Why is the Ruy Lopez so reliable? Chess masters trust this opening from both sides of the board. They have for 150 years. My first tournament game was a Ruy Lopez when Boris Spassky was world champion. Bobby Fischer won a Ruy Lopez in game 10 of the 1972 match when the title changed hands. Much of the world calls this the Spanish Opening after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5.
Consider nine reasons masters love Ruy Lopez.
1. It is completely sound but not a forced draw.
2. There are very few early piece exchanges.
3. Any piece might become useful and active.
4. There are lines to please any style of player.
5. Both sides have options for pawn structures.
6. Middlegames strategy influences the result.
7. Tactics are the reason for strategical moves.
8. Club players like to copy master openings.
9. Masters understand what to do and why.
One way I test openings is to play vs chess engines. I copy what computer plays vs me in multiple blitz games, changing colors after every game. Typically vs a strong engine in the same opening I lose as White, lose as Black, lose as White, etc. But not always. Sometimes I win or draw.
Shredder chose the Ruy Lopez Chigorin 9...Na5. I obtained a good position but let it slip on move 32. After my blunder, I offered a draw. Fortunately it was accepted.
Sawyer (2002) - Shredder 8 (3322), Florida, 14.02.2006 begins 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 Na5 10.Bc2 c5 11.d4 Qc7 12.Nbd2 cxd4 13.cxd4 Nc6 14.Nb3 a5 15.Be3 a4 16.Nbd2 Bd7 17.Rc1 Qb7 18.Qe2 Rfe8 19.Bd3 Rab8 20.dxe5 dxe5 [20...Nxe5 21.Nxe5 dxe5 22.Bc5=] 21.Bc5 Nh5 22.g3 Nb4 23.Nxe5 Nf6 24.Nxd7 Qxd7 25.Bb1 Qxh3 26.e5 Ng4 27.Nf1 g6 28.Bxe7 Rxe7 29.Rc5 Re6 30.Rxb5 Rxb5 31.Qxb5 Nc6 32.Qxa4? [32.f4! Nd4 (or 32...Nh2 33.Re3+/-) 33.Qd3 Nf5 34.Qd8+ Kg7 35.Bxf5 gxf5 36.Qg5+ Kf8 37.Qxf5 Rh6 38.Qe4+-. Now Black could be up the Exchange for a pawn after my 32.Qxa4? Ncxe5 33.Rxe5 Rxe5 34.Be4 Nf6 35.Bg2 Qg4-/+] 1/2-1/2
You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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