The Italian Game – The Best Chess Opening for White

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The Italian Game – The Best Chess Opening for White

The Italian Game is an Open or Double-King Pawn Game (1. e4 e5) which is one of the most popular chess openings for white. The other popular chess openings for white would be the Ruy-Lopez, Queen’s Gambit and the London System.

Here in this post, FlyIntoBooks.com will go through the general theory and main variations of the Italian Game with other posts linked below delving into each variation in greater detail.

Please click the links below in order to look in more detail at each variation of the Italian Game. Or you can continue to read to look at the general overview of the Italian Game.

Italian Game (C50): 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4

3. … Bc5 (Giuoco Piano)
a. Giuoco Piano (C50): 3. … Bc5
b. Evan’s Gambit (C51): 3. … Bc5 4. b4
c. The Deutz Gambit (C55): 3. …Bc5 4. 0-0 Nf6 5. d4

3. …Nf6 (Two Knights Defense)
a. Modern Bishop’s Opening (C55): 3. …Nf6 4. d3
b. The Knight Attack (C57): 3. …Nf6 4. Ng5!
c. Traxler Counterattack (C57): 3. …Nf6 4. Ng5! Bc5
d. Fried Liver Attack (C57): 3. …Nf6 4. Ng5! d5 5. exd5 Nxd5 6. Nxf7

3. …Be7 (Hungarian Defense)
a. Hungarian Defense: 3. …Be7

So, please continue on to look at the general ideas of the Italian Game Chess Opening for white.

The Italian Game Chess Opening:

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.

The Italian Game - Chess Openings for White
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 (The Italian Game)

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 (The Giucco Piano):

This leads to the Giuoco Piano, and many other variations that spring from the Guico Piano. Here, black counterattacks by placing their bishop on c5 where it attacks white’s weak f7 square.

Giuoco Piano (The Italian Game) (FlyIntoBooks.com)
3. …Bc5 (The Giucco Piano in the Italian Game)

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 (The Two Knights Defense in the Italian Game)

In the Two Knights Defense variation, white can easily get some wins by playing 4. Ng5! White is able to do this because black can castle to safety, and because black’s knight on f6 interferes with the black queen’s defense of the g5 square.

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 of the Italian Game)

a. Hungarian Defense: 3. …Be7

This post was mainly an overview of the different variations and lines in the Italian Game – the best white opening to improve your chess.

What next for Chess and FlyIntoBooks?

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

Cheers,

What should we write about next?
Let us know in the comment box below!

Or Contact Me here.

Cheers,

A.J. McMahon

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The French Defense – Learn a Top 3 Chess Opening for Black

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The French Defense – Learn a Top 3 Chess Opening for Black

The French Defense is a Semi-Open or Single-King Pawn Game (1. e4 other) which is usually in the top three of the most popular chess openings for black. The other two most popular chess openings for black would be the Sicilian Defense and the Caro-Kann.

Here in this post, FlyIntoBooks.com will go through the general theory and main variations of the French Defense with other posts linked below delving into each variation in greater detail.

Please click the links below in order to look in more detail at each variation of the French Defense. Or you can continue to read to look at the general overview of the French Defense.

French Defense:
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5

3. Nc3 (Paulson Variation C10)
a. Winawer: 3. …Bb4 (C15)
b. Classical: 3. …Nf6 (C11)
b1: Burn Variation: 4. Bg5 (C11)
b2: Steinitz Variation: 4. e5 (C11)
c. Rubinstein Variation: 3. …dxe4 (c10)
d. Continuing Paulson Variation: 3. …Nc6 (C10)

3. Nd2 (Tarrasch Variation C03)
a. Closed Variation: 3. …Nf6 (C05)
b. Open System: 3. …c5 (C07)
c. Continuing Tarrasch: 3. …dxe4 (c03)

3. e5 (Advance Variation C02)

3. exd5 (Exchange Variation C01)

So, please continue on to look at the general ideas of the French Defense Chess Openings for black.

The French Defense Chess Opening:

The French Defense Chess Opening starts with the following moves:

1. e4 e6

White still has a choice to transpose into the King’s Indian attack with 2. d3 but most of the time (about 90% of games) follows with the next two moves:

2. d4 d5

The French Defense Black Chess Opening
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5
(The French Defense)

Here is where the French Defense Opening branches into many different variations. White can follow through with four different moves which attempt to defend the white pawn on e4.

White can play:
3. Nc3 (Paulson Variation)
3. Nd2 (Tarrasch Variation)
3. e5 (Advance Variation)
3. exd5
(Exchange Variation)

Each of the above moves for white leads into different kinds of games and ideas for both players.

Let’s look at them in turn below.

3. Nc3 (The Paulson Variation):

This is the Paulson Variation of the French Defense Chess Opening. Now, the knight on Nc3 defends white’s pawn on e4 (which was being attacked by black’s d5 pawn push on the last move).

Paulson Variation of the French Defense Chess Opening
3. Nc3 (The Paulson Variation of the French Defense)

However, this variation blocks white’s c3 pawn push to defend the d4 pawn which will be attacked with Black’s c4 pawn break. Therefore, some consider the Tarrasch Variation (3. Nd2) to be a better variation for white to attack’s black’s French Defense structure.

Here in the Paulson Variation, black can continue in four different ways:

3. …Bb4 (The Winawer Variation):

Black responds to white’s 3.Nc3 with Bb4. Black overdefends the d5 pawn which was being attacked twice by pinning black’s knight.

The Winawer Variation of the French Defense - Black Chess Openings
3. …Bb4 (The Winawer Variation of the French Defense)

3. …Nf6 (The Classical Variation)

Black responds to white’s 3. Nc3 with Nf6. Black overdefends the d5 pawn which was being attacked twice by developing their kingside knight to f6. However after white plays e5 to dislodge the knight on f6, black will have to move this knight to d7.

The Classical Variation of the French Defense - Black Chess Openings
3. …Nf6 (The Classical Variation of the French Defense)

White can then respond to the Classical Variation in two main ways:

4. Bg5 (The Burn Variation)
4. e5 (The Steinitz Variation)

In response to 3. …Nf6, white can develop their bishop to g5 and pin black’s knight to their queen (as in the Burn Variation).

Or white can play 4. e5 and force the black knight on f6 to move (normally to d7).

Classical Variation, Burn Variation - Black Chess Openings
4. Bg5 (Classical Variation, Burn Variation of the French Defense)
Classical Variation, Steinitz Variation  - Black Chess Openings
4. e5 (Classical Variation, Steinitz Variation of the French Defense)

3. …dxe4 (The Rubinstein Variation)

Black responds to white’s 3. Nc3 with dxe4. Here black resolves the central tension by taking on e4 with their d pawn. White will most likely take this pawn next with 4. Nxe4.

Rubinstein Variation of the French Defense - Black Chess Openings
3. …dxe4 (The Rubinstein Variation of the French Defense)

3. …Nc6 (Continuing the Paulson Variation)

Black responds to white’s 3. Nc3 with Nc6 which continues the Paulson variation.

Continuing the Paulson Variation - Black Chess Openings
3. …Nc6 (continuing the Paulson Variation of the French Defense)

3. Nd2 (The Tarrasch Variation):

Instead of 3. Nc3, white has another square where they can develop their knight and defend their pawn on e4 (which was being attacked by black’s d5 pawn push on the last move). So, instead of 3. Nc3, white develops their knight to Nd2. This is the Tarrasch Variation – one of the best variations in the French Defense for white.

Tarrasch Variation of the French Defense - Black Chess Openings
3. Nd2 (The Tarrasch Variation of the French Defense)

The benefit to white of developing their knight to d2 means that they can still play c2-c3 in order to protect their d4 pawn (if black plays their main c7-c5 pawn break).

Here in the Tarrasch Variation, black can continue in three different ways:

3. …Nf6 (Closed Variation of the Tarrasch):

Black responds to white’s 3.Nd2 with Nf6. Black develops his knight and attacks the e4 pawn once more.

Closed Variation of Tarrasch Variation, French Defense - Black Chess Opening
3. …Nf6 (Closed Variation of the Tarrasch, French Defense)

In the closed variation of the Tarrasch, white will probably play 4. e5 in order to push the knight off the f6 square.

3. …c5 (Open System of the Tarrasch):

Black responds to white’s 3.Nd2 with c5. Black immediately strikes at white’s center with his c7-c5 pawn break.

Open System of Tarrasch Variation - Black Chess Opening
3. …c5 (Open System of Tarrasch Variation, French Defense)

3. … dxe4 (Continuing the Tarrasch Variation):

Black responds to white’s 3.Nd2 with dxe4. Black resolves the central tension by taking on e4. White will probably retake e4 with the knight on d2.

Continuing the Tarrasch Variation, French Defense - Black Chess Opening
3. …dxe4 (Continuing the Tarrasch Variation, French Defense)

3. e5 (Advance Variation)

Instead of developing their knight, white can also play 3. e5 and advance the e pawn in order to protect it and gain space on the king-side immediately.

Advance Variation of the French Defense - Black Chess Openings
3. e5 (Advance Variation of the French Defense)

The benefit of the advance variation is that black can’t develop their knight to the f6 square. White also begins to squeeze black’s kingside and gets ready for f4 and begin a kingside attack.

3. exd5 (Exchange Variation)

Finally, white can also take on d5 with their e pawn. Black than retakes with 3. …exd5. This creates a symmetrical positon which is quite draw-ish, however there are still chances for black to have a fighting chess game.

Exchange Variation of the French Defense - Black Chess Openings
3. exd5 exd5 (Exchange Variation of the French Defense)

This post was mainly an overview of the different variations and lines in the French Defense – a top 3 in chess openings for black.

What next for Chess and FlyIntoBooks?

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

What should we write about next?
Let us know in the comment box below!

Or Contact Me here.

Cheers,

A.J. McMahon

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.
.

Let’s Connect!

– Instagram: AndyReadsKorea 
– Pinterest: FlyIntoBooks 
– Twitter: @AndyReadsKorea1
– 
GoodReads: A.J. McMahon

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How You Can Study Chess Openings – Get Instant Results!

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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

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!

What should we write about next?
Let us know in the comment box below!

Or Contact Me here.

Cheers,

A.J. McMahon

.
.
.

Let’s Connect!

– Instagram: AndyReadsKorea 
– Pinterest: FlyIntoBooks 
– Twitter: @AndyReadsKorea1
– 
GoodReads: A.J. McMahon

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