THE GIUOCO PIANO (aka. The Italian Opening)

Board Position
This 15th century opening derives its Italian name (pronounced "jee-ooh-oh-ko" and meaning quiet, slow or mild game) from the contrast it offers to the various tactical and gambit openings, although it can be just as violent in its consequences. Reached via the "Épine Dorsale", it is identified from White's bishop attack (KB-QB4) and Black's similar reply (move 3wb, seen left).
White's early attack strikes at the Black king's weakest point KB2(f7), and prepares the way for a P-Q4 assault on the centre. Apart from main open and closed lines (below), early variants include the Evans Gambit (qv.), the Moller Attack and a line leading to the Miss-in-Baulk and Bourdonnais Vars.

Begin or Clear or Groups or see: 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bc4 Bc5
4 c3 to
Open: 4..Nf6 5 d4 exd4 6 cxd4 Bb4+ 7 Bd2 Bxd2+ 8 Nbxd2 d5 9 exd5 Nxd5 10 Qb3..
Close: 4..Qe7 5 d4 Bb6 6 0-0 d6 7 h3 Nf6 8 Re1 0-0 9 Na3
Pianissimo V: 4 d3 Nf6 5 Nc3 d6 to (Canal V:) 6 Bg5 f6 7 Bxf6 Qxf6 8 Nd5 Qd8 9 c3 Ne7 10 d4..

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Board Position

Board Position
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(To) THE GIUOCO PIANO ("Épine Dorsale")

 1. P-K4...P-K4
attempts to occupy the centre with his King's Pawn, opening diagonals for his KB and Q and attacking squares Q5(d5) and KB5(f5).
Black has the same idea, replying with a mutual King's Pawn in an open defence (so termed because in an open game the centre tends to become opened up by pawn exchange rather than blocked by close play).

 2. Kt-KB3...Kt-QB3
brings his King's Knight closer to the centre and attacks a pawn, as per the golden rule: always develop with attack if possible.
Black defends the pawn and develops his Queen's Knight.

WHITE to Move or Jump or Clear
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