(aka. The Spanish Opening)

Board Position
An old but strong opening (deriving its name from a treatise written by Ruy Lopez de Segura, a great 16th century Spanish player). White's opening advantage is said to be held for longer in this than any other opening. Moves follow the "Épine Dorsale" until White's KB-QKt5 attack in move 3 (left).
The early attack (on the knight protecting Black's K4 pawn) is intended to make Black's counter-play in the centre difficult for him. White's problem is that Black's defence has several variations.
Main play leads to the Morphy Defence (in both open/close forms) but early variants include Classical, Schliemann's and Steinitz Defences, and the popular Steinitz Deferred (qv.) and Berlin Defences.
Begin or Clear or Groups or see moves: 1e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 to: 3 Bb5 for:

Morphy Def: 3..a6 4 Ba4 to:
main continuation: 4..Nf6 5 0-0 leading to:
5..Be7 Close D. (qv.) or
5..Nxe4 Open D. (qv.)
main variation: 4..d6 Steinitz Defence Deferred (qv.)
Class.D: 3..Bc5 4 c3 Nf6 5 d4 exd4 6 e5 Ne4 7 0-0 d5 8 exd6 Nxd6 9 Bxc6+ bxc6 10 cxd4 Bb6 etc.

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Board Position

Board Position
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(To) THE RUY LOPEZ ("Épine Dorsale")

 1. P-K4...P-K4
attempts to occupy the centre with his King's Pawn, opening diagonals for his KB and Q and attacking squares Q5(d5) and KB5(f5).
Black has the same idea, replying with a mutual King's Pawn in an open defence (so termed because in an open game the centre tends to become opened up by pawn exchange rather than blocked by close play).

 2. Kt-KB3...Kt-QB3
brings his King's Knight closer to the centre and attacks a pawn, as per the golden rule: always develop with attack if possible.
Black defends the pawn and develops his Queen's Knight.

WHITE to Move or Jump or Clear
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