Thursday, March 4, 2010

Ruy Lopez Opening or Spanish Game

The Ruy Lopez opening dates from a work known as the Gottinberg Manuscript, written in Latin in 1500 by Lucena.  Ruy Lopez, a Spanish priest, later wrote about the opening in a book which was published in 1561, so the opening was named after him.

The Ruy Lopez, also called the Spanish Opening or Spanish Game, is a chess opening characterized by the moves 1. e4 e5, 2. Nf3 Nc6, 3. Bb5 ....   The Ruy Lopez opening is one of the oldest and most studied openings in the realm of chess.  So many books have been written on the subject, not to mention the thousands of articles about it found in the Internet. 

This author will not expound on the opening itself, but will emphasize on the importance of having a sound pawn structure.  "The pawns," said the great Philidor, "are the soul of the game." In the following game, a weakness in Black's pawn structure leads to the direst of consequences.

Southport, 1924

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, a6
4. Ba4, Nf6
5. 0-0, Nxe4

Black's last move is not recommended.  It has the possible drawback of leading to a weakness in pawn structure.

6. d4, b5
7. Bb3, d5
8. dxe5, Be6
9. c3, Be7
10. Be3, 0-0
11. N1d2, f5

After this move, Black's pawn structure is in a shaky state.  This is particularly true of the b3-g8 diagonal.

12. exf6 (e.p.), Nxf6
13. Ng5, Bf5 ?

The safer course for Black is 13. .... Qd7.

14. N2e4 !! .....

This surprise move underline's Black's troubles on the weakened diagonal.  Observe that the d5 pawn is pinned.

14. ..... Nxe4

Black must lose some material.  For example, if he plays 14. ....Bxe4 White replies 15. Nxe4 and Black's d5 pawn must go.  In that case, the reply to 15. ....Nxe4 would be 16. Bxd5+ Kh8, 17. Bxc6 and White wins at least the Exchange.

15. Qxd5 ....

To this Black's relatively best reply is 15. ....Qxd5, 16. Bxd5 Kh8 but after 17. Nxe4 White would have achieved his objective: winning the weakened d5 pawn.  Avoiding this, Black falls into something much worse.

15. .... Kh8 ?
16. Qg8+!!, Rxg8
17. Nf7 mate !

One must admit the single-mindedness with which White exploited the weakness in Black's pawn structure.

Tired?  Do you have a mobile phone? Visit Free Mobile Phone Software.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails