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Ruy Lopez de Segura
Ruy Lopez 
Cambodian postage stamp commemorating Ruy Lopez.     
Number of games in database: 4
Years covered: 1560 to 1575
Overall record: +2 -2 =0 (50.0%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games.

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(born 1530, died 1580, 50 years old) Spain

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Ruy Lopez de Segura, born circa 1530, was the leading Spanish player of his day. He was a priest from Zafra in Estremadura and chess made him famous in the court of Phillip the Second. In 1560 on ecclesiastical business he visited Rome and whilst there he defeated all the strongest Italian players including Giovanni Leonardo Di Bona da Cutri. He read Damiano's book and decided to write his own which was published soon after his return to Spain. In 1574-75 Leonardo da Cutri and Paolo Boi visited Madrid and both defeated him in match play in the presence of King Felipe II. He passed away circa 1580.

Wikipedia article: Ruy López de Segura

Last updated: 2023-08-07 14:15:00

 page 1 of 1; 4 games  PGN Download 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Ruy Lopez vs G da Cutri 1-091560RomeC20 King's Pawn Game
2. Ruy Lopez vs G da Cutri 1-0121560Papal States ExhibitionC30 King's Gambit Declined
3. G da Cutri vs Ruy Lopez 1-0101575Leonardo vs. Ruy LopezC41 Philidor Defense
4. G da Cutri vs Ruy Lopez 1-0101575Leonardo vs. Ruy LopezC53 Giuoco Piano
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Ruy Lopez wins | Ruy Lopez loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
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Feb-03-06  McCool: Why aren't there more Ruy Lopez games, this guy was great!
Feb-24-07  SirBruce: Ercole Del Rio, the 18th century Italian chess writer, didn't have very high praise for Ruy Lopez:

"This writer [Ruy Lopez] made but little progress after Damiano; he, also, having few openings, and these so inconclusive and defective, that the Student can learn very little from them. He was a barren genius, and entirely deprived of that enthusaism whish is so necessary, particularly in the attacks."

Feb-25-07  vonKrolock: <SirBruce> That's a very interesting quote, and one that should be better known... Do You known if it's in Ercole's "Sopra il Giuoco degli Scacchi" (1750), or elsewhere?!
Feb-25-07  SirBruce: It's from "The Incomparable Game of Chess" originally published, according to J.S. Bingham's translation, in 1769. Chapter 5 has a section where he discusses his opinion of previous writers of the game: Damiano, Ruy Lopez, Greco, etc.
Feb-26-07  dw98: Damiano analyzed a poor opening and rightfully condemned it, but it was named after him anyway - See Ruy Lopez vs Leonardo di Bona, Rome. I read that Senior Lopez gave advice such as to place the board such that the light shines in your opponents eyes. Anyway, I think the opening named after him is quintessential chess.
Feb-26-07  SirBruce: Yes, and the Greco Defence is not one that seems to have ever been played by Greco, but rather illustrative of his opponents' tendancies of bringing the Queen out too early.
Feb-26-07  SirBruce: Anyway, your point may have been that Del Rio's first sentence referred simply to the openings Ruy Lopez wrote about, and that may be so, but the second sentence seems to clearly refer to the man himself.
Sep-13-07  greenrook: Does anyone know how "Ruy" should be pronounced?

I have heard people speak it as Roy/Rye/Roo-ee but have never been sure.

Premium Chessgames Member
  An Englishman: Good Evening: <greenrook>, I have bad news for you. I was taught a fourth pronunciation which is the hardest of them all--for lack of a better idea, I'll spell it "Rwooee," and pronounced with only one syllable. If that's possible.
Sep-19-07  elLocoEvans: It's quite easy, it goes something like "Rooeeh Lohpeth deh Segoorah" , one syllable as said above, a short name.
Oct-22-08  vikinx: walalallalla I'm getting my tounge twisted up!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Fusilli: <<elLocoEvans> it goes something like "Rooeeh Lohpeth deh Segoorah"> Correct if you want the Spanish-Spanish pronunciation. Most Spanish speakers in the world (who aren't Spanish, just like most English speakers are not English) would not pronounce the last letter in Lopez as "th" (the Spanish sound) but simply as "s". When it comes to Ruy Lopez, I believe the most common pronunciation mistake is the wrong stress on the "pez" part of "Lopez". Stress should be put on the "Lo" part. In fact, "Lopez" is actually spelled "L√≥pez", and that's what the "acento" is indicating: stress on "Lo", not on "pez".

Apr-10-09  Dredge Rivers: They should name an opening after him!
Oct-30-09  Petrosianic: <ruylopez900> <Ruy Lopez analyzed the opening (aka the Spanish) an gave it a positive grade. Do you really think it would be named after him if he had scorned it and laughed at it?>

Yeah, it just might. That's pretty much how Damiano's name got onto Damiano's Defense.

Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: I heard that Ruy Lopez had an encyclopedic knowledge of the openings. Of course there was only one opening then.
Dec-15-13  EGarrett: Best thing is that he was literally a Bishop.
Dec-30-14  john barleycorn: Ruy Lopez never played the Ruy Lopez according to this database. In fact, he used it as an example for bad play. Steinitz followed him in that assessment.
Feb-24-17  zanzibar: Il Puttino vs Ruy Lopez

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: He would only need a few days to get up to date on opening theory and within a few weeks he would be World Champion again!

Chess really is that easy!

Nov-13-17  Tal1949: Four games and not one Spanish opening from him. Oh dear...At the very least name an opening after somebody who plays it!
Jul-03-20  thegoodanarchist: I used to have a chess playing friend who called him Roy Lopez.

I wonder if comedian/actor George Lopez can play chess?

Nov-08-20  just some NN: Ruy Lopez did analyze the "Ruy Lopez", and gave a line showing white was better after 1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5. This is from Sarratt 1813, p.154, which is a translation of Lopez' own words.

I don't know where all this talk about "Ruy Lopez didn't play the Ruy Lopez because he thought it was bad" is coming from. It's not true.

Jan-01-21  mmmjv: Did Ruy Lopez ever play the Ruy Lopez?
Premium Chessgames Member
  moronovich: Or did the Queen ever play the Queens Gambit ?
Aug-07-23  generror: <just some NN> Indeed, on p.154, Sarratt says:

<"Lopez observes that this Game is a proof that defending the King's Pawn with the Queen's Knight is not a good move.">

So Lopez apparently thought that after <1.e4 e5 2.Nf3>, <2...Nc6> was a bad move, and one may infer that he gives <3.Bb5> as an example why. But if you look at the variations he gives, it's not so clear: Of the ten variations ("games") he gives for the Spanish, seven are clearly better for Black. And of the three Italian variations he gives, all of them are better for Black.

However, same goes for other Black defenses to <2.Nf3>, i.e. his Philidor and Russian Game variations -- all of them are good for Black.

All in all, Lopez' selection gives the strong impression that he mainly didn't think much of <2.Nf3> after <1.e4 e5> (he doesn't cover any other opening moves in his book). He seemed to have much preferred the King's Gambit and the Bishop's Opening, where his variations are overwhelmingly positive for White.

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