Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nf3/2...Nc6/3. Bb5/3...a6/4. Ba4/4...Nf6/5. O-O/5...Be7/6. Re1

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< Chess Opening Theory‎ | 1. e4‎ | 1...e5‎ | 2. Nf3‎ | 2...Nc6‎ | 3. Bb5‎ | 3...a6‎ | 4. Ba4‎ | 4...Nf6‎ | 5. O-O‎ | 5...Be7
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Closed 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 king{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black rook8
7{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black pawn{{{square}}} black bishop{{{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 knight{{{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 rook{{{square}}} black king{{{square}}} white king{{{square}}} black king1
a b c d e f g h

Ruy Lopez Main Line[edit]

Now the White's own e-pawn is defended, the threat Bxc6 followed by Nxe5 winning a pawn becomes a serious problem for Black.

  • 6...b5 permanently cuts out any of that nonsense.

There's also

  • 6...d6, the Averbakh Variation. It looks like Black has just forgotten which order to play the moves in, because in most Closed Ruy Lopez variations White will eventually bring the bishop back to c2, and 6...d6 allows White to play Ba4-c2 in a single move thus saving a tempo. On the other hand, trying to take advantage of that fact with 7.c3 gives Black a spare tempo of her own to play ...Bg4, and whenever a bishop appears on g4 in the Closed Ruy Lopez you know White is going to have to play d3 and bring the queen's knight across to the kingside to drive the bishop away before considering d4. On the other other hand, Magnus Carlsen voluntarily plays d3 instead of d4 even without a bishop on g4, so the current verdict seems to be that 6...d6 loses a tempo for no reason.

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. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O Be7 6.Re1

6 7 8 9
Re1
b5
Bb3
d6
c3
O-O
h3
Bb7
...
d6
c3
Bg4
d3
Nd7
Be3
h6
=
...
O-O

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References[edit]

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