Ruy Lopez

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The Ruy Lopez
Start of chess board.
a8 black rook b8 __ c8 black bishop d8 black queen e8 black king f8 black bishop g8 black knight h8 black rook
a7 black pawn b7 black pawn c7 black pawn d7 black pawn e7 __ f7 black pawn g7 black pawn h7 black pawn
a6 __ b6 __ c6 black knight d6 __ e6 __ f6 __ g6 __ h6 __
a5 __ b5 white bishop c5 __ d5 __ e5 black pawn f5 __ g5 __ h5 __
a4 __ b4 __ c4 __ d4 __ e4 white pawn f4 __ g4 __ h4 __
a3 __ b3 __ c3 __ d3 __ e3 __ f3 white knight g3 __ h3 __
a2 white pawn b2 white pawn c2 white pawn d2 white pawn e2 __ f2 white pawn g2 white pawn h2 white pawn
a1 white rook b1 white knight c1 white bishop d1 white queen e1 white king f1 __ g1 __ h1 white rook
End of chess board.
position after 3.Bb5

The Ruy Lopez, also called the Spanish Opening, is an ancient chess opening. It is named after the Spanish clerk Ruy Lopez who invented the method. These are the opening moves:

  • 1. e4 e5
  • 2. Nf3 Nc6
  • 3. Bb5

The Ruy Lopez is one of the most common and well liked openings, with many ways to play it. It has always been popular in master chess. Something to know about it is that it does not threaten the black e5 pawn:

  • 3.... a6
  • 4.Bxc6 dxc6
  • 5.Nxe5 Qd4 recovers the pawn.

For this reason White usually plays a longer-term strategy, starting

  • 3.... a6
  • 4.Ba4


  • ECO code: C60–C99. ECO is the Encyclopaedia of chess openings.