Giuoco Piano[ edit ]
ECO: C50
theme No: 1148
title: Giuoco Piano
notation: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5
board: show
The Giuoco Piano is a chess opening characterized by the moves

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Bc5

The Giuoco Piano (Italian: "quiet game"), is the oldest recorded opening. The Portuguese Damiano played it at the beginning of the 15th century and the Italian Greco played it at the beginning of the 16th century. Greco´s work on the opening has given it the alternate name the Italian Game. The Giuoco Piano was popular through the 19th century, but modern refinements in defensive play have led most chess masters towards openings like the Ruy Lopez that offer White greater chances for long term initiative.

White´s "Italian bishop" at c4 prevents Black from advancing in the center with ...d5 and attacks the vulnerable f7 square. White plans to dominate the center with d2-d4 and to attack the Black king. Black aims to free his game by exchanging pieces and playing the pawn break ...d5, or to hold his center pawn at e5.

With the Evans Gambit, 4.b4, White offers a pawn to speed his development. See Evans Gambit for more detail.

With 4.d3, White plays the Giuoco Pianissimo (Italian: "quietest game"). White aims for a slow buildup deferring d4 until it can be prepared. By avoiding an immediate confrontation in the center White prevents the early release of tension through exchanges and enters a positional maneuvering game. If White plays c2-c3, the position can take some characteristics of the Ruy Lopez if his bishop retreats to c2 via Bc4-b3-c2. Despite its drawish reputation, this variation became more popular after being taken up by John Nunn in the 1980s.

In the most popular continuation White prepares d2-d4 by playing 4.c3. Black can try to hold a strong point in the center at e5 with 4...Qe7 or he can counterattack with 4...Nf6. The center holding variation can continue 4...Qe7 5.d4 Bb6 6.0-0 d6 7.a4 a6 8. h3 Nf6 9.Re1 0-0. The variations following from 4...Nf6 have been very extensively analyzed for over 300 years.
Danish player Jørgen Møller published analysis of the line that would later be called the Møller Attack in Tidsskrift for Skak (1898).
In the Møller Attack White sacrifices a pawn for development and the initiative, 5.d4 exd4 6.cxd4 Bb4+ 7.Nc3 Nxe4 8.0-0 Bxc3 9.d5. Another line that Greco discovered is varies starting on Black´s 8th move with 8...Nxc3 9.bxc3 Bxc3 10.Qb3. Now if Black takes the White queen rook with 10...bxa1, White wins the black queen with 11.Bxf7+, Kf8 12. Bg5 Ne7 13. Re1. If White does not want to gambit material, instead of 7.Nc3 he can play 7.Bd2 which can continue 7...Bxd2+ 8.Nbxd2 d5 9.exd5 Nxd5 10.Qb3 Nce7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Rfe1 c6. In this position White has more freedom but his isolated queen pawn can be a weakness.


categories: theme library | Giuoco Piano
article No 1053 / last change on 2005-07-06, 03:51pm

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This article is based on the article Giuoco Piano from the free encyclopaedia Wikipedia and stands under the GNU-Licence for free documentation. In the Wikipedia a list of the authors is available.

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