Category-2 (1200 – 1500): Scotch Opening
The Scotch Opening begins with the moves: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4.
Ercole del Rio, in his 1750 work "On the game of Chess", was the first author to refer to this system as a “Scotch Opening”. Later, the opening received its name from a correspondence match in 1824 between Edinburgh and London.
It gained popularity in the 19th century, but a little later it lost favor among top players because it was releasing the central tension too early.
Nepomniachtchi, Ian (2721) - Ivanchuk, Vassily (2731) [C45]
Beijing Sportaccord Basque Beijing (1.1), 17.12.2013
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qf6 5.Nb3 Qg6 6.f3 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 a5 8.Nc3 Nge7 9.Nb5 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 Kd8 11.0–0–0 d6 12.Kb1 Rf8 13.g4 Qf6 14.g5 Qxf3 15.Bg2 Qg4
White to play
16.e5 Nxe5 17.Nxd6 cxd6 18.Qxd6+ Nd7 19.Rhe1 Qxg5 20.Nc5 1–0
But a great Grandmaster is always searching for novelties, i.e. doing all the hard work for us, and in the 20th
century, Garry Kasparov popularized the Scotch Opening once more. When he stopped playing professional chess in 2005, step by step this opening went out of favor.
Often openings do not stop being playing because they lead to losses but simply because of the prevailing fashion! For example, one-year blue clothing can be in fashion, the next white. Similarly, in chess one opening can be popular today and not tomorrow. Garry again shocked the word and the top Grandmasters in 2016. Let’s see some of his games:
Kasparov, Garry (2812) - So, Wesley (2773) [C45]
Ultimate Blitz Challenge Saint Louis USA (1.2), 28.04.2016
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Ba6 9.b3 g6 10.Ba3 c5 11.g3 Bg7 12.f4 Nb4 13.Bg2 Rd8 14.Nc3 0–0 15.Bb2 d5 16.a3 d4 17.axb4 dxc3 18.Bxc3 cxb4 19.Bb2 Bc8 20.0–0 f6 21.Bd5+ Rxd5 22.cxd5 Qc5+ 23.Rf2 fxe5 24.Bxe5 Bxe5 25.Qxe5 Rd8 26.Rd1 Bg4 27.Qd4 Qa5 28.Rdd2 Re8 29.Kg2 Qb5 30.h3 Bf5 31.g4 Be4+ 32.Kh2 c5 33.Qf6 c4 34.d6 Bc6 35.f5 Rf8 36.Qe6+ Kg7 37.d7 Qc5 38.Qd6 1–0
Kasparov, Garry (2812) - Nakamura, Hikaru (2787) [C45]
Ultimate Blitz Challenge Saint Louis USA (5.2), 28.04.2016
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Bc5 5.Be3 Qf6 6.c3 Nge7 7.Bc4 Ne5 8.Bb3 d6 9.0–0 0–0 10.f3 N7c6 11.Kh1 Bb6 12.Na3 Kh8 13.Qd2 Na5 14.Ndb5 Bxe3 15.Qxe3 Qe7 16.Bc2 a6 17.Nd4 c5 18.Ne2 Nac4 19.Nxc4 Nxc4 20.Qc1 f5 21.b3 Nb6 22.c4 fxe4 23.Bxe4 Bf5 24.Ng3 Bxe4 25.Nxe4 Rad8 26.Re1 Rfe8 27.Qd2 Qf8 28.Ng5 Qf6 29.Rxe8+ Rxe8 30.Re1 Rxe1+ 31.Qxe1 Nd7 32.Qe8+ Nf8 33.h3 Kg8 34.Ne4 Qf4 35.Qe7 Qc1+ 36.Kh2 Qf4+ 37.Kg1 Qc1+ 38.Kf2 Qb2+ 39.Kg3 h5 40.Nxd6 h4+ 41.Qxh4 Ng6 42.Qe4 Qf6 43.Nf5 Qg5+ 44.Kh2 Nf4 45.g3 Nh5 46.f4 Qd8 47.Qd5+ Qxd5 48.Ne7+ Kf7 49.Nxd5 1–0
The Albin Countergambit
begins with the moves: 1.d
4 d5 2. c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4.
This is a very interesting defence against d4 openings. Morozevich (2770), Kasimdzhanov (2690) and other strong Grandmasters are fond of this opening and use it often.
Black sacrifices one central pawn in order to gain central control with the d4 pawn and with his pieces.
One very famous trap is the following:
Biever, Roger - Cassidy, Raymond [D08]
Wch U20 fin-C Muenchenstein/Basel (1.3), 29.07.1959
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5 3.dxe5 d4 4.e3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 dxe3 6.Bxb4
Black to play
6…exf2+ 7.Ke2 fxg1N+ 8.Ke1 Qh4+ 9.Kd2 Nc6 10.Bc3 Bg4 0–1
- You will learn how to attack
- You can handle dynamic positions
- You should invest a little more time in the opening but you will be rewarded for it!
- Very flexible and able to be played in almost every game.