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.