For years players wanting to take the black side of the Ruy Lopez have had to navigate the alternative lines White can choose after 1 e4 e5. This book gives a choice of dynamic systems for Black, to counter anything White might try in order to avoid the Ruy Lopez – the Scotch, King's Gambit, Italian Game, Four Knights, etc.

Noted opening writer Sverre Johnsen has made extensive use of modern computer engines to overturn ancient assessments, and has found new paths that breathe fresh life into positions long thought to be resolved. It is striking how often in his lines Black is able to seize the initiative.

Sverre Johnsen is a chess analyst, researcher, organizer, trainer and writer from Norway. He is author or co-author of several successful opening books, including Win with the London System, Win with the Stonewall Dutch, A Killer Chess Opening Repertoire, The Ruy Lopez: A Guide for Black and Win with the Caro-Kann.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

“The well-known analyst Sverre Johnsen from Norway provides the reader with an impressive repertoire book based on the black lines of the Italian game. As we all know, at top level chess the Ruy Lopez is out and the Italian game is in! An important reference work!” – John Elburg,

“...written from a chess trainer’s perspective, which makes the material more relevant to over the board play... the review of previous publications is superb. For example, in the section on the Giucco Pianissimo, Johnsen points out 10...h5, a move suggested by Bologan, that for some reason has been ignored by some of the top players in the world. The author uncovers several new paths in well known positions that will pay the price of the book” – Miguel Ararat,

“The layout is easy to follow... I particularly like the fact that the author puts the main moves before sub-variations at the beginning of each new piece. This publication is intended to cater for both inexperienced players wanting first step knowledge to more experienced players who know theory but never really studied the open games. Has the author achieved his goal in this respect? I would say so in my case, yes. Recommended” – Carl Portman, OPEN FILE