Thursday, June 11, 2009

Book Review: Play The Ruy Lopez

Hello everyone!

I have been reading and evaluating this book for quite a while now and have come to the conclusion that this is the most complete and satisfying opening repertoire guide I have come across.

Andrew Greet has made in this book one of the most comprehensive and accessible manual to play the Ruy Lopez.

One of the most interesting features of the book is that he has used a subvariation as his "mainline". the move 5.Qe2 also known as the Worral System is his remedy to the maddening theory of the Spanish game.

At first I was skeptical since it ins't all that common. But after a look through Mega Database 2009 it has become quite popular in the last few years with GMs. the foreword is written by GM Nigel Short, in which he gives edification to Greet as well as the Worral. Showing how he used the system and similar lines to beat Karpov in a bigtime match. Not going to the extreme to say that it was the lines which were strong, but that they were solid and that the impression they made lead to mistakes by Karpov.

The most amazing thing about this book is the devotion to early alternatives. Anyone whom has ever purchased an openings book has come across the often spotty coverage of alternative lines. Greet gives us 120 pages of "third move alternatives for black"!! Then another 65 pages for fourth move alternatives!!With a solid 120 pages dedicated to the so-called mainlines.

This is an excellent resource for those wanting to play the Ruy Lopez and looking for preparation and improvement in many different lines of this opening.

What I was especially impressed with was his seemingly unbiased point of view even though this is obviously from White's point of view. Giving much respect to sublines like the Cozio and the Bird.

An interesting example of Greet's creative ideas and breakage with typical Lopez recommendations is his recommendations against the "Classical Variation" 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 Bc5 the recommendation of 4.Nxe5!? is interesting and not at all bad, although not very well tested. After the best reply 4...Nxe5 5.d4 leads to complications which will be interesting for White, especially if he has preparation on the unfavorable replies.

Overall I think this book is well-written and the ideas are easy to understand. there is a mountain of information and variations but I didn't feel overwhelmed and, in fact quite enjoyed going through the lines. In conclusion I feel like this book can prepare anyone to play the Ruy Lopez and give in a 5/5 rating for a fantastic chess book!


  1. I completely agree. It is my favorite opening book. I sang it's praise here. That feels like so long ago I was playing the Ruy.

  2. Crap. I sang its praise, not "it's" praise.

    A thousand lashes I deserve for that. Next thing you know I'll be talking about loosing my mind. Must be all the Eastern European ICC banter I've been reading.

  3. We seem to have similar thoughts on that book. I will be posting some more brief reviews as well.