The Italian Fork Trick

Here’s a nice miniature by Emanuel Lasker against some consultants from London that illustrates an important trick in the opening. In the popular Italian Game with 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6, White’s 4.Nc3 can be met by 4…Nxe4. The point is that after 5.Nxe4 Black can recover the piece with 5…d5 and get a good game.

This comes as quite a shock to White players who are unaware of this trick, and they can cave in quite rapidly. They would be better off playing 4.d3, but this is another story.

Lasker is probably my favourite player, not just because of his chess but his philosophical insights and depth of thought in all areas. It’s well worth checking out his best known book, Lasker’s Manual of Chess plus the collection of his games by Hannak. There was an introduction to the Hannak book by Albert Einstein, with whom Lasker was friends.


Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster living in St. Helens in the UK. The winner of 15 international tournaments he is also a former British U21 and British Open Quickplay Champion and has represented both England and Wales on several occasions. These days Nigel teaches chess through his chess training web site, Tiger Chess, which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos and courses. His students include his 15 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: