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grunfeld 60 ( +1 | -1 )
Ruy Lopez I've been using the Ruy Lopez since I started here on GK. The reason is that it was the first opening in a chess book my mother gave me so I learned it first. My plan has been using only this opening until I understood it thoruoughly. Well I doubt if I'll ever be able to do that but it has been working OK for me so far.

My question though is that it seems to me that there are few wasteful opening moves for white in the RL. The bishop gets chased at a minimum two times, first with h3 and then g4 and sometimes 3 moves, with kn to h4 in the opening. This seems to me a problem.

Anybody have any comments on the RL.
indiana-jay 238 ( +1 | -1 )
Indeed RL is everybody's first opening :) And probably the reason RL is on the book because it explains the basic principles of chess. Beginers can practice their theoritical knowledge during playing this opening.

Many other openings require more advanced skills than RL, but still RL is playable in GM level. And IMO, most of the resulting opening lines from 1. e2-e4 really favor White (French is I think the relatively strongest counterplay), and there are less to learn than the 1. d2-d4. If we're okay with draw, it is even better with 1. e2-e4 and RL.

Everyone has their own objective to choose an opening to play with. Personally I don't think there's something to be understood in any openings. It's not the opening to be understood but the principles implemented in the opening. And doing this autodidactically (from learning perspective) is a very long time process.

Talking about openings, I don't think that there are moves that deserve "wasteful" attribute as they have been analyzed to the end position. The important thing with opening moves is the end position, not the process to come to that end position. For example, 1. ... e7-e5 is understandable because it takes over the central squares. How about 1. ... e7-e6 (as in French defense)? Only by knowing the resulting end position we know that there's nothing wrong with e7-e6.

And you don't have to move the bishop to Ba4 if you think it is wasteful. You can choose the exchange variation (BxN). But I think BxN is less strong than the Ba4. Running away the bishop is okay because there is still c3. Exchanging the bishop with knight after Na5 (I'm confused with your h3/g4/Nh4, I think you have wrong board!?;) will give White an open file for the Rook. Black may want a7-a6 and b7-b5 to provide good diagonal for his bishop but from White perspective the pawns advancement may only weaken Black position.

So it is not important which option we choose. The more important is what to do with the option. For example, we may want to choose BxN so that Black has bad pawn structure and then we will try to exchange pieces as fast as possible while keeping the doubled pawns as they are and that is because we know we have a better end game skill! :) As for the open a-file for White's rook, I myself don't have any idea how I ever benefit from such an open corner file!

BTW, I was also very comfortable with RL and I think I will use the opening soon to practice my end game.
grunfeld 12 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks for that thorough response and yes my notation was confused. I pulled up a game where I was black and reversed the positions.
schnarre 46 ( +1 | -1 )
Worry not The RL is perhaps one of the most basic of openings (going back centuries). I've never been able to really use it (it doesn't fit my style), but most everyone else can so it's not bad for helping star out new players (though I usually recommend the Torre attack instead, & do not at all recommend the french defense). Perhaps one of the main drawbacks to the RL is that Black has so many possible replies to 4. Ba4 & 4. Bxc6. Which have been the most common reply moves you've dealt with?
More: Chess
georgesdimitrov 64 ( +1 | -1 )
Try this link ->

It's a very good explanation of the different lines. It's what I mainly play with white, it all
seems less confusing if you understand the ideas behind the moves (as indiana_jay) said.

Also I recommend playing it from both sides. You better understand what problems white can
cause to black if you have to actually deal with them. I played two thematic RL tourneys and
my understanding of the opening was better after.
warriorking1972 125 ( +1 | -1 )
I cringe when you use the word "basic" to describe the RL. It is a highly sophisticated opening with many long term plans for both sides. The first few moves are objectively the best white can make and the positions that arise from it are usually highly tactical and yet deep positional concepts are present. Simply because the opening has been around for a long period of time, and is classically motivated does not relegate it to that of a"beginners opening". I play it as white whenever my opponent buys into it and find it gives good winning chances even against strong opposition. Many openings come and go, they move in and out of fashion. The RL has withstood the test of time through several centuries and theres still fire in it. The reason many intro books study the openning is because it shows sound reason and logical thinking during the opening and so makes it the best choice for teaching purposes. If i were to teach someone just beginning an opening to start with, what would make more sense, the ruy lopez or say the english. what would a beginner have more success with, the black side of the RL or the kings indian defense? I'd stake my money on the RL
punkusmartyrus 5 ( +1 | -1 )
first opening the first opening I learned was the scotch game:)