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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70 Comments

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

  2. 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?

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

  4. Bro didn’t say hikaru 🤦🏽‍♂️

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

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

  7. 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

  8. 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!

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

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

  11. 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 !

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

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

  14. What if the bishop pin the knight to the queen before castsle

  15. Wonderful teaching this is my favourite opening

  16. This is the best opening tutorial video I've watched on here. Other videos move too fast so I have to pause and go back a lot but you explained everything clearly step by step

  17. 14:50, yes, this is the best way to learn a chess opening and I really appreciate this video a lot, not just random robotic moves,but also the explanation behind the moves. Thank you very much!

  18. My friend always win the game when he plays roy lopez opening i dont know how to counter attack it when the 2 knights starts attacking at the king side

  19. Why does black castle instead of playing Bg4? It is the same in books, nobody explains that.

  20. Igor I have asked 5x but not gotten a response. PLEASE explain the best way to win as black when white takes your knight with his bishop then castles. Thank you.

  21. can i play ruy lopez opening if the opponent play sicilian defense

  22. What if black moves d3 which then supports the pawn on e4 and free the knight. What should white move? C3 or h3? Defend the white bishop or prevent the white knight from being pinned by black bishop?

  23. Thank you for this wonderful video, Igor! Appreciated the clarity and enthusiasm with your explanation so very much 😃 Look forward to giving this a go, and I wish you all the very best! 😃👋🙏❤️

  24. I heard it is best to take from the outside in, bxc6. Black can fianchetto Lb7 and O-O-O

  25. Watching this to play against wite ruy Lopez players.

  26. hi! thank you for this! This opening is what I always play for white. May I ask what do you recommend for white to do if black decides to counterattack the pawn in te center?

  27. Thank you very much GM Smirnov! I am used to playing the London when I am playing white, and wanted to find out why so many people play the kings pawn ♟️ more. Now I know and can use this as well as have a better understanding when my opponents play this.

    Thank you

  28. Igor is by far one of the best chess teachers out there. He is very straight forward and informative which I really like. Thank you for this lesson!

  29. I have tournament and I havent prepared preparing befpre 30 mins

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