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spurtus 23 ( +1 | -1 )
Scotch opening Whats the status of this opening, are there any imaginative ways to undermine it?
Is it at all deprecated these days?

I'd like to learn about its weaknesses... but perhaps I ought to understand it strengths first?

Can you help please?

Spurtus.
hardland 41 ( +1 | -1 )
Scotch... why for? I've been reading again what I'v got about the scotch (fery few indeed).

When I try to play an opening, is because it brings me something I feel I want to have. (Or at least I imagine it will bring it).

Scotch seems not much interesting from other 1.e4 e5 openings. Will you find something in it?

The only thing I can imagine, is the surprise, as your opponents (on the board) might no expect you to play it.
i_play_slowly 19 ( +1 | -1 )
can't be that bad It won at the FIDE World Championships last year, Rublevsky vs. Sasikiran. Why not check out some of the latest entries to the databases at ChessLab.com or chessgames.com, and see how it's being done these days? Cheers!
naamloos 35 ( +1 | -1 )
Scotch I play the Scotch as I seem to like open games and the Scotch is as open as you can get. However, I've noticed that against good play of black, white does not get much of an advantage. He usually has a bit more space in the center, but black can develop quickly and gets an equal game most of the times. For what advantage are Gm's looking in the Scotch?
naamloos 35 ( +1 | -1 )
Scotch I play the Scotch as I seem to like open games and the Scotch is as open as you can get. However, I've noticed that against good play of black, white does not get much of an advantage. He usually has a bit more space in the center, but black can develop quickly and gets an equal game most of the times. For what advantage are Gm's looking in the Scotch?
ionadowman 69 ( +1 | -1 )
Scotch Game/Scotch Gambit I've played it quite a lot on GK, but 'naamloos' has pretty much described my experience with it. It can transpose into other things such as various lines of the 2-Knights' Defence (including the Max Lange line), or the Goring Gambit, and lead to exciting games. The gambit lines can be a lot of fun. Despite the opening's seeming potential, however, it seems that an uncooperative Black can always find ways to suck the life out of the game. The related Belgrade Gambit (an old favorite) seems to suffer from the same malaise. However, the opening has this virtue: it is entirely sound! No losses yet, but a few boring draws...
(My last completed game was a Scotch. I can't find its board number, sorry).
Cheers,
Ion
naamloos 188 ( +1 | -1 )
Scotch I played a Scotch yesterday in my local club (Intern game) and resigned before the 20th move. I played the Nxc6 variant after he played Nf6 and was left with the feeling that this whole variant is not that good, at least for me. What about Nc3 after Nf6, does that leave white with more active pieceplay than in the Nxc6 variant. If it doesn't, I'm thinking about giving up on the Scotch and - again - search for something else. Here is the game:

[Event "Club Intern"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2006.01.19"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Loos, Rudolf"]
[Black "Batterink, J."]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C45"]
[BlackElo "1616"]
[PlyCount "34"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 {At this point my opponent started to think for a long time. After the game Batterink explained that he used to play Qh4, but was recently beaten severely by a small by in this variant.}Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Nd5 {Unuasual but not bad}(6...
Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 Nb6) 7. c4 Nb6 {Bd3 is probably better}
8. Nc3 Bb4 {Fritz says that Qg4 was necessary to maintain an advantage.} 9. Bd2 {But this move seemed natural and I was not worreid yet} Qe7 {
This move changed my feeling of the game, I felt that white wasn't going to get an advantage here.} 10. a3 ?! {With the idea that after he captures on c3 and I capture back, the pawn would be defended again. I missed that capturing the pawn would give him a extra tempo due to a check.} Bd6 ?! {My opponent missed it too.} (10...
Qxe5+ 11. Be2 Bd6 {White has nothing for the pawn.}11. Be3 ? {I did not consider f4, because I felt it would ruin my position and that the pawn would be gone anyway. I had actually already given up a bit.} Bxe5 12. c5 {Trying to block in the Knight which was ofcourse easely defendable.} Bxc3+ 13. bxc3 Nd5 14. Qd4 Nxe3 15. fxe3
O-O 16. Bd3 Re8 17. O-O Qxe3+ {I resigned, probably a bit prematurely, but I sure was not in a nice position.} 0-1


I hope that above is a bit understandable. I tried to translate a small portion of my annotations that were in Dutch.
ionadowman 134 ( +1 | -1 )
Naamloos... ...I like your notes: it tells as much of a state of mind as a state of play. Very helpful! Play for the first 9 moves seems reasonable. Possibly 8.Bd3 is indicated in order to meet a possible 8...Bb4+ in response by 9.Bd2 (Bxd2 10.Nxd2), or maybe just 9.Nd2. This would preserve the integrity of White's Q-side pawns. From d3, this Bishop also has an eye on h7. But 8.Nc3 was worth testing. Your tenth, 10.a3, does look wrong on account of 10...Qxe5+, which not only wins the pawn, but also wipes out much of white's centre, for the time being at least. What, then, can you try instead? 10.f4 looks fine (I'm not sure why you don't like the move in this or a similar position) and Qe2 might just be possible. Instead of 12.c5, 12.Qc2 preserves your Q-side structure. After that, you seem to be 'hanging on' OK until your resignation. I think it was more than 'probably a bit' premature; White has the worst of it, sure, but all was not yet lost! The sequence 19.Qxe3 Rxe3 20.Bc4! Rxc3 (say) 21.Bxf7+ Kh8 22.Be8! g7 23.Rf7... leaves Black with plenty to think about. After, say, 23...Rxc5 24.Bxd7 Bxd7 25.Rxd7 White could fancy his chances of holding this endgame. This line isn't forced, but it's not easy to find much improvement for Black.
Don't give up up on the Scotch yet - especially if it is still fairly new to you. I would recommend 8.Bd3 instead of Nc3 though! :-)
Cheers,
Ion
naamloos 225 ( +1 | -1 )
ionadowman Thanks a lot for your annotations. 8.Bd3 Was actually considered in the part which I didn't translate. My Fritz database has three games on this position and in two of those Bd3 was played and in one Nc3. I agree that this is the point in which black gains something back and maybe even equalises.
My doubts about the variation were a bit strengthend by my opponent and a personal trainer (as part of a chess course for beginners I also got an coach who would review my games played in the club) who said that 5.Nxc6 was very inaccurate and certainly inferiour to Nc3. They did not even believe it was actually a - now very popular - theoryline.
I like playing open games, but always have great worries about king safety. That is why I see myself refraining a lot from playing f4 even in cases when it is necessary.
Resigning was premature. After the game my opponent and I looked at some followups and black always gets an advantage, but never a won game and black had still a lot to do. These bad decisions are starting to become a trademark of mine as I have in a recent Tournament: resigned a game which was theoratically drawn, accepted a draw in a totally won pawn endgame.
This behaviour was caused by another game in which I refused more than 10 draw offers (this resulted in quite a scandal as my opponent was in deep timetrouble and we had a even position. Some said that it was very unfair of me not to agree to a draw and that you should never bring time into these sort of calls. Others said there was nothing wrong with this and that my opponent was unfair for proposing that many draws) and got mated when my opponent had still had 3 seconds left on the clock (I missed a mate in one). The story on this game was even more great, because my opponent was rated 1770 and I was just a beginner and I had a won position for the first 40 moves. You can imagine that in the weeks after this I would accept any drawoffer that was trown at me.
In my short history in this club I had already quite a few stir-ups, but this is not the place to discuss this. Discussions on what is ethicall are still going.

ionadowman, thanks again for taking time to analyse my game, I appreciate it.
ccmcacollister 142 ( +1 | -1 )
ionadowman Here is the link to your Scotch vs matthias which was #3877700
board #3877700
***
Some info if anyone has trouble finding board # for their games, since some ways to find it have changed. I think there are are couple more, but here's some that will get the job done:
1) From your Profile page that others see (not your Profile changing page) just click "Active Games" and it will show Game# for all those.
2) From your My Games page, click on "Completed Games" and it shows all your board numbers for completed games {not on Past Game History, as It does not show game numbers}
3) Go into any Active Game or any Completed Game and just look at your browser's
address box showing: h t t p : / /
and the Game Number for that game will be in the h t t p
***
Here is the linc to the Scotch I played here at GK board #1662315
***
It involves a somewhat tricky line, needing some tactical care to be exercised. And at the time, i thought of it as my own 'pet' line to play, but just to prove there is 'nothing new under the sun', i noticed it also shows up in the GK d-base a few times! Ah well . . . it remains a fun and enterprising subvariation, that I play when not in a Goring Gambit mood.
***
Regards, Craig A.C. }8-)
ccmcacollister 211 ( +1 | -1 )
PS // I forgot to mention, that my main study of the Scotch has come from the Scotch book of GM Larry Evans, which I bought back in the 1990's. And if I recall correctly,
his overview of the opening would be to the effect that:
White has little to fear in playing the opening, but at the same time, BL can equalize with proper play, which can leave WT with little in such variations.
And I think that the impression I got at that time was that it could tend toward drawishness at the GM level. And for that reason other openings are often preferred.
At the same time, I know from experience of playing it heavily in the 70's in OTB, back in Class B, that BL CAN get himself into trouble if he takes the opening lightly and perhaps gives away a tempo or plays the more passive set-ups.
In that case WT Can get a very good position, with more space, activity, and real good attacking chances. For instance if WT can get set-up with his pieces like this:
o-o-o/Nc3/Bc4/e4/f3/Qd2/Bg5/Nd4 then he will do Very Well ! Or similar set-up with
pawn on c4 for a position of similar concept to the Maroczy Bind of Sicilian fame.
...
The problem is, WT should probably not be able to quite establish those positions. Unless BL enters a passive line, or gives a tempo away, then WT should come up about a tempo short of being able to do it. But BL can do fine, as long as he stays with ACTIVE lines that challenge WT in the opening.
Active lines such as 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 ...
4... Nf6 {5.Nc3 Bb4}
4... Bc5
******
As opposed to a docile set-up from such as:
4... d6
4... Be7 or
4... Nxd4 ?! {Note that this is generally considered Inferior for BL to play. In this instance it is Not a case of the WT Queen representing a significant target on which to gain tempos chasing. In fact, WT could ask for no Better placement for his Queen, which BL has kindly centralized for him upon squares where it will have unusual scope and mobility. Note that attempts to harrass it, such as ...c5 really serve to weaken BL's position, moreso than any positive function. I'm aware that a lot of Chess Computers WILL make the trade; it's still bad. Has been for decades.
*****
}8-)
ionadowman 233 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks Craig... ...I was a bit puzzled by the absence of board numbers. I should look now and then at 'What's New'... I enjoyed your victory over peppmon (a line I hadn't seen before).
Naamloos - I can understand your reaction to the controversy. In my young days I had much the same kind of trouble owing to inexperience. In one game (in a match between clubs) my opponent attacked two of my minor pieces, at the same time maintaining a running complaint about my not resigning a dead lost game. His assessment of the state of play was accurate enough! In sheer desperation I placed a third minor piece 'en prise', whereupon my opponent took the wrong piece and got crushed. In exculpation, there was a little more point to my move than merely to confuse the issue, but not much! The upshot was that my opponent decided that morally he didn't lose the game, and went off to claim the draw. I was young, pretty new to the club (and the city), and didn't really know anyone, so was something at a loss what to do.
Back to your game, I understood that 5.Nxc6 was reasonably viable. It's likely, though, that the theory I have available is out of date. I had the line played against me several months ago on GK, though:
White 'supergustavo'; Black 'ionadowman'
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nc3 (?!)(not my favorite line, this!) 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.Bd3 d5 7.Qe2 dxe4 8.Nd2 Bb5 (I was quite proud of this move. Theory, no doubt!) 9.Bxe4 Nxe4 10.Qxe4+ Qe7 11.O-O Qxe4 12.Nxe4 Bf5 13.c3 Bxe4!? (Here some disruption the White's Q-side pawns seemed preferable to maintaining the B-pair) 14.cxb4 O-O-O 15.Be3 Kb7 16.Rac1 Bd5 17.a3 Rhe8 18.Rhd1 a6 19.Rd4 Re4 20.Rxe4 Bxe4 21.f3 Bf5 22.g4 Be6 23.Re1 Bd5 (I was already fairly confident this was a draw...) 24.Kf2 Re8 25.h4 f5 26.gxf5 Rf8 27.Rg1 Rxf5 28.Rxg7 Rxf3+ 29.Ke2 Rf7 30.Rg5 Bf3+ (Draw offered...) 31.Kd3 (No!) Rd7+ 32.Kc3 h5 33.Bd4 Rf7 34.Be5 Rd7 35.b3 Bd1 36.Rg8 Be2 37.Bd4 Bd1 38.Rg5 Be2 39.Re5 Bg4 40.Kc4 Bd1 41.Re3 Rf7 42.Be5 Rf3 43.Rxf3 Bxf3= 44.Kc5 Be2 45.a4 Bd1 46.Bc3? (A mistake, but it's still drawn) Bxb3 47.a5 Bd5 48.Bd4 Bf3 49.Bf6 Be2 Draw. White might have made the game more interesting earlier on by going after the h-pawn. One possible line has him giving up the rook for Black's B+RP, whilst the Black King is still stranded on the Q-wing. Having seen the possibilty I had worked out a defence, but decided not to set it up until forced to do so. But you can see that with due care Black can leave White with few opportunities in this line. I made no effort to try and win the game, I admit, but White had what play there was in the position. All Black can do is hang on, but it wasn't difficult...
Cheers, Ion
ionadowman 4 ( +1 | -1 )
Oops. Black's 4th in 'supergustavo vs ionadowman should be 4...Nf6.
schnarre 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Hmmnn... I prefer delaying the recapture of the d-pawn until after 4. Bc4 (depending on how Black replies can determine the next course of action). I've tried both lines for White 4. Nxd4 & 4. Bc4 & found the latter much stronger!
ionadowman 97 ( +1 | -1 )
I've been surprised... ...at how often my opponents have preferred 4.Nxd4 to 4.Bc4. Though it's really a matter of taste, the latter seems broader in scope, leading to the Scotch Gambit or various lines of the Two Knights' Defence. Someone has played 4.c3, the Goring Gambit, against me in GK24. In that game, White overpressed and lost his queen, but until his blunder(s), retained chances as partial compensation for his pawn deficit. It always seemed an edgy sort of game. Seems worth a crack for future games.
'cheapoking' vs 'ionadowman' Goring Gambit
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Bc4 [Here 5.Nxc3 leads to a "semi" Danish Gambit] 5...Nf6 6.Nxc3 Bb4 7.O-O Bxc3 8.bxc3 d6 9.e5 Nxe5 10.Nxe5 dxe5 11.Qb3 Qe7 12.Re1 O-O!? 13.Ba3 c5 14.Rad1 b6 15.Re3 Bb7 16.Rde1 e4 17.f3 Rad8 18.Bd3 Qc7 19.Bxe4! Bxe4 20.fxe4 Ng4 [White has regained one of his pawns, but has he enough attack to compensate for the other?] 21.Rg3 Ne5 22.Rf1 Qc6 23.Rf4 Rd2 24.Bc1 c4 25.Qa3 Rd1+ 26.Rf1 Rfd8 27.Bh6?? Ng6?? 28.Qxa7?? Rxf1+ 29.Kxf1 Ra8, trapping White's Q.
A further possibility at move 4 is 4.Bb5, the Relfsson Gambit. I don't know what merits it may have.
Cheers,
Ion
schaakhamster 21 ( +1 | -1 )
well after Bc4 black can enter the 2 knights defence and if black know what he's doing he shouldn't be worse and as a bonus a real interesting position should arise ... I love that opening as black !
ionadowman 38 ( +1 | -1 )
I agree... ...and herein can lie a real problem for White!
For example (one of my GK games):
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Nf6 5.O-O Nxe4 6.Re1 d5 7.Bxd5 Qxd5 8.Nc3 Qh5 9.Nxe4 Be6 10. Bg5 Bd6 11. Nxd6+ cxd6 12.Bf4 Qd5 13. c3 Rc8 14.Qd3 O-O 15.Nxd4 Nxd4 16.Qxd4 Qxd4 17.cxd4 d5 18.Rac1...Draw agreed. Not very exciting, is it? Not very original either. Can White improve? Can Black? It might be lines like this that explain the preference for 4.Nxd4.
Cheers,
Ion
ionadowman 9 ( +1 | -1 )
Mind you... ...there's always the hope that Black will enter the Max Lange line! :-))
naamloos 47 ( +1 | -1 )
Is it Is it not possible to play the Scotch in the move order:
1. e4 - e5 2. d4 - ed4 3. Nf3 - Nc6
Seemingly it would leave black not the option of playing [2. ... d6] or [2. ... Nf6]. Ofcourse black can play [3. ... Nf6], but that seems the be a inferior variant within the Petroff. Could somebody clearify why this isn't played/possible. In first look (A Patzers look, I confess) it seems OK. It also messes a bit with the opponent who first thinks he will have a easy time against the centergame and ends up with a Scotch.
ionadowman 23 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes... ...but White has to be ready for Black playing 3...Bc5 instead of 3...Nc6. Here's a possible continuation: 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 d5 6.exd5 O-O 7.Bg5 Qd6 8.Bxf6 Qxf6 9.Nf3 Bg4 10.Be2 Bxf3 11.Bxf3 Re8... Looks good for Black, here, but of course White may be able advantageously to vary. :-)
Ion
naamloos 61 ( +1 | -1 )
I just I just found out the name of this variation: Kieseritsky variation in the center counter game. Apparently black can even choose to try to hold on to his pawn with c5 (that is the actual kieseritsky variant, other options mentioned on this page lead to transpositions, including the Scotch). After this white can play Bc4 (variation 1), Bd2 (variant 2) and c3 (Pulgarin gambit).
It does not mention your (that is inonadowmans) move Bc5, but you are right that black looks good.
link:
-> www.csm.astate.edu
ionadowman 45 ( +1 | -1 )
Fair comment... ... but my point really is that playing around with the move order does open up alternative possibilities for your opponent - though it might equally well eliminate some courses of action otherwise available to him! I guess it's a case of not taking anything for granted. If there is no reason to fear any of the possible replies, then changing the move order might serve to unsettle an opponent. Good idea!
Cheers,
Ion
naamloos 74 ( +1 | -1 )
I'm not Actually, I'm not seriously considering to play this variant, because I don't really mind playing against the Phillidore or the Petroff. It just seemed like an interesting idea. The fact that nobody -well, no masters anyway- plays it probably means that black can get a good game, but maybe it is not that bad as a 'suprise weapon'. Depends really on the strength of the real Kieseritsky variant [3. ... c5], because the Scotch (which I play) and the Petroff is not that much to be afraid of. On first sight though it does not seem to be very solid. The Pulgarin gambit might be interesting for those who also play the göring gambit.
But I'm afraid I'm going a bit off topic now as this is thread is not about the Kieseritsky but about the Scotch.
ionadowman 80 ( +1 | -1 )
I suppose... ...a brief excursus into the Centre Game is not altogether irrelevant, though. If you can find ways of breathing life into that apparently dead line, that would be no bad thing!
In partial response (rather belated!) to Spurtus's original question, though, maybe we could consider what responses have been tried after 4.Nxd4 (the Scotch Game proper). The following have been tried more than once:
4...Bc5, 4...Nxd4 (these two might be called the Main lines) 4...Nf6 (The Schmidt Variation. A bit lifeless in my view, but OK if Black is satisfied with a draw) 4...Qh4 (The Pulling Counterattack - apparently a favorite of Steinitz. One of my current games features this line...) 4...Qf6, 4...d6, 4...Bb4+ (might be worth further investigation...) 4...Be7, 4...g6, 4...Nge7. What do you reckon?
Cheers,
Ion
naamloos 105 ( +1 | -1 )
I have not ... I have not played the Scotch for long now, but I thought that [4. ... Bc5] and [4. Nf6] were probably the best options for black. [4. ... Qh4] is challenging, but I don't think that white is in big trouble if he knows what to do.
[4. ...Nxd4] Is especially common against beginning players and is supposed to be very good for white, because black can't win tempo's on the centraliced queen (except c5, but that weakens black more than it does good for him). I believe I won the games against [4. ...Nxd4], but was slightly uncertain where the queen has to go later on.
I have not meet any of the others you mentioned (except Qf6 once, can't remember how that went though).
After [4. ...Bb4] isn't [5. c3] good, it seems to win a tempo for white while black does not get anything further. c3 Is the most natural square for the queenknight, but not a very big problem. The bishop has to go back ([5. ...Nxd4]-[5. Qxd4]-[5. ... Be7] is obviously bad for black) to [5. ...Bc5] (similar to the normal [Bc5] variant, but white has an extra tempo), [5. ... Be7] (probably best of evils) or [5. ... Bh5]. None of the these seem to be any good for black.
I always found [4. ... Bc5] the most challenging (this is what I am using in my Scotch tourney)
naamloos 105 ( +1 | -1 )
I have not ... I have not played the Scotch for long now, but I thought that [4. ... Bc5] and [4. Nf6] were probably the best options for black. [4. ... Qh4] is challenging, but I don't think that white is in big trouble if he knows what to do.
[4. ...Nxd4] Is especially common against beginning players and is supposed to be very good for white, because black can't win tempo's on the centraliced queen (except c5, but that weakens black more than it does good for him). I believe I won the games against [4. ...Nxd4], but was slightly uncertain where the queen has to go later on.
I have not meet any of the others you mentioned (except Qf6 once, can't remember how that went though).
After [4. ...Bb4] isn't [5. c3] good, it seems to win a tempo for white while black does not get anything further. c3 Is the most natural square for the queenknight, but not a very big problem. The bishop has to go back ([5. ...Nxd4]-[5. Qxd4]-[5. ... Be7] is obviously bad for black) to [5. ...Bc5] (similar to the normal [Bc5] variant, but white has an extra tempo), [5. ... Be7] (probably best of evils) or [5. ... Bh5]. None of the these seem to be any good for black.
I always found [4. ... Bc5] the most challenging (this is what I am using in my Scotch tourney)