Chess lesson # 32: The Ruy Lopez Opening (Spanish Opening) | Basics and game analysis… Have fun!

The Ruy Lopez —also known as the Spanish opening— is one of the most popular in Chess history. It is currently used by players of all levels from beginner to Elite. It got its name after a strong player from the 16th century named Luis Ruy Lopez de Segura. Ruy Lopez contributed to the game in many ways, but he is most remembered by his contribution to Chess theory. You will see how this opening follows the three principles we already discussed: control the center, develop minor pieces and castle your king. The main objective of this class is for you to learn the basics of the opening, but I hope you appreciate the tactical component present in the game I am sharing with you. Enjoy!

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My Book Recommendations:
First tactics book:
Mixed tactics book:
Advanced tactics book:
Advanced tactics book (II):
Carlsen’s book (excellent):
Kramnik’s book (excellent):
Pirc Defense book:
Endgames book:

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​- Promotes brain growth
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Chess is an intellectual battle where players are exposed to numerous mental processes such as analysis, attention to detail, synthesis, concentration, planning and foresight. Psychological factors are also present on and off the board; playing Chess stimulates our imagination and creativity. Every single move a player makes is the result of a deep analysis based on the elements presented on the battle field.

Chess in its essence teaches us psychological, sociological and even moral values. In a Chess game, both players start with the same amount of material and time. The fact that the white pieces move first is considered to be practically irrelevant —especially because a player typically plays one game as white and one game as black. Consequently, the final result of the battle solely depends on each player. It doesn’t matter if you win by taking advantage of your opponent’s mistakes or by simply avoiding mistakes yourself. Truth is that Chess is an extremely individual sport and our defeats can only be blamed on ourselves and no one else. And this, in the end, only benefits us because we learn to be and feel responsible for our actions and never come up with excuses to justify ourselves.

We also learn that when it comes to our victories on the board, our opponent’s mistakes play a more significant role than our own skills. Let’s not forget that a Chess game without any mistakes would be a draw. This way, Chess provides us with another valuable life lesson: be humble at all times.

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With an outstanding background as a professional Chess player and over 8 years of teaching experience, Robert Ramirez brings both his passion and his expertise to the board, helping you believe & achieve!

Robert Ramirez was introduced to the fascinating world of Chess when he was 5 years old and has participated in prestigious tournaments such as the World Open Chess Tournament and the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Championships. Thanks to his performance, he has earned his National Master title from the United States Chess Federation.

Currently, NM Ramirez and his carefully selected team teach at several private schools in the counties of Miami-Dade and Broward and they also offer private lessons. He says the key to their success as Chess coaches is their ability to adapt to every student and to make lessons fun and interesting for students and even their family members.


  1. Wow this video is pure gold!! U will definitely get a million views, u are a great teacher!!

  2. amazing. I have to practice this and watch more videos about it. great content as usual

  3. Hi Sir great video as usual. Plz I have a question. If at 3:14 , black plays Bb4 and captures C knight , with wish pawn its better to recapture. The b pawn or d pawn ?

  4. Love the lesson hope, the black b file pawn on our side

  5. In the 4th move. Ba4, what if the black did pawn b5 what should I do in that situation

  6. Very nice game, and the mate was quite picturesque. I was a bit critical of white volunteering to have doubled isolated c pawns, but the continuation justified it. Instructive lesson.

  7. At 7:18, is it not better to play pawn to b4 attacking the bishop? And also please tell why is bishop in this opening so important that we retreat it twice when black plays a6 and b5 and even making a room for it by playing c3?

  8. NIce video introducing the Ruy Lopez. I am guessing that in the section of videos for subscribers you have a more detailed and comprehensive video (or videos) about the Spanish opening, as it certainly warrants so. Still, cannot complain about a free video that sorts of present some variation. I would like to see you covering other possibilities in the Ruy Lopez, but perhaps you already did and I have not seen it yet. One thing that is always tricky for anyone wanting to play the Spanish is that you cannot control that (your opponent with black can avoid it entirely in many different ways), so, any player that wants to play the Ruy Lopez must also be aware of how to reply to the French, Scandinavian, Caro-Kann, Petrov, etc… In that sense, any video or series that discuss how to play the Ruy Lopez could probably also warn the reader/viewer that the game may be steered into many other, different, possibilities… But all in all, another great piece of work, thanks again! Jose

  9. Great educational video. I like how you explain the system very slowly and give me a chance to think.

  10. This opening is truly amazing, i was just playing but the opponent wasn't responding well like in this, but today i got a opponent who responded just like this and i used this opening and now i am feeling great because i used this opening and won the match all thanks goes for you sir 😀

  11. I've reached a rating of 1200 with spanish opening but now it is not working as l'm loosing more matches . What will be good for me now. Please tell

  12. I just start playing chess , and you're like my cool chess master uncle

  13. Instructive game and video. Thanks so much! I never thought to play Nc3 in response to Nf6. I always played the much more popular O-O (harder to understand because you're not defending your e4 pawn). I learned that White likes to push his pawn to c3 to support a strong center with an eventual pawn push to d4, and a knight on c3 would block that plan. But I see that Nc3 is a perfectly good move, and I need to start thinking for myself more than just learning what grandmasters play. What's more natural than protecting your pawn and developing a minor piece toward the center? Also, I tried it in a game, and my knight eventually went from c3 to d5, and I ended up pushing my pawn to c3 anyway.

  14. @8:38 I though you could move pawn to D7+. From there he can either move BD7 or KD8. If he takes with the bishop, you can mate with QD7x. If he moves KD8, pawn to C3, promote to a queen and is mate again right? Sorry my notation is incorrect. Im like a 300 player watching your series. Please correct me if I am wrong. I also know this isn't your game, I'm not accusing you of making wrong moves. I am simply asking if my idea is ok? Thanks, please keep up the videos

  15. Question, so after bishop a4… what happens if pawn goes b5

  16. Dude have watched some videos on the ruy Lopez but this just changes everything I know, because I read in a book where there's a variation where the bishop captures the knight on C6 but that come back by black Qd4 just blows my mind, have never thought of that and luckily have never met an opponent who played it, man you're impressive God bless you

  17. What if bd6 ( instead of bb4) ? 5:00, how to continue?

    Also instead of ba5, what we will do if they play be7? 6:15

  18. What will you do if b5 after Ba4? My friend always comes at me with those pawns! Thank you for such incredible free material!

  19. So interesting and absolutely useful. Thanks for sharing your chess wisdom with us.

  20. Instead of b6, I would do b5 attacking the bishop aswell

  21. In move 4 when White moves Ba4, I've seen Black push his pawn to b5. This means the White bishop has moved 3 times in the opening. Doesn't this violate the opening principle of not moving the same piece more than once in the opening? I usually prefer as White to be less aggressive and just move Bc4.

  22. at 2'50", why not the black side to move the pawn at b7 to b5, that would threaten the white bishop? similarly at 7'27", black side has another chance to move the pawn at b7 to b5, which also opens for black bishop as well as threaten the white bishop.

  23. Although it's true that most master games don't use the exchange variation, I think there's something to be said for more modest rated players to look to play simpler and more open lines like the exchange variation with this and other openings such as the French. This also gets the benefit of the doubled pawns that black gets with the exchange and while masters can easily deal with this, students here aren't playing masters and we don't want to be putting too much stock in the fact that the win differential for masters is a little lower (but still significant) with the exchange. Stockfish also likes 4. Ba4 a little better, +0.44 vs. +0.28 with the exchange, so at the higher levels this seems to involve a tad less advantage but it's also less complex, and especially when we are learning openings, simpler is better. This principle is lost on the vast majority of chess teachers and I was delighted to see that you do get it Robert, and by the way this series might be the best ever created to introduce new players to the game the right way! I'm not new but I've certainly benefited from your teaching already and look forward to watching a lot more!

  24. 4:15 Bxf2 is very dangerous. White has to kill with king and cannot castle anymore. Also, after knight takes knight and pown moves to d4 it is not fork. Right? What do I do in this case.

  25. Very Excited To Learn New Openings From Now😁

  26. I am studying bishop opening and after that I will learn this variation on ruy Lopez too

  27. Mr Ramirez, what do you do when black plays b5 chasing white bishop

  28. I remember before my school chess captain said he love Ruy Lopez thought he was gay

  29. Instead of Qd4 in 5:41, it is not better Qg4? It is attacking the knight and g7. If Qg4, lets say, Bxc3, pawn captures back, and then Nxc3, but you capture g7 pawn. Now rook has to move and the king cannot castle anymore. I know the other option is still good, but this one is not much better?

  30. What can I do against the classical defense, where black plays Bc5 after white plays Bb5? I like this opening but I keep losing to this.

  31. at 4:07 what if the knight went to d5? if the knight on f7t takes than the e4 pawn can take back and threaten the the knight on c6. if the knight retreats than the e5 pawn is undefended and the f3 bishop can take.

  32. My opponents usually go for pawn to b5, how should I continue then?

  33. Your videos are very clear and make a complex issue intelligible. I like the way you build combinations and tactical motifs into you videos. To do so you focus on the essentials and don’t regurgitate established lines.

  34. I love this approach. I needed to diversify my Spanish lines. Thank you!

  35. Hey i have noticed that during the mate in one situation the white king could have also castled long pining the queen to the king and if takes then the right rook takes and checkmate😂

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