Chess Openings – Scotch

Chess Openings – Scotch


Welcome back to ChessOpenings.com. In today’s
video we’re going to look at a highly tactical opening known as the Scotch.
And it begins with the moves pawn to e4, pawn to e5, Knight f3, Knight
to e6, and then the key move pawn to d4 starting the Scotch opening. With this
opening the pieces are going to come into close contact very quickly, and
so we’re going to get a chance to look at all kinds of tactical details in
this fascinating opening. Let’s take a look. To reach the Scotch Game,
White begins with the move pawn to e4, immediately grabbing central space
and preparing the advance of d2 to d4. To quickly mobilize his pieces and
White’s ambitions, Black selects pawn to e5 with the so-called Kings
Pawn Game, and now comes the standard move Knight f3 attacking the e5 pawn,
followed by Knight c6. And here we’ve arrived at a standard position. White’s aim in this position is to achieve
the advance d2 to d4 under favorable circumstances. Normally, he would
complete some of his King side development either with Bishop to b5, leading
to the Ruy Lopez, Bishop c4 which would be known as the Italian Game,
and then castling King side; and later, preparing the advance of d2 to d4 by
first playing c2 to c3 and then d2 to d4 so that we can always recapture with
a pawn. But, in the Scotch, White chooses a different
strategy altogether. He immediately lashes out with the move pawn
to d4, and this is the signature move of the Scotch opening. Now, there are
some real advantages to playing the move pawn to d4 so early in this position,
and the first advantage is that Black clearly must react to the threat
to the e5 pawn right away. And he doesn’t really have an option to play a
passive move such as pawn to d6 since this would lead to all kinds of problems. One very interesting way to exploit this move
would simply be Bishop to b5 adding pressure to these pawns and this is
actually a very strong move in this position. But another more obvious approach
would simply be to play pawn takes pawn on e5. And now after the move
pawn takes pawn on e5, Queen takes d8, Black does not have the option to
recapture with his Knight since he would be leaving the e5 pawn hanging, and
therefore he must relinquish castling rights leaving his King in the center
and making it more difficult to deploy his pieces and coordinate them properly
in the rest of the middle game. It turns out then that Black has little choice
but to play pawn takes pawn on d4. And after Knight takes d4 we reach
the position shown here, and by playing d2 to d4 early, White has forced Black
to exchange his stronghold pawn in the center with that move e takes
d4. At the same time, White has gained a centralized post for his Knight on
d4 and has opened up some scope for the dark-squared Bishop. However, Black has a few reasons to be excited
about this early exchange in the center. Unlike other openings such as
the Ruy Lopez, Black no longer has to worry about defending the e5 pawn with
his life. For example, if we back up just a little bit, just before White
played this move d4, the aggressive Ruy Lopez with Bishop to b5 or
even the quite move Bishop to c4 often bait Black into spending some extra
time defending this e pawn, and often he has to play the cramping move d6
at some point, not right away but at some point he’ll often have to play this
cramping move in order to hold onto that pawn on e5. But in the Scotch, after the moves d4, takes,
and takes, Black never again has to worry about the future of his e5 pawn
and this allows him to develop a little bit more freely. A second factor
works in Black’s favor in this position. In the current position, White has
made two moves with his Knight on d4 and this little fact means that Black
doesn’t need to worry too much about falling behind in development in the
opening either. And this is a concern which Black constantly needs to monitor
in the other openings. So, how does Black continue? Well, it turns
out that he has two sensible developing moves in this position. The first
of these is Knight to f6 but the variation that we’re going to look at
today is the move Bishop to c5 deploying the Bishop and adding pressure to
the centralized Knight on d4 perhaps baiting that Knight into retreating.
And, in fact, many White players to unwittingly play Knight to b3 in
this position, but after Bishop b6, White no longer profits from the centralized
position of the Knight on d4, and White is actually a little bit behind
in development in this position as Black has two pieces developed
and White only has one. So it’s very easy for Black to play comfortably
here. He’ll finish up his kingside development and then he’ll either
target e4 as a weakness or he’ll look to achieve the equalizing pawn break,
pawn to d5. So, after this move Bishop to c5 White needs
to do something more enterprising. And Knight takes c6 is one strong
method to continue. White’s argument here is that both of Black’s potential
recaptures have serious downsides. If Black replies with D pawn takes
on c6, White once again replies with Queen takes d8 check, King takes
d8, leaving Black with a small, but significant disadvantage. White
can easily castle and connect his rooks, and bring his pieces to attractive
locations whereas Black will struggle to harmonize his pieces. Another serious problem in positions just
like these is that White will have a much easier time in the endgame since
it’s easier for White to create a passed pawn with his pawn majority,
than it is for Black on the queenside thanks to these doubled pawns. The
alternative recapture B pawn takes c6 still leaves White with a very pleasant
situation after the strong developing move Bishop d3. And White will
one day simply castle, complete his kingside development, and then he’ll be
looking to play the move pawn to f4 creating serious chances for attack,
while Black will be lacking any sort of real counter-plan. So, the capture on c6 appears to be quite
strong. But in fact, Black has a sneaky third option available in this position,
and that move is Queen to f6. The Queen evacuates the d8 square and
threatens mate in one on f2. This buys Black just enough time to capture
on c6 under more ideal conditions, and if you take a close look at
the position you’ll recognize that defending f2 is not such an easy task.
White simply doesn’t want to push the F pawn forward since this would turn
the Bishop on c5 into a monster, and it would deprive White of the
option of castling kingside for quite some time. So instead, White often plays either Queen
d2 or he’ll play the move Queen f3, but both of these moves have some drawbacks.
And from here, Black has quite a few different ways to play. He can
[mingle] White’s structure a bit with the move Queen takes f3 before capturing
on c6, or he can simply capture on c6 with the D pawn, and in this
case he no longer needs to worry about the Queen takes d8 exchange displacing
his King and getting rid of those castling rights. Queen takes d6 is also an option but actually
tends to be frowned up a little bit in this position. And, I do want
to point out that after the d pawn captures it’s true that still leaves
White with a bit of a structural advantage but Black should have fewer problems
here getting his pieces to attractive locations and he still has the
plan of perhaps creating some counter-play against the E pawn since this
F pawn does not want to move in these positions. So, it’s thanks to this move Queen to f6 that
Black is not inferior in the position after Knight takes c6. Even so, plenty
of players handling the Black pieces are not aware of the move Queen
f6, and even after Black has played Queen f6 there is still potential for
White to outplay Black in an endgame, which he may be more comfortable
with. So this is an option for White. However, if White wants to play more ambitiously
and steer the game towards tactical variations his alternative idea is
to maintain the post of the position of the Knight on d4, and he normally
does this with the move Bishop e3 which is just as popular as the
move Knight takes e6. And now it turns out that once again Black’s best move
in this position is Queen f6 but this it’s for different reasons. We’re
not doing this in order to threaten mate in one. Instead, Black is simply
continuing to apply pressure to the Knight on d4. There’s another point to this move Queen f6,
which is that after White played the move Bishop to e3 he’d also set
up a threat, Knight takes c6, winning material immediately thanks to the
exposed location of the Bishop on c5. But after the move Queen f6 this no
longer works, since after the move Knight takes c6 Black can simply play
Bishop takes e3, and the Queen is no longer sitting on d8 waiting to be captured. At this point, it’s even clearer that White
does not want to move the Knight from that d4 location, since in this
position that would expose the Bishop on e3. And so White simply plays the
move pawn to c3, continuing to maintain the post of that Knight. And now Black continues his development with
the move Knight G to e7, and at this moment we reach a very interesting
point where Black is very close to achieving this equalizing thrust that we
spoke of earlier, pawn to d5. In fact, if White just continues his development
without paying too much attention here, say Bishop to e2 or perhaps
g3, Black is fully justified in playing the move pawn to d5 when most of his
opening problems would be solved. So, once again, White finds himself in a situation
where he needs to react very precisely if he wants to keep a serious
shot at the initiative going. It turns out the recipe here for White is
the move Bishop to c4 which not only develops, but also prevents Black from
achieving this ambitious thrust pawn to d5. And, in fact, from here the onus is now on
Black to prove that his pieces have the capacity for activity before White
simply builds up the attack with his eventual move f2 to f4. It’s very
interesting to explore the various tries for both sides here but theory
has eventually shown for good reason that Black’s strongest way to continue
now is the move Knight to e5, pushing that Bishop away. The Bishop retreats now to e2, and there now
follows the move Queen to g6 putting pressure on both the e4 pawns and
the g2 pawns. And both of these moves are very important that Black plays
both of these moves and is aware of the subtleties. Once again, as he often does in the Scotch,
Black is using the pressure against e4 as a way to slow White down since
White always wants to avoid making this move f2 to f3 that leaves that
dark-squared diagonal vulnerable, and it’s also just taking away
from our eventual aim of making that pawn move all the way to f4. At the same time, Black retains the ability
to break either with the moves pawn to d5 or perhaps even with the move pawn
to f5 at this point, and it’s these factors which fully compensate for his
slight delay in development in the somewhat vulnerable position of his Queen.
And so they have reached a complex and interesting position with chances
for both sides. I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief tour of some
key variations of the Scotch opening. By playing the d2 to d4 thrust so
early in the opening, White has succeeded at creating an immediate tactical
clash which can either be played by White as a chance to reach an endgame
with a positional battle lying ahead, or it can also be used in order
to create tactical conditions in which both sides must meet each other precisely
blow for blow in order to avoid falling behind. As White, this is an excellent opportunity
to seize control over the direction of the game and choose what kind
of game will be played. Whereas with Black, if you’re willing to do a little
bit of homework and you have a few variations prepared you can also count
on [inaudible 12:14] chances in the positions which lie ahead. That’s it for
today, we’ll see you again.

100 thoughts on “Chess Openings – Scotch

  1. Very aggressive like – It's what I play every time! 😀 After exd4, Bc4, if black plays Bc5 it will transpose into a giuoco piano, Bb5+ just loses for black even though it looks good (ask me if you want details), and Nf3, e5 d5 goes into the main line.

  2. @Derrick I've been using the London a lot and had success. I would also like to see a video on the London too. It's hard to find good information on the opening.

  3. hi, checkout this move set. after the 8th move qg6 i got stuck in a trap.
    1.e4 e5
    2.Nf3 Nc6
    3.d4 exd4
    4.Nxd4 Bc5
    5.Be3 Qf6
    6.c3 Nge7
    7.Bc4 Ne5
    8.Be2 Qg6
    9.O-O Qxe4
    10.Nb5 Qc6
    11.Bxc5 Qxc5

  4. 12.Qd4 at the end of the variation is winning for White. However, Black could keep his damages a little more minimal with 10…Bxe3 11.Nxc7+ Kd8 12.Nxa8 Bf4! (Houdini) 13.g3 Bc1! += but I wouldn't advise playing like this either. 9…Qxe4 is not to be recommended! 9…d6 is the standard continuation

  5. hi dereque, i'm a big fans of your video, keep up the good work, it has really help me improve. can you please do a video on scoth gambit.

  6. The Scotch highlights the importance of the d4 brake in whites opening. Awesome lines that you go over. You leave me always wanting more. Your videos are simply flawless. How are you so Awesome?:-)

  7. Wrong, thats the Center game. It could always turn into the Scotch game though if white plays Nf3 and black replies with Nc6, returning the pawn.

  8. @ S Ghosh Dastidar: I sure do … in the Carlsbad app for IPhone and IPad! Download it today, you'll love it 🙂

  9. Dereque – i really dig your vids!  Is the scotch a good choice for someone returning to the game after years away?  I've been told I tend to play defensively (one friend used the term "positional chess"), and I feel weaker playing white over black.  Thanks again for great chess vids!

  10. Well done sir. I consider your videos and teaching to be  wonderful primers. Keep up the good work. GOD Bless. YES Love…STUDY!!!

  11. My wife and I both love your site and your videos! Question: at 6:00 in, why is this such a strong position for white after castling and f4? Is it just because of black's stacked pawns?

  12. I dont understand how to proctect the e4 pawn in this last position. What counterplay do i have against black?

  13. 10:55 –> how should white continue? Since queen is attacking two pieces. Or is this a position that white has to prevend?

  14. What's wrong for black with 4…Nxd4? It's often played by my opponents when I play the Scotch. By the way thanks a lot for all these videos Dereque!

  15. Dereque, what about the scotch gambit? i mean, instead of recapturing the pawn on d4 white plays bishop c4, very similar to the italian game. is it a good gambit? white is kinda losing control of the center of the board, i've been using it sometimes, but i think it's kinda dubious. what do you think?

  16. Dereque, what about the scotch gambit? i mean, instead of recapturing the pawn on d4 white plays bishop c4, very similar to the italian game. is it a good gambit? white is kinda losing control of the center of the board, i've been using it sometimes, but i think it's kinda dubious. what do you think?

  17. Whenever I wanna learn a new opening this is the first place I use to learn the basics of the opening. Simple and direct.
    Great video.

  18. 10:59 For white O-O is the best move because after that Qxe4 is a blunder: Nb5 – Qc6; Bxc5 – Qxc5; Qd4 – Qxd4; cxd4 with 2 simultanous threats: dxe5 and Nc7 forking the king and the rook.

  19. Hello Dereque great video as usually… I wanted to know which would be white's best reply after Qg6, threatening both the pawns on g2 and e5? Thanks a lot.

  20. You should do analysis on the gambit variation were instead of white recapturing with the knight he plays Bc4

  21. was that the sound of a piece of scotch tape being pulled there in the intro? if so, that's wonderful

  22. Thanks again for a great lesson Dereque. At 10:34, wouldn't the white bishop want to retreat to b3, to keep an eye on d5? Or even d3 perhaps, to keep an eye on e4? Be2 seems passive. Thanks!

  23. There are a lot of directions about Scotch Opening. However, in my opinion, your video is the most helpful and useful for us. Shortly but Clearly!!! Thanks a lots!

  24. Thnx for the iformative video. Plz tell, after Qg6, when black queen attacks on e4 pawn and g2 pawn, then can white play Bf3?

  25. Dereque,
    this video was great. I used this opening many times. But I wanted to learn the scotch gambit. So can you tell me the key moves or post a video on it? I have a tournament on 5th May so please send it fast. I am very thankful to you…

  26. instead of white knight taking the d pawn I like the aggressive Bc4 move, temporarily going down a pawn, but putting pressure on the black king bishop pawn….thoughts ayone?

  27. Dereque Kelly isn't playing d5 later in the game or right after 6) Bd3 a good chance for damaging white's center for black? Also black has the half open b file which will probably be
    way more useful than white's half open d file. (I really liked your video you won a new subscriber!)

  28. engines prefer other moves (e.g. Stockfish 8: ..d6 instead of ..Ne5)… I kept learning this computer moves until I recognized the engines lack theory.. is there an opening book? an official one? I really like to learn openings the right way… I have to learn again now =(

  29. Guys what other openings like the scotch for white do you recommend for tactical battle but also sound? Thanks in advance

  30. first great Vid. but in the last position isn't there a clear advantage for black since white cannot protect both pawns?

  31. Leela Zero played the Scotch against GM Andrew Tang and Andrew got crushed.
    Nobody likes facing this discombobulating openning against a strong opponent…

  32. Another great video Dereque, I've been learning a lot with you in the past 6 months. I'm so glad I found your channel. Thank you very much.

  33. This video is very good. Please make videos on all possible variations in most important 10 to 15 openings. This will help a lot of chess lovers. Keep up the good work. I love this channel and your style of explanation.

  34. Dereque your videos are great. I really like them very much. I suggest you put a video on nimzowitsch defense. Actually, I wanted to tell you a line I wanted to learn. That is e4 nc6 d4 and e4 Nc6 Nf3. Again thank you for your awesome videos.

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