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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76 Comments

  1. Great videos sir…Waiting for your next videos in this series

  2. When he was discussing the Evan's gambit I honestly thought hed say "created by Mr. Gambit"

  3. The quality and clarity of the presentation is just excellent, the very best out there. Many thanks!

  4. The explanations are crystal clear with Amazing content. Have become addicted to your channel

  5. Nice overview on the Italian Game! It helps a lot to see this stuff in 3D. I will see more of them. Do you have a video on the Lolli Attack? I love this attacking line!

  6. Very clear explanation. You are very talented Alex! Thank you

  7. In which video is covered the black response D6?

  8. Thank you for the intro lesson! It was very helpful to me. I am hoping to understand the Italian game more

  9. Great content mate this channel is very underrated
    do you have a playlist for all Italian game variation?

  10. 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 !?

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

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

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

  14. 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?

  15. 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!

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

  17. 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.

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

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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?

  22. 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 🙂

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

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

  25. 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

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

  27. 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!

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

  29. Top quality content! I highly recommend it.

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

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

  32. 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.

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

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

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