Chess Openings: Ruy Lopez | Ideas, Theory, and Attacking Plans

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📥 Find the Ruy Lopez chess opening variations in this blog-post –

🔹 5 Best Chess Opening Traps in the Ruy Lopez –

In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov teaches you the Ruy Lopez chess opening (also known as the Spanish Game or the Spanish Opening), its opening theory, general ideas, attacking plans, and more. It starts with the opening moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5.

It is one of the most popular chess openings and has been played by all the top players including Magnus Carlsen, Garry Kasparov, Vishy Anand, Bobby Fischer, etc. It is a classical and powerful chess opening that serves well from beginners to advanced level players. It is evergreen and has never been refuted.

However, a lot of beginner and intermediate level players are intimidated by the seemingly complex nature of this opening. That’s why GM Smirnov breaks it down and explains the opening in the simplest way possible, so that you can understand the main concept of the opening instead of just memorizing the moves without understanding the logic behind it.

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► Chapters

00:00 Ruy Lopez Chess Opening Theory
00:44 Basic ideas in Ruy Lopez for White
02:45 Why centralize pieces, control the center?
06:02 Morphy Defense: 3…a6
07:45 Key idea: Typical pawn structure
10:52 2 prophylactic moves: c3 & h3
12:50 Black’s mainline: Chigorin variation
14:30 Understand the logic, don’t just memorize
14:47 Transitioning to the attack!
17:35 Most common questions from students
19:04 Marshall Attack by Black
20:37 Stats: Black’s more wins in Marshall Attack
21:36 Berlin Defense: 3…Nf6
23:05 Does GM Smirnov recommend Berlin Defense?

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98 Comments

  1. what if he plays d5 now what i am fcked🥺

  2. It's a bit misleading to make beginners believe the Ruy Lopez is appropriate for all levels. It's just not.
    Unless you know most of the variations you have no controls over what black will do by the bishop hit B5. It's simply unsuitable until you punch above 500 at the very least.

    I'm not saying it's a bad opening. Just that for low and even mid level chess players there are a lot of more suitable openings that won't risk you falling in your own traps because you loose control of the board.

  3. Thank you for the video and explanation behind the moves.

  4. So once white play 8.c3 why cant black just go Bg4 directly and delay castling wouldn't that create the annoying pin and forces white create weakness by pushing pawns

  5. How many opening to know if someone want to be a professional chess player🙏

  6. Why should black castle instead of playing Bg4 right away? Even if white plays d4 trying to open the centre and punish the uncastled king, it is black with the advantage with the pin right?

    EDIT: Engine analysis shows (at least my interpretation (I am a beginner)) that the bishop pin works better when d4 has already been played. Engine plays d3 after h3 and enters the Pianissimo?? if you play Bg4 instead of castle. So basically you castle as black hoping white plays d4 without playing h3 first or something like that?

  7. Is there any point in A4 with the rook?

  8. and NOW! they can either play f4 or ANOTHER! move in this case they move the BISHOP! to the edge of the BOARD! and ask their opponent what are they going to DO! about it.

  9. It's 2 am and I swear that knock at the door gave me a mini heart attack….

  10. Lol the random edit for the lightsquare bishop

  11. Hey Igor, I have a question. I am looking a lot of your videos, the Problem is, that I can't remember all the moves of all your Videos in games and I think its not the main idea to remember all the moves. I have a rating of 1300 and can't get higher for a year.

    Do you have an idea what I could concentrade on to get better?

  12. wow, I always just trade the pawn. I learned something.

  13. What about the bird and gunderham variations. I can’t figure out how to deal with them

  14. 6:50 isn't there just Qe2 it blocks the check defends the Knight and pins oppents queen so it can't leave the e file

  15. you kick butt! awesome enthusiasm! I'm an agamator fan as well.

  16. Oh my. You are the one I've been looking for. Incredible insight here, thank you so much.

  17. I have a quick question. What's the purpose of rerouting the b knight to g3? Is it just to bring it into the kingside attack or are there more uses?

  18. An excellent introduction to the Spanish opening, thank you!

  19. Bro didn’t say hikaru 🤦🏽‍♂️

  20. I have a question sir are you a russian? Cause your accent is kinda russian

  21. I am 17 currently 1200 can i become a GM in chess 😢

  22. I just stayed away from this opening because it just have many variations and stuff, and im learning this to get more e4 openings and free courses xd

  23. When I was first introduced to chess at 3, this was the first opening my dad showed me and it is always my favorite, thanks for this great breakdown!

  24. best explanation ! it good to c each n every scenario.

  25. What should I play after e4 e5, Nf3 Nc6, Bb5 f5

  26. very intresting thank you so much you have a great way of explaining things you should keep making does kind of video they are a real pleasure to listen to !

  27. This video got me playing the Ruy Lopez, very good video!

  28. went from 1300 to 1200 in like 2 days..
    so pissed at myself

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