The Modernized Italian Game for White


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To utilize the Giuoco Pianissimo successfully, a club player needs only to master the general ideas of this setup, without overloading their brain with hundreds of variations. At the same time, they find themselves in the pleasant company of the world’s elite, and may even pick up recommendations to improve their opening from top grandmasters. Of course, such interactions will bring an amateur some concrete benefits in the opening, but more importantly it will increase their understanding of the game as a whole, because they will start to learn from the games of high-level players, with a vested interest!

Alexander Kalinin & Nicolai Kalinichenko

– The Modernized Italian Game for White

– ISBN 9789464201079

– 384 pages.

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SKU: 9789464201079 Categorías: , Etiquetas: ,


The Modernized Italian Game for White

The Modernized Italian Game for White for more than a hundred years, nothing threatened the

leading role of the Spanish Opening among the open games. In the old Ruy Lopez, White always

managed to develop long-term strategic pressure on the opponent.



Such was Black’s discomfort, that at the beginning of the 20th century, the Russian master Semyon

Alapin even proposed rearranging the initial position so that the black pawn stood on a6 rather than

a7, just to prevent the white bishop from coming to b5, and grandmaster Savielly Tartakower called

the Spanish Game ‘a cow that White can milk forever’!

The Modernized Italian


But things are changing. In recent years, something incredible has happened: the brilliant Spanish

has been edged out by an old Renaissance opening; the Italian! Almost the entire world, all the way

from those competing in world championship matches and elite events right down to players in

amateur competitions, began to place their light-squared bishop on c4 on the 3rd move.

 Giuoco Pianissimo


We should note that the romantic times of the Greco Attack and the Evans Gambit are gone forever.

The modern treatment of the Italian Game is filled with the ideas gleaned from the Spanish. White

prefers the modest pawn advance d2-d3 as opposed to the rapid d2-d4, after which they often send

their queen’s knight along the Spanish knight’s tour b1-d2-f1-g3.

Game for White


It is no wonder that such an interpretation of the opening was dubbed the Italian/Spanish Game by

the experts. In fact, in the notes of the Italian masters of the 17th century, the line of the Italian Game

with d2-d3 was named the Giuoco Pianissimo, or the “quietest game”, which conveys its character

with surprising accuracy.



The reason why the strongest modern chess players have adopted “the quietest game”, is quite banal.

At the top level, it has become increasingly difficult to play ‘real’ chess – if combative opening lines

are chosen as the field of theoretical discussion – as the importance of engine-assisted preparation is

simply too high.

Alexander Kalinin


So grandmasters have had to find pastures new! As Sergey Karjakin noted, ‘In our time, the theory of

the Italian is only being developed, and everyone arranges the pieces as they want. Probably, this is

one of those rare openings where you can still improvise from the very beginning with both colours,

without much damage to the position.

Nicolai Kalinichenko


For chess lovers, such a change in the opening views of the strongest players is a real success! A club

player, having neither the time nor the ability to master the fashionable theoretical lines, has been

previously forced to be content with choosing some solid opening systems, which are not very

popular amongst the grandmasters. Yet now the situation has changed dramatically.

Sample pages



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