The Taming of the Giuoco

11/8/2004 – The Moeller Attack in the Giuoco Piano is a complex line filled with traps Black must avoid. But before you give up 1…e5 altogether drop in at for Dennis Monkroussos's Monday night lecture. You might just end up considering the Moeller a free win with the black pieces.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes: Amateurs rarely have time to really study their openings, but often that’s not too large a liability: as long as one reaches a position with which one is familiar. With some opening variations, however, that sort of approach is far less likely to succeed. Case in point: the Moeller Attack in the Giuoco Piano. This sharp line is filled with traps Black must avoid, and it’s not the sort of variation one can just figure out over the board. What should you 1…e5 lovers out there do? Become theory slaves? Take up the Hungarian Defense? Give up 1…e5 altogether?

Answer: of course not! The right course of action is to watch this week’s show, when you’ll learn not only how to survive this trappy line, but how to force White to fight for his or her life. As we’ll see, a bit of familiarity with this line will remove all your Italian Game nightmares (except for those emerging from the Evans Gambit); soon, you’ll see the Moeller as a free win for you when you have the black pieces. Tune in as we tame the Giuoco while enjoying some great games old and new!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Mondays at 9 p.m. EST, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Tuesday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

Dennis Monokroussos is 38, lives in South Bend, IN (the site of the University of Notre Dame), and is writing a Ph.D. dissertation in philosophy (in the philosophy of mind) while adjuncting at the University.

He is fairly inactive as a player right now, spending most of his non-philosophy time being a husband and teaching chess. At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S., but quit for about eight years starting in his early 20s. His highest rating was 2434 USCF, but he has now fallen to the low-mid 2300s – "too much blitz, too little tournament chess", he says.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for seven years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.


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