The Ruy Lopez is a more aggressive opening than the
Italian Game. This opening is more agressive
3. Bb5 applies pressure to
Nc6, which in turn applies pressure to
e5 pawn (because
Nc6 is defending
After this position, black’s best move is to play
4. a6 to apply pressure to
white’s bishop. This is known as the Morphy Defense.
After the opener, white can either play
4. Ba4 or
4. Ba4keeps applying pressure to
Nc6as it originally intended to. This is known as the Columbus Variation.
4. Bc4redirects that pressure back into the Italian Game.
4. Bxc6, known as the Exchange Variation, is probably a bad idea. It
welcomes black to play
4. dxc6. This will either invite black to play
5. Bg4, or if white plays
5. Nxe5, black then plays
5. Qd4. White is
guaranteed to lose some material here if black chooses to do so.