What is development? - Scotch Steinitz Variation or It's been a hard day's night

What is development? - Scotch Steinitz Variation or It's been a hard day's night

Mar 18, 2016, 5:38 AM |

You know the position on the right, don't you?

Here's my personal story with it. First time someone showed it to me 40 years ago. I couldn't believe the move 4... Qh4 was played in a serious game by a world champion. And I couldn't find a refutation in some 5-Minutes-Games.

Then 5 years ago I observed an IM playing it against a FM and saw the white knight on b5 with the Black King moving to d8 for a pawn e4 and a double pawn on the c-Line. A battle with tension and a clear result for white.

Last team match we drove back. And in the back of my car sat two guys talking about that line. Sven had been confronted  with it, Mario knew it. Sven: "Man, I was surprised." Mario: "You have to sacrifice the e4-pawn. The line is bs (he used the english word)." Sven: "Yes. I knew. But I had to find the right way. I found after 20 minutes thinking that black has all the problems if you play Be2 after protecting the pawn first." Both laughed.

Yesterday I ran into it. My opponent slaughtered my in the games before with Qh4 with black and Qh5 with white because I played utter crap. B.e. 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 e5 3.c3?! exd4 4.cxd4 Bb4+ 5.Nc3 Qh4!? and white still should have an advantage after 6.Nf3 Qxe4+ 7.Be2 but this day I sacrificed stone after stone for the opponents attack, not for my one.

Then I thought: He will play the Steinitz Variation in case of the Scotch and he did. I lost that game on time, but found some fine moves and hope this will stick to my mind.

Remember - Knight on b5 - before Nc3 and Be2 - attack against the King in the center. It's not easy to find for a normal club player, but you can, if heard of it.

The black Queen and King are begging to get under attack. Even after a biiig blunder white lost only on time. The game doesn't need much more verbal comments. So I give only some lines.