The Ruy Lopez, considered the most common of the chess openings, begins with both black and white kings' pawns advancing. Then white brings out the king's knight which puts pressure on black's advanced king pawn. Black brings out the queen's knight to defend its pawn. What makes this a Ruy Lopez is that white brings out the king's bishop to attack the black knight. The contested square in this is the black's king's pawn (e5). With this opening white has pressure on e5 from the king's knight and a pin on the black knight that is defending the square from the king's bishop. It is also known as the Spanish Torture. This is widely viewed as the most powerful of the openings for white and is the most studied of all the openings, some books will say the Ruy Lopez has been studied more than all other openings combined. It's definitely a nice way to use white's one free tempo to slowly strangle black.

The battle for the center begins.

Here is the notation:

1. e4-e5
2. Nf3-Nc6
3. Bb5

see also Morphy's Defense, The Worrall Attack, The Ruy Lopez Exchange Variation and The Noah's Ark trap

chess openings
endgames in chess