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How You Can Study Chess Openings & Get Instant Results

Most chess opening books go through complicated variations in an opening and force you memorise confusing lines. At publication of the book, these variations are already refuted and don’t improve your chess game at all. You need to study chess openings and get instant results!

To really learn a chess opening you need to link openings to pawn structures and develop a variety of plans around a specific variation based on that specific pawn structure.

The Italian Game and the Spanish Game leads to a variety of different pawn structures, so that you are exposed to a variety of pawn structures and thus middle-game ideas.

In order to establish plans for each chess opening, you need to learn the first few moves until the opening branches out into the different variations.

You need to look at 10 – 20 GM or master games in that specific variation in order to see what kind of plans they attempted to do in the middle-game based on the strategic assets they had (e.g. bishop pair, pawn structures like isolated pawns, double pawns, queen-side majority, etc.). Learning through GM games is the best way to study chess openings!

In order to fully see the plan they attempted to achieve, you should search for GM games where the GM played an opponent a few hundred ELO points below them. This will allow you to really see what the GM was trying to do. Because if you look at games between two very strong GMs the plans they had will not show through the games very clearly. You need to find games where a strong player plays against a weak player.

To further complicated things, it would be great if you find games which where extensively annotated verbally so that you can build your own understanding of the plans. If there is just the game, it will be difficult for someone learning to understand the concepts and ideas behind the games by themselves.

But clearly annotated games are difficult to find – especially those that help to build learner’s understanding of the middle game. In order to help you in your quest to study chess openings and get instant results, here’s an opening reportiate for the Italian Game and the most important variations.

So, what are the best chess openings to improve your chess game?

There are a lot of chess openings to learn, in fact over 10 chess openings for each colour easily. But the Italian Game and Spanish Game are easily the best openings for beginners to improve their chess game.

Study Chess Openings by Learning the Major Branches of the Italian Game:

The Italian Game is a family of openings that all begin the same way:

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4

The Italian Game is part of the Open Chess Games, which start with e4, e5 and lead to many different pawn structures and chess positions.

This means the Italian Game is one of the best openings for beginners to practice their chess knowledge and understand what to do in different chess positions that may arise in other chess openings. If you want to get better at your chess games, you need to study the Italian game chess opening. There are some great chess youtubers to help you too.

Best Chess Openings - The Italian Game (FlyIntoBooks.com)
The Italian Game –
The Best Opening for Beginners

The Italian Game then branches off into many different variations after move three. Black has two main choices at move three which will limit how white could respond:

3. …Bc5

This leads to the Giuoco Piano, and many other variations that spring from the Guico Piano.

Giuoco Piano (The Italian Game) (FlyIntoBooks.com)
3. …Bc5 – Giuoco Piano
(The Italian Game Chess Opening)

a. Giuoco Piano: 3. …Bc5
b. Evan’s Gambit: 3. …Bc5 4. b4
c. The Deutz Gambit: 3. …Bc5 4. 0-0 Nf6 5. d4

3. …Nf6

This leads to the Two Knights Defense, which White can exploit in many agressive variations such as the Fried Liver Attack. The Fried Liver Attack is a brilliant attacking variation, so you must study this chess opening for some easy wins.

Two Knights Defense (The Italian Game) (FlyIntoBooks.com)
3. …Nf6 – Two Knight’s Defense
(in the Italian Game Chess Opening)

a. Modern Bishop’s Opening: 3. …Nf6 4. d3
b. The Knights Attack: 3. …Nf6 4.Ng5!
c. Traxler Counterattack: 3. …Nf6 4. Ng5! Bc5
d. Fried Liver Attack: 3. …Nf6 4. Ng5! d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6. Nxf7

One Poor Sideline for Black: 3. …Be7

There is also another move that black can make on the third move – that is 3. …Be7 (the Hungarian Defense). Even if it’s not such a good variation for black, they might still make this move so you need study this chess opening too.

Black makes this move in order to get out of the main Italian Game theory as above, however this move lets White maintain a healthy advantage. Therefore, it is just a mere sideline in the Italian Game, but you might meet it sometime in your chess career. Therefore, it’s important that you know how to punish it and win an easy game.

Hungarian Defense (The Italian Game) (FlyIntoBooks.com)
3. …Be7 – Hungarian Defense
(in the Italian Game Chess Opening)

a. Hungarian Defense: 3. …Be7

Main Ideas in the Giuoco Piano:

Please see our next post which delves in more detail about the main ideas you need to keep in mind when you study the Giuoco Piano chess opening.

There you will see all the major variations that could arise, and what you need to do in order to win.

Keep coming back to FlyIntoBooks.com for more chess-related news and studies on chess openings!

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Cheers,

A.J. McMahon

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