Italian Game | Opening Basics and Common Variations

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The Italian Game (often referred to as the Giuoco Piano) is one of the oldest, most popular, most useful and most heavily analyzed openings in all of chess.

In this introductory video, I will try and go through all the main variations which could branch out of the opening, as well as explain the key ideas for both sides – the weak squares, attacking plans and strategical ideas.

The Italian branches out into two main openings – the Giuoco Piano and the Two Knights Defense (3…Bc5 or 3…Nf6). They are completely different and lead to different middlegame positions.

The Bc5 line often results in more solid, positional games (thus the name “Giuoco Piano”, the italian phrase meaning “a slow game). The main line, with white continuing with 4.c3, is one of the most complicated and fun variations to play for white against the king’s pawn. It involves strategical thinking, tactical prowess and positional mastery all in one, and playing it will definitely sharpen your chess senses.

The Nf6 line, on the other hand, leads to some of the most notorious openings in chess, such as the infamous Fried Liver Attack or the Traxler. The main lines, however, albeit not as sharp as the aforementioned variations, still lead to much more exciting games than the ones that evolve out of the Giuoco Piano.

All in all, the Italian is one of the most popular chess openings for a very good reason.

In the following videos in the series I am going to go through each separate variation in depth, covering all the key lines for each. The series is going to be 8 videos long and it will include the following variations:

1. Giuoco Pianissimo
2. Giuoco Piano
3. Two Knights Defense – Knight Attack
4. Two Knights Defense – Modern Bishop Opening
5. Fried Liver Attack
6. Evans Gambit
7. Deutz Gambit
8. Hungarian Defense

#chess #italiangame #giuocopiano


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31 thoughts on “Italian Game | Opening Basics and Common Variations

  1. Stepank we waiting for your English opening…..can’t watch else where,it must b here…..

  2. You're forgeting to move the d2 pawn because when night goes on g5 he can be taken by black Queen

  3. You are a great person. Stjepan. You are teaching us a lot of openings for free instead of charging us money!

  4. Wow….super brother….i got very much knowledge on chess openings by this video…tq a lot….post many videos….mainly how to crush the black with fried liver attack..its my favorite

  5. Stepan, I learned to play basic chess about two years ago. Until three months ago I was stuck at 900 points on Then I found your channel, subscribed to it and I’m now at 1.100 points. This is all because of your lessons. Thanks!!

  6. How I develop my opening reportoire

    I like 1e4

    What should I play against

    1e4 1d4 1c4 1Nf3

    My rating about 1100

    Plz make one video on this topic

    Developing opening reportoire as a chess beginner


    Good luck stejpan

  7. You have the best opening theory videos on youtube, before you i used to watch the saint louis chess club videos with GM Ben Finegold and the like, which dont get me wrong are excellent videos but alas are not directed at an online audience but rather a live one. Your format is clear and concise and you know your theory well. Thank you.

  8. And what about the Max Lange attack ? I often have to slow down the vid cause your moves are sometimes too fast. Remember that you know all this stuff but you have to move your pieces relatively slow when teaching us.

  9. 1. control the centre
    2. following the principles
    3. safety king by castling
    4. initiative and built ability or senses to attack..attack..and always attacks.
    5. dont memorize repertoire and opening. always learn new game and practising online or real chess game
    6. knowing by heart . checkmate pattern and basic endgame..and basic of the pieces activity.

    nb. italian game is my favourite opening as white.
    and as black i choose blackburne schiling gambit or nimzowitsch defense.😀😎

  10. luv his easy-to-follow explanations… they help immensely! but i worry about (10:22) "you can study this position for 100 years and still not get it right." Waaaaaaaa (sniff, sniff)

  11. well this was fun . . .
    it's nice to see someone enjoy what he is doing. i never cared much for the Italian Game and i dont kno why? but that was then and this is now… in 20 minutes i have come to luv it. Thanks Hanging Pawn guy!

  12. Hello Stjepan…Thank you for creating a solid foundation of chess on youtube…your videos and your lectures are so nice…Thank you once again and I proudly join with your journey to become a Grand Master:)

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