Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nf3/2...Nc6/3. Bb5/3...a6/4. Ba4/4...Nf6

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< Chess Opening Theory‎ | 1. e4‎ | 1...e5‎ | 2. Nf3‎ | 2...Nc6‎ | 3. Bb5‎ | 3...a6‎ | 4. Ba4
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Ruy Lopez, Main Line
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black rookb8 black kingc8 black bishopd8 black queene8 black kingf8 black bishopg8 black kingh8 black rook8
7a7 black kingb7 black pawnc7 black pawnd7 black pawne7 black kingf7 black pawng7 black pawnh7 black pawn7
6a6 black pawnb6 black kingc6 black knightd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black knightg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black pawnf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 white bishopb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 white pawnf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 white knightg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 white pawne2 black kingf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawn2
1a1 white rookb1 white knightc1 white bishopd1 white queene1 white kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 white rook1
a b c d e f g h

Ruy Lopez Main Line[edit | edit source]

Black's move 4...Nf6 threatens White's e-pawn. White may defend it directly with

  • 5.d3, the Anderssen Variation or
  • 5.Nc3 transposing to the Four Knights, Spanish Variation

but both moves interfere with White's natural plan of playing c3 and d4. Without playing c3 and d4 to create some central tension it will be difficult to generate open files for the rooks; additionally White's star attacker currently residing on a4 is liable to get swapped off if it does not have the option of retreating to c2.

  • 5.Qe2, the Wormald Attack, retains the option of c3 and d4, and introduces the medium-term plan of shifting the king's rook across to d1 in a single move after White castles kingside. The downside is that it places the queen on a file that's very likely to get opened, or at least half-opened. Put your rooks on open files and your queen on a closed one!

The main line, and a more subtle way of maintaining material equality, is 5. O-O, after which Black can grab a pawn but cannot hold on to it.

Common Moves[edit | edit source]

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black rookb8 black kingc8 black bishopd8 black queene8 black kingf8 black bishopg8 black kingh8 black rook8
7a7 black kingb7 black pawnc7 black pawnd7 black pawne7 black kingf7 black pawng7 black pawnh7 black pawn7
6a6 black pawnb6 black kingc6 black knightd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black knightg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black pawnf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 white bishopb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 white pawnf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 white knightg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 white pawne2 black kingf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawn2
1a1 white rookb1 white knightc1 white bishopd1 white queene1 black kingf1 white rookg1 white kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h
5. O-O   (Morphy's Defence Main Line)

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black rookb8 black kingc8 black bishopd8 black queene8 black kingf8 black bishopg8 black kingh8 black rook8
7a7 black kingb7 black pawnc7 black pawnd7 black pawne7 black kingf7 black pawng7 black pawnh7 black pawn7
6a6 black pawnb6 black kingc6 black knightd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black knightg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black pawnf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 white bishopb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 white pawnf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 white pawne3 black kingf3 white knightg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawn2
1a1 white rookb1 white knightc1 white bishopd1 white queene1 white kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 white rook1
a b c d e f g h
5. d3   (Anderssen Variation)

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black rookb8 black kingc8 black bishopd8 black queene8 black kingf8 black bishopg8 black kingh8 black rook8
7a7 black kingb7 black pawnc7 black pawnd7 black pawne7 black kingf7 black pawng7 black pawnh7 black pawn7
6a6 black pawnb6 black kingc6 black knightd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black knightg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black pawnf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 white bishopb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 white pawnf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 white knightd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 white knightg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 white pawne2 black kingf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawn2
1a1 white rookb1 black kingc1 white bishopd1 white queene1 white kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 white rook1
a b c d e f g h
5. Nc3   (Spanish Four Knights /Tarrasch Variation)

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black rookb8 black kingc8 black bishopd8 black queene8 black kingf8 black bishopg8 black kingh8 black rook8
7a7 black kingb7 black pawnc7 black pawnd7 black pawne7 black kingf7 black pawng7 black pawnh7 black pawn7
6a6 black pawnb6 black kingc6 black knightd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black knightg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black pawnf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 white bishopb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 white pawnf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 white knightg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 white pawne2 white queenf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawn2
1a1 white rookb1 white knightc1 white bishopd1 black kinge1 white kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 white rook1
a b c d e f g h
5. Qe2   (Wormald Attack)

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black rookb8 black kingc8 black bishopd8 black queene8 black kingf8 black bishopg8 black kingh8 black rook8
7a7 black kingb7 black pawnc7 black pawnd7 black pawne7 black kingf7 black pawng7 black pawnh7 black pawn7
6a6 black pawnb6 black kingc6 black knightd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black knightg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black pawnf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 white bishopb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 white pawne4 white pawnf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 white knightg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 black kinge2 black kingf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawn2
1a1 white rookb1 white knightc1 white bishopd1 white queene1 white kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 white rook1
a b c d e f g h
5. d4   (Mackenzie-Variation)

a b c d e f g h
8a8 black rookb8 black kingc8 black bishopd8 black queene8 black kingf8 black bishopg8 black kingh8 black rook8
7a7 black kingb7 black pawnc7 black pawnd7 black pawne7 black kingf7 black pawng7 black pawnh7 black pawn7
6a6 black pawnb6 black kingc6 white bishopd6 black kinge6 black kingf6 black knightg6 black kingh6 black king6
5a5 black kingb5 black kingc5 black kingd5 black kinge5 black pawnf5 black kingg5 black kingh5 black king5
4a4 black kingb4 black kingc4 black kingd4 black kinge4 white pawnf4 black kingg4 black kingh4 black king4
3a3 black kingb3 black kingc3 black kingd3 black kinge3 black kingf3 white knightg3 black kingh3 black king3
2a2 white pawnb2 white pawnc2 white pawnd2 white pawne2 black kingf2 white pawng2 white pawnh2 white pawn2
1a1 white rookb1 white knightc1 white bishopd1 white queene1 white kingf1 black kingg1 black kingh1 white rook1
a b c d e f g h
5. Bxc6   (Bayreuth Variation)

Theory table[edit | edit source]

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

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6
5 6
Open Defence O-O
Nxe4
d4
b5
Main Line/Closed Defence ...
Be7
Re1
b5
=
d3
b5
Hopkins Gambit ...
5. c4
=

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References[edit | edit source]