Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nf3/2...Nc6/3. Bb5

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Ruy Lopez[edit]

3. Bb5[edit]

The essential move marking the Ruy Lopez, or Spanish Game. "It is the double king's pawn opening most commonly used in master play; it has been adopted by almost all players at some point in their careers and many play it from both the white and black sides."

White threatens to trade off Black's c6-knight, leaving the e5-pawn undefended. It's not an immediate threat, because after 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. Nxe5, Black can win the pawn back with 5...Qd4 or 5...Qg5.

Black can respond in a variety of ways. The most common move is the Morphy Defence 3...a6. This forces White to make a decision about the bishop - retreat or exchange.

Many other moves are available, some neglecting completely the protection of the knight and the pawn and continuing development.

The opening is named after the 16th century Spanish priest Ruy López de Segura.

Theory table[edit]

For explanation of theory tables see theory table and for notation see algebraic notation

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5
3 4 5 6 7
Morphy Defence ...
a6
Ba4
Nf6
O-O
Be7
Re1
b5
Bb3
O-O
=
Berlin Defence ...
Nf6
O-O
Nxe4
d4
Nd6
Bxc6
dxc6
dxe5
Nf5
+=
Smyslov Defence ...
g6
c3
a6
Ba4
d6
d4
Bd7
O-O
Bg7
+=
Classical Defence ...
Bc5
O-O
Nd4
Nxd4
Bxd4
c3
Bb6
d4
c6
+=
Jaenisch Gambit ...
f5
Nc3
fxe4
Nxe4
d5
Nxe5
dxe4
Nxc6
Qg5
+=
Bird's Defence ...
Nd4
Nxd4
exd4
O-O
Bc5
d3
c6
Ba4
Ne7
+=
Steinitz Defence ...
d6
d4
Bd7
Nc3
exd4
Nxd4
g6
Be3
Bg7
+=
Cozio Defence ...
Nge7
O-O
g6
c3
Bg7
d4
exd4
cxd4
d5
+=

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References[edit]

  • Nunn's Chess Openings. 1999. John Nunn (Editor), Graham Burgess, John Emms, Joe Gallagher. ISBN 1-8574-4221-0.
  • Batsford Chess Openings 2 (1989, 1994). Garry Kasparov, Raymond Keene. ISBN 0-8050-3409-9.