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When White is playing an Italian game, Black mostly has two ways to react: the safe one with the Giuoco Piano and the sharp one with the Two Knights Defense.

It is time for a very sharp line now. Beware, what follows is only one possible follow-up amongst several hundreds of possible lines. The purpose of this article is not to review all possible lines, but rather to help you understand the dynamics of the position to help you take the right decisions.

Years of experience tell us that chances are about equal here. However, the position is full of possibilities.
One comment: the moves played here are the main moves, but they are not the only possible moves: at almost each move, there are often 1 or 2 possible alternatives, and that is why the two Knights defense is a complex opening to play.

Let’s take the opportunity of a small memory test to check an interesting line together.

You are now familiar with one line of the Two Knights Defense, and you know enough of the dynamics to be able to navigate through this opening. As for any other sharp opening, you will need to study a few other moves before including it into your repertoire.

This opening is one of the sharpest you can find and it is tactically very demanding. If you like that kind of positions, you should always play opening systems that suit your style. On different systems, the Semi-Slav and some Sicilian defenses come to mind. Be sure to check the underlying ideas before playing them !

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