One of the oldest chess openings is the Ruy Lopez opening. Also referred to as a Spanish Game, the Ruy Lopez opening is a very complicated opening and is usually more favorable to the person using white pieces in the initial stages, as the developments and plots can cramp the movement of some black pieces either temporarily or permanently. If one can learn and gain mastery over this Spanish opening, then he or she can develop as a very good chess player.
Without going more in to the other trivia of Ruy Lopez opening, let me go ahead and discuss the very basic moves of this very fascinating opening.
The Ruy Lopez opening is part of the open games, where the first move from White would be the king pawn moving two squares to “e4” in an effort to have control over the central part of the game – the important 4 central squares, e4, e5, d4 and d5. The black responds with the similar move to “e5” in an effort to gain a fair share of the central field.
In response to black’s move to have a fair control over the centre, White opens up the kingside knight to f3, or simply Nf3, attacking the black pawn at e5 seeing that there is no support for the black pawn at e5.
The black, visualizing threat for his king pawn at e5, which is immobile due to block at the front and no pieces to capture on the diagonals, offers to support the pawn at e5 by placing the Queenside knight at c6, or simply Nc6.
Now, White tries to put pressure on Black’s queen side knight placed at c6 by moving its kingside bishop, or White bishop from “f1” to “b5” – written as Bb5 in chess notation. The primary idea of the White in this move is to force the Black’s knight to move away from that place so that the White Knight at “f3” can attack the Black pawn at “e5”.
However, this is not the only intention of the White. There is one more motive or indirect pressure on Black. Can you visualize that?
The pawn in front of the Black Queen, which is at “d7”, cannot be moved before the threat from the White bishop at “b5” is averted. If, per chance, the pawn in front of the Black queen, or simply queen pawn, is moved a square up to “d6” to offer support to the king pawn at “e5”, then the queen knight will become a pinned piece for the Black King.
The above-mentioned five moves are the very basic moves, which can be categorized under the general Ruy Lopez opening in chess parlance. The black has many alternative means to counter the moves by either counterattacking the White Bishop or attacking the white pawn in “e4”. Each of those moves are categorized under different variations leading to a fascinating middle game that calls for strategical planning by both the players.
In Chess Opening basics: Ruy Lopez, some more steps beyond the basic moves have been shown for Classical Variation of Closed Defense, explaining the moves step by step graphically.