Portuguese Opening

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Portuguese Opening
a b c d e f g h
a8 black rook
b8 black knight
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black king
f8 black bishop
g8 black knight
h8 black rook
a7 black pawn
b7 black pawn
c7 black pawn
d7 black pawn
f7 black pawn
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
b5 white bishop
e5 black pawn
e4 white pawn
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white pawn
d2 white pawn
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
a1 white rook
b1 white knight
c1 white bishop
d1 white queen
e1 white king
g1 white knight
h1 white rook
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
Moves 1.e4 e5 2.Bb5
Parent Open Game

The Portuguese Opening is a chess opening that begins with the moves:

1. e4 e5
2. Bb5

The Portuguese is an uncommon opening. In contrast to the Ruy Lopez (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5), by delaying Nf3, White leaves the f-pawn free to move and retains the possibility of playing f2–f4. The trade-off is that White's lack of pressure on e5 leaves Black with a freer hand.


If Black replies 2...Nf6, White can try a gambit with 3.d4. Another Black reply is 2...Nc6, possibly anticipating White will transpose into the Ruy Lopez with 3.Nf3, but a more popular try is to kick White's bishop with 2...c6. The game might continue 3.Ba4 Nf6 and now White can play 4.Nc3 or 4.Qe2.

Graham Burgess remarks that it looks like a Ruy Lopez where White has forgotten to play 2.Nf3. However, the Portuguese is not as bad or nonsensical as it first appears, and Black should proceed carefully.

See also[edit]


  • Burgess, Graham (2000). The Mammoth Book of Chess. Carroll & Graf. ISBN 0-7867-0725-9. 

External links[edit]