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Any additional comments in addition to what I have come up with computer analysis would be appreciated. No need to go past about move 18, the game is lost by then and there doesn't seem to be any way to equialize. I'm playing as black.
6. I'm not sure Bb4+ is really that appealing either, but the chess.com database is overwhelmingly in favor of it. Confession: I'm not an Italian player...let's see what happens.
7. e5 is certainly not a bad move by white. It keeps your bishop hemmed in and will help create some kingside attacks later, if your opponent is so inclined.
8. This is where we run out of moves in the database. There is one game there where white played 8. h3 and won by checkmate in a ridiculous 14 moves:
Scary...the advance of both white's central pawns is devastating.
11. I disagree with your analysis here. If 11..Be6 is played, then white plays 12. d5. The bishop cannot move, and is a helpless target. It is hard to believe white is so overpowering here, yet...he is. It's those darned center pawns!
12..h6!? NOW is the time to play Be6, I think. I was also looking at Nfd5, but the knights guarding each other is largely an illusion. I think Be6 is better. Then you can castle and get away.
13. You are correct that Be6 is right. Given your tactical analysis, once the queens are off the board, castling is no longer quite as vital. Usually you want your king in the middle toward the end of the game - I think all those exchanges would be ok.
Your comment about Kf8 removing the pin is certainly correct. Even through move 18, this was an option.
White just has a crazy center after move 6. I'm glad I don't play the Italian! Take your opening moves from this game and put it in chess.com's Game Explorer - you can find out what has been tried by the grandmasters in this position. Best of luck!
6...Bb4+ is actually the only move that doesn't lose. History has shown why Bb6 is a bad idea:
Even after 7...Ng4 8.h3 Nh6 9.d5 White is threatening to do the same thing as in Greco's game.
6...Bb4 is important because it allows Black to break in the center with d5:
Thanks for all of the comments guys, much appreciated.
Note that on 12. d5, it can actually be refuted by 0-0-0 which pins the pawn to the queen. If dxB or dxN then QxQ, RxQ, RxR and if the Queen tries to move out of the pin then Nxd5 wins the pawn.
I assume you are referring to my comment on 11..Be6.
12. d5 O-O-O
Now the white queen is protected, the pawn is protected, and you still have to deal with the fork.
it loses a pawn for black after queens and bishops exchanges and the pin's not gone
Losing a pawn is not so bad considering the position. And the pin is easily broken with Kd7.
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