Italian Game | Introduction | Mainlines, Basic Plans & Strategies | Chess Openings | Alex Astaneh

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The Italian game nowadays is one of the absolute most popular opening choices played from beginner level right up to the best players in the world. Therefore, it is a very good opening to familiarize yourself with. In this introductory video of the Italian game series, IM Alex Astaneh is going to be talking about popular variations in the Italian game.

The Italian game arises out of the moves:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4

and after white’s move 3.Bc4, black has several options. Black’s main continuations that are covered in this video can be summarized into the following categories:

– 3…Bc5 (Giuoco Piano – Mainline)
– 3…Nf6 (Two Knights Defense)
– Minor options after 3.Bc4

The main focus is here on the main strategies and plans for both sides in the different variations.

The variations shown in the video are:

3:36 – Giuoco Piano – Greco Gambit (Traditional Line)
4:09 – Giuoco Pianissimo
5:01 – Evans Gambit Accepted and Declined
7:04 – Deutz Gambit
7:40 – Four Knights Variation (Noa Gambit)
8:50 – Knight Attack
9:27 – Fried-Liver Attack
9:44 – Lolli Attack
10:03 – Polerio Defense
10:24 – Ulverstadt Variation
10:47 – Traxler Counterattack
11:08 – Modern Bishops Opening (also known as the Open Variation)
11:58 – Scotch Gambit
14:37 – Hungarian Defense
14:40 – Rousseau Gambit
14:47 – Anti-Fried Liver Defense
14:56 – Blackburne Shilling Gambit

📘 The pgn to this video can be downloaded on our website!

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81 Comments

  1. I appreciated all the labels, like "Traxler Counterattack" etc. We should be able to make a hierarchy of all these, with the move(s) which take you from one to another, in order to have a very good visual overview !?

  2. Excellent presentation. Very clear and comprehensive . Superb is all I can say. Learnt a lot.Thank you

  3. Very keen to see more of the mainline videos in this series!

  4. Rewatched this video 3 times going to take notes for the fourth time. Very high quality stuff! Never stop!

  5. Hello Alex, thanks for the amazing lesson.

    Here's a question: In the Italian as black, after Bc4 Bc5, sometimes I face d3 Nf6 Bg5 h6 Bh4. In this line, that bishop in h4 pins my f6 knight and it's rather hard to get rid of it without doing g5, which is a popular move at a grandmaster level, but it looks rather dangerous to me. Should I play g5 on those lines? And what kind of white plans should I try to avoid afterwards?

  6. it would be better if the board was either constantly filmed after the presentation starts or nearly constantly filmed, it's easier to visualise the ideas without losing the toughts at every camera change! thanks!

  7. Very good explanation. Thanks a lot for doing this videos!

  8. Wow… excellent series (I saw the playlist :)) on the Italian. This is a single stop to learn all the variations and I never looked at any other channel after coming here. Thanks so so much for the wonderful teaching you have given me. Thanks a lot.

  9. wow just finding out about this channel … very good explanation !!

  10. And guys remember! When if in Evans Gambit black takes that pawn of b4 with his knight then I beg you don't capture the e5 pawn because of qf3 and qg5 and you are already losing the game.

  11. Really great video. Am very much looking forward to watching the whole playlist! Thanks

  12. At the end of the video you say that the Italian is currently the most popular choice for grandmasters. Why has it overtaken the Spanish?

  13. Very nice video! I am a c4/d4 player but as an advanced player I am trying also to learn some 1.e4. And I would like to see how to handle the sicilians, how best players do it, you know, if this would be possible 🙂

  14. How many videos on the Italian opening are there?

  15. Very very good and clearly presented introduction!! ^^

  16. Also I like a lot the camera angle on the chessboard, great choice! And the fact that moves are somehow emphasized one by one and this should ease memorization in my felling too

  17. This series on the Italian opening is excellent, now I'm going to watch it for the second time.

  18. Leading us through the maze of variations with clarity, making good use of the various names as markers and giving us the mini-recaps just when they are needed. Bravo! Thank you!

  19. thank you, helped in understanding position better. Very clear explanation

  20. Top quality content! I highly recommend it.

  21. This is very nice my coach told me to watch this because it is helpful

  22. Iranians are very talented in chess. Another great video!

  23. I prefer a graphic board presentation. His hands hovering ard is blocking the views. And the camera shifted away to show his face while talking made us difficult to map out the moves into our memory. Conclusion – bad presentation. Very very bad.

  24. This is the exact type of chess content I am looking for.

  25. These guys are deserved a place in heaven for doing such a great instructive content for free

  26. after watching this video im eager to go through your whole playlist its very clear and well recorded i shall now become a master at the Italian game. oh wait whats that , the sicilian, caro kann fucking french defence ahhhhh chess theory where you learn one thing which opens up 1000 other possibilities which u must master. this game really is timeless

  27. great studies, i can beat easily 1700-1800 elo players when in the italian game. have a 72% win rate in the italian game(all variations), 6% draws and 22% losses

  28. I appreciate you making this info easy to digest for a beginner

  29. I am planning to learn this opening for you can I be sure that most of the lines have been covered in this playlist? Great work btw I have watched the first vid and the presentation and explanation is crystal clear

  30. N’en dite pas plus je m’abonne. C’est exactement le genre de vidéo que je cherchais, pourquoi vous apparaissez si loin dans les résultats YouTube…

  31. I very much like how you describe each possible move and the theory behind it. Liked ans subscribed.

  32. People are not here to see your face once in a every second. Moving from board to your face and face to the board. Fucking show the chess board!!

  33. The explanation is clear and useful, but the chessboard is not very clear. If you used virtual chess as is done in most videos, it would have been better.

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