1.e4 e5 for Black - Repertoire against the Italian Game
This product includes all the videos from the workshop as well as the PGN file related to the training sessions. Overall, the material consists of 9 hours of video and a PGN database which includes 112 files!
You will find the following lectures:
✅ Typical Italian Strategies
✅ Repertoire against the Italian-Scotch Gambit
✅ Repertoire against 4.Ng5 and the Minor Lines
✅ Plans with ...h7-h6 and ...g7-g6
✅ Plans with ...Bc5 - Part 1
✅ Plans with ...Bc5 - Part 2
Now, we shall take a look at the different lectures.
Typical Italian Strategies
In this lecture, GM Ioannis Papaioannou examines the most important positional patterns that every Italian player should know. These concepts can be applied in almost all lines of the Italian Game.
The lecture is divided into the following parts:
1) Isolated Italian Bishop
2) Fundamental Mistakes in 1.e4 e5 positions
3) Be7 or Kingside Fianchetto?
4) Symmetrical Endgames arising after dxe5
Below, you shall take a look at one of the model games.
Repertoire against the Italian-Scotch Gambit
The starting position of the Scotch Gambit arises after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4
In this variation, Black is doing very well objectively if he knows what he is doing. After 4...Nf6, White has two main options - 5.0-0 and 5.e5.
After 5.0-0, Papaioannou suggests 5...Nxe4 when the first critical position arises after 6.Re1 d5 7.Bxd5 Qxd5 8.Nc3
At this point, Black has a choice. The suggestion of Papaioannou is 8...Qd7! which is very reliable and easy to learn. He explains how Black can play for a win in the arising endgame positions.
The other important direction is 5.e5 d5 6.Bb5
Now, instead of the most common 6...Ne4, Papaioannou covers 6...Nd7. In his opinion, this move is more interesting if Black wants to play for a win. The arising positions are strategically complex and White can easily go wrong.
Below, you shall see one of the model games.
Repertoire against 4.Ng5 and the Minor Lines
The main focus of this lecture is the position arising after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5
Papaioannou considers this system to be objectively fine but very impractical for White. The reason is that Black will sacrifice a pawn in order to overtake the initiative. In the arising positions, Black's play is easier from human perspective.
The main line goes 4...d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6
In this position, the modern main line starts with 8.Bd3. Obviously, Papaioannou examines all the alternatives. Black has an easy play in all the directions.
Below, you can take a look at one of the model games.
Plans with ...h7-h6 and ...g7-g6
In this lecture, Papaioannou shares one of his favourite lines against the Italian Game. The initial position arises after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 h6!?
Here is how Papaioannou justifies this choice himself, "This move, which somewhat looks like beginner's play, may require some explanation. Generally speaking, in the opening it is important to develop one's pieces quickly and avoid unnecessary pawn moves. Especially when you are Black, moves that neglect development often get punished. So why is this one an exception? First of all, in this particular type of position, moves that are suited to punish slow play would be Ng5 and d2-d4. One has just been prevented and the other has lost a lot of its punch due to the fact that the pawn has just moved to d3. d3-d4 ideas may come into consideration later, when Black further neglects his development, but for now they are harmless. But to understand the concept, it is important to know a few things about Black's kingside bishop. In the Italian and in the Ruy Lopez, this bishop is usually developed to either c5 or e7. In the latter case, a well-known manoeuvre is Re8, Bf8, g7-g6, Bg7. Many players execute this delayed fianchetto almost automatically, never wondering why they had not put the bishop there in the first place. The reason why this is seen so often is simple: g7 is generally speaking the best square for the king's bishop in the Italian and Ruy Lopez. As White's plans are usually connected with playing d3-d4 at some point, the bishop will be well placed to defend the centre, generate pressure on the opponent's centre and roam freely on the long diagonal once the position opens. The reason why it is rarely played early is also simple: In the open games, slow moves like g7-g6 can often get refuted with energetic play. Back to the Italian with 4...h6: The point of this move is to slowly prepare a kingside fianchetto (usually g7-g6 but sometimes even g7-g5) by first of all preventing White from playing Ng5. Now the reader may wonder: Why should I play such a slow system, that requires three pawn moves before development can be continued? The answer to this question is: It's much less slow than it seems. In setups with Be7, Black will certainly be able to castle and look developed quickly, but if he proceeds to play the bishop back to f8 and then to g7, the tempo-count does not look so favourable anymore. And when the bishop is developed to c5 instead, the a-pawn has to move to create a retreat square on a7, soon followed by the bishop moving back to a7. And as the bishop is missing on the kingside, at some point the notion of its white counterpart on g5, creating an unpleasant pin, becomes unpleasant and Black decides to prevent this by playing h7-h6. So this is what the 4...h6 variation is about: Obtain the best possible placement for the king's bishop and pay the smallest possible price in development tempi for it. But it has to be paid immediately!"
The PGN version of this lecture consists of 1 big theoretical file and 20 model games.
Below, you shall take a look at one of the examples.
Plans with ...Bc5 - Part 1 and Part 2
The last two lectures are dedicated to the main line in the Italian Game arising after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d3 Bc5
On the diagram, we can see one of the most popular opening tabiyas nowadays. Countless top-level games featured this position. A typical feature for most of the lines in Italian Game are the complex move orders. The good news is that you are covered against all the subtleties related to move orders. The system suggested by Papaioannou works against pretty much everything.
Regardless of what White does, our next moves will be ...a7-a6, ...d7-d6, and ...Ba7.
In the first lecture about this system, Papaioannou explains the essential strategic concepts that one needs to know in order to handle these positions. The second lecture covers White's most challenging setups. As a matter of fact, you can play this system without the need to remember any concrete theory!
Below, you shall see one of the examples.