The Italian Game – Key Ideas, Concepts, Main Lines (15-Minute Chess Opening Series)

Major ideas and lines in the Italian Game for WHITE and BLACK. The Two Knight’s Defense, Giuoco Piano, Fried Liver Attack, Traxler Counterattack, Na5 lines and Evans Gambit are covered.

Follow along with the video with this PGN:
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 (3… Nf6 4. Ng5 (4. d3) (4. Nc3 Nxe4 5. Nxe4 d5) 4… d5 (4… Bc5 5. Nxf7 (5. Bxf7+ Ke7) 5… Bxf2+ 6. Kxf2 Nxe4+) 5. exd5 Nxd5 (5… Na5 6. Bb5+ c6 7. dxc6 bxc6 8. Qf3 Be7 9. Bxc6+ Nxc6 10. Qxc6+ Bd7 11. Qf3 O-O) 6. Nxf7 Kxf7 7. Qf3+ Ke6) (3… Be7 4. O-O Nf6 5. Ng5 O-O 6. Nxf7 Rxf7 7. Bxf7+ Kxf7) 4. c3 (4. Nc3 Nf6 5. d3 d6 6. Bg5 h6 7. Bxf6 (7. Bh4 g5 8. Bg3) 7… Qxf6 8. Nd5 Qd8) (4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. d4) 4… Nf6 5. d4 exd4 6. cxd4 Bb4+ 7. Nc3 (7. Bd2 Bxd2+ (7… Nxe4 8. Bxb4 Nxb4 9. Bxf7+ Kxf7 10. Qb3+) 8. Nbxd2) 7… Nxe4 8. O-O Nxc3 (8… Bxc3 9. bxc3 (9. d5 Bf6 10. Re1 Ne7 11. Rxe4 O-O 12. Bg5 Bxg5 13. Nxg5 d6 14. Nxh7 Kxh7 15. Qh5+ Kg8 16. Rh4 f6) 9… d5) 9. bxc3 Bxc3 10. Qb3 Bxa1 11. Bxf7+ Kf8 12. Bg5 Ne7 13. Re1 *

Timestamps:
0:00 – Intro
1:57 – Be7 sideline
2:44 – Two Knight’s Defense
3:28 – Fried Liver Attack
4:17 – Na5 (Polerio Defense)
6:00 – Quiet d3
6:38 – Traxler Counterattack
7:30 – Nc3?
8:35 – Giuoco Piano
8:52 – Quiet Nc3
9:56 – Evans Gambit
10:25 – Classical, c3 (Main Line)
14:29 – Summary

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97 Comments

  1. Great video for covering the basics of an opening. I'm more of a Vienna guy with white but deffo gonna try the Evans gambit next time i get chance and see how that goes for me. Also really enjoyed the way you explained the anti fried liver thing where you put your knight on the rim tp attack the light squared bishop. I feel I've been missing that move.

  2. this is most relevant opening video ive watched. all of the positions actually seemed familiar to me and im currently rated 932 for your reference

  3. Thank you Teacher Nelson….F.C.O Best Chess Book I've ever bought! 100 % recomend this book! PERIOD ♟💋GREAT VID.Hope you and yours are blessed.

  4. Great video. The all mighty Jerome gambit wasn't covered? I understand, some techniques are too deadly to be taught.

  5. First 30 seconds I already see something I want to try. Thanks.

  6. The traxler was the first ever opening I learned lines for and I still use it today. Lot of fun but even at my level people often take with the bishop.

  7. Great Job Nelson as always! Is this the beginning of a new serie? If it's not asking too much I would really appreciate 15 min on the Ruy Lopez. Have a good day!

  8. Excellent video! May we request a follow-up, how to play against Italian as black: Rousseau, Lucchini, And Ponziani-Steinitz gambits. Thank you.

  9. Juoko Piano is the right pronunciation 🙂

  10. In this position I always play Fried Liver and Evans gambit with white. These are the 2 position that I like to play and feel more confortable with

  11. 15 minute opening lessons is an excellent concept!
    Can you do these on Colle, London system, Scotch, English, KIA, Modern defense, Hippo?
    Thank you very much, Nelsi! <3

  12. One of the best opening videos, the classical variation really shows you how much chess has evolved built-on over time

  13. This video is so nice. I really like how you cover ideas for both sides! And the historical evolution of lines is fascinating.

  14. Very useful video for me learning a lot of different openings to play 1…e5, thanks for such a helpful video!

    It's a shame this video doesn't have more views, I love how you covered this opening

  15. A really interesting video, thanks for posting

  16. Love to see how the channel has grown! Keep posting bro, good stuff

  17. There's also 3…Nd4?!

    Not a very good move, but the thing to remember is: don't take the 'free' pawn (just castle or take the knight instead).

  18. In one of the lines, when black forks the bishop an the knight with d5, white should play Bd3 and it is a knight and a pawn for a knight and a pawn and the game goes on

  19. Terrific overview of the opening most of us newer players most likely learn first. It's often said don't memorize openings (very true) but you'd be hard pressed to find a situation more frustrating than feeling like you're trapped behind your own pieces as a beginner. This is, BY FAR, the best quick overview of the basic strategic ideas behind the various lines in the Italian Game and what tactics to look for.

  20. Thank you, need to learn some theory on these popular lines and this definitely helped!

  21. Cool video, but I suggest you review your "Giuoco Piano" 's pronunciation xD

  22. Very good video, I am a fan. You must work on your Italian though.

  23. Great video. And the Italian Game is an opening I play. So this is fantastic for me. But I'm having a technical problem. I've been trying to copy and paste the pgn text. And it's not working. So how can I get it?

  24. 15 minute video and not a minute for my boy jerome

  25. This is one of the only openings i know because it's so simple (i just started playing)

  26. I'm getting back into it after a long time and love these videos. Found your channel from the Vienna Gambit which a computer played against me. I didn't know what I played was even called an Italian Game, but this has always been my opening as white.

  27. I know there are bigger chess youtubers, but you're doing something special here. Keep it up.

  28. Thank you so much for this video, this is simply perfect for my level (I'm 1200ish ELO)! Have been looking for a good opening series on YT for ages, but only found overly complicated content that ends up discouraging someone who's approaching openings' study, love how you manage to stay linear and simple in the explanation while still introducing several variants, please keep doing this series

  29. Coming from a beginner I’m totally lost because you’re simultaneously trying to teach what black and white should do. It would be great to have a separate video on Italian game defence if you are black and not have it in the same video because a beginner brain can only absorb so much lol.

  30. I like that you teach both sides point of view as you go along in the video, other teachers just focus on one side's point of view. This is a very good video to get the basics of the Itlalian game and all the main variations, I'm much clearer now, I just need to remember the main ideas now.

  31. If you're playing the Giuco Pianissimo, you can send the knight to g5 if you move the pawn to d3, which opens up support for the knight from the queenside bishop. It also supports the bishop on c4. Later on in the game, if you move the f pawn to f3, you get that cool pawn pyramid, which is really cool defensively, and also for hanging your pieces off with the zillions of pawn diagonals for support.

  32. Hello Nelson, hope you're fine, I can't find your video on your recommendation against the quiet d3, I like the response d5 but can't seem to find the video anywhere, could you help me please?

  33. „You castle and you are playing chess“ i love this guy

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