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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) How to defend against the Italian (Read 9012 times)
bob000
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #15 - 08/26/05 at 18:36:48
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The Max Lange is avoidable but I'd recommend learning it. It's good for black and the are a lot of white openings which can transpose into it. Urusov, Scotch G. etc.
  
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basqueknight
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #14 - 08/21/05 at 22:22:02
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Thanks alot i have been looking at this line and its gambit qualities.
  
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TopNotch
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #13 - 08/20/05 at 20:24:41
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The Two Knights defence is a good practical choice in many ways, since the best counter to a number of 1e4 e5 gambits is often to transpose into the Two Knights defence.

As a life long Two Knights defence player I can say without reservation that this system will definitely repay study.

Two thumbs way up.

Toppy Grin
  

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PIEMAN
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #12 - 08/20/05 at 16:32:30
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You can't defend against the guico piano or the evans gambit  Cheesy so stop trying.
  
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Willempie
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #11 - 06/19/05 at 08:58:32
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Finally I would like to mention 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Bc4 Nf6 5 0-0 Bc5 6 c3!? which is underestimated according to Emms. The Scottish/Göring Gambit after dxc3 (Nxe4 7 cxd4 d5 8 dxc5 dxc4 9 Qe2 is the critical line) 7 Nxc3 is not that harmless, but White has even 7 e5!

That is a Giuco and is usually reached by 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 c3 Nf6 5 d4 exd4 6 0-0.
6 .. Nxe4 is indeed the best. In that line Estrin gives 9 .. Qd3 citing a game Bird-Schiffers 1898(!!). He himself considers 9 Qxd8+ as best, but I have played through that line a couple of years back with my father and we really didnt like it for white.
  

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MNb
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #10 - 06/18/05 at 20:45:32
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1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Bc4 Bc5 5 o-o d6 and with 6 b4!? White can play a slightly improved version of the Evans Gambit.

"1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Bc4 Nf6 5 0-0 Nxe4 is theoretically fine for Black in all lines, although you have to know what you are doing after 6 Re1 d5 7 Bxd5 Qxd5 8 Nc3."
Sure. Even 8...Qd8 is good for equality; 8...Qa5 offers Black best winning chances, even if White knows what he is doing.

Finally I would like to mention 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Bc4 Nf6 5 0-0 Bc5 6 c3!? which is underestimated according to Emms. The Scottish/Göring Gambit after dxc3 (Nxe4 7 cxd4 d5 8 dxc5 dxc4 9 Qe2 is the critical line) 7 Nxc3 is not that harmless, but White has even 7 e5!
  

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Willempie
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #9 - 06/18/05 at 14:49:58
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Agree on all points. In the variations I gave I have only encountered the first (5 c3) in practice (and I got it in more than 10 serious games). Often white is unaware of the Giuoce theory and screws up quickly.
  

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Paddy
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #8 - 06/18/05 at 14:13:12
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You can avoid the Max Lange.
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Bc4 Bc5 (not Nf6) and now:
5 c3 Nf6 is mainline Giuoco
5 0-0 d6 6 c3 dxc3 7 Nxc3 is a Göring. Well you cant avoid all gambits, but this one is not that dangerous esp if you pick a Bc5 line against the Göring anyway.
5 Ng5 Nh6 this one is a little tricky, but with 10 minutes preparation and an average memory you should be ok for the next 20 years.


IMHO after 5 0-0 d6 6 c3 IMHO 6...Bg4 is a good 19th century counter-attacking alternative!

Also, after 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Bc4 Nf6 5 0-0, 5...Nxe4 is theoretically fine for Black in all lines, although you have to know what you are doing after 6.Re1 d5 7.Bxd5 Qxd5 8.Nc3, when both the traditional 8...Qa5 9.Nxe4 Be6 and the modern preference 8...Qh5 9.Nxe4 Be6 are fine for Black.

Finally most modern sources also consider that the Max Lange itself itself is at least equal for Black, and that 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Bc4 Nf6 5 0-0 Bc5 is actualy a better winning try for Black than 5..Nxe4, which can soon get a bit drawish if White (!) knows what he is doing.
  
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Willempie
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #7 - 06/18/05 at 12:31:28
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You can avoid the Max Lange.
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Bc4 Bc5 (not Nf6) and now:
5 c3 Nf6 is mainline Giuoco
5 0-0 d6 6 c3 dxc3 7 Nxc3 is a Göring. Well you cant avoid all gambits, but this one is not that dangerous esp if you pick a Bc5 line against the Göring anyway.
5 Ng5 Nh6 this one is a little tricky, but with 10 minutes preparation and an average memory you should be ok for the next 20 years.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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basqueknight
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #6 - 06/18/05 at 01:21:15
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Evans gambit doesnt bother me its the Max Lange that scares the crap out of me. I cant seem to make any headway against it. Im in a bit of peril against such an aggressive opeing.
  
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #5 - 05/31/05 at 21:21:42
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I don't think that either 3...Nf6 or 3...Bc5 deserves an exclam.  Each is fully adequate, but if you're a young and improving player, I think that 3...Nf6 is much better for your chess education.  Still, 3...Bc5 is perfectly fine.  I would certainly not answer 3...Bc5 4. b4 with 4...Bb6 but rather with the more ambitious 4...Bxb4.  However, I suspect that White's compensation is enough to hold the half point.
  

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CheckMate
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #4 - 05/31/05 at 11:18:32
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There's nothing wrong with 3 ... Bc5! As opposed to 3 ... Nf6 your're not forced to give up a pawn. This is a very significant point unless you're a die hard gambit player. Against 4. b4 I suggest simply 4 ... Bb6. It's somewhat miscredited by contemporary theory but still very solid; just learn some theory and go for it!

If you're satisfied with a somewhat passive defense 3 ... Be7 is also an option.
  
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MNb
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #3 - 05/17/05 at 15:44:54
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Black should not defend against the Italian, but counterattack with 3...Nf6! This has been discussed in various threads.
  

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Paddy
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #2 - 05/17/05 at 08:05:04
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Im looking for a ways to defend against the Italian and would like to know if any of you e5 players out there have any suggestions. I would play e5 always if i knew how to handel it.

I play a lopez and love both sides of it. I like the black side of the Kings Gambit. I play Fischers defense. And i dont mind the Scotch either but this Italian monster keeps me from playing it all the time.


Useful sources:

Emms's "Play the Open Games as Black" provides a Black repertoire against 3 Bc4 based on the Two Knights Defence 3...Nf6.

Kaufman's "The Chess Advantage in Black and White" provides a Black repertoire against 3 Bc4 based on the Giuoco Piano 3...Bc5.

Both books cover transpositions; note that it is important to choose a defence against the Scotch Gambit (1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Bc4) and the Bishops/Ouroussoff gambit (1 e4 e5 2 Bc4 / 2 d4 exd4 3 Bc4)  that is consistent with your choice against 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4, otherwise you will find yourself "move-ordered" into a sharp line in which you can lose quickly through ignotance of theory.

Even though modern theory tells us that the lines of the Italian complex are "mostly harmless", they can be extremely sharp and concrete - you can't make it up and hope to survive against a well-booked player.

So some study is involved. Regard this as a learning opportunity rather than a chore. These ancient open games are a great education in tactics and basic strategy.
  
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Willempie
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Re: How to defend against the Italian
Reply #1 - 05/17/05 at 03:53:45
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Which line scares you in the Italian, the Evans?
Against the Evans just accept it and play Be7 next move. There is some theory, but most of it is also doable behind the board once you know the ideas (also check for Kasparov Be2 move in the games against Shirov and Anand).
The normal Italian:
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5 4 c3 Nf6 5 d4 (b4 is a tricky but harmless sideline) exd4 6 cxd4 Bxb4
And now on 7 Nc3 (the Möller) I would suggest to play the Nxe4 8 0-0 Nxc3 9 bxc3 d5. Most white players dont really know this line and it is as good as any defense in the Möller, but without the carloads of theory. In any case dont play the theoretical mainline as white will know his stuff and a good move in one variation is the losing one in the other.
On 7 Bd2 just go Bxd2 9 Nbxd2 d5 10 exd5 Nxd5 11 Qb3 (11 0-0 is tricky) Nce7 (against superior opponents play Na5 which is an infamous invitation to a repetition). This is imo the toughest line for black in the whole Giuoco, but still equalising which is also why I stopped playing it with white. Basicly white will either pawn storm you with the a-pawn or go for a kingside attack with moves as Ne5 and Ne4. You have to know what you're doing as black, but as almost any endgame is good for black it shouldnt be that difficult.
The lines with d3, without c3 you're main danger is to fall asleep and castle too early.
The lines with c3 and d3 are quite "Spanish", so you can play similar to that.

[edit]Against all the Giuoco gambit lines where d4 (or e4) is sacrificed. The general remedy is to accept the pawns followed by d5 and give the pawn back if necessary.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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