Ruy Lopez is one of the most played openings in chess. Top-level GrandMasters like Magnus Carlsen, Garry Kasparov all play this opening. It is also known as the Spanish Opening or Spanish game. Before we dive into details let's look at the move order.

The main move order starts with
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5

Ruy Lopez on board
Ruy Lopez
White opens with pawn to e4 (denoted by e4). The idea is to control the centre. If you are a beginner at chess, you must know the first ten principles of chess. Another reason behind e4 is to play d4 to make pawn duo in the centre.

After White's e4 black in response replies with e5 with the same motive of establishing pawn in centre and controlling d4 square to prevent white from playing d4.
White plays Nf3 to attack black's pawn on e5 which is undefended at the moment.
Black plays Nc6 to defend the pawn.
White plays Bb5 to further put pressure on the pawn. How? The only defending piece of black's pawn is Knight on c6 and after white captures it. The pawn will be undefended and can capture that pawn.

This is Ruy Lopez opening after the move Bb5.

The common response from Black is a6 to question Bishop's position whether to capture the Knight or to retreat to some other square. Further to play b5 when white plays Bishop to a4.

White cannot straight away win the pawn on e5 by capturing the knight. Because of the following tactics. You might think.

Now you might think if pawn captures the bishop then we win the pawn right. Like this.

But Black has this fork move by Queen that is Queen to d4. This forks both pawn and the Knight. This means Knight has to retreat to some other squares and the pawn is captured. Capturing the knight is not a good option here.

That being said, the pawn on e5 is not a target. Black develops its pieces with Knight on c6.

White Castles short (short is kingside and long is queenside). With the idea of bringing the rook to e1 hence supporting the pawn and capture the pawn on e5.

This is not yet a threat to black. So Black continues development with Bishop to e7.
 White follows its plan to bring the rook to e1 to support pawn on e4 and is ready to capture on e5 if Black doesn't react to this threat of losing a pawn.
 Now, the black expands its centre attacking Bishop.

 Among Black many replies, we are going to discuss some replies from Black.
Black further secures the pawn on e5 by playing pawn from d7 to d6.
 The advantage white gets is that it locks black's dark square bishop.
 All in all, White's main motive is to make pawn duo on centre. So, for this, it plays pawn from c2 to c3.

Black castles King Side. 

Now, white can play straight away pawn from d2 to d4. But that gives Black edge by playing Bishop to g4 pinning the Knight and exchanging Kight to Bishop.

So, White replies with pawn to a3 preventing pinning the Knight. Note this a3 move does not weaken Kingside. But is useful because It is later a flight square for White King.

Normally the plan for white is to bring the Knight to f1 square. Let's look at the image below.

 After the knight comes to f1. Depending upon the situation, white can play it's Knight to g3 or e3 square.
After that white can expand on queenside via move a4. While this is all done by White, Black has also plan.
  Black's can play the Knight on c6 to a5 to attack the Bishop, and when the Bishop moves, it can further expand via move pawn to c5.

 The next choice for Black is to retreat the Knight back to b8 and then repositioning the knight to d7 square to further expand on via move pawn to c5

This is how Ruy Lopez is played in a closed system. We have discussed the basics of Ruy Lopez and we will continue to discuss more variations of Ruy Lopez if we get an adequate response from our readers. 

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