The Italian Game - Giuoco Piano
Chess Opening for Black against 1. e4

This chess opening is solid and straight forward. If you are a beginner you should learn this opening set up and apply it in your chess games.

Giuoco Piano is Italian and means -quiet game-. It is a very old opening.
When Black plays Nf6 (not Bc5) then you enter the Two Knights Defence which you should also learn.

The Italian Game starts with the moves:

1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Bc5
chess opening italian game

This chess opening is well analysed since a few hundred years. It came to us from the 16th century. As both chess players put their bishops on the most agressive square, White to c4 (Bc4) and Black to c5 (Bc5) - attacking the vulnerable f7 and f2 squares - an agressive game can be expected.

When you play this opening expect high tactical risks. Not all arising complications can be worked out over the board. Even more aggressive and risky is the Evans Gambit where White sacrifices a pawn now with 4.b4.

Watch out as Black for the Max-Lange-Attack which is reached after 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. d4 exd4 (Black can play also 4. … Bc5xd4) 5. 0-0 Nf6 6. e5.

Players who like a quiet positional game as Black should play 3...Be7 or 3...d6 instead of 3...Bc5. And positional players with the white pieces should choose the more positional approach playing not Nc3 later on, but rather use the c3, d3 setup and play the knight to d2.

When you are a beginner, then start playing the Italian-Game. This will help you to understand important chess principles faster.

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