Ruy Lopez Masterpiece

by Milica Knezevic on January 14, 2022

The Chess Game: Ruy Lopez - G. L. Di Bona, 1560 Rome

  • Ruy Lopez de Segura vs Giovanni Leonardo Di Bona da Cutri Rome (1560) · 1-0
  • Both he and Ruy Lopez were young men at the time of this game in 1560.
  • The game shows a mastery of chess and is extremely fun and interesting to watch and study.
  • When observing the game we see that Ruy Lopez, funny enough, didn't use the Spanish Game Opening because Ruy Lopez didn't know Ruy Loez existed at the time, instead the game started with the Damiano's Gambit as a choice.

About Ruy Lopez

  • Ruy López de Segura, (flourished 1560), Spanish priest, first modern Chess writer and analyst, and developer (though not inventor) of the Ruy López opening, which is still one of the most popular in Chess.
  • It begins with these moves: (1) P-K4, P-K4; (2) Nt-KB3, Nt-QB3; (3) B-N5.
  • López came from Zafra in Estremadura and became a favourite of King Philip II, who presented him with a gold Rook on a chain to be worn around his neck.
  • He travelled to Italy in 1560 and 1573, defeating all players, but lost to Leonardo da Cutre of Italy in Spain in 1575.
Ruy Lopez

The Spanish Game: Ruy Lopez Opening

  • White moves his King’s Pawn two squares
  • Black moves his King’s pawn two squares forward
  • White then attacks blacks pawn by placing the Knight on f3
  • Black then defends this pawn with his Queenside Knight
  • White then attacks this Knight with his bishop

Using standard chess notation, this is:

1. e4 e5

2. Nf3 Nc6

3. Bb5

What About Giovanni?

  • Giovanni Leonardo was born in Cutro, Calabria.
  • He studied law in Rome.
  • In 1560, he lost a match to Ruy Lopez in Rome.
  • In 1566–1572, he travelled and played chess in Rome, Genoa, Marseille, Barcelona.
  • Giovanni Leonardo di Bona won the first known international master tournament in the history of chess in Madrid in 1575, therefore becoming the strongest chess master of the time.
  • After he won with Ruy Lopez in Spain, he asked for his town Cutro to be exonerated of taxes and called Cutro "City of Chess", where every year this event is remembered in a traditional day in August.
Ruy Lopez And Giovanni Leonardo
  • After hearing a bit about the man who has a chess opening named after him we can't help but wonder about all of the other options out there.
  • After finishing reading about Ruy Lopez head over to our shop and check out other resources for extending and enriching your chess knowledge!
  • So far we know that there are three parts of a game, an opening, a middlegame and an endgame. As you go through this match in particular pay close attention to the moves, remember them and think of alternatives.

Ruy Lopez Book

  • In 1560 Ruy López visited Rome and saw Damiano's book.
  • He disliked it and decided to write a better one. López's book contains general chess advice, rules of the game, and a discussion of the origin of the game. It also recommends some chess openings, and criticizes Damiano's games and analysis. The book was translated to Italian in 1584 and to French in the 17th century.
  • The book consists of four parts.
  • López introduces the word gambit and gives some openings that had not been previously published: the King's Gambit, some variations of the Bishop's Opening, and what is now known as the Steinitz Defense in the Ruy Lopez. The last two parts of the book are critical of the games of Damiano. After the moves 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3, Damiano thought that 2...Nc6 was Black's best move. López considered that inferior because of 3.Bb5.
  • This opening is now known as the Ruy Lopez, although he did not invent it.
Ruy Lopez Book

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