Giouco Pianissimo has become an extremely popular opening in recent years, especially on the highest level. There are two basic continuations for Black on 7th move: one is an early Bishop retreat – 7… Ba7, and the other is 7… O-O.
The idea of 7… Ba7 is to prevent White from playing d3-d4 in an early stage of the game. Moves 8. Re1, 8. h3, 8. Be3 and 8. Nbd2 have been extensively played, but the verdict stays the same – Black has no difficulties getting even chances.
[Diagram: Black to Move] Black is exerting pressure on the kingside and the most important defending white piece is the Knight on f3. How can Black disrupt the position of that Knight and gain an advantage?
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