“If you want to become a better chess player, learn the Ruy Lopez opening.” Those words of wisdom were given to me by one of my first coaches when I was a sevenyear-old kid in Vietnam. As I made my way into the world’s top forty, I have realized that my coach’s statement could not be more accurate. Throughout my professional career of more than 20 years competing in strong tournaments all over the world, the Ruy Lopez has appeared countless times in my practice with both colors. The main challenge in studying this fascinating opening, in my humble opinion, is to dissect the vast amount of options and absorb the most relevant information for your game. In the absence of an experienced coach who can guide you through those steps, a chess player may spend weeks studying the Ruy Lopez, yet he or she may not fully understand the strategic ideas behind long variations.
That challenge is now solved by Grand Master Dariusz Swiercz with the book you have just opened. I have known Dariusz for several years since we both immigrated to the United States. As colleagues and friends, I have become acquainted with his high-quality chess preparation. His opening ideas, always backed up by thorough analysis with trusted engines, are original and sound. Dariusz has used that principled approach to cover all variations of the Ruy Lopez. His dedication to providing you a quality guidance has been very impressive in this book. He does not shy away from complications or from sharing his own novelties. In critical positions, he explains very well the ideas and plans for both sides, which should help you gain a deeper understanding of the system beyond memorization of the moves. The Ruy Lopez is such a classic opening that never gets old. Regardless of what you already knew about this opening, there are always new ideas to be found and tested over the board. That is why this book is beneficial to chess players and enthusiasts at all levels, including top Grand Masters like myself. Reading the first volume of this book has been inspiring, as I feel that I have broadened my chess knowledge in certain variations. I am eagerly waiting to try Dariusz’s solid recommendations in my future games, and I look forward to the second volume of his series. Overall, I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the Ruy Lopez.
Le Quang Liem
Grand Master, former World Blitz Champion
Saint Louis, August 2020