In today’s post Nick Sykes, our club’s most enthusiastic and experienced openings connoisseur, shares some of his thoughts on a venerable opening variation that has been deployed with both colours by pretty much every World Champion in the history of the game. I’ve taken the liberty of adding a couple more annotated games to Nick’s original selection to pad out this compendium even further.
The Ruy Lopez (or the Spanish Opening) is one the richest openings in the whole of chess and occurs after the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5. It has a high-class pedigree and is played at all levels of chess. Here we will look at a variety of Ruy Lopez games from games in the Calderdale League.
The variety of Ruy Lopez variations can be categorized using the following ECO codes;
- C60-C67: This looks at a variety of variations when Black does not play 3…a6 (Morphy Defence); this includes defences such as the Schliemann (3…f5), the Bird’s (3…Nd4), the Classical (3…Bc5) and the Berlin (3…Nf6).
- C68-69: This looks at the Exchange Variation (3…a6 4.Bxc6).
- C70-76: This primarily looks at the Modern Steinitz (3…a6 4.Ba4 d6).
- C77-79: This looks at variations after (3…a6 4.Ba4 Nf6) and includes variation such as the Archangel and Moller Defences.
- C80-83: This looks at the Open Ruy Lopez (3…a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Nxe4)
- C84-99: This looks at the Closed Ruy Lopez which occurs after (3…a6 4.Ba4 5.0-0 Be7), this includes a number of defences such as the Marshall Gambit (6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 0-0 8.c3 d5), the Zaitsev (6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Bb7), the Breyer (6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Nb8) and the Chigorin (6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 Na5)
In this article I shall be concentrating on three lines without 3…a6, the Schliemann (Game 1 in the viewer below), Bird’s Variation (Game 2) and the Classical Variation (Games 3, 7 and 8). I’ll also cover some lines with 3…a6 including the Exchange variation (Game 4), the Open variation with (Game 5), and a variety of other Ruy Lopez lines with (Game 6).