I’m actually surprised at the quality of this game whilst knocking back screwdrivers, something about the acidic combo of vodka and orange juice gets all the cylinders going. It was lucky enough that I played against my most well prepared defense also, the Marshal QGD. Its a 74 move game so it was by no means quick but it was fairly neat with no major mistakes made.
The Scotch game is an opening that appears very similar initially to the Ruy Lopez, one of White’s most popular setups. I personally always play the Berlin defense against the Ruy Lopez and 80% of the time that’s how it plays out, however I rarely saw the Scotch in the lower ELO brackets so when it did come around I out of book very quickly.
As you can see from the image below 3. d4 is what is played in the Scotch instead of 3. Bb5. This has an incredible change on the way the game continues on, it push center pressure immediately and there isn’t a great way to answer that pressure without conceding the center to White. Black’s best move is to take on d4 allowing White to recapture and have the pawn majority in the center.
This is in contrast to the Ruy Lopez where both sides will develop and castle before capturing usually, this is one of the reasons why knowing the theory for the Scotch is important if the aim is to play the typical defense to 1. e4.
This game ended in 18 moves and demonstrates the weakness of the Fianchetto Bishop and the power of the h pawn push in destabilizing the opponents defenses. It starts with a pure modern opening, that is with no direct control of the center from White while I play the classic direct control over the center of the board.
A typical idea for White is to play something like d4 breaking the center open with the help of the b2 Bishop, e4 Knight and d1 Queen behind it. My opponent wasted a move with Castling and it allowed me to play e4 myself locking d4 out and keeping the center quiet while I operated on the King side flank.
First a little history on the QG opening, it’s one of the oldest known openings having been mentioned as far back as 1490 and anaylized throughout the 17th by Greco and 18th by Stamma. In early modern chess Queen pawn openings were not as common as King pawn, this was during the swash buckling and heroic Romantic Era on the board where grand Checkmates were the fashion. Opening with 1.d4 led to slower more positional games which hadn’t been picked up until the tournament in Vienna in 1873.
Here is our starting point for the QGD:Marshall as I will always capture the central pawn with the wing pawn. After cxd5 Black is forced to recapture with the Queen or the Knight if Black recaptures at all. Although I have never seen anyone play 3…c6 which leads to the Tan Gambit, it is a choice of response however the majority of the people will recapture. Rare as other variations may be I will still take a look at them in the analysis linked below along with the mainlines and personal preferences and why.
After the previous success with the Blackmar-Diemer gambit I have been throwing it around more in the 10-min blitz pool with a decent win rate. I’ve noticed that Nf6 is the most popular response attempting to keep the pawn even though 3…c6 leads to a transposition of the Caro Kann which is a calmer but lesser known opening especially in the 1200 elo range. This game showcases the power of connected Rooks on the 7th rank leading to mate in 4 as the Queen jumps in.
I am incredibly excited to be able to present and analyze this game seeing as how the Blackmar-Diemer gambit is one of my favorite openings, it is also one of only a few gambits playable after 1.d4 for White. I believe it captures the spirit of chess akin to the Romantic Era (15th-18th century) where quick and tactical battles were more popular instead of long term and positional play. As with most gambits if opponents aren’t very well prepared even the most dubious gambits can be dangerous. Later on in the game following a successful opening I get a little flashy and sacrifice a Rook for a pawn forcing a Queen trade and a weaker Black King.
This was a quick game blitz game that ended in 17 moves from a completely equal position which makes it a little unique, most times a blunder takes a few moves to really exploit. My opponent opted for the Scotch game (Thanks to my Uncle’s tendency to play this I have a few things prepared) and I answered with the Intermezzo Variation which is not quite as accurate as the main line but threatens Mate in 1 if White doesn’t answer properly. There are a lot of decent ways to reply however some do create holes in the defense of White’s structure which I was able to take advantage of this time around. I’ll go into more detail in the game analysis below about possible replies and their short comings.