Ruy Lopez by the fire
By William T. Harvey   
June 21, 2006
Chess set Aluminum and Anodized Gold, created by Kurt Grohs

This puzzle series is aimed to acquaint you with typical tactics in the Ruy Lopez. If you don't play the Ruy, you'll still find the exercise useful for general tactical training. They're all from real Ruy games, and there are some recurring patterns. Notice how frequently the light squared Bishop plays a leading role in the tactical death of white. This should give you an idea of why it's uncommon for white to give up this bishop, even when it seems that it's not doing much. (problems 1,3,6,11 +16)

Watch how black often punishes white for slow development. Despite being the most popular opening against 1.e4 e5, many of the main lines of the Ruy, and not just the Marshall gambit, give black a temporary lead in development.
(Problems 10,14 -15 and 19)

The 18th problem is an opening trap first executed by Paul Keres that arises from a line in the Steinitz Deferred: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 d6 5.d4 ed4 6. Nd4?? Nxd4 7. Qxd4...

When you're done solving, click here for solutions

1. White to Move

Henk Schouten-Frank Denys
Huy 1992
Bird Opening

2. Black to Move


3. White to Move

Kliavinish, Y-Zhuraliov, V.
URS 1968

4. White to Move

Bobotsov, M-Olafsson,F.
Lyons 1955
Exchange Variation

5. Black to Move

Parnenzini,P- Fernandez, J.
Corr. 1992
Center Game

6. White to Move

Martin Vaculik- Stanislav Galicek
Svetla nad Savnou,1994

7. Black to Move

Seville, 1922
Steinitz Deferred

8. White to Move

Berlin 1923,
Open Ruy Lopez

9. White to Move

Sioux Falls, 1998
Open Ruy Lopez Howell Variation

10. Black to Move

Eastpointe, 1994
Worall Attack

11. White to Move

Zatisev, Igor-Vornokov,B.
Moscow, 1966
Closed Ruy-Zaitsev Variation

12. White to Move

Zagreb, 1970
Closed Ruy-Smyslov Variation

13. White to Move

Leningrad, 1956
Closed Ruy-Chigorin Defense

14. Black to Move

Frohnleiten, 1999
Closed Ruy-Breyer

15. Black to Move

Rodriguez,A- Rodriguez,E.
Uruguay 1986
Bird Opening

16. White to Move

Harkany, 1994
Bird Opening

17. White to Move

A Ynigo-D.Levine
Philadelphia, 1995
Bird Opening

18. Black to Move

Moscow, 1956
Modern Steinitz

19. Black to Move

Kostiukchenko-Levin, M.
Kiev, 1958
Marshall Gambit

20. White to Move