As I have mentioned previously, I am not one to memorize openings in an attempt to gain the upper hand. Instead, I focus my efforts on positional play, while following a few simple guiding principles. For more on that subject, please review my last post, "Stumbling Into History."
This week, I have stumbled upon one of the all time chess greats, Jose Raul Capablanca, and a classic opening line, the Giuoco Piano (ECO C50).
The Giuoco Piano has numerous variations, and was oft utilized by the masters of the early 20th century. Capablanca's mastery of the position is unquestionable. He played the Piano 9 times, both as white and black. His record: +7 =2 -0.
My personal record with this position is now +1 =0 -1. Earlier this evening, I had the pleasure of following in Capablanca's footsteps, however briefly. On the next move, my opponent would break from the historical line, with the questionable Nb5? removing support from the vital d5 and e4 squares.
Capablanca as white, took a more conservative and traditional route with 6. d3 closing his center, and adding support to the pawn at e4. The game that ensues is a classic.