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. Re1/6...b5/7. Bb3

< 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 | 6...b5
Closed Ruy Lopez
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black rookb8 black kingc8 black bishopd8 black queene8 black kingf8 black kingg8 black kingh8 black rook8
7a7 black kingb7 black kingc7 black pawnd7 black pawne7 black bishopf7 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 pawnc5 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 white bishopc3 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 rookf1 black kingg1 white kingh1 black king1
a b c d e f g h

Ruy Lopez Main Line edit

Black is no longer under any direct threat and may continue developing - the king and c8-bishop still need to find better squares. Of the three natural moves,

  • 7...Bb7 is considered a sideline as it gives up the option of ...Bg4 (an option White usually spends a tempo cutting out by playing h3). If Black's going to put this bishop on b7 early on, she normally wants to have the other bishop on c5.

The main moves both carry threats of different types.

  • 7...d6 defends the e5-pawn a second time, freeing the c6-knight to come to a5 and swap off White's precious bishop, so it "forces" the move 8.c3 in response - a move White wants to play anyway.
  • 7...O-O allows Black to follow up with the Marshall Gambit: 8...d5. Of course, Black still has the option of 8...d6, and since in modern times 7...d6 is almost always followed by 8...O-O anyway, at first glance it seems that 7...O-O is a clear winner over 7...d6 in terms of giving Black options. That can't be entirely true, or no-one would play 7...d6. Firstly, the Marshall Gambit has been analysed to death, and if there's a way of proving it absolutely sound it hasn't been discovered yet. Secondly, White has a choice of ways of dodging it - 8.h3 steering the game back towards the main line, or 8.a4 eliminating the need to play c3.

Historically, 7...d6 was played with the intention of following up with 8...Na5 even if White did play 8.c3, but this has not been a popular line since the 1930s.

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References edit

  • Modern Chess Openings 15th ed, 2008. Nick de Firmian. Random House, New York. ISBN 0-8129-3682-5.