This course is dedicated to one of the most popular openings played on all levels – The Ruy Lopez or as many people know it the Spanish game.
Here is how this opening starts: 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5
Position after 3. Bb5
A bit of history
Ruy Lopez was named after the Spanish priest from the 16th century. He conducted a systematical study on this opening and published a 150-page book on this very opening.
However, if we want to be even more precise the Ruy Lopez opening was mentioned in one of the German Chess Magazines dated back to 1490!
In the beginning, Ruy Lopez was not very popular, because the majority of players trusted the Italian game or the King’s Gambit and didn’t want to change their habits. Only in the 19th century, Carl Jaenisch reinvented and popularized this opening – making it a blockbuster.
Now let’s take a quick dive into the meat and potatoes of the Ruy Lopez.
What’s the idea after move 3. Bb5?
Taking on c6 is not a real threat because Black’s queen can easily recapture the material. That’s the reason why black usually continues with …a6. It is the most popular move and was introduced by Paul Morphy.
You may be asking what’s the point of the move 3. Bb5 if there is no “real” threat and Black can continue as they will?
It is still a good move.
First of all, we’re developing the bishop to an active square and preparing to castle. And even though we cannot win the pawn immediately, that pin will turn out to be unpleasant for black in later stages of the game.
And finally, white can decide to trade his bishop for a knight on c6 and spoil black’s pawn structure. Those double pawns will be favorable in the endgame.
As you can see the 3. Bb5 has many ideas and many continuations. This is what this course is all about. We will look at all reasonable lines and variations one-by-one, to make sure you are armed with a powerful most up to date weapon.
First, we will explore the move …d6 as was played by Wilhelm Steinitz.
Watch the video below to see the game.
Enjoyed the free lesson?
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