Board Settings

Introduction to the Chess Openings: The Italian Game

This simple scheme of development leads to a complex of systems that form one of the oldest chess openings, the Italian Game. Perhaps because it is straightforward and logical - both sides quickly develop their pieces to good squares - it has always been popular with beginners and novices. Although traditionally considered inferior to the Ruy Lopez as a way for White to press for an advantage after 1.e4 e5, it still contains the potential for rich middlegames full of strategic and tactical subtleties, and has still had its grandmaster adherents. It may be due for a revival at the highest level, as top grandmasters looking to avoid the Berlin defence in the Ruy Lopez may turn to the Giuoco Pianissimo to outplay their opponents in the slow manoeuvring games that can develop, and the opening has recently featured in the 2016 World Championship match between Magnus Carlsen and Sergei Karjakin.

After the initial moves, the Italian game can develop into three main branches:

The Giuoco Piano

Here are some example games played by grandmasters, which illustrate how the game can proceed.

Socko vs Brunello, Italian Championship, Civitanova Marche 2015

Warakomski vs Bartel, Polish Championship, Karpacz 2008

The Evans Gambit

Here are some example games that show how sharp and tactical games in the Evans Gambit can be

Morozevich vs Adams, Wijk aan Zee 2001

Anderssen vs Dufresne, "The Evergreen Game", Berlin 1852

The Two Knights Defence

Here are some grandmaster games that show how play in the Two Knights Defence can unfold.

Ciocaltea vs Nezhmetdinov, Bucharest 1954

Kasparov vs Timman, Moscow 1994

© 2015 Chess Strategy Online | Useful Chess Resources