Saturday, September 20, 2008



Hastings 1919

1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5

Jose Raul Capablanca essayed the RUY LOPEZ OPENING, or ‘Lopez for short, that was popularized by the Spanish priest Ruy Lopez de Segura in the 15th century. Like MERALCO, this classical deployment has withstood the challenges of many variations thrown against it.

3 … a6 4 Ba4 Nf6 5 O-O

Winning Chess Openings, “The purpose of the opening is to get a safe king and an equal middle game.”

5 … d6 6 Bxc6+ bxc6

Fine Art of Chess Annotation, “There are many cases where it pays to exchange bishop for knight voluntarily, to give the enemy doubled pawns.”

Steinitz Theory: In the beginning of the game, ignore the search for combinations, abstain from violent moves, aim for small advantages, accumulate them, and only after having attained these ends search for the combination.

This chess theory reminds me very much of one of the famous verses of our Lord Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew, “Seek first the Kingdom and righteousness of God and all these things shall be yours as well.”

11 Qd3 Re8 12 Rfe1 h6 13 Bh4 c5 14 Nf5 Bxf5 15 exf5 Qd7 16 h3 a5 17 Re2 Nh7

Best Lessons of a Chess Coach, “Decentralizing a knight can hurt you if your opponent can counterattack immediately in the center.”

18 Bxe7 Rxe7 19 Rxe7 Qxe7 20 Nd5

Learn From Garry Kasparov's Greatest Games, “Knights operate best near the center of the board; the squares on the 5th rank of the e and d files.”

20 … Qd7 21 Re1 Re8 22 Rxe8+ Qxe8 23 Qe3 Qd7 24 Qe7 Qxe7 25 Nxe7+ Kf8 26 Nd5 Ke8 27 Nxc7+

This was Capablanca’s modest goal in that series of exchanges; to win a pawn.

27 … Kd7 28 Nd5 Kc6 29 c4 Nf6

30 Nxf6 gxf6

My System, “But a really complete restraint, which extends over large tracts of the board and makes it difficult for the enemy to breathe, is only possible when the opponent labors under the disadvantage of a doubled pawn.”

31 a4

Mastering the Chess Openings, “Gaining space is often the best policy when there are no direct targets.”

31 … d5 32 b3 d4 33 f4 Kd6 34 g4 Ke7 35 Kf2 Kd6 36 Kf3 Ke7 37 Ke4 Kd6 38 h4 Kd7

39 b4!!!

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess, “In almost any endgame, the winning strategy is to create a passed pawn, and push that pawn to the far side of the board to promote it to a Queen.”

39 … axb4 40 a5 Kc7 41 g5 fxg5 42 fxg5 hxg5 43 hxg5 b3 44 Kd3 Kd7 45 g6 fxg6 46 fxg6 [1-0].

The lowly pawn, not a queen nor a rook, will win the game, slowly but surely for Capablanca who used the ‘Lopez with impunity to derail the ambitions of Garcia in this battle over the board of 64 squares. Capablanca became a World Champion and the Ruy Lopez became one of the most popular opening system.

The Art of Chess, “It is no exaggeration to affirm that mastery of the Lopez is a requisite for anyone aspiring to become a strong chess player.”

No comments: