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

< Chess Opening Theory‎ | 1. e4‎ | 1...e5‎ | 2. Nf3‎ | 2...Nc6‎ | 3. Bb5‎ | 3...a6
Ruy Lopez
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black rookb8 black kingc8 black bishopd8 black queene8 black kingf8 black bishopg8 black knighth8 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 kingg6 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, Morphy DefenceEdit

The last two moves ...a6 and Ba4 have made no substantial change to the position, therefore Black's options are much the same as they were on his previous move, although they are now known as deferred defences.

4...Nf6 is the most often played move and is referred to as the main line (rather than the Berlin Deferred). It attacks White's currently undefended e-pawn and helps prepare kingside castling.

4...d6 is the Steinitz Deferred. Much more popular than the true Steinitz Defence, it cuts out any threats to the e-pawn and reserves the option of an f5 push.

4...Bc5 is the Classical Defence Deferred. It develops a piece and controls the a7-g1 diagonal.

Hunting down White's bishop now is not wise. If Black plays 4...b5 5.Bb3 5...Na5, hunting down White's light-squared bishop, which is a good thing. However, it takes a lot of time, and after O-O Nxb3 axb3, Black is far behind in development. The game Pavlovic-Agdestein, 2003 continued (after 5...Na5) 6.0-0 6...d6 7.d4 7...f6 (holding on to e5 is Black's main idea in the Ruy Lopez) 8.Nc3 Nxb3 9.axb3 (Black doesn't have one piece off the back rank). Now, White can attack after Bb7 Qe2 g6 Be3 c6 dxe5 fxe5 Ng5 Be7 f4! opening more lines.[1]

Common MovesEdit

 a b c d e f g h  
8        8
7        7
6        6
5        5
4        4
3        3
2        2
1        1
 a b c d e f g h  
4...Nf6   (Morphy's Defence Main Line)

 a b c d e f g h  
8        8
7        7
6        6
5        5
4        4
3        3
2        2
1        1
 a b c d e f g h  
4...b5   (Caro variation)

 a b c d e f g h  
8        8
7        7
6        6
5        5
4        4
3        3
2        2
1        1
 a b c d e f g h  
4...Nge7   (Cozio Defense)

 a b c d e f g h  
8        8
7        7
6        6
5        5
4        4
3        3
2        2
1        1
 a b c d e f g h  
4...Bc5   (Classical Defence Deferred)

 a b c d e f g h  
8        8
7        7
6        6
5        5
4        4
3        3
2        2
1        1
 a b c d e f g h  
4...d6   (Steinitz Defence Deferred)

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
4 5 6
Main Line Ba4
Nf6
O-O
Be7
Re1
b5
=
Steinitz Defence Deferred ...
d6
c3
Bd7
d4
Nge7
=
Caro variation ...
b5
Bb3
Na5
O-O
d6
=
Classical Defence Deferred ...
Bc5
O-O
Nf6
c3
b5
=
Schliemann Defence Deferred ...
f5
d4
exd4
e5
Bc5
+/=

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ReferencesEdit