The Italian game

Mar 10, 2016, 11:40 AM |

As I said yesterday, I am recently back. Given it is my off day, I wanted to post a quick idea that many "Lower" players may see frequently.

So, pretty much the first opening anyone should start learning as they venture into the world of chess, is the Italian game. I am personally going to be playing at least 5 OTB Italian openings in the next few weeks, that I undoubtedly will use as comments here to show "Ideas," as this opening lets both sides typically develop, find safe niches, and then the expansion (middle game) starts up and games are decided. If you are new, yes, you could draw a lot, and against higher ranked players, that is a good thing! Any time you don't lose, think of it as a win!

So, to refresh myself, I hopped on youtube, and looked up a few videos just to look at themes of the Italian game, and decided to share something I had long since forgotten! THE LEGAL TRAP!

Okay, so we all know there are traps in chess, and they come from mistakes someone made. The reason I wanted to post this one, is it comes from a very common+ game, and everyone can benefit from it







Like I said, this is pretty common. White is opening, and can go into the fried liver still, but more often than not, is going to continue development. And black, is going to pin the knight to the queen with the bishop.

Now, white just put pressure on the bishop. Black's "Best" move here, just just to trade the minor pieces, and continue on with the game.  But many times, black wants to keep the pin, and will just back up to Bh5.







But, this is actually a mistake. White WILL gain material from this position. How much? That is up to black... There are 3 main ways it can go. First, white can win, and usually does!

People naturally want to grab the queen, especially for a bishop! And White says "GO AHEAD, I DARE YOU!" Because from there, it is a forced mate. Newer players, you might not be able to see ahead to force the mate here (trust me, I missed a forced mate yesterday, so it happens all the time that a winning position is missed), so if you want to memorize this, go for it. Play it in the analyzer 100 times. Try different combinations to see why it works this way and not others :)

The "BEST" way this can go for black after moving Bh5 is they are down a pawn. (And a number of minor pieces fly off the board)

As you can see, Black is down a pawn, and now behind in development slightly as well. White should have a good game here still.

There are other ways this can play out of course, but if you see more than these two, just keep your head level, and you will be up a pawn in the position, and give you long term chances of winning ^.^