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Ruy Lopez (C71)
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 a6 4 Ba4 d6

Number of games in database: 695
Years covered: 1864 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 32.7%
   Black wins 34.1%
   Draws 33.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Dragoljub Janosevic  8 games
Isaac Boleslavsky  7 games
Ludwig Rellstab  7 games
Paul Keres  11 games
George Alan Thomas  10 games
Jacques Mieses  9 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Keres vs Alekhine, 1937
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1895
Boleslavsky vs Fine, 1945
Hort vs Keres, 1961
Lasker vs Steinitz, 1896
E Steiner vs Capablanca, 1929
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 page 1 of 28; games 1-25 of 695  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. V Knorre vs B Suhle 0-1351864Cafe de BelvedereC71 Ruy Lopez
2. J Minckwitz vs Paulsen 1-0311871WSB-09.KongressC71 Ruy Lopez
3. Anderssen vs Paulsen 0-1461871WSB-09.KongressC71 Ruy Lopez
4. E Schmidt vs Shumov  0-1321874MatchC71 Ruy Lopez
5. NN vs A van Foreest  0-1531893DCA Congress 21stC71 Ruy Lopez
6. H W Trenchard vs R Loman  0-1261894MatchC71 Ruy Lopez
7. K Walbrodt vs Janowski  1-06818949th DSB Kongress, LeipzigC71 Ruy Lopez
8. E Hymes vs Steinitz ½-½1918942nd City Chess Club TournamentC71 Ruy Lopez
9. D G Baird vs Steinitz 0-14218942nd City Chess Club TournamentC71 Ruy Lopez
10. Janowski vs J Mieses ½-½561895Janowski - MiesesC71 Ruy Lopez
11. Janowski vs J Mieses 0-1541895Janowski - MiesesC71 Ruy Lopez
12. Janowski vs J Mieses 0-1651895Janowski - MiesesC71 Ruy Lopez
13. Teichmann vs J Mieses  1-0621895Mieses - TeichmannC71 Ruy Lopez
14. Taubenhaus vs J Mieses ½-½491895Mieses - TaubenhausC71 Ruy Lopez
15. Taubenhaus vs J Mieses  1-0551895Mieses - TaubenhausC71 Ruy Lopez
16. Schlechter vs Teichmann ½-½291895HastingsC71 Ruy Lopez
17. J Mason vs J Mieses 1-0471895HastingsC71 Ruy Lopez
18. Albin vs J Mieses 1-0411895HastingsC71 Ruy Lopez
19. Schlechter vs J Mieses ½-½601895HastingsC71 Ruy Lopez
20. Lasker vs Steinitz 1-0321895St. Petersburg 1895/96C71 Ruy Lopez
21. G Marco vs M Weiss  0-1601896Vienna Chess Society Winter 1895/96C71 Ruy Lopez
22. J Schwarz vs Englisch  0-1541896Vienna Chess Society Winter 1895/96C71 Ruy Lopez
23. Lasker vs Blackburne 1-0531896NurembergC71 Ruy Lopez
24. Pillsbury vs K Walbrodt 0-1601896NurembergC71 Ruy Lopez
25. H Jacobs vs H E Atkins  0-1311896Southern Counties Chess Union chC71 Ruy Lopez
 page 1 of 28; games 1-25 of 695  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
May-18-02  BLUEFISCHER: another great game from a great player
Mar-20-03  StevieW: A pretty impressive win percentage for black on a standard opening
Mar-20-03  Plasmatics: I was thinking the same thing, Stevie. I also thought it was much more popular but it seems to have declined in popularity recently.


Premium Chessgames Member
  AgentRgent: I think that's due to the rise of 1. e4 c5 (The Hated Sicilian... ok, only Hated by me I guess.)
Mar-20-03  Marnoff Mirlony: I was also taken by surprise by the percentage of wins by Black and losses by White. Fischer certainly played some strong variations of the Ruy Lopez. The only reason I can see White losing so often is because the players don't know the Opening well enough. It takes preparation to do the damage to players that Fischer did.
Mar-20-03  Sarimanok: Why do some players master this opening? Is it true that mastering this opening a player could master chess?
Mar-24-03  StevieW: I've just had a look at the stats for this opening and the reason why it is so how for black is that the best white options (0-0 and c3 and Bxc6) are covered in C72 to C76. therefore white must be doing somehting a bit odd to get a C71.

White scores highly in C72 to C76 variations!

Feb-12-04  refutor: why is the modern steinitz considered significantly better than the normal steinitz? is the ability to kick the bishop off the diagonal with ...b5 that valuable?
Feb-12-04  BiLL RobeRTiE: indeed it is: with the possibility of the pin being broken, white cannot really play d4 without c3 against the modern steinitz. in the old steinitz, he can, and black has to capture on d4, leading to a crap game.
Oct-20-05  AlexanderMorphy: i think that this is better than the steinz defense, i think that a d6 straight after Bb5 gives white the advantage!
Oct-29-05  melianis: Funny... looking at the games, 5. h3 or 6.h3 seems to be a reasonable alternative if one wants to play an offbeat modern Stenitz.
Oct-29-05  Averageguy: <melianis> h3 Is usually played to stop the bishop pin with Bg4. In the steinitz or modern steinitz, the bishop will almost always go to d7, so h3 seems to me like a lost tempo. Plus, it gives black something ot aim at if he wants to try a kingside attack.
Dec-04-05  Damodude: I'm still trying to work out the principles of this opening so maybe someone can help me with this question: Why the move order 8 c3 0-0 9 h3? I can understand the purpose of each of white's moves, but not the order. ie. what prevents black from putting the pin on the f3 knight with 8...g4 instead of castling? If anyone feels gracious enough to explain this to me... ( ;
Dec-04-05  euripides: <dam> if 8...Bg4 White can play d3 and exploit the position of the bishop: Short vs Karpov, 1989. The pin is thought to be effective only after d4. However, a different move order was normal earlier in the twentieth century.
Dec-04-05  Damodude: right, you need to play h3 to allow the d4 push. And, following 8 ..Bg4, 9 d3 makes room for Nd2, Nf1, Ne3, having a pop at the g4 bishop. Makes sense - thanks.
May-31-06  Jilted Rook: If in response to 4...d6 white responds 5.h3 we have the following position:-

click for larger view

Now the best move for Black is 5...Nf6 hitting the pawn on e4. Note that now if White castles Black will simply be up a pawn. If White defends the pawn with 6.Nc3 he can no longer support his centre with c3 anytime soon. He is thus left with 6.d3 abandoning all hope of playing d4 in one move.

Therefore when White responds to the Modern Steinitz with 5.h3?! he is effectively allowing Black to enter a standard Closed Ruy Lopez a tempo up.

Dec-21-06  BaranDuin: How about the Worral-like move Qe2?
Sep-25-07  ongyj: A friendly game I played recently. Would anyone care to comment?

White(Me) VS Black (My friend)
1.e4 e5
2.Nf3 Nc6
3.Bb5 a6
4.Ba4 d6
5.c4 Bg4 [I prefer all c4s than c3s in Ruy Lopez, discouraging Black to play a quick ...b5 and/or d5 counterplay. The cost of the d4 square is justified to me.]

6.h3 Bd7 [The alternative mainline I know is ...Bxf3, with sharp play.]

7.d4 exd4
8.Nxd4 Ne5!? [Never saw it coming :(]

9.Bb3 g6 [Anxious to keep the pieces on the board to avoid 'easy draw' for Black]

10.Nc3 h5 [How can white still 0-0 ? Anyway, I didn't castle short early in case my King is 'trapped' on 1 side.]

11.Be3 Bh6 [Oh no another forced trade!]

12.Qd2 a5 [A struggle between d2 or e2, both looks fine to me. But I figured that upon ...Bxe3 it won't matter.]

13.a3 Qe7 ?! [Only fear relieved. I was cautious against f4 in fear of ...Qh4+ but now 14.Nd4 supports it.]

14. Nd5 Bxe3
15.Qxe3 Qd8
16.f4 Nc6
17.Nb5 Rc8
18.Qc3 Rh7
19.0-0-0 Nce7
20.Qxa5 Nxd5
21.exd5 f5
22.Rhe1+ Re7
23.Rxe7 Kxe7
24.Kb1 Kf7
25.c5 b6
26.cxb6 Bxb5
27.b7 Resign.

It seems that I'd played a very cautious game. Where could I have improved my game, with more direct kills? What are other mistakes on White or Blacks part that I hadn't noted? Thanks in advance for all critisms.

Oct-24-13  Kikoman: <Opening of the Day>

Ruy Lopez, Modern Steinitz Defence
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6

click for larger view

Opening Explorer

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