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Normal Topic ...Ng4 line in the Italian Game (Read 2039 times)
gillbod
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Re: ...Ng4 line in the Italian Game
Reply #2 - 10/01/17 at 18:37:02
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Interesting stuff. I'd say worth a punt at OTB, certainly for blitz.

As far as correspondence play goes, a strong player has faced this once, and this is how it was dealt with. If I had to look at an attempt of a refutation, it might be here.

  
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an ordinary chessplayer
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Re: ...Ng4 line in the Italian Game
Reply #1 - 08/23/17 at 12:33:57
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I was looking for a simple solution for white, and came up with 12.hxg4 fxg4 13.Nxe5. According to Stockfish black is just winning after 13...Qh4. Sad
  
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BobbyDigital80
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...Ng4 line in the Italian Game
08/23/17 at 04:38:36
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I've often seen this line recommended for Black when White doesn't play h3:

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d3 a6 6.Bb3 Ba7 7.O-O O-O 8.Nbd2
d6 9. Re1 Ng4 10. Re2 Kh8 11. h3 Nh6, with ...f5 coming up.

But instead of 11...Nh6, how about 11...f5!? If White does basically nothing then Black will have a very good position after 12...Nf6. If White plays 12.hxg4 (which a lot of White players might be tempted to do), then Black is already better after 12...fxg4. The f-file is open for the rook, the Black queen can come to h4 if White's knight retreats, and the bishop and rook exert strong pressure against the pawn on f2. Also Black has ideas of playing ...g3, exploiting the pin on the f2 pawn. A sample line might be:

12. hxg4 fxg4 13. Nh2 g3 14. Nhf3 g5! 15. d4 g4 16. Ne1?? Nxd4! 17. cxd4 Bxd4 18. Nc2 Qh4 with a forced mate. Of course, White played horribly in this line but it gives an idea of what could happen if he tries to hang on to his knight. But White shouldn't take Black's knight in the first place; instead he should play 12.exf5 Nh6 and Black will probably recapture the pawn on f5 with his knight. If White tries to hold onto the pawn with 13.g4, Black sacrifices with 13...Nxf5 and gets strong counterplay against White's king.

This 11...f5!? line might not be better than the standard 11...Nh6 but it might entice White to go for something that could lead to his downfall. I'd definitely try it in blitz and probably in standard OTB games too.





  
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