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 make it perfect for deepening general chess understanding.
The Ruy Lopez begins with the following moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5.
There are many variations such as the Exchange Variation or the 6.d3-Spanish which can occur from the Ruy Lopez. Yet, the absolute main lines of the opening start after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.0-0 Be7 6.Re1 b5 7.Bb3 d6 8.c3 0-0 9.h3 (see the diagram on the right).
Thousands of games between the world’s strongest players have reached this position. Black has many different moves at his disposal, all leading to well-known variations.
- 9…Bb7: This move introduces the Zaitsev Variation
- 9…Na5: This move introduces the Chigorin Variation
- 9…Nb8: This move introduces the Breyer Variation
- 9…Nd7: This move introduces the Karpov Variation
Ruy Lopez: Theoretical Developments In The Breyer Variation
In this iChess Club exclusive video, the second part of a series of videos on the aforementioned tabiya from the Ruy Lopez, GM Leonid Kritz, a renowned expert on this opening, dives deep into the waters of the Zaitsev Variation after 9…Nb8 (see the diagram on the right).
- Did you miss the first part of GM Kritz’ Ruy Lopez series where he covers the latest trends in the Zaitsev Variation? Click here to watch the video and read the article.
This position has been debated thousands of times between players of all levels – from the world’s best Super-GMs to countless club players.
GM Leonid Kritz takes a close look at this complicated variation and analyzes the latest theory for Black and White. If you regularly face the Breyer Variation with White or play this line with Black and want to stay up-to-date, this video is a must-watch.
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- Caro Kann: Theoretical Developments In The Classical Variation – GM Alex Lenderman (iChess.club)