Learn the Italian Game in 20 Minutes [Chess Opening Crash Course]

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📥 Download the PGN of these Italian Game opening variations from this blog-post –

🔹 Hidden line in the Italian Game | Crushing Chess Opening for White –
🔹 4 Ways to PUNISH Bg5 Pin on Your Knight (Tactically & Strategically) –

In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov gives you a quick crash course on one of the most popular chess openings, the Italian Game, which happens after the following moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4.

You will learn the general opening theory, guidelines, key ideas, attacking plans, common errors, and some cool traps. Instead of just memorizing the opening moves, you will learn and understand the key ideas and purpose of each move.

► Chapters

00:00 Italian Game Chess Opening [Ideas & Plans]
00:24 Why 3.Bc4? Don’t memorize moves, understand the opening
01:18 Giuoco Piano, 4.c3
03:34 Pawn sacrifice for a winning attack
04:32 Can you find the winning move for White?
05:00 If White plays 5.d4
06:55 If White plays 5.d3
09:07 Black plays 5…d6, Classical Variation, Giuoco Pianissimo
10:10 If Black delays castling 6…0-0 and plays 6…a6
11:43 Creating an escape square for the c4-bishop
12:33 Most common error by White (DON’T make this mistake)
14:34 If Black plays Bg4, pinning your knight
17:01 Building up the kingside attack
18:46 Summary & Conclusion

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#GMSmirnov #ItalianGame #ChessOpenings #ChessOpening


  1. 6:20 don’t castle. You conveniently had the bishop take first. If knight takes first, you lose a tempo and a pawn and no mating threats. And you were the one who said “ don’t memorize moves”

  2. Sry but not good tutorial, you moved Bc4 and telling me so many times it's attacking f7, waste of time!

  3. Bxd6 Is forced mate in two as the king has no legal moves, so Queen I'd forced to take, allowing Queen f7 mate.

  4. Bd6+, Queen must take moving it off of the 7th rank, Qf7#

  5. the winning move is bxd6 if black queen takes checkmate or black king dont notice it checkmate or ate the queen

  6. At 4:45 the move that I think of is to sac the bishop checking the black king and attacking the queen.

  7. Such an elegant opening. I cant stop playing it.

  8. Can you show possible endgames in Italian Game?

  9. Minute 18:35 white is actually losing if black covers the queen's delivered check with the Bishop not the knight. You missed that 😢

  10. This is the worst chess opening chess course

  11. Hello Grandmaster, Giuoco Piano in actual italian means "slow game" but in 1500's italian means something different. "Piano" comes from latin "planus" that means also "clear" "uniform" "simple to understantand". Probably the correct translation of "giuoco piano" is not "slow game" but "standard game". Thanks for your channel, i love it.

  12. as a 400 elo player, is it so hard to to absorb this

  13. what happens at 8:21 when blacks knight goes to a5 forking the queen and bishop

  14. Winning move is Bd6, forcing the Queen to take the bishop then Qf7#.

  15. Broooo I’ve been playing the Italian So wrong LOL

    I would play the Italian with the Fixed position, bringing my other Knight out, and now seeing this video not even completely through I Realize how Ignorant I was on the Italian. Ty for showing us this, for me this has completely changed how I see the opening, and I will try to incorporate this into my games.

    Other than A couple Gambits and the English the Italian is the only opening I use with White so this has opened my eyes.

  16. is the first puzzle Bxd6#, Qxd6, Qf7mate ?????

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