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  • Writer's pictureChess Club

10/26/2020 Monday Night Chess Club in Snowmass Base Village

"Strategy without tactic is the slowest route to victory. Tactic without Strategy is the noise before defead." /Sun Tzu/

Flashback: Best Chess Opening Moves

1. Best Chess Opening Moves for White: 1.e4, 1.d4, 1.c4 and 1.Nf3

2. Best Chess responses after 1.e4:

a. Spanish Opening (Ruy Lopez)

b. Italian Opening (Guoco Piano)

c. Sicilian Defense

d. French Defense

e. Caro Kann

Best Chess Opening Moves

3. Best Chess responses after 1. d4:

a. Queen’s Gambit

b. King’s Indian

c. Slav Defense

d. Grunfeld Defense

e. Nimzo-Indian Defense.

4. Best Chess responses after 1.c4:

a. English Opening

5. Best Chess responses after 1.Nf3:

a. Reti Opening

Bad Chess Opening Moves

1. Worst Chess opening move: 1.g4

a. Black’s reply: 1….d5!

2. 1. f3 – weakening King’s position without any useful action in the center.

3. Na3 or Nh3 – “A knight on the rim is dim”. Causes White to lose a tempo, Black controls the center and threatens doubled pawns on a and h files.


1.Memorize the principles of the opening:

a.Rule 1: Develop Your Pieces! – Develop means “to build and create”.

b.Rule 2: Develop Your Pieces! – Develop your “minor” pieces (Knights and Bishops) first.

c.Rule 3: To Develop or Not Develop Your Pieces? DEVELOP!!! – Center Development.

d.Rule 4: Don’t Move a Piece Twice Before Move 10!

e.Rule 5: Don’t Bring Your Queen Out Early! – Develop your minor pieces first.

f.Rule 6: Castle Your King (Before Move 10)! – Most efficient way to put your King into safety.

g.Rule 7: Attack (Develop) Towards the Center! – Don’t make passive development moves.

h. Rule 8: Connect the Rooks! – 1) Develop your minor pieces; 2) Castle; 3) Bring the Queen out to a more active and safe square.

i.Rule 9: Develop Plans, Not Just Pieces! – always develop a piece with a purpose.

j. Rule 10: Attack “In the Direction” of Your Pawn(s) Structure!

LESSON OF THE DAY: Ruy Lopez (Spanish Opening) Variations

Also called the "Spanish Game", the Ruy Lopez is one of the most popular openings in chess. White's 3.Bb5 move puts pressure on the knight which is guarding the center, while developing rapidly. The opening is named after the sixteenth-century Spanish priest Ruy Lopez de Segura.


Leads to very complex and multifaceted play

Tends to give White long-term pressure

White develops rapidly and castles quickly


Some lines are very theoretical

Black has a huge number of defenses to choose from

Sometimes Black gets a chance to later attack the light-squared bishop

Variations of the Ruy Lopez Opening:

Ruy Lopez (Spanish Opening) – Marshall Attack

1.e4 e5

2.Nf3 Nc6

3.Bb5 a6

4.Ba4 Nf6

5.0-0 Be7

6.Re1 b5

7.Bb3 0-0

8.c3 Preparing for the Marshall attack


A)8. a4 (Kasparov) then 9. axb5

B)8. h3 d6 9. c3 (Closed Ruy Lopez)

8. … d5! (Marshall Attack)

Sacrificing a pawn in return for kingside attack

9. exd5 Nxd5

10. Nxe5 Nxe5

11. Rxe5 c6

Black wants to move pieces to the kingside and checkmate, White is defending.

Immortal Chess Game

Jose Raul Capablanca vs Frank Marshall

“Novelty Gift” New York (1918), NY USA

Spanish Game Marshall Attack, Original Variation

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