Italian Game Explained | Ultimate Beginner Guide to King Pawn Openings Part 2

Almost every single beginner chess game begins with the King’s Pawn Game (1. e4 e5) but many player fall for the same traps and tricks in the opening. Master the basic plans and tactical ideas with this three part course on the most popular opening that everyone needs to know to improve at chess!

Part 1: Philidor’s Defense and Damiano’s Defense

Part 2: Italian Game

Part 3: Petroff Defense

0:00 Intro
1:40 3. … Nf6 (most common move from Black)
2:34 Common mistake by White
6:16 4. d3 (slow maneuvering game)
14:51 4. Ng5 (aggressive stuff!)
20:21 Nakhmanson Gambit (my favorite!)
21:08 3. … Bc5 (avoiding the nonsense)


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  1. Evan's gambit is great at the lower levels too! They have no idea what's going on either! It usually creates a huge mess all over the place. Fun tactics practice.

  2. You’re one of the best tutors on YouTube & I’ve watched most. Great content thank you 👍

  3. More of this Jonathan. Watching this from bad network with 240p.

  4. This is such a great series. Thank yoy

  5. Great video , Jerome would have wanted this .

  6. Unfortunately I don't have the time right now to watch these videos…just here to tell you that this is a great initiative … many people will learn a lot.. will watch em all later

  7. even tho im not a complete beginner there's always something to learn from your videos. Keep it up jonathan!

  8. After this please make a series over caro cun defence or sisilian defence

  9. You are very talented teacher, watching your openning theory was pleasant, which usualy is boring as hell.

  10. Ruy lopez is pretty common in beginner level, white unnecessarily brings his bishop out and captures the knight by move 3!

  11. you didn't cover the Traxler counter-attack which is so agressive.

  12. I love being black playing against the fried liver. Its fun watching my opponents shrivel when I play na5.

  13. >"if we play some not so good moves here"
    proceeds to play how I play every game

  14. Please cover Max Lange Attack, Lolli Attack and evans gambit in the next part.

  15. Ah, the Italian. This is the opening I played when I was growing up, and have recently started playing it again.

    I do have one brief comment to add…at 2:58, white can play Nc3 if black has previously played G6 or G5. There is no earthly reason that black should play G6 or G5, but at the beginner level, they might. With that pawn moved, this actually leads to white winning a queen.

    Like I said…there's no reason that should ever happen. But it might.

    And of course, this is another brilliant video, Mr. Schrantz. Bravo yet again. 👏👏

  16. Hi Jonathan, just wanted to clarify. Do we treat f5 like a hole? As in, do we trade of the light squared bishops and all the other minor pieces to jam the knight in f5 or do we just place it there despite minor being able to remove it. Again, cheers and I hope you have a great day👍.

  17. Hey john! I recently found some really interesting and aggressive lines in the scotch that have gotten me interested in the opening. Mind doing a video on it sometime?

  18. Love your videos and your humor! Please comment on an ALTERNATIVE response to the giuoco piano. At the 21 minute mark of this video, I play bishop takes pawn check at move 4. King captures and knight takes pawn check. Black knight captures and queen goes to H5 check. If the king moves the knight drops. If the knight defends the bishop drops. Yes white is down a point but black's position is almost hopeless. ANOTHER ALTERNATIVE is to move pawn to d4 at move 4. Whatever black does, white continues as above. Black loses castling rights and king is exposed. Black will have a tough time protecting the king AND trying to develop his cramped pieces. White will be way ahead in development AND can castle either side to connect rooks (which black may never be able to do). All at the cost of 1 point!! I do play the evans for variety, but this attack usually takes an opponent by surprise and is very difficult to counter. I welcome your comments and critiques.

  19. Thanks for these new videos from home! I like them!

  20. Hey Jonathan Schrantz, if you as white retreat your bishop to b3 around 11:15-ish can't you just capture it with the A pawn to have an open file for your rook? (The knight when it goes to a5 and captures your bishop i mean)

  21. This clarified the game plan, I am trying to learn how to play the Italian Game. Thank you!

  22. Please help me, smart person! 10:00 he starts talking about F5 being the "best position" for a knight on the board, and that it puts a lot of pressure on a castled King. But take a look at what a knight on F6 can do. That's practically check mate by itself. So why F5 and not F6?

  23. Please Create a plan against
    When black play passive with d6.
    e4 e5 ,Nf3 Nc6 , Bc4 Nf6, d4 exd4, 0-0 and now play d6..

  24. At 10:00 Jonathan Schrantz declares Kasparov to the longest reigning world champion ever. What about Emanuel Lasker? World champion from May 1894 to April 1921 = almost 27 years. I contend: nobody will beat this ever.

    Nevertheless, this is an excellent video about the Italian game.

  25. Thank you, I started playing 4 months ago and I'm not very good. Your videos are very instructive and easier to process than studying lines on lichess. I try to study 2-3 hours a day and it's really hard to do with just lines and no commentary.

  26. My head exploded during this tutorial. 🤯

  27. Just discovered you and instantly subscribed. most chess teachers on youtube speak slowly and monotonously and have me snoring after 5 minutes but you are very entertaining to listen to 😀

  28. This is the best Italian game lesson I've ever seen.

  29. Kasparov was NOT the longest-reigning world champion! Lasker was.

  30. Looked on your channel and couldn't find part 1

  31. I hate playing the Italian as black. It’s a tactical minefield and I’m usually the one stepping on the mines.

  32. 14:39 This is exactly the sort of information I was looking for. In fact, i'm not going any further until I practice doing what you went over. I want to play this time and again until i'm finding myself consistently in good positions, hopefully with knight on g4. The idea being that if I don't get there it's because my opponents made a mistake or an inaccurate move and i'm taking advantage of it.

  33. 11.48. Is Qa4 check an idea? If c6 white can take the f7 pawn with check followed by pawn b4 winning the knight

  34. Sir, please provide part 1 link in discription.

  35. great series jonathan do you have one on the french defence? i would like that, specialy on the tarasch and wing gambit.

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