An easy-to-learn chess opening that may look innocent, but is actually full of venom
One of the best and most popular ways to meet White’s first move 1.e4 remains the tried and tested 1…e5. After this move many games steer for the Ruy Lopez.
The Ruy is a perfectly fine choice for White, but one that requires you to study the countless different setups and follow the continuously evolving theory in that opening.
Karsten Müller and Georgios Souleidis present an alternative that is ideal for the average club player: a complete repertoire for White in the Italian Opening.
This modern version of the age-old ‘Giuoco Piano’, with the innocent looking pawn moves c2-c3 and d2-d3, is not only popular at club level, but is also regularly adopted by an increasing number of strong Grandmasters, including the very best, such as Magnus Carlsen and Anish Giri.
The set-up is easy to learn and understand, and theoretical novelties are much less important than the sound principles it is based on, such as the pawn push d3-d4 or bringing the b1 knight over to the kingside and into the attack.
The Slow Italian may look innocent, but is actually full of venom, because White has a lot of options to create aggressive play by making natural looking moves with his pieces.
Müller and Souleidis have created a solid weapon that every amateur chess player will delight in playing. They have included exercises to test your understanding.
Karsten Müller (1970) is a mathematician and a chess grandmaster from Hamburg. He is a prolific writer whose books include the bestselling 'Bobby Fischer: Career and Complete Games' and 'The Modern Scandinavian'. Georgios Souleidis (1972) is an International Master from Germany who works as a chess trainer and journalist. He has played the Slow Italian with good results himself.
From the foreword by Anish Giri:
"One easy, yet prideful way out of the opening carousel, or madhouse if you wish, is the Italian Game (..) The basic principles, the plans and the concepts as well as the model games offered in this book will help many ambitious chess lovers come closer to understanding the subtleties of this quiet yet fascinating opening."
International Master Dirk Schuh:
"This book contains some highly powerful ideas. There are not only very well selected exercises with typical tactics, but also strategic tests that illustrate and train typical motifs. Then there is a long chapter on quintessential strategies that not just reinforces the theory but also presents additional new ideas (..) Excellent in my opinion is the chapter on how to deal with the various recommendations for Black in recent repertoire books by other authors."
Glenn Flear, author of 'Starting Out: the Open Games':
"The authors seek a solid foundation before pushing for any greater activity. This will suit many a reader, of any strength, as it's all very natural (..) The authors have clearly spent plenty of time working out a way to get their message across (..) Chapter 10, dealing with 'Back repertoires' was a particularly cunning inclusion."
Christian Hoethe, ChessBase News:
"A brilliant book, everyone who plays the Italian with White or Black should have it."
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