Does anyone have advice to give against the giuoco piano ? I find this opening boring for white after 3... Bc5 and I'd like to find a way to keep playing the italian without risking to play a boring game. I know the Evan's gambit, but I'd rather develop a repertoire on openings I can comprehend instead of relying on preparation. I'm looking for sharper lines that don't require sacrifices a computer or theorician would consider unsound. Would you recommend, 4. O-O, d3, c3, Nc3, or do I have to avoid the italian game completely ? That would be a shame because I enjoy playing against all other replies.

closed as primarily opinion-based by fuxia, GloriaVictis, Brian Towers, Marco, Remellion Feb 7 at 2:52

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    Welcome to Chess.SE! This seems like a rather opinion based question. Could you reword it to make it a little more specific? – Brandon_J Jan 29 at 16:16
  • I'm curious what you think the main line of the Evans is – Ian Bush Jan 29 at 18:34
  • @Brandon_J I Maybe I should put it this way: how can I make the position more dynamic, with more chances for both sides, without going for a theoretically "unsound" gambit, like the Evans gambit or Max Lange gambit (I know it's untrue to call them unsound, Kasparov has used the Evans gambit in a world championship match). It is just that I want to develop a repertoire allowing me to get good positions, not positions in which my opponents are likely to blunder, to develop "healthy" chess habits and a sustainable repertoire (one that doesn't rely on my opponent making inferior moves). – Alex Lulu Jan 29 at 19:10
  • @IanBush Very good question, because what I had in mind was probably not the main line. What I had in mind is this 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5 4. b4 Bxb4 5. c3 Ba5 6. d4 exd4 7. Qb3 Qe7 8. O-O Bb6 9. cxd4 Nxd4 10. Nxd4 Bxd4 11. Nc3 Nf6 12. Nb5 d5 13. exd5 Bxa1 14. Ba3 Qe5 15. f4 Bd4+ 16. Kh1 Qe3 17. Nxd4 Qxb3 18. Re1+ Kd8 19. Be7+ Kd7 20. Nxb3 c6 21. dxc6+ bxc6 22. Bxf7 And other variations I'm seeing on chesstree.net din't seem to produce better results. – Alex Lulu Jan 29 at 19:16
  • @AlexLulu I think that you are asking for "sharper" lines. If you reword the question in this way, that might be better. – Brandon_J Jan 29 at 19:17

What about slow plan (1.e4, Nf3, Bc4, d3, c3, 0-0, Nd2), then depending on what the opponent does, you can play d4 or move the knight on d2 -> f1 -> g3 (and potentially f5) and make something happen on the king side.

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    I second this recommendation. There are no strict theoretical lines to be feared (comprehension > memorization), while at the same time you have a lot of latent attacking potential against the opponent's centre and/or king (which weaker opponents will frequently underestimate - e.g. h6/h7 bishop sacrifices are always in the cards). – Annatar Jan 30 at 12:12

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4

First: Giuoco piano translates to "quiet game" so you have an odd expectation. There are plenty of ways to make it sharp however. You mentioned the Evan's gambit, but there is also the 4.0-0 Nf6 5.d4 gambit (which I played a ton of as a kid, but the name escapes me).

  • @ Ywapom Thanks for the very good suggestion. It's the Max Lange (or Deutz) gambit. It does have the same downside for me, that I won't ever really get good positions without memorizing more moves than my opponent. Maybe I should just go for the Max Lange, I just feel less motivated to study an opening that I don't feel like it's one of the best options, even if it will perform well against humans. As for having odd expectations, I don't decide to play the Giuoco piano, Black does I'm very happy to play against the sicilian and the Two Knights Attack, that's why I play 1. e4 and 2. Nf3 – Alex Lulu Jan 29 at 19:35
  • @AlexLulu Lulu In that case you can look to other move 2's for White against 1...e5. There is 2.d4 which is not as bad as it's reputation. 2.Nc3 going toward Vienna game. Heck, even Nakamura played 2.Qh5 a few times -- it just leads to an equal position but you are out of book. – Ywapom Jan 30 at 20:34

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