Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Scotch Gambit by Jorge Quinones

Jorge Quinones kindly sent me this Scotch Gambit game which began 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4. It led me to answer a natural chess opening question.

Why do players choose to play the Scotch Gambit as White?
1. It is a tricky variation which requires accurate play by Black.
2. It is less well known occurring in about 2% of 1.e4 e5 games.
3. It has fewer lines to learn, maybe dozens instead of hundreds.
4. It has easy to learn variations that are frequently repeatable.
5. It has unbalanced equal positions so White can play for a win.
6. It is promoted in books and videos by Roman Dzindzichashvili.
7. It is played in thematic events (like this one by Jorge Quinones).

“Hello Mr. Tim!
"I´m sending you another game (not a BDG this time) that I finished a few days ago. It was a game from a thematic tournament, the time control was 3 days / move.
“It was a really confusing game, even the resignation confused me. I thought I was better, but I didn’t expect to be “that” better and that I would get a resignation. Hope you are doing well! :-)
“Greetings, Jorge QuiƱones”

ruben72d (2057) - Quinones, 4rd Scotch Gambiteers Official Tournament (3), 12.04.2016 begins 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 [Thematic Game - This is the starting position.] 4...Bc5 5.0-0 [Most players prefer the immediate 5.c3! Nf6 6.e5 (6.cxd4 Bb4+ is a standard Giuoco Piano) 6...d5 7.Bb5 Ne4 8.cxd4 Bb6=] 5...d6 6.c3 Bg4 7.Qb3 Bxf3 8.Bxf7+ Kf8 9.Bxg8? [This is tempting because White threaten mate in one, but it is a mistake. Correct is 9.gxf3 dxc3 (9...d3!?) 10.Bxg8 Rxg8 11.Nxc3 g5 12.Be3= when White has developed his queenside pieces with equal chances.] 9...Rxg8 10.gxf3 g5 11.Qe6?! [White's warrior queens attacks without the rest of her army. White should at least try to bring out a piece. 11.Nd2 Bb6-/+] 11...Rg6 12.Qh3 Kg7 [12...Ne5 13.Qg3 Qf6-+ might win quicker.] 13.b4 Bb6 14.a4 a5 15.b5 [15.bxa5 Rxa5-/+] 15...Ne5 16.cxd4 Bxd4 17.Ra3 Qf6 18.Qg2 Rf8 19.Nd2 g4 20.f4 Qxf4 [After 20...Qxf4 the threat is to retreat the queen to f7, play Rgf6, and pile on to the f2 pawn which cannot be held. If White fights back with 21.Nb3 Nf3+ 22.Kh1 Qxe4 23.Nxd4 Qxd4 24.Be3 Qb4-+ Black is two pawns up and White cannot find a good move.] 0-1

You may also like: Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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