After e4, e5 the Open game continues with Nf3 which is the best response to e5 as it develops a piece and attacks the black centre.
Bc4 is the Bishops Opening as a second but not much used option. Nc3 is the Vienna Game which again is not very popular but could be played.
The most popular move now for white is Bb5 – the Spanish or Ruy Lopez. This is favoured to the Italian which is Bc4 as it saves a move later in the game. But Bc4 is the move we’ll look at today as again it is popular at club level.
The Scotch Opening is d4 as another option and Nc3 is the Three Knights game.
Bc4 develops a piece and is attacking f7 which is a well known weakness for black. The Italian is one of the oldest openings recorded and studied in chess and one of the first people learn so it’s a good opening to study first.
As you can see the options next for Black are Bc5 or Nf6 both of which are well recognised moves and pretty much nothing else is played at GrandMaster level. Bc5 takes us into the Giuoco Piano whereas Nf6 takes us to the Two Knights Defence, both variations of the Italian Game and which we’ll look at in the next post.