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. Bb3/7...O-O

< 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
Closed Ruy Lopez
a b c d e f g h
8a8 black rookb8 black kingc8 black bishopd8 black queene8 black kingf8 black rookg8 black kingh8 black king8
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

Closed Ruy Lopez, 7...O-OEdit

White's natural move in this position is

  • 8.c3, continuing with the plan of eventually playing d4. This invites the Marshall Gambit ...d5 in response, which White may or may not be happy about.

Or White can try to do without the move c3, taking advantage of the fact that Black's c6-knight can't currently come to a5 and swap the bishop off because the e5-pawn would fall.

With the move

  • 8. h3, White eyes a transposition back to the main line with 8...d6 9.c3, while reserving the option of reacting to ...d5 by quickly developing the b1-knight to c3, hence the name Ambidextrous Variation.
  • 8. a4 is a radical change of course and was Gary Kasparov's choice. White takes advantage of the fact that Black a) hasn't forced the move c3, and b) can't play ...c6 because the knight is needed on c6 to defend e5, and hatches a plan of ganging up on the adventurous Black b-pawn with a4 and Nc3, while incidentally giving the bishop a retreat square on a2.