Teaching the Scotch Game's main lines
I'd like to thank: Hikaru Nakamura, Aleksander Delchev and

Teaching the Scotch Game's main lines

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Hi, today I'm gonna present you a few of the Scotch Game's main lines with a few ideas behind them.

A little history:

Ercole del Rio is the first author to mention what we now call the Scotch Game, in the book he wrote in 1750. The opening received its name from a correspondence match between the cities of London and Edinburg, in 1824.

The Scotch's main ideas:

The Scotch Game is a quite aggressive opening, where most of the time white gains control of the center. The Main Ideas for white in this opening are to Attack a lot by creating threats to keep the initiative, and to have really active pieces that will help you create a deadly (or at least very powerful) attack.

Without further ado lets start with the main line:

After this position, there are many variants, I’ll try to show you the most played:


Even though Nxd4 is a book move, I don't recommended it because after these few moves:

Black is in a bad posture: 

  • The f8 bishop can’t move because of Qxg7
  • If Nf6, then e5 and the Black’s best move is to retreat the knight back to g8
  • Also, white has a better control over the center and an advance in development.

This is why I don’t recommend you to play this line with black.


Qh4 is another line I don’t quite recommend for black, the biggest advantage of this line is if white doesn’t know what to do, then he will encounter difficulties. Here is the way it goes:

As you can see, black is up a pawn but:

  • White has castled while blacks king stays in the middle
  • White has 3 (and a half for the bishop) developed pieces where black only has two (but the Queen is attacked)

In conclusion, white can get an easily winning position out of Qh4.

The Classical Variation:

The classical variation is considered one of the best options for black, but as long as one knows the theory, there shouldn’t be too many problems. The main idea for black is to develop while attacking the d4 knight and white is going to build a big center by developing:


The Nf6 variation is quite used to defend against the Scotch, it can also be called one of the best options for black. The theory for this variant is gigantic but I’ll give you a simple system for this blog and try go deeper in the next one:

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