It’s major news when a legendary player reveals his opening secrets. And when he has rarely written about his games or preparation methods, and was famous for meticulous, ahead-of-his-time opening analysis, it makes it a true publishing event.
Yet that is what eight-time world championship candidate Lajos Portisch has done. In this book, he opens his extensive opening files and presents the most important games and unused novelties in the Ruy Lopez (or Spanish Game). He also explains the strategies and ideas behind these lines, and places the key games in their historical settings. Anecdotes abound, as do reflections on his key rivals, including Fischer, Karpov, Tal, Larsen, Spassky and Timman.
This is also a thoroughly modern work. As well as drawing upon games from his own long career, Portisch includes important Ruy Lopez games by modern champions, including Anand and Carlsen, describing them from his own unique perspective. All analysis has been computer-verified, with Portisch’s hand-made variations standing up to scrutiny in most cases, but with the computer adding new and surprising twists. Thus we see how human creativity can remain a vital component in modern preparation.
The Ruy Lopez chess opening has long been seen as white's best chance for an advantage after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6. Many top players and coaches believe your improvement as a chess player depends on your understanding of the Ruy Lopez chess opening.
The Ruy Lopez teaches you a lot about the classical principles of the chess opening, and the Closed Variation, with 9 h3, will deepen your understanding of chess. No matter which side of the Ruy Lopez you find yourself on, you will learn much about chess.
Of course, an opening with as much history as the Ruy Lopez will have acquired a large amount of theory. Do not let this stop you from playing one of the most respected chess openings, but take your time and enjoy every small step towards mastering the opening.
June 22, 2022
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