Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Italian or Spanish?

That is the question...

I grew up playing the White side of the Ruy Lopez at every opportunity.  Loved it.  Didn't know too much theory, but as a 1300 player who's really expected to know that much theory?!

Then about a year and a half ago I switched to the Italian game.  The results were actually not too bad..

Fast forward to about six months ago when I started playing the Ruy Lopez again.  Have only had one opportunity to play it and I won the game handily.

But now...well, quandary time.  My coach thinks that I'll do really well with it.  Also, certainly less theory. 

So why do I feel so conflicted?  Perhaps because I have to learn some Two Knights theory as well?  I don't know.  I just know that I only feel 75% sure about this decision.  And come on, it's just an opening.  Theoretically the choice of openings shouldn't make a difference at this level, although how can it hurt to play the same opening as a strong master who you're taking lessons from who can really teach the ideas behind it.

Perhaps this type of silly inner conflict is part of what holds people back in chess sometimes.

Stay tuned for which opening Chris chooses...film at eleven...


  1. I played the Italian for a while. I played the slo-mo d3, c3 stuff and scored poorly with it. Black has many solid responses and I lacked the positional understanding to obtain an advantage against slow play. I found black's more aggressive setups much easier to counter. In spite of this, I might go back. It's very similar to a closed ruy, but with a fraction of the theoretical baggage. What line do you intend for Bc5? I do like the Ng5 lines against the 2N, but they makes for a weird, inconsistent repertoire.

  2. I also go for the c3, d3 slow play stuff. Although I enjoy wild attacking chess at times, the truth is that I'm always happy with the initiative, even if it's more of a slow burning buildup sort of position.

    Sometimes I look at the d4 stuff, but it's not so much my style.

    I need to study the Ng5 stuff. I watched IM Trent's dvd on the Two Knights and enjoyed it, but didn't really learn it.

  3. I prefer the Ruy and the positional jockeying.

  4. There are a couple of lines in the Ruy Lopez that I don't much care to face. Particularly the Schliemann and the Bird. They are extremely rare, but they are somewhat annoying even if they are objectively weaker than the main lines.

    But I love the main lines that I play in the Ruy. Also, I realized that I have played the Ruy twice since January. I won both games in 17 moves.