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Luis Argentino Palau vs Miguel Najdorf
Buenos Aires (1939), Buenos Aires ARG, rd 7, Oct-11
Formation: King's Indian Attack (B24)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-07-03  ughaibu: This is a surprising one but it was asking for it to play b4 against a kingside fianchetto. Does anyone know the etymology of "fianchetto"?
Sep-07-03  francescog: <ughaibu> "fianco" in italian means "side". "Fianchetto" is a diminutive of "fianco". The word "gambetto" is italian for gambit, and so the two words rhyme =) Apart from this, I don't know anything more serious. =)
Sep-07-03  ughaibu: Francescog: Very interesting, thank you. I have to wonder why the chess world adopted an Italian term for this use of a bishop(?)
Sep-07-03  Benjamin Lau: I have heard many stories of where the word fianchetto was derived. I think there is something similar to it in French.
Sep-07-03  SicilianDragon: Fianchetto is definitely of an Italian root, that I am sure of.
Sep-07-03  ughaibu: Okay, but there is a conspicuous paucity of Italian players over the last couple of hundred years, so why an Italian term? After all what if any is the term for a non-Fianchetto bishop deployment?
Sep-07-03  francescog: <Benjamin Lau> "Fianchetto" doesn't sound french =) I don't remember their term, but fianchetto clearly refers to fianco, as I said. I think the use refers to the old times when there were many great players in Italy. By the way, Italian for bishop is "Alfiere", and for Knight is "Cavallo" (-> Horse =) )
Sep-07-03  Benjamin Lau: <fianchetto>

I think I just solved the mystery. I checked

1 entry found for fianchetto.
fi·an·chet·to ( P ) Pronunciation Key (fn-kt, -cht) n. pl. fi·an·chet·ti (-kt, -cht)
The development in chess of a bishop from its original position to the second square of the adjacent knight's file.

tr. & intr.v. fi·an·chet·toed, fi·an·chet·to·ing, fi·an·chet·tos To develop as or set up a fianchetto.

[Italian, diminutive of fianco, flank, from Old Italian, from Old French flanc. See flank.]

Sep-07-03  ughaibu: Wait till Marnoff Mirlony gets here, 'Fianchetto' is probably mafia slang for "Fischer's machette".
Sep-07-03  Benjamin Lau: I would laugh ugaibu, but Marnoff would think that we're trying to setup a "tag team" against him. The guy is a nut, he's the online equivalent of the town drunk. :-)
Sep-07-03  francescog: <benjamin lau> you were right about french =) and I should stop talking about things I don't know =) (well, at least Italian is my mother tongue so that part is right =) )
Sep-07-03  ughaibu: The answers from all three of you were appreciated, thank you.
Sep-07-03  Benjamin Lau: <francescog>

It's okay, I don't know French either :-) It doesn't surprise me that it comes from both French and Italian since they're both Latin languages.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: This game is identical to L Palau vs Najdorf, 1939 except that the other game ends after move 11.
Dec-10-05  lopium: It surprise me that fianchetto has French roots, for flanc. Oh well, it means like "lado" in Spanish, or "side" in English, more or less. I would have guessed it has Italian roots, not French, though.
Premium Chessgames Member
  hesyrett: Why the Italian term "fianchetto"?  I'm no historian, but know enough classical music theory to assert that all the terms for tempo and dynamics ("allegro", "diminuendo", "fortissimo", "rallentando", etc.) are Italian and were used by all European composers regardless of native language until the Austro-German nationalists like Wagner and Mahler began using German equivalents in the late 19th century.  Maybe this originated with the Venetian dominance of early Renaissance culture.
Premium Chessgames Member
  hesyrett: <Benjamin Lau> Building on your etymology of "fianchetto", where you wrote <[Italian, diminutive of fianco, flank, from Old Italian, from Old French flanc. See flank.]>, here is what I found in Wiktionary for "flank":  [From Late Anglo-Saxon flanc, from Old French flanc, from a Germanic source, probably Frankish *hlanca].  So there's an Indo-European root lurking behind it all!

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