Ruy Lopez

The Ruy Lopez, also called the “Spanish Game”, is a King Pawn Opening with the characteristic move Bb5. The usual version has the game starting with the moves: 1.e4 e5, 2. Nf3 Nc6, 3. Bb5. The Ruy Lopez is one of the longest played most established of chess openings. There are books of variations that are literally 30 moves long. You can play the first 30+ moves of a chess game by memory if you like.

Diagram: Ruy Lopez

Variations of the Ruy Lopez without “a6” include:

The modern games tend to have “a6” played by Black. Variations of the Ruy Lopez in the “a6” lines include:

One of the main variations of the Ruy Lopez is the main variation of the closed variations. White plans to play c3 and d4. The key consideration is whether White spends a move to play “h3” first (main lines) or immediately plays “c3” and “d4” without “h3” (allowing the Marshall Attack).

Diagram: Closed Variations Main Line, Ruy Lopez

The main alternatives to the Ruy Lopez opening are other King Pawn Openings:

Related Chess Openings Topics

Read more about these related chess openings, strategies, chess puzzles, and other chess topics: