Irk ’em with the Italian

The Italian Game with 3.Bc4 (after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6) does not have to be played with the same maniacal intent that we saw with my posts on the Evans and Fegatello. Instead he can just play 3…Nf6 4.d3 or 3…Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 with a similar structure to those you get in the Ruy Lopez.

In some ways it’s more practical to play 3.Bc4 than the Ruy Lopez as it avoids some of the sharp lines such as 3.Bb5 f5!?. Perhaps an even more practical approach is to play 2.Bc4 as then you don’t have the Petroff (2.Nf3 Nf6) to deal with.

Here’s a nice game with the Italian by one of the all-time greats, Garry Kasparov. Black gave his opponent a helping hand on the kingside by inviting 10.Nf1 and then 11.g4 with a gain of time, though this then provided a clear illustration of this theme:

Nigel Davies

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Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster and FIDE Senior Trainer living in St. Helens in the UK. He works as a chess coach and author and Nigel runs the Tiger Chess Academy which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos, courses and a regular blog. His students include his 18 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: View all posts by NigelD

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