The Italian Game is considered a sound but quiet opening without early trades, giving rise to rich positions where plans are more important than forced variations — in short, an ideal avenue to outplay your opponent without having to learn much theory. But how should you approach new positions and keep a clear head in view of so many playable possibilities? The best way is this: you sit down next to a world class grandmaster and just listen to him!
Minimum: Dual Core, 2 GB RAM, Windows 7 or 8.1, DirectX11, graphics card with 256 MB RAM, DVD-ROM drive, Windows Media Player 9, ChessBase 14/Fritz 16 or included Reader and internet access for program activation. Recommended: PC Intel i5 (Quadcore), 4 GB RAM, Windows 10, DirectX11, graphics card with 512 MB RAM or more, 100% DirectX10-compatible sound card, Windows Media Player 11, DVD-ROM drive and internet access for program activation.
The Italian Game, which arises after 3...Bc5, is one of the oldest chess openings, already mentioned in the famous 16th century Göttingen manuscript. In the centuries which followed it was the most popular way to open the game and its name came about in honour of the masters of the Italian school, who strove above all for free play for their pieces and complicated combinations.
White has several plans at his disposition in the position in the diagram. One of the most aggressive which leads to open positions with a lot of tactical possibilities is, after 4.c3 Nf6 to seize an early initiative in the centre after 5.d4. The move 5.d4 constitutes an attack on the bishop on c5. Black’s best move is to exchange the pawns with 5...exd4, but after 6.cxd4 White has at his disposition a dangerous mobile pawn duo. Here already Black has to play with great accuracy. Thus the retreat 6...Bb6 would be bad, because it would give White’s central pawns the opportunity to advance. Instead of that, he has to play 6...Bb4+, in order to force White to react to the check. The moderate reply is 7.Bd2 Bxd2+ 8.Nbxd2, but in many open games this allows the important central counter-thrust 8... d5, which breaks up White’s centre and gains a tempo with the attack on the bishop on c4. After 9.exd5 Nxd5 all that is left of the ideal centre d4-e4 is an isolated pawn on d4. However both sides have lots of chances here.=> More products: Italian Game
In a total of nine video clips, top ten player Wesley So talks to IM Oliver Reeh, explaining his personal preferences as Black in the Italian game. The videos are structured according to specific concepts and ideas. Should Black play ...a6 to allow the retreat ...Ba7 or rather ...a5? What’s the best way to meet White’s plan with Bg5, be it with or without short castling? When is it possible to unleash the early raid ...Ng4 followed by ...f5? What are benefits of the knight manoeuvre Nc6-e7-g6 combined with Nf6-h5? Can one do without ...d6 and play ...d5 right away to sharpen up the game immediately? These and many more features the grandmaster explains for Black, providing his White perspective too - as a top gun, So of course employs the Italian with both colours!
By the way, directly after these recordings were made Wesley So played the London Chess Classic 2017 where he defeated ex-world champion Vishy Anand as black, employing the topical ...a5 (instead of ...a6) which of course is also treated on this DVD. Plans, tricks and subtleties in the Italian Game, well-structured and conceptual, explained by a world-class grandmaster — this DVD can take you towards the very top!
• Video running time: 3 h 04 min (English)
• With analysis and annotated games by Wesley So
• Extra: Exclusive database with additional model games and special book
• Including CB Reader