Alexander Kalinin & Nikolai KalinichenkoSample pages (pdf)
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 the queen's knight is often sent along the Spanish knight's tour b1-d2-f1-g3. It is no wonder that such an interpretation of the opening was dubbed the Italian/Spanish Game by the experts. In fact 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. 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."
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.
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. Therefore this book first demonstrates the main strategic ideas and typical plans of the modern Giuoco Pianissimo, and only then is the reader offered a review of the modern theory of the Italian Game, centered around practical examples from grandmaster games.
Published 2021, softback, 384 pages.