A great opening for beating sub-2000 players

The Ponziani is the main aggressive/surprise opening I used as White when I climbed from 1600 USCF to eventually 2130 over about three years. My coach GM Alex Wojtkiewicz (RIP) suggested it as an easy way to trip up class players who likely don’t have time to study this somewhat obscure opening and figure they’ll just play it over the board if they encounter it. Unfortunately for them, the “natural” moves are the wrong ones and they can easily fall into some traps. This opening is also good for online blitz and bullet games for the same reason.

See “Tiger’s Modern” by GM Tiger Hillarp Perrson chapter on the Hippo and “The Hippopotamus Rises” by IM Andrew Martin.
Video Rating: 4 / 5

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