking towards the center normally is preferred. The reason for this is, that taking towards the center usually (!) allows for easier development and generally more active play. As a rule of thumb (remember - few absolutes in chess!) taking towards the center leads to sharper positions, taking away from ...


7

is it necessary to learn all these variations that go beyond the opening? I would say no it is not necessary to focus on the opening that much until you are playing chess at a very high level. If you are a beginner the best advice would be to dedicate most of your study time to middlegame tactics and strategy, as well as some basic endgames. Here is a ...


7

The Cozio defenses, both with 3....Nge7 (1) and 3....a6 4.Ba4 Nge7 (2), have been played by top grandmasters like Nakamura and Aronian. According to the Game Database of ChessTempo both variations are quite regularly played and equally popular: 1160 games for (1) and 703 games for (2). Unsurprisingly, both variants are very similar. After (1) white usually ...


7

It is extremely uncommon for Black to play like this at the higher levels, and that is because, as you stated, it's pointless. Black achieves nothing in particular by this chase, and White ends up with a standard opening advantage. Worth noting, however, is that after 5...a5 by Black, White is in no way forced to play a3. A standard developing move will do, ...


7

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.}


7

According to the section of the Wikipedia page on the Ruy Lopez, it's named after a German lawyer, Adolf Karl Wilhelm Schliemann (1817-1872), although it doesn't say why his name is attached to it. However, the German Wikipedia page on Adolph Schliemann (English translation), indicates he was a strong master who contributed to the early theory of the line.


7

tl;dr: Wrong move order by black in the opening: the c4 advance must be prefaced with Nd7 in the played Zaitsev variation. That said, and although your hunch about the early c4 is correct, I'm afraid there's no simple answer that immediately explains why the immediate c4 is bad and why Nd7 is so crucial, since the Ruy Lopez and the Zaitsev are highly ...


7

The major reason is that it is played so rarely is that if white does not comply and take on c6, the Ne7 is poorly placed blocking the Bf8, and if the knight goes to g6, that just does not look like a good square either. In addition, it does not really help get in d5 since white gets there first with d4, or it just loses a pawn. Since that is not possible, ...


6

After 17 Bxc5 Bxc5 18 ed Qxd5 no pawn is lost due to the mate threat at g2. Black has two active bishops and threatens Rad8 with pressure on the d pawn. If white does not exchange pawns then black can play Qd7 and Rad8.


6

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 Nc3 came to my mind, with the following variation (as a sample and not ...


6

I'm not really familiar with this variation, but c3 is a typical move in the Ruy Lopez for a couple of reasons: one, which you already mentioned, is to support d4 (and in this variation, d4 has the added benefit of forcing the black bishop to retreat). The other is to open c2 as a retreat for the bishop, which has a tendency to get pushed back by pawns and ...


6

If you choose 6.d4 you must consider it either as a gambit or as a prelude to a queen sortie, since after 6...exd4 7.Nxd4?! Bb7 [not 7...c5? 8.Bd5!] 8.Nc3? c5! followed by c4 traps the Bb3. 7.Qxd4 is possible, but after 7...Bb7 you have to take 8...c5 into account again. (the immediate 7...c5? doesn't work because of 8.Qd5.) White queen will probably lose ...


6

6.O-O seems more flexible than the immediate 6.d4. After 6.O-O, Black's e-pawn needs attention and he typically plays 6...d6. Most likely the moves will transpose, but it appears Black has more options after the immediate d4. According to chesstempo.com database 6.d4 is the second most popular move after 6.O-O, but 6.O-O is by far the number 1 choice.


6

Black cannot exploit the pin with ...Nd4: not at once because the Nc6 itself is pinned, not later because c2-c3 is on your plan anyway. This means that you should not panic and can concentrate on developing before taking measures about the Bg4. You should not be afraid of a ...Qf6 either. After the later sequence ...Bxf3, Qxf3, Qxf3, gxf3, your king is ...


6

The answer to this is way beyond my pay grade, but I may be able to say something that prepares you for a better answer. You are not only comparing two very different opening systems (London System and Ruy Lopez), but you are comparing two different ideas of what an opening system is. The London system was once described by GM Julian Hodgson as the "...


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