Last modified on 2 September 2009, at 23:36

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

Ruy Lopez Main Line
a b c d e f g h
8 a8 b8 c8 d8 e8 f8 g8 h8 8
7 a7 b7 c7 d7 e7 f7 g7 h7 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 g4 h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 b2 c2 d2 e2 f2 g2 h2 2
1 a1 b1 c1 d1 e1 f1 g1 h1 1
a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation(FEN)

r1bqkb1r/1ppp1ppp/p1n2n2/4p3/B3P3/5N2/PPPP1PPP/RNBQ1RK1

Parent: Ruy Lopez

Ruy Lopez Main LineEdit

Black has a number of options here:

Developing the f8-bishop to allow castling is a logical step. 5...Be7 and 5...Bc5 are both played; ...Be7 is favoured by classical theory as it keeps the bishop in touch with the kingside - on c5 it will be locked out if Black plays ...d6, and White can stick a pawn in its face with c3 followed by d4 - but ...Bc5 has found favour with some modern players for its attacking potential along the g1-a7 diagonal.

5...b5 plans to develop the c8-bishop on b7 and the f8-bishop probably on c5, where they both aim at the kingside along adjacent diagonals. (The difference between this move and the immediate ...Bc5 is that on ...Bc5 White can play c3 and get the bishop back to c2 in one move; here she must lose a tempo going via b3. Hence ...b5 is more common than ...Bc5.)

5...Nxe4 gives a game with a very different flavour. Black tries to distract White from her development by snatching a pawn, leading to an open position that can get very tactical.


Theory tableEdit

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

5 6 7
Closed Defence O-O
Be7
Re1
b5
Bb3
d6
=
Open Variation ...
Nxe4
d4
b5
Bb3
d5
=
Arkhangelsk Variation ...
b5
Bb3
Bb7
d3
Be7
=
Møller Attack ...
Bc5
c3
b5
Bb3
d6
=

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ReferencesEdit

  • Modern Chess Openings 15th ed, 2008. Nick de Firmian. Random House, New York. ISBN 0-8129-3682-5.
  • Nunn's Chess Openings. 1999. John Nunn (Editor), Graham Burgess, John Emms, Joe Gallagher. ISBN 1-8574-4221-0.