Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nf3/2...Nc6/3. Bb5/3...a6

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< Chess Opening Theory‎ | 1. e4‎ | 1...e5‎ | 2. Nf3‎ | 2...Nc6‎ | 3. Bb5
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Ruy Lopez
a b c d e f g h
8{{{square}}} black rook{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black bishop{{{square}}} black queen{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black bishop{{{square}}} black knight{{{square}}} black rook8
7{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn7
6{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black knight{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king6
5{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white bishop{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king5
4{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king4
3{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white knight{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king3
2{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn2
1{{{square}}} white rook{{{square}}} white knight{{{square}}} white bishop{{{square}}} white queen{{{square}}} white king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white rook1
a b c d e f g h

Morphy Defence[edit]

By far the most commonly played Black third move in the Ruy Lopez game is the Morphy variation, 3...a6, which "puts the question" to the white bishop. Although 3...a6 was known earlier, it became popular after it was played by world champion Paul Morphy. White has only two good options, 4. Bxc6 or 4. Ba4. The main point to 3...a6 is that after the common retreat 4.Ba4, Black will have the possibility of breaking the pin on his queen knight by playing ...b5. In fact, White must take some care to not fall into the Noah's Ark Trap in which Black traps White's king bishop on the b3-square with a ...a6, ...b5, and ...c4 pawn advance on the queenside.

Common Moves[edit]

a b c d e f g h
8{{{square}}} black rook{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black bishop{{{square}}} black queen{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black bishop{{{square}}} black knight{{{square}}} black rook8
7{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn7
6{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black knight{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king6
5{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king5
4{{{square}}} white bishop{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king4
3{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white knight{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king3
2{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn2
1{{{square}}} white rook{{{square}}} white knight{{{square}}} white bishop{{{square}}} white queen{{{square}}} white king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white rook1
a b c d e f g h
4.Ba4   (Morphy's Defence Main Line)

a b c d e f g h
8{{{square}}} black rook{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black bishop{{{square}}} black queen{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black bishop{{{square}}} black knight{{{square}}} black rook8
7{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn7
6{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white bishop{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king6
5{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king5
4{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king4
3{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white knight{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king3
2{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn{{{square}}} white pawn2
1{{{square}}} white rook{{{square}}} white knight{{{square}}} white bishop{{{square}}} white queen{{{square}}} white king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white rook1
a b c d e f g h
4. Bxc6   (Morphy's Defence Exchange Variation)

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 a6
4 5
Exchange Variation Bxc6
dxc6
O-O
f6
=
Norwegian defence Ba4
b5
Bb3
Na5
=
Classical Defence Deferred ...
Bc5
O-O
Nf6
+=
Steinitz Defence Deferred ...
d6
O-O
Bg4
+=
Arkhangelsk Defence ...
Nf6
O-O
b5
Møller Defence ...
...
...
Bc5
+=
Russian Defence ...
...
...
d6
+=
Open Defence ...
...
...
Nxe4
=
Main Line/Closed Defence ...
...
...
Be7
=

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References[edit]

  • Batsford Chess Openings 2 (1989, 1994). Garry Kasparov, Raymond Keene. ISBN 0-8050-3409-9.