The Ruy Lopez, also known as the Spanish Opening, is one of the oldest and most popular chess openings ever. The opening is named after a Spanish priest from the 16th century, Ruy López de Segura.
It is one of the most heavily analyzed openings in today’s game and continues to enjoy incredible popularity at all levels (elite players such as Anand, Caruana, and Carlsen frequently play the Ruy Lopez).
Moreover, the Ruy Lopez is considered essential to the development of any promising player. Its strategic nature, typical tactics plus the fact it leads to both open and closed positions makes it perfect for deepening general chess understanding.
The Ruy Lopez begins with the following moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5.
In this video, exclusive for iChess Club members, IM Robert Ris looks at the Arkhangelsk Variation which begins with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 b5 6.Bb3 Bb7, and looks at how to play as Black after 7.Re1. See the diagram on the left. With this move, White is looking to protect the e4 pawn.
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