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Batsford Chess Opening Guides

The Scotch Game

Peter Wells


B.T.Batsford Ltd, London

First published 1998
Copyright 10 1998 Peter Wells

ISBN 0 7134 8466 7

British Library Cataloguiog-in-Publication Data.

A catalogue record for this book is
available from the British Library.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be

reproduced, by any means, without prior permission
of the publisher. .

The Bauford Chess Opening Guides were designed

and developed by First Rank Publishing
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Chess set used in cover photograph courtesy of the
London Chess Centre


General Manager: David Cummings
Ad'l1i.sors: Mark Dvoretsky, Raymond Keene OBE,
Daniel King, Jon Speelman, Chris Ward
1 e4 e5 2lDf3lDc6
3 d4 exd4 4 lLlxd4

Bibliography 6
Preface 7
Introduction 8

Part One. Main Une 4 •.•~f6

1 Main Line with 5 ~c6 bxc6 6 e5 'ffe7 7 'tte2lOd5 S c4 JLa6 9 b3 14
2 Main Line with 5ll)xc6 bxc6 6 e5 'ffe7 7 'iie2ltX15 S c4 JLa6:
White's ninth move alternatives 33
3 Main Line with 5 ~e6 bxe6 6 e5 'ili'e7 71!ie2 ~ S c4ltJb6 9ltJd2 44
4 Main Line with 5 ~c6 bxc6 6 e5 "i!le7 71!re2lOd5 8 c4ltJb6:
White's ninth move alternatives 63
5 5 ~xe6 bxc6: Early deviations for both sides 70

Part Two. 4 •...tc5

6 5li.)xc6: Kasparov's 5...•£6 6 fidl dxe6 7liX3 .i.e6 SiDa4I? 81
7 5 ~e6: Early deviations for both sides 91
8 51Ob3 and 5lOE5?1 102
9 5 JLe31lYf6 6 c3liJge7 7 .*.co4: Systems with ...~ 109
10 5 .i.e3 Wf6 6 c3lL)ge7 7 .i.e4: Systems without ...ltJe5 123
11 5 .i.e3: Early deviations for both sides 132

Part Three. Black's Other Fourth Moves

U~~ m
13 Black's Fo\,llth Move Alternatives 150

Index of Complete Games 159


Encyclopaedia 0/Chess Openiny; volume C (Sahovski Informator 1997)
Bats/ord Chess Opening,s 2, Garry Kasparov & Raymond Keene (Batsford 1989)
W'mning 'With the Scotch, Gary Lane (Batsford 1992)

New in Chess Yearbooks
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ChessBase MegaBase CD-ROM

It seems increasingly inevitable that introductions to opening books will discuss the in-
formation explosion in chess, both in tenDS of the mind-boggliog growth in available
material, and the much improved quality of analytical aides used by top players.
One of the more positive consequences of these changes, especially in the 'Opeo
Games' (1 e4 e5), has been a greater willinplcss among the leading players to experiment
not just with new ideas, but with those old ideas which that fickle creature 'opeoing fash-
ion' had ditched prematurely. English players, notably Nunn, Shon and Chandler have
played a major role here, reviving the Four Knights Game and even the King's Gambit.
From the mid 198Os, there was again more to 1 e4 e5 than just the Spanish.
It was the World Champion Garry Kasparov's advocacy of the Scotch which led, via
the 'trickle-down effect' of fashion, to its current great popularity at all levels. Indeed he
has stated his belief that it is the only serious alternative to the Spanish after 1 e4 e5.
There is much more to this new popularity than mere imitation too. Kasparov's pio-
neering work bas revealed many brand-new areas of research - look at his mammoth
analysis in Game l for example, or the entire Chapter 5 dedicated to the unlikely but
brilliant knight move 8 ~ - and this has attracted some very fine young talents, Sergei
Rublevsky, and the young Ukrainian, Vladimir Baklan, to name but two whose fine
effons feature heavily in what follows.
The Scotch is strategically quite a complex opening. I have tried as far as possible to
explain what is happening :with panicularreference to a few imponant recurring themes.
I hope you will find the illustrative games I have chosen instructive and entertaining.
A few words about the scope of this book. I have decided· to exclude the so-called
Scotch Four Knights (those lines where White answers 4•••~ with 5 ltXJ) for two rea-
SODS. First., the lines with 5 lDxc6 are very complex and popular. and a superficial treat-
ment of 5 ltX3 would have done more harm than good. Second, the lines with 5 llX:3 are
neith~ as dangerow as 5lWtc6, nor very closely related strategically.
I am confident that the popularity of the Scotch will continue, and certainly hope that
it does. since it is fascinating for both sides. I hope that the right balance has been struck
between general themes and new analysis to encourage this process at all levels.
PeIi!r Wells. Bud4.pest, M4y 1998


The Scotch - A case of 'rich compensation then suddenly all is still to

strategic imbalance' play for_ The great thing about the Sanch.
To try and undemand the wide appeal of is DOt only that we find very early con-
the Scotch, we could do wone than to flias between competing types of advan-
return to Kasparov's claim that, along tages enjoyed by White and Black respec-
with the Spanish (Ruy lopez), it is the tively. but that there is great variety in
only opening after 1 e4 e5 which can set who enjoys which type of plus.
Black lasting strategic problems. I think
that this has to do with the fact that in The Pure Scotch Pawn Structure
vinually every important variation of the A certain element of 'imbalance' is in-
Scote4 a cenain degree of 'imbalance' is jected immediately by the exchange of
generated within a very few moves. pawns on d4. The significance of this is
Authors like to we such terms as not to be undaatimatecl, and the relative
'sharp', 'double-edged' or 'unbalanced' to scarcity of games featuring this 'pure'
desaibe chess positions. What this basi- structure largely reflects Black's desire, and
cally boils down to is that the initial in most ~ his ability. to avoid it.
'equilibrium' has been disturbed.. This The problem is that if Black takes no
may take many forms - one side may en- special action, his opponent is likely to
joy an advantage in development or activ- enjoy a pleasant space advantage and COD-
ity of the pieces. Alternatively, there may trol of the important ciS-square. while he
be longer-tenn structural factors present himself struggles to find active squares (or
such as pawn weaknesses. Then again a his pieces and possibilities for counterplay.
simple gain of material is an important Take the following position from a
source of 'imbalance'. game played between two strong masters.
What makes for fascinating chess is the see fo/Iowing diagram
interplay of these factors. If White simply
has two extra pawns then the theoretical There is nothing in the blllCk position
interest in the positiOD is limited. If on the which can be pointed to as a concrete
other hand Black can claim a huge lead in weakness, nor does White have any im-
development and anacking chances as mediate plan. Nevertheless, White's last


move 12 :ell prevented Black's planned counterpart, usually has to be developed

exch3nge of light-squared bishops, prepar- before any such break can be contem-
ing to answer 12...Jlb3 with 13 .AbU, fol-. plated, and in the majority of cases this
lowing the rule that the side with a space means to f6, blocking the f-pawn. In many
advantage should avoid exchanges. White cases too, the advance of the f-pawn has
can build at his leisure, and always has the implications for the lUng's position which
clS-square available for occupation, while render it less convenient.
Black has no equivalent 'suongpoint' , It is broadly for these reasons that
since should his knight move to e5 it 'Where possible in the Open Games BL:tck
would be immediately evicted by fl-E4. bases his defence around maintaining his e5·
pawn tIS a strDngpoint in the centre. This is
true of, for example, many lines of the
Spanisb (Ruy Lopez) and Italian Game.
The Scotch bas the significant advantage
of denying Black that option.

Modlficadons of the 'Pure Scotch

The traditional criticism of the Scotch
Game is that it releases the tension too
early, and gives Black too many opportu·
nities to strike back either at the e4-pawn
(4 ...1Uf6 or 4...fih4) or the knight on d4
We shall see other instances of the 'pure (4...~c5 or 4....(6). In one sense, this ar-
Scotch structure' throughout the book. In gument has some justification. If we focus
general the difficulties which Black faces in on Black's two most significant moves for
these militate against this modest approach a moment, 4...1tlf6 (Chapters 1-5) and
involving an early ...d7-d6. 4....i.CS (Chaptcn 6-11), it is true that both
If we pause briefly to take a compara- of them succeed in interfering with the
tive view we might get an idea of why this rosy piaure painted of the 'pure strueture'
space advantage.is particularly pernicious. above. Where I part company with this
Take for example the analogous central argument is that for me many of these
pawn position where White has a pawn changes simply enrich the position, and
on d4 (instead of e4) and Black on e6 while they clearly provide Black with
(lDStead of d6). more play than in the 'pure' case described
Here again we can talk of some spatial above, they also provide White with a
plus, but this type of position is very wealth of ncw opportunities.
popular - just think of the Can>Kann or To take 4..--*.0 first, we find that
several variations of the French. The dif- broadly White can react in three ways:
ference? .In essence it is that here Black a) 5 ~b3 (Chapter 8) tends to retain the
can, often without great inconvenience, pawn structure most resembling the 'pure
strike back at White's centre with the Scotch', but the retreat of the knight takes
break ...c7{c6}-cS. In the Scotch, the much of the sting out of White's spatial
equivalent strike ...0(£6)-5 does oa:ur, but advantage. Thus this line bas lost a good
it is a much more complex matter. For deal of popularity in recent years. .
starters, the lUng's knight, unlike its bl- b) 5 i.eJ .£61? 6 d (see Cbapters 9-11)

The Scotch GBme

reveals another interesting modification of just that. The fact that White has not yet
the ideal type. The important point here is committed his bishop to e3 affects the
that White has been forced into the con- issue too, but there is a school of thought
cessiOD of advancing his c-pawa to d, which expeas its importance to grow very
which interferes quite substantially with rapidly.
his preferred developmenL 7be enticing c) 5 llm6 entails the most radical
pombiJity ofdeueloping the quam's /might to change of structure. The most important
d, eyeing the d5-square, bIIS been lost. lines arise from 5.....f61? 6 1id2 dxc6.

Of course this is purchased at a price. This new structure merits careful con-
There is no doubt that the black queen sideration. It is well known from the
can often find a role in these lines (see Spanish Exchange variation that Black's
Game 61 for example). Equally though, problem is rather more than just doubled
she can form a target for White's opera- pawns. The point is that the c-pawns fall
tions (as in Games S6 and 59). Moreover, OD his majority wing and hence very sim-
this line contains a larger than Dormal plified endings are bad news (especially
range of tactical tricks. Whenever the pawn endinp which arc, other thinp be-
queen wanders off to the kinpide the c7- ing equal, simply lost). White has the sim-
point is weakened, and the possibility ple plan of creating a passed pawn by the
~4-b5 is in the air. Also the undefended advance of his e- and f-pawns. Black has no
bishop OD c5 is a source of tactical riches. such equiva1enL Hence Black's case re-
Black, hankering after his fuU share of the volves largely upon his ability to generate
centre through the advance ...d7-dS, is active piece play. On one level 5......f61? is
often ~UctaDt to push the d-pawn just about avoiding the endgame. However.
one square. Hence, the defence of this Black is again hoping to inteifen: with
piece requires either •.ic5-b6, or ...b7-b6. White's JeuelqpmenL
These are respectable enough, but not to
everyone's taste, so still expect to fmd a Development:
number of tactical motifs. Quantity. but Quality tool
An interesting postscript here is the at-
tempt to reach a struaurally similar posi- a) Hindering the opponent's
tion without the controversial queen post- development
ing. 4••ib4+ 5 c3 i.c51? found in Chapter In the Preface, I mentioned that the
13, is a very recent idea which attempts Scotch is d.i.stinguisbed by 'extremely: early


contact between the pieces'. This was not implications are enormous. Questions
just an attempt to make it all sound inter- such as whether to fianchetto the respec-
esting! Rather. in the Scotch. in fairly tive king's bishops or. if not, then how to
stark contrast with the image of the Open find a secure and effective posting for the
Games, the players tend not merely to queen while 'normal development' is re-
concentrate on their own rapid develop- sumed, come to dominate the opening
ment but to give priority to hindering that stages. There are at least three logical
of the opponent. This is where the grounds for Black's decision:
5...'i'f61? of the previous example was First, he can claim more options {or his
typical. It would be too loosening for queen when seeking to ere-release' his
White to move the f·pawn in reply. Hence king's bishop for the simple reason that
he is left with a choice of moves like 6 whereas he has the luxury of attacking the
'iie2?1 or 6 Wdl {best} which create their pawn on eS. White's queen is actually tied
own problems for the development of his to its defence. Second, on similar grounds
remaining pieces. Thus Black, who can in to those found in the last example, since
addition hope to bring a rook rapidly to Black is playing with a structural defect -
the d-ftle. creates the necessary activity to the doubled c-pawns - he should in gen-
compensate for his weakened structure by eral seek compensation in piece play. and
forcing White's queen to impede her own this will hardly be facilitated by both sides
forces. being able to develop without hindrance.
This is by no means an isolated exam- Thirdly. by forcing the white queen to e2.
ple. Indeed. there are mong parallels in Black is able to add a new dimension to
the basic position of the first four chapters the play - the possibility after 7•••~ 8 c4
which arises from the moves 1 e4 e5 2l£)f3 of keeping the knight in the centre by
lik6 3 d4 exd4 4 .!Oxd4lbf6 5 ~ bxc6 6 pinning White's c-pawn with 8....i.a61?
eS, and now 6...•e7(Q by Black, which exploiting the pin against e2. Another
virtually forces 7 1i'e2 with the following example of how development in the
diagram: Scotch is rarely routine, and highly re-
sponsive to the circumstances of the op-
ponent's developmenL The downside of
8....i.a6 will be touched upon at the end of
this Introduaion.
These first two examples of
'interference with development' are of
great imponance since they influence the
play in large chunks of the book, but
there are many others. Look at the discus-
sion of 10 a3 from Game 2 for example,
and 16 i.d51 from Game 85. which trans-
formed the assessment of a whole line by
keeping one key black piece at home.
These two queen moves may be seen as One more case which I find rather in-
a son of 'exchange of inconveniences'. teresting is worth a mention here. In the
Black takes the decision that it is to his next diagram position, from Hjartanon-
iUluanlAgt toCIUlSe JisruptiJm to the mobili- I.50kolov. Akureyri 1994. Black has a
sation of both sides' .frmet The strategic subtle possibility.

The Scotch Game

spell disaster for White's king. The note to

move 11 in Game 30 is also instructive.
Black not only plays with his king in the
centre, but even opens it up. later flnding
a haven for his king on b7.

Black's unusual .. .Aba move was an at-

tempt to intedere with White's queenside
development (see also the note to Black's
tenth move in Game 19) and was to some
extent successful, but now leaves that
piece in search of a role. The move played, c) Lateral rook development
12.•••g6I, is very instructive and reveals The possibility of mobilising the rooks

another potential problem of White's 7
discussed above, namely the fact that
the defence of the c2-square has been de-
'around the side' is another important
consequence of mutual development diffi-
culties. Take the following position.
serted. Black's idea is simply that in order
to prevent a queen invasion on c2 White
will have to castle long. Consequently, the
otherwise rather clumsy rook on ba
comes into play and Black has various
attacking chances against the white king.

b) King position
This leads on nicely to a brief mention of
the broad range of destinations available
for both sides with regard to king place-
ment. Castling long as well as short ap-
pears frequently for both sides throughout
the book. It is perbaps more surprising The scenario of queens blocking bish-
that there are a number of interesting and ops is nothing new. Neither does Black's
seemingly paradoxical cases where the need to compensate for a damaged struc-
king remains in the centre, sometimes as a ture by active piece play present any sur-
result of just such a development logjam as prises. Two factors here do, however, en-
we have been considering. courage White to think radically: The
In this position below, from Game 3, completely dear open fates give an urgency
Black invites White to capture 12 exf6? to the need to bring a rook to the e-file, as
with check, safe in the knowledge that well as reducing the number of potential
12 ••• by clearing the e-6le, would safe havens for White's queen to run to


and 'make wllY' for the bishop's develop- I could list several games where Black
ment. Also. Black dominates the Ions has serious problems with the bishop on
light-squared diagonal - the fianchetto is a6 - Games 13 and 14 sprinS to mind -
not an option. at least with a rook on htl but it would scarcely be an exaggeration to
All this adds up to IS 1th3! followed by 16 say that the role of this piece dominates
neJ!. oniy then followed by 17 sJ, as the first two chapters.
White's most efficient development path. In the case of the knight on b6, I would
just like the reader to look out for various
Problem Pieces examples of its successful re-deployment.
This [mal important theme bas already Here I offer one from Grosar-I.Sokolov.
been touched upon, when we considered Portoroz 1993.
the difficulties which Black could have
with his queen on f6 in Chapters 10-12.
Here I want to mention two more recur-
ring cases - both arisinS chiefly from the
line 4...ltjf6 5 lOxc6 bxc6 6 eS 'fIe7 7 fi'e2
IOd5 8 c4. Black has a choice of
'problems'. Aher 8....L6 the fate of this
bishop will largely determine his fate, and
aher 8...ltjb6. albeit to a lesser degree,
Black does well" to ensure that this knight
can re-enter the play before it is seriously
restriced by White's pawns.
After 8... .i.a6 9 b30) the outlines of the
problem are already clear. The bishop In the diagraoi position Black exploited
may end up targetins a well-secured pawn. the position of the white queen on e4 to
Its hopes usually rest OD the move ...d7-d5 win back a tempo with the surprising ma-
and a lease of life after ...dSxc4. The fol- noeuvre to...~1? followed by ...liXS-e6.
lowing is the nightmare scenario from aiming for the 'ideal' set-up of .. .,i,b7 and
Magomedov-Hachian, Yerevan Olympiad •••c6<:5 when the knight can aspire to seri-
1996. where Black has desperate c-paWns ous influence on the centre.
that, aside from their own intrinsic diffi- For another optimal resolution of this
culties. restrict the hapless bishop. problem see Game 34. in which Black
willingly exchanges his ligllt-squared bish-
op for the white knigllt in order to
strongly emphasise his control of the d4-
We have now looked at many of the
key themes which the reader will flOd
cropping up many times in the pages to
follow. ~ other ideas appear. it is worth
putting them in the context of this discus-
sion. These will be best illustrated in the
concrete examples to which we now tum.

Main Line with 8 .. .iLa6:
9 b3

1 e4e52~~3d48xd44lQxd4 the queen on e2 can impede rapid devel-

IJ)f8 6 ~c6 bxc6 6 85 'fIe7 7 'fIe2 ltld6 opment. Indeed, Black can come close to
8 c4 .b6 9 b3 wi.nn.ing the c5-pawn by force. The rela-
In this chapter we consider one of the tive unpopularity of this plan compared to
most critical lines in the modem Scotch, those considered later in the cllapter lies in
the main line with 9 bJ (White's other the fact that. having won the pawn, the
ninth moves are considered in Chapter 2). centre is temporarily clarified. Then it is
Black has four main responses: the the drawbacks in Black's position which
straightforward 9...Q.O.O (Game 1), the come to the fore, notably the poorly
tricky 9...'Wh4 (Game 2), the old main line placed bishop on a6 (much featured in the
9...g6 (Games 3-6) and the new main line Introduction) and the vulnerable pawns
9... g5i? (Games 7-9). As we shall see, the around Black's king.
latter, which was introduced to top-Ievd 10 93
practice in sensational fashion by VJShy In the game itself, White's ninth and
Anand in his 1995 World Championship tenth moves were inverted, which in the
match with Garry Kasparov, is the most lines with ...Q.O.O at least, has no real sig-
pro~galtemnNerorB~ nificance.
10•• Jl88 11 .b2 f6 12 .i.g2
Gamel This natural move has been almost
Rublevsky-Mikhalevski automatic here, but throughout the
European Cup, Vilnius 1995 B... h6 complex, particularly when
White's queen DO longer has primary du-
1 e4 86 2 Ihf3 .It:Ice 3 d4 8Xd4 4 ~d4 ties of guarding the e5-pawn, Black should
IJ)f8 5 lOxc6 bxc6 6 e6 "e7 7 "e2 ltld6 be prepared for the queen to side-step the
8 c4 .b6 9 b3 0-0-0 pin and question the knight. This is ex-
The plan of castling long in conjunc- actly what White tried in Socko-Kostyra,
tion with .. .£7-f6 is perhaps the most logi- Poland 1997, when 121M21? lLlb6 13 .i.g2
cal attempt to exploit two central prob- £xeS 14 ().() p?1 IS Rei i.g7 16ltk3 wb8
lems of White's position: the potential 17 341 hS 18 L3 .dB 19 as lLlc8 20lDe4
weakness of the e5-pawn and the fact that resulted in a nightmare scenario for Black

Main Line with B... Aa6: S b3

where White's near model minor pieces

are completely domioanL

It is significant that Black is somehow
12•.•fxe5131Cd21? chasing the white king even though it has
Again I prefer this devdopment to the headed to the other side. Pan of the appeal
most common move 13 ().O. The point is of White's pawn sacrifice is that it is suffl-
that the most critical of Black's positional ciendy position.ally grounded that he can
problems, finding a role for his knight and happily head for simplification (with the
light-squared bishop, is not dependent on obvious exception of exchanging Black's
the ptacing of White's king. Castling problem minor pieces).
shon, for all White's manifest chances on 17 •.••xd2 18 D.xd2 hb2 19 Wxb2 ~6
the queenside, tends to lead to something 20 Be11
of a race where Black marches his h-pawn A strong dual·purpose move. White
and always devdops counter-chances. The prevents ideas of solving the 'minor piece
classic case was Kasparov-Karpov. World problem' by sacrificing on c4. More sub-
Championship match. Lyon 1990, which dy. he realises that Black cannot survive

(lJ ...lDf6!?) 14"'d2 ~6 15 .as

became incredibly sharp after 13 ().O h5
(15...'iflb7? 16 .Ll it'e6 17 ~S AhxfS· IS
indefmitdy without...d7-d6, when the c-
file may become ripe for opening.
20•••Wb8 21 841 d6 22 c5 IDc:8 23 cxd6
~ would be very misguided as the ~ cxd6 24 liWI8 Ada 25 Bcd1 Jlxd6 28
pawn is of titde imponance; only the Ilxd8 tmd8 27 D.xd6
speed of getting to. the king counts) 16
L3 it'e6 17 .i.xfs 1Ihxfs (17...AexfS also
merits attention) IS it'xa7 'itg4! 19lDa3 h4
and White's kingside is vulnerable too.
13..•g6 14 Q..O.O .ilh6?! 15 'iflbllthfs 16
.lDe4 Wb8?1 17 .ell ~6 18 lOxf6 lbf6 19
f~ Af7 20"aS .tb7 21 .be5 again allowed
aU Black's problems to come to the fore in
.. Thorballsson-5igfusson, Icelandic Cham-
pionship 1991.
14()'()"o~ 15~.a516~1 h3

The Scotch Game

27 •• J1f81 28 :d2 :f8 29 h4 oft7 30 Wc3 his longer tenD pluses. White further
Black hz defended well and limited hopes that the b3-pawn will not be seri-
White's advantage, but the position still ously weakened.. Note that if White is
should hold a few problems. forced to advance his b-pawn to b4, this
30 •• ic8 31 wb4 wb6 32 a6+ oft7 33 may tum out to be good news for the
wc6 .i.g4 34 b4 Af3 3& .i" J.d& 36 bishop on a6.
llc2 :f3
37 b& :a3 38 wb4 J1b3+ 39 The natural alternative 10 .tb2, while
wc& lla3 40 wb4 J:l.b3+ %-% out of favour, is not quite dead and buried
(though of course 10 g3? fi'd4 11 ..Ikb2
Game 2 .Ilb4+ can be expected to remain rather
Kotsur-Frolov unpopular!). Black plays 10....tb4+1 11
Russian Cup, Tomsk 1997 wdll (11 Il\d2 is rightly condemned by
theory since 11...~1 forces White to pan
1 e4 e5 2 tnf3 1&8 3 d4 od4 4 tnxd4 with the bishop pair z 12 ti'f3? ~e4 13
ICf6 5lOxc6 bxc8 8 e5 'ire7 7 "e2 ends .tel dSl 14 exd6 ()'o1 is even worse; this is
8 c4 h6 9 b3 Wh4 a typical example of how Black should
open up the position wherever possible to
accentuate his quicker mobilisation)
l1...ltif4 U .e4I? (White prevents ...It)e(,,
which would be a good answer to 12 .(3)
12•. :i'xf2 13 .td41i'h4 14 c51 'tWh5+ 15 g41
(White invests a second pawn to keep the
knight on f4 pinned, although it is Black's
other minor piece which is really the focus
of White's ambitioDS; what happens oext
is pretty well forced since the poor bishop
on b4 is iodeed trapped, but Black secures
reasonable recompense) 15...•xg4+ 16
Wc2 .tell (securing an important gain of
Initially it would appear rather swpris-
tempo from. ..) 17 .he2 .xe2+ IS .xe2
~ (•••this attack 00 the bishop) 19.i.f2
ing that White is well advised to invest a 0-020 a3.hcS 21.i.xc5 lUeS 22 Aelltxe5
further tempo in this 'noIHlevdoping' 23 ~ 1hC 24 Jbe2 WES and Black hz
move. However, the justification lies in four pawns for the piece, two of them
the aforementioned distinaion between passed, but White's rooks and knight
'quantity' and 'quality' of devdopment. combined well enough to maintain the
The most important thing for White is to balance in Izeta..Alvarez, Elgoibar 1991.
prevent his opponent's last minor piece 10•• ic5 11 g31
from emerging to its ideal square. Here For a long time this move wz con-
the check on b4 is critical to Black's hopes demned, on the basis, in my view, of a
of pumaing his 'strategy of disruption'. If profound misassessment of the conse-
Black's pieces are unable to combine to quences of the ensuing tactics. The chess
create immediate mischief, then even a world now seems to be waking up to the
serious deficit in numerical devdopment reality that this move may simply repre-
may be containable, and White can, z so sent a refutation of Black's strategy.
often in this chapter, switch anention to The alternative 11 .A.b2 ltif4 offers less

Main Line with B... .ta6: 9 b3

after: fl-bishop, eosun::s that White will pick up

a) 12 "d2~ is cenain1y ruled out by the the knight on dS as well in exchange for
shot 12...lDhJl and if 13 gxh3 .e4+-. his rook OD hI. For c:xample, 13...1fxhl
b) 12"c2 lDe6 13 g3 1ih6 14 lDd2 0.0
15 lOfl f6 16 exf6 lW61 17 .tel ~I 18
14 .i.g2 .xh2 15 adS adS 16 Wc2 (16
.tb21?) 16...c61? 17 .ieJ 1fb5 18 IOc3 0.0,
.i.xf) .lIE8 19 "'dl It)g5 20 ~ Lf2+ 21 as in M.Maric-Voiska, Subotica Women's
Wdl cIS was a fme example of the Deed for Interzonal 1991. The resulting position is
Black to remain active in this line. Here he interesting; Black has three pawns and a
opened the position and even offered ma- rook for two pieces - not a bad trade at
terial t~ retain the initiative, in K.Grosar- all. None of Black's pieces give cause for
Crepan, Ponoroz 1996. concern - the bishop OD a6 is very much a
c) 121'1f3 It)e6 II g3 (ll i.d3 is Wltried, player and the queen has also re-entered
but avoids the tactical problems of the the action. The central pawn phalanx is
teXt) 13...lDg51~ (13 ...trh61~ and ll....e7I?, also very stable, particularly as White has
intending ...0.0.0, arc also both quite play- DO real pawn levers with which to under-
able) 14 'tiel (14 .xc6?1 dxc6 15 gxh4 mine iL Moreover, it is highly effective in
Itif3+ 16 We2 ltXi4+I [so the weakness of holding back White's pieces 00 the light
the b3-pawn does play a role] 17 i.xd4 ~~,~yilie~~whichis
hd4 is pleasant for Black due to the gravely missed in any attempt to exploit
bishop pair) 14....e4 15 'ft'xe4 (15 h4 the h-fale for attack. Any problems, of
'tixhl 16 hxg5 0.0 17 lDd2 clSl is clearly course, will come on the dark squares, but
better for Black according to Blatny) in general B1aclt's position looks fairly
IS...lQxe4 16 f4? (16 EJIlt)f2 17 b4 JW 18 healthy, and indeed Black went 00 to win
cSl lMl+1 19 .i.xdl hdJ 20 IikJI was the game.
better, with about equal chances) 16.•Jtb81 In my opinioo, ilie somewhat material·
17 b4 .tf2+ 18 'ifldl .txg31 with a clear istic priorities of 13 wdl?1 are flawed. The
advantage to Black in Hon-Xie JUD, knight on bl needs the dl-square, defend·
Women· Veterans, Prague 1995. ing the bishop on f1 and heading for fl,
11 .. ixf2+ where it can play a serious role in trying
This is the supposed tactical justifica- to snare the black queen.
tion of Black's play, and it does indeed
win material. Retreat would needless to
say undermine the logic of Black's strat-
egy. The conceptual basis of the ensuing
battle is far from complex. Does the black
queen get out or not, and if so at what
12 'l'xf21
12 Wxf2? obviously fails to 12...1Id4+
and .....xa1.
see following diagram
13 WeI 1 I 13.....xh114~&3+
White has also experimented with II It is DOt completely clear whether this
cild2?1 which, by avoiding the pin on the knight has to move. For example, after

The Scotch Game

14...().() 15 cxd5?1 ~1 16 .lIfl, neither defence of e7 allows Black the possibility

16.....xfl 17 .!tW1 adS nor 16...•xdSl? 21...g61 22 JLb2 when he can choose be-
really favours White. In the fim case we tween a draw by 22...gxf5 23 !lel+ 'i!id8 24
have a good illustration of the relative 1Ie7 'fi'g6 25 !lg7 'ile8 26 !le7 'irf8
strength of the rook against two minor (26 ...'i'g6 is a repetition) 27 'fi'd4 d6 28 f7
pieces in the endgame as opposed to the Wxe7 29 .f6+ 'i!id7 30 Wxf5+ ctIe7 31
middlegame. In the Ianer White's king "0£6+ etc. or good defensive chances by
becomes an issue as the Black queen's 22.••().(). as in Novak-Riou. Candas open
transformation from 'vulnerable' to 1996.
'commanding' occurs with alarming 20 ••• 0-0
speed. Of course White should not be so Since with a modicum of care by
lightly deflected from concentration on White, the text move is likely to lead to a
the 'problem' black queen. Bener is 15 rout. Black should probably consider
Well, when one illustrative variation runs 20...gxf6. However. White then has a
15.••f5 16 ib2 f4 17 cxd51·6q;3 18 .ba61 (very pleasant) choice between:
'fi'xal 19 'i'xg3 'iPh1 20 e6 g6 21 'iteSl and a} 21 .i.b21? Q.().()I? 22 .i.xC6 IDtfS 23 g4
attention has switched to the plight of the .f7 24 "xa71 JLb7 25 hd8 llxd.8
other black monarch. Grabics-Majigsuren. World Junior Girls
15 Wc2 lOe4 16 ~e4 .xe4+ 17 .i.d3 Championship. Medellin 1996. White
"g4 18 .i.f& 1ih& should now have stabilised her superbly
So the black queen has escaped•• placed bishop by 26 hS! followed by 27
19h41 Adl. when Black has no real prospects of
...Well. not entirely! This key move breaking out of the bind.
threatens simply g3-g4, and.forces Black to b) 21 'i'el+ 0 -Gutman} 21...Wd8 22 g4
reveal his apparently solid kingside pawn . .f7 2J .aSl with a strong attack.
struc:ture as a sham. Alter his next move. 21 g4 'ira8 22 .i.b21
sadly forced, the white pieces are literally Some accuracy is still required. Thus af-
invited in. At the risk of tedious repeti- ter the impetuous 22 fxgn 'fIe4+ (Korch-
tion. note again the utter impotence of the no~ Black turns the tables.
bishop on a6 as a defensive piece! 22••• 0xf671

19•••18 20 exf61 23 11011 h6 24 96 fleO& 2& 1rd4 'fIe7 28

Much more precise than 20 g4?"17 21 ...&+ 1-0
exf6, since driving the queen back to the Ac:tuaIly 26 Ilxg5+ hxg5 27 \ih8+ ef7
Main Line with B... R.a6: 9 b3

28 'fi'h5+ etc. leads to an even quicker options.

mate. Still, tbe text is perfectly adequate to 10 .tal is seen in Game 6, while 10
secure the jettison of Black's towel in view i.b2 is likely to transpose into the mate-
of 26...'i!tf7 271i'g7+ We8 2811ell flxel 29 rial of Chapter 2, Games 14-16, after
.i.g6+ ~d8 30 Vxf8+ 1te8 31 .xe8 mate. 10.. ig7 11 g3 since here 11 llld2 is less
The final phase of the game was really a precise due to l1...ltJb41
massacre, but notable for the extremely 10•.•16
economical way in which all the white A typical case in the Scotch where con-
pieces piled into the attack. crete threats - here the basic positional
threat to embarrass the knight on cIS -
Game 3 sharpen the play at a very early stage.
Kasparov-Karpov Routine development is already insuffi·
Tilburg 1991 cient. Thus, 10.. ..ig7?1 11 "f21 lilf6
(11...lDb6 hardly bears thinking about;
, e4 85 2 ctlf3 &6 3 d4 8xd4 4 ~d4 Black gets the WOISt of both worlds - the
lOf6 5 ~c6 bxe6 e 85 We7 7 "82111d5 bad bishop on a6 and the sorry knight on
8 c4 ase 9 b3 g6 b6) 12.i.e2 d6 0 JUJI ().() 14 ().() .tb7 was
Along with 9...()'o'(), this is perhaps very unsatisfactory for Black in Van der
Black's most natural try - he seeks simply Wiel·Beliavsky, Groningen 1994. White
to proceed with normal development, could have played 15 .tall liW' 16 ltJdl
pressuring the white e-pawn by 00..*.g7, nf'd8 17 lladl when Black is disastrously
...0.0, ..Jlae8 etc. In Chapter 2 we shall see tied up.
the consequences of White broadly per- The other anempt to disrupt the
mitting Black to carry out this plan. Here, smooth flow of White's operation - the
and in Games 4-6, we look at more ambi- queen advance ·10.:.'iih4+ - is the subject
tious attempts to cut across Black's inten- of Game 5.
tions. 11.i.a317
Here White actually has a choice be-
tween the truly extraOrdinary tactical mess
which the text move initiates and the posi-
tional 11 exf6 which may also promise
some relatively risk·free advantage - see
Game 4.
11 .....
White is much too well co-ordinated
for the £ligbty l1...lDb4~1 to bring any joy.
After 12 .i.b21 ExeS (the 'standard' 12.00c5,
aiming at re-deployment of the knight to
its optimal c6-square, here fails since the
white knight can in tum head for d5 by 13
10 f417 lilc31 £xeS 14 all with horrible conse-
A very critical response. White protects quences) 13 a3lDd5 14 flxe5lDf6 15 .ie2
the e-pawn in preparation for the move i.g7 16 llld2 with a manifest positional
.•£2 which would immediately pose a advantage.
. question to Black's knight, as well as giv- Kasparovalso gives 11...c5 12 g31 ExeS
ing an enhanced range of development 13 .i.g2 c6 14 £xeS .ig7 15 i.b2,(),() 16

The Scotch Game

~I as favourable for White. The knight PCA/WCC World Champion for his
is headed for D, when Black's bishops typically deep analysis of the alternatives:
(especially our old friend on a6) have poor a) The first of these is relativdy easy to
prospects. The move ...c7<1l is very bad dismiss. 14....ha3?1 15 bn :1>8 16 ~
for Black's structure since he can no i.a6 17 ()'()'()I .ixb7 (17.. .Axb7? fails to 18
longer aspire to playing ...d7-d6 and then e6I, while 17...fxe5 18 Abel ().() 19 £xeS
capturing back with the pawn on d6 after
forcing an exchange.
.e7 20 lDc2 :fd8 21 "as J.b7 22 1fxc7
[Wells] also highlights the potential grav-
12Wd21 ity of Black's dark-sqwred weaknesses) 18
A multipurpose move. White not only Abet ().() 19 'ffxd7 clearly favours White -
attacks the knight on cIS by unpinning - Kasparov.
already a familiar theme - but also defends b) However, the immediate withdrawal
f4 and has an eye to sharp tactical possi- from fl is definitdy Black's best chance.
bilities involving the thrust "d2-a5. Kasparov gives 14....L.6 IS bxc7 ExeSl
A3 so often in this chapter, White (Black has to continue to play his part in
opens the e-me with queens on the board generating a big mess. His main trump
at his peril. The disruptive effect of the card is the potential embarrassment of
check 12 exC6+?1 is an illusion. Black's White's king. Hence IS ... J.xa3?1 16 llhcaJ
forces suddenly gain new energy, and ().() t7 ().O.(), which enables White to solve,
White is fortunate to have an equalising this problem should be avoided. The more
resource after 12..•'iPdS 13 'ffd2 'ffxC61 14 the position is 'normalised', the more sali-
.i.b2 'ffe6+ 15 .i.e2 .i.b41 16 ltXJ lleSI 17 ent become the more long-term positional
Q.O.OI .bc3 IS .Ltc3 'ffxe2 (there is noth- factors which favour White. Here, in addi-
ing better as 18...~c3? 19 .xc3 1i'xe2? 20 tion, the c7-pawn has not yet been
Abel wins for White) 19 cxdS which leads
to an equal ending - Kasparov.
rounded upO 16 "'as CIf 16 £xeS, 16..."f51
[Wdls] creates enough threats to disrupt
12•••lOb8 13 c61 .i.xf1 14 cuB the smooth flow of White's game)
16....xf41 17 "'xa6 'fih4+1 18 wdll (but
not IS g3? 'ii'e4+ 19 Wf2? AxaJI when,
although White has a choice of which
black attacking forces to eliminate, those
which remain will have a fidd day - either
the rook to f8, or the bishop to c5;
White's king is so weak that even Black's
reduced forces can create decisive threats)
18....d4+ 19 Well (Kasparov gives this as
a sub-variation of 19 ~d2 ha3 20 cS. +
AxcS 21 'fIxc8+ ~e7 22 1Ixh8 'i'xal+ 23
~el .xbl 24 1ixeS+ <M7 25 .f4+ with
perpetual check. A bad day out for the
14.. .axb87 rooks! In my view the text is strange!)
This is clearly the last moment at which 19..:lre4+ 20 lIdlllxg2+ 21lZXl2 .bal.
Black can seek to rescue this variation, Unclear. aa:ording to Kasparov, who
since the inadequacy of the text move, points out that 22 'fIa6? is well met by
after Kasparov's superb retort, is not in 22. •.,i,b41 However. although direct on-
doubL We are also greatly indebted to the slaughts on Black's king are inadequate. I

Main Line with 8 .. . ~a6: 9 b3

think that White should play 22 :hell study if only for the many tactical i~
o.o! 23 b41 when Black gets DO joy after contained then:in. The rest of the game is
either: of mainly historical imponaoce after the
...which is really based on very simple
positional ideas - the wish to keep the f-
file closed, and to weaken Black's c-pawns
by dragging the d-pawn from their side.
The routine alternative 15 .i.xf8?1 hg2 16
1i'xgl lbf8 17 0.0 fxeS 18 ExeS 'ffxfl+ 19
'i'xfllbft+ 20 'it>xft &s121 ~c3l1xeS 22
lIel Let+ 23 h i We? enables Black to
amass a fair Dumber of ~nably healthy
pawns for the piece.
16 ...dxea
bl) 23 ... i.xb4 24 'fIc4+ dS 25 1i'xb4 e4 White's tactical idea is also readily
26 .d61fh31 27 11'xc6 1i'd3+ 28 wdt L8 comprehensible - after 15...•xe6+? 16
29 Act 1lf2 30 );tc2 with a clear plus for Wxfl the recapture of the piece by
White; or 16.. ixa3? 17 ltm3 IW3 would ~
b2) 23 ...W'2 24 'ilP'xdll (but not the cas- trously activate White's rook and cost
ual 24 lladl? hb4 25 1I'c4+ ...dSl 26 Black his queen due to 18l1el.
11'xb4 'iVxa2+ and White is certainly not 18 .bIs JldS 17 . 2 .l.xg2
better) 24... lhdl+ 25 'fIxdl flxd2+ 26 Kasparov also criticises this, preferring
Wxd2 .hb4+ 27 'it>c2 .bel 28 Ablll 17...i.d31? 18 .L3 gSl? which would,
[Wells] and the pawn will promote. rather UD.S1Uprisingly, afford Black a de-
gree of counterplay in the event of 19
ExgS?1 trbsl White should instead eschew
such greed, and give priority to addressing
the only downside to his position, and
developl Thus after 19ltki21 gxf4 20 ()..().()
c5 21 'ilP'c3 Black has three pawns for the
piece, but his forces will be driven back,
and White can start to attack. aided by his
own healthy king's position, and indeed
by the opposite<Olomed bishops.
1S 1fxg2 ~S19"xc6Jld8 209c31
For our purpwes, the last imponant
moment. White com:ctly assesses that his
This is probably the most complex king bel0Dgs OD the queenside. Hence, the
analysis in the book, and offers some in- queen needs to be here to facilitate 21
sight into the depth of Garry Kasparov's ltki21, shielding the d-file. The rest is tech-
opening work. It has retained its theoreti- nique, and Kasparov Deutrali.ses Black's
cal significance (although White might be two pawns and slight activity with cus-
relieved to find a 'quiet' a1terDaIive in tomary efficiency.
Game 4Q and I think will repay careful 20•••Wg7 21 lbi2 Jlhd8 22 0-0-0 .e8 23

The Scotch Game

1fKc7+ ;'8d7 24 "c2

"ebB 25 ~I ltd5
28 .'2 "c7 27 "xbS .d4+ 28 ••3
have made this decision voluntarily.
.g4 29 :d01 1fh4 30 ;'g3 e5 31 mt3 A strong move. White seizes the key
.g4 32 :01 Ild1+ 33 hd1 "xd1+ 34 fde, and all but forces the exchange of
wb2 h5 35 1Ig3 9111 36 ••2 h4 37 1fg2 queens. This is likely to be in favour of
.xg2+ 38 Ilx02 05 39 a4 W06 40 a5 e4 the player trying to convert a long·term
41 b4 h3 42 no3l1h7 43 a6 .5 44;'3 'structural' advantage.
1~ 15•.••xe2 16 h.2.bS
Beliavsky here mentions the more con·
Game 4 servative possibility 16...i.d61~ Probably
Beliavsky-Almasi Black rejected this as too passive - it is not
Yugoslav League 1997 obvious where he would seek counterplay
thereafter. Still, the strategy he adopts
1 e4 .5 2 ~f3 &s 3 114 .xd4 4 ~d4 with the teXt move is rather 'all or noth·
~f8 6 lOxe8 bxc8 6 86 "87 7 •• 2 ~5 ing', since if the intended kingside disrup-
8.c4 ~a8 9 b3 oS 10.4 f& tion does not amount to very much, as we
If White is afraid of the complications might argue occws in the game, then the
of the previous game, instead of 11 AaJ he flight of the bishop will be noticed when
can try the safe... it comes to the mundane job of defending
11 exfSI7 lOxfS 12 .i.b2 O.().() 13 lDd2 the c5-pawn.
d6140·0-0 17 g3 06 18 .i..3 c5
Black. would prefer to damage the white
kiogside with the consistent 18...gxf4, but
White has 19 Ae61 lId6 20 ltxd6 cxd6 21
.hd4 mS 22 g41 when the black bishops
make a particularly sorry picture. White's
play in this game seems to have a fair de-
gree of punch since Black bas both weak
pawns and dubious pieces to worry about.
19 .i.a3.i.b7 20 .i.xb7+ Wxb7 21 .lUeS

An interesting momenL After this ad·
V:1IlCC.Black has a passed pawn, which
moreover can be supported by the front c·
pawn. However, White becomes stronger
on the light squares - particularly the f3·aS
diagonal - and the c·pawns become vul·
nerable to attack. Positionally, the draw·
backs seem to outweigh the advantages.
Note, however, that it is very hard for
Black to complete his devdopment with· 22 fxgS71
out this move, and I doubt that he would At last White makes a decision which is

Main Line with 8 ... i..a6: 9 b3

open to criticism. After the text he retains which White will have to pay attention to
some positional plus. but only by return- the d4-square. What then is the role of the
ing the extra pawn to stem potential coun- move 9...g6 ben:? Black would I suppose
terplay. Instead.it was time to really cash claim that it bas encouraged White to cre-
in and face the consequences of 22 WI ate a new target (the f4-pawn) for attack.
Ade8 23 hg5 hg5 24 fxg5 ~ 25 h4
AhfS 26 nh2 IUS, when it is easier than it
looks for White to unravel by V Jlhe2!
(threaten~ng 28 lOft) V .. llef8 28 lOe4
with a clear advantage.
22....bg5 23 i.e7 he7 24llxe7 :de8
25 !!he1 Ilxe7 28 lbe7 ~2 27 ~ h5
After this Black finds enough counter-
chances to draw. White could still have
tried 28 b4 lldS 29 .mv d3 30 lhh5 ~f1
31 AdS, when although the ending after
31...d2+1 32 .fud2 Axd5 33 adS lOxg3
promises White the chance to prolong 11 .ad2 ""6 12 Illc3
Black's suffering, he has rather slight win- If 12 'W'e4 Black has the very sharp and
ning chances. powerful possibility 12..151 13 exf6+ <M7
2B •.•h4 29 gxh4 lb:h4 30 &5+ Wbe 31 (Karpov) by which Black's rook joins the
b4 a5 32 ~a4+ ~b7 33 b5 Illf3 34 be play with tempo, when his lead in devel-
:112+ 36 We1 d3.36l1xe7+ ~b8 37 Ild7 opment acquires menacing proportions.
Ilc2+ 38 ~d1 J:lxa2 39 lIxd3 lIxa4 40 12.. .i..h4 13 -.d31
1W3 %-% A very important novelty. White offers
A good example of active defence from the f4-pawn in order to preserve the initia-
Black, but White had definite chances tive. The more routine 13 \l'f3 has two
which from the theoretical standpoint principal drawbacks: it fails to cover the
pose seriow questions to the defence. d4-square, and it enables Black to redeploy
his problem bishop with tempo. The
Game 5 normally messy business of chess practice
Z. Vukovic-Blagojevic here backs up the theory with two neatly
Yugoslavia 1993 classified examples. 13 'tlrf3 ~c3 14.LcJ
and now:
1 e4 e6 2 Illf3 ~c6 3 d4 exd4 4 lllxd4 a) 14...•d4 15 Acl Lc3+ 16 Axc3 ().O.O
ltlf6 5 lllxc6 bxc6 6 e5 "fIe7 7 tfe2 ~5 (16.. .f61? - Karpov) 17 fi'e3 c5 18 1Ed3
8 c4 h& 9 b3 g8 10 f4 'iib4+ 'ii'xe3+ 19lbcl.i.b7 ~-~ Tolnai-Lukacs,
As we have already seen, White's sharp Budapest 1996. The desirability or other-
tenth move all but fon:es Black to change wise of these exchanges rests as usual upon
track. The previous games saw one way - one key aiterion. Is the problem of the
to have a crack at the centre. Now we see bishop on a6 solved in the meantime?
a. new mode of development. We have Here the fact that White had to capture
already seen the queen vacating to h4 to slightly awkwardly with the rook on c3
liberate the lUng's bishop (see Game 2). gave Black ample time to address this
This time the queen is headed for b6, after question.

The Scotch Game

b) 14•..Ab7 15 0.0.0 c5 16 fiel .*.xc3 (it probably the safest. However, this idea
is important Dot to delay; White threatens was much better executed in the previous
17 .i.b21 when the liberatioo of Black's notes - here Black secures neither the ex-
Iigbt-squared bishop would mean the change of queens nor any other positional
downfall of its comrade) 17.xcJ Q.O.O 18 concessions.
h4 llbe8 19 Ah3 d6 20 llbdJ (20 exd6 16 'iid2l2lea 1 a 0-0-0 0-0-0 17 1a51
Ihd6Q 20... dxe5 21 trxeSl 1i'c6 22lhd8+
lhdS 23 nxd8+ Wxd8 24 ~d2 ~-~ Gel-
fand-Karpov, Linares 1992. The active
black pieces hold the balance. His queen is
poised to enter 00 e4 should White's
queen feel tempted to embark 00 any fool-
ish adventures
13 •. ixc3
Black takes up the challenge, although
White's compensation is unquestionable.
He should have considered the more
modest 13 ...~I? 14 .hd .aSl? 15
.i.xb4 .xh4+ .d2 16 with a slight plus
(Vukovic). White's chances of maintaining 17 ......71
a slight biod look better than io the com- Thus the black queen shows a costly
parable Tolnai-Lukacs game above, e.g. solidarity with the bishop on a6 in joining
16....xd2+ 17 Wxd2 c5 18 g31? .i.b7 19 the c:ategory 'problem piece'. It is unimag-
Ilgl ().O.O 20 .ll31? inable that such passivity can be worth a
14 hc3 .lilxf4 pawn, and indeed the game does not last
Of course 14...Q.O.O? 15 .i.d2 leaves long. The f7-pawo is simply too weak.!
Black.:s minor pieces in a sorry state. I am convinced that the diagram posi-
However, the refutation of 14....e3+?1 tion is better for White, but it is time for
which Vukovic offers is highly instructive Black to part company with materialism
and well worth a closer look: 15
IOxeJ 16 Wf2 ~1 17 e61 (although this is
.xe3 and try 17...•0 18.i.b4 and now:
a) 18•.•'llb6 is not the answer due to 19
very strong, White would aaually also .i.e7llde8 2O.i.f6 nbg8 21 .te2I? ($Ophis-'
enjoy some advantage after 17 llbxfl, ticated maintenance of the tension. or.
based on the as yet unsolved problem of faffiag around, depending on your school·
the bishop 00 a6, and the aampiog effect of thought; my concern was that after 21
of the pawn on eS; whether the opposite- 'irxd7+ 'iPb8 both 22 fi'xf7 fie3+ 23 ~b2
coloureii bishops would be a sufficient IOcSl and 22 'ifd2 IOcS 23 fi'e) .i.~1 offer.:
'drawish factor' to save Black is unclear) Black counterplay, which, although inevi-':
17•..£6 18 exd7+ Wxd7 19 J.xf61 l1hf8 20 tably 'rook-free', is not entirely impotent)
Ildl+ ~e6 21 .i.eSltDhl 22lhh2 Ali 23
g41 when Black. has serious cause for con-
cern over his bishop, several of his pawns,
.!&6 26 £e3 "a6 .as.
22i.fJ.i.c8 23 h4 h5 2411hellOf8 25 Jtg5
V fi'b4.t fib7 28
and White retained a very powerful bind,
and perhaps most urgently, the lack of a latter winning with the plan Citlcl-b2-al
safe haven for his king. and the advance of the b-pawn in Wells- ,
It might seem a little We to bail out Cd~A~0~1~5. ,
now, but 14...lUxc31? 15 "'xcJ 0 is still b) 18..••xe51? 19 .i.cJ fi'gS 20 "xg5

Main Line with 8 ... i.a6: 9 b3

lOxg5 21 .i.xhS ![xhS when Black bas two "'xe2 30 1f'xc6+) 29 lhe2+ WdS and now
pawns for the c:xchange, but has as yet not the cleanest is 30 JId2 + We6 31 ltxd6+
consolidated his position. Basically. if he ilfxd6 32 .xd6+ Wxd6 33 wd21 and the
could play ...fl-fS things would look a lot outside passed a-pawn will decide the game
rosier. and if in addition .•.c6-c5 and in White's favour -Vukovic/Wells.
•...ib7 then the situation becomes dis-
tinaly healthy. Hence Vukovic suggesu
the very logical 22 g41? claiming that the
weaknesses on a6 and fl constitute a seri-
ous advantage for White. Maybe, but dur-
ing Cela's long think. at move IS I became
exercised by the consequences of 22...hsl
23 gxhS (23 h4? hxg4Q 23 •.llxh5 24 h4
~ 25 iLe2 lte5! which looks rather less
clear. Hence 22 .i.d3I? is worth consider-
ing since 22.. .£5 23 h41 c!ile6 24 h51 still
opens the h-ftIe and denies Black the time
he seeks to reorganise his forces.
18 i.e2 d57 23 J:lxf71 1-0
This, though understandable, does not Black resipled in view of 23 1hf7 lIxf7
help. Black effects a kind of illusory break- 24 'i'xe6+ ltd7 25 i.g4 when his remain-
out - he succeeds in exchanging one pair ing pieces paint a graphic picture of defen-
of rooks. but his own rook turns out to sive impotence.
be sorely missed, while his queen and
bishop continue to spectate. quite help- Game 6
lessly. Black should probOlbly try lS...cS. Kasparov~vanchuk
although the natural 19 J:lhflllbfs 20 1[£6 Amsterdam VSB 1994
clearly favours White.
19 exd6 ltxd6 20 .e3 IlhdB 21 ltxd6 1 e4 e5 2 1013 IOc6 3 d4 exd4 4 1Oxd4
axd6 22 ):lf11 IOt6 5 1Oxc6 bxc8 6 e5 .e7 7 "02 lDd5
Very strong. The move is logical. at- 8 c4.b6 9 b3 g6 10 .lia317
tacking the foundations of Black's best
defensive piece. the knight 00 e6. Once
this support is removed combinations
begin to flow.
22.. Jld7
This loses immediately. Black had to
uy 22.. .15 23 c51 ~cS 24 1f'xcS .bel 25
a) The self-pinning 25...lte6 fails to 26
.f8+1 (White logically reduces forces so
that Black's e-me embarrassment is all that
remains) 26...~b7 27 "xb8+ Wxb8 28
wd2lte5 29 .i.c3 winning the bishop.
b) 25 ...'irb5 26 'Rxa7I Wdl 27 1fxc7+ A thematic reaction which. however.
We6 28 i.b41 1fxb4 (2S..lld7 29 lbe2+! has not really caught on, perhaps because

The Scotch Game

10 f4 retains its good reputation. open 1991, which probably played some
10.•••96 initial role in inspiring these develop-
Two other moves merit attention here: ments, continued 11 exd6 .xe2+ 12 bel
a) 10...'iVh4?1 was initially praised by J.g7 13 cxdS he2 14 ~el .txal 15 nct
Ftacnik, but the game Sziebert-Estrada cxd6? 16lhc6 ().() 17 JUd6 llfdS 18 lhd2
Nieto below, and Julian Estrada's interest- nd7 19 'ifilcl3 with a defmite advantage for
ing analysis, seem to pose serious ques- White. He has two pawns, one of them
tions. The first point of the move is that passed, for the exchange. Although the d-
the 'consistent' 11 .1xf8?1 runs into pawn may Dot look a very terrifying
11 .....d41 prospect at this stage, the key factor in his '
Hence Sziebert's preference for 11 favour is the very efficient restriction of
J.b21? J.b4+ 12 wdl ~4 13 'ffe41 (best; Black's rooks. Black bas to improve at
the position bears analogy with the note move 15. It is now clear that 15...Q.O..01 is
to White's tenth move in Game 2 above the way forward, with only minor differ-
and the next note will expand on this ences from the analysis of Game 7.
comparison) 13 .....xf2 14 J.d4 f1h4 15 1193
'ifilc2I? (IS c5 is also possible as in the above None of the commentaries to this game
mentioned note [Izeta-A1varez] to Game mention 11 -*.xfSI? which, whatever else,
2. The text is an extra possibility which has consistency on its side. After 11...WxJ"S
arises from the difference between the two (1l...fi'c1+? 12 \tdl 1ib2 13 i..g7 JIgS 14
positions - Black's g-pawn is on g6 here lhd2 is well off the mark) it might appear
which gives White tactical chances based tbat the addition of the development
on the advance of the e-pawn to e6) ...neS to Black's arsenal will tilt the bal-
15.•.1th6. Thus far Sziebert-Estrada Nieto, ance in his favour. However, White can
Hungary 1997, mer which Estrada gives cover his potentially vulnerable e5-pawn
16 a31 il.e7 17 e6 ().() (17••. f6 18 J.e31 g5 19 rather efficiendy by 12 lhd2, intending to
exd7+. Wxd7 20 .hf4 pf4 21 J.d3 is hor- answer either 12...~4 or 12.••ltk3?1 by 13
rible for Black) 18 ad7 ~ 19 i..el Aad8 IOf31 This idea looks wonh closer study.
20 "e51 'i'g7 21 1taSllhd4+ 22 ~b2 nbs. 11 •••li:ic3
Until this point, I am in agreement Kasparov also mentions 11..•..axa3 12
both with the moves and the broad con- lOxa3 ltk3 13 h4!, which indeed does seem
clusion. A nice safe move like 23 lhdll?, to favour White, mer for example
intending 23 .. if6 24 llct .(Wells), should 13...1We7 14 lie3 lhdSl? 15 adS "irxa3 16
leave White with good prospects, since .i.xa6 fi'xa6 17 dxc6 fla5+ IS ~1. Inter-
once Black's tactical tricks are exhausted estingly, even if Black now checks on b5
he is faced with an unappealing positional or a6 in order to capture on c6 while ap- Ii
task. However, 23 "ffxa6?1 (Estrada) seems parendy keeping his queenside intact, it is
unnecessarily bold since mer 23.. Jlxb3+ the half-open c-fale which will be his I

llkll 26 "as
24 Wa2, Black can try 24.•Jhc31 25lLlxc3
llBal 27 i.d31 1Id41 with a
strong counterattack (Wells).
downfall. The pawn on c7 does not corre- :
spond exactly to any of the <textbook' !
categories of weak pawn, but White can '.
b) 10...d61? looks logical when White pile up on it, secure in the knowledge that .r:
bas desened the long dark-squaced diago- if Black is fora:d into the advance ...c7-c6 ;
nal. In conjunction with 9•..g5 rather than then the implications for the d6-square.
9...g6 the move has a great future - see and the pawn on d7 are serious indeed.
Game 7. Kuksov-A1eksandrov, Smolensk 12li»lc3.ba3 13 ~

Main Line with 8 ... i.s6: 9 b3

The d.iscomfon which the coming At their best, World Championship

check on f6 causes Black's king is Dot so matches are great sources of novelties
seriow in itself, but without it White which are rapidly absorbed into everyday
could rand that he has ceded the bishop practice. This is a good example of a move
pair for nothing. Hence 13 f4?1 'fIe7 14 whose readily comprehensible logic -
.igZ ().() 15 ().() (6 would be very comfon- Black wants to avoid the move 10 f4,
able for Black. which is the most aitical answer t09...g6,
13.....87 and sometimes to suppon the possibility
Of course not 13•..'f!fxeS?? 14 ~6+ net- ...ltlds-f4 - has led to considerable popu-
ting big game. This motif plays a role in larity. To those acquainted with the games
several variations of the Scotch (see for of Jonathan Speelman, a member of
example Game 3O). Anand's team of seconds for the match,
14 lLif6+ 'iPf8 there is no mystery as to why his creative
influence here was widely touted, but in
fact the idea comes from the Georgian
Grandmaster Elizbar Ubilava.

Ftacnik's suggestion 15 ~I? looks
slightly more threatening, e.g. 15.. ib4+
16 ~f1 d5 (16... d61? - Wells) 17 Wg2 Wg7 10.b3
18 LI l'lad8 19 llhdl when at least If we continue the comparison with
White keeps pressure on the black centre. 9... g6 for a moment, this move has a defi-
16.. .,i,b4+ 18 ~1 lidS 17 "'2 .i.a3 18 nite logic. 10 f4 is impossible for White.
Wc3 i.b4 19 fi'b2 .b3 20 ec3 i.b4 while after the text, two of Black's three
YO-YO replies to 10 .L3 considered in Game 6
If White's queen leaves the al-h8 diago- are here ruled out. Still, IUsparov later
nal then Black can generate some play of switched to 10 g3 (see Game 9).
his own by ...<I;g7 and ...d7-cl5. 10 h41? is the subject of Game 8, while
of course 10 .i.b2 is also possible. After
Game 7 10.. ..*.g7 the usual choice 11 g3 leads back
Kasparov-Anand to Game 9, while 11 h41? would lead to
PCA World Ch' New York (8) 1995
Game 8.
10.•. d61
1 e4 85 2 lLif3 It)c8 3 d4 exd4 4 1WId4 Much better than 10...c5?1 11 g3 ~b4
016 51W1c6 bxc8 8 85 .e7 71Je2lt)dS 12 i.g2 ().().() 13 ().() .i.g7 14 i.b21 which
8 c4 .la6 9 b3 9517 would cause great embarrassment to the

The Scotch Game

knight on b4. 16.. ~ 17 ~? Black should probably

11 exele "xe2+ 12.be2 .i.e71 13 cxd6 play 17•..De8+ 18 Wd3 anyway, leading to
he2 14 Wxe2.ba1 16 Jle1 0401 the note to White's 18th move below.
Although the 'stem' game occurred 17Wd3
with the black pawn 00 g6 rather than p, The king has to stay in touch with the
this ~ in effect a strong 'oovdty'. For a d5-pawn. Hence 17 WE)?! is weaker on
discussion of IS ...ad6?1 see Game 6, note account of 17..lL:51
'b' to Black's tenth move. The plausible 17.. .J1d7
retreat IS.. .-tes is similarly found wanting
aher 15.. -*.e5 16 Lc6 .bd6 17 hd6
cxd6 18 lillJl (the immediate 18 llxd6
would allow 18.. JIdB, whereas the text
move is entirely coosistent with the cen-
tral idea of keeping Black's rooks under
CODUOI) 18... Wd7 (18.••We7 would of
cowse be met by 19 Ac7+) 19 ltX4 and
White will oet a second pawn for the ex-
change while retaining all positional

Best according to Anand in his com·
mentary, and indeed in this position the
move comes close to securing the draw.
Sziebert's analysis challenges that conclu-
sion claiming even an advantage for White
after 18 lOd2l? This important claim may
be of relevance in any case in the event of
the more accurate 16...1td7 (see note
above) even if (as I believe to be the case)
Sziebert is somewhat too optimistic. Basi-
16 Jlxe6 m.e8+?1 cally Black bas two ideas after 18 ltJti2:
This was criticised by Anand, who later a) 18.. JIe5?1 19 ltk:41 Jhd5+ 20 ~e4
preferred the immediate 16.. .Ad7J?, in· Jld4+ 21 We) lIdl 22 .i.c5 .i.c3 23 dxc7
tending 17 ¢'dl .*.e51 or 17 ~I .bcl 18 Ixc7 24lbc7+ Wxc7 25 J.x;iJ does indeed
Ihc3 lfe8+ which aher 19 wdl Ae51 ar· appear to give White excellent winning
rives at a position which Anand ~ an- chances.
ticipating during the game, and where b) 18.. ..i.e51 19 ~4 .i.xb2!? (this could
White has no secure route to a draw. well be the critical test; in the game Sue-
Black wants to answer 20 ¢'d4 by bert·peredy, Hungary 1996, Black pre-
20.•.lIe2J hoping for a hearty seventh rank. ferred 19...wbnl which gave White time
breakfast. to have his cake and eat it by 20 gJl f6 21
If, however, Suebert's plan of playing i.c5 cxd6 22 i.eJ1 [the bishop is optimally
~-c4 turns out to be aitical, then the pbced here for targeting the a7-pawn]
difference is largdy acadMDic. After 22... g4 23 ~ Was 24 1ta6, when Black

MBin Line with 8 ... i.B6: 9 b3

bad linle to offer against the advance of

the b-pawn, fonowed by b~7+ or b6xa7 GameS
and lbc4-b6 according to circumstance) 20 Palac-G .Georgadze
g3 hs! (strangely Suebert fails to address Pula open 1977
this idea, which had already been consid-
ered by Joel Benjamin; he mentions in- 1 e4 eS 2 1Ot3 &6 3 d4 exd4 4 fud4
stC2d only the highly co-operative It}f8 S ~c8 bad 8 e5 .e7 7 .e2 It}d5
20...cIib7? 21 ~ c&!c8 22lL:l fonowed 8 c4.taB 9 b3 9510 h417
by 23 Ab 1 winning) 21 dxc7 (what else?)
21..1lxd5+ 22 Wc3 h4! 23 tOd6+ (23 ~I?
[Wells] 23 ...JUS 24 AdJ Wxa 25 lDd6
:ees also slightly favours Black., although
it may be White's best) 23..1lxd6 and now
neither 24 lIxd6 hxg) nor 24 hd6 b3l are
satisfactory for White. Things are getting
complicated, but it does have to be men-
tioned that in the analogous position with
9...g6 instead of 9...g5, this rush of the
kingside pawns is not available to Black,
and in this case Szieben's idea does indeed
look promising.
1B•• .,bc371 This idea is really unique to the ...g7-gS
Black could still try for more with positions. Black ClIlIlot really afford the
18.. .lIeS 19 tnbs J:lxd5+ 20 Wc4 1ld2 21 kingside weaknesses that would arise from
.i.c5! .t.e51 according to Anand. capturing on h4, wblch would in ~y C3Se
19Wxc31 enable White to provide just the support
The reason for Anand's criticism of his for his c-pawn against which 9••.g5 is di-
check on move 16 falls into place. With rected. This game seems to me to open up
his king still on e2, the less desirable cap- yet another area for fruitful research.
ture with the rook on c3 would have been 10... .i.g7 11 .i.b2 0-0-0
. forced (see note to 16..1lhe8+?Q. Keeping
the rook on c6 enables White to defend
11...~4Iooks tempting, but 12 "e3
13 .!tXI2 lQg6 14 WI seems to be good

his ~pawn by :it'c4, and if necessary his since 14...g4 is strongly met by 15 hSI gxf3
second rank by .t.cS, while keeping 16 bxg6 &g6 17 gxf3 gS 18 .*.dJ with king-
Black's c-pawn pinned. The draw is effec- side mayhem which favours White
tively secured. 12~2lldeB
19...l1e& 20 Wc4 Ae4+ 12...lOb4l~ is the move that Black
20.. l1e2 21 .*.c5 lZxa2 22 b4! ~b7 23 would like to play. Palac claims that this
dxc7 lhc7 24 JU6 would give White a lot can be calmly met by 13 Q.O.OllOxa2+ 14
of play, and clearly involved an unaccept- ~bllOb4 15 .ell c5 16 bxg5 with a clear
able level of risk for Black. advantage. The assessment is beyond dis-
21 ~ lIe5 22 ~c4 1184+ %-% pute, since White has f2-f4 and l&4 com-
A draw in just 22 moves which. unusu- ing with force, blotting out the dark-
ally for such a shon game, contains an squared bishop, and an open h-me into the
immense amount of theoretically impor- bargain. The only question is whether
tant ideas. Black. can instead offer the al-pawn for

The Scotch Game

coUDterplay. Such a course is risky but

interesting, e.g. 15..••e61? 16 .xa7
17 ~I (17 Wa1 gives Black at least a
fif5+ Game 9
draw) 17.. ..i.b71 (not 17... 'itxe4+?? 18 .*.d3 LiTlllres 1997
~ 19 "as mate) 18 f) c51 (Wells) and
although Black's position han&S together 1 04 e5 2 ~f3 ~c8 3 d4 oxd4 4 lDxd4
rather precariowly, he is not without ~f6 5 ~c6 bxce e 05 1»'.7 7 "02 li)ds
coUDter-chances. B c4 .he 9 b3 g5 10 g317
13 hxOSlDf4 White proceeds to develop normally,
13••..i.xeS?1 14 .Les ffxeS 15 .xeS holding his «=>pawn long enough to put
IbcS+ 16 Wdl leads to -ao excellent ending the question to Black's knight on dS and,
for White where he enjoys the better as we shall see. to pose a fundamental :
suuaure - (2-(4 will greet the departure of question regarding the destination of !
Black's knight from dS - and both Black's Black's king too.
minor pieces are bad. 10•• ig7 11 .i.b2 0-071
14 "04 heS 15 0-0.0 161 16 llli3 This seems to be simply too risky in
.i.xb2+ 17 Wxb2 08618 gxf8 'irxf6+ 19
Wb1 .i.b7 20 .i.d3 :dOB 21 1fh4
conjunction with the weakening of the
kingside light sqU3l'CS entailed by 9... g5,

White could perhaps still boast a very

slight edge since be has a passed f-pawn,
although Kasparov's demonstration of this I
is quite masterful. 11...0-0-01 was therefore I
and Black a potentially weak pawn on h7. the better uy when White can choose I
However, (oUowing Black's accurate de- between three options: 1
fence, this is iwt about impossible to real-
ise. The notorious light-squared bishop is
successfully re-deployed to a valuable dual
role. Exerting active pressure on the long-
diagonal, it will also with 24.. .,i,c61 playa
key role in defending the d7-pawn.
21 ..••xh4 22 &h4 c51 23 llh2 lDf4 24
.i.f5 ~c81 25 J:d2 :e81 26 :h1
Of course White would in principle
prefer to play g2-g3 rather than f2-0.
However, Black was prepared to meet 26
g3 with 26...~ followed by ...tM4,
when White's knight and rooks begin to
look distinctly UDCOOrdi.n.ated.. a) 12 'fIe4?1 is an attempt to force
28 •• ':'7 27 f3 :hea 28 Wb2 IIgB 29 Black's knight into a quick decision. It
~c2 h6 30 03 :02 31 h02 iDxe2 32 meets with the fien:e counter-punch ;
lDf5 :g5 33 lOe7+ Wb7 34iDxc6 dxc6 12•• .f51, a sharp reminder that in a situa- '
Now the only question is whether tion of fluid tactics control over a square . :
Black might bid for more than the haIf- like f5 cannot he assumed! After 13 "xC5 1
point by 34..:Wxc61? The text leads to a lthfs 14 tie4, as in Sax-Bacrot, Balaton- ;
clear draw since White can liquidate both hereoy 1996, a second tactical shot .
the kingside pawns and the minor pieces. 14...lLlC61 15 Be2 lLlg411 16 'fIxg4 .ixe5 17 :
35 041 hxo4 38 fxo4 JZxo4 37 i.d1 :02 'ilfe2 hb21 IS flxe7 Jldes could have $Co •
3B he2 Ax02+ 39 'iob1 a540 a4 %-% cured a definite positional advantage for .

Main Line with 8 ... As6: 9 b3

Black. Here the weakness of the pawn on do not even mention 14...111c2+ 15 'itidl
f2, which will come under fire from a lOul 16 hxg5, which is presumably too
rook on f8 and a bishop on d4, counts for ~lf-evidendy dangerous. Indeed after for
more than the, as yet, unaddressed ques- example 16..1xe5 17 'ilxh7+ Wf'7 18 .*.d3
tion of our old friend on 016. We8 19 'fJg6+ l1f7 20 .bal the traffic is
b) 12 Jig2 ade8 (or 12.. .Ahe8) 13 Q.() pretty much one way.
.heSl 14 .xeS fixeS 15 i.xe5 IlxeS 16 14..:fle8!? is a much more interesting
cxdS Jixfl 17 Wxfl adS leads to an end- try. Kasparov gives the surprising 151i'xe8
iug that is very closely related to those (15 hxg51? is also playable) 15 •..1axe8 16
considered at some length in the next Q.O.01lLlxa2+ 17 wblli)b4 18ll1e4 fxeS 19
chapter. The efficacy of Black's king on lhdll i.c8 20 Axc7 .i£5 21 .tg2 with ad-
the queens ide is discussed there. As for the vantage.
pawn on g5, it looks looser (the f5-square 15 'iW11 cS
could be weak) but represents a clear gain The vast difference between this and 14
of tempo if Black is able to push his king- ..tidl? is revealed in the event of 15... fxe5
side pawns with ...f7-fS, ...h7-h5 etc. 16 a3 e4 17 axb4 Lbi 18 lha6 1b£z 19
c) 12 lOd2l? (I suspect that this was Kas- 1i'g5+, stopping Bladt's attack in its tr:acks.
parov's intention) 12.•.lOb4l? (12.. llde8 13 1683
~ lllb6 14 f4 followed by IS ~I
looks promising) 13 wdl (Il lLlf3 cSl 14
i.g2 .ib7 gives White nothing) 13...cSl 14
.i.g2 Jib71? 15 f4 is double-edged.
12~21 f671
This looks like a further weakening of
the light squares, although Kasparov's
analysis reveals that with the right follow-
up Black could still have found consider-
able resources. However, he prefers
12...llIb4I?, presumably intending the fa-
miliar idea ...e6-c5 and ...llIc6.
Initiating very sharp play which yields 16...~c67
high dividends. The positional 13 exf6 The aucia1, if understandable mistake.
~ 14 'fllxe7 li:Jxe7 15 i.xf6 !W6 16 In effect the ten loses a aucial tempo over
~ was also quite okay and would have the superior 16.. ib71 17 agl compared
given White a typical small advantage with the game.
based on Black's weak pawns and the fa- 17 ~d3 f5 18 .bf5 .be5 19 lIe1 de 20
miliar problem of the bishop on a6. .i.e41
. 13•••~14h41 Bringing home the significance of
Much stronger than 14 Wdl? he5115 a3 Black's omission. as indicated in the last
e4! 16 axb4 hb2 17 1txa6 Ilxf2 with a note.
. strong counterattack. The brilliant text is, 20 .• ..i.b7 21 it'xg4+ .07 22 Ad6+ WIl8
: among many other things, a preparation 23 ha51 dxe5 24 .xg7+ wxg7 25 lile4
for a similar scenario. A picture of tol3l structural collapse.
14... g4 Black is hclpless.
Best according to K:lsparov. His notes 26 •• JIad8 26 0xc5 .i.c8 27 Jla2 1'()

The Scotch Game

In the 'traditional' lines 9...().().(), 9..:.h4 and 9...g6, White if anything can claim ta have
strengthened his resources recently (Games 1 and 4 bath provide good examples af this).
9••• g51? stilllaaks like Black's most promising line three years after its debut. White's
approach in Game 8 deserves close mention, but that apart the critical position ta watch
for the future is probably the note an 11...()'()'() 12 ~I? in Game 9.

1 e4 85 2 lDi3 ~6 3 d4 exd4 4 IOxd4 ~18 6 /t)xc& bxcl I 86 ••7 7 11.2 ~6 8 c4

.i.el 9 b3

9 ••• g8
9...().().() - Game 1
9...1fh4 - Game 2
9•.• g5(D)
10 .LJ - Game 7
10 h4- GameS
10g3- Game 9
10 f4 (DJ
10.tal - Game 6
10...'ii'b4+ - Gllme 5
11 .i.a3 (DJ
11 exf6 - Game 4
11 •••• n - Game3

. 9 ... g5 10(4 11 -*.a3

Main Line with S ... Aa6:
White's 9th move alternatives

1 e4 e5 2 -tlf3 ~8 3 d4 8.d4 4 ~ 15i0e4 is unclear) 14 h2 Jle6 15 a3 .tc5

~f6 5 ~c6 bxc& 6 86 V.7 7 91.2 ~6 16 wfl llhe8 was tried in Makropolou-
8 c4.ta6 Zlatanova, Athens 1992, when Black has
In this chapter we shall examine found plenty of activity to compensate for
White's alternative replies to B...Aa6. In her structural wealmesses.
my view 9 ltld2 (Games 10 and ·11) and 9 b) 10 'fie4 .!iJb6 11 exf6 tixe4+ 12 fue4
· ffe4 (Game 12) are clearly less accurate hc41 13 hc4 .!iJxc4 14 b3 lDd61 Sax-
than either 9 b3 (see the previous chapter) Ivkov, Novi Sad 1976,. where White has
or 9 g3!? which will be discussed in detail been unable to show a plus.
in Games 13-16.

Game 10
Mk. T seitlin-Mikhalevski
Beersheva 1997
· 1 e4 e6 2 lllf3 -tlc6 3 d4 8.d4 4 ~d4
~f6 5 ~c6 bxc6 6 86 .e7 7 "82 ~6
8 c4 .b6 sIOd2 -tlb4
This highlights one of the main draw-
· backs of 9 li:ldl, the weakening, albeit
temporary, of the c2-square. In the next
, game too, this theme comes into play in a
'. rather more subtle fonn. Still, in compari- 10 IOt3 d611
!~ SOD with Chapter I, another move, 9.. .f61? This leads to a forcing sequence where
'1 also gains in force. White has to deal with White gets a good deal of compensation
:i the threat to capture on e5 and the devel- for a pawn, but has not in practice been
t oping/ignoring approach adopted there is able to demonstrate anything conclusive.
Ii here too slow. So we consider: The more positional alternative is 10...cS.
l: a) 10 exf6lhxC6 11 b3 ~ 12 -tb21le81 Here Black deals fairly comfortably with
13"xe7 Le7+ (13 ... he7 14 ~ .!iJg4 the question of his two 'problem pieces'

The Scotch Game

(see the Introduction) but White is able to broken through in Tatai.Adorjan, Am-
suppon his e5-pawn stroogly and use it to sterdam 1977. The white queen is poised
show a space advantage after 11 a3 ltk6 12 to join the attack decisively via g4•
.i.d2 1re6 13 .tel .te7 140.0.0 f6 (14...0.0 17~.d718e6
15 h4 La 16 'ife4 f6 17 .i.d3 also looked Opening lines at aU costs. 18 iLW
promising for White in Hac Zvi.Almasi. 'fi'xe7 19 ~c6 would suggest that White
Altensteig 1994) 15 c:x:f6 trxe2 16 17+1 does not really believe in the gambit;
Wxfl17 Le2 &dB 18 i.d3. as in Svidler· 19...flcl7l is at least comfonable for Black.
Yemelin, Russia 1995. The 'zwiscbenzug' 1S...fxe619 he7
(m.between move) 00 move 16 is very The point is that with the bishop still
instructive. White pre-empts ...g7xf6 on gS. 19lfixe6 LgS 20 lbxgS ().() is quite
which would give Black another isolated okay for Black.
pawn. but also a fll1l1 grip 00 the e5-square 19...~e71
and the possibility to play ...itkS. enliven· Again the only move. 19.. JWxe7? 20
ing his minor pieces. 1Wce61 would be devastating.
11831.bc4 12 1id1 .hI1 13 "'xf1&6 201lb4+
14 "a4
lObS 16 Ag5 20 lre1 is met by 20...01 and the thread
on which Black's defence hangs again sur-
vives against the odds since 21 'fi'xd7+
WKd7 22 lOxe6 c41 offers positional
counler-dtances based around the back-
ward b-pawn, while 21 ~e6? 'i'xa4 22
lOc5+ fails to 22..:i'e41
2o ...lIId6 21 'ifb7 l&f7

Black's knight 00 b8 is his king's
knight! White's imposing looking devel·
opment advantage should come as no sur·
prise. Nor do the doubled c-pawns on an
half~~ me look like good news for
Black. Still. survival depends upon keeping
funher lines closed. Hence 15..:"d7? is 221lxc6
disastrous in view of 16 e61 fxe6 17 lDe5 This looks to me like a critical point.
1i'd6 18 .f4 and Black has 00 defence. After the text White clearly loses the ini-
16:c1 b71 tiative. 22l1e1l <M7 23 1lxe6 .f4 24 tixt6!
Again the only move. 16...h6? is ilI- seems to retain the attacking momentum,
conceived since the exposed bishop on gS as 24.. JlhdB 25 1fxdS 1tlb61 is met by 261
can play a key role in Black's defence. m6+11 ~6 27 1re6+ ~ 28 h4+ <lihS 29·1
Hence after 17 .i.h4 J.JiJ 18liXl4'1Jd7 19 g311 and now 29..1le8 is forced, since if
e6 fxe6 20 l&e61 g5 21 l1el White had 2••••11'&41 3D 11'17+ fig< 31 &4+ Wh6 32

34 1
Main Line wirh 8 ... ~a6: Whire's 9rh mOlle airernarilles

gS+ whS JJ 1!Y(3 is mate (Wells - with a lOf6 5itDc& bxc& 6 a5 11.77 fi.2lDds
bit of help from Fritz SQ. 8~2g619c4.b6
22•• JlhbSl 23 .a6 "f41 24 ~2 . I have opted for historical accuracy
24 ~e6+ wf8 only helps Black. with regard to move order. For more in-
24.•.•d2 25 g3 lIb6 fonnation on this move order see Chapter
25...Axb2!? 26 J1xe6+ Wf7 1J 1L:3 nesl 5, Game 34. Here we have reached the
28 'frxa7 Axe) 29 Vxe3 'fIxe3 30 fxe3 J1b3 equivalent of 8 c4 L6 9 ltld2 g61 which,
was also strong. in my opinion, is the best move anyway.
26 1txb6 cxb6 27 b41 Ve2 28 Wg2 'ife4+
29 f3 ffc4 30 1fxc4 dxc4 31 lIe1 lIea
32 Wf2 lOf6 33 lOd4 Wd7 34 f4 e51 35
fxe5 Illg4+ 36 Wf3 lOxe5+ 37 We4 1Og4
Black has a clear c::xtra paSsed c-pawn.

10 ~ achieves nothing in view of
10...fib4.+t, but the. familiar altcmpt to
unpin with 10 'fIe4?1 has been tried. Black
has the excellent shot 10...fSI (10...ltlb6 11
38 ~571 a6 39 l2Je3lOxh2 40 Jlh1 lDg4 .i.d3 .ig7 12 0.0 ().O 13 £4, Beliavsky-
41 Wd4 It)f6 42 a4 h5 43 11f1 Wee 44 Nikolic, Munich 1994, 13.•.d61 is also not
181+ Wf5 45 lte5+ ~g4 48 lle7 1ld8+ 47 bad) 11 1fd4?1 (11 exf6 lOxf6 12 'fIxe7+
Wxc4 lId7 48 11e3 lIe7+ 49 ~ 1ld7+ . .ixe7 is one of several similar positions
50 Wc4 lidS 61 b5 a5 52 ~2 95 53 where Black's rapid development in con·
la7 It)d7 54 l2Jc3 lOe5 55 lle7 .[\a6 56 junction with the half-open (-me offers
Jlc6 Jld4+ 57 Wb3 lJle5+ 58 Wa3 Jlc4 59 him good chances) 11...~b4 12 'ttcJ cSl 13
~5 1lxa4+ 60 Wb211d4 61 It)xb6 Ilb4+ .i.e2 .ig7 14 f4?1 d61 15 ltlO i.b7 and the
62 wc3 lOe4+ 63 <2id3 Wf3! 64 lOdS time expended by his opponent's queen
Jlxb5 65 c;t>d4 lIb1 66 WeS lIe1 67 WfS has enabled Black to establish a model
iOxg3+ 68 ~g6 :as 69 llc3+ Wg4 70 piece fonnation and considerable pressure
ItIf6+ ~h4 71 Jlc2 ~3 72 1llli7 It)a4 73 against the eS-pawn into the bargain, as in
Ie2 g41 74 IJlf6 JleS 75 D.xe4 he4 76 the game LB.Hansen-Almasi, Tilburg
. lOxe4 93 0-1 . 1994.
10•• ig7 11 .ib2
Gamell If 11 00 0.0 12 .i.gS f6 13 exC6 'lixe2+1
Svldler-Adams 14 .he2 ~6 15 lL:Il Il)e4 Black domi-
Tilburg 1997 DaleS the long dark-squan:d diagonal.
11 •••lOb4l 12 tnf3 cSI
1 e4 e5 2 tnfa 1&8 3 d4 exd4 4 ~ This solution to the 'minor piece prob-
.. -------------------------~=
The Scotch Game

lem' is now familiar, but here Black can

still be flexible in how he creales play Game 12
against White's centre. In the game he Timman-Karpov
chooses to make a vinue of the bishop's London 1984
placing on a6 to advance his d-pawn.
13 g3 0-0 14 .tg2 d& 1& 0-0 lZad8 18 ~----------------------~i
1 e4 a& 2 ~ &6 3 d4 exd4 4 lilxcI4 n
llfd111fe8 IOf8 & &c8 bxc8 6 86 .e7 7 .e2 lOds ~
8 c4 .b6 9 "8411 ':
The first thing to note about 9 .e4, is I;
thai: it is, from White's perspective, not ~
much more than an offer of a little repeti- :
tion, or even a draw. After 9...lOf6 there is 1
DO sensible place to transfer the queen, so .
it is back to 10.e2 lOd5 and so 00. Stil~ :
this could be very annoying for the .
higher-rated player of the black pieces and ::
the availability of alterrwives is very wd- t
come. 'i

9 •••lObS
For a long time the murky, if fascinat-
1783 ing, complications of this line represented
This looks rather co-operative, but Black's principal optioo for avoiding the !
whal: else can White play? 17 h4 looks repetition. However, the talented young ;
attraCtive but is refuted taCtically by UknUnian Vladim.ir Baklan, himself a;
17•.•d4118 ~1 'lfxe5119"xeS AxeS 20 a3 great devotee of the Scotch for White, :~
Axe1+1 21 Axel lDc2 with a sound and recently gave a very convincing demon- ~
passed extra pawn. stration of the essentially tactical problems ~
17 ...~8 18 "c2 d41 White faces after 9...1Ob4(!) 10 lOc3 (not 10 f
Often positionally undesirable, here a3? dSl [the basic point of Black's idea] 11
this simply wins the eS-pawn, and the We2 [11 cxdS cxdS 12 .xb4? 'fi'xe5+ wins [
bishop on a6 is able to re-enter the aaion for Black] 11..ixc4 as Black wins two .
without too much pain. pawns for DO real compensation) to...ltdBI l
1911e1 ed7 20 b4lOxe& 21 b5 .i.c8 22 (to play •..d7-dS aI: all costs) and now: i
lOxe& :XeS 23 AxeS be5 24 .d2 "d8 a) 11 a3? is still bad. Baklan and Kucyu !
25 lle1 .i.e6 2S .d3 Jle8 27 .te1 .tfS give the following lovdy variation: i

37 .i.f1 "'g&1
28 .f3 fotilg7 29 .td2 lle6 30 .d1 "'f6
31 JbeS .ixe8 32 'Wb3 h& 33 .i.e4 1Ia&
34 ~ .*.04 3S .84 .ta2 38 Af3

An unfOItUDale slip which costs Black

11 ••.dSl 12 'IIbl \Jxe.5+ 13 i.e2 d4 14 axb4 !
dxc3 15lha6 hb4 16 wft
see following diagram

16••.Ddl+1117 hell c2 winning iJnme. '
his carefully built-up advantage. White's diately. The real disaster for White is tlw
reply achieves opposite-coloured bishops, be cannot seek compensation with 16 04 ;
which here is enough to secure the draw. either since after 16...8'xe2 17 bxc3 Blad
The bishop 00 0 cannot move because 39 has V .. J1dl which is also immedi.uely,
f4 would win a piece. decisive.
38 ft31 .txd2 39 "xf3 "15 %-% b) 11 ~4 to defend the eS-pawn cfid .

Main Line with B... JJ..a6: White's 9th move alternatives

not help much in view of ll ...dS 12 adS game. The problem is that White's pieceS
adS 13 ltBdS li)xdS 14 .ha6 Sb4+! 15 are not sufficiently aaive to support this
.xb4 .bb4+ 16 ~dl Ldl+ 17 'ihdl
ltib4+ winning a pieCe in Andreev-Baklan,
pawn, which readies a7 but then plays no
further role. Meanwhile, the famous a6-
Alusbta 1997. bishop has a most eueptional day, spear-
beading Blad's total domination of the
light squares. In a later encounter Timman
preferred the more modest 11 a4 which is
a typical attempt to harass Black's minor
pieces. The problem is that Blad still
achieves aaive play by striking in the cen-
tre with l1...dS 12 adS .hEl 13 d6
(otherwise Black would have no structural
problems either) 13..Jlxd61 14 ll\xfl1le61
15 f4 gSl 18 g3 1fb4+ 19 1i'xb4 .hb4+ 20
.tdl hdl+ 21 lLlxd2 gxf4 22 gxf4 lLldsl
again with a promising position in Tim-
man-Karpov, Amsterdam 1985.
c) 11 c5J? also probably falls short, al- 11 .. ixf1 12 cab6.h6 13 bxa7
though it offers White a little more fun. In With White's knight on d2, the 13 bxc7
.Hietanen-FiJen, correspondence 1992, idea also loses its force since there is no
White could not claim full compensation £f4. Black effortlessly activated his forces
for a pawn after 11••..bfl 12 Wxfl
13 i.e3"as .xeS
14 .*og5 Jlb8 15 UdllLldSJ
by 13...1le8 14 £4 'flb4 15 'fIxb4 Lb4 16
Wf2 f6 in Sanz-Femandcz Garcia, Spain
For the moment the onus is on White 1984.
to show that 9 \ll'e4 is not ready for the 13 ...~b7 14i0b3 fel 1S f4 fxeS 16 beS
scrap heap. lIeSl 17 .1f4
This looks passive, but the others
moves have drawbacks too. 10 .*od3?1
• meetS with 10.. ixc41 11 hc4 dSl 12
. .bd5 adS - a nice trick again based on
,. White's undefended queen - after which
Black bas the better of it in terms of both
development and pawn structure.
10 likJl? has been countered in a vari-
ety of ways, but I do not recommend here
10...0-0-0?1 since with the knight actively
c· pbced on d, the idea 11 c51.i.xfl 12 cxb6
·~.ta613 bxc71 with Jti4 to follow gains in
;' force. The simplest answer would seem to 17...Wh4+1
: lie in 10....e6! 11 bJ .*ob4 transposing to Excellent. Black forces a further light-
::, ·Game 29.
square weakness and ensun5 that White's
~, .10. __0-0-01 11 c67 king cannot run to the queenside either.
t : This move was discn:ditcd by Karpov's 18 g3 WitSI19 h1 ~I
\ wonderfully aisp attacking display in this There is something very elegant about a
The Scotch Game

retreat of the king which is really an at- pawn in other ways. 10 .i.g2 .i.g7 11 0.0
tacking shOL The motivation is not fear of Q.O.O 12 !leU JZde8 13 tJ'el _0 (13 ...llJb6
the a7-pawn, but the threat to play 14 c5Q 14lDa31 was very good for White
•. -*.1>4+. in Mukhametov-Likov, Omsk 1996.
20 h4 d51 21 '&83 a51 22 ..ba5 ~ 23 e) 9...d6?1 also failed to impress io Ru·
Wf2 mlf8+ 24 Wa2 blevsky-Aleksandrov, Polanica Zdroj
24 M4 would also fail to 24..1lxe5 25 1997. The game continuation 10 J.g2 dxeS
1Jd4lhf4+! 11 0.0 cot 12 1fell lDb4 13 1i'a4 .i.b7 14
lDc3 £5 15 .i.f4 g5 16 .i.el i.g7 17 "as!
lDc2 18 .i.c5 .e5 19 lIadl .i.f8 20 1&4
.i.e8 looked complicated, but the underly-
ing theme is Black's problems with his
minor pieces. which he was never able to
10 exf6 lDx£6 11 ~ 'i'xe2+ 12 he2
.i.c5 13 0.0 0.0 followed by ...d7-d5 would
leave Black with very free and active de-
velopment, as well as the open f·me. The
text, by dragging Black's d'pawn to the e-
file, renders the c-pawns disastrously weak
24.• .Ax851 26 exe5
"f3+26 ';tih2 .f2+ (see the Introduction).
10 ... dxeS 11 i.g21 'Wd7 120-0 lObS 13
After 27 ~h3, 27... .i.c8+ 28 g4 1lf3+ b3 0-0-0 14 lOc3 i.e6 15 lld1 .i.d4 18
concludes an exceptionally vigorous· at- i.83 85 17 841
Ubeda open 1988
1 e4 85 2 /Cif3 /Cice 3 d4 8xd4 4 1Cixd4
/Cif6 5 1Cixc6 bxe8 6 a5 118' 7 "82 1Cid5
8 c4 .b6 9 a3 tell
As we shall see, this is an inaccuracy.
9...g6 s~ould be preferred - see Games 14-
16. Black's other alternatives are:
a) 9.•.0-0-01? is Dot a b2d move. Sioce 10
.tgZ lleS looks good for Black, White 17...tlib871
should play 10 b31 leading to a position Too slow, as Black fails to vacate a s:alir
already considered in Chapter I, Game 1. factory retreat for his knighL !zeta ~
b) 9...g5?! is here altogether less appro- suggested 17....f51? which, by freeing the
priate than after 10 b3. It is not difficult to d7-square, looks like an improvement.
work out why. White is not committed to Still, I believe in White's positiom!
weakening the long dark-squared diagonal trumps here. One interesting idea is the
and has the extra tempo to defend the e5- sequence 18 .i.e4 ft'e6 19 flO g6 21)

Main Line with B ... j,D6: White's 9th move alternatives

Ld4I? exd4 21 lLlb51 cxb5 22 3Xb5 f5 23 Instead Nikolic chose 13 •. .f61? 14 'Wc21
.LsI which results in a very powerful when he should have tried 14...111b4 15
attack for White. YJib3 £xeS 16 i.d2 1Ib8 17 lllb5 ~I 18
18 85 ~ 19 ~ 'fide 20 b4fD.e7 cxdS llxb5 19 1134 .i.b7 with equality. If
Given the unpalatable mixture of posi. Black's chances rest on such a tactic, this
tional problems (the weak C'pawns, poor looks like fruitful territory for White to
minor pieces and White's grip OD the c5. re-examine.
square) there was perhaps a case for mix,
ing it at any price with 20..ixall? 21
Ibd6 ltixd6, when 22 b5 (22 'ifdll? .i.d4
23 .hd4 laxc41 is Dot dear) 22 ...ab5 23
lik5 .i.c8 24 cxb5 .tc31 is better for White
but not allover.
21 &5 .i.c8 22 hd4 exd4 23 a6 h6 24
-"'2 h4 25lDb71 .bb7 26 axb7 hxg3 27
hxg3 d3 28 c51
Black no longer has any means to de-
fend either the al· or b7·points.
28••••d4 29 Va3 <hb7 30 .a&+ ~
31 bS 1-0
10.. ,J,07 11 Ab2 o.()
Game 14 11...0.0.0 and its implications are dis·
Kasparov-I.Sokolov cussed in Game 16.
Yerevan Olympiad 1996 12 Ag21lfe871
The dubious marking is Kasparov's,
1 e4 as 2 lllf3 It)c& 3 d4 axd4 4 1Wcd4 based around his preference for 12.. llae8
~8 6 lilxc6 bxc& 6 a6 fle7 7 "e2 It)d6 in the ending (see Games 15 and 16 be-
8 c4 h6 9 g3 0617 low).
This seems to me the most reliable. 13 O.() /.Db6 14 Jle1 d6
10b3 Kasparov suggests that 14.. .£6 can be
Alter this Black can pretty much enter met by 15 e61?, a motif that we have al·
. the ending of Games 15 and 16 by force. ready seen to good effect in Game 13.
The most interesting attempt to avoid 151!fc21 !lad8
this lies in 10 .i.g2 .tg7 11 0.0 0.0 12 lte1 If 15...llld7 White can neatly transform
Jlae81 13 iDaJl?, supponing the c4-pawn the nature of his advantage to a concrete
without blocking in the bishop on cl. entry into Black's position after the se-
ThiS was tested in Van der Wid·Nikolic, quence 16 cxd5 cxd5 17 ~ .i.b7 18
Tdbwg 1992. The first point is that
13....be5 can be met with 14 hdSl cxd5
•-,,5' ·;.i.h6 winning material, while if
16 It)d2 .c6
fkxa l&eS 1911acl- Kasparov.
17 lIac11 d47
From what we have already learned
~13.:../t)b6 14 fic2I'itc5 Van der Wid gives about 8..ia6 lines, we can anticipate that
~:the nice line 15 .tf4 i.xe5 16 ~61 i.g7 17 if White has completed development and
;>~ ~ 18 9c3+ Wg8 19 b41 when successfully defended his e5-pawn his
f~bck has familiar minor piece problems chances will be rather rosy. Still. this ad-
:::and weaknesses on the dark squares which vance, which takes the pressure off thec4-
t~ up to good compensation for a pawn. pawn and enhances the scope of White's
;on: • •
i~' ,
The Scotch Game

light-squared bishop, is generally dubious. Kasparov's recommended route to the

Ivan Sokolov's rductance to defend the ending.
position of his kingside against Kasparov 13 O~ .beSI 14 "x85 .xe5 1S .b8S
after 17•..dxc4 18 lDe41ib4 19 .i.c3 tfbS heS 1e Cltd5 J.xf1 17 Wxf1 cxd5
20 lOf6+1 U6 21 exf6 is quite under· This is the 'basic' position of the end-
standable. game which we shall study in the next two
1800 d3 19 ffd2 games, and which seems to be very critical
19 1fcJl was better, rounding up the for the theory of 9 gJ. At first glance,
cheeky d-pawu immediately after 19•••.i.c8 Black's rook and two pawns, plus his
20 lIedl ~S 21 h3 hS 22 ~41 promising phalanx of centre pawns
19•. ic8 20 h3 hS 21 :cd1 ~f5 22 e61? (mcluding two passed d-pawnsQ look very
lbe6 23 1be6 .be6 24 ,hg7 Wxg7 25 good value for two pieces in an endgame
28 ffc3
~B 26 1bd3 Ld3 27 "1UI3 ~ setting. In practice, however, White has
done rather well. He has broadly adopted
Positionally this is depressingly remi· one of two plans:
niscent of, from the black point of view, ij Blockade Black's pawns with his
the 'ideal type' discussed in the Introduc- knight on cS and advance the b-pawn.
tion. u) Leave the minor pieces to contain
Black's rooks on the e-file, and go after
Black's most vulnerable point - the pawn
on a7 - with his rook.
The latter plan (adopted by White in
this game) is, for sure, more risky but per-
haps more dangerous for Black too.

2B .. .J.f5 29 0&14 ••S 30 ffd2 c6 31

~6 "xf5 32 ffllsl()es 33 "xa7 h4?
Again we have seen the evolution from
a positional to a marerial advantage.
34 ffa8+ wg7 35 "e4 "16 36 "xh4 1~

Game 15 18/Cd
Socko.Jakubowski Almost the universal choice. The ide! :
Poland 1997 of liJd2·f) and Del is less natural since 311 ,
exchange of rooks is oot in White's fa. ,
1 e4 85 2 IOt3 1&6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4 vour.
~ 5 IWtc8 bxc6 6 86 .87 7 ff82 ~6 18 ...c6 19 lId11?
8 c4 .tae 9 g3 g8 10 b3 Jog7 11 .t.b2 The start of plan 'ii'. We have to
O~ 12 i.g2 heBI? ahead a little here since 19 ~41? beaD-
This, by implication (see Game 14) is comparisoo with Game 16. The questiOll J·

Main Line with 8 ... ~a6: White's 9th move alternatives

is whether the position of the rook on fS ~82 Jlxf2 32 Ilxd7J Jlxd7 33 Wxf2 Wf6
rather than on as, blocking the king's 341l1.3 c5 3& Ad3lle7 38 841
immediate route to the centre, is a prob-
lem when faced with this alternative plan.
In Rublevsky-Nikolic, PoIanica Zdroj
1996, one of the key games to draw atten-
tion to the possibilities in this ending,
White had definite pressure after 19 l&4
J1bs 20 llcl (20 .!beS!?) 20...wfS 21 lDc5
1Ie7 (the point is that the positiooally de-
sirable 21...c;.6}e7?1 is tacticilly embarrassed
by 22 £41 1I.e3 23 w(2) 22 lbd3 as 23 Ik5
Ila8 24 h4 h6 25 .!bf4 Wg7 26 .i.h3 Aa7 27
h5 with some progress on both sides of
the board.
However, 19...11bB?1 might be the cul- White's pieces are a model of efficiency
prit. Black can try 19.• .1laeBI?, answering in both a blockading role and supporting
20 ltk5 with 20.. Jle2 21lQxd7 Wg7I when the a-pawn. This is the nightmare scenario
Black's plan of doubling rooks 00 tbe sev- for Black in this ending.
enth is hard to combat. If 20 .til then 3S •• .Ile3 37 1()e1 h5 38 gxh5 g4 39 ..tc4
lO...wfB followed by 21...We7 ag:Un 03+ 40 ~1 WO& 41 a& Wxh5 42 a6 :&7
achieves Black's immediate goal. 43 .td& "'a& 44 .A.b7 02+ 45 lWcg2 d3
19.. ':f8811 48 llie1 lIf7+ 47 1Of3+ Wf4 48 87 1-0
If this Datural move can be too slow, This game provides. fine demonstration
then White's idea is to be reckoned withl of the co-operatiOD of bishop and knight.
Black's counterplay was more convinc-
ing when he got going immediately with Game 16
19...f5!? 20 .tfl g5 21 h3 Wg7 22 lld4 Wg6 Leko-Almasi
23 lla4 (the rook on f8 stops any idea UbeJa 1997
White may have of playing ~4) 23 ...h5
24 ~ Wh6 25 ibcl 26 iLe211e4 27 llxa7 1 a4 a5 2 1lIf3 ltlc8 3 d4 exd4 4 1Wcd4
f4 in Berthelot-Marciano, France 1992. 1016 & 1Wcc6 bxc6 68& "a7 7 -'a21.t)d&
Both sides have chances, but Black's pian 8 c4 .b6 9 g3 g6 10 b3 .tg7 11 b2
to Create open lines lor his rooks is note- 0-0
worthy. The ending also occurs :after ll•..Q.O.O!?
· ~ ~f3 15 21 ~2 "'07 22 :d4 A8e7 23 12 i.g2llhe8 13 ().() .i.xes114.xeS.xeS
~ 05 24 h3 "'OS 25 g4J 15 hes lheS 16 oafS hEl 17 c;hfl c:xd5
A very important moment. White pre- where the only serious difference is that
VeDts counterplay with ...h7-h5 and effec- Black's king is on b8 rather than gB. It is
tively blocks his opponent's play on the difficult to give a c:ategorical judgement
·li&ht squares. He later shows (on move 29) concerning where it stands best. Instinc-
• that his minor pieces and king can cope tively it would seem thal it is weful
· alone with the l-me, while his rook is free among the queeuside pawns. but it can
• 10 snaffle pawns. also come under fire there. After 18 ltk3
· 2&•••fxg4 28 hxg4 :n
27 "'02 :.8 28 c6 19 llcll Wb81 it may be that if White
.1D7 lefS 29 lOg1 1.4 30 W03 d4 31 adopts the l&+d plan. Black's king will

The Scotch Game

head for d6 anyway. No differencel One This position seems to be satisfactory

warning example: 19...wbnl was met with for Black. His perspectives are largely de-
20 b4 as? (provocative; White's b-pawn fensive, but it is difficult for White to de-
advances, and thrivesQ 21 bS wb6 22 .lib 1 velop play.
Wc5 23 b6111b8 24 .i.f31 We4 25 ~ d4 26 23 ~ 1158724 b4l1a81
b7 WdJ 27 nb3+ Wc2 28 .1\.e2 c5 29 .i.d3+ Here it seems appropriate to foree the
~1 30 iDb6 with a decisive advantage in issue. Given time White was able to push
Hnydiuk-Stempin, Poland 1997. Black into passivity after 24••.Ab8 25 Ilc3
12 .i.g2 lIte8?1 13 O.(J .be& 14 .be5 !teeS 2611aJ Ab7 27 Aa5 na8 28 a41!e8 29
.xe& 1 & "xeS :XeS 16 cxd6 Axf1 17 h4 h6 30 lla6 in Kislov-Stempin, Poland
Wxf1 cxd6 18 .!Dc3 1997.
This choice has been just about univer- 26 a4 8626 b6 %-%
sal, and Kasparov's aitieism of 12.. .11fe8,
based on the possibility which the rook
on a8 affords for White to try 18 f41? h3S
not been tested. I must say it looks prom-
ising! After lS.. lle3 19 Lds L:.8 (19 ...c6
20 .i.g211dJ 21iDa3 LB 22Jlel [Wells]
also favours White) 20 ~1l1d3 (20.. .l1e2
21 Jldl Lh2 22 ..i.g21 leaves the rook in
trouble) 21iDe41 'i!t>g7 22 ..tc4 (Kasparov)
Black is not sufficiendy active to compen-
sate for losing the dS-pawn.
In any case the rest of the game is still
relevant if only in relation to 12.. L8.
18 .••c6 191.tc1 Jlae8 20..tf31 I am normally rather sceptical about
The standard spot for the bishop in long and elaborate justifications for draw
these lines, preventing any rook invasion. agreements, but here the following, given
20 .••Wl8 21 lDa4 *e7 22 lUeS Wei8 by Mikhalevski, is both plausible and in·
structive: 26..1[b8 27 llc5 lle4! (the point
of Black's play is revealed - he has encour-
aged the b-pawn forward to force White's
rook to a vulnerable square) 28 .i.xe41
dxe4 29 ~I Wxc51 30 iDxd7+ Wc41 31
M8 cxbs 32 axb5 341 (32...Wxb5 gives
White's king the crucial tempo to ~
proach) 33 b6 a3 34 b7 a2 35 lDc6 al'" +
36 'i!t>g2 \Tff6 37iDa5+ wb5 38 bS" + 'iha5
39 fJ'a8+ 'i!t>b6 40 ti'xe4 and the position
has bumt out to a draw.

Main Line with 8 ... JLe6: White's 9th move alternatives

9 lDd2 fails to really impress. Game 11 shows the 'subtle' way to exploit the weakening
of the c2.square, when Black achieves a minor piece harmony rarely seen aher the
stronger 9 b3 or 9 gJ.
9 111e4 is only of historical interest. Game 12 is a masterpiece, but the note on
9...ttlb41? is probably where its real death knell will lie.
9 gJl? is therefore the critical part of the chapter. The ending considered in Games 15
and 16 is thoroughly unclear, by no means dull and looks likely to maintain its topical·
ity. Game 14 proves pretty conclusively that Black should not avoid it. As for players of
the white pieces, if the ending does not appeal, take a look again at Van der Wid's idea of
developing with 13 ttiaJl? in the note to move ten of Game 14.

1 e4 a5 21013 lOeS 3 d4 axd4 4 ~d4 iOf6 & IOxc6 bxc6 S .& ••7 7 V.2 /Od5 8 c4

91f)d2 (D)
9••.1LIb4 - Game 10
9... g6 - Game 11
9"ffe4 - Game 12
9.• .f6 - Game 13
10 b3 .i.g7 11 .i.b2 0-0 12 -'.g2 (D) lIae8
12..•.!Zfe8 - Game 14
130-O.be& 14 he& .xe5 1& 'fIxe&ltx.5 16 cxd6 JLxf117 ~1 cxd& 18 ~ c8
(D) 19 Ilc1
19 lId 1 - Game 15
19.. .llfa8 - Game 16 (by transposilion)

Slf)d2 12 "g2 18... c6

Main Line with 8 ...llJb6:

1 e4 a5 2 ~f3 ~c8 3 d4 axd4 4 ~d4 10.• J1b8, while 10....i.e7 is the subject of
~f8 6 ~c8 bxc8 8 a6 'fIa7 7 'fIa2 1tXi5 Games 20 and 21.
8 c4~ SltXi2 11 .i.b2 a41
Here we consider the critical variations Very direct. 11 .. ib4 is seen (by trans-
of the main line with 8...lDb6 9lDd2. The position) in the notes to Black's 11th
most important decision here for Black is move in Game 19.
whether to move the a-pawn -forward or
not. In Games 17-19 we see the popular
9.....e6 10 b3 as, intending to immedi-
ately undermine the white pawn chain
with ...as-a4. However, 9...•e6 em also
be foUowed by the simple 10...i.e7 and
11 •••()'(), as in Games 20 and 21. The ... 31-
as-a4 advance can also be prefaced by
9.. ..i.b7 (Games 22 and 23) but here too
Black has an alternative with queenside
castling (Games 24 and 25). FinaUy, Black
em instead choose 9..•aS (Games 26 and
27) or aim for central play with 9... d6
(Game 28). 1203
This move is under something of a
Game 17 cloud due to the present game. The alter·
P-H .Nielsen-Dautov native 12 eel is considered in Game 18.
BadLauterberg 1991 12•• ib4I _
The attractive thing about this ...31-35-
1 e4 a6 2 ~f3 &8 3 d4 axd4 4 ~d4 a4 based vari.:uion compared with othen
~f6 6 lOxc8 bxc8 6 as 'fIa7 7 "a2 l2ld6 which we shall examine later in this ch~
8 c41ilb8 9lOd2 'fIa6 10 b3 a517 ter, is that here Black is Dot rushing to
The old move 10.. ib4?1 is considered open the a-file, but rather using the a:.
in Game 19, along with the unusual pawn flexibly. So long as the tension is

Main Line with 8 .. .fi)b6: 9 0d2

maintained, White must always reckon 16.i.d4

with the possibility that his bishop will be Unfonunately after 16 ~cl ~c3 17
hassled by Black pushing this pawn to 33, Ilbl dxc4! Black's position, while a little
no idle threat as we shall see. disjointed, holds together effectively
13 .i.g2 0-0
Black's best strategy is to break in the
enough, for ex:.unple 18 "c2 .*.xes 19 Acl
'firs!, 18 bxc4 lIxc4 19 Vc2 .beSl or 18
centre. Playing to win the e5-pawn in· Ad! 'itg6! in all cases favouring Black.
volves too many positional concessions, 16...c5 17 .i.e3
viz: 13...nb8?! 14 0.0 a3 15 ~d4 c5 16 ~e3 Again the alternative 17 cxd5 falls just
().()? (having said a highly commiual 'A', shon after 17...•xdS {17•••0xdS?! 18
Black forgets what comes next; for better ll)g5Q 18 .!e3 .L6 19 fi'c2 ~xf1 20 lhfl
or worse 16......xe5 had to be tried) 17 :ad8! 21 It)gS 11'd3 22 "i'xd3 (22 Wet?
~! and White dominates the .board, QU· .td2I) 22.. JhdJ 2J .ie4 with some posi-
Sonntag, Eupen open 1995. tional compensation for the exchange, but
140-0 d5! clearly not enough to recommend this
from a theoretical point of view.
17 ...h6 18 .c2 WeS 19 1I"x08 hxOB 20
llfc11 dxc4 21 1tld21
This, combined with White's last, form
definitely the best chance for White to
extract positional concessions in exchange
for his impending pawn loss. In fact, Black
wisely switches attention to the e-pawn
straightaway, since ~g further gains
on the queenside flI'St would be counter-
productive, e.g. 21. ••cxb3? 22 ~b3 e42J
ll)cS or 21...hd2? 22 .ixd2llad8 2J .i.e3
- Dautov. The second variation in particu-
Black makes efficient use of his forces. lar reminds us that while itself lacking in
Queen, knight and bishop all act together . scope, the dark-squared bishop is abso-
to pressure the c4-point, and the bishop lutely indispensable 3S a defender of
may join in too. Moreover, we DOted be- Black's queenside pawns.
fore that the a-pawn is not yet committed, 21 •. .lIae822lUxc471
and after White's natural reply this be- 22 f41 was a better try, since tbe objec-
comes the crucial point. tions to Black taking funher 3Ction on the
151tlf37 queenside persist to some extent, while
This is criticised by Dau(Ov, although 22 .•.£6 2J 1Oxc4 .hc4 24 bxc4 £xeS 2S
his suggested. improvement 15 f4 also has lIc2!, though leaving Black with some
its problems after 15•.•1Wg61 16 lQf3 'ifb5! advantage, clearly represents a weakening
by which flOe manoeuvre Black keeps his of Black's kingside compared with the
share of control over the light squares OD game.
the kingsic:le and still has the option of 22•• .bc47
..ia6 to increase the pressure. A very instructive moment, since the
15.• .&31 choice of how to achange bears with
Stronp=r than IS .. ia6 16 lDd4 1tg6 17 great relevance OD our basie theme of
. Ilacl when I prefer White. Black's 'problem' minor pieces. As we

The Scotch Game

shall see, the knight, though it eventually 'a' to White's 14th move - this natural and
finds its way to the d3-square, does have a desirable devdopment is not really on the
rather long and tonuous route. After menu in the analogous position where
22. ••lOxc41 23 bxc4 JheS 24 M4 lle7 on Black has retained the queenside tension,
the other hand, there would be no im- and hence the possibility to push ...a4-a3)
pediment to a most suitable re- 16... dxe5 17 he5 f6 18 .tf4 Wxe3 19
deployment of the bishop via c8 to E5, Jlxe3 ().O 20 ~3 with a small but certain
where incidentally it would play a key positional plus for White in Svidler-
role in a rather serious restriction of I.Sokolov, Groningen 1995.
White's rooks - again full marks to the The immediate strike in the centre with
bishop on b4 too for preventing. despite 12...d5?1 is also illogical, since in the closed
its paralYsed state, a challenge on the im- centre position tIut results the role BLadt
portant open e-61e. intends for his advanced a-pawn is far
23 bxc4 :Xe5 2411c2ll1dB 25 ~f4 lile7 from clear: 13 cSl ~ 14 b4 Itb8 15 Jid
26 lIb1 ned7 27 Af3 /l)c8 28 Ag4 lIe7 f6 16 f4 £xeS 17 £xeS g6 18 IClfJ .tg7 19
29 h4 it)bs 30 Wg2 ~ 31 .Ilb3lUb2 32 .ad) ().O 20 ().O was much better for White
.i.e2 lIed7 33 .i.e11 ~3 34 hd31 in Fogarasi-Fokin, Kobanya open 1992.
After the knight has finally worked it- 13.i.d3
self into the hean of White's position, this As Black's plan in the game looks like a
exchange will secure the draw. Of course, really serious nuisance, White might have
a large part of the problem is that while to consider 13 .ie2I? seriously to keep the
we were able to note that the bishop on d-square defended and hence retain the
b4 performed certain specific important possibility of ~cJ. It is unclear whether,
taSks well on a fairly full board, it is a dis- in terms of activity and the prospects of
astrous piece with which to try and make any attack on the kingside, this represents
progress in a simplified position. Black some concession by White. We now have
simply has no breakthrough. the rust test, but Baklan-Kuzmin, 'Alushu
34•• Jlxd3 3& Jilxd3 llxd3 36 Wl1 lId1+ 1997, did not shed too much light since
37 We2 n.,+ 38 Wl3 f6 39 .i.e3 ~ 40 Black's tJ ......g6? 14 ~dJl '@'!;5 15 0.0 ~
.i.e1 lIg1 41 .i.e3 We6 42 lIe1 lbe1 16 iDe4 was obviously none too critical
%-% Baklan also likes 13 .•.dS 14 ().O ~
(14 ••. .ixd21?) 15 00 Eor White but this
Game 18 needs tests.
Kobanya Dpen 1992
1 e4 e5 2 1Df3 ~ 3 d4 elUM 4 1Dxd4
0f8 5 lZDccS bxc6 6 e5 lIe7 7 1182 ~5
8 c4 .ttlbs 9 lOd2 "e6 1 0 b3 a5 11 .i.b2
a4 12 .e311 .i.b4I
In view of my above comments about
keeping the a-pawn's role flexible. I do not
really understand what moved Ivan Sok-
olov to clarify matters by 12••.axb3?1 13
axb3 lbal+ 14 .hal .i.b4 15 .i.d) d6 16
().() (as we shall see in the main line - note

Main Line with B..• ltlb6: 9 li:Jd2

13 ...d61 1814
Not just striking at the centre, but also The plan of driving Black's queen to e7
initiating some sneaky ideas to advance the seems to do White's defensive efforts
a-pawn to 33, when White's bishop might around his vulnerable king no favours at
just be incautious enough to flOd itself all. White's last shot has to be piece rather
trapped in mid·board. than pawn play. To this end 16 'i'g5!? (or
Thus, the text seems preferable to 16 tfgJ, to answer 16....g4 with 17 e61?)
13...dS 14 Q.O hdl 15 11'xd2 dxc4 16 bxc4 16.....g41? (after 16...0-0 17 ~4 h6 18
L6 when ,17 1!rg5I? looks promising. ' cxdS J.xd2+ 19 !Exd2 adS 20 £4 White
Black has had to make some committal also gets a share of the anack.ing chances)
decisions in order to round up White's c· 17 ..",4 JUg4 18 D -*.e6 when Black is
pawn. White has to look beyond the dis- comfortable, but the serious danger has
service which his e-pawn does to the passed for White.
bishop on b2, and concentrate on ways to 18...dxc41171511
exploit his potential advantage on the 17 ~4 must be a better try, although
dark-squares: 17...Q.O (17... g6?1 18 ~a3 17...~1? looks promising for Black.
.fui:4 19 .Led he4 20 llfdl .idS 21 17 •••ffe7 18 ~c4 ~c:4 19 bxc4 ~I
b l gives White huge compensation 20 Id2 'iIb4 21 'ife4llb8 22 Wd1
along just the lines outlined above) 18 f41 Black's attack Iw assumed decisive
(18 .i.f5?1 ~61) 18....Lec4 19 f5 'fib6 proportions. U 22 .La) 'iixa3+ 23 'i!Jldl
(otherwise White will get a massive attack Black can remove the rook on hi with
through the further advance to (6) 20 impunity.
S'xh6 gxh6 21 lID I and White's kingside 22....txb2 23 e8 0-0 24 We2 Ixe6 26
chances outlast the exchange of queens - bee 96 26 lIb1
This would not be White's preferred
option, and this choice of destination for
the king undeniably contains much dan·
ger, but neither 14 Q.Q?I a3 15 .i.c1 .i.e)
nor 14 exd6 fkxe3+ 15 fxe3 cxd6 16 .Leg?
:g8 are recommendable.
14...axb3 16 axb3 d6

26...llf2+1 27 Wxf2 Wxd2+ 28 Wt3 Ilb3


Game 19
Tal Memorial, Moscow 1992 :
1 e4e52li:Jf3~3d4exd44~d4
li:Jfe 6 lOxc6 bxc6 6 e6 ee7 7 'ife2 ~6

The Scotch Game

8 c4l2lb8 91.ild2 'ifaO 10 b3 .Q.b417 pawo to undermine White's queens ide

10...Ab8 is another oovd SU'3lqy, again structure 00the light squares by 13...a4I?
bearing on our theme of aeating counter- However, White then has 14 c5 ~ 15
chances by disrupting White's devdop- b4 .ta6 16 J.xa6 Jba6 170-0 (Kasparov)
menl: 11 g3 (11 ~bVI rather walks into when his space advantage counts for more
Black's intended 11 .. .1&41 U i.d4 c5 13 than any cootroversial claim. which Black
.i.eJ ltX:31 14 1fdJ .xeS 15 1UO lIf6 16
oad2 lMSQ 11..~b4 12 i.b2 1r&61 (oeady
might put in that his knight is superior to
White's bishop. Still, this would have beeo
forcing loog castling - see my comments a better try than 13...dS?1 14 adS adS 15
in the Introduction) 13 ().O.O 0.0 14 a3 i.e] Aell, as in Kasparov-Karpov, World
15 'tiel dSl was seen in the game Hjanar- Championship match, Lyon (16) 1990,
soo-I.50kolov, Akureyri 1994. when the bishop pair combined with the
backward e-pawo added up to a large plus
for White. •
After the text move Black will concen-
trate on the centre, and the break ...d7-dS
rather than the a-pawn push. The strategy
has some similarity with Game 20, and the
advantage of avoiding 12 g3 (Game 21).
12 a3?1 obviously costs time and
12...hd2+ 13 "xd2 f61, as in Nijboer-
Winants, Wijk aao Zee 1992, is good for
12.•.d6 13 axdO 1fxd6
Now White should have played 16
exd61 .i.f61 17 ~I (Black has certainly
generated some dangerous ideas; 17 dxcn?
hb2+ 18 <bxb2 ~a4+ 19 Wei "(61 is ooe
of the most brutal) 17....i.xb2+ 18 ¢»xb2
lQa4+I when Ivan Sokolov considers only
19 Wal (not 19 Wa2?? 'iWxe4Q .19•. ..iJ51 20
dxc7 lbb31 21 "xb3 .be4 and Black's
heroie effons are rewarded with a perpet-
ual check after 22 'ii'xa4 .£6+ 23 Wa2
"xf2+ 24 ¢'al .£6+.
The whole eoncept is very interesting,
and admirably original, but I do not see a
clear follow-up to 19 Well (Wells) where 14~f317
the king clearly sits more comfortably It would be tempting first to cover the
than at the end of the loog diagonal. check 00 h6, and avoid the e-pawn weak-
11 £b20-017 oess of the game. However, Black can
The alternative is 11...aS but this would develop very fast, and Piket's line 14 eel
blend well with Black's previous move Lli 15 .i.dJ ~g41 16 f3 L8 17 ltle4
only in the eventuality that after 12 all i.xb2+ 18 Wxb2 1r6+ 19 Wc2 f5 seems to
.t.m2+ 13 ffxd2 Black could use the a- offer Black better counterplay than in the

Main Line with 8 .. .Iilb6: 9 ~d2

game continuation. .i.xc5 1-0

14....,,&+ 15 1Ie31
II 15 'it'bl? i.f5+ 16 Wal Aae8 Black's
rapid development spells serious embar-
rassment for the white queen.
1 &••••xe3+ 16 fxe3 Ile& 17 e4
White wants to solve the problem of
the e-pawn by advancing it to 0. This was
also Kasparov's choice here, although in
his analysis he offers the interesting posi-
tional sacrifice 17 .!tlci41 i.g4 18 .te2 .txe2
19l1m:2lbe3 20 iDd4, when the exchange
of light-squared bishops has COst White a
little time but improved the scope of his
knight, which is eyeing not only the c6-
pawn, but the important f5-square too. Game 20
17.. ..i.g4? Wells-Cladouras
17.. 1lxe4 18 Ads... .A.f8 19 i.d3 fol- Bad Worishofen Open 1997
lowed by 20 i.xh7+.is obviously bad.
,. However, the text also goes for too
much. White's 20th move crosses Black's
1 e4 .5 2 Iilf3 Iilce 3 d4 exd4 4 lOxd4
~f6 5 lOxce bxc6 6 a& 11.7 7 Va2 lild5
plan, and guarantees at least a definite 8 c4 ~8 9 ~2 W.6 10 b3 .i..7 11
positional plus. .ibZ 0-0 12 O-O-O?I
17....!tld71 was better, when Black found
the best way to re-organise his minor
pieces on the queenside with 18 e5 as 19
.idJ ~ 20 i.c2 a4121 ttxl4 axb3 22 axb3
lla6 in Kasparov-Piket, Donmund 1992.
After 23 lUll White can lay claim to no
more than a slight edge.
1& e5 ~7 19 h3 .bt3 20 Alld7 .i.a4 21
.i.d3 .bg2?
Black obviously did not fancy the up-
hill struggle arising from 21 ...i.xd3 22
Ld3, when White can boast control of
the dome and the bener pawn structure,
but the game move is suicide! Now I know betterl 12 gJl, as in Game
22 IIg1 .i.xh3 23 eel hee 21, is the thematic: way here.
see following diagram However, White simply does not have
the time for U 'fIe3?1 Black can strike
24.bg71 immediately with 12.••d5 13 .i.d3 dxc:41 14
A.JJ. attractive finish. White has a merci- ll)xc4 (14 bxc41Ll8 promises d·file trouble
less discovered check which leaves Black's for White; G Garcia suggests 14 .i.c2I?
(orces utterly tied up. when White will get a bit of compensation
24•• .,hd7 25 .i.e3+! Wf& 26 hb4+ :.7 - it is ben, but bardly a recommendatioD
27 .i.xh7 f5 28 1%g8+ Wf7 29 nu& c6 30 to play the line!) 14••ib4+ 15 wfl.L6 16

The Scotch Game

nel ltadB 17 h4 .txc4118 bxc4lha4 with He had to try 26...llla7. This square is
very active play for Black in Zapata- needed for the king.
G.Garcia, Medellin 1992. 27 041 .i.e8 28 he8 l1xe8 29 lllf31 :as
12•••8511 30~S11-O
The wrong strategyl White's problem
here is quite concretely that after 12...dSl
13 exd6 cxd6 14 1fxe6 (or 14 fi'fJ d5 15
.i.d3 \th61) 14.. ..he6 15 .*.d3 d51
Schmittdiel-G.Garcia, Candas open 1992,
Black has a full share of the centre. If 16
cxdS Black has a choice of viable recap-
tutes, since ...a5-a4 will secure queenside
counter-chances in all cases.
13 14 15?1 14 exf6 1i'xe2 15 he2 Axt6
16 g3 d5 17 l1he1 iLe6 18 iLf3
White has a slight but persistent edge.
His pieces are rather more active, and
Black has not yet solved the problem of An. interesting picture of helplessness.
his queenside structure. So long as this is In dealing with the threat of mate, Black
not dealt with, his knight on b6 is also must lose at least the knight on e7.
potentially passive. In the game I had a
further advantage: Black's unshakeable Game 21
belief that he had no problems at alll Oll-G .Garcia
1B...Wf7 19 J.xf6 ~ 20 lieS IlteB 21 New York open 1997
:de1 iLf7
21. ..dxc4 22 ~4+ is of course too dan- 1 e4 e5 2 ~f3 ~c6 3 d4 exd4 4 lllxd4
gerous_ Gradually White's advantage takes lOf6 5lllxc6 bxc6 6 e5 987 7 .e2 'Cd6
on more threatening proponions. The 8 c4 lOb6 9 lild2 .e6 10 b3 JLe7 11
next move introduces some lU5+ ideas, i.b2 O.() 12 g31?
but is chiefly about restricting Black's This is clearly White's best approach,
knighL anticipating Black's strike in the centre
with the thrust ... d7-d5 and seeking to
place his pieces optimally to deal with the
resulting Isolated Queen's Pawn (IQP)
This has been Black's standard response
here. Still, at this moment White can ex·
change on d6, reaching his desired pawn
structure, secure in the knowledge that if,
after 13 exd6, Black throws in 13....xe2+
14.he2 he will cause no great disruption..
Hence I have a slight suspicion that the,
text somehow is just a little too 00-:
22 .i.g41 llxe5 23 :Xe5 a4 24 c5 axb3 operative. Given this diagnosis Blad·
25 axb31 ~c8 26 iLd7 ~7?1 should seek a useful, semi-waiting move.~

Main Line with 8 .. .li)b6: 9 l'i:Jd2

Perhaps 12.. lteSI? With two beautifully posted bishops

13 exd6 cxd6 14 "xeS he6 1S ~g2 dS urging on the outside passed pawn, Black
16 adS adS 17 0-0 !tfeD can put up very little resistance.

181t)f31 3S .. J1a3 36 ae h6 37 .7 .i.d7 38 1Ib1

For me this is easily the most instruc- .!i:ld2 39ltb8+ Wh7 40 .i.c6l'i:Jf3+ 41 <3o>h1
tive moment in Lembit Oll's characteristi- lla1 42 aS1i lId11?
cally clinical technical display. How many An amusing try. Black can have one last
players faced with Black's occupancy of crack at a mating attack witb ....th3.
the c·me would rush to neutralise Black's Lembit Oll's excellent technique leaves
'initiative', and challenge on tbe me to little room for bumour.
prevent the coming seventh rank inva· 43 m,8+ ~g6 44 .a&+ 1-0
sioq? In fact a move like 18 :acl would
risk jettisoning the greater part of White's Game 22
advantage. Aher for example 18.. .iU51? 19 Dochev-Kazhgaleyev
!xeS (19 lOr3 .i.e4Q 19•. .1hc8 20 net Pardubice 1996
lbcl+ 21 J.xcl Black bas a choice of
moves such as 21..ib4l? or 21. ..JU6 1 e4 8S 2 1()f3 l2lc6 3 d4 exd4 4 l'i:Jxd4
which both hint at White's loss of c0- IOf6 6 l'i:Jxc6 bxc8 e e6 ire7 7 Ve2 l'i:Jd6
ordination. 8 c4l.Ob6 9ltld2 .i.b7
In fact White will blockade on d4 with This is a useful devdoping move in
his bishop, supporting the advance of his terms of the bishop's potential rather than
queenside pawns and reminding us yet its immediate radiance, and can be linked
again that the b6-knigbt may not be too to two possible strategies. Common to
happy either. both is Black's virtual prevention of 10 g3
18 •. ':c2 19 ..id4 lIac8 20 a4 Jl8c7 21 due to 10...c51 This, by further increasing
.la6:ca 22 l'i:Jd4 lId2 23 11881 lId3 24 the probability that White will fianchetto
1d1 :Xd1 2Sllxd1 fC41 26 Af41t)f6 27 on the queenside, will logic:ally increase
Illbs 1Ic2 the power of the lever ...31-a5-34. Al-
False activityl 27•. icS!? looks more re- tbough this advance is not the only way to
silient. handle the position (see Game 24) it bas
28..tel ae 291tld4:tc3 30..tn .i.g4 31 become quite popular. Still, I am a little
1e1 ..tc5 32 .ba6 bd4 33 hd4 Ilxb3 sceptical of it myself.
34 a6 lOe4 36 ..tnl 10 b3 as

The Scorch Game

play for Black. The tc::Ia move is useful in

that it supportS the e5-pawn and also
draws our attention to the f.u:t that since
the invasion of the black queen on a3 is
integral to Black's hopes of causing maxi·
mum disruption, he is short 00 usefuJ
semi-waiting moves. Hence the immediate
release of the tensioo•..
12...axb3 13 axb3 haH 14.be1 .83
15 "d11 .i.b4 16.i.d3

11 .i.b211
Although the alternative 11 a4 (see the
next game) is also looking good at present,
my scepticism towards plans which in-
volve the advance of the a-pawn with a
view to opening the a-file, leads me to feel
sympathetic to this invitation for Black to
get on and implement his plan.
Of course the position that arises is full
of tension. Here are the themes of the
whole 4....!Df6 Scotch writ large. Black can 18••.•a&
create a fair degree of disruption - in order Thus far all has been rather self·
10 complete his development White, as we explanatory. Now White was threatening
shall see, is forced 10 put his king rather to castle, after which Black's bunching of
inconveniently on e2. However, Black's bis forces on the queen's wing would look
play is extremely committal, and his pieces clumsy to say the least. However, Black
disturbingly 'offside'. If White consoli- does bave an alternative way to intensify
dates, he can look to the future with con- the pin, namely 16...'ila2J? HjartanoD
11 •••a4 12 f41
An important moment. 12 g3? is bad
.tel .as
criticises this on the grounds that after 17
18 We21 0-0 19 .!Df3, White will
profit from the retreat of his bishop to c2
since after 12...axb3 13 axb3 Lal+ 14 as his queen comes effectively to d3 with
.ixal'ti'p IS Wdl .tb4 (15...cl?) 16 .tg2 tempo. I am not sure that matters are so
.311 White will have a real job freeing simple. Two thoughts after 16..:I'31I? 17
himself. The older try U:hl cedes the a- .tel deserve a mentioD;
file without a fight and also leads to trou- a) First, although the interesting sacri-
ble after 12...axb3 13 am3 .g5 14 h4 1ih6 fice 17•..lLlxc4, which was a suggestion

15 g3 £b4 16 .*.g2 0-0, when the pin was from my wife Noemi. does not quite
unpleasant enough 10 persuade White to work, it requires a very accurate defc:na:.
make the major coDcessioD V in After 18 b:a:4 9:a:4. Dot oo1y should
Schmindie1-A.K.uzmin, Oberwart opeD White not seek to defend his f+pawo (19:
1995. which after 17••••xe3+ 18 &el cIS 19 g3?1 "clSl 20 Agi .L6 and 19 rut .ia6
exd6 cxd6 20 We2 lL2 led 10 exc:dlent both give Black tremendous play) but he

Main Line with 8 . .. /i)b6: 9 /i)d2

should in fact give it with check by 19 since strangely 23.•i.xdl (23 ...f6?1 24 LlI
*£211 .xf4+- 20 lbO, regaining control of 1Jc8 25 .i.f'5Q 24 1Jxd2 .*.xg2 25 Agl
d4 and reviving the concept of devdoping ltf3+?1 26 Wet leaves Black without a
his piecesl After for example 20...0 21 Afl good follow-up.
0.0 22 1JdJ g6 23 Wgl the three pawns do 23 .•••CS 24 ~eS .g4 26 1()f3
I10t provide enough play for the piece.
b) The culprit in HjartarsOn's line
seems to come later. FoUowing 17...•a51
18 We2, better is 18•. ;d.5l, the logical way
to show that the bishop may be missed
from dJ. If 19 exd6 ad6 20 lDe4 ().() 21
9d4 f6, Black's queen has regained access
to the centre and the kingside, and White's
king position still gives cause for some
Concern. Chances are about equal.
White goes for the 'FuU Monty'. 17
i.d4? is much less ambitious, since the
manoeuvre to e3 clearly costs time which 26 •• .:xe61
Black can invest in devdoping and striking A fme combination after which Black
back in the centre. In A.Grosar- reaches an endgame where his superior
Hjartarson, European Team Champion- pieces enable him to inflict considerable
ship, Debrecen 1992, Black quickly seized suffering. As we shall see, queen and opo
the initiative after 17•••0-0 18 ~e3 d6! 19 positc-colourcd bishop attack well to-
0.0 (19 exd6 );te8 20 wf2 .i.c51 is fraught gether.
with danger) 19.••dxe5 20 lID f51 21 £xeS
.xeS. In this line, Black usually has some
2e fxe6 i.xf3 27 gxf3 .d4+ 28 Wg2
'illxa1 29 .tf6 gel 30 ca. + I()xca 31
cause for celebration when his forces start hcS .xe6 32 .ib7 .ic3 33 i.d6 .g5+
to retwn to battle for the centre. 34 Wl1 ~d4 36 1184 .01+ 36 ~e2
17...d6 18 "c21 h6 19 ~d471 .xh2+
It does not seem entirdy necessary to So long as Black avoids the exchange of
put this piece on a square where it will queens, the h-pawn will decide the contest.
later be hit with tempo by the freeing 37 wd3 wg7 38 ge7 .'4 39 b4 exb4 40
••.c6-c5. Thus I would suggest 19 ~b21~ 1ixb4 .e3+ 41 Wc2 .e2+ 421fd2 .e6
when Black, faced with the threat of 20 43 1fd3 hSI 44 .84 .18 46 .e8 h4 46
llal, seems to have no serious alternative 'ii'd7 ~c5 47 Wb3 .te7 48 wc2 .tb4 49
to centralising his queen as in the game.
AIter 19.....a8 20 exd6 ().() (20...c:xd6 21
wb3 li'c3+ 60 Wa4 .83+
61 Wb6 9.6+
62 ~c8 984+ &3 Wc7 Oxd7+ 54 ~
h.gl Ag8 22 'iib2 looks promising for h3 66 f4 Wf8 68 .te4 ~d2 67 *'16
White) 21 dxc7 White should be better. hf4+ 68 *'16 Wg5 0-1
19•.•••81 20 exd8 0-0 21 dJec7 :&&+ 22
Wf2 c5 23 :a171 Game2J
Far hom gaining tempo, this merely Sveshnikov-Malaniuk
.' pushes Black's queen where it wants to go, Aiust41994
and will shonly leave the rook open to a
'fine combination. 23 .i.e51 looks better, 1 84 e6 2 1()f3 /()c:8 3 d4 exd4 4 lWuM

The Scotch Game

1l:If6 5 lWlc8 bxc8 8 e5 fje7 7 "e2 ~5 inability of the black forces to hinder the
8 c4 ~6 91Qd2 .i.b7 10 b3 a5 11 &411 tidy development of the bishop to dJ,
While obviously doing the b3-pawn seems to suggest thaI Black cannot justify
and the b4-square no favours, White stops the serious wealmesses which capture with
Black's queenside efforts in their tracks. a piece on d6 would aeate) 17 'fi'c2 !lheB
Moreover, Black faces an interesting prob- 18 h4 c5 19lt¥1? lle7 20 11£5+ lldd7, and
lem. If he plays for ....i.h4 (which in fact now White has only to avoid 21 .xhn?
h3s been the universal choice in practice) -te4+ by 21 01 - preparing to meet
then his bishops find themselves in an 21 .. .f6?! with 22 1&6 or 2l...dS, as in
unfonunate formation where increasing Olenin-Vilvanov, Russia 1997, by 22 cxdS
the scope of one depends upon the en- Ji.xdS 23 Ji.bS1 This is impressive, bw
trapment of the other. In the main g;une, what if Black should try 17••. cS before
as we shall see, Black overcomes this prob- White has secured the g5-square for his
lem and the end of the game is, ironically, knight to run to? Well, the truth is that
a textbook demonstration of bishop pair the exchange on fJ does not look like
co-operation. However, the notes cast much of a threat to me. After 18 i.dl
doubt upon whether the outcome will .*.xf3 19 r;xf3 White will put the bishop
always be so congenial. Not all these diffi- on e4 and dominate the light squares. For
culties are avoidable either. If ...Jlb4 is similar-reasons I also have a feelij1g that 19
omitted, then Black's a5-pawn may be- i.dJ1? was a good safe alternative in the
come a more vulnerable weak-point than game too. This note puts the ball back in
anything on the white side. Black's coun after 11 a4 too.
11 .•••e6 12 .i.b2 .i.b413 0-0-0 0-0-01 16..:.xe3+ '6 fxe3 J:lde8 17 h4
In view of Black's excellent plan of line-
opening on the kingside, White probably
came to regret not having gone for devel-
opment with 17 i.dJl

By far the best c;atalyst to a harmonious
development. The queen is headed for c2,
the bishop to dJ.
14•• :.h6+ 15 We31 17 •••181 18 axf8 gxf6 19 .hf8Jlhg8 20
The natural and stronger 15 wb 1 was .i.g6 d51
originally suggested by Malaniuk himself Black's superb enncept offers a wry
in his notes. He gave IS ...dS as 'unclear', striking example of playing to ~
but in fact after 16 exd61 cxd6 (the enm- strengths of a position. At a stroke lht
fonable square c2 for the queen, and the cramping effect of the e5-pawn has ~,

Main Line with 8 .. Jijb6: 9 ft)d2

removed and the weak eJ-pawn exposed :'830.i.f8 J:b6+ 31 Wa1 .i.b2+ 32 Wa2'
to attack. White's dark-squared bishop has Ac3+ 33 th3 llgb2 0-1
been misplaced. which suddenly creates
the possibility that Black's bishop on b4 Game 24
may turn out to be a aucial attacking Chandler-Adams
piece. White's other bishop can develop Hastings Premier 1991
only at the risk of allowing entry by
Black's rook. All this at the cost of just 1 e4 e6 2 1Of3 lOc6 3 d4 ud4 4 ~d4
one pawn. IOf8 5 lUxce bxc6 8 e5 'fIe7 7 "e2 ~5
21lild2 8 c4 ~8 9 Il\d2 .i.b7 10 b3 0-0-0
Malaniuk gives the variation 21 adS A consistent follow-up to 9.. ib7, the
ll\xd5 22 J.c4 h61 23 .ixdS cxdS 24 .hb6 text has nevertheless ~ely fallen out of
d4! - a model for enhancing the power of general use. The problem seems to be that
the bishop pair. However White captures even though Black proceeds logically with
on d4, .. llxg2 in conjunction with ...i.a3+ development, and can play ...c6-c5 to open
and maybe .. ie4 will create very power- a perfectly respectable diagonal for his
ful threats. bishop, be still needs to address the issue
21 ••• c5 22 cxd6 lWcd5 23 .i.c4 hel 24 of getting the kingside into play. More
.bh&llxg2 26 J.xd571 particularly, White's pawn on e5 is here a
25lZ'1bll had to be tried. Now the bish- positive force for cramping the opponent's
~ps simply go on the r.unpage. game rather than a weakness. Black will
26•• bd5 28 1D1f1 normally challenge it with ...d7-d6, but
In the event of 26 e4 White would be when White exchanges, there is no en-
faced by the rather embarrassing riposte tirely satisfactory way. to proceed. Recap-
26..llxe41 ture with the pawn leads to the structure
of Game 28 without the corresponding
activity, while recapture with a piece
leaves the c-pawns very weak. White's
problems in mobilising his own kingside
. do not offer fuU compensation for this.
11 .tb2 c6 .
Black can also push his d-pawn imme-
diately: 11...d6 U exd6 'W'xd613 ~ 'ltg6
(or 1l...flh6 14 .g4+ Wb8 15 h41 lhd2 16
1hdl .ib4 17 "pi with some advantage
for White) 14lQf3 .i.d6?1 (maybe he could
try 14.. Jlxdl+ 15 1Ixdl J.c5I? although I
still prefer White) 15 Illesl 1Jb6+ 16 Del
26•••c41 was Leko-Janahi, World U-14 Champion-
Another instructive example of 'line- ship, Duisburg 1992, when White stands
opening' for both the bishops and the clearly better since if 16...•xe3+ 17 fxe3
rooks. If now 27 bxc4 J.c61 it is White's :t- Allf8 he has the powerful double attack 18
. pawn which turned out to be the weak.- ~I This is a typical example of where
: ling. The teXt is even worse, and all the Black bas no fully satisfactory recapture.
: bladt pieces pile in decisively. 12..•cxd6 would still leave vulnerable bang-
XI 1ilxc4?1 .i.xc4 28 bxc4 .i.a3+ 29 Wb1 ing pawns and would offer no tangible

The Scotch Game

piece activity in compensation. ;31? .hhl 19 lbhl W'g6, an interesting

120-0-0 d6 13 ••de ••de mirror image of things to come, although
I am doubtful that White has quite
enough for the exchange.
The simplest route to equality is
probably 17 .xV .i.d6 18 "xg? (18
.i.xg7? Wb7I) 18...•xg7 19 i.xg7 Ilhg8,
although Chandler could be forgiven his
failure to appreciate the coming difficuJ.

A natural enough move'to free the way
for White to bring out the rest of his
forces, this might well have enjoyed the-
ory's fickle smile but for Mickey Adams's
superb display. It is fur from obvious that
the queen will fonn a target for Black's·
own bold and surprising strategy of ex-
pansion. Following this game, White 17•• ..i.c81
found another means to mobilise, particu- A very insttuctive moment that heralds
larly to bring the hi-rook with all due a really striking idea. Black apprecialeS
haste to the key central flies. Black has had that White's grip on the light squares, not
problems after 14 h41 (m addition to so much the squares around his king hut
bringing the rook around the side, the particularly e4 and E5, would reach alarm-
control of g5 is a headache for Black's de- ing proponions in the event of 17...~~
sire to create play) 14... h5 (14...W"h6 IS 18 gxf31 Far from being a retreat, the text
.g4+ 'ifib8 16 .sSl is very good for White involves no risk, since the knight on b6
since Black's kingside still faces a bind) 15 defends the a8-square and the bishop se-
Ah3 1ib6 (I think that Black should try cures control of both the f50 and g4-
IS...•f..l? to try to hold up the powedul squares at a stroke.
a:ntral~ion of White's rook) 16 J:teJ 1898471
.td6 17 gll when White has no further Not, I am quite sure, with any illusiollS
obstacles to development, controls the e- of attack on the long light-squared diag0-
file and restricts Black's pieces into the nal, but merely with the aim of challent
bargain, as in Smagin-Emms, Copenhagen ing the black queen. With the historian's
1992- greatest weapon - hindsight - we cao
14••.~b8 16 '*'.2 h61 18 .,S safely prefer 18 .ell, although after
16 -..u 1!th6 is somewhat awkward for 18..•f51 Black is still controlling the key
White. squares disalssed above and restricting
18.......81 17 AI371 White's minor pieces very efficiently.
Adams mentions the idea 17 f.. .i.d6 18 18•••16118.83 8511

Main Line with 8 . . .l;~b6: 9 fDd2

lar ideas from the cn:ar.ive Vander Wiel in

Chapter 5. However, this move is not of
theoretical importance. I have included
the game merely as an entertaining and
graphic demoo.str.ttion of the dangers of
neglecting development in those positions
when: the closed Dalun: of the position
cannot be guaranteed.
10..• 0-0-0 11 b3 de 12 ._d8n
A terrible misjudgement for which
White is savagely punished by a nice mo-
tif. He had to try 12 f4 ExeS 13 dxe5, al·
though by 13...1te61? and ...i.b4 Black can
The culmination of Black's highly in- already put some pretty fundamental
structive kingside space-gaining. It is not questions to White concerning how he
very surprising that 20 hIl8?1 .xh8 intends to get his pieces out. At least he
would lead to a very strong ar.tack on the has the pawn at e5 as a shield. White had
dark squares (Black. threatens ••••£6 and presumably only reckoned with the ex-
_ig7 immediately). Still, it is worth not· change of queens, but...
ing thar. in the absence of the relevant 12.•.•f61 13 :b1 .bd8 14 .g4t wb8
bishops, Black's queens ide, for all its 16 .b2 JUut8 18 ~
unaesthetic appearance, probably does a Unfortunately for White 16 0.0 is met
better job of defending its· own king than by 16......e5 winning a piece. This time the
White's does. clash between Black'.s superior develop-
20 .e6 .i.d6 21 .f6 94 22 .i.e2? ment and White's better structure lacks
White had to try 22 "xh6 nxli6 23 the essential closeness of a deb:uel
.idS, although 23 ...lDxd.s 24 adS i.b7 16.....d4 17 f3 f61 0-1
gives Black a huge plus.

.ic2 .if4 26 .c3

22.•••f41 23 f3 :hea 24 .id3 "e3
.'2 27 g3 .i.e5 28 .
• _e& Le6 29 be6 gd3 30 Dhf1 ••2
31 .if4 f2 0-1

Game 25
Ramesh ·Kazhgaleyev
Yerevan Olympjad 1996
1 e4 85 2 IOf3 &6 3 d4 ••d4 4 1ilxd4
~ SlOxc6 b_c6 6 86 ".77 ife2lCd6
8 04 ~6 9 ~2 .ib7 10 h4?1
It looks as if White did not lOO: the p0- White wisely called it a day hen:, since
sitions (without good cause in my view) 18 .xfS lhe41 19 fxe4 (19 1i'xe4 i.g3+)
with 10 b3 as, 'and was waiting for ...0-0-0 19•.• .*.1>4+ 20 WEI 1U8 leads to massive
i in order to fianchetto. Meanwhile, the material gain. A nicely executed minia-
dcvdopment of the rook via h3 may not ture, which contains a dire warning, not
be out of the question - we shall see simi- only for 0PP01lellts of Me Kazbgaleyev.

The Scotch Game

his intended pattern of development, after

Game 26 12 iLlb31 iJ..g7 13 Q.O ().() 14 !leI iJ..b7 15
Fogarasi-Hebden lIbl £5 16 exf6 \t'xf6 17 iJ..e31 with the
Cappe//ela Grande open 1993 better structure and greater activity.
1 84 85 2 lDf3 &8 3 d4 8xd4 4 iDxd4
~8 5 lDxc& bxC& 6 85 1Ie7 7 1182 I()ds
8 c4lDb8 9 lDd2 a5

A very serious positional misjudge-
ment, White wants to offer his e-pawn a
Why 9•••35 in the absence of b2-b3 by 'firm' defence. In fact, it is in any case ex·
White? I think. that the move contains at changed soon. Meanwhile, this move sen.,
least three clear ideas: ously reduces the scope of his queen's;
QBlack 'predicts' White's queenside fi- bishop and costs a critical development
anchetto, in the belief that White has no tempo, which as we shall see has further
superiar alternative development. implications for the squares d4, and dl.
i1) There is the possibility of Black de- White h;ul to try either 13 !1e1 or best of
veloping the rook laterally by ... a5-a4 and all 13 lilfJI followed by i.g5.
...:as, pressurising the eS-pawn. 13 ...d51
iU)1n the event of .. ..L.6 by Black, this A very alert ·reactionl Black will pres-
piece will be defended, and will not block surise the c4-pawn which will in tum as-
thea-pawn. sist the development of play :.gainst the 6,
Both of our games find White exploring pawn, for example by preventing 15 iLlfl ;
an alternative to the queen's fianchetto. 10 14-.82
b3 does ,not look very logical here, but in Due entirely to his previous move, 14;
fact transposes to Game 32 after 10...a4 11 exd6 1t'xd61 is no longer an option. AD
~b2. Black's picc;es come into play very fast,:
10 1184 g6 11 .td3 .tg7 and White's bishop on d3 joins the wl-;
The position of the light-squared nerable camp. Note that 15 'i'f3 can be:
bishop on d3 would appear to give en- met with 15....,tg41
couragement to the idea of 1l...lDa4, in- 14.. .16 15 8xf8 'fixe2 16 he2 .txf8 17'
tending to fork annoyingly on 0. In fact, cxd5
in Lau-Emms, Copenhagen 1992. White Another concession, but White cannot:
was able to deny the knight access back to both hold the c4-pawn and get his pieas'
the centre, at only slight inconvenience to off the back rank! '

Main Line with 8 . .. lOb6: 9 IOd2

17•••cxd5 18lLif3 .!ig4 19 a4 c5 20.!id2 Black has obvious hopes for a queenside
c4 21 ~h1 llfeB 22 ..id1 lLId71 attack, although after Sisniega's suggestion
Positionally the game is already de- 18 ,Adl! I think Wt there is still plenty of
cided; Black dominates both the fIles and fight in the position.
diagonals. The best White can do is to 11 •• .lIa5 12 14 he
accept a weak c3-pawn in exchange for an A notable, if not universalJy applicable,
otherwise doomed b2-pawn. deployment of Black's forcesl The logic is
23 .!ic3 .bel 24 bxel 1%83 26 Ilc1 1Oc5 that, in addition to supporting pressure on
26 ~5 .Ilee 27 ~6 lDd3 2B nb1 .tf5 the e5-pawn with .. .f7-f6, the rook's posi.
29 Wg1 llae8 30 Af3 ~4 31 .I:lb7.!id3 tion in front of the bishop has the unusual
32 ~1 lOh3+ 33 9xh3 Jhf3 34 ~7+ consequence that White has no immediate
~8 3SlLixd6 :le5 36 'itg21lf8 0-1 b2·b3 move to support the c4-pawn. The
threat to this pawn, and the possibility of
Game 27 a check on cS, also prevents White tacti-
Strange-McMahon calJy from immediate castling, so the fol-
Sheffield 1996 lowing moves may be not only logical,
but vinualJy forced.
1 e4 e5 2 IOf3 lLIC6 3 d4 exd4 4 lLixd4 1311b117 f6 14 b4 axb3 15 axb3 fxeS 16
~ 5 lLixc6 bxc6 6 e5 1Ie7 7 fle2 ~S b4 lla2 17 b5 cabS 18 cxb5 .ie8 19
8 ~2 a5 9 c4 IOb6 10 93 fxeS
Do not be deceived by move order
questions here. Although after 8 lOd.2 I
think Black can do better than 8•• .a5?1 (see
Chapter 5), this position can be arrived at
by the natural 8 c4 ~b6 9li)d2 as 10 gl.
10...1te61? also deserves serious (onsid-
emion. The point is that after 11 J.g2
.ib4 12 0-0 O-O! Black answen 13 b3 with
13....idl and any nondescript moves with
11...txd2 and capturing on c4. Of cowse
11 b3 is possible, but 11 ... a4 12 .ib2
transposes to Game 17, where Black has
no serious problems. Mer a fairly forcing sequence the most
'11 .1g2!7 striking aspect of this position is that at
An important if natural attempt to im- move 19 much development still remains
prove upon 11 f4 .i.a6 12 b3 'ffb.4 13 lIdl to be done on both sides - neither of
.•aSl (a fresh way for Black to organise his Black's bishops can move(l) for example.
development in such positions...) 14 .ib2 Black's hopes rest on the potential weak-
.i.b4 15 'ti'c2 d5! 16 exd6 ().()! (... and an- ness of eS, and of greatest priority, on
,other fme example of Black alJ but forcing keeping White's king in the centre. His
.his opponent's king to head for the terri- rook on a2, pinning along the seventh
tory in which be is well placed to build an rank, is for the moment clearly an asset.
anacll; see also for example, the note to His best plan seems to be 19...lOa4l, ex-
,:Bbck's tenth move in Game 19) 17 ().().O ploiting the difficulty of keeping both the
':ad6 Zapata-Sisniega, Linares 1992, when cJ.square and the e5-pawn well defended.
".,. '---------------------------69
The Scotch Game

The point is that after 20 .eJ.e61 Black

prevents castling and prepares to develop
primarily concerned with solving struc·
tural problems, since as we shall see, the
his kingside into the bargaining. FoDow- pawn formation a7, c6 and d6 has its own
ing 21 nEl(1) chances would be about long-tenn drawbacks. It is simply the
equal. most din:ct way to develop, and onte
19.....c5 20 Af1 ~ 21 .bci51 Black realises that his initiative can with-
Excellent undogmatic chessl White stand the exchange of queens, the move
places activity above the bishop pair and comes into its own.
trades Black's best piece, albeit for a rather
fme bishop of his own. This exchange,
together with that of the queens, removes
much of Black's ability to irritate, while
White's attack is strangely enhanced by
the reduction of material.
21 ••••xd5 22 'lfh5+ 9& 23 "f3
Axf3 .tg771
"xf3 24

24.. ib7 looks better, although 251lc31

<lidS 26 b61 also activates White's rooks
very efficiently.
25 b81 cxb6 28 ~c4
Arl elegant and simple creation of an
outpost. White's limited forces mack very 10 excl6
powerfully. White's problem is that it is very diffi-
26 •• Jlf871 27 ~8+ w87 28 Axf8 Wxf8 cult to maintain the pawn on eS, and so he
29 ~cB :xh2 30 lWdie weB
31 ~ is left really with a choice of this exchange,
Ac2 32 1De3 1Ih2 33 llb8+ Wf7 34 .i.b2 or some sort of not very convincing pawn
Wee 35 lIb6+ We7 38 ~5+ weB 37 sacrifice:
.td4 Ac2 3B e81 bd4 39 .IIb8+ 1-0 a) 10 M?I is well met by 10....i.g41 If
A very original game with a nice blend White now exchanges on d6 he will also
of tactical and positional ideas. be obliged to exchange queens on e7 to
avoid sickly f-pawns. Black will then be
Game 28 weD ahead in development. That leaves:
Mat.MOlier-Welis a1) 11 -*14 dxeS U "xeS
.hi3 13 gxfJ
'ilxeS+ 14 .*.xeS .i.h4+I (Alvanov) when
German Bundesliga 1998
White's king will have difficulties on the
1 e4 85. 2 ~f3 l&8 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4 open central files.
~f8 &·~ce bxc6 6 e& ••77 .e2ltld5 a2) 11 c5?1 cIxc5 12 1fe4 'ifd.71 (12 ....i.xfl
8 c4 ~ 9 fUcl2 d61? 13 gx£3 with .i.h3 to come is much mOR.
My prediction is that this hitherto ne- promising for White) offers inadequare
glected move is due for a significant re- compensation.
vival The idea is by now a familiar one to b) 10 c5 dxeS (10...111dSl?) 11 b3lfld5 U
us - Black bas some structural problems, llk4 We6 13 c3 .i.e7 14 ..tg2 ().() 15 ~
and a potentiaUy poorly placed knight on offers some obvious structural compensa-
b6. To compensate for these defects in his tion for the pawn, but Black's knight is
position he seeks counterplay through good. and his development sound enough.
rapid mobilisation. The ten is not really 10•.•cxd811 b3 .i.g41

Main Line with B.. .tob6: 9 lfjd2

Aimed at forcing White to take on e7 14••• d51

and!or to severely weaken the eJ..square;
this move is central to Black's whole strat-
Since active piece play is essentially the
core of Black's plan, it looks logical to
exchange queens. Nonetheless. 12 fJ is an
important alternative: 12...~e6 13 ~b2
(13 JlaJ .f61 14 llct dS 15 hfs WxfS
does not help) 13••.d5 14 cxdSltBdSl

16 f3?1
This weakening of the e3-square has
been rightly criticised. White's problem is
that 15 Q.O is strongly countered by
15 •. ib41 and 15 cxd5 .tb4!? is also em-
barrassing. e.g. 16 f3 nadSI? 17 fxg4 :fe8+
18 ~dl ItlxdS 19 a3 iLxd2 20 Wxd2 lLlf4
with good play for Black in both cases.
White sbould try 15 hll? .i.h5, but after
16 g4 .tg6 17 .i.xg6 alack sbould add the
Always active piece playl 14...cxd5?1 15 f-file to his arsenal by 17.••fxg61 when 18
~1 would favour White but DOW this cxdS can be met even by 18....th41? Again
knight has an eye on eJ. f4 and b4. After the overall suspicion is that Black hao; suf-
14...limi5 White has: ficient counter<hances.
a) 15 'iti'e4 .if51 16 'G'xe7+ ~ was 1S..•.i.e6 160-0 AfdS 17 Afd1 a61?
tried in I.Gurevich-A.lvanov, St Martin An attempt to play for move than the
1992. Now 17 .bg7 :SS IS .i.e5Itle3 19 comfortable but rather drawish 17....tb4
g4 lik2+ 20 'ifIldl lOxal 21 gxf5 lIdSl is 18 cxdSltlxdS 191Dc4 ilX3 20 i.xc3 Lc3
good for Black. 21Ll.i<i4+.
b) White could prefer 15 llcl but again 1S .i.n a4 19 cxd5 ..Il.c5+1 20 WIl1 cxd5
Bladt's thoughts are not of passive de- 21 .id3 .ie3 22 011 d4 23 .i.e4 JIBeS
fence. e.g. 15... AdSI? 16 a3 lllf4 17 "ffe4 24 :ci3?
idS 18 \i'xe7+ h7 ·with sufficient coun- 24 ~I dxe3 25l1ell gave some draw-
ICrplay in Akhmilovskaya-Madl. Manila ing chances.
Women's Olympiad 1992_ 24 ...16 26 .i.b7 llc2 26 0xe3 l:lxb2 27
12.•..be7 13 .i.b2 ~ 14.i.d3 illd1 llc2 28 14 he 29 Wg1 Jle8 30 lfjf2
The natural try to bring 'positional' .i.d6
factors to the fore is 14 ~e2. but this is The prospect of doubled rooks on the
again metby 14... AfeSl 15 .Lr;4.i.f6+ 16 seventh rank gives Black a great advantage.
Wdl .ixb2 17 Abl id4 when the active 31 .ta6? llxa2J 32 Ab1 axb3 33 D.dd177
bishop on d4 secures at least equal llxa6 34 0d3 lla4 35 1&6 llb4 38 ItKI3
chances. llbS 37 086 &4 0-1

. 61
The Scotch Game

8..•~b6 is very much linked with Black pushing his a-pawn up the board. My favourite
version of this idea, 9•..1i'e6, enables the king's bishop to develop actively and avoids the
'one-track mind' opening of the a-file. I do not see much future for White in Game 17,
but Game 18 looks like the area for research. Although 9...1!fe6 can also be associated
with a central strategy, neither Game 19 nor 21 looks fuDy satisfactory for Black.
Despite Black's successes with 9....i.b7, there seems to be no dear route to equality in
this line. In Game 22 it looks as if Black should not be able to generate enough play to
counteract his disturbingly offside pieces, but surprisingly, concrete analysis seems to
suggest that he can. So the theoretical vote goes relucta.otly to 11 a4!? (Game 23).
9...a5 is playable, wh~ again the results are a poor basis for judgement. My vote
would go to White's play in Game 26, until thi: awfUl howler on move 13.
Finally, theJi'C is no disguising my special affection for the active 9.•.d61? My hunch is
that problems will come from 12 f3, but as yet White has not proved an advantage.

1 e4 .5 2 ~f3 ~c6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4 lOfa 6 lLlxc& bxc6 6 e5 fie7 7 1Ie2 /Od5 B c4
9 •• .JLb7 (D)
11 -'lb2 - Game 22; 11 a4 - Game 2J
10•..():.Q.() - Game 24
10 h4 - Game 25
10 fle4 - Game 26; 10 gJ - Game 27
.9•••d6 - Game 28
10b3 85
10.. Jlb4 - Game 19
10.. ..ile7 11 -'lb2 ().O (D)
12 Q.O.O - Game 20; 12 g3 - Game 21
11 .tb2 e4 (DJ 129.3
12 gJ - Game 17
12•• ~b4 - Game 18

9 ... iLb7 11 ... 0-0 " ..• a4


Main Line with 8 ...ltJb6:

White's 9th move alternatives

1 e4 as 2 ~f3 .!LIc6 3 d4 axd4 4 ~ on Black's interest in a· range of other

I(lf8 6 ~c6 bxc6 6 a6 fie7 7 iie2!JldS moves.
8 c4lOb6
In this chapter we consider White's al-
.tematives to 9 ~ in the 9...ltlb6 main
line. Two moves are of interest: 9 .!ik3
(Games 29 and 30) and 9 g3 (Games 31 and

Game 29
Montreal 1979
1 e4 a5 2 lLlf3 lLlc6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4
016 5 ~c6 bxc6 6 as!Jld571
White can react with considerably more One recent outing for the logical alter-
venom than here to this inaccurate move native 10 b31? might offer a clue, although
(see the next chapter). For our purposes it poses at least as many questions as it
here, the position. after White's ninth answers. If we look back to Chapter I, we
.move is the focus of interest. will recall that the combination of the
7 c4lOb6 8 lDc311 ge7 9 1Ie2 .b61? moves ..ia6 and ...It)b6 is regarded, with
see following diagram
good reason, as favouring White, since
both moves represent something of a con-
, 9...g6 is the subject of the next game. cession. However, Black has compensa-
10.e4 tion here. White's knight on c3 looks
This game has been established theory rather incongruous, because it impedes
for a long time, and hence Black's ninth White's Datural suppon of his e5-pawn by
move has looked like a most reliable .ib2. It is .around the weakness of this
choice. This begs the question over the paWD, and indeed the possibility of White
. n:cent resurgence of interest in 9 lik3, and sacrificing it to emphasise Black's rather

The Scotch Game

clumsy pieces. on which the assessment of .i.e(, 24 h.g7 was a much better chance)
10 b3 will depend. As yet practice has D .. Jlg8 24 Ag3 lhg7 25 1lxf3 .i.d6 26
thrown up only one example: 10...().O.() !lh3 <In::il and Black went on to win the
(10••. g6?1 lllOe4Q 11 Ab2 and now: ending in Ibraev~bukhov, Russian Cup.
a) 11•.• gS?1 looks logical, preparing Ekaterinburg 1997.
.•.J.g7 while cutting out £2·£4, a familiar 10......8111 b3 .i.b412 .i.d2 hell
idea from Chapter 1. Still, the weakened Black removes the protection from the
squares on f6 and f5 are quite a serious queen on e4, and thus prepares the way
drawback. e.g. 12 lOe4 (12 p?1 Ag7 13 f4 for a freeing break which solves his prob-
gxf4 14 gxf4 f6 is not a very stable defence lems at a stroke.
of the e5-pawn) 12•..i.g7 13 lOf6 (also after 13.bel d61 14 'if.31
13 lUp 'tib4+ 14 fldl flxd2+ 15 Wxd2 d6 Ljubojevic's keen positional judgement
16lOfS J.xe5 17 Le5 dxe5+ 18 Wc2 wbS tells him that any (fadinll hopes for an
19 h41? White has some compensation initiative must rest upon keeping the a6-
based on the weak pieces and pawns bishop on the board, and, even at the ex·
bunched on Black's queenside, and his pense of a pawn. hoping to prove that
own well-posted knight) 13...'tfb4+ 14 Black's pieces are somewhat tangled In
"dl 1ifxd2+ 15 Wxd2 d6 (IS ...dS?1 is now faa, the exchange on dS favours Black.
well met by 16 c5) 16 Wc2 and White's whose knight is much better able to sup-
superior minor pieces offer him some ad- port a constructive plan (the advance of
vantage - Wells. the c- and d-pawns) than White's c).
b) 11 ...!le81 and now: bishop. Thus 14 adS adS 15 'irb4 .LEI
bl) 12 ~I? is worthy of attention, as and now:
again there is an argument (or White to a) 16 Wxfl ~ little more than add the
saaifice the ~pawn and play to his king to White's list of problems. Black.
strengths. Thus after 12.16?1 13 ().().() ExeS should of course continue 16...~ A
14 flg41 "e6 15 .i.e2 I quite like White's
chances since Black's task in developing
measure of the positional resources al
Black's disposal here is the qualified suc·
his rem.ain.ing pieces is by DO means cess of my miserable 16...a5? 17"cS tQd7
straightforward 12...dSl? therefore seems 18 .w, only at which point I realised
better when 13 flg4+1 1i'c171 14 flxd7+ that my intended 18••••a6+? 19 'itgllk8
lOxd7 15 cxdS Ab4+ 16 wdl AxEl 17 does not win the bishop since the a-pawu
!lxfl cxd5 IS lOgS lbxe51? 19 Le5 f6 hangs I Remarkably after IS ...0.0 19 'ii'd6
looks about equal to me. rueS 20 1txe6 fxe6 21 ~d4 !lc2 22 g3
"'xeS "xeS
b2) 12 f4 f6 13 ().().() £xes 14 lLlbSI Black has full compensation any·
15 Exes.!lxeS 16 c5 (bearing in mind the way, with active rooks, a superior minor
now familiar arguments concerning the piece and quite an aesthetic structure, as in
status of the bishop on a6, White could K..Grosar-Wdls, AIco open 1996.
also seek. compensation in simple devel- b) 16 LEI lOdJl 17 ().().() c5 IS 1ib7
opment by 16 p, followed possibly by lLlb61 and Black is better.
Wi still, my suspicion is that he would 14...dxc4 16 .t.2 0-0 18 0-0 1Zada 17
be struggling to prove a full pawn's D.f.1 lU.8 18 Jlac1 c6 19 Af1 ~5 20
worth) 16.. ixfl 17 cxb6 .bg2 18 bxa7 bxc4
Wb719lUa4 (191lhg1?1 JJu 20 lOa4l1e2Q see following diagram
19.•.AdS (19.. Jle2J?) 20 Ilhgl lbdl+ 21
Wxdl .i.fl+ 22 Wd2 c5 23 hf7 (23 Dt;3! 20...~1

64 ,
. ;
Main Line with B... li)b6: White's 9th move alternatives

proach was the main reason that Black had

previously been reticent. It looks danger-
ous, but once Black makes the conceptual
breakthrough that a check 00 f6 is not the
end of the world, it leads to a fairly un-
clear tussle.
The plan outlined above comes into
play quite smoothly against a standard
development by White, e.g. 10 We4 ~rl
11 f4 0.0 12 .A.dl .L61 13 .tel (d' 13 0.0
.ixc41 White will not receive full compen-
sation) 13.. .£51 14 ed6 tixf6 and the com-
The last serious chana: to go wrong. ing .. JlaeB will bit White's vulnerable and
Black takes advantage of the threat to fork overworked queen with unpleasant force.
on a2 to tidy up his structure. If 10...••81
20...I&c3? 21 flxc3 Ad4 then White has Much better than 10....*.g7 when mer
.22 ffall (a critical square to which access is 11lbf6.t..! .i.xf6 12 c:xf6 'tixe2+ 13 .bel the
denied in the game) and all of Black's f6-pawn will be a constant source of irrita-
qucenside pawns start to feel the pinch. tion even without the queens on the
21 .bb4 cxb4 22 .e3 %-% board.
22•••9b61 23 c5 1IaS would give Black 11 .i.d21
·fully adeqU<lte play. It is far from obvious that the check on
f6 does little but send Blaclt's king towards
GameJO the relative safety of the queenside. In-
Van der Wie.I-Grabarczyk deed, Van der Wiel~.Garcia. Wijk aan
EIITopean Team Ch., Pilla 1997 Zee B 1996, saw 11 lOf6+ wdB 12 .tdl
.ta6 13 b3 dSl 14 i.cl (the problem is that
1 e4 .5 2 ~f3 ~& 3 d4 exd4 4 ~ after 14 ()'o'()?1 Ll+ 15 wbl lbxc41 it is
left 5 ~c& bxc& 6.5 "'.77 ••2'b15 . suddenly Black who enjoys the role of
8 c4 ~b8 9. ~c3 g817 attacker) 14...cIxc41 15 .dl+ ~c8 16 .1le2
A radically different approach from the wb7 170.0 h5 18 bxc4 i.e71 19 a4 :ad8 20
plan seen in the previous games. If White Wb2 'ihB when the weakness of c4 is just
does not act quickly, Black plans simply as important as any attack White can gen-
-.Arl, ...0.0 and at some stage •••d7.Q6, erate, not least because the exchange of
which acquires some potency in conjunc- light-squared bishops will be welcome to
tion with the attempt to force a weaken- Black.
ing of the long diagonal by ....L6. This 11 .•..i.g7 12 ~.ht6 13 exfS 0-0 14
mode of development bas, as we shall see, 0-0-0 .la8 1& .xa871
come into its own against 9 bl too, and it After this if anything it is White who
• is not quite clear to me why it has as yet has some trouble holding the balance,
: been almost completely neglected as an since it is Dot alw3)'3 50 convenient to de-
: aDSWer to the main line 9 ltXIl. The possi- fend the f6.paWJl. Much better is the
· ble transposition adds extra importance to clever 15 "ell, tb.reatming 'irh6 and plan-
· this game. ning to answer 15.•.•xf6?1 by 16 .*.c3
I suspect that John Van dec Wid's ap- when White's attack OD the dark squares

The Scotch Gsme

will develop almost automatically. The There is no longer a way to keep Black
main positional point is that after with a 'bad' bishop on 016. Thus if 17 bJ
15...1be3 16 heJ the pawn on f6 re- c51 (17...llld7?\ would represent quite un-
mains an asset, an obstacle to Black devd- necessary greed, since 18 .i.e2 ~xf6 19 .i.f3
oping his king, and maybe also supporting .i.b7 20 :bel keeps Black tied up; as so
a rook invasion on e7 under the right cir- often in this opening, the message, particu-
cumstances. The tactical point is that if larly for Black, is first to give priority to
16...~c4? 17 i.h6, threatening 18 b3, finding decent scope for the full army) 18
wins material. Hence Black should play .i.e2 .i.b7 19 jlg4 wfl 20 Jlhel Aae8,
16...d6 when Mikhalevski offers the excel- when Black has no serious weaknesses and
lent idea 17 g4'1?', which I would be in- can patiendy turn his attention to the f6..
clined to mark more generously. pawn.
17.. ..bf'1 18 llhxf1 ~5 19 Ilfa1 ¢>f7
20 1le4 85 21 Wb1 1lfb8 22 lIe1 1le6 23
83 y,.-y,.
With the powerful knight on dS, and
the Deed for White's bishop to guard (6,
Black could have considered continuing
the struggle for a lime longer.

Game 31
Polish Ch., Sopot 1997
1 e4 a5 2 IOf3 ~6 3 d4 axd4 4 Illxcf4
Again there is a positional and a tactical Illf6 5 lUxe6 bxe6 6 a5 .a7 7 Ve2 /Od5
dimension to consider. White's move con- 8 c4lDba 9 b3 g611
fers an admirable priority on the battle for 9...a5 is seen in the next game.
the long light-squared diagonal. The 10.li.b2
weaker alternative, 17 b3?1 for example White can also put this piece on al, us-
would be simply too slow, since by ing the embarrassed position of Black's
17...cS\ 18 g4 .i.b7 Black would effect a knight to 'gain' the preparatory 31-a4 for
very healthy regrouping. 17 g4! threatens free. 10 a4 a5 (there is no 10....i.gn be-
18 b3 after which Black will yet again be cause after 11 a5 the knight is trapped,
left with the 'problem minor pieces' while the rook on al can run away from
which h~ve been a running theme in these attack) 11 .L3 c5 u llk3 .i.g7 13 f4 f611
fim few chapters. Of course, the tactical 14 .i.xc5I, as in Van der Wiel-Piket, Dutch
side is important too. Thus from the dia- Championship 1992, and Black lost not
gram, Black is wdl advised to try only pawns, but all the dynamism in his
17...Lc4 although after 18 ~6.i.xfl 19 position too. Note that in the event of
La .\te2 20 Ld6 .bg4 21 nell (Wells) 14..:ii'xc5 15 cd6+- rI1f7 16 £xg7 lle8?
White is defmitely for preference, espe- White has 17 1!fxe8+ winning the house. A
cially as here in reply to 21 .. JUe8?1 the terrible tactical blunder in a strange and
aforementioned use of the ~pawn by 22 rich position. Instead I like the position
J:[e7 really is in the air. after 13.. ..i.b71 14 tlf2 (14 ~b5 ().Q.()Q
15...fxa6 18 .*.g6 d6 17 e6 14... d6 15 .te2 gSl White's pressure on c5

Main Line with 8 . .. li:J.b6: White's 9th move alternatives

renden this the most thematic way for choice. After the simple retreat 19...J.d7
Black to undermine the white centre. The White has 20 l&41 with a rather optimal
apparently logical 13...0.0 is less efficient set-up, while Black has both his struaural
since after 14 ~ d6 15 gll (Wells) it is weaknesses and passive pieces. The text is
difficult for Black to continue chipping bold. It may be well known that a rook
away at White's centre. For example, if and pawn come into their own against
Black plays IS .. .Ji..b7 16 1.g2 he4 17 two pieces as the material on the board is
.ixe4 AadS, to remove the pressure from reduced. Still, that this should be sufficient
cS, then a subsequent ...d6xe5 can gener- here to give him the advantage, the ugly
aUy be answered by f+fsl when as so of- weakness of the c-pawns not withstanding,
ten, White's compensation is to be found shows judgement of a high level. Of
in the lack of scope of Black's minor course, if White does not go for the game
pieces. continuation then the text is an unambi-
10•. ig7 11 li:J.d2 d61 12 14 0-0 13 g3 guous and significant increase in Black's
dxe5 14 .i.g2 .activity.
Positionally mis is beyond reproach,
but Black's next.reveals an imponant tac-
tical point.
It is understandable that the alternative
14 i.xe5 did not attract White, since line
'b' below is hardly a resounding triumph
for his opening strategy. However, it may
have been objectivdy preferable. I hope
the following are instructive:
a) 14...J.g4?l 15 "'xg41 he5 16 \tell
..hal 17 'ii'xe7 ruea IS fi'xe8+ !xeS 19
Wdl when Black's apparently more active
forces are unable to undertake any action
to prevent his positional weaknesses com- 20 c51
ing to the fore. Korchnoi marks this 'I?', but I would
b) 14... i.xeS 15 fixeS .xeS 16 fxe5l1e8 have to argue that it is simply necessary.
17 .igl 1Ixe5+ 18 wfl net
1.g4 19 Aaes 20 ...li:J.d51 21 :Xg4 ~f6 22 :84 li:J.xe4 23
20 lhe5 :XeS 21 net and White's policy lOxe4 f51
of colourless liquidation has led to an end- It was an imponant dement of Black's
game where Black's familiar queenside design that White had to recapture on e4
deficiencies provide White with enough with the knight, and that this piece would
mmpensation. The position is very then be kicked about, clearing the files for
drawish. his rooks. If White's knight could reach a
14.. ig41 15 ge3 JlBeB 16 0-0 exf4 tastier outpost, say c4, it could all be a
16...'I'd61? was worth considering. The very different story.
exchange of queens helps to clarify the 24 lLlg6 hB 25 1Of3 &2 26 83
Dalure of White's entirely positional com- 26 J.fU? looks like a better try. After
pensation for the pawn. the text, White is left with little choice but
17 .xe7 :Xe7 18 hg7 ~g7 19 :xt4 to trade one pair of rooks, and moreover
1dS17 to exchange one of his own healthy
A very interesting, and far-sighted, queenside pawns for one of Black's less

The Scotch Game

beautiful c-p:Lwns. The rest is of limited This move is of course the most logical
relevance to us, although Black's tech- response to the fWlchetto.
nique, particularly the strategy of restrict- 10.i.b217
ing his opponent's minor pieces (see for In recommending 9...a5I?, Shirov gave
instance move 34) is instructive. the slightly excitable note 10 .L3 c5 11
26•••Wf6 27 . 1 1be1+ 281&e1 ~1 29 ~ a4 12 lllbS wdB with a dear advan-
Wf2 b1 30 b4 b3 31 .bc8 Ilxa3 32 tage for Black. This assessment looks
We2 :'2+ 33We3 hh2 34/Ug2 051 about righL The decentralisation of
Much cleaner than 34.. Jlhl 35 lDf4 White's pieces does his position more
lIb1 36lLld5+ ~e5 37lLlxt:7lbb4 38 ~6 harm than he can recoup in inconvenience
(Hecht) when the c-pawn offers White to the black king, and precisely for this
serious counter-chanoes. reason, the main line here is preferable.
35 Wf2 We5 38 .i.f3 h51 37 c8 Wd4 38 10•• .84 11 lild2 axb3 12 axb31lxa1+ 13
Wg1 :tI3 39 Wf2 Wes 40 ~3 h4 41 g4 .ba1 .83 14 W'd1 ~ 1&..i.d3 .a&
fxg41 42 .*.g2 The similarity with Game 22 is un·
42 bg4l1h2+ 43 WOlla2lets the rook canny. On the whole the slight differences
out, and is thus no improvement. look favourable for Black. Not so much
42•• Jlg3 43 b6 lb02+1 44 Wxg2 03 45 that White misses the move f2-f4, rather
~ ~5 48 b8 axb6 47 1&b8+ Wxc8 that Black has a wider choice of how best
48 0c4 Wel5 49 ~3+ We4 50 ~ c& to use his qucen's bishop.
51 Wh3 Wd4 &2 ~2 c4 53 ~f3+ We3 16 We2 d5 17 W'c2
0-1 17 exd6?1 ()'()I is dangerous for White's
A game full of interesting, often surpris- king.
ing ideas, and of theoretical imponance 17 .. ..i.e8
with implications which go beyond 9 b3. A better square than the b7 of Game 22
for sure, but I would have been tempted
Game 32 to throw in 17.. ..i.g4+l? first, since the pin·
Thorhallsson-5.Pedersen would be annoying after 18lLlfl. Black has
Nordic Grand Prix, Torshavn 1997 18...dxc4 19 bxc4 /(la4!? for example. Also
if 18 f3 .i.e6, White loses the simple op-
1 e4 e6 2 ~f3 lOc6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4 tion he uses in the game.
~ & ~c8 bxc8 8 e6 .e7 7 'lfe2 ~5 18 ~f3 dxc4 19 bxc4 .8471
8 c4~6 Bb3a5 It seems strange that Black should feel
that his king is the more vulnerable and
hence that be must seek the exchange of
queens. However, whilst White's superior
structure should count for something. his
bishop on a1 is a problem and he never·
threatens to make real progress.
20 .xa4 ~ 21 ~ c5 22 ~6 Wd7
23 :d1 Wc:a 24:C1 :da 25 ~ It)xc3+
28 ..i.xc3 .bc3 27 1Zxc3 J:ld4 28 We3 88
29 f4 Wen 30 ~e2 We7 31 g4 h8 32 h3
f8 33 exf8+ obI8 34 lle1 .i.f7 36 ..i.d3
..i.e8 36 .i.e2 ~n 37 llc2 .i.e8 38 llc3
.i.f7 39 1lc2 .h6 40 .td3 .i.n %-%

Main Line with 8 ... &i)b6: White's 9th move alternatives

This chapter poses no great threat to Black. Against 9 ~ Game 29 remains the classic
and adequate route to equality. I hope though that the reader will agree that the rich
strategic ideas, not to mention surprises, surrounding the more enterprising 9... g6 (Game
30) justify its inclusion. 9 b3 seems to invite the 9...aS of Game 32, but 9...g6 also looks
quite okay. This is no great surprise. 8...Itlb6 is best answered by 9ltXi21 (Chapter J).

1 84 85 2 &i)f3 lllc6 3 d4 exd4 4 &i)xd4 lilf8 5 &i)xc8 bxc8 6 86 "87 7 11'82 iOdS 8 c4

9 b3 (D)
9 ••• g6 - Game 31
. 9..•aS - Game 32
••• ..b6/DJ
9..• g6 - .GlJ!7'e 30
10.84 - Game 29

B.. .lob6 .9b3 9... ~6

4 ... tiJf6 5 tiJxc6 bxc6:
Early deviations for both sides

1 e4 e5 2 tLlf3 ~ 3 d4 exd4 4 lOxd4 the knight on dSl 8...lLlb4? makes no sense

lill6 5 lOxce bxc8 at all, since the knight merely invites
Until now we have concentrated only White to kick it to a very poor square by
on the central debate in the 5 lim:6 line, 9 aJ. This move is only effective when c2
the question of whether after 8 c4 Black is undefended (see the noteS to Black's
defends by a pin (Chapters 1-2) or retreats ninth move in Game 12). Since 8.....c5?1
the knight on dS (Chapters 3-4). Here we looks clumsy, this leaves the check on b4
shall examine attempts by both sides to which ties in with the 'strategy of disru~
side-step this highly theoretical material. tion' and deserves serious attention.
It is worth emphasising that the chapter
heading mentions the recapture 5... bxc6 Game 33
for gOod reason. Although later in the Smagin-Murey
book, the structure arising from capturing VJenna open 1991
on c6 with d-pawn will come into its own,
this can only be recommended in situa- 1 e4 e5 2 1()'3 I()c6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4
tions where Black has the tactical means to 1016 5 lOxc6 bxc6 6 e5 \1fe7 7 'ti'e2 lDd5
avoid the immediate exchange of queens, 8 c4 'Cb4+119lild2lDf4
and thus use the d-file in the opening
struggle. Here 5...dxc6?! is not viable since
after 6 1i'xd8+1 Wxd8 any of 7 0, 7 .i.d3 or
even 7. R.g5 will give White a very pleasant
endgame. Black has no compensation for
the doubled pawns on his majority side (see
the Introduction) and a rather inconven-
ient king's position into the bargain.

Eighth move alternatives for Black

after 6 e6 "e7 7 ee2lLld5 8 c4
Black's options on move eight, needless to
say, are greatly curtailed by the threat to

4 ... lOf6 5 IOxc6 bxc6: Early deviations for both sides

This interesting route for the knight, challenging White's e-pawn and showing" a
which is heading for e6, is the idea behind willingness to play with doubled isolated
the check on b4. This would, incidentally, c-pawns for the sake of gaining time on
also be the reply to 9 'ti'dl. White's queen.
10 ••317 130-0 a5 14 ~11 h57115 h4 96
An interesting and very logical alterna- The needs of pawn play and those of
tive to the more common 10 1!1e4. The piece play do not always coincide. Black's
basic point is not much more complicated strategy here is a fine preparation for de-
than the belief that d3 is the optimal fending against the advance of White's f-
square for the bishop, and hence the desire pawn. He plans the effective blockading
to avoid a fork on cs. m;moeuvre •..~-f5. Unfonunately,
After 10 "fi'e4 ~ White's most prom- when White switches to attack with the
ising tries are: pieces, he finds fruitful territory in his
a) 11 .tel .i.b7 12 ().() 0 13 "ii'e3 10:14 opponent's pawn weaknesses. In particu-
14 .i.dJ fi'b6 15 lIbl .i.e7 16 f4 ().().() lar the sacrifice .i.xg6 is very much in the
A.Grosar-Gabriel, Ponoroz 1993. White air.
has some chances to play for b2-b4, and 1e IOf31lOc5
the possibility of challenging Black on the Black needs to be able to answer .ixg6
long diagonal with .ile4 if need be. On the with ..Jlg8, otherwise his kingside is sim-
other hand, compared with many varia- ply smashed. For this reason 16...lDg7? 17
tions of the Scotch, Black has been con- Lg61 is not possible.
spicuously successful in finding roles for 17 .te31 fIb4 18 a3 'tib3
his minor pieces.
b) 11 g31? has only been played once, as
far as I can see, but since devdopment by
.. ib7 and ...c6-c5 figures large in Black's
development plans, it looks very logical.
Pasman-Shvidler, Beenheva 1984, contin-
ued ll ....t b7 12 .t.g2 ().().() 13 a3 1!ib6 14
0..0 'fi'd4?1 (this does not feel right; surely
he had to try 14...0 15 tlxb7+ ffxb7 16
.ixb7+ ~b7 17 ~4 .i.e7 18 .lte3, al-
though this too gives White a nice initia-
tive) 15 ffc2 .ta6 16 llbllOcs 17 b3 Ae8
18 .ib2 ft'd3 19 iidll (Black's queen is
vulnerable, not active and hence should 19h961
Dot be exchanged) 19•• .hS 20 b4 with a Now White com:ctly assesses that he is
crushing :ldvantage. able to open enough lines against his op-
10.••lOee 11 A.d3 "be 12 9g3 d571 ponent's king. .. Jlg8 or not. White's 21st
Strategically a very strange decision, move is a typical 'clearance' saaifice, free-
since Black. is in no position to pressurise ing the e5-square for the knight, and is
the c4-pawn to the cIq;ree of forcing fundamental to his attack.
White to exchange on dS. Thus the teXt 19•. Jlg8 20 .bf7+ Wxf7 21 e6+1 .bee
serves largely to give White a free hand on 22 .xc7+ *a6 23 ~6+ om5 24 .!Oxc6
the kingside. This looks like a position 1Ig411
where the logical way was to play 12...d6I, A resourceful defence against 'fi'e5+ and

The Scotch GBme

_P. but the position is too far gone to be

square afforded Black the chance for an
easier organisation of his minor pieces
25 .be& lIxh4+ 28 ~g1 ~g6 27 1l\e5+ than usual. Here White has a fresh idea.
Wt8 28 lllf371 First a word on 8 h4?1. which can lead
A careless slip. since 28 .i.xf8 would to some of the most outlandish positions
have won much more easily. BLu:k's re- in the whole Scotch Game. The point is
sponse is spectamlar. and White shows that White can bring his rook into play
common sense in leaving the queen well via hl. The ever-crearive John Van der
alone. Wiel gave this system his best shot for a
while, but in the cold light of day. the
element of surprise must be its principal
a) 8.. .f61? 9 col Aa6 10 1lbJ1?

28 ••••xf31 29 .bfal
29 gxf31~ is met by 29.. ixc:s when the
threat of check on g8 guarantees practical
chances for Black.
29 .. Jlg4 30 ".7+ Wt5 31 -.7+1 ~s Extraordinarily. White's idea is to at-
32 :,.1+ ~d4 33IladH 1'() tack the bishop on a6. IO...fxe5
After 33 .. .'itxc4 White will mate with (lO ...()"()'()I? looks sensible. when Cauda-
34 JIcl+ 'itlb5 35 1rh7+ ~a4 36
37 "c2+ Wa2 38 b3 mate.
.c6+ ¢lb3 G.Garcia, Bayamo 1989. was a huge mess
after 11 IW ~b4 12 nasi d5 13 aJ hc4
14 .g4+ wb8 15 .bc4 1t'xe5+ 16 .te2
8ghth move alternatives for White lDd3+ 17 wd2 lDxf2 with sufficient com-
after 6 e5 'fIe7 7 "e21tld& pensation) 11 ltiJllllb4 12 lllcJ "xh4 1J

Game 34 "e7.<14
g3 14lba6 ~ 15 ~4 .cS 16 a)
was going just a bit too far in Van der
Schoelimann-A,Mikhalchishin Wiel·Ttmman, Amsterdam 1987. but U
Bled open 1995 .tgSl is thematic and offers compensation.
b) 8....e6 is a recent idea which
1 e4.&2~l&83d4exd44~d4 worked very well in its debul. After 9 g3
lOf8 & 1Oxc6 bxc8 8 .S ".7 7 ".2 lllds lllb41? 10 aJ? (10 c4 had to be tried)
This development in conjunction with
10....d51 11 lZgl .L6 U c4 "as (perhaps
12.. .JUc41? was better still since after 13.
the standard advance c2-c4 is already famil· .xc4 .xc4 14 .bc4 lDc2+ 15 'itid2 iOxal
iar from Game 12, where one clear prob- 16 b3 Ab81 White can only catch the al-
lem was that the lack of cover for the c2. knight at a price, e.g. 17 Wc3 .tc5 18 i.b2

4 .. .lilf6 5 IOxc6 bxc6: Early deviations for both sides

ofub3 19 .hb3 .hf2 20 llg2 .i.d4+1 21 is sining pretty on e4, it is not hining any-
Wxd4 Jhb3 when Black has nened a lot of thing. Rather, the central dark squares
pawns; of course, rooks come into their have become the key battleground. Hence
own against two minor piea:s in the end- this exchange can be characterised as trad-
ing in any case, so I definitely prefer Black ing a piece which cannot otherwise par-
bere) 13 IDc3 Q..O.O 14 !lbl lDdS 15 -*.d2 ticipate in this struggle, for a key player.
96 16 1i'e4 f5 17 '6'xfS he4 18 .he4
.xc4 White's king had the greater cause
for anxiety in Diu-Arencibia, Cuban
Championship 1996.
8 ••• g61 9 lDf311
9 c4 .*.a61 Wa<l Game 11, which is
known to be very satisfactory for Black.
9 •••~1

21 gxf3
.After the text Black's excellent minor
pieces will dominate the show, and
White's far from aesthetic f-pawns will add
to his misery. ~alchishin gives 21
.txf3 a<l preferable, hut still clearly favour-
ing Black after 21...lM4+I22 .iLcd4 Jlxd4
23 ltabl lUeSl The resulting position is
A very flne retort. Black exploits the instructive. White has no pawns which
tactic 10 c3 lOxc31 to interfere with the would be formally classifiable as textbook
flow of White's game. weaknesses. Nonetheless, the defence of
10 ti"d2 :b81 11 c4 both b2 and f2 would he a full-time job,
Since Black is now able to effect the leaving him totally passive.
familiar ...IDb4-c6 manoeuvre, under the 21 •••~ 22 Wd3llb3 23 J.d5 iLf6 24
favourable cin:umstances of pressuring ~1 AfbS 25 We4 Wg7 26 cM4 hS 27
White's e-pawn at the end, I would have Jla3 lilfs 28 .bf6+ Wxf6 29 JIxb3 1hb3
considered the more modest 11 c31? .1:4+ 30 h4lhb2 31 Jld3 Jlxf2 32 .b41Od4
12 'tiel 'ilrxe2+ 13 he2. 33 :&3 ~2+ 0-1
11 •••Wxd2+ 12 J.xd2ltib413 wd1 c51
This c6-square needs to be made avail- Sixth move alternatives for Black
able without delay. 13.. ig7? 14 a3 ~ after 6 e5
15 b4 would unerly change the complex-
ion of the position. Game 35
14 J.c3 iLg7 15 83 ~ 16 J.d3 d6 17 Lautier-Beliavsky
;'1 0-0 18 Wc2 iLg4 19 axd6 cxd6 20 BieJ 1992
Although White's light-squared bishop 1 e4 a5 2 ~f3 ~ 3 d4 exd4 4 1Dxd4

The Scotch Game

esf6 6 esxc6 bxc6 6 851&14\1 several other moves have been tried here:
This move has enjoyed a small but a) 7 \tf3lLlg51 S'g3 ~ 9 i.dJ d6!? 10
steady following. At flrSt glance the e4- ().() g6 11 ~ dxe5 12 "xeS Jig7 13 'fi'e4
square looks like a less than stable post for ().() 14 \'fxc6 IIbS 15 'S'a4 a6, as in Kam-
the piece, but in fact Black's knight has sky-Korchnoi, Buenos Aires 1993, when
convenient ways to return to the fray Black's excellent devdopment and pres-
with tempo, e.g. 7 ~ ~! or 7 'Df3 sure on the long diagonal compensates for
lOgS! Hence the motivation for Lautier's the pawn minus. Several similar games
unhappy choice, and my preference for 7 have confirmed this assessment.
lOdll? (Game 36). b) 7 .i.e) dS S exd6 cxd6 9 .i.dJ was
Weaker is 6...lLkl5?1 which structurally played in Timman-Korchnoi, Sarajevo
may be expected to lead to play similar to 1984. Now 9..•tra5+! looks best, since
those of the first four chapters. The aucial after 10 c3 lOe6 11 ().() iLe7 12 c4 ().() 13
difference here is that both sides have freer lDc3 m,SI the plausible development of
devdopment, unhindered by an unnatural the queen has been achieved 'for free'
queen position. This defioitdy favours compared with the immediate 9...lLlf6.
White, e.g. 7 •••f5\ 8 f31\
a) 7 c4 lLlb6 8 ~dJ L6 9 Vel tth41 In view of the coming blitz, S ex:f6
gives Black a surprisiog measure of couo- would have been wer, although 8...1Oxf6
wplay which can be avoided by..• gives Black easy play. Of course in this
b) 7 .i.dJ! d6 8 exd6 hd6 9 ().() Wb4 10 case a different seventh move was indi-
g3 1thJ 11 lIel+ -*.e6 12 .afl
Amold-Rausis, Germany 1996, when
"£5 was cated.
8 ....i.c5 9 'irc4 d6\ 10.84
White repeated with 13 .i.dJ?I, but either 10 exd6 would be neatly met by
13 i.g2 or 13lLld2 look very promising. 10...-*.£2+1 11 We2 ~6 12 fl'xc6+ .i.d7.
Black gets the chance to cause maximum
irritation because ~erythiog is done with

One of those cases in chess theory
where a dubious novdty gets a very short
innings by virtue of the extraOrdinarily
active and unrelenting punishment meted 11.xc6
out by its first adversary. Of course 11 fxe4 fxe4 would also be ;
In my opinion Game 36 probably deals extremely dangerous. Aside from his f-fiIe:;
with White's best possibility, 7 ~I?, but problems, White's development also has a_:
4 •. Jof6 5 li)xc6 bxc6: Early deviations for both sides

very poor perspective. White prefers to avoid allowing his oppo-

11 •..Wh4+ 1293 &93 13 hxg3 ff_93+ nent the aaive option of capturing on d6
14 Wd2 "xf31 16 "xe6 tI....1 with the bishop. Hence my preference for
It is time to take stock, a process that 'c' below.
will bring White linle pleasure. Materially b) 8..ie7 was understandably met by
with a rook and pawn for two pieces the tempting looking 9 "g4 g6 10 .th6 in
Black does not have too much to fear. Minasian-Kaidanov. Yerevan Olympiad
Positionally he has two clear assets: 1996. which continued 10.. Jlb8 11 Q.O.O
White's king, although no longer in direct d.5 12 'itg3 .i.e(, 13 h4 Ab4 14 Wc3 cS 15
danger. still impedes the mobilisation of .t.g7 Ag8 16 .i.f6 .i.xf6 17 exf6 ii'd6 18 g3
his own pieces; and most of all Black's Wd7 19 i.g2 Jlgb8 and Black looks the

passed kingside pawns. which should race more active. I would prefer the simple 9
down the board and carry the day. i.d3 0-0 10 ().().() dS 11 exd6 cxd6 12 1ihs
16 .f2 iIh&+ 17 Wel1 f4 18 .f3 e6 19 g6 13 with some initiative.
.id2 96 20 li)c3 g4 21 992 'iIh4 22 ~e1 c) 8...d.51? was the original try here, and
"*9623 "'1 g3 24 ~d3 h6 26 ~d617 sti1Ilooks best to me. 9 .i.d3 (9 exd6 .bd6
9 271 10 i.d3 [10 .i.e21?] 10...0-0 is probably
A bit careless. 2S ...i.g4+ 26 Wc1 f3+ 27 okay for Black; there is a battle to get the
wbl "xeS was a more balanced advance respective queens to the h-file and White's
of the pawns. After the text White comes problem is that 11 Q.O would be strongly
admirably close to achieving some sort of met by 1l ...1ib4 when Black seizes the
blockade, and even creates a few threats of initiative, while if 11 fibs 1le8+ intending
his own. 12 i.e3 .t.b4+I is sufficiently irritating to
26 ~7+ ..w7 27·11181 ~g4+ 28 We1 f3+ secure equal chances) 9...Ab8 10 b3 1ih41?
29 ~b1 'tIxe7 30 "e3 We8 31 .i.f2 .i.f5 (White'S advantage on the dark squares
32 .i.e4 lld8 33 83 h4 34 'ih2 .i.e6 36 was more tangible aher 10...g6 11 0-0 i.g7
9e4 .i._c4+ 36 "xo4 h3 37 ~ .d7 38 12 11'.;1 0-0 13 .i.g5 f6 14 exf6 .bf6 15
lZd1 91.39 1Ixd7 w_d7 40 e6+ We7 41 .hf6 Vxf6 16 1!1e3 in Rewitz-Friis. Den-
e7 lle8 42 exfS. ltxf8 43 9b4 "98+ 44 mark 1992; Black has problems conven-
b3 lln 46 Af2 fig6 46 "04 .ab7 47 iently defending the squares cS and a7I) 11
193 a6 48 .tf2 h2 49 "'e6 WeB 60 .-04 Q.O i.cS u ...0 0-0 13 .i.e3 i.b6!

Mitropa Cup, Buk 1995
1 e4 86 2 IDf3 lDe6 3 d4 8.d4 4 1Dxd4
.~ 6 IDxce bxe& 6 86 IDe4 7 ~217
Black can also simply exchange and af-
ter 7...erucd2 8 hd2 an important and
instructive parting of the ways is reached:
a) 8... d6 9 .i.c3f .i.e6 10 exd6 is given as
somewhat bener for White by Miliutin. Omari-Lokveoc, Varna 1962. Here
The implication of these moves is that White tried 14 a4 but after 14..•a5 he gets

The Scotch Game

nowhere fast. as Black is not too aggrieved Black's follow-up is not too clear.
to recapture with the c-pawn in the event
of a subsequent exchange on b6. Moreo-
ver. the advance of the a-pawn is very
committal. since the potential weakness of
a backward pawn on the balf-open b-file
effectively rules out a later advance of the
c-pawn. I would prefer the advance 14 c41?
immediately. followed by Aacl. with play
against the Black c-pawns and a. slight
The most logical follow-up. The knight
protects the e-pawn and in many cases is
headed for d4. trying to aamp Black's 13.. b 7 14 b4 dxe5 15 fxeS ~ 16
game. An alternative approach 8 g3 d5 9 _d3 .ixb47
exd6 cxd6 10 'i'e2+ ~e7 11 .i.g2 d5 12 ().O 16.. ia6l? looks a much stiffer test of
0-0 13 :el .i.f6 14 M .i.fs 15 .i.e) :e8 16 White's rather romantic approach to the
'ii'dl IOc6 17 c3 did Dot give White any- middlegame, intending to meet 17 bS with
thing special in Lyell-Kolar. Bled open 17..icSl
1997. 17 e6\ fxe6 18 .i.e3 a5 19 .Q.e41ih4 20
8 •• i87 ~3 Sh5 21 ~S 96 22 11m .i.cs 23
Looks rather passive, but 8...d5 9 exd6 .'-xe5 "xgS 24 .i.e3 .be 25 'ifd2 _e5
cxd6 10 .i.e2 .i.e7 11 0.0 0.0 12 1Ud..1 .i.d7 26 .i.d41 .xe4 27 1187+ ~f8 28 11.1
13 .ji3 fIb6 (White's minor piece set-up. 'ifh4 29 g3 904
knight on d4 and bishop OD fl. is optimal
for ensuring tangible pressure OD Black's

fonable) 14 b3 i.f6 15 .i.e) .a.

centre; 13 ...d5 14 c4! would be UDcom-
as in
Miliutin-Bezgodov. Krasnodar 1996. 16 c41
definitely favours White. Perhaps Black
could consider 9....L:d6. but in compari-
son with the discussion of 9 ad(, in Dote
'c' to Black's seventh above, the presence
of knights on the board looks very good
news for White, be it for defending b2 or
attacking c6.
9 ltld4 0-0 10 .i.82 lIe8 11 0-0 .iofa 12
f4 30-*.161
see following diagram Black bas JDa.D.a&ed to cover a possible
knock-out blow OD the f-file, but with
12...d61? 13 .i.f317 White's total domination of the dark
12...d61? may very well have beeD Dec- squares he bas nothing to offer against
essary to avoid imminent suffocation, but 'i'h6.
liD:c6 .d7
White should have seriously considered 13
14 J.f3 .tb7 IS _dS when
30...e& 31 . .e .d4+ 32 ~g2 .d5+ 33
Wh3 .t.c:8+ 341ld7+1 1-0

4 .. .tl)f6 5 lUxc6 bxc6: Early deviations for·both sides

White's sixth move altematives ous to assume that the bishop pair and
speedy devdopment would always rom-
Game 37 pensate for such doubled isolated c-pawns
L.Webb-Lejlic in the endgame, here it is hard for White
Lluyds Bank 1994 to avoid the move c2-cJ, when he is weak-
ened on the light squares too.

1 e4 e6 2 IOf3 lUe8 3 d4 eJld4 4 lUxd4 b) 7 exdS adS and now:
~r6 6 lUxe6 bJlc8 8 .i.d3 bl} Alter 8 Q.O J.e7 9 c40-01? 10 cxd5
Amongst White's quieter weapomy we J.b7 11 ~4 i.xd5 12 i.xdSlDxd5 1)
can also fmd 6 lOd2l? cIS 7 exdS cxd5 S .i16 14lOd21lb8 15 lIbl c6 Black's activ-
lib5+ .A.d7 9 .L:d7+ 'ii'xd7 10 Q.O .A.e7 11 ity rompensates for the slight weaknesses,
c4 Q.O 12 cxdS ~ 13 lDe4lLufS 14 'if0 as in Totsky-Komeev, Moscow open
ACeS, as in Sveshnikov-Morozevich, St 1995.
Petersburg 1993. Black's split queenside b2) 8 .i.b5+l? (this looks paradoxical,
pawns are not sufficient to cause him any but White wants to awdt Black's centre
real stress. Compare note 'b' to White's with c4; interestingly, if we compare it
seventh bdow: with the note above to 6 lOd2, it may be
6 ...d6 that the knight is better left at home.~
6... d6 is the subject of the next game. s..id7 9 .bd7+ 'l'xd7 10 0-0 J.e7 11 c4
d4 12 1i'dJ Q.O 13 .i.gS !lab8 14 b3 lD<i5!?
15 h.J:7 l'i:lla:7 16 lik3 .dB 17 ~ ~
18 Ami was played in Zelcic-Z.Varga,
Mitropa Cup 1997. It is hard to bdieve
that Black is seriously worse, but be has
some potential weak squares on the c:-file.
7 ...~g41 8 0-0 .ie5 9 .e2
White's problem here is that the
smoother-looking 9 .tf4 is met by 9... f6!,
when the f-me will greatly increase Black's
9 ....e71
Clearly best! Black recognises that
78571 White's bishop will form a further taJKeL
Leading to a sharp line which still ap- 9...1fb4?IIO hJ hS UiOd2 "g3 1200 h4
pears from time to time, and which often 13 b4 J.b614 c:4 dxc415 .i.e4I.td7 16 e6!,
finds Black unaware of the very strong as in Krakops-Slutsker, Latvia 1992, by
antidote available. 7 llk3 leads us back contrast, fmds Black terribly overextended
into the Four Knights Game, which is as White takes over the attack.
outside the scope of this book, but here 10 .if4 g51
White has other 'positional' alternatives see following diegrsm
which deserve attention:
a) 7 'i'e2 is most simply met by 7...dxe4 11 ~d2
S .txe4 lOxe4 9· 1ixe4+ ee7 10 .xe7+ 11 ~g3 hS 12 h61? b 6 13 'fi'xa6
hJ:7 11 Q.O J.f5 12 i14 ().O.() 13 ~ J.f6 'fie6114 h3 b4l is no solution either. Black
14 c3 lldS, as in Granda Zuniga-Ivkov, gets a readymade attack.
Havana 1985. While it would be danger- 11 ...~e6 1211e1 .id61


The Scotch Game

This looks like a good move. It is hard After this, although White makes a
to evaluate the degree of White's compen- brave dash with the g-pawn, the winner of
sation after 12...~d3 13 ti'xd3 .i.e6 14 b41 the race should not be in doubt.
.t.b6 15 lOc3 0-0 16 lOa41, but he has glar- 45 ~a3 bb4 48 94 We6 47 96 Wb5 48
ing weaknesses on both sides of the board h6 <&>c4 49 96 hX96 60 hX96 c6 61 97
(the gS-pawD and c5-square in particular) i.h7 62 we5 exd4 63 bd4 86 54 IOa2
and White was successful in K.Miiller- .i.d6+ 55 Wxd8 Wxd4 58 0«:1 Wc4 57
Almasi, Budapest 1991. WaS d4 0-1
13 f471
After this Black is able to clarify mat- Game 38
ten. We reach an ending where White's Oll-Kir. Georgiev
compensation is rather meagre. 13 .i.c3 Groningen 1993
should. be tried, although after 13 ... £6 I do
not really believe White's c:ase. 1 e4 e5 2 ~f3 lllc6 3 d4 exd4 4 1Wcd4
13••• gxf4 14 .bf4 ~e5+ 15 Wti1 lOxd3 ~f6 6lOxc6 bxe6 6.i.d3 d6 7 0-0 9617
16 1Ixa7+ .i.xa' 17 cxd3 Wd7 18 ~d2 An interesting attempt to reach a ricb
.b6 19 ~f3 f6 20 d4 and more complex position, denying
A sad necessity which confirms Black's White the chance to simplify that he had
predominance on the light squares. in the seventh move notes after 6...d5.
2O•• .J:.he8 21 ~1 ~d6 22 ~a3l1ab8 23
b3 l:[e4 24 1tld2 l:[e6 26 ~f2 Jlbe8 26
lhe8l:[xa8 27 l:[e1 l:[xa1+ 28 ba1 cSl
see following diagram
Once the blockade of c5 is overcome,
it should be a question of time.
29 .i.f2 ~f4 30 lllb1 c4 31 b4 .i.e1 32
h1 We6 33 a4 .i.c8 34 Wf2 ~f5 35
~c3 .i.e4 36 g3 f6 37 lOa2 .i.a3 38 h4
88 39 .td2 Wb7 40 Wa3 ~c2 41 Wf4
ha4 42 Wxf6 i.b3 43 lllc1 .*.c2+ 44
Wf8 c31

4 .. Ji)f6 5 lC.xc6 bxc6: Early deviations for both sides

aW8' 19 9xh2 'G'xd2 20 "xc7 'ffxc2) 16...fib.4!

The first tactical justification of Black's 17 \Jxb4 ~ 18 llkS 1Ie2 19 c3 lMS
play is that the brutally direct 8 .A.g5 .i.g7 when White will have real problems de-
, f4 0-0 10 e5 dxe5 11 £xeS fails to veloping.
1l ...'frd4+. White aims to play e4-e5, 13 1Od2 0-0 14ltle4 "eS 16 ~c5 'ilxe2
weakening Black's c-pawns, and prefers 16 .be2 .i.f5 17 .i.d3 .bd3 18 ~d3
this square which keeps open options such llabSl 19 Ad1 AfdS 20 .lSS lId6 21
as 8...1j'e7?1 9 'ltd! llab1
8 .. .£g7 9 85 dX85 10 1fxe5+ .i.86 11
.i.c4 Wde 12 "e2

21 ... cSl
The only way to continue active play.
12.••lt!d6 The threat of ...c5-c4 forces White to
In general I rather like the compensa- weaken his hitherto impressive knight on
tion which the excellent scope of the dl.
bishop on g7 an~ Black's perceptible lead 22 c4h6?1
in development offer for his structural This complicates Black's task a little.
deficiencies. The text is logical, in line 22...0!tk31 23 bxcJ Lbl 24 Ihbl AxdJ
with a principle we have already outlined seems to equalise immediately, since
- when you enjoy an initiative based on White's back rank is just as weak as his
active pieces, avoid exchanges. other things opponent's.
being equal. However, I. am not convinced 23 ~c5 hIIgS 24 DxdS llxd5 26 cxd6
tlw they are equal! on gives the variation IId81 2e :d1 .bb2 27 0&6 .b5 28 ltib4
U ...O-O!? 13 he6 I1ae8 14 llkJ (the .td6 29 ~ :.8 30 ~1 1184 31 Ad4
greedy 14 .t.xf7+? lbf7 15 1Jdl 1txd3 16 Jbd4 32 1tlxd4 .tc5 33 lLlc6 ~8 34 f3
adl It:)g4 nurtures Black's activity to the ~e8 35 W.2 wd7 36 Wd3 ~d6 37 Wc4
point where it involves serious threats - .ig1 38 h3 .it2 39 B4 .i.g1 40 lOde We7
17.. .llxf2! for starters) 14.. lI.xe6 15 1i'c4 41lLlb7 f51
which he assesses as slightly better for After this, White can enjoy pushiog his
White. However, the exchange of light- slightly more active miDor piece around a
squared bishops has given White the new bit. but he has no way to make progress.
problem of defending his pawn on c2, and 42 It!a5 Wd8 43 lUc6 j,f2 44 .Iilb4 .ib6
I would continue the analysis with 46 lDc6 .tt2 48 93 .it3 47 lLlb4 .if2 48
IS...lOdsl 16 ~e4 (16 -*.d2?1 fails tactically lLlc6 .tel 49 g4 i.f2 50 lLlb4 i.be 61
to 16...lLlb6! 17 "'f4.t.es 18 'ffh6 .Axh2+l &6 Va-Va

The Scotch G8me

Inevitably this is a rather 'bitty' chapter. The 8...1i'b4+ of Game 33 does not look good
enough for full equality. The game was interesting, but the note on 10 11e4 together
with the rarc but logical 11 gJl? may be better still.
6.••10:4 deserves its reputation as a solid if slightly unambitious alternative to 6...'fIe7.
The aiticalline in my view is 7lhd2 ~dl 8 hdl dSt? where on the basis of my discus-
sion White can count on no more than a very slight edge. This needs high level tests.
6 .i.d3 is also a decent move, but strictly as a quiet positional weapon. The main line
of Game 37 should be regarded as closed from White's viewpoint. The compensation
simply is not there. However, though unpretentious, 7 exdS and the paradoxical 8 .tbs+
lead to positions where it is no trivial matter to demonstrate complete equality for Black.
Players of the black pieces chasing the full point against the peacefully inclined should
give serious attention to 6 .i.d3 d61? 7 ~ g6 (Game 3S) which seems viable and quite fun.
This concludes our discussion of 4 ..•lOf6.

1 e4 e6 2 lilf3 lilc6 3 d4 ud4 4 ~d4 lilfS 5 lOxc6 bxc6

6.tdJ (D)
6... dS - Game 37
6...d6 - Game 3B
6••. tne4 (D)
7.d4 - Game 35
7lDdl - Game 36
7 tfe2 lOd5 (DJ 8 c4
sltld2 - Game 34
8 •..~- Game33

6 il.d3 6... lDe4 7.. .fi)d5

4 ... ~c5 5 liJxc6:
Kasparov's 8 lLla4!?

1 a4 as 2 It)f3 ~ 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4 ther example of the priority given to hin-

.1c5 5 ~c8 1i'fa 8 "d2 dac8 7 1&3 dering the natural devdopment of the
.1,e 8 &4 opponent which was identified in the In-
Here we are in a sense jumping in at the troduction as characteristic of the Scotch
deep end, examining a brilliant and by no as a whole.
,means self~planatory idea, which Garry Of course then: are some instances
Kasparov sprung on Nigel Short in the where the presence of an undefended
11th game of their London PCA match in knight on a4 is something of a drawback.
1993. This fine novelty in an old variation What is impressive though is the number
bas been responsible for the tremendous of cases ·where either Black is encouraged
IlCW lease of life enjoyed by 5 ~I? to weaken the 6square such as to give the
The question of the pawn structure knight an obvious route to a better situa-
which follows 5 lOxc6 and a subsequent tion, or where it is able to exchange itself
...d7xc6 was addressed in the Introduction, for Black's valuable dark-squared bishop. I
especially the need for Black to avoid sim- do Dot wish to exag&erate. 8 tDa4 is by no
plification and to show compensation in means a refutation of 7•. ie6, and Black's
terms of active devdopment and use of the .defensive ideas have also been strength-
d-file. The older theory, which can be ened, but there is no disputing the grow-
found in Chapter 7 (Game 48) generally ing tendency for Black to examine seventh
involved Black advancing both awes by move alternatives.
early queenside castling. 8'&41?, the abs0-
lute antithesis of a routine, lackadaisical Game 39
development, is designed to aoss this Zsu.Polgar-Xie Jun
convenient plan. Black is faced with an Women~ World Ch.,Jaen (7) 1996
imlnediate choice. Retreat the bishop to a
less active diagonal (Game 39) or play 1 e4 8& 2 l2lf3 It)c& 3 d4 axd4 4 It)xd4
. LJLf8 (Games 40-43) by far the most .i.c& 6 ~c8 Wf8 8 1fd2 dxc8 7 lrn:3
, ,popular choice, which avoids this conces- .tee alOa4
. sion, but forfeits the right to castle long. 8 .td3 is considered (by transposition)
,. The whole strategy of 8 lOa4 is a fur- in Game 48.

The Scotch Game

the critical way.

9 ...~6
Better than 9...fi:J.en1 10 f4 liJg6 11 ~I
(but not 11 eS? il.xe51 12 £xes 1i'h4+ when
White pays for his loose knight on a4)
since now White genuinely threatens both
c4-e5 and f4-f5.

8 .. .Jld611
Played to keep alive the possibility of
c:astli.ng long. The drawback of the move
is not only the retreat from a fine diago-
nal, but the possibility that it will add
extra sting to the advance of the white
pawns to f4 and eS. Still, as we shall see,
this requires an element of finesse on 10h31
White's part. Moreover, 8..ie7 looks Another instance where the restriction
very passive and can also be well met with of Black's COUDterplay is more urgent than
9 .ell?, so I suspect that the text is the routine development. The prevention or
only serious alternative to S.. JldB (Games ...fi:J.b6-g4 is standard enough that the
40-43). move's second dimension, the possibility
9W.311 of advancing the g-pawn, not just to con-
White in twn again takes Black's inten- tain the knight but on occasion to try and
tion seriously. The apparendy routine win it., is quite cleverly disguised.
development 9 Adl can also take on a 10 ...0-0
sharper tum if White answers 9•••0-0-0 Since the note to move 11 below at
with the aggressive shot to .aSl? Vorob- least presents a serious challenge to tilt
jov-Najer, Moscow 1995, continued text, a couple of alternatives are wonh a
to... b51? (not however lo_.fld4? 11 .td2 mention:
fi:J.e7?? 12 .i.c31 1-0 Bertbolet-Ribreau, a) 10....g61? (peredy) 11 g4 0-0-0 U
Cannes ~995) 11 'fIa6+ ~d7 12 fi:J.c3 fi:J.h6 .tdll? (Wells) appears to give White good
13 h3 .i.cS 140-0 \l'eS 15lik2 p(l) ~-J,S - chances to consolidate, in which case I
kind of teasing the aowd a little before believe we can talk of a serious positional·
deflating them again. Theoretically a litde plus. Pen:dy gave instead 12 gS(?Q ~ 13
baffling too. I do not understand the re- .ltd) .i.b4+1 (a classic 'disruptive move' or
luctance to play the thematic 10...wbSI?, which I fully approve; the safest roUle
intending to answer 11 il.gS with back into the game for White's knight is
11••••d41 or 11 .tel with 1l•.. b6, when 12 now blocked off) 14 c3 ~ 15 h4 (SI with·
fi:J.xb6 ccb6 13 .txb6 Jld7 is definitely not good counterplay. It is tempting to drive
sound. This seems to oonfirm that the the knight back to g8, but maintaining a,
continued prevention of Black's ...0-0-0 is watertight hold on potential counterplay i

4 ... i.c5 6 lilxc6: Kasparov's 8 lila417

with ... f7·f5 is much more to the point.
b) lO.• :fle71? 11 -*-d3 f6 12
fails to prevent Black generating some
(this counterplay) 12....35+ 13 J.d2I? (13 lOc3
permits Black's cherished long-astling, . can be met by 13 ...tnf5! 15 exf5 .idSl and
but 12 0-0 ro i3 f4?? would run into the arrival of a rook on the e-file)
13...b51 and ....i.o; still, I would prefer lJ ..:arxa4 14 gxb6 .ie5 15 bxg7 rueS and
oot to make life quite so easy, and maybe Black has retained a fair degree o( activity
U J.d21? ll)f7 13 f4 gives an edge) 12...ll)f7 at the cost of just a pawn.
13 f4 0-0-0 14 iLe3 b6 15 0-0 wb8 16 c4 11 .. 11fe812illc3
p!? 17 e51? Ih-~ was Pavasovic- White would like to simply castle, but
Mikhalchishin, Bled open 1996, another after 12 ().<) Black has 12...ll)f51 13 ex£5
case of a declaration of peace just as the .i.c4 14 hc4lbe3 15 .ixe3 b51
show stans to get interesting. The move 12....8571
10..:fi'e7 is an interesting attempt to make The motivation for this queen manoeu-
a vinue out of ...LOh6, since the foUowing vre to as is a little opaque. 12....ie51?
moves have a nice logic in holding back looks bener.
the white centre (see Chapter 7, Game 48, 1314 "as 14 Ad2.i.b4 15 a3llilf57
(or an example of a similar set-up). The This is based on a clear miscalculation.
final moves represent a fierce battle for the Xie Jun presumably missed White's 19th
e5-square. After 16...g51? White hopes, move after which White has mere1y tech-
with 17 e5, to prevent Black's piece from nical difficulties. She should have accepted
oestling comfonably on that square. just a slight positional disadvantage after
17...fxe5 18 f51 is a familiar enough m:l- 15...;d8 16 Adl.
ooeuvre, as is the antidote 18...e4! 19.ixe4 16 axf51 Ac4 17 .d41 .bc3 18 .bc3
.id7, again freeing e5 for operations and lbe2+
parantceing Black fair prospects. It is for
this reason that I would prefer U Ad21?
11.ia2 .
II AdJ would be answen:d by
1t.. .Jle51?, but the surprising 11 g41?,
again delaying mobilisation in the in~
of targeting Black's 'knight on the rim',
has been widely recommended, and is
indeed very dangerous. Zsuz.sa Polgar
mentions 11..:ft'h4 12 flgSl ft'xg5 13 .Lg5
when I would certainly prefer White. The
ooly obvious drawback of 11 g4 is the
danger of loosening the position while
White, relatively undeveloped. also has 19Wf11
king and queen lined up on the e-file. The point! White can walk straight into
Hence, such a simplification is in her fa· the discovered check. safe in the knowl-
vour, while the knight on h6 remains a edge that her own massive double attack
.major cause for concern. will outweigh anything the black rook can
For this reason I would suggest that 11 come up with. 19 Wdl? by contrast would
g4 "eSI? (Wells) is a bener try for Black. have allowed Black off the hook by
The tactical justification is based on 12 g5 19..:.d51 Black is forced to relinquish the
.(12 .id2 .i.d5 13 .id31lae8 14llk3 (51 also exchange, and although she fights hard,

The Scotch Game

the result is not in much doubL Kupreichik, Kurgan 1995, 'structure' does
19 .•.•xc3 20 bxc3 lie4+- 21 Wf2 llxd4 not seem like the right word to describe
22 cxd4 lId8 23 Ahe1 WfB 24 1Ie4 98 26
Alter the seventh rank, but 25 fxg6
Black's pawnsl
11 .xf2 llxd31 12 .xf6
lld8 14 ~7 Dba 15 ~ Jlb51
lilxt8 13 ~c5

hxg6 26 cJ was probably simpler. Without this fine solution, a nice blend
25 .• Jld8 28 11e7 llxf8 27 llxc7 llxf4+ of tactics (the pin on the e-file) and posi-
28 we3 lIf8 29 llxb7 88 30 J:le1 .i.f1 31 tional judgement (the realisation that his
g49 5 active pieces and light-square bind will
31....hh3 32 g5 would merely acceler- offer full compensation for the exchange),
ate the end. White would enjoy a cenain plus based on
32 J:lb8 .i.g2 33 lIg1 .i.d5 34 lIg3 .i.c4 his superior suuaure. Now, however, the
35d5 weakness of the e-pawn is momentarily
35 a41 followed by ~d2-c3 was a more the chief factor.
scientific way to harry Black's queeoside, 18b4
but in any case the a-pawn wiD carry the
35 .• ..bd5 36 llxa8 Wg7 37 h7 J:lt4 38
a4 Wf6 39 Wd2 lIt2+ 40 We1 Wa5 41 a6
Wd4 42 Wb2 Wc4 43 J:lb7 c5 44 J:lb8 1-0

Game 40
PCA Moscow (rapidpLzy) 1996
1 e4 e5 2 IOt3 lOc& 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4
.i.c5 5 bc8 ••6 6 .d2 dxc8 7 lOc3
.i.e6 8 IDa4 J:ld8 9 .i.d3
BesL 9 1Wf4? is not a route to a pleasant 16...lilxe41 17 a4
endgame, but to an unpleasant surprise The only way. 17 lruce4? neS would
after 9.•. ~2+1 10 'it>xf2 (10 'ilxl2? ndl+) leave White clearly in the role of defender.
lo...fld4+. 17 .. .llxc51 18 bxc5 .i.c4!
9 .• id4 The point. Black's active minor pieces
The only logical follow-up to s...ndS. ensure that castling queenside is White's
Black wants to keep his influence on the only way to connect his rooks. To capture
importaJ:lt gl-31 diagonal. and the game either c-pawn would be to fundamentally
continuation provides the taaical justifica- mis-assess the nature of Black's compensa-
tion of this. tion, which is about maximum activity of
10c3 the forces rather than picking up odd
10 ().() is the more theoretically impor- scrapsl
tant move - see Games 41-43. 19 .i.e3 0-0 20 Ad4 llb8 21 0-0-0 .i.e21
10•. ..i.xf2+1 22llhe11
The only good move, but a very clean Reducing the material further and forc-
equaliser. Alter 10...b5? 11 c:xd4 .xd4
i.c2 bxa4 13 "xd4 lhd4 14 i.e) ltb4 15
u ing a situation where the opposite-
coloured bishops will secure half a poinL
all? lhb2 16 .ixa4, Rublevsky- This is not to say that against a lesser op-

4 ... i.c5 6 /i)xc6: Kaspsrov's 8 /i)a41?

ponent Black could not have tried to carry 14 1It'xa4 bxa4 15 i.c2 i.c4
on just a litde. Note that 22 lL1em .t.dl!
would have spelled immediate disaster for
22•• ..bd1 23 1lxe4 .b3 24 :04 96

Game 41
PCA World Ch., London (11) 1993
1 e4 85 2 /i)f3 ~ 3 d4 .xd4 4 ~d4
i.c& 6 ~c6 "16 6 "d2 dxc6 7 /i)c3
.iee 8 tba4 :dS 9 .teD i.d4 10 0-0
~771 16 :.171
Faced with 8 lLIa4 on its debut, Shon An interesting moment. White should
fails to fmd the best reply. 10... a6 is seen in in principle be happy to excltange Black's
the next game and lO.••b5 and Black's rook OD dB which both controls an open
other moves in Game 43. me, and is a potential defender of the vul-
11 c3 b517 nerable c7-pawn. Much less obvious is the
This leads to a most untidy-looking fact that the bishop would have stood well
suuaure, not dissimilar to that seen in on dl. In faa 16 ru1l is particularly
note 'b' to Black'~ tenth move in Game strong since after 16..1lxdl+ 17 .ixdl
43, although here his pieces are much bet- .t.b5 18.i.E.. White has 19 .*.g41 in reply to
ter placed to put up a struggle. When 18...WdB.
watching this game live, I had the feeling 16•• ..i.b5 17 .t83 Itlc8I 18 i.c5 li)b8 19
that Black was suffering terribly. In faa, 1lad1 Ilxd1 20 1lxd1 86 21 f4 tan 22
although 10...ibe7 is not theoreticaUy sat- .ia3
isfactory, it is notable how many obstacles This looks strong, but Nigel Short re-
the black minor piece formation - bishop acts to the continued prevention of cas-
on b5 and knight on c8 - can put in the tling with some equanimity. There was a
· way of the realisation of White's advan- case for striking with 22 .id4I? (6 23 eS
tage. before Black could proceed with the he-
The text ,looks better than 11 •.•36 12 roic marshalling of his forces.
ad4 'l'xd4 13 'i'c2 'l'xd3 14 "xdJ lhdl
15 ltkS Ild8 16 truth7, when the remaining
22•. .h51 23 Wf2 J:lh6 24 85 c5 2& .i.f5
m,e 28Aci271
black pawns are even easier to get at; while Black's ability to defend his many weak
· 11...i.b6 12 ti'e2 hands White the 'minor pawns has been most impressive. How-
· exchange' without a fight. ever, bringing the king up with 26 <Rgl g6
: 12 c:xd4 1It'xd4 13 "c2 "xa41 27 W, threatening simply Wh4-gS would
.' Again unaesthetic but more resistant have again strained his resources. The text
",than 13.....xdl 14 11xd3 llxd3 15 ~ gives Black the time to regroup, and for
;;Zld8 16 i.f41 Black's pawns are manifestly the first time even aspire to aD active role
weak, but with one extra as encourage- for his knight.
· .ment, he makes a good job of organising a 26_88 27 .i.c2 ~6 2S ~g3 ~b61 29
:grim defence. hc5 /i)c4 30 :d5lOxb2 31 f5 £c61'

The Scotch Game

resents a further slight weakening of the

queenside. It is the latter on which fun
Kasparov, and since others have fIXed their
attention. The resulting theory is a tale of
two pawn sacrifices.
11 fia51?
Highly critical, threatening the c7.
pawn, as weU as .igS. White's other plan,
in keeping with our characterisation of the
long-term, strategic nature of his plus, is to
exchange queens on f4 by:
a) 11 lOc3l? (the knight has served its
function; White does not want it to be
Better was 31 .. JL:61 The text gives caught offside) 11 ...lOe7 12 lOe2 JLb6 13
White a fme and instructive possibility ilf4 lbg61? (as in the next chapter, a fur·
actually pointed out by Shon. 32 Ild8+1 ther weakness of the f-pawns is preferred
'it'xdB 33 fxe6 .idS 34 exf7 hf7 35 e61 to remain active; Short does not like
.ixe6 36 .ixg6 and the united passed 13...1I'xf4 14lLbd4 hitting e6) 14 ii'xf6 gxf6
pawns backed up by the bishop pair give 15 lLIgJ hSl? 16 .i.c:2 h4 17 lllf5 Kasparov·
excdlent winning chances. White misses Shon. PCA World Championship match,
his chance, and later it is he who is fight- London (17) 1993, when Short thinks that
ing for the draw. A memor:ilile defensive Black is fme after 17...0.0! 18 .i.e3 .ixeJ 19
display from Nigel. lbxellld41
32 :d2 pfS 33 Wf4 lLIc4 34 lle2 f8 36 b) 11 'iVf4 Ild7 12 !tel as 13 'iWltf6 lUxf6
.i.xf5 llxe5 38 .i.d3 i.d5 37 .i.d4?1 Axe2 14 i.el b6 15 f4 Jtxe3.t 16 Axel Ild4 17
38 ..ba2 'iPe7 39 .bh5 JUg2 40 Ad1 a3 lbcJ is an unpretentious but consistent
41 h4 .i.d5 42 h5 lOe5 43 h61 ha2 44 approach to the position which should be
i.c5+ wn 46 .i.c2 .i.c4?1 enough for a slight edge despite Black's
After 45 ...lOg6+ 46 Well .i.e(, 47 .i.xaJ reasonable activity. White's loss in Wells-
f5 White could still have been tested a lit- Shener, Hungary 1995, required some
de. Alter the text a small trick forces the creativityl
48 h7 Wg7 47 i.f8+! WhB 48 iJ..e7 i.d3
49 hf6+- Wxh7 50 ..ba5 ..be2 Y..-%

Game 42
Pavasovic-Dos Santos
World Junior Ch., Halle 1995
1 e4 a5 2 ~f3 llle6 3 d4 exd4 4 illxd4
.i.c5 6 illxc8 'irte 8 1t'd2 dxc6 7 Illc3
i.e8 B 1&4 IIdB 9.i.d3 .i.d410 0-0 a617
The most direct and logical way to en-
sure that the dark-squared bishop keeps its
diagonal. A possible drawback is that the 11 ...b6!7
move is non-devdoping, while it also rep- Black is virtually obliged to offer a

4 ... i.c5 6 lilxc6: Kasparov's 8 lils417

pawn since tl .....en 12 .*.g5 f6 13 Jti4 is 17 Daem also looks possible since after
unpleasant. 17..•lf}g4 18 g3 h5 19lQa6 .ba6 20 9xa6
Attention has switched to l1...b6 after 11116 21 6'all h4 22IlfS tie6 23 hJ Black's
White's convincing demon.str3lion of his attack is driven back.
resources following 1l... b5 12 lLX:J .i.b6 17 •••ltlg4
13 fi'xa6 %6 14 Ae3I .i.cB1? After 17••..bb7 18 "G'xb7 0..0 the as-
(unfortunately for Black he has little sessment will resolve around whether
choice but to drive the white queen to a White's queen can re-enter the fray suc-
good square; 14..•he3? meets with the cessfully. It seems that it can by 19 bJl (19
'zwischenzug' 156'xc6+I) 15 ffal Axel 16 ffxc6 If}g4 is unclear) 19.. .'l'd6 20 all,
fxe3 and now: preparing to answer 20.. J1a8 with 21 eSl,
a) 16...'ifgS 17 ~I t'lxe3+ 18 'i\lhl Ji.g4 or 20.• Jlb8 with 2111"31 and an escape via
19 i.d.3 when suddenly it becomes clear the 31-g1 diagonal.
that although material equality is re- 18 :f4 lOIre3 19 ~8 1txf4 20 lOIre6
established, it is now White who has the 1llg4 21 h3 Wh2+ 22 WI' tid6
attacking chances, based on Black's king If 22 ..:tihlt? 23 .gl wins.
stuck in the centre and thre:us to counter- 23 hxg4 .xc6 24 Wbal
saaifice on b5.
b) 16... _eS 17 .ioe21 !ld6 18lladl ().O 19
lIxd6 cxd6 20 Ddll when although his
extra pawn is not too beautiful, White
gndually took over the initiative in Kas-
parov-Yusupov, Horgen 1994.
12 ".a8 ~c8 13 _a7 bS 14 'DeS ••S
15 .i.e3 .i.xa3 18 fxe3 ~f8

24... 0-0
Since after the inevitable fall of the bs-
pawn White's extra pawn will be the pa-
tent passed a-pawo, Black's chances of
saving his skin rest entirely on the possi-
bility of dn1mming up something on the
kingside. To this end puning the white
king on al by 24...•f6+I? 25 <o!1g1 1lVd4+ 26
This position was already considered as whl 0..0 27 1i'xbs .ixg4 was slightly pref-
unclear by Kasparov in his notes to the erable, but White's advant:lge is clear in
Yusupov game. For Black it has the ad- any case.
vantages that White's queen will not nestle 26 1Ifxb5 "16+26 Wg1 hg4 27 lin
so annoyingly on 33, but the knight on c5 1fd4+ 28 .Ilf2 h5 29 a4 h4 30 flg5 h3 31
- the other main difference - offers some gxh3 ~ 32 _g3 .i.ee 33 .xc7 li'xb2
interesting possibilities too. 34 "'g2 IIca 35 "dB .c1 38 ge6 Be3
17~7 37 .f4 "xf4 38 lbf4

The Scotch GBme

As implied in the last note, White when after 19 ~llDg6 20 b31 it looks as if
should welcome the exchange of queens. White will win back his pawn and cause
Still, the rook on f4 is momentarily mis- Black's king discomfort.
placed, and Black could complicate the 11 c31?
technical task by 38.. Jk5! threatening to A very sharp attempt to reach a similar
assault the a-pawn, while avoiding the struaute to that in Game 41. Previously,
nasty tactical detail he (alls prey to in the attention was focused on the quieter 11
game. likl, when 11 ...~ 12 a41? a6 13 "f4
38 •• id71 39 a6 llc& 40 lld4 .i.e8+ 41 \1'xf4 14 .bi4 1Ic8 (14...b41? might be a
Wg3 Wf8 42lld8+ We7 4311c8 llc31 44 little more combative) 15 axbS axbs 16
Wf2 llxd3 45 exd3 .i.xa4 46 Wa3 f8 47 1Oe2I, as in Golubev-A.Maric, Biel open
We4 We8 48 d4 fxe5 49 d5+ Wd8 60 1995, is a little better for White since
Ild8+ ~7 61 lIa8 .i.b5 52 m.s .i.a4 63 16.•.J.xb2 17 Ila7J threatens both the c7.
llb6+ We7 641188 1-0 pawn and also 18 lib 11
11 .. ..i.a61
Game 43
Generations match, Cannes 1996
1 e4 05 2 /Df3 lbc8 3 d4 exd4 4 iDxd4
.i.c5 5 iDxe& "18 6 .d2 dxc8 7 1&3
.i.ee 8 IDa4lldB 9 .i.d3 .i.d4 10 0-0 b6
A very direct attempt to secure the al-
gi diagonal for the bishop.even at the ex-
pense of a further weakening of the queen-
side pawns. Other thinSS being equal, the
additional idea of a2-a4 DOW appears for
Two other recent additions to Black's 12 f471
arsenal are: This is the only move to have been
a) 10...•h41? 11 "C51? "xg5 12 i.xgS tested in practice, but even so I do not IiU
f61? (12.•.lbe7 should in my view be met it. We are, in any case, headed (or a situa-
simply with 13 lOcsl .i.c8 14 :adl with a tion when: White will be able to capture
slight but pleasant edge) 13 M4 bs was Black's dark-squan:d bishop (or his kniGht
played in Nataf-Komeev, Porto San at the expense of one pawn. The text b
Georgio 1997, when I think. White should two attractions:
try 14 ell? .bf2+1? (14....i.b6 IS M6 ij Forcing Black to capture on a4 leaves •
:xd3 16lOaSQ lSlb£2 bxa41 16.i.c2 a3 17 him with a still uglier structure than he I
bxa3l? with a slight advantage, although has at presenL :
Black's idea is interesting. il) Half-opening the f-file offen the :
b) 10•..lOh6 11 c3 ~4 12 cxd4 9xd4 13 chance to bit the black queen with tempo. .
'W'c21 (a familiar pattern, but hen: Black is On the other hand, the move fl-(4 weak·
forced to take the bishop and not the ens the e-pawn. In addition, while prepar.
knight) 13....xd3 14 'W'xd3 Ld3 15 lOc5 ing to attack Black's queen it actually in-
lld4 16iOxb7 Ilxe4 17 f3 Ab4 18lOc.5 ~ creases her choice of places to run to.
was tried in Ochoa-Sharif, Barcelona 1993, Lastly, and most paradoxically, with refer·

4 ... i.c6 61tlxc6: K8sp8rov's 8 1tl8411

ence to Black's queenside pawn formation. 'tic6+- 20 Wh1 lle8 21 he7 l:ld7 22 8S
'ugly' may not necessarily mean easier to 1tlg4 23 b4
attack. On the contrary. the current strUc- White wants to shift the black queen
ture. susceptible as it is to the 'lever' a2-a4. from an optimal square, but also to defend
which also prepares the entry of White's the second rank. 2J e6? llxe6 24 1he6?
rook into the fun, presents a more natural lM2+1 brinp home the importance of
target. both of these aims.
For all these reasons I prefer U It)cSl? 23 ....d&
when Black has: Now. however. 23 ...•xc3?? 24 e6
a) 12 ....i.xh2 13 ~ .e5+ 14 .f4
.xeS 15 .i.e21 when a7 and c7 are both
would be devastating. Influence on the
light squares is a significant undercurrent
weak, and ,i,c1-e3 and a2-a4 are coming. throughout this encounter.
This looks excellent compensation. 24 .lIdS adS 25 U8
b) 12.. ..A.c4 13 .e2I .hh2+ (13....i.xdJ
14 It)xdJ is just bad) 14 ~ .e5+15
Wsl "xeS 16 $.xc4 .xc4 17 'fIxc4 bxc4
18 i.e3 It)f6 19 i31 and this time with b2-
b3 coming and the e-pawn solidly sup-
poned. I again prefer White.
12...bxa4 13 b8S .X8S 14 .821tlf8
14...lt)e7 15 ~e3 (at twns out that here
. too "as
15 .i.f4 is no great shakes) 15...0-0
16 ~h 1 It)g6 was also fine for Black in
Kotsur-Arencibia, Lucerne 1997.
15 .i.f4 Whs 18 16'c2 0.0
White cannot claim any advantage.
Black has some significant assets - the d- 2S •••f8l 28 exft1 Jba1 27 f7+1
fi1e, the g4-square and an active queen. The An imPOl'Wlt trick to save the bishop.
foUowing forcing sequence changes the The resulting ending is quite okay for
character of the position, but Dot the ~ Black who can bring his knight immedi-
17 Raa11? .i.x82 18 .xa4 Jbd3 19 .x82
ately to the optimal square e4.
27 •• .Jbf7 %-%

.~ ..

The Scotch Game

There is no disputing the fact that Garry Kasparov's 8 lOa4(l) has given a whole lease of
life to 5 ~. Its principal ide2, as discussed above, is to put a stop to ideas of ...Q.O.O.
Despite theory's hostile verdia, I do not want to join the gener.al condemnation of
Black's play in Game 39. Some hope for Black's cause can be found maybe in the note
on lO..:ffe7l?, and I hope in my analysis of 11 g4 "eS11
The bulk of the chapter deals with 8...1ld8. The good news for Black is that after 9
.i.d3 .i.d4, Black will receive the 'breather' which 10 ().() affords him. Anand's excelleDt
tactical/positional solution in Game 40 should put 10 cJ to rest. So, what to do with the
tempo? Game 41 is Dot the answer, but should rather be regarded as the prototype posi.
tiOD to be avoided. I am also suspicious of the weakening 10...b5 of Game 43. Its rela-
tively rosy theoretical status seems to derive from White's determination to weaken his
positiOD in return. Also 10...a6 11 1!fa5(l) (Game 42) is holding up well for White. The
Dote to 10...fih41? may be worth a closer look, but the general CODclusion is that sllla4
Ad8 9 .i.d3 is currently a promising choice for White.

1 e4 a5 2 ~f3 ~8 3 d4 a.d4 4 lDxd4 Ac5 5 lDxce .f8 8 'ifd2 dxc8 7 ~c3 .taB 8

a.. JldS (D)

8.. .Jld6 - Game 39
9 .i.d3 .i.d4 (D) 10 0-0
10 cJ - Game 40
10... b6 (D)
10...lDe7 - Game 41
10...a6 - Game 42
11 c3 - Game 43

8 ... '4d8 9 ... .i.d4 10... b5

4 ... ~c5 5 liJxc6:
Early deviations for both sides

1 e4 86 2 lLlf3 ~c6 3 d4 exd4 4 lLlxd4 with Game 39 reveals the benefits to Black
.ic5 5 lLlxc6 of his bishop not standing on e6 after 8
In this chapter we shall consider various .!tia4?1 i.d6 9 f4 0.0 10 iLdJ I.Llg6 11 gJ
ways in which both sides can avoid the I!eBI (the key; the text deals with the
main line with Kasparov's 8 iOa4. problem of e4-e5, and here there is no
question of the f4-£5 advance being a prob-
Seventh move altematlves for Black lem either) 12 t'i'e2 .i.b4+I (another move
after 6 •• :~f6 6 'iWd2 dxc6 7 .!tic3 consistent with the 'strategy of disruption'
In his notes to his game with Anand to which I have ohen referred; Black
(Game 45) Alexei Shirov explained his hopes to loosen the bishop on d3 to give a
choice of 7....!tie7 on the grounds that it little menace to his earlier arrival on the d-
required less theory than 7....i.c6. But for file) 13 c3 .il8 14 .icJ i.h3 and Black's
how long~ The line has been extraordiruar- development is &eer and more purposeful,
i1y popular at the very top level, ever since as in Gluzman-Romanishln, Moscow
Topalov appeared to draw with some case Olympiad 1994.
in the following game. The other point to note at this stage, is
that in the event of a 'neutral' developing
Game 44 move from White, say 8 -*.d3, the reply
Kasparov-Topalov 8...ltlg6! gives Black some influence on the
Las Palmas 1997 dark squares and arguably the freer devel-
opment he seeks, since 9 £4 fih4+l? 10 g3
1 e4 86 2 lLlf3 lLlc6 3 d4 exd4 4 lLlxd4 'iVh3 looks appropriately irritating.
J.c5 6 lLlxc6 "f6 6 'ifd2 dxc6 7 ~c3 Having noted a couple of possible ad-
1Us7l? 8 "f4 vantages of 7...~, it is also fair to say
, The fun point to note about Roman- that 8 11'£4, White's near-universal choice
ishin's 7....!tlc7!? is that, while the purist here, highlights a drawbaclL Having not
might argue that it removes the need for 8 yet developed his queen's bishop, Black is
, ~ (after all, Black is not threatening to not ready either to castle queenside or to
: castle long) it cenainly succeeds in taking comfortably defend his c7-pawn, for ex-
the sting out of it. A quick comparison ample after an exchange on f4.

The Scotch Game

8 ...~8 One way to deal with the problem of

This move, and the stJ'alegic:aUy closely the threat to f2 is to drive away the
related 8.. ie6, invites a structure which bishop. Dolmatov again gives attention to
at fant glance looks most unfavourable for the other idea, 11 f4, analysing l1...lOh4
Black, but bas become the focus of heavy (11 •• .£5 12 Q.O.O) 12 ~4 (actually the only
attention at the top level. decent way to defend the g2-pawn)
Here, there are really only two ways to 12.. ,i,d6(?Q 13 Wf2 b5 14 g3 bxa4 IS gxh4
avoid the structure. The pawn sacrifice :b8 16 b3 with an edge for White. This is
8...tie6 is covered in Game 45, while the true, but I think that Black can improve
simple exchange 8......xf4 9 .hf4 .i.d6!? with 12.. ie7I, since after 13 Wf2 bs 14 g3
(the only plausible way to defend c7 - see bxa4 15 gxh4 Black can create counterplay
the introductory remarks above to 8 1If4) by IS .. .fSI hitting the h-pawn, which
remains untested. 10 hd6 (10 eS?1 is looks quite satisfactory.
rather anti-positional, since 10.. ~b41 11 .. .£d6 12 ().().() J.e6 13 ~
would hand Black automatic play on the Since he cannot play b2-b) in reply,
light squares) 10...cxd6 11 Q.O.O wd] 12 White has to regard ...iLxal as a threat.
.i.c4 f6 13 lId3 wa 14 h41 looks promis- 13... 0-0-0
ing since White has the dual plans of pres-
sure agaiast 116, and the use of the rook
along the third rank to provoke fwther
9.xf8 gxf8 10 J.d217
A sensible move, waiting to see what
set-up Black will adopt, before deciding
how to address the central development
question of what to do about the threat to
f2 in order to castle long. Other ideas:
a) 10 lfit4 has considerably less force
than in the analogous position with
Black's bishop on e6 and knight still on e7
(see Game 42). The reason is simple - con- 14 03
trol of eS. Here after 10.. ~6 11 .i.e3 How else to proceed with develop-
Black can claim his share of the centre ment? 14 ml lDh41 (Dolmatov) is of
with 11..,(5 without fear of any tactical coune not the answer. Now, however,
consequences from i.d4. In Relange- Black's strategy of active piece play focuses
Onisdluk. Halle 1995, Black had no prob- on White's kinpide light squares with
lems alter 12 exfs .i.x£5 13 Q.O.O Q.O.O. some suca:ss.
b) 10 f41? (Dolmatov) is interesting. He 14•• ig41
gives 10.. ,(5 11 i.d3 ~41? 12 g3 ~. Here 14..15? is inappropriate. Aher 15
Black's position looks a little loose, but I .i.g5 lld7 16 ~I? fxe4 17 J.xe6 fxe6 18 .
think he has enough resources after 13 ~e4 White enjoys the better structUR·
~dl fxe4 14 lOxe4 Jie7 15 b3 (15 i.e3 and more active pieces. The e6-pawn and
i.h31?) IS ...~1 16 J.b2 .i.g4+ 17 'itc1 the f6-square are both seriously weak.
Q.O.O - Wells. Black is quite active, and his 16 .te2ibtS16 J.f4
structural weaknesses are not disastrous. The alternative is 16 f4, but by ,:
10•• JlgBl? 11 1l»4I7 16.. ..i..xe2 17 ~ /tlg4 White is again

4 ... J.c5 5 IOxc6: Early deviations for both sides

forced to react passivdy. Neither 18 ltdfl J.c5 5 lOxc6 .18 8 .d2 dxc6 7 &3
.tesl nor 18 .i.el ltde8 19lik3 .ib4 20 bJ llle7 8 .'4.te8/7
~! 21 ltci3ltX4!, when the e4-pawn can
become quite weak, look very promising
for White.
16... i.h311 ,
16..ixe2 17ll\xe2 .i.c5! was the safest
route to equality, but the teXt might con·
stitute an interesting try for more.
17 .iIl6 J.c6 18 :Xd8+ lIxd8 19 ltXf1

In his notes, Alexei Sbirov amm:s us

that it was his intention to follow To-
palov's example, but he forgot the theory!
His 'aa:ideotal DOvdty', which he later
claimed might be preferable 00 the
grounds of still more rapid devdopment,
has since caught on. On the basis of the
most recent practice, however, it seem to
me that next time he should remember the
20 ...tOf311 old theoryl
White's e4-pawn is a thematic target of 9 .xf6 gxf8 10 f4
Black's play on the light squares, and to White faces a similar task - that of deal·
this end 20.. ..i.b41? 21ltX:J (21 :en .i.f1Q ing with the threat to f2 - to the last game.
21...:d41 was interesting. Dolmatov gives Here, however, I think that 10 lDa4Q) (see
further 22 Ilg1 .i.xe4 23 IOxe4 J1xe.4 24 the oext game) is more to the point.
he5 Le5 25 .i.xfi :ez when Black It is interesting that prior to this game,
could press a little. commentators tended to reject: 8... .te6 on
21 Jle2 lOg11 the grounds that 10 .th61? would be
Now it is, Black from whom accuracy is strong here. In fact, Black then seems to
required to hold the balance. 21 ...l&h2?1 be able to generate the requisite active
22 eSl fxes 23 lbe5! suddenly allows counter-cbances:
White's pieces fresh prospects. a) lO••1Ig8 11 JLiI f5 12 g3 .i.b4 13 .i.d3
22 ..lg4+ Wb8 23 Ild2 :Xd2 24 Wxd2 fxe4 14 .i.xe4 .ba2 15 ().() .hc3 16 bxc3
he4 26 ~ .tg2 26 .te3 i..e7 27 .ih5 .i.d5 'looks fine for Black, but investing a
~f3+ 28 ~e2 lllg1+ %.% tempo in defence of the light squares with
12 aJl? is very interesting. It is not clear
Game 45 how Black can keep up his momentum.
Anand·Shirov b) lO.. id41? l1lL1e2.ixb2 12 nb1.i.eS
Linares 1997 13 f4 .i.d6 14 .i.g71 {not 14 Axbn f5 15 e5
.i.c5 when Black threatens ..ib6, has
1 e4 a5 2 lilf3 1&6 3 d4 axd4 4 &eM better development, and prospects on the

The Scotch Game

light squares) 14..1[g8 15 Lf6 ().().() 16 fs lilitdl 20 lhdl1ld41 with an advantage on

~ 17 llal .i.c4 18 lha7 *b8 19 Jla4 the dark squares which will render the h-
.A.b5! and in my view Bladt is not worse. pawn harmless, or 17 ltlxd5 llxe2t 18 liXl
There is easily sufficient mess on the :exd21 etc. (Wells).
board to blur his initial suaregic problems. 14.. .h41& iDa41 j.,2116 .b4lhd1+117
10•••15 11 .i.d2 Ilxd1 hxg3 18 hxg3
11 1Da4?! no longer hits the mark. In Not the capture 18 Len? when after
the variation 11...i.b4tI 12 c3 .A.d6 13 eS the reply 18...gxh2 the pawn is unstoppa-
bS! White needs the move -*.eJ instead of ble.
f4 (see note to White's 11th move in 18... b51 19 ha7 bxa4 20.i.xf5
Game 46). Here White would be worse. If 20 exf5 Bladt bas tbe reply 20.. ixa2
11 •••0-0-0 12 0-0-0 IIhg8 13 g3 h61 with the further nasty threat of ...i.e3+.
20 ... .txfS 21 axfS A83+ 22 'i!;lb1 IIxg3
23 IId8+ 'ifiob7 2483 hf4 25 11'8 .iaS
After 26 :xf7 ~1+ 27 Wa2 Agl 28
wbl llgl+ White has no choice but to

Game 46
World Team Ch.• Lucerne 1997
, e4 85 2 ~f3 ~ce 3 d4 exd4 4 fud4
Ac5 6 iDxc& .'6 6 'itd2 dxc6 7 lDc3
Without a concrete plan. development lOa7 8 .'4Ae6 9.xf6 gxf6 10 ~17
advantages have a nasty habit of evaponl- In my opinion this is the problem for
ing. Here it is essential that Bladt uses this 8...i.e6.
lever to support his rook on the half-open
,·me before White can consolidate and
stan to tarset his own weaknesses.
Believe it or not, Shirov says that after
this the course of the game is pretty well
forced, leading to a draw. The alternative
was 14 iLe2?I, intending to meet 14... h4
with 15 gxh4, when Bladt cannot regain
his pawD, z; IS .. Jlh8? 16 hSl is obviously
silly. Of course, Black should prefer the
active 15.. Jlg21 with excellent compensa-
tion. The key point is that 16 .A.f3 Agxd21
17 lbd2 i.e3 18 Dhdl .bE41 is very sood 10 .. ib4+
for Black. Moreover, this tactic crops up Black wants to provoke c2..cJ in order
in a whole stack of lines. For example, 16 to leave White's knight stranded. How·
eS (Black threatened 16..1xe4) 16...~!? ever, in view of White's tactical idea in
17 .t.f3 lhd21 18 Wxd2 ~ 19 Wc1 note 'a' to 11 c3 below, Moroz has sug-

4 ... Jl.c5 5 l.i:lxc6: Early deviations for both sides

gened 10...~d6 to meet 11 .tel with possible. In any case it looks better to
11 •. .f51? The point is that now after 12 force i.d3. first, rather than allow White
.id4 l1g8 13 e5, the d4-square is not sup- the comfortable l%el and wet to reorgan-
poned, and Black has the resource ise his game.
13.. .llg4. 13 De1 ~+ 14 We1 fxe4 15 /(lc51
Cenainly this is imaginative, but I do .tfS 18 ~e4 tats 17 .i.d3 .i.g6 18l.i:lc5
not see this as solving Black's problems.
First, at the end of Moroz's line, 140-0-01
.txes 15 he5 lha4 16 a3 looks promis-
ing, e.g. 16...lDds 17 c4 lDb6 18 b31 1lxa3
19 Wb2lW 20 Jlell%c5 21 f4! and Black's
rook is in trouble. Second, 11 f41? also
looks logical since with no pawn on el,
1l .. .fS? 12 e51 favoun White.
While the text move is not bad, the
most recent trend 11 ell? looks very
tempting on the available evidence. After
ll .. id6 White has the useful dual-
purpose 12 Jle3! On the one hand, White 18 ... bS?1
provides protection for a desirable knight Since the text forces White to 'rejoin'
sonie to 0. The other point is a nasty Black's isolated h- and f-pawns, it might
linle tactic revealed in 'a'. Black has tried: appear that his troubles are nearing an
a) 12.. .fS?! 13 iLd41 11gB 14 e5 b5 15 end. In fact, the PQssibility of manoeu-
c:xd6 cxd6 16lDc51 dxc5 17 hc5 was posi- vring his knight to e5 still gives White a
tionally unpleasant for Black in Moroz- strikingly strong initiative. In view of this
G.Timoshenko, Enakievo 1997. 18...~4 19 .txg6 bxg6 20 g3 lLi5! was a
b) 12...b6 13 f41 when Black has no big improvement, when Black's position is
fuUy satisfactory way forward: probably okay.
bl) 13 ...c5 14 c41 0-0-0 (there is no time. 19 .buS hxg6 20 /(ld3 !Ul7 21 l.i:le51
for a 'dark-square strategy': 14...lDc6 15 lldS 22 g371 c5?1
lOcllOd4 16 O-Q.O f5 is met by 17 e5 h7 22...g51 would give better chances of
18.ixd4 oed4 19lDb5Q 15lDc3 c6 16l%dl holding up White's kingside pawns.
wb7 17 wf2 f5 18 e5 .ta 19 .i.e2 h5 20 b3 23 f4 :g7 24 1tlf3 f8 26 lle4 /(lb4 28 a3
h4 21 i.f3 with some advantage for White l.i:le6 27 Ahe1 Wd7 28 c3 l.i:le7 29wc2
in Kolev-Korneev, Malaga open 1998. 1th7 30 111.2 a8 31 /(ld2 /(le6 321tlc4
h2) 13 ..idl 14 c4 .ib4+ 15 .i.d2 Ad5 33 1tle3 :d6 34 /(lc4 lidS 35 /(le3
.ixd2+ 16 ~ 0.0.0 17 lDc3 It¥ 18 g3 Jld838f61
.h5 19 We) h4 20 .A.e2 f5 21 e5 l%be8 22 White's advantage, hitherto based
we2 c5 23 lDd5 .te6 24 l1adl c6 2S lOf6 largely upon his opponent's slighdy
Ah8 26 ltxd8+ wxd8 27 J1d 1+ We] 28 i.E3 clumsy and passive rooks, now takes on a
.and again Black was horribly passive in more permanent structural form. After
uUlier-Shirov, Monaco (rapidplay) 1998. Black's reply, the ~n looks far fr9m
11 .. ..bd2+ 12 Wxd2 f571 happy, and in the end an degant tactic
Shirov gave 12... 040+(1) 13.tdl b61? as picks it off.
satisfactory for Black, while 13.. .fSl? is also 38 ... g5 37 1tlg41 1lt7 38 lieS lLIda 39

The Scotch Game

A.alld5 40 AgB ~ 41 J:lg7 1-0 .i.e3 tnc4 19 i.xb6 axb6 and White had no
Since 41...Axg7 42 znxf6+ Wd6? 43 J1e6 advantage in Nunn-Flear. Hastings 1996.
is mate. b) 9 "gSl? was criticised by Mik-
halevski, but I like the idea of answering
Game 47 the mandatory 9..~d4 with 10 .tdJl? 0.0
Rublevsky-Goldin 11 lDe2 .t.f6 12 _g3 with a fairly harm~
Tivatl995 nious development, and no immediate
prospect of Black's ...fUS.
1 e4 e5 2 ~f3 &6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~ 9 ... 0-0 10 Ad3 ~6 11 .03 f5 12 f417
.i.c5 5 lUxc8 .'8 8 .d2 dxc8 7 lDc3 It is unfortunate that White has to open
087 a "f4.e817 the centre like this with his king still resid-
Black side-steps the oomplex pawn ing there, but 12 O-O? f41 13 .gS i.e7 14
structure of the previous three games, of- 1fh5 ~ is particularly awkward for
fering his c-pawn in exchange for speedy White's queen.
development. I am surprised that Goldin 12...fxe4 13 1ilxe4 J..d77
has been fighting a largely lonely battle In principle it is desirable to bring the
with this move. as Black's idea stands queen's rook to the e-file. but time is of
quite unrefuted. the essence, and 1l.. Jle81 was much more
to the point, when White has DO satisfac-
tory route to more than a draw:
a} If 14 .h3?1 .xe4 IS ..i.xe4lbe4 the
minor pieces will dominate White's queen.
b) 14 'lidl was Rublevsky's suggestion,
but after 14.....'4+1 15 Vl'xg4 (15 ..t.e2
.xg3 16ltBgJ 1tlli40 IS...hg4+ 16 c;lld2
i.b4+I 17 c3 (17 Well ,A,c5+I 18 c;lld2
.t.b4+ leads to a draw) 17...lQxf41 18 ab4
t.tml3 with .. Jlad8+ to oome, Black is bet-
ter (Wells).
14 .i.d2J :a.a 15.i.c3 £d8
lS .. .Lf4 would be met by 16 (M.()I
e"xc7 160-0 Axf4
Taking up the challenge. If instead
White declines the pawn, this may seem to
challenge the very raison d'ilre of the
move 8 "f4. In reality there are arguments
for both sides' moves - 8 'itf4 does at least
prepare to develop the queen's bishop and
avoids the scenario of 8 i.d3?1 (see intro-
ductory notes to Game 44) while Black
has ...~g6 with tempo. and most impor-
tandy the ooming break ...£7-£5. We exam-
a) 9 i.d3 0-0100-0 1llg6 11 _g3.d6 12
i.d2 CSI 13 exfS "xg3 14 bxg3 i.xfs IS
.hfSlbf5 16 ~ .t.b6 17 JUelllleS 18 We have come a long way in just a few

4 ... J.c5 5 lOxc6: Early deviations for both sides

moves since the last diagram. White has all Black found the excellent IS .. .llhSI, pte-
but completed his development, and his venting e4-e5 and preparing to swing the
bishop pair bears down threateningly on rook to the queeoside. 1600 .tf6 17 .te2
Black's kingside. 16.. ..i.xf4? would invite a :cs 18 cJ lIaS 19 aJ .ib3 saw Black clarify
demonstration of his fine tactical resoun:es his advantage, as his domination of the d-
by 17 llxf41 nxf4 18 lDcs ..,4 19 l&d7 ftle is confirmed.
"xd7 20 i.xg6 lIg4 21 .Le81 winning 8 .•.0-0-0 9 .e2.i.d41 10 Ad2
17 iOxd8 'ifxd6 18 nfe1 "c6+ 19 wh1
Ie.e 20 h3 'Jl4f7 21 a311 as 22 hOB
In Chapter 9, Game 59, we shall see
Rublevsky convert the advantage of the
bishop pair into that of opposite-coloured
bishops with an attacking dominance on
the dark squares. It should be familiar!
22...hxg6 23 ,.xg6 AfS 24 "05 'iff2 25
1If1 .xc2 26 nac1 "d3 27 Ilf3 "&4 28
lte1 'ilc2 29 n03 g8
After this, virtual capitulation of the
dark squares can be forced, tactical possi-
bilities abound. White gets a particularly 10...~817
sweet one at the end. An interesting fresh alternative to
30 nc1 "&4 31 :e1 "c2
1e.1 llh6 34 9x96+1 1"()
32 :13 lth7 33 10...lDe7. Black first of all prevents 11 f4
which would be hit,with 11 ......g41 when
It is mate in three. Black is dangerously active. Furthermore,
Black envisages various possible futures
Seventh muve alternatives for White for the knight. It may come to eS via g4,
after 6 ••••f6 6 ttd2 dxc6 or he may settle Cor playing ...17-£6 and
...~f7 holding back. White's potential
Game 48 'main weapon': his e- and C-pawns.
Markovic-Mozetic 11 f3
Vrnjacka Banja 1992 White must attend to the f2-pawn be-
fore he can castle queens ide. The text
1 &4 86 2 1013 IOc8 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4 postpones rather than abandons the plan
.1c5 6 ~c6 'iff8 6 Wd2 dxc8 7 .i.d3 of moving the {-pawn to f4 .
This old move stands guilty of allowing 1 1 ...:he8 12 Q.O.O "e617
Black to optimise his development by Typical of Black's need for an active
castling long. It has thus fallen out of fa- strategy. The main idea is to prepare ... f7-
vour to the 7liX3 of Games 39-47. f6 and ...fi:lfJ, but the possibility of swing-
7.. ..i.e6 8 ~c3 ing the queen is also important. 13 f4?
Plans involving the exchange of queens would for example be met with 13......aS
also lose some of their Corce here. One with dual threats of ...hal and ....*.g4.'
instructive example was Lau-5herbakov, 13 g4
European Cup 1992, when after 8 Q.O Q.Q.O 13 i.c41? was wonb considering, al-
9.C4 .xf4 10 .bf4 ~ 11ltld2lt¥ 12 though after 13..161 14 .be6+ "'xe6
i.g3 i.d41 13 :fbI hSl 14 hJ h4 15 i.h2 wbl fi:lfJ 16 Jlbel llXI6 Black's knight

The Scotch Game

finds a new active role. Soon Black radi- attack. 22 nedl was better, preparing the
cally stops the idea of .i.c4 for good. defensive retreat .i.cl.
13•.•f6 14 wb1 b51 15 lIe1! 22 ••• axb6 23 lilhd1 Wb7 24 Ilxd8 lbdB
2514.11a8 26 ~d1 ~6 27 lOd3 c51 2B

Black hopes to show that the bishop on

d3 cramps White's operations. White in
tum switches to preparing c2-c4, occupy- A nice switch which ensures the break·
ing the c·me, and vacating dl for his through on c4. White can no longer hold
knight. that square by 29 lLlb2 since 29... bxc4 30
15•. .Ag81 lOxc4 hc4 31lbc41Oxf4 is decisive.
A deep idea which introduces a new 29 exb5 041 30 ~2 exb3 31 hb3
and surprising element - Black's queens ide Jtxb3 32 1lJlb3 'ii'xb3 33 a6 lLlxf4 34
chances - into the equation. In part 'iIle4+ 1Dd5 35 a8 wbSl 36 9d3 1fxd3+
though the move is defensive. After White 37~d3lDe77
plays c2-c4, he will find the c·pawn in ef- Almost ruining aU his fine effons.
feet pinned. 37.. Jle8 38l1elllkl+ and ...It:lxbs would
16lDd1 VaB 17 b3 have been immediately decisive. Now the
Given that on his next move White critical b4-square passes to his opponent ...
weakens the d3-bishop by moving his c- 38 lLl14?
pawn anyway, it was rather more aggres- ...or not! 38 lLlb41 wb7 39 lLlc6l11e8 40
sive to go to c4. Still. after 17 c41? a61 18 ¢ob2 would have created massive obstacles
.lta5 Wb71? I also prefer Black's long-term to Black's funher progress.
attacking chances. 38 •• .lId4 39 l2lli5 lbg4 40 nd1 lt95 4 t
17 •••~f! 18 c3 ii.bB 19 Aa3 ~51 20 It:!f4Ilxb5+ 42 Wc2 lIf5 0-1
Ac211- .dB 21 ~f2?1
White, understandably keen to kick Sixth moves altamatives for Black
Black's knight away, returns to his f3-f4 after 5 •••'irf6 6 1id2
ambitions. However, the need to bolster
the c-pawn is more urgent, and 21 lLlb21 Game 49
thus the more solid choice. Smagin-Gligoric
21 ••••a31 22 hIl6?! Yugoslavia 1991
White was fearful of saaificiaI ideas
such as ...It:lc4. However, the a-file wiU 1 e4 e5 2 lilt3 1006 3 d4 axd4 4 lOxd4
prove to be a decisive addition to Black's .i.e5 5 ~c6 .f6 8 .d2 bxc8?1

4 ... JLc5 6 0.xc6: Early deviations for both sides

Not bad, but Black will fmd it less easy but Black would be solid enough.
to disrupt the flow of White's develop- 11 f4 d6
ment now that the d-flJe is unavailable.
The other minor choice 6...fixc6 is also
playable, but open to the objection that it
neither furthers Black's devdopment nor
contests the d5-square. After 7 .i.d3 znC6 8
().() Q.O 9 llk3 .id4 10 1i'C41 d6 (tC
IO.. ..i.xc3 II bxc3 12 ~ followed
byeS would be strong) II It)e2 .i.b6 12
"'4 !le8 13 llX:3 'fIcS 14 .igS 'fieS 15
.Lf6 \!Ixf6 16 'ifxf6 gxf6 17 znd5 Wg7 18
a4 White's structural advantage was sig-
nificant in Chandler-Lodhi, London
(Uoyds Bank Masters) 1994.
7 .id3 t;)e7 8 0-0 0-0 9 lile31 12851 .
Not quite as devastating as in the note
to 9•..d6?1 above, but the text still registers
a significant boost to the scope of White's
minor pieces. The point is that 12...dxeS
13 ~ 'iie7 14 f5 ~4 15 f6 would give
White a hefty attack.
12..."i1h4 13 0.e4 be 14 .xde .U5 16
'it'c3 cxd8 16 Wxc6 IlabB 17 Ad2 J:lIdS
1B .i.e 1 1
Very precise. White is not so much
concerned to send the black queen pack-
ing as to take the e7-square from Black's
knight. After this his queen returns com-
White's plan is clear. He wan~ to play fonably to the fray, and Black has no
whl and C2-C4. This looks the right order compensation for the pawn.
as the immediate 9 ebb 1?1 d5!? seems rea- 18 .. :••719 J.c31 ~ 20 :'.1 9d7 21
sonable Cor Black. fid5 ••6?1 22 0.f&+. gxfe 23 :Xe6 bleS
9 •••ltlge 24 wce Wf7 25 :.1 hd3 26 exd3 15
Black has to tre:ul carefully. 9...d6? 27 d411-O
would meet with 10 eSl, vacating the e4- There is no stopping the advance to dS,
square and the e-me so that 10....xeS 11 smashing Black's fragile defences.
llel flf6 12 ~ would be a massacre.
9...dS is playable, however. 10 'fIgSl? Black's fifth move altematlves
ffxp (to....id4 11 figSl?) 11 .bg5 f6 12
.if4 i.b6 13 exdS lOxdSl 14 znxdS cxd5 IS Game 50
mel i.d7 16 c4! gave White some advan- Miles-Hebdan
tage in WeJls.Semenova, Zalakaros 1998. London 1994
10Wh11 a5?1
Too ambitious. White enjoys an edge 1 e4 e5 2 00 1&6 3 d4 .xd4 4 ~d4
after the more modest 10...d6! 11 f4 .i.b6, i.c6

The Scotch Game

This is the only time in the book where 14...c5 16 D2 D7 18 .i.d3 ~6 17

I have fiddled with history for the sake of J.c2 :ae8 18 We1 Whe
clarity. The actual move order was 4...lLlf6 Exchanging queens would merely help
S lDc3 ~c5 6 ~c6 bxc6 7 .i.dJ d6 8 ().() White to clarify the fact that his bishop
etc. However, I am not too enthusiastic pair is the key factor in the position.
about the fifth move of either sidel 19.03 &8 20:ad1 :.a 21 i.b1 Jlg8
6~bxc6 22 .f21De5 23 ""'1 .'471 24 £e1 .fa
This move has a rather dubious reputa-
tion, and is virtually unknown at the
highest level. However, the quite similar
position with a white pawn on c3 which
arises after 4....i.b4+ 5 c3 .i.c5 6lLlxc6 bxc6
(see Games 83 and 84) is respectable.
1 .i.d3 dl 7 M 1Df6 8 &3 0d7 9 £82

White misses his cue! It was natural not

after 26.e2
to want the queen hit by 25 f41 IOg4, but
. 4 27 g3 'a'hJ 28 f5 Black
bas no further way to strengthen his at·
tack, and his pieces will be very offside.
This delay enables Black to strengthen his
readiness for D-f4 in two ways - the rook
10 lila41 on the e-file and his knight headed for <14.
This seiz.ure of the bishop pair forms 26 .. ':881 21 JZd2 lDcel 27 f4 JlO4I 28
the core of White's idea. What I find really Jld3~71
instructive about this game is the lack of By 28...lOd41 Black could have maxi-
dogmatism in White's play. Rather than mised his fuepower against White's centre.
following up by quickly opening the posi. 29 JZh3 ••111 30 .i.d2 "'2 31 Jlf2'&2
tion, White fU'St shuts down Black's coun· 32 .hc21 Wxc2 33 JZc31 .u2 34 h3
terplay, confident that the bishop pair can JZh4 35 :'2 86
be activated long·term. Of course this is not played for the fun
10....i.be 11 b3 Sh4 12 1Dxb8 axb8 13 of it, but 32.. .lUt6 would meet with 33 (5.
f3Aa614c41 By his timely retum of the bishop pair,
Of course, other things being equal, the White ensured that Black's clumsy rook
player combating the bishop pair would be the a:ntral fac:tor in the position.
be very happy to exchange one of them. 38 Jlg3llh6 37 861 JZha 38 .tc3 .a8 39
White need not worry about blocking in f6 dxe6 40 Ilxg6+ Wf8 41 'irs3 We7 42
his bishop - he transfers it to the c2·h7 '8+1 Wd7 43 .g4+ 1-0
diagonal, when Black has always to watch If 43 ...Wc6 44 Ad2I will settle the issue .
for the advances fl.f4 and e4-eS. immediately.

4 •.. iLc6 6 IOxc6: Early deviations for both sides

7.. .liJe7 has introduced a fascinating new episode in the development of Scotch theory. I
hope the notes explain the logic of the move, but it is more difficult to explain chess fash-
ionl Basically the note on 8 ..f4 .i.c:6 9 ti'xf6 gxf6 10 1034 ..t.b4+ 11 ell in Game 46 looks
very problematic indeed for Black. Whatever happened to good old 8...~g6I? The notes
to Game 44 do not give Black any real cause for despondency.
Also neglected is 8..."e61? since acceptance of the pawn in Game 47 involves definite
danger. For White, I am intereSted in declining the c7-pawn - see the note on 9 fipl? -
but this looks like an interesting position rather than a refutation of Black's idea.
G3mes 49 and 50 look at the stnlCtUre when Black captures with the b-pawn. This
cannot be particularly recommended, but White's play is not automatic. Do not forget
the popularity of this structure for Black with the white pawn on el (see Chapter 13).

1 e4 e5 2 IOt3 lllc8 3 d4 exd4 4illxd4 Ac6 6 ~c6

6 .....t6
5... bxc6 - Game 50
6...bxc6 - Game 49
7lllc3 (D)
7 .i.d3 - Game 48
7.. .iDe7 8.'41Og6
8... .te6 9 lIxf6 gxf6 (D)
10 f4 - Game 45
10 1034 - Game 46
8...•e6 - Game 47
9 "xiS (D) - G.III1Ze 44

7 &3 9... gxf6 9f1xf6

4 ...il.c5 5 lDb3 and 5 lDf5?!

1 e4 a5 2 ~f3 &8 3 d4 axd4 4 lDxd4 lines based around the move ...37-a6 repre-
ilc6 sent the most sensible response, and that
In this chapter we look at White's other the immediate 6...a6! (Games 52-54) has at
knight moves on move five, 5 IOb3 the very least, the merit of flexibility.
(Games 51-55) and 5 M?I (notes to Game However, other ways to avoid this have·
51). 5 .i.e3 is the subjea of Chapters 9-11. been sought, e.g.
a) 6•..1ih4?1 7 fle2 It)f6 8 as 1tX14 9
Game 51 lLlxd4 hd4 10 &41 (with the queen and
Van der Wiel-Gulko bishop both on White's fourth rank,
Amsterdam 1987 White can squeezed some embarrassment
out of the bishop's situation) 10...0 11 c3
1 e4 86 2 ~f3 &6 3 d4 od4 4 ~d4 .teS 12 ttJd2f 1i'h6 13 ~b3 'iWg6 14 f4 .ii.c7
ilc5 SlDb3 15 .!tixo ().() 16 £5 trg4 17 'fi'xg4 .!tixg4 18
5 itJf5?1 seems to be out of favour for ..i.e2 and Black is evidently very low on .
good reason. Black gets excellent attacking compensation, since 18...lOxhl would be
chances by direct means after 5...dS! 6 well met by 19 'itiC2 with g2-gJ to follow
ltJxgi'+ wf8 7 ttJh5 'i!rh41 8 itJg3 ttJf61 (at in Ehlvest-Nenashev, Groniogen 1997.
speaks volumes that six of White's flJ'st b) 6....£6 7 '6'e2 when 7... a6 is one
eight moves are with one pieceij 9 .i.e2 common route to Game 54, while 7...1014
dxe41 (this looks the simplest, since Black's 8iOxd4 hd4 9 c3 .teSl? 10 g3 c6 11 i.g2
rook will occupy the d-file effectively) 10 liJe7 12 ().() looks playable, although I pre-
Il\cJ .tel, 11 .i.e3 .i.xe3 12 fxeJ U 13 {erWhite.
tiel h5 14 b3 WIgS 15 ().() -.eS 16 'frel h4 7 &3 dB 81&15 h7 9 ..ib6 ..td7 10 O~
with advantage, as in Yakovich-Goldin, ~5
Moscow 1994. see following diBgrom
5 .. ibB
The offbeat 5 .• ib4+ is seeD in Game 11 .i.d21
55. This move, targeting the vulnerable as-
B e4 a511 pawn, is a huge improvement over the
For me there is not much doubt that rather lame exchange on d7 which had

4 ... Ac5 5 l'ilb3 and 5 lilf571

been previously played. The tricky part is transpose to Game 53. 7lild5 is also not
the very fine tactical justification. After dangerous on account of 7..•1fh41
11 •..c6, White has 12 haS b6 13 Ac3 £61 . 7 a4 a8 8 .b2 d8 9 ().()
(13 •..cxb5?1 14 f4 1Og6 15 hg7 h6 16 f5
1lh7 17 fxg61txg7 18 gxf7+ Jhl7 1911h5
.ie6 20 lild4 gives White a devastating
attack; to see why, just look at the bishop
on 311) 14 .A.xe51 (an instructive moment;
putting a pawn on e5 actually facilitates
the opening of files) 14.. 1xe5 (14•.. dxe5?!
15 ~c4 cxdS 16 'itxdS lQh6 17lUdl is stin
worse; the d-fLIe is just as potent) 15 f41
cxdS 16 fxe5 and again White's attaek
gains greatly from the frankly ridiculous
bishop on 31.

9 •••.te6?1
This basically commits Black to relin·
quishing the bishop pair for no real com-
pensation. At this stage I held fond no-
tioDS of 'COUDterp!ay on the dark squares',
but White's very efficient rearrangement
of his pieces quickly quashed these.
Clearly 9••• Q..O?1 10.1.151 is also unpleasant,
but so loog as BIaclt is in a position to
answer any lOcIS by capturing with the
knight, it is Dot entirely clear what
White's back-up plan is. Hence I think
11 •••lQf6 12 .i.xa6 ~d6 13 exd6 .bb5 9•.• h61? is a justified expenditure of a
14 8lCb5 0-0 16.tc3 'IIg517 tempo. when BIaclt's position is satisfac-
A blunder which shortenS the agony. In tory.
any case Black has less than nothing for 10 ~5 .bd6 11 eJCd5 ~6 12 a6 ita7
his pawn. 13 c4 O.() 141Qd4 Jle8 15 .te3 1f'd7 16
16 1b.71 Jlxa7 17 f4 'ett6 18 "d4I? l'ilc21
~g4 19 h3 1Iaa8 20 hxg4 ,g'e8 21 1lld2 Simple and logical. White deals with the
J:le2 22 1Oe4 1-0 threat of ..•lOg4 and exchanges his oppo-
nmt's most influential piece. His extra
Game 52 space and remaining bishop will be
Adams-Wells enough to guarantee a nagging plus.
Dublin Zon4l1993 H5....i.xa3 17 l&e3 ~8 18 .td3 lIe& 19
1 e4 e5 2 lOf3 ltlc8 3 d4 exd4 4 ~c14 A flOe move which at once releases the
.ic5 5 lOb3 .i.b6 8 1&3 lDf8 queen to contest the central dark squares.
There is nothing theoreticalJy wrong and nises the unpleasant prospect of L4
with this move, but I would now prefer as an answer to Black's wish to double on
the flexible 6..•d6. If then 7 a4 a6 we the e-me. Still. this is oDe of those posi-

The Scotch Game

clons where the complete lack of weak .tc:5 5 ~ .i.b8 6 a4 a6 7 ttlc:3 d61? 8
points in the enemy camp dictaIeS a strat- ttld6 J.a7
egy of grinning and bearing the squeeze,
which has never been my speciality.
Black's acceptance of a weakness is mis-
guided for the simple reason that his 'piece
activity' h;u no targets.

This line, which has been rather effec·
tive in Jobo van der Wid's creative hands,
always makes a slightly strange impres-
sion. White is aiming to cbmp down his
19... c6? 20 dxc6 "xeS 21 "d4
.Ilfd1 "xd4 23 1Ixd4 lId8 24 b4
control of d5 with pawns on e4 and c4,
but neither the absence of dark-squared
m.1 ~ 28 ~ 88 27 g3 ~ 2B .i.d1 bishops. nor the rather passive knight on
d6 29 .i.f3 d4 30 ~6 Jlf6 31 .i.o2 ~d5 b3, should really hdp this strategy. An
Without the coming exd!ange sacrifice, overview of others:
Black's chronically weak d-pawn would a) 9 .i.e2 ~61 10 0.0 ~ 11 exdS It)o
eventually decide against him. should not hold any terrors for Black. We
32 cxd5 Jlfxd5 33 .i.xd5 Jlxd5 34 Wl1 reach the structure of Adams-Wells above,
we7 35 :c2 '11m 36 We1 ~711 37 Wd2 with Black's bishop pair intact. In a very
~S 38 lle1 Jlf6 39 f4 f8 40 wd3 JldS real sense. Black has tempted White's
41 :ce21 knight forward in order to challenge it
It becomes clear why the bS-square is
only very superficially attractive for
Black's koighL White's pieces are very
b) 9 .e2
with tempo.
i.e6I? 10 i.el i.xe3 11
lOf6 12 ~ 0.0 13 f4 :esl was comfon·
efficiently deployed - the king blockading able for Black in Halasz-Lukacs, Budapest
and roo~ poised to penetrate. The knight 1979.
on c6 could have at least challenged the c) 9 ..al?, din:cted against ...lOf6, has
squares e7 and b4. Now there is nothing been a source of much recent fun. After
so... 9...~ 10 1i'g3/Dg6?lll i.gSI f6 12 i.e3
1-0 gives White a clear edge, so Black has little
Game 53
Hector-B. Kristensen
by 10.../Dg41 11
13 lDxc7+ wd7
choice but to enter massive complications
~ 12 'irxg71fb41
14 lDxas ~1+ 15 g3
Vejle 1994
1 e4 e5 2 ~f3 ~ 3 d4 exd4 4 lilxd4

17 .a In fact Black's attack seems to be
the stronger since neither 16 Wxf7+ lDe7
.i.f2+1 18 Wdl ~, nor the
4 ... ~c5 5 t;)b3 and 5 t;)f5?1

ingenious 16 .i.hJ+!? flxb3 v i.£4 .t.f2+1 There was nothing better than this
18 wd2 YJ¥g21 Camacho-LValdes, Cuba rather vague hope that Black's knight
1998, solve While's problems, as now 19 . might be left stranded. Otherwise BIaclt
'I'g4+ WdS 20 'ii'h4+ lOe7 21 Wxhl is met cements it into place with ... 36-35.
by the very elegant 21. ..i.e1+1 19.. Jlae8 20 IDd4 86
9.. ..b.3 10 rox.3 ~f8 11 ~ 0-0 12 Black presumably rejected 20.. Jlell 21
().() D..a 1i'xel Jhel 22 LeI 'ilxd4 due to 23 1le7
There is nothing much wrong with .ia4 24 b3 ¢'f8 25 Ile4 when White saves
12.•lOeSI? either on the eviden~ of Van his JD2terial. However, as Bjarlte Kris-
der Wiel·Van der Sterren, Dutch Champi- tensen's indiCaleS in his notes, simply
onship 1996, which continued 13 f4ltlfg41 25•..•CS 26 bxa4 g61 is exceUent.
14 lWt&4 hg4 15 .d2 lUxd3 16 cxd3 cSl Queen and knight are a notoriously p<>-
(restricting the knight and preparin, a tent force tosether. When they have pawn
queeoside expansion) 17 as Ae6 18 'ltc3 fS weaknesses to target into the bargain, they
19 e5 lIe8 20 Alet b5 21 exd6 b4 22 1Jc2 can run amok.
.xd6 23 IOxcS (otherwise Black can sim- 21 1la3 Jle1 22 Wd2 'ireS 23 D.b3 t;)a2
ply claim the better minor piece) 23•• Jbc5 24 hb7 1De1 25 ec371l1d1 26l:ld2
24 lhe6 lIxc2 25 Axd6 nesl and Black's
rooks will double on the seventh, after
which it is clearly White struggling for the
half a point.
13 f3 ~d71?
1l....&e6 has been the more commonly
chosen square, although the text has the
familiar advantase that Black can answer a
IaIer li)ds by capturing with his lmight.
One example of White's possibilities: 14
c4 as 15 Al2 ltJd7 16 f4 £6 17 Itd2 lDb4 18
.i.bl 1i'e7 19 ilXI4 lDc5 20 llaJ .i.d7 21
~f5 'fIf8 22 :,3 with an anack in Van
der Wiel-Gomez Esteban, Linares Zonal 26•.•~2+1
1995. For alI White's str.ulge-lookin, piece An degant exploitation of various pins,
formation, it can be difficult for Black to which rests too on Bbck's excellent 28th
aeate eounterplay with this structure.
14 c4 'ifb81 15 1If2 'lfa71
An excellent and far from obvious way
move resource.
27 lxe2 h.2 28 b4 nee11 29
'ifxd4+ 30 Wf2 Wxc4 31 h3 .i.b51
to fight for the aitical central dark A decisive win of material.
squares. 32 Wh2 Irxl1 33 l:lb8+ wg7 34 'iib2+
16 ~51Wcd5 17 .xd5 </;he 35 Vc2 .81;+ 36 ~83 ".1+ 37
It looks strange to open the e-file, Wh2 WeSt 38 93 .d41 0-1
where the gambling man's money has to
be on Black's influence. However, if 17 Game 54
adS lDeS 18 'itd2 fSI White's e-pawn Ojurovic-Rajic
fonns the target for Black's counter- Ncrui Sad open 1988
17.•.t;)b41? 18 ~f111e3 19 a51? 1 e4 85 2 t;)f3 ~ 3 d4 .lId4 4 lOxd4

The Scotch Game

6 ltXJ 'i'f6 7 1i'el tOge7 caD also lead to
1fe5 22 .xeSdxe5 2J lldJ+ We8 24 .i.xh6
.bE2 25 1be5 Agl 26 lOd2 J.xh4 27 ..i.e3
the game continuation after 8 a4 a6 etc. Ag8 28 lIh5 ~ 29 lOe4 .i.g7 30 i.f4 and
However, White also hou the option to the game miraculously flZZled out to a
play without this move by 8 .i.el. The draw.
plan of castling queeoside is Dot without 13...0-07
risk. In A.Grosar-Liss, Budapest 1994, This looks diwtrous, although
Black w~ able to break in the centre and 13..:itxb2 14 Ah31 is also dangerous. In
gain counwplay after 8 .i.e) ().() 9 ().().() d6 Kucera-Muron, Cuch League 1995, Black
10 "fId2 .i.e6 11 f4 IUdS 12 .i.e2 dSl 13 e5 came under heavy fue after 14..:exc2 15
'ffh6 14 iLxb6 axb6 15 Wbl d4 16 LObS IIct 1ib2 16 Abel cad8 17 VeS d6 18
lnd5 17 g3 LOdb41 with attacking chances. 1i'xg7 Ae8 19 1If6 .i.f5 20 J.e2 since his
6 ••••18 7 1Ie2 86 8 ~ ~e7 9 lDd& queen is unable to play any defensive role.
~& 10 exd6+ fOe7 11 a5 h7 12 h4 13 ...d61? looks safest. After 14 Ael 'iff4
h8 15 g3 .g4 16 "'xg4 hg4 17 Axg7 Ah7 18
J.d4 il3 19 Agl .i.xd4 20 lOxd4 .hdS
White caD claim at most a slight edge, as in
Sluka-Haba. Czech Championship 1993.
14.i.c3 lid6 15 0-0-0 ~d518llxd61
White deflects his opponent's queen
from the possibility of check on {4, and
reveals that Black's kingside is utterly
helpless. Note that 12...h6 can easily tum
out to be a terrible concession.
18...Vxd5 17 11g4 96 18 .f4 Wh7 19

This rich and complex position bas oc-

curred several times in practice. Black's
strategy of hindering White's natural de-
vdopment is familiar. Here, though,
White's compensation is based on danger-
ous attacking chances.
I likt: this move, which offers White
chances of a dangerous piece mack with-
out irrevocably commiuing his pawns.
Still, the kingside pawn storm also
holds dangers for Black, who should think 20 if1811 .xh1+ 21 Wd2
twice about castling kingside after 13 g41? There is no defence of the g7-square,
In K.Arkell-Geenen, Ostend 1987, Black without giving up the queen. White must
chose 13.. .'~d8 (13 •..d6 might be bener) 14 simply side-step a few checks to emerge
g5 1J'd6 15 gxb6 gxh6 16 .td2 1!1xdS 17 victorious.
mu d6 18 Q.().() (a typical Arkell positionQ ~1 .. ..i.e3+ 22 fxal fih2+ 23 ~d1 1Ih1+
18.....e6 19 ttlJ Ag8 20 lIel .l5 21 1fel 24 ~2 irh2+ 25 We1 "9'+ 28 .i.n

4 ... Ac5 5 flJb3 and 5 fi:Jf511

"xa3+ 27 ~1 .xc3 28 bxc3 de 29 Kupreichik among its victims, and is a

~ Ag4 30 Ac4 c5 31 iLxf7 1-0 def4Ute argument for 6•.• a51?
Hence 7 a3 looks best. Black can claim
Game 55 an improved version of Hjartarson-
Landenbergue-Korchnoi Malaniuk by exchanging, although in such
Ptuj Zonal 1995 a position White's seventh move also has a
valid defensive role, stOpping the a-pawn
1 e4 a6 2 ltlf3 lOe6 3 d4 exd4 4 ltlxd4 in its tracks. 1 find 7.. .i.e7I? r.nher in the
.ic5 61Ob3 .i.b4+17 spirit of Black's strategy. 10 Smirin-
An interesting sideline which nicely Kbalifmao, Leningrad 1990, Black demon-
bears on the theme of seeking to hinder strated surprisingly comfonable equality
the opponent's optimal development, after 8 a4 ll)f6 9 Fik3 0-0 10 .i.b5 dSl 11
even at the expense of time. exdS ~b4 12 0-0 .ig41 13 .te2 .ixe2 14
8 Ad2 'iltxe21&c2 15 lIadllOb4.
I prefer this to 6 c3 J.e7 when Black 7 ••• axb4 8 J\d3 llJf6 9 0-0 0·0 10 e4
can point to two 'developmental conces- This looks ugly, and by no means en-
sions' from White - retreat.irig one knight hances the likdihood of a satisfactory chal-
and blocking the other. lenge to Black's b-pawn. Still, 10 c3 dS!
8 •• .aSI7 was DOt very enticing either, when Black
Black seeks to maintain the tension, an will come quickly to dominate the d-lile.
interesting alternative to the simple 10.•.llJeS 11 a3 .a7 12 exb4 lha1 13
6... Axd2+ which offered White fair atuck- &81 1ixb4 14 b3
ing chances after 7 fi'xd21 (as usual,
White's knight belongs on d, participat-
ing in the struggle for dS) 7...~6 8 ltkJ
d6 9 ().O.O .i.e6 10 f3 0-0 11 g4 as 12 h4
llW 13 g5 in Hjartarson-Malaniuk, Til-
burg 1993, although after 13 .. Jle8, making
room on f8 for the knight, Black's defen-
sive prospects are not bad. The knight on
b3 helps his cause in comparison with
similar positions with castling on opposite
7 i.xb47
A serious mistake. White was DO doubt
concerned to solve the problem of the 14••• bSI
further advance of Black's a-pawn, but lUther adding insult to injury. If 15
failed to foresee the consequences of this cxbS, lS•..•d41 is an unusual but devastat-
exchange for his queenside development. ing fork. The conversion from positional
7 c3?! J.e7 is also worse for White than to material advantage will be brisk indeed..
in the comparable note to move six above. 16 ..tc2 bxc4 16 .d4 lIa8 17 bxc4 ..ta6
Black's ...a7-aS contributes much more to 18 ~2 ltlxc4 19l1Jxe4 irxc4 20.xc4
Black's position than the unhelpful Axc4 21 Jld1 ltlxe4 22llxd7 l2)d61 23 h3
'developing' move .ad2. .i.b50-1
The elegant trick 7 ltbS?1 figSl can Black wins a piece, due to his knight's
claim the talented tactician Grandmaster defence of c8.

The Scotch G8me

5 10£5 dSl seems to be more than satisfactory for Black. 5 lLlb3 on the other hand is of
course of more durable stuff. but I think there are good grounds for its low popularity.
Games 51 and 52, and to some extent Game 54 exist mainly as warnings to Black. The
best counter to a2-a4 is •••a7-ah. and 1 also feel strongly that ...d7-d6 is the ri~t reply to
lLlcJ. Game 53 is the model. and Black's unusual plan of 13.. ...i.d7 foUowed by ...1ib8-a7
is well worth noting. One word of warning though - do take a moment to check out the
note on 9 .f31~ The play. though fine for Black, is very sharp.
& far as 1 can see, 5.• ...i.b4+I~ might constitute a further mild argument against 5lLlb3.

1 e4 86 2 0f3 0c6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4 .i.c6 5 0b3

5 ....i.b6 (D)
5....i.b4+ - Game 55
8 a4(D)a8
6...a5 - Game 51
6..."f6 - Game 54
7...10£6 - Game 52
8 tal6 - Game 53

6... -'.b6 684 71lJc3

5 ~e3 'iff6 6 c3 l'ilge7
7 .ic4: Systems with ... ltJe5

1 e4 e6 2 ~f3 &8 3 eM e.eM 4 ~eM has lured Black's knight onto a square
J.c5 5 .b3 .'6 6 c3iDge7 7 i.c4
There is not much doubt that 7 iLc4,
where it is in tum vulnerable to attack.

hindering Black's desire to free his posi-

tion by breaking rapidly in the centre
with the advance ...d7-d5, is the critical
test of Black's set-up in the 5 .i.e) main
line. This has not always been the ac-
cepted view. The material of this chapter
is thus very interesting, since the initiation
of counterplay with ...0e5 - often in con-
junction with ...1t'g6, hitting e4 and g2 -
was for a long time the cause of pn:vailiug
scepticism. However, White has found
ways to sacrifice the e4-pawo which have
led to many an exciting victory, but over- 8 ..."116
all, I am rather optimistic concerning The most common move and probably
Black's dlances if he is well versed in the best. However, since 7 iLc4 was directed
numerous pitfalls. against Black's desire to capture a full
share of the centre by ...d7-d5, we must
Game 56 first ascenain that 8...d5 is no panacea be-
Ehlvest-Beliavsky fore we can be satisfied th:at Bbck's eighth
Reykjavik 1991 move is also the most logical. In faa
White should in any case coolly reply 9
1 e4 e5 2 ~f3 Iac8 3 eM elUM 4 ~d4 ()'()I, relying on the loosening of the
.tc5 5 .i.e3 1ff6 6 c3 ~e7 7 .i.c4 ~6 bishop on c5 and Black's uncastled king to
8.i.e21 provide the requisite tattical possibilities.
Very much the right retreat for this Black can choose between:
piece. It is not the loss of tempo which it a) 9....g6 transposing back ~to the
might seem at ftrst sight, since the bishop main game.

The Scotch Game

b) 9...0-0 leading to Game 59. Q The need for White to pay anention
c:) 9•..dxe4?I, inviting the fine tactical to the possibility of ...i.hl. Here, for ex-
flurry 10 ll'lb5 .i.d6 (10....he3 gets mated ample, 10 ll'lbS is a clear mistake in view
in two, while 10...'i9b6 11 .i.xc5 .xcS
tfd41 is a fine overworking of Black's
12 of 10.. ih3 11 ~c7+ (11 .if3 dxe40
Il...Wf8 U JJ3 .beJ 13 fxe3 dxe4.
queen. which is unable to keep both e5 ill White's refusal to let Black's queen
and c:7 covered) 11 .i.cS1 Q.O U ~d6 cxd6 rest in peace. In particular this move ~,
13 'fi'xd6 .xd6 14 i.xd6 ~ 15 ll'ld2 often clearing the way for the advance of
with a large positional advantage for the f- and e-pawns. Here, of course there is
White based on his bishop pair, and result- an extra dimension, leading us on to the
ing control of the dark squares, in Stein- third. ..
grimsson-Ma1aniuk, Kecskemet 1991. ii~ .. .sacrifices of the e-pawn, which oc-
8... 0-0?1 also seems questionable, and is cur frequendy, White seeking compensa-
likely to transpose to either of Games 59 tion in devdoping with tempo, again chas-
and 60; not necessarily an advert for its ing the poor black queen.
meritsl In fact, in view of ij there may be less
It is, however, wonh noting that dement of choice than usual concerning
8...d61? 9 0-0 .g61 also seems to be a legi- iiJ1-
tinute route to the critical position cov- 10....."e4
ered in Games 61-64. Black has suffered a 10.. ig4 is seen in the next game.
couple of times in practice at the hands of 11 iild2
9 f4?I, but bas not yet found the thematic Logical, but it is always worth checking
9...iLlg41 Almost without exception in the out another familiar idea, the vulnerability
7 .i.c:4 lines, White should not try f2-f4 of c7. Lukacs claims that here 11 ll'lb51
prior to c:astling. he3 12 ltSxc7+ wdS 13 ~ .to 14
90-0 d617 li:ld2 'iffS 15 1Llb3 .i.d6 16 .tel b6 17 a4!
gives White the advantage.
11 .. :fld3
The loose bishop on c5 continues to be
a source of tricks. Thus 1l ...1Wh4?1 U
i.xf'7+1 W:rfl13iLl40 "£6 14.bc5 is very
unpleasant for Black.
12104f3 .i.d&
If 12.. .he3?I, which bas occurred sev-
eral times in practice, White has 13 ~e5
.xdl 141101 giving a very powerful at-
tack. One typical neat miniature: 14....llh6
15 .t.xf7+ (for historical accuracy, I should
point out that White's 14th and 15th
Here my sympathy for Black's moves moves have been inverted; I think 14 "01
comes to an end. 9...d6(l) leads again to is the most flexible and precise) 15...wdB
Games 61-64. 16 :adl 1If4 17 lbd5+t ~d5 18 1kxd5+
10Ah61 We7 19 Ikl 'itif6 (d 19....i.e6 20 ltlc6+!
Three themes which will play a sub- wins too) 20 ~+ .hd7 21 1i'xd7 g5 22
stantial role in this chapter already come .1lbS1 g4 2J .e7+ 1-0 Chowaniec-
into play here: Borowski, correspondence 1993. Mate will

5 .i.e3 .f6 6 c3 lOge7 7 ~c4: Systems with ... li:Je6

follow 23 ...wf5 24 'fIe6+ WgS 2S :eS+ minder of Black's potential weaknesses on

1be5 261rxeS+ wh4 27 W etc. the kingside too) 18 'IIall .i..e6 19 lUb3
13 ~e5 he5 14 i.c51 with tremendous compensation. After the
coming ~, it will be difficult for Black
to keep a m.inim2l grip on the dark
16 i.e2"5 16 ~3.i.f6
l6.. id6?1 V .i.xd6 cxd6 18 .i.b5+ Wi8
19 'fid41 (Ehlvest) can hardly be counte-
nanced from either a tactical or positional
17 1:(e1 0-0 18 J.d3 ed7 19 li:Je51 .dB
20 .f3 wg7 21 h41
A fme picture of activity. White threat·
ens the very attractive 22 lUd7 hd7 23
'fI'xf6+l1 and mate on d4. However, Black
A key move. White prevents castling continues to put up the best defence, and
and prepares to gang up on the e-61e. Note White has to be content with a small ma-
that the standard e-fde blocking manoeu- terial gain.
vre ...~e6 will not always be available
here due to the pin on Black's f-pawn. 14
Ael?1 iod61 would be weaker.
Two alternatives are worth attention
Eor the light they shed on White's possi-
a) After 14 ...'fkE5 Sveshnikov offers us
the following superb demonstration of
White's attacking potential: 15 Ael .tf6
(15... g6?! 16 .he7I) 16 1i'e2 ().O 17 J.w
Ae8?1 (17 ... ~xe71 18 9xe71'1xh5 19 'fIxc7
restricts White to a positional advantage
only) 18 g41 (destroying Black's hopes of 21 •. ..bh41 22 .f4.ifS 23 It:if3li:Jg81 24
mobilising his queenside) 18.....d7 19 hf8+ Wxf8 25 Ilad1 WS7 26 c4 c671 27
i.xf61 Axe2 20 llxe2 gxf6 21 Aael 1i'c6 22 cxd5 cxd5 28 Ac4
AeSt Wg7 23 Ale7 .bg4 24 .ixf7t win· The d-pawn forms a new target for
ning back huge material. The bishop on White's operations.
h5 frequently proves juclf as a tremendous 26 ...ilUt7 29.i.b3 a6
attacking resource, and Black's attempt in Black cannot afford to desert the king-

b) 14...i.f6 15 Ael g6 16 .h2! .5
the game to evict it immediatdy is under-

W'a4+I (again Sveshnikov's presaiptioni

White uses aU his forces to keep the black
side with 29.. ..ixb2, since 30 l2ld41 basi-
cally prevents its retum. EhlVe5t gives the
further 30.• ixd4 31 1i'xd4+ *s8 32 -.f6
~e6 33 lhe61 with a crushing attack.
30 lOg6 lIa6 31 ~ &411 32 i.c4 1le6
king in the centre) 17...c6 (17•••1i'd7 18 33 9d21 .c7 34li:Jxf6 llxf6 36 hd51
iff41 is a nice transfer of the queen; a re- An unfortunate slip just when White's

The Scorch Game

fine efforts were just bearing fruiL 35 16 .L3 .i.b61 with ...~5 and ...e4-e3 to
.i.bS! would have maintained control. come W2S very pleasant for White in
35•• ..i.g41 36 f3 ~d5 37 fxg4 Hakki-Husari, Syria 1992.
Of course White would want to recap- 14.. ib6 15 ot:ld2 'Wea3 16 fxe3 lDIe8
ture the knight, but unfonunately 37 17 c41
.xd5? allows 37.•. hOl
37 ••••g3 38 g6 IIf47
Returning the favour. 38•• JUS 39 "<14+
f6 40 gxf6+ ~h61 is a draw according to
Ehlvest. Now White can exchange a pair
of rooks, and moreover, the gS-pawn
spells bad news for Black's king.
39 lin 1 83 40 1lxf41tW4 41 Wd4+ 1'()

Game 57
Yerevan Olympi4d 1996
1 e4 a5 2 ot:lf3 ot:lc6 3 d4 alUl4 4 ~d4 An.other important moment. Black can
J..c6 5 Aa3 9f6 6 c3 ot:lga7 7 J..c4 1lle5 still claim a degree of positional compensa-
8 .i.e2 .g6 9 0-0 d510 ~51 ~g417 tion, based not just on White's e-pawns,
An. attempt to improve upon Game 56. but on his easy development and strong
Rather than be subjected to an unpleasant bishop on b6. So White addresses this lat-
attack, Black sacrifices a pawn of his own•. ter question. Note that the e-pawns are
not just dead wood. The e3-pawn plays a
crucial role in cementing the strongly cen-
tralised knight on d4.
In Konguvel-Barcenilla, Calcutta 1994,
Black tried to preserve his bishop by
avoiding this capture preferring 17...a5,
but the piece anyway becomes pretty
much incarcerated after 18 c5.i.a7 19lt)bS
.i.b8 20 It)b3 axb4 21 exdS lbfs 22 e4 Axe4
23 d6 with the better chances for White.
18 ot:lxc4 :ad871
18...1led8 would prevent White's plan
11 hg6 hd1 12 hn+ Wxf7 131lxd1 in the game, but it takes the pressure off
ot:lc4 the e-fde and allows White time to build
or course 13...dxe4? 14 ~ would with 19341
play into White's hands. Now Black offers 191Oxb61
his opponent a choice: retreat the bisbop Accuracy is all. 19lDbS? would be care-
and return the pawn, or suffer the struc- less since 19...a6120 ~ axbsl is embar-
tural coosequences of an exchange on d. rassing, while if 20 likJ WI the bishop
14b41 bas secured a rather promising lease of life.
Very strong. 14 .i.el?1 dxe4 15 b3lhd6 19...axb6

5 ~e3 .'6 6 c3 lUge7 7 J.c4: Systems with ..• lOe5

'routine' development and immediately

taking the bull by the borns:
a) 10 iCd2?1 .i.b61 11 a4 (come back
queen on g6, all is forgiven; without the
.i.hS idea, and with 11 f4 comfonably
countered by 11...1ih6, White is rather
stuck for a planl) 1l••.lL\5c61 12 exd5?1 (12
lL\c2 looks safer) 12...lL\xd5 13 ~ 1ih4
14 ~f3 ~ and Black was somewhat
better in Blatny-Malaniuk. Pardubice
b) 10 f41 (this is the way to punish the
absence of ..:"g6) 10...lL\5c6 (the point is
20 lilb5 ~c6 21ltxdB ltxdB that supporting the bishop on e3 is no
21 ...lOxd8 22 rul+! (driving away the longer a testing task, so 10...1ih6?1 11
king, which secures the cfS.square for the fidll favours White; however, 10...lL\c4!?
knight) 22 ...9Jg6 23 f&c7 Jbe4 24lDds is 11 .hc4 me4 12 0d2 bS restricts White
no improvement. to a minimal edge) 11 e5 tiM, as in Tho-
22 li:Jxc7 Ild2 23 1If1+ wg6 24 li:Jd5 rhallsson-Svidler, Gausdal 1991, should
llxa2 25 b51l'iJa7 26 Ilf8 lls4 favour White. There is no reason to
26...lOxbS? would bring the potential weaken the light squares on the kingside
danger to Black's king into sharp focus, with 12 g3?1 The undefended bishop on c5
viz. 27lL\f4+ 'iPh6 28 ruS! (againQ affords White the opponunity to
27 e5 1'() evict the queen with the more thematic U
There are now no more complications. ~f21 with a defmite plus.
The c:-pawn runs home by tactical means 10 li:Jd21
after 27 .. Jle4 28 e6! ll)xbs 29 e7 ~ 30 Here this natural development is clearly
l1d8. best, and the very fact that tbe substitu-
tion of ...().O over the ...d7-d6 of Games
Game 58 6Q.64 permits this smooth mobilisation
Kasparov-Sorin sbould give Black pause for thought.
Buenos Aires (simultaneous) 1997 It is just wonh mentioning that the
premature initiation of tactics by 10 lil£5?
1 e4 e5 2 IOt3 lOc6 3 d4 exd4 4 lOxd4 is simply bad here since 10...~ 11 hc5
J.c5 5 ..Ile3 .f8 8 c3 lOge7 7 ..Ilc4 ~ (11 exfS 1i'b6Q 1l...ltlh41 12 g3 d6 with
There is nothing at all wrong with this ....i.hl and .....xe4 to follow give Black a
move - we shall see plenty more of it in ferocious attack.
the next chapterl However, I would be 10...d8
willing to stiCk my neck out and say that I 10...d5 will be considered in the next
do not think it is the best way to initiate game. Neither of these can, in my view, be
the ...~ idea. The reasons will, I hope, regarded as fully adequate for Black. The
become dear over the course of the rest of fault lies in the combination of an early
the chapter. ••• ().O with ...10:5.
8 ~ lOe5 9 ..Ile2 .S8 11.i.h51
Black can also consider 9...dS!? when Another old friend!
White has an instructive choice between 11 ••••te 12 f4 /t}5c8

The Scotch Game

19 1rb3 iLd7 20 Atc1 iLc6

The key work with such a move is to 21 .i.d21
establish its 'playability'; its desirability on An excellent rearrangement of the
general grounds cannot be disputed. 13 pieces. The bishop heads for its arena of
liUb3 was played previously, but Kas- greatest influence. while the queeo is freed
parov wants to put this piece to the more to assist the decisive opening of lines on
active square c4. the kingside.
13•••~ 14 c:xd4 .tb6 21 ...iOg& 22 .e3 1tfe8 23 b3 .d7 24 a4
I have not yet seen any published IOf8 25 ~ ~6 2& g4 "f7
analysis of l4... .i.xd41? so the foUowing is ~B 2B :af1 :adB 29 :g3 lld7 30 wg1
27 Ag1

a cautious attempt to bring out the main .g6 31 gxf6.xf6 32 iLg4.e4 33 "'xe4
ideas: 15 eS dxe5 16 Exes exeS 17 ltk41 dxe4 34 he& Jlxe& 35 f5 9X'5 36 lb'5
"d5 (hitting c4 and h5 and thus saving the he 37 lIf6 ..td6 38 ..tt81
piece) 18 hd4 'ti'xc4 19lkl 1lfd5 20 Ad Even with reduced material the oppo-
.xd12l mxdt nea 22 Lv g61 and now site-coloured bishops can assist the side
I see DO more than a small advantage for mounting a din:ct attack 00 the king.
White after 23 Lal? gxh5 24 nd5 f51 25 3B •• Jlxf6 39 exf6 iLea 40 Wf2 Wh7 41
bJl? .ie6 26 nes .hal 27 Us .i.b 11 (this ..te7 h5
fine switch of diagonals is Fritz's conuibu- 41..Jlxd4 would aUow the simple 42
tionQ 28 lhhs when I suspect that Black 1Ig7+ ~h8 43 17. Soon White is able to
can defend, although his task is not a open a 'second froot' 00 the queenside.
ple.JSaDt one. It may be that K.asparov has The game is over.
something stronger - I am not surprised 42 b4l1d6 43 We3 A'6 44 A97+ WhB 45
that SoriiI chose to avoid this. ~e4 c6 46 .idB 1112 47 chG :e2+ 48
16 tnc4 d6 18 e5 .e& 17 ~6 axb8 18 Wd&.i.b3 49 DxiJ7 1bh2 5085 buS 61
.i13 f6 bxaS iLc4 52 ltb4 iLf1 63 d6 cxdS 64
Black is afraid of White expanding on 11141-0
the kingside with g2-g4 and f4-fS. and
hopes to be able to blockade White's e- Game 59
pawn. Later he is able to manoeuvre his Rublevsky-Peng Xiaomin
knight to e6. but this piece is impotent to Yerevan Olympiad 1996
deal with the decisive opening of lines on
the kingside. 1 e4 a6 2 ItIf3 ~& 3 d4 axd4 4 1ilxd4

5 iLe3 .f6 6 c3 10ge7 7 ~c4: Systems with .•. lOe5

.i.e& 5 Ae3 .f8 6 c3 ~7 7 ..tc4 0-0 8 chances and a positional plus.

a-a lOe6 9 ..te2 "'g6 10 &12 d5 11 ..tIl61 17.11.21 g6
Yet again, when a pause in the ebb and Now there is a simple tactical refutation
flow of events gives White the chance to of 17...fud4?, in 18iDxd4iDxd4 19 i.b4.
initiate play, this is the way to do it, ex- The text has far-reaching implications.
panding his position by atucking fust White now decides to give up the bishop
Black's queen and then the knight on 0. pair by capturing on f5. Again it looks
very fme for Black's light-square chances,
but the effect on the dark squares is devas-
lating. White switches to direct attack and
breaks through with some ease.

11 ......6
Neither can Black's queen escape un-
welcome attention by 11 ...'Cta6?112 .!L)2b31
i.d6 13 .te2 .!LX4 14 i.ell, since after this
shrewd retreat Black's knight is overex-
tended and his centre under pressure. 19 AxlSI \idS 20 lIe1
12 f41 106e6 13 eS ¥h6 14 ~ hd4 Remarkably, this rook is heading for
15 cxd4 pI
15 iLxd4 is also not bad, but once it is 20 .• ..i.e6 21 1lc3lllac8 22 Ag3
established that Black cannot capture on Even now the exposure of Black's
d4 (see note to move 16) it must be right queen to din:ct attack is an important fac-
to keep the bishop pair. Black's bealthy tor. Black's response is hopelessly weaken-
appearance on the light squares will be ing, but it is bard to suggest anything bet-
revealed as something of an illusion. ter.
15 ...10'6 18 Ad21 .e6 23 IOc5 I()dB 24 exf6 W117 25 Ag5 \ixf8
Of course 16...lDc:xd4 is critical, but 28151
once Black releases his Iight-square block- This simply wins material as the g-
ade, White's superiority on the dark pawn cannot abandon its defence of hS.
squares takes on a morc concrete fonn The rook on gS was the key to success,
and, moreover, the bishop on hS, as in itself a tribute to White's dark-square
previous games, leaps into the limelight as domination.
a formidable attacking weapon. White has 26....bf5 27 J1gxf6 W'xf5
V ltUd4 ~d4 18 fS! 1ib6 (18......a6 19 f61 After 27...gU5. the simplest is 28 IlXI7
also results in problems for the dark ti'g7 29lDxi8+ .xi8 30 trxh5+
squares around Black's king) 19 .te31 cS 20 28 lIxf& llxfS 29 .e1 1Of7 30 .eS IlKis
hd41 ad4 21 1I'd21 with attacking 31 &171084 32 ge7+ wgS 33..t1l6 1-0

The Scotch Game

inferior in view of 10.. ih31 11 .i.f3 when

Game 60 Black will at leisure secure a nice edge
Svidler-Arkhipov based on White's lack of any compensa-
Russian Ch., Eiist4 1994 tion for the bishop pair. In Nikovits-
Lukacs, Hungary 1991, Black did not
1 e4 as 2 lDf3 lDc8 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4 rush, preferring fll'St 11 ...0.0!? 12 llk2 (If
.16 5 .i.a3 .i.c6 6 c3 lDge7 7 .i.c4iCeS 12 wh I, 12.. ig41 is quite embarrassing)
8 .i.a2 -Se 9 O~ del 12.. JladBI 13 b4 (13 .bc5 dxc5 introduces
In my opinion this is dearly the best the terrible threat ..Jlxd2 into the equa-
way for Black to approach this line, and tion) 13....i.b6 14 hb6 axb6 with a very
indeed the diagram position forms the pleasant position.
basis for the remainder of the chapter. 10... 0~
Both the alternatives, 9...0.0 and 9...dS, For 10....xe4l? see Game 61.
covered above allow White to start dictat- 11~2
ing events, featuring in both cases the forc- 11 f3 is likely to transpose to Games 63
ing move .A.hSI embanassing the black and 64, while II f41? has not been tested at
queen. Here, however, the bishop on c5 is a very high level, but nonetheless seems to
well defended, the square g4 prepared for be a very enticing alternative. The first
Black's immediate use, and in addition point is that 1l.....xe4?1 leads to acute
White has to weigh up the 'dual threat' of embarrassment for her majesty after 12
.....xe4 and .. ih3. 1Od2 flxe3 13 ~c21 - a rather unusual
trapping procedure. This is not quite the
end of the story, however, as after
13...lilg4 14 ~ (14 .txg4~ .-<130
14...lOxe3 15 'ifa4 ~1 16 !tx.fl Black
amassed rook. bishop and pawn for the
queen, a vinual material parity, in E.BeIl·
Acs, European U-16 Championship, Ri-
mavska Sobota 1996. Still, White will put
the bishop on 0, and in view of his con-
trol of the long light-squared diagonal,
combined with the possibility of advanc·
ing the queenside pawns, I prefer his posi·
10Wh1 The second point is that 11...0g4 caD
The fU'St of a variety of ways in which be met with U .i.gl. Now K.Grosar-
White .c3n sacrifice the e-pawn for some Basagic, Bled 1993, resulted in disaster for
play, based on the slightly aposed black White after u...fS 13 exfS? lDxfs 14.i.xg4
queen and the uncastled black king - more lOg3+I with a strong attack. There is, of
specifically the tactical possibility of lObS. course no need to activate the opponent's
Here Black eschews the· offer, which. per- pieces like this. 13 .hg4 immediately
haps a little strangely, is the most com- looks very promising, answering 13...fxg4
mon choice in practice. with 14 lSI and 13.....xg4 with 14 .q4
The alternatives 10 f4 and 10 £3 are con- fxg41S~bSI
sidered in Game 62 and Games 63/64 re- I would certainly regard 11 f4 as the
spectively, while 10 lOd2?1 is defmitely theoretically aitical line here, and this is

5 ~e3 fif6 6 c3 lOge7 7 .tc4: Systems with ... lOe5

another good argument for the A sensible move. The greedy 18...~6?1
10...1Ixe4(Q of Game 61. 19.*.e3 ~ 20 f4t would leave Black very
" •••/0g41 passive.
Suppon for this advance is, of course, a 19 .b.S duS 20 llxe7 fOes 21 l:lc3 fOf4
major motivation for ...."g6. 22 .i.c4 .i..a 23 g317 .bh371
12 ~f4 fOf6 13.i.d3 A great pity, Black gets his pieces hor-
Black's interesting redeployment of his ribly tangled just as he has demonstrated
knight is looking to answer 13 Ot? by equality. He should have played 2J •• ..hc4
1l...lllli5 14 .i.e) iSl with some COUDter- 24 lOxc4 ~I 25 lDxe5 ~ 26 f3 lDe6
play. with no problems.
13•.••g41 14 _xg4 fOxg4 1S b4.i.xd4
Probably both this and the quieter
15..ib6t? result in approximate equality.
The main effect of the text move is to
render the play much more critical, re-
quiring accuracy from both sides.

An instruaive moment. Black was
rightly quite happy to give up two pieces
for a rook in the case of 24 gxf4?1 i.xfl 25
£xCI :aesr White will have to relinquish
both the c- and dofiles or permit an ex-
change of his fmal rook, both unaccept-
17 he1 able options. Meanwhile, his kingside
Svidler's annotation here is very curi- lacks solidity and Black has a passed h-
ous. He criticises this move, preferring 17 pawn. What he has overlooked is this in-
dS(?Q lbxb4 18 ~e2 Ile8 and now 19 comparably better way to win two pieces
:£c1(?). Unfonunately this allows for the rook while keeping control
19...ltlxf2+ 20 'ittgl ~e4 which is winning 24•••fOea 25 g4 lLlf4 28 Wh21 :aea 27
for Black. Worse run, whilst the idea of 17 :xh3 l:lfd8 28 .Q.dS l:lc2 29 l:ld1 lDxh3
dS, retaining an imponant centre pawn 30 Wxh3 ~8 31 wg2 18 321l1f11
and then seeking play on the b- and c-files, An altogether different situation has
is admirable, there seems to be no satisfac- arisen from that which Black envisaged on
tory way to organise it. If White throws move 23. White's knight lw two enticins
in 19 f3lDe5I, or indeed 19 .txg4 then the routes. After lDe), he can head either for
dHquare is a problem, and 19 Jlabl fS, or, (oUowin, the pawn sacrifice g4-p,
~ is equally unsatisfactory. Hence I via g4 to c. In either case White's two
see nothing better than the column move. pieces dominate the board, while .bis op-
17...fOxd41 18 h3 lile61 ponent·s rooks have few points of attack.

The Scotch GBme

In any casc, Black's Dext move is a mis- 14 .i.f4.i.d7!

take. Giving up the c·fi1e enables White's Although it has to be said that this im-
rook to join the attack too with decisive proves upon a pme where in any case
consequences. Black's difficulties were not that acute, the
32 •• Jlxa27 33 lIe1 1lb2 34 lle7 Jhb4 35 move bas an elegant logic. The queen on
~311lb6 361Llf6 oS 37 1lf7+ 1-0 g6 and bishop on c6 combine most effec-
H 37..•We8 38ltlg7 is mate immediately. tively. 14...J.fS bad been played in Lau-
tier-Van der Sterrcn, Amsterdam 1994,
Game 61 which continued 15 ltlb3 .t.b6 16 lQb5
Van Wely-Piket Ilbd8 17 fl'd2ltl7c6 18 .i.eJ ..beJ 191t'xe3
Monaco (2nd matchgame) 1997 lUe8 20 11fd2 d5 when despite Black's is0-
lated queen's pawn, he had no seriow
1 e4 a5 2 '013 ILleS 3 d4 axd4 4 'Oxd4 problems since his pieces are active and
.i.e6 6 .i.a3 Vf6 6 c3 It:ige7 7 .i.c4 1110671 have good squares to head for. It is wonh
A very interesting moment. Alter Lock staying with the play for just a few more
van Wely's reply we transpose back to moves to note how Black acquires a new
weU-uodden paths. The question is strongpoint every time White takes steps
whether the players had found reason to to deal with the last: 21 Jlaelltlc4 22 "d
doubt theory's condemnation of 7...•g6. Ae4! 23 f3 (this takes back control of e4
or whether they were both ignorant of it. but weakens eli White could do with two
The latter seems unlikely, on the face of it, f-pawnsO 23.. it'S 24 .i.xc4 (removing the
in a match between two bigh-class and threat to occupy eJ, but at the price of
weD-prepared professionals. but such curi- inviting the bishop into dl) 24... dxc4 25
osities do occur occasionally as timely lD3d4 ltlxd4 26 lbxd4 .i.dll and this fine
reminders of top-grandmaster fallibility. piece will guarantee equal play.
For the record the theoretical refutation of
7...•g6 since lvancbuk-Gulko, Reykjavik
1991. runs 8 ltlxc6! 'l'xc6 (If 8...'fi'xg2 9
lUI he3 10 1Oxe7 simply wins material)
9 .hfi+1 Wxf7 10 'fIh5+ ltlg6 11 .f5+1
We8 12 .-xeS 'if'xe4 13 ltld2 and whether
or not Black captures on g2, his king,
stuck pretty permanently in the middle.
will be subjected to great discomfort. I
have found no reason to doubt this ver-
dict! .
80-0 1Lle5 9 .i.e2 d6110 Wh1 'ifxe41
The simplest and most thematic way.
even if not the most popularl Both the 15 1Llb3 ~c6 16 -*.g3 .i.b6 17 It:Ib5 1Ot5
current game and Game 62 give Black 18 lLl3d4 ~g3+ 19 b83
cause for optimism that he can respond to White still has aspirations to disturb
both 10 whl and 10 £4 in the textbook Black's queen with .th5 and ltlf5. Black's
'anti-gambit' manner, namely, accept the reply puts a stop to these. 10 general,
offer, but be willing to return the material Bbu:k's activity and bishop pair look good
in exchange for speedy development. value in achange for the slight weakness
11 lLlc:I2.06 12 Qlb5 0-0 13 'Oxe7 ltb8 ofd6.

5 .i.e3 flf6 6 c3 fiJge7 7 .i.c4: Systems with ... fiJe5

19•••.i.e4 20 Ah51ihO 21 .i.f3 d5?1 full play for the pawn.

This has the serious drawback that after 391Oxf61 h4
the exchange on e4 Black's e-pawn may be 39 •.• lhf51oses to 40 lidS
vulnerable to attack. 21. ..~J 22 gxfJ 40 lidS "c7 41 .e3 l1f6 42 ~g1 hxg3
.tc6 was better according to Van Wely, 43 ltlxg3 1-0
since after 23 ~c6 bxc6 24 lDxd6 llbdB
25 ltlf5 ti'g51 the, penetration of his rook Game 62
to the seventh rank. will suppon danger- Morozevich-Balashov
ous counterplay. St Petersburg Zonal 1993
22 Axe4 dxe4 23 1Ie2 e3 24 rof5 ile6
25 lDbd4 bd4 26 fud4 'flb6 27 "xe3 1 e4 86 2 {jJf3 1&8 3 d4 exd4 4 fiJxd4
Abe82811f296 .*.eS 6 .i.e3 .16 6 c3 fiJge7 7 .i.c4 llles
8 .*.e2 996 9 0-0 d6 10 f417

29 h37
This jeopardises the larger part of 10 ...•xe41
White's initiative. This weakness of gJ is a Here the acceptance of the challenge is
more serious concern than the possibility almost universal. 10...li:lg4?1 11 .bg4!
of Black's knight coming to g4. Piket now (better than the superficially attractive 11
immediately redeploys his knight to w-get f5?1li:lxe3 12 fxg6 lOxdl 13 gxf7+ Cities 14
iL hdl lhc61 [Wells] when White cannot
29 ••• fiJd3 30 .f3 &61 31 b3 lOe4 32 support f7 and could suffer on the dark
:ad1 Ve7 33 l1d3 fS 34 .f4 Ob6 35 c4 squares) 1l...i.xg4 12 fi'dJ with li:l1d2 and
g5 36 fle1 f4-f5 to foUow favours White (Lukacs).
36 '5'f3? f41 would be a harsh punish- After the text, the current theoretical ver-
ment for the self-inflicted weakness of gJ. dict is again quite rosy, conditional upon a
36 ...fla5 37 ~h21 'i!i'e5 3811ff3 h67 willingness to n:tum material and a well
Black has generated a fair degree of ac- developed sense of dangerl
tivity to compensate for the pawn minus. 11 .*.12 hd41
This time-trouble induced blunder ruins This capture is necessary, panly because
everything. He should have tried the the- of a familiar danger (U ...li:lSg6? 12 ll:ld2
matic 38.. .f41 when Van Wely still claims a 'i!t'xf4 is met, for example, by a crushing
slight plus by 39 gxf4 gxf4 40 irel. How- version of the old 13 It)b51 idea) and panly
ever, 4O...l1dB1 forces White into funher because Black's qw:en berself is in serious
passivity. and Black should have close to peril: 1l•..ll:ld7 12 .id3 "\idS 13 c41 'ti'xd4

The Scotch Game

14 .hd4 hd4+ 15 lU21 ~6 16 hJ, Stein- likely scene of White's bishops on the
grimsson-Lukacs, Kecskemet 1991, for rampage.
example, is good for White. 24 IWcd81 llIfd7 26 q)f6 g811 28 .ig4
12 cxeMl tt16g8 13 1lIc3 'D'xf4 14 1ilb6 Wh8 27 Jlxe6 lDxe6 28 ~ 1-0
0-01 16 lDxe7 JIbS
Game 63
German Bundesliga 1997
1 a4 e5 2 q)f3 ~c:8 3 eM exeM 4 ~d4
i.e5 6 .ie3 eta 8 c3 q)ge7 7 .ic:4lOe6
8 i.e2 "0690-0 d6 10 f311 "
White's most solid choice, if ooly be-
cause it uniquely deals with both of
Black's threats (as lO....th3 no longer
causes great inconvenience in view of 11
!t(2). The drawback of the move is the
long-term weds:ening of the e3-square and
16d6 the loosening of the bishop on e3. The
I am increasingly convinad that White most interesting structural consequence of
has no possible advantage in the diagram. the move is that if Black now reverts to
16 It)bS can be met with 16..~d7I? 17 the plan of playing ...d7-d5 (3Jld he usually
0:u.7 li'g5 18 a4 ~. White's problem is doesQ, White has the choice of answering
that his bishop pair in no way overshad- a future ...d5xe4 by recapturing with the f·
ows Black's excellent centralised knights, pawn - see G.une 64.
controlling key squares like f4 and e3. 10•••0-0 11 iOd2 d6 12 Wh1 i.b8
Still, this might be better than the prob- Black keeps a foothold in the centre
lems arising from ... rather than take his chances by isolating
16... b81 White's e-pawn. My feeling is that Black's
White sought to open up the diagonal approach in the nat game is preferable.
for the 'uncontested' half of his bishop 13 .if4.ta 14 .iglitl6g8 16 Jle1 eO 16
pair; and Black closes it off, using the fact axd60xd6 17 .if1 .ie7 18 .ixe7 lWce7
that 17 .i.xb6 "pi 18 .i.d4 lUf5 will give 19 c&4 "e7 20 .d2 .be 21141
strong counterplay.
17 1ilb6 "g6 18 iCxa7 ~71 19 .i.g3
0xd6 2Q "e1 .e77
A real shame after his fine opening
play. The e-fIle is sufficiendy Black's do-
main that he could have played the natural
2O...l&3121!lel rueSl without fearing the
pin, and with strong positional pressure.
21 Jle1 ~6 22 llib61Of8 23 "g5 "e87
Presumably disturbed by the sudden
turn of events, Black fails to address a
simple threat. 23 ...h6 24 11'114 ruea was
Dot SO terrible. Now we get the once un-

5 iLe3 fl'6 6 c3 lOge7 7 iLc4: Sysrems wlrh ... lOe5

During the game I was constandy im-

pressed with how much White could
make of his small advantage. Basically he
has better posted knights and the inability
of Black's queen to run from the e-fUe to
work with.
21 .. Jlad8 22 .5 c5 23 be6 be8 24
lOxe5 .xe5 25 "e3 e5 26 lOf3 .xe3 27
be3 1LId5 28 lIee1 lOb6 29 Wg1 llleS
30 lle4 h8 31 llae1 ~7 32 Jl4e3 lIe7
White is still squeezing the maximum
by playing against the scope of Black's
knights. Not just Black's e-pawn is weak, 13.. ..i.g41
but his light squares on the kingside too. This seems to be Black's most reliable
33 .. .llde8 34 .i.d3 109.8 3slOh41 answer to 10 O. It is wonh exchanging the
Thus White will win the e5-pawn while bishop on e2. In Schmindiel-I.Sokolov,
aucially maintaining all Ws positional
plusses. Excellent technique.
3& ... ~.8 38 10'5 lIe7 37 JlxeS Jlxe& 38
lxe&108d7 39lle7 Wf8 40 llxu711e6 41
. Jlg8 IId5 42 lUd4 h5 43 Jlg& ~5 44
.3 .d7
Groningen 1991, Black found this out to
his cost after 13....d6?1 14 ~41 ~4 15
.i.xc4 ~ 16 (the point is that
16...~ fails to 17 i.f4Q 17 0e61 fxe6 18
hcS with a horrible position for Black.
.1821-0 14 .i.f4 .i.d61?
This is supposed to be a finesse com-
Game 64 pared with 14....be2 15 'tIrxe2 Ld6 16
Thorhallsson-Pinter lDb51 In any case that is not too terrifying
Manila Olympiad 1992 either. Black has, for example, t6...lD7c6
17 lLlb3 lUeS, and now 18 lDxd6 ffxd6 19
1 e4 8& 2 10.3 lUce 3 d4 exd4 4 li»Id4 Lil1Je7 20 lDd4lDxd4I? 21 cxd4iLlg6! is
J.eS 5 iL83 ••8 8 c3 1Oge7 7 iLc4 ~5 nothing for White. White should prefer 18
8 iLe2 flg8 9 0-0 d6 10.3 0-0 11 *"1 03d41? with a slight edge.
d6 12 lOd2 dxe41 13 be4 1&be5
There is nothing new in debates con- I do not see how Black intended to re-
cerning the relative imponance of isolated spond to 15 lDb51, other than with
pawns or active pieces. The interesting 15.. ixe2, transposing to the above note,
aspect here is that Black's pieces can in no since 15...Wh5, for example, fails misera-
way be regarded as passive. They are bly to 16 .bg4lDxg4 17 ltixd6. The teXt
rather a little awkww - in particular the leads to dead equality.
queen on g6, a double-edged sword as we 16.. ..be2 16"xe2 be5 17 ~c4 hd41
have seen throughout the chapter. 13 18 cxd4 c6 19 Dad1 .86 20 b3 ladS 21
tme4 would incidentally be wonh consid- .f3 :fe8 22 e5 lOeB
ering in the case of 13.. ib6?114 i.f4, but Black covers d6, and has no more prob-
instead Black has the powerful 13...001 lems. White chose to repeat moves imme-
which forces White into the rather passive diately.
14i.f2. 23.!ile3 ~7 24lllc4lOc8 26lile3 %-%

The Scotch Game

Extensive practice with 7 J.c4 and the systems with ...1Des examined in this chapter have
produced some great chess (look no funher than Game 56). I also think some pretty
clear guidance has emerged too. I am convinced that 7...ll}es 8 .i.e2 'ttg6 9 ().O d6!, the
subject of Games 6().6.4, is the way forward for Black. Gambits are there to be taken and
10 whll? "tirxe4! is no exceptiODj Game 61 is fme for Black. Objectivdy, and perhaps
disappointingly for the romantics, the quiet 10 (3 is probably White's best move. Game
64 is pretty much state of the an for both sides, and just fractionally better for White.

1 e4 a& 2lilf3111c& 3 d4 ••d4 4 /l)xd4 .i.e& & ..ta3 916 8 c3lbga7 7 Ac4

7 ...lbe&
7••. b6 - OJaprer 10
7...().() 8 ().() (D)
8....g6 - aaprer 10
8....i.b6 - Qapter 10
8...lbe5 9.i.e2 1I'g6 10 itld2
10...dS - Game 58; 10.•.d6 - Game 59
7...'f!ig6 - Game 61
8 .i.e2 .06 9 O.() (D) d8
9... dS IOAb5!
10......xe4 - Game 56; 10... J.g41? - Game 57
9•••()'o 10 itld2
10... d6 - Game 58; 10...dS - Game 59
10 Wh1 (DJ
10 f4 - Game 62
.10 f3 ().() 11 'i!1h 1 dS 12itld2
12...J.b6 - Game 6Jj 12•••dxe4 - Game 64
10••• 0-0
10...•xe4 - Game 61
11 lLld2 - Game 60

9 0-0

5 ~e3 'fif6 6 c3 t'L)ge 7 7 i..c4:
Systems without ...llJe5

1 e4 e5 2 IOf3 &6 3 d4 exd4 4 lOxd4 Black is anticipating 10 .ile2, trying to

.ie5 5 .b3 W'f6 6 c3 Illge7 7 .tc4 reach a position from the last chapter
In this chapter we round off our survey (Game 60). However, here this move fails
of the 7 JLc4 variation by looking at lines to a tactical trick based upon the loose
where Black avoids (or delays) playing bishop on 0, the implications of which
...lLleS. Games 65 and 66 deal with the are profoundly positional. 9.. .Jlxd41 is
sequence 7...0.0 8 0.0 'ili'g6, while Games better - see Game 66.
67 and 68 consider 7...Q.O 8 Q.O .t.b6 and 10 IOf51 IOxfs 11 exf5 'fic6 12 he5
Games 69 and 70 with 7... b6. .xeS 13 .i.b31
In Chapter 9, Game 58, note to White's
Game 65 tenth move, the possibility for White to
Smyslov-Ioseliani reach such a pawn structure is dismissed.
Veterans 'OS. Women, Prague 1995 Here, however, there are key differences.
The most basic is that White's bishop, for
1 e4 e5 2 lOf3 llle6 3 d4 exd4 4 1Wcd4 once, has the possibility of retreating to a
.ic5 5 .te3 Wf6 6 c3lOge7 7 .tc4 0-0 8 more active square than e2. This, in turn,
~ "g617 9 llld2lOe571 gives White the chance to develop his
queen aggressivdy. With control of the e-
file and his opponent's lack of opponu-
nity to generate play in the centre,
Smyslov can expand on the kingside too,
while the f5-pawn cuts off Black's pieces,
particularly the bishop, from the defence.
13•••d51411e11 fiJD
An idea of the potential of White's
forces on the kingside is gleaned from the
variation 14...lild3 15 lL:3 ILlxb2 16 1Jb5
1Llc4 17 !lh3 h6 18 :gJ lfixd2 19 f61 with a
devastating attack.
15 .f31O'6 16 g41.i.d7 17 £c2

The Scotch Game

Avoiding the impetuOWl 17 g5 lDe41 9 ... ,bd41

Smyslov's move prepares the very power- The idea of giving up this bishop as a
ful advance of the g-pawn. We can be sure prelude to landing White with an isolated
that the decision to play Black's next queen's pawn (IQP) is one of Black's basic
move was not taken lighdy. weapons in this system. Here it seems
17 ••• g6 18 h4 h6 19 Ilxg6 IlxgS 2O.g3 panicularly appropriate, and is an impor.
.dB tant theoretical advance of Black's cause.
Another move played with a heavy 10 cad4
hean, but otherwise 21lOf3. 10 ~ looks unlikdy to threaten
21 ••dB cxdB 22 f3 Black's idea. He must abandon the ...d7~
Of course, necessary to defend g4, but idea in favour of 10...d61 11 whl (11 .ieJ?~
also creating a superb demonstration of lLles threatens 12..ih3) 11.. ..i.e61? with no
how to restrict minor pieces with pawns. problems.
With the chronica11y weak ~pawns in 10•••d5 11 exd51()b4 12 ~f41
:addition, it is really just technique, and White dccidc:s that she cannot prevent
who better than Smyslov.•.? the coming ...lDbxdS and so concentrates
22•• .85 23 iillJ3 b5 24 ~ b4 25 exb4 on the optimal posting of the bishop pair.
axb4 26 ~d3 liteS 27 Wl2 Jlc5 28 b3 I sadly have to agree with this conclusion,
~c8 29 lDc2 JIbS 30 Jle2 Ilc3 31 Jld1 having found that the ambitious 12 ~3?1
Wg7 32 ~ 1Oci7 33 1le8 lla8 34 Jld2 .*.hJ1 13 g3 .hE1 14 lbfl as 15 a3 ~a6
1()e5 35 ~e2 t.rn:& 3B It)b5 d4 37 ~6 gives insufficient compensation despite the
J..b7 38 :Xa8 .baS 39 It)b& Jle1 40 rather disorganised impression created by
~d4 ~5 41 Jle2 Jle1 42 lle5 WIG 43 Black's pieces. 16 'lIxbm is impossible
Jle6 J..b7 44 Jla4 ~d6 46 1la8+ We7 48 due to 16•. 1Ub8, and Black's knight is
lllc2 JZh1 47 ~ Jlh2+ 48 th3 1-0 coming quickly to fS.
12.•.lObxd& 13 .ig3 c6 14 Jle1 1Of6 15
Game 66 1Of3 ~g3 16 llxg3lillJB 17 J.b3 .f6 18
J.Polgar-Piket Jle51
Tilburg 1996
1 e4 e6 2 lOt3 It:lc& 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4
~c6 6 .ie3 "16 6 c3 lOge7 7 ~c4 0-0 8
0-0 .g617 9 1Oci2

The nature of White's compensation

for her isoWed pawn has changed from
the bishop pair to a dominance of the e-
me, some pressure on f7, and a question
mark over where Black should develop his

6 ~e3 flf6 6 c3 t;).ge7 7 i..c4: Systems without ... t;).e6

bishop. This in my view is clearly suffi- move) since Black's f7-square is defended.
cient. Note that 18 ~?I i.e61 would Second, the sacrifice 9 b4?1 (compare
throwaway the majority of these assets. Game 69) would lose much of its force
18•••.i.g4 19 'i'd3 .bt3 20 gxf3 :adS 21 bere since White's strategy there is to
:'.1 Zld7 22 wg2 g6 23 "a3 t;).ds 24 place pawns on e4 and d5 to play against
-.6 roc7 26 m,1 flg7 28 Wh4 as 27 the bishop on b7. Here, of course, the
:h.1 a4 piece is not yet committed. '
White has done well making the most 9 f41? might be worth a try, since in the
of her 'dynamic' pluses, $0 Black tries to analogous sectioo below, Black has .in-
free himseH. Through the following forc- variably chosen to castle loog. However,
ing sequence White maintains a definite following the game all-Hubner, Euro-
edge. pean Team Championship, Pula 1997, a
28 ha4 t;).a6 29 dS lIxd5 30 lbdS cxd5 further unashamedly positional approach
31 ~b3 flxb2 32 hdS "'d2 33 Zlh1 h5 holds sway. White played 9 aell? .tb7 10
34 .bee ha6 35 "84 ltf6 36 .a5 Wg7 i.fl (only 7...0-0 gives White the tempo
37 lIb1 fldSI necessary to effect this reorganisatioo;
This is a wise decision from Black.. The 7•..b6 8 ().() .tb7 9 lIe1? would run into
resulting rook endgame is not too danger- 9... ~Q 10...d5 11 ltm6 'ifxc6 12 .txc5
ous due to White's split pawns on the .xeS.
38 "xd5 exdS 39 1Ixb7+ Wlt6 40 Zlb4
Zlc6 41 a4 !tc3 42 Zld4 :a3 43 g4 g6 44
Ib4 h4 4S 1Id4 wg6 46 Jhd5 Jha4 47
Df5 Zlf4 46 na6 ~8 49 Zle4 WgS 50
Dxf4 %-%

Game 67
Tilburg 1991
1 84 a5 2 t;).f3 t;).c8 3 d4 axd4 4 t;).xd4
.i.e! 5 .i..3
0-0 ,be
6 c3llJge7 7 .i.c4 0-08
Now instead of 13 ~I, whiCh gave
Black retreats the bishop from its noto- Black the chance to restrict White to the
rious vulnerability on 0. This is a wise most minimal advantage by exchanging
prelude to development of the queenside, twice on e4, all suggests 13 eSl, intending
as 8...d6?! 9 ~c6 ~ 10 ..bc5 dxc5 11 a strategy directed at keeping the bisbop
f4 i;uarantees White a certain small advan- on b7 blocked and exploiting Black's in-
tage. ability to break with ...d5-d4. The bishop
An important alternative, however, is on f1 fulfils an ideal defensive role cover-
8...b6!? which bears an obvious similarity ing g2 and hence acting against any tacti-
with Games 69 and 70, but tends towards c:dly-based attempts to open the long
a rather quieter struggle for various rea- light-squared diagonal. It again comes into
SODS. First, White bas effectivdy lost the its own oHensivdy at the end of the line
option of moving the knight on d4 l3...~6 14 lM2 Wel 15 'ifhs 'ifh4?1 16
(compare Game 69, note to White's ninth 1t'xh4 l'i\xh4 17 g3 lLlg6 18 .ig2 (Oll)

The Scotch Game

when White can enjoy hopes of creating

play against the d5-pawo, or an advance of
his kingside majority.

30 llc2 .te& 31 A'21 .i.f4 32 ltc7 11.7 ..

33 IIc2 Ii:leS 34 .b2 ~7 36 .tf3 lUf6
36 1ld4llde8 37 wg2 g5 38 1lb4 wg7 39
9Wh1?1 .td4 ~g6 40 hf6 ..t>xf6 %- %
This fails to take account of Black's
easy preparation for the crucial ...d7-d5' Game 68
advance. The alternatives are dealt with in Oll-Peng Xiaomin
G.ame68. Beijing 1997
9 •• JldBI 10 'eIl51? h61 11 ~2 d51 12
exdS ~d4 13 cxd4 .afS 1 e4 a6 2 lilf3 li)c6 3 d4 exd4 4 lilxd4
Of course not the greedy 13.. ixd4?
when 14 d61 wins material. The f7-square
.i.c6 5 .te3 .16
0-0 .tb6 Slba31?
6 c3 lUga7 7 Ac4 0-0 8

remains a weak-point demanding great A sensible, sound developing move,

care. which as we shall see, contains a few
14 .'3'0961S .tf4.g4 tricky points. Black is well advised not to
Black had another route to good play assume thaI his retreat 8....1tb6 completely
with IS ...~g41? 16 "'3 ~ 17iDf3 .hE3 doses the saga of the weak c7-pawn.
181i'xfJ lDxd4 when his strong knight and Two other tries are worth a mentioD
dark-square influence is a good match for here:
the bishop pair. a) 9 /t)c2. The offer of the exchange of
16 .xg4 hg4 17 '31 .lif6 18 g4 .i.h7 bishops on eJ with the intention of bring. :,
19 d61 cxd6 20 ltae1 ~ 21 dS.i.a5 22 ing the knight via eJ to dS is a recurring ,i'
1ld1 1Ia~ 23 b3 a6 24 a4 .i.b4 26 iUe4 theme in this variation (see Game 73 for :j,
he4 26 txe4 li)g6 27 .tg3 lIe8 28 1:1f2 example). In this position Shon's reactioD '.i.'.l
IIcd8 29 Ad3 Jic371 9•••d6 10 .i.xb6 axb6 11 f4 gSl? is largdy
White has obviously conducted a pretty remembered for provoking one of Garry .J!
good rearguard action and Black should Kasparov's most famous facial expressioDS!
have contented himself with the small However, Black. can do better. I agree
edge available from 29...~ 30 heS with Gutman that 9...ltle5l (9.•.tig6!? 10 ;~
LeS. Of course, given the choice, the hb6 axb6 11 lZld2 IDeS 12 ~e2 dSl 13 £4 ;[
exchange of dark-squared bishops would ltlsc6 14 Ahs 1Ih6 15 e5 f6 16 Ve2 &e5 ;f
be preferable, but it will not be on the 17 exeS .i.e6 also looked comfonable in I'
cards. Hracek-Kavalek, Ceska Trebova 1996) 10 1:
5 .i.e3 'fIf6 6 c3 lOge7 7 .i.c4: Systems without ... lOe5

.i.e2 ~g61 11 hb6 axb6 12 liJe3 lllf4 sense in view of 11 ~61 The best try is
should offer good counter-chances on the probably 10...llleS, but then 11 'G'hS!
dark squares. . (Wells) with ideas of J.g5, maintains the
b) 9 i.bJI? (White uses the breathing initiative since after 11 ...lllxc4 12 tbxc4 the
space to take steps against Black's irritating prognosis for the c7-pawn i:s not good.
...d7-d5 possibility) 9...lba51? (as usual, e) 9...'ffg6 10 Itell? Illes 11 ill. d6 12
White can look forward to some initiative lQac2 f5 (12. ..lDg4!? seems more logical) 13
if Black does not generate active play: £4 lQg4 14 exfS lllxf5 15 lllxf5 .ixfs 16
9... d6 10 ¢>hll? lllxd4?1 11 cxd4 lllc6 12 .Lb6 axb6 17 1JdS+ wh8 18 l£)d4 looks
likJ! .axd4 13 ltlds ~eS 14 Ld4 Wxd4 like an edge for White, as in W.WatSOn-
15 l1Jxc7, as in Dolmatov-Yusupov, Wijk Van der Sterren, Prague 1992.
aan Zee [match] 1991, was unsatisfactory 10 hd41
for Black) 10 i.c2 lllc4 11 i.c1 dS (or Bener than 10 cxd4 when Black has the
1l... d61? [Gutman] 12 a41? a6 13 WhllQe5 typical break. 10...dS 11 adS :d8 12 fibs
14 f4 ~c6 15 lllxc6 lOxc6 16 lQd2 and h6 13 mel .IUS 141m Ad? with .about
White had a 'typical' slight spatial plus in equality Chandler~hon,EngIish Cham-
Stefansson-Milos, Oviedo 1993) 12 exdS pionship 1991. White's cause is better than
.ixd4 13 cxd4 i.f5 14lQc3 bc2 15 'iVxcl in the analogous position' from Game 67,
~b6 16 "'e4 fYd6 17 ~f4 tidl 18 d6! as llla3 plays more of a role than 'it1hl, but
cxd6, as in J.Polgar-Granda Zuniga, Ma- not enough to claim an advantage.
drid 1992, when after 19 b31 Black again 10•• ...txd4 11 cxd41 d5 12 exd51lDf5 13
cannot claim full equality, as the bishop l()c2 b61
vs. knight is pleasant on an open board. A mistake which allows White to de-
velop with a pin ag:Unst the knight and
therefore loses time. 13...~61 restricts
White's advantage to a minimum.
14 .f3111'g5 15 lIfe1 ltld6 16 .Ild3 .i.b7
17 lIe5 f6 18 :ae1 :ad8 19 'ilre3 lIxe3
20 fxe31
An uncharacteristically shon-sighted
decision from Oil, who wants to
strengthen his d-pawns while relying on
the manoeuvre 0b4-c6 to do the rest. Suf-
fice it to say that the rook on e5 would
not have voted for this capture! From here
on the game has limited theoretical value.
9...~d4 White is committed to a murky exchange
In view of Oil's reply, Black should sacrifice, and at certain junctures stands
look for alternatives here. It is no trivial clearly worse.
matter to find a way through to full equal- 20 ... &61
ity, ·however: Simple enough. Now, where is plan 'b'?
a) 9...d6?lloses a pawn to 10 lQdb51 21 llc1 g8 22 ~ 1lf7 23 b3 Wf8 24
b) 9...Ild8 is also met by 10 lDdbSI and .Ilb5 ltg7 26 .i.c6 .i.aBI
indeed with no black rook 00 the f-file, Stopping lllbS.
Nixel is even less effective. 10...a6? has 26 h4l()f1 27 lte6 .i.c8 28 lOO4 h511
.passed without comment, but makes DO A noteworthy idea. Black wants to

The Scotch Game

bring his knight to p. but the immediate

28..•g5 would be met by 29 bSl Hence the Game 69
text move. Schmittdiel-Tischbierek
29 Wf2 gS 30 tutgS has 31 dxe8lt»cgS German Bundesliga 1992
32 dS ~ 33 Wf3 llg3+ 34 Wf4 We7
3S llh1lldg87 1 a4 as 2 IOf3 lOc8 3 d4 axd4 4 1t»cd4
Black's misses a chance. 35..Ag4+1 36 J.c5 S J.e3 .18 6 c3 lilaa7 7 .i.c4 b6 8
wO (36 We5? lLlgJ) 36.. .h41 37 IDes 1lg3+ 0-0
38 we4 Axgl 39 Am4 a£2+ gives him a 8 .d2 is seen in the next game.
clear advantage. 8 .. ..tb7
361lxhS 1l8g4+7 37 Wxt& ~f8

38llh87 White has other tries, of varying de-
Now it is White's tum to miss a beauti- grees of brutality:
ful chance by 38 d6+11 ocd6 39 lLlxb61 a) The other rather 'violent' attempt to
when suddenly. having looked rather challenge Black's set-up, 9 f41?, shares the
lame. White's knight is staring its optimal double-edged quality of the text. After
square in the face. After 39...lLlxbSl 40 9•••Q..O.01 Lukacs and Hazai give 10 'ftd2 dS
liXI5+ WE8 41 e7+ ~ 42 d Ag5+ 43 11 e5 tiM 12 .i.d3 ltlas 13 b3 as White's
We4 Ae5+ 44
"xeSdxeS 45 Wxes White is route to an advantage. I do not like
10••. dS?I, which is inconsistent with
38._Jlg5+- 39 Wf4 116g4+ 40 WaS hg27 Black's light-square piece play. Why not
The last key moment of a topsy-turvy 10...1I'g61? 11 f5 (11 i.d3?! hd4 12 ad4
but fascinating struggle. 4O.•1lgS+ 41 Wf4 £5 13 lLlcJ lLlb4Q 11..."f6 12 b4 i.d6 13
ASg4+. would have given perpetual check. i.gS 1I'eS 14 i.E4 11"£6 and White should
After this it is downhill all the way. probably repeat?
41 d8+ cxd8+ 42 It»cd8 llg5+- 43 ~f5+­ b) 9 ltlb51? is the lim of the more
llxf&+ 44 Wxf6 Jlxa2 4S llb8 1l.2+ 48 'positional' tries: 9...Q..O.O 10 hcS bxc:5
We5 ~ 47 We4 has 48 lIxb8+ Wd7 and now White should probably prefer
49 ~ We7 SO .7+ Wel8 S1 Ilb5 1lf7 the solid 11 .leiS d61, which looks about
62 Wd4 1lf1 63 Ild6+1 We7 54 JlxaS
Ild1+ SS We4 ~f8+ S8 Wf3 Wd8 67 .tbs
equal. to 11 "a4. which allows Black the
remarkable counter l1 ... dSl when if 12
1lh1 58 Ac4 Ilh4 S9 1la8+ Was 80 lla8+ exd5ltlxds 13lLlu7+ ljjx:iJ 141i'xa7"M4
WfS 811la7 1-0 and Black is suddenly the one with the
5 ~e3 .f6 6 c3 IOge7 7 j.c4: Systems without ... lile5

ferocious attaeking chances. ing with a queen against pieces the ability
c) 9 IOb3 lO.eSl 10 lOxcS bxcS 11 .t.d5 to attack the 0ppoDent's king is of height-
(Macie;a gives 11 .i.e2 .t..xe4 12 .hcs ffgS ened imponaoce, often outweighing mate-
II gl 0.0 which is clearly not dangerous ri31 factors. Otherwise, Black has a small
for Black; 14 f4? fails to 14...liJfl+) material advantage and a strong initiative.
l1...lOxdS 12 exd5 .L6! 13 llel 0.0 14 23 •.•gxf8 24 fld7 L:e4 25 llxe4 ~6
hc5 lllilJ 15 J.d4 flf5 (I'seshkovsky) is 28llxc4 lad8 27 'i'..7 1If7 28 'ifa6 lIa7
fine for Black. 29 g4lLlf7
9 ...lWcd4 10 cxd4 hb4 11 a3 .b5 12 Once Black consolidates, it is maner of
d50-o 13 :82 time and slow infdtration, which is of
Once it became clear that this move limited interest to us.
was necessary, much of the enthusiasm for 30 lib6 r/197 31 IIc211d4 32 Aa2 llxa2
White's gambit waned. The problem is 33 "'xa2 h6 34 .a6 Ad8 36 "84 .i.c3
that 13 f4? fails to the elegant tactic 38 ~h2 lld1 37 ~93 ~a5+ 38 <i>t2 Ad4
ll ... b51 (13 ....xall? 14 .ltd4 1fxd4+ 15 39 'Was llxg4 40 a4 1Ib4 41 ~a3 lOd6
flxd4 b5! is another good execution of the 42 .a7+ ~08 43 .a8 .I'Ib3+ 44 Wa2
same tactical idea) 14 e5 (14 ~5 "xat 15 lIb2+ 45 Wd3 m.3+ 46 ~a2 ~6 47 'in1a
.t.d4 fi'xd4+Q 14...lib6t5 .i.b3lOi5 which ~e4 48 "xh8 .I'lb2+ 49 ~d1 0f6 60 'fIh7
was good for Black in Shirov-Agdestein, ~4 61 "'2+ ~3 52 'i'h6 0d4 63
Hastings 1991. 'tih3+ ~e4 54 03 We3 66 94+ ~4 66
13... c61 14 i.d4 'Bg6 15 f41 \th5 1102 67 1i'h&+ ~g4 68 fl97+ ~3
A brave try which basically forces 591111&+ ~ 60 e97+ ~2 81 ~e ~3
Black into giving up his queen (albeit for a 82 11113+ .I'Ig3 63 'ifh7 ~3 84 ~c1 f6
healthy quantity of pieces). Otherwise, 86 'itb1 f4 68 "a7 llg1+ 87 'ita2 Jla1+
White has nothing really to show for his 0-1
pawn, ~ Black frees himself by chipping
away at White's centre. Game 70
15•••cxd5 16 15 \1195 17 1113 Handoko-Speelman
Moscow Olympiad 1994
1 e4 a6 2 ~ ~c6 3 d4 axd4 4 1Llxd4
Ac& 6 i.e3 .f8 8 c3 lLlga7 7 j.c4 b61?

17...dxc4! 18 A93 .xg3 19 hxg3 18 20

lOc3 d5 21 l'la2 dxe4 22lWle4lUxf5 23
This looks a bit desperate, but it is
worth noting in general, that when play-

The Scotch Game

The motivation behind this SU'aDge- 13....lixe61

looking, but actually highly critical, move By far the best way to give up the ma-
comes from Game 69. White wants to terial. The problem with the plausible
play b2-b4 without sacrificing a pawn. looking 13....e4 is that after 14 exd6 cxd6
a .. Jig61 (If 14...lbxeJ? 15 dxe7Ibc2+ 16 'i!i»f2 Ibxal
When routine development is ruled 17 iLb5+ it is White who gets the attack)
out, and a sharp struggle for the initiative 15 We2 Black has no c-pawn to hassle
is essential, Jon Speelman is a good man White's splendid knight on d4.
for the jobl
8..ibn 9 b41 would walk straight into
White's plans. The drawback of 7•••b6, the
17 .i.b6+ Wtal 18 Wf2 .,4+
14 fxeS1Ife4 1slOc2 lOxe3 16 lLlxe3 IOf5
19 'ilie2 d4
Speelman and Ftacnik are united in
loss of the b6-square for the bishop, condemning 19..:ti'xe5l? in view of 20
should not be underestimated. iLdJ d4 21 ~5. However, Black then has
913 21..ia6+ 22 iLd3 (22 wet dxe3 23 fi'c2
Ptacnik suggests 9 O-OI?, intending to 1Id8) 22...dxeJ 23 exeJ lle81 24 fixeS
answer 9.....xe4 with 10 .tdJ t!ih4 11 llxe5+ 25 wd2 lld5 26 c4 he4 27 *c3
Ibb5 0-0 12 1bxc7 with a slight advantage. hd3 28 IIdl iLe4. In the game too Black
It is an interesting idea, and another reason always has compensation, since White's
why 8 fld2 should be taken seriously. king never finds a fully safe haven, but this
9 .. Joe6 10 .lif11 might give a clear plus.
Forced by the dual requirement to keep 20 lOxf6 .xe5+ 21 wd1 .ixf6 22 'li'e2
both the g2-pawn and the £1-a6 diagonal 22 c41?, trying to close lines around the
covered. 10 iLb3? .ta61 would be ex- king, was worth considering.
tremely embarrassing for White's king. 22 .. :fld6 23 We1 e61? 24 .f31 'iih&+ 26
10... dSI? Wb2 dxc3+ 26 Wb3 ..i.e&+ 27 Wxc3?
Already planning the sacrifice of a Better wz 17 i.e4 i.xe4+ 28 ~
piece,which leads to an almighty mess, 1i'e6+ 29 Wd3 1ld8+ 30 Wc2 with no clear
with the white king at the centre of it. In continuation of Black's attack.
defence of Handoko's idea, which bas not 27 ....lidS 28 .'6 .i.xg271
found any followers, it must be said that it This was the moment to bring the rook
is hard for Black to fmd a satisfactory into play, exploiting the fact that White's
quiet alternative here. checks evaporate rapidly after 28...a51 29
11 b4.1id61214~ 13eS bm 'ite3+ 30 .i.d3 Axasl 31 'i'c8+ We7 32
29 .i.c41 1Ig6 30 .xg6 hxg6 31 ~2?
This was quite unnecessary and is the
decisive mistake since in the endgame the
rook is more than a match for White's
minor pieces. It was still possible to acti-
vate the rook by 31 lIdl lbh2 32 Ild7I
which is unclear.
31 ....i.xh1 32 lbh1 Ilh3+ 33 ~c2 l1d8
34 J:lf171lhh2 36 .i.d3 e6 38 bltcS bltcS
37 l1f4 11d4 38 Ihd4 cxd4 39 .i.b6 fS 40
cbd3 <tIe741 e4 'itif6 42 a6 8S 43 a8 g4
44 ..i.e8 85 0-1

5 Ae3 ilf6 6 c3 fi)ge 7 7 Ac4: Systems without .. . fi)e5

Opening tricks come in all shapes and sizes. White's 10 lDfsl in Game 65 is panicu1arly
sophisticated, since fme positional judgement is needed to realise that Black should avoid
this line.
Game 66 is interesting, although my initial enthusiasm for Black's idea has been tem-
pered slightly. A close study of the game would seem to suggest that White never quite
relinquished the initiative. 12 Af4 was in fact rather a clever move.
8....tb61? remains a solid option for Black, but both 9 lna3 (Game 68) and the decep-
tively modest 9 .tb31? (notes to the same game) offer chances for an edge.
7...b61? is also unrefuted, if a victim of fickle chess fashion. Neither of the 'respectable'
approaches 8 0-0 .tb7 9 lOb3 nor 9 ~b5 seem terribly threatening. Perhaps the interest-
ing idea of Ftacnik's arising out of the thrilling Game 70, viz. 81M21? 'ti'g6 9 0-0 should
be taken seriously.

1 e4 e6 2 lOf3 illeS 3 d4 exd4 4illxd4 ic6 6 ie3 .16 S c3 Illge7 7 .tc4

7 ... 0-0
8 0-0 - Game 69
81irdl - Game 70
8...~5 - Chapter 9
8... .tb6(D)
9 wh1 - Game 67
9 tDa3 - Game 68
Sltld2 (D) ll\eS71
9...hd4 - Game 65
10 cxd4 - Game 66

7... b6 8 ... J..b6 9~d2

4 .....tc5 5 .1i.e3: Early
deviations for both sides

1 e4 a5 2 1LIf3 &6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4 Not the only approach, but where
.i.cS 5 Aa3 White has failed to address the possibility,
Here we shall consider other possibili- surely the most well motivated. Note thal
ties in the 5 .i.e3 variation apart from there is no problem with the queen recap-
5..:flf6 6 c3lfige7 7.i.c4. turing on c6. and hence no tricks on the
White's alternatives to 7 .i.c4 are mani- 'loose' bishop on 0.
fold In turn we shall discuss 7 i..e2 (Game
71). 7 1i'd2 (Game 72), 7 I.lk2 (Game 73)
and 7 g3 (Games 74-76). However, Black's
possibilities to deviate are more limited.
Game 77 looks at alternatives to 6...lLlge7
and Game 78 alternatives to 5......f6.

Seventh move altematives for White

aher 5_ •••f6 6 c3lLlge7

Game 71
Harkany open 1993
9 lflxeS .xeS 10 AxeS "xc5 11 exd5
1 e4 as· 2 ~t3 ~c6 3 d4 axd4 4 ~d4 ~d5 12 ~2 ~f4 13 .i.t311d8 14 lUe4
Ac5 S ..te3 .f6 6 c3 ~e7 7 .i.e271 .a7 15 "&4 ~31
7 i.e2?1 neither takes steps to prevent This covers the el-square. and shields
Black's intended strike in the centre with possible exchanges on the dome, thus offer-
•.•d7-d5 (as do 7 .i.c4 and 7lLlc2 for exam- ing Black the chance to play for an initia-
ple) nor prepares to compete for the cen- tive rather than allowing sterile exchanges.
tre squares which this advance puts up for 16 b471 ..td7 17 9b3 .i.c61
grabs (as advocates of 7 g3 and 8 i.g2 One key to sqUCC7ing the maximum
could claim it does). from such quiet positions is to select the
7 ...0-0 8 0-0 dlSl right exchanges. This simplification helps

4 .•• ~c6 6 ~e3: Early deviations for both sides

to ensure that the knight on dl will be question to White's play.

harder to dislodge. The secondary idea of 7 'i'dl (to pre-
18 0d2 ~xf3 19 0xf3 c61 pare the advance £2-(4) invites comparison
with 7 f4?I, which allows Black good play
with 7...•g61? since White's king's bishop
is tied to defence of gZ. Neither 8 f5 \tf6
nor 8 'tidl .i.xd41 9 Ld4 dSl 10 exd5
.i.fSI is satisfactory for White.

Black's slight initiative suits to take on

a more concrete form. White is presented
with a none too pleasant choice. Exchange
on c5, in which case the c-pawn will be-
come a permanent focus of Black's opera-
tions, or allow the pawn to advan~ ce- 7 ..•0-01
menting the knight on dl. If Black takes a tempo to deal with
20 il3 118c8 21 llad1 c4 22 "e2 lIe8 23 White's intended lQb5 by 7... a6?1 then it is
h3'fi'te 24&1 revealed that White's seventh move consti-
It would be no joy to play around the tuted a neat preparation for 8 f41 d6
knight on dl, but the weakness of the (S.....g6 9 WI now makes no sense,
kingside now takes effect quite dramati- while S....txd4 9 cxd4 dS 10 ttkJl also
cally. leaves White active) 9 ~e2 ().() 10 ().() and
24 ••• liU4 26 lId271 .a6 26 93 iDxh3+ 27 White enjoys a comfortable space advan-
oIih2 \'th6 28 ~92 096 29 1Ih1 .c&+ 30 tage.
f3ltxe11 31 llxe1 0xf3 0-1 B 0bs .be3 9 'iixe3 d61
The point. This position can only
Game 72 really be handled in gambit mode, since
Lupu-Miles 9.....e5?1 meets with the powerful retort
Cappe/le La Grande open 1994 10 Itld2 (but not 10 f4? ~O 10...dS 11

1 e4 &6 2 cf4 86 3 1Of3 exd4 4 lDxd4

(Stwua) exchanging the defender of

"16 6 Ae3 ~c6 B c3 lUge7 7 fid2 10 lDxc7

This may look rather awkward, but the Brave man, although Lupu had already
idea, to defend the bishop on e3 and hence played this position once before and be-
bring the thematic possibility of itlbS into lieved that Black had at best a draw. It is
play, is a logical one (see the Introduc- also possible to decline Black's offer, al-
tion). Only the characteristically vigorous though not I think to play for an advan-
and imaginative approach which Tony tage, by 10 Itldll? dxe4 11 iOxe4 'ft'e5 U
Miles produces here puts a serious tactical /l)c5I? llXl5 13.xeS lQxe5 (a memorable

The Scotch Game

fafth rank occupation by the knights) 14 ti'xdS mxl8 17 flxb7 when Tony Miles
O-().Oc6 15 ctld6 b6 16 liXJJ and Black is gives two possibilities:
comfortable, but not more. a) 17..1Ie7, which he likes, but I am not
10.. .lIb8 11 lOxd6 convinced that after 181lrbSI i.d7 19 'fid3
This looks better than also leaving this llde8 20 ~ Black can claim a clear ad-
knight stranded after II adS li)e51 with vantage.
excellent compensation. b) 17...L6!?, which he is less impressed
11 •••lOxd5 12 8xd6 by, in view of 18ew .L6 19 0.0 i.xe2~1
20 &1 i.xf3 21 lDd2J bgll 22 lbe8t
ltxe8 23 al2 and White successfully d&
fends. However, the 19th move seems to
be the real culprit. 19.. .lIxe21 looks very
strong when Black has threats of ....gS
and in many positions ...llxg2+ followed
by .. ixfl+ too. 20 ~ Aed21 21 ACel
'iigSI 22 g3 'fibs is, for example, immedi·
ately decisive.
16 .. .Iof41 17 .i.d1 llbd8 18 .-f2 .i.h31
Very strong. If 12...i.g4, which also
looks tempting. 13 ~I is a surprisingly
good defence. White can block the e-file
with lile4 and then support this piece with
13 fi'd2
The knight is immune. After 13 c:xb4
'tixb2 14 tiel !le8+ 15 e>dl 1i'xfl Black
has a tremendow attack. If White stops
... i.g4+ then ....i.f5 and .. 1lbc8 will in
tum prove devastating. A very energetically executed minia-
13...:e8+ 14 .te2.tg4 16 f3lOxd51 ture, and an important reminder that
Very strong, and in fact Tony Miles's 'forced drawing' lines are not always what
original contribution to the theory of this theyseeml
line. 15..:.i.xf3 16 gxf3 flxfl 17 Agl ~+
18 e>dl ~f2+ led to a draw by repetition Game 7)
in Lupu-Solozhenkin, Spain 1993. Campara-Rodriguez Talavera
160'()1 DosHermanas 1992
Presumably caught off balance by the
tum of events, White loses without a real , e4 e5 2 013 lOc6 3 d4 exd4 4 iWld4
fight. Of course, 16 £xg4~ lIbdB is equally .tc5 5 .te3 9f8 6 c3li:lge7 7 lOc2J7
horrendous, since both the £4- and e3- This move fulfils the requirement of
squares beckon invitingly to Black's preventing Black's immediate ...d7~
knight. Therefore White had to try 16 break, and also prepares the manoeuvre of

4.;.~c6 6 iLe3: Early deviations for both sides

the knight via eJ towards the control of Black could surely uy 9••••e51? with play
the d5-square, against which Blaclt's whole analogous to Scbmittdiel-Smejkal above,
strategy of inducing c2-c3 was directed. where the a-file in no way buns his
Still, while sound, such a non-<levdoping ch3llces.
move is a little too slow to pose serious B••• dS71
difficulties. Black envisages quick devdopment
with ...lOeS, supponing .. ig4, and bis
queen coming to g6. On the day, fortune
favoured the brave, but in fact Black
should have been able to force little more
than an adjustment in White's develop-
ment plans (see move 12). Objectivdy,
normal devdopment was indicated. Hort-
Matanovic, Oberhausen 1961, for exam-
ple, continued 8•..Q.O 9 i.g2 d6 100.() 1Ig6
11 hb6 axb6 12 ltleJ fs 13 exfs .ixfs
(13 ...~ 14lild5Q 14.!iWS .xfS 15 1M2
wh8 16 lDO 11£6 and although White
looks to have a slight ed&e, the game was
7 .. ..i.b617 shortly drawn.
Black attempts to retain a little tension 9.bb8 axb6 10 eJld6lUeS 11 '419g6
in the position, ensuring that to advance
his planned knight manoeuvre, White
must capture on b6, opening the a-fde. In
fact, though, 'falling in with White's
plans' might be the simplest route to
equality viz: 7... .he3!? 8 ltlxeJ "6'e51 (the
point is to force White into a slightly
clumsy defence of e4; otherwise White
really enjoys the slightly more comfo(t-
able game) 9 "fi'f3 (9 "iWdJ 0'()1 10 .tel fs!?
should also be equal; whereas after 9 lDd2
d5 10 exdS ~dS 11 qx4 ltlxeJ 12 .!i)xeJ
.ie6, as in Sveshnikov-Korchnoi, Moscow
·1973, Black can even claim an edge) 9•• .fSI 12 fxe671
10 li)xfs IlfS 11 'ill'll li)xfs 12 exfs Axfs Extraordinarily risky. There seems to
13 /l)d2 d6 led to a full if slighdy sterile be nothing much wrong with 12 J.e2,
equality in Schmittdid-SmejkaJ, German since if 12•..•e4 13 Q.O i.h3 14 l!f2 Black
Bundesliga 1997. has no follow-up and is likdy to be driven
8 g317 back.
-A sensible devdoping move which is
quite consistent with White's strategy of
12...•84+ 13 "2 .tg4 14
9., .xd6+

controlling the d5-square. White also Even now, after 15 Well ().().O 16 lDel
achieved a slight edge in Popov-Vebic, lIIxhl 17 1&g4 White will have enough
Yugoslavia 1991, by 8 .hb6 axb6 9 lDel development difficulties to provide Black
().() 10 /l)d2 d6 11 .tel \th6 12 ().(), but with fair compensation, but it will be still

The Scotch Game

a tough fight. caused and the targets for operation he has

15... 0-0.0 18 9f1 .i.f5 17 ~.beD 18 created (the g3-pawn and g4-square for his
~d3.e4 knight) on White's kiogside, as in Rasik·
It is clear that Black is winning. 19 \toIc2 Blatny, Bmo 1991.
~l is hardly to be cootemplated, and b) 8..ib6?1 (a case of 'over-fmcssing'
once Black has a queen against two rooks, which eases White's queens ide develop-
with knights still 00 the board it will be ment, but in any case I think White's ap-
the plight of White's king that decides. A proach here with 10 hll is basically the
disaster which White largdy brought on right one) 9 lDa3 hS 10 hl ~ 11 £4 "gil
himself. 12 .i.£2/Dsc6131(X4 ~d4 14lfixb61 axb6
19 l2la3 lbd3+1 20 It'xd3 if92+ 21 We3 15 'tixd4 .i.d7 16 0-0 0-0 17 lIld31 .i.c6 18
AdS 22 .xd8+ Wxd8 23 Jlhd1+ ~5+ 24 £5 with the bishop pair and a great advan-
wd4 We7 26 l:d3 c5+ 26 Wc4 984+ 0-1 tage in space in Riemersma-Blatny, Bad
Worishofen 1991.
Game 74 7...dS is the subject of the next two
Klovan-Pioch games.
USSR 1974 8 .i.g2 dB
The moment for the less modest ad-
1 e4 e5 2 i,t)f3 i,t)c6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4 vance of the d-pawn bas passed. B...dS? is
.i.c5 5.i.e3 iff8 8 c3lUge7 7 93 simply met by 9lDxc61 11xc6 10 exd51f'b6
As discussed :Wove, this does oot try to 11 .*.xeS winning a healthy enough pawn.
prevent ...d7-d5, but rather to get ready 9 0.0 Q)e5 10 h3 l&4 11 .i.e1 lLlc6
for it. White hopes to fight for the light
squares in the centre, and on the long di-
agonal, which after pawn exchanges in the
centre tend to become the key battle-
ground. The move has lost a fair degree of
popularity to 7 ~c4, but remains clearly
White's next most important option.
7 .••0-0
II Black intends to playas in the game,
then the move order here is probably of
limited significance. However, 7...d6 8
.i.g2 does have some independent value,
particularly in conjunction with the ambi-
tious attempt to disrupt White's game by 12 Q)e21
advancing the h-pawn. This interesting A very instructive moment. On the
idea, closely associated with the Czech face of it, White's minor pieces are in
Grandmaster Pavel Blatny, demands care- heavy retreat, but in fact Black's advancing
ful handling from both sides. Two exam- forces have reached something of an im-
ples will I hope suffice: passe. He has no particular plan of attack,
a) 8...hSI? 9 ltX2?1 (9 hll?) 9.•..he3 10 and worse still, there is no security or
~ b4 11 lDa3 i.d7 12 ~ IOxd5 13 permanence about his pieces' 'pseudo-
ems l&5 14 f4 bxg3 15 Iuqp Lhl+ 16 aggressive' postings. White on the other
.hhl Wh6 17 wd2 ().().() and Black can be hand has much to look forward to. The
quite satisfied with the disruption he has most significant outpost on the board is

4 ... iLc5 5 1e3: Early deviations for both sides

still the d5-squan:. and comparing the two more frightening than a pawnJ
diagrams we can see how Black's pieces are 23 .•.•98 24 fLe5 dxe4 25 ~g7 :d8 26
obliged to scurry back to try and deal ~S talS 27 IDfBI + ~ 28 llxf& 1I9S
with the threat of White's knight finding 29.f1 1.0
its way there. A fine example of how the 'status quo'
12•. l1e8 13111f4 a8 14 b3I04eS 1Silm3 allows the potential of White's set-up and
/(la7 16lt!c2 c8 17 llld4 the drawbacks of Black's to dominate the
A very different picture! It is easy to see scene. 'Doing nothing' is not an option
the superior activity of White's forces. for Black in this line.
Moreover, as so ohen in this variation,
Black's inability to drum up any real Game 75
counterplay means that the vulnerability Salov-Karpov
of his queen rears its head. White threat- Reggio Emilia 1991
ens 18 lOhS Wg6 19 f4 with unpleasant
threats, while if the e7-knight tries to va- 1 e4 eS 2 It!f3 Itlc& 3 d4 exd4 4 ltlxd4
cue a route out of trouble then Black will .ics 5 .te3 'lffB 6 c3 ~e7 7 93 dSI 8
have a new worry. the C5-squ:are. Still .•. il..92 It!xd417
In this variation the battle generally
comes to revolve around the light squares
in the centre. This is most obvious in the
next game where Black gives up his dark-
squared bishop in order to first isolate
White's queen pawn. and then, in a man-
ner of which the textbooks would heartily
approve, to blockade it. The strategy here
has some similarities, but instead of an
isolated d-pawn, White emerges with
hanging c-pawns. Their weakness is not so
pronounced, but with the key move ...c7-
c6, the long light-squared diagonal is
17•••dS?1 blunted, and Black's structure proves su-
••• does not really help! per solid.
18 ~SI fld6 19 f4 8...dxe4 is the subject of the next game.
Only under very special cin:wnstances, 9 cxd4 .ib4+11
where Black can assert authority over the Another quite different approach.
light squares f5 and g4, is it permissible to 9 .. ..ib61? is also possible here, Black gives
allow White to answer ...d7-il5 with £2-f4 up the dS-pawn to target White's d4 in
and e4-eS. Here would not be such a case, turn. In NUDD-Smagin, German Bundes-
so Black attempts to solve the problem by liga 1991, White could not show an advan-
tactical means. The result is that White's tage aher 10 exd5 lllfS 11 Q.O Q.O 12 /(k3
positional pluses suddenly tum into at- .Ld4 13lDe4 'ffb6 14 .i.xd4 fOxd4 1511cl
tacking potential (f-file, control of the e5- J15. Still, a 'dark-square' strategy seems
square). less thematic here. The pawn on d5 should
19•••f6 20 fleeS fleeS 21 Wh2 exeM 22 give White chances to show that the c7-
cxd4 ~6 23 .i.f41 pawn can be a potential target too. For
Now. of course, a bishop on e5 is much this reason I like Gutman's suggestion of

The Scotch Game

12 1.Qd2!, intending to answer 12...hd4 for the light squares, and restrittion of
with 13 hd4 ~4 14 nct with proroir White's fianchenoed bishop. In Campora-
iog play on the come. Rubineni. Argentina 1986, Black w:as dis-
10 lDc3 Axe3+1 tnlcted by concern over his opponent's
The move order here is of some signifi- bishop pair. After 12...'i!le6?1 13 'i"d3 lDd5
cance. First of all 10...dxe4? would be a 14 .i.g2 ~e3 15 "itxe3 nbS 16 wd2 White
serious slip in view of 11 1i'a4+! This is not can look forward to the more pleasant
a question of material, since after 11...&6 endgame, where again his bishop is a clear
there is no 12 cIS? move available. Rather asset.
it is 3 question of grossly misplacing 130-00-014 a4
Black's pieces for the blockade. White Gutman prefers 14 fi'd2, claiming a
simply plays 12 0.01 bel 13 bxc3 0.0 14 small plus for White after 14...h6
he4 and the knight on c6 means that (otherwise 15 iLgS would make trouble)
Black has no means to control cIS, or to 15 nabl ~d5 16 c4li)b6 17 Afc!' 1 agree,
blunt the enormously enhanced power of but 15 ••./i)dS~1 looks rather co-opcrative.
White's light-squared bishop. Why not lS...b61?, positionally threaten·
However, the immediate 10...c6 is pos- ing 16.. if5 with the already quite famil·
sible, but after 11 0.0 Black should ex- iar idea of trying to exchange the light-
change on c3 and transpose back into the squared bishops? Black seems flOe in this
game. 11...dxe4?1 is not so good. After 12 case.
lOxe4 'ti'g6 13 1i'b31 (Black's bishop on b4 14.. ..i.f6 16 .ta21
is leh 'dangling', rather embarrassed at its Of course White must avoid the ex-
continued presence on the board) 13•• .Jta5 change of light-squared bishops, which
14 "a31 ~c7 15 Aael gives White a strong would leave Black with the only minor
attack, while 13 ...llld5 141tX:J1 hel (a bit piece capable of contesting the key
too lateQ 15 bxc3 0.0 16 c4 (3 similar strue- squares.
. ture to. the column game, but with several 16 ...lladB 16 eb3 M7
extra tempi for White) 16..•1&e3 17 fxe31 Black is Cully devdoped, bas his queen-
the f·file was added to White's impressive side pawDS safely covered. and can muster
coUection of assets in Sax-Blatny, Lame mon: pieces to cover the dS-square than
Bohdanec 1995. his opponenL The latter point is impor.
11 bxc3 dxe4 12 he4 e61 tant, rendering White's task of infusing life
into his bisbop pair by advancing his d-
pawn extremdy difficult to execute.
17 c4 nfdB
There was 3 case for 17....*.g4. threaten·
ing 18....i.fJ and the beneficial exchange
discussed above. Karpov gives 18 d5 i.f3
19 h37 .iJq;2 20 Wxg2 cxdS. which is
logical since if White cannot prevent the
trade of pieces, he should change the struc·
ture. Still, Black has absolutely no prob-
lems whatsoever here.
18 h3 h6 19 lIfe1 fig6 20 86 .te6
Very thematic, but White's lack of ac·
&J. important part of Black's struggle tive play means that 3 more ambitious

4 ... .i.c6 6 iLe3: Early deviations for both sides

kingside plan of 20...h4!? 21 g4 .i.e6, pro- Despite Karpov's flOe defensive efforts
voking a weakness in order to then chal· above, this line perhaps above all others
lenge it with ... O·fS, also came into con· carries the stamp of theoretical approval.
sideration. Black prepares to saddle White with an
21 llad1 isolated queen's pawn (lQP) and then give
the bloclwle on d5 top priority.
9 1tX12 .i.xd4!
It is entirdy logical that Black sbould
give his dark-squared bishop for White's
knight - the c:xcbange of a piece unable to
fight in any other way for d5 for one
which otherwise has every chance to do
10 cxd4 .tISI
10...0-0 is also quite playable. After 11
~ .g6 12 0-0 Black can we his queen's
bishop more directly to contribute to
holding the d5-squan: by 12...i.e6!? Now
21 ... bSI7 22 8Itb8 axb6 23 eMl 13 llX:5 Jld5 is okay for Black. If White
White is coming a little close to being captures' b7, Black will play ...ltbS and
in trouble. 23 1i'xb6 hc4 followed by take on b2 in the time-honoured manner.
.. id51 would fmally secure Black's long. 13 liX3 is thematic, but 13 ..JladS! is suffi-
cherisbed exchange of bishops, and leave cient to take the sting out of 14 dSlOxd5
him with a typical plus based on a more 15 lDxd5 .bdS 16 hd5 'fIf51 17 .i.xf7+
mobile minor piece, and his opponent's 'fIxf7. as in Szurovsky.Lukacs, Budapest
securely blockaded isolated d-pawn. Spring Festival 1992, when Black is quite
23 ...bS 24 cxbS ~S 25 9cS cxb& 28 comfortable. Hence 14 'Wa4 or 14 l1cl
.xbSI keep more tensiOD in the position, but it is
Excellent assessmenL For the exchange, not more than equal, and with the d·pawn
White gets not only a pawn, but the a potential problem, not without risk for
chance to spoil Black's kingside pawns. White too.
After this there is DO realistic possibility of 11iUxe4
Black ever creating a passed pawn on the
kingside, and without this there are no
winning chances at all.
28...~c3 27 t1d3 Ifixd1 28 t1xg8 fxgG
29 .lbd1 .Q.d& 30 .bd5f- lIxdS 31 h4
Wf7 %.%

Game 76
Budapest 1976
1 e4 85 2 ~f3 ll)cS 3 d4 exd4 4 lllxd4
.i.c5 6 .i.83 'iffS 8 c3 ~ge7 7 g3 d5 8
.1g2 dxe417 11 .....0671

The Scotch Game

A aitical moment and one which in- Illf5 25 :a71lc8 26 .c51le7 27 d51
troduces a rather fme paradox. Practice has The worst of all worlds when fighting
by now established that Black's most effi- against the IQP is when either ... c7-c6 or
cient way to conflnn his blockade of d5 is •..e7~ have been played to hold the pawn
to give up his light-squared bishopl The back, but for some reason it is in any case
reason is panly tactical. After 11 •. ..be41 able to advance. Here it is immediately
12 ~ ().O.()I the immediate threat to d4 decisive, since 27.••cxdS? fails to 28 Ld71
greatly restricts White's choice. 13 11'b3!?
looks best, but then Black bas 13.•.'fIe6I,
27 .....e8 28 dxc6 "f829 ~61 lIe1+ 30
llx81 fixc& 31 cxd7 1'()
forcing 14 fi'xe6+ fxe6. It is this that ex-
plains the paradox, and guarantees the Sixth move alternatives tor Black
permanence of the blockade. Of course after 5.. :.16 6 c3
the e6-pawn can be weak too, but it is not
so easy to attack. as the bishop on e3 gen- Game 77
erally h:lS to stay put. After for example Ivanchuk-Smvslov
15 ().().() llld5 16 llhel h6 17 Ag2 :d6 18 Tilburg 1994
:d2 :fa 19 .i.h3 wba 20 i.g2 as, as in
Baum-Krasenkov, Vienna open 1990, I 1 84 85 2 1Of3 lOc6 3 d4 exd4 4 lOxd4
would slightly prefer to be Black. ~c6 5 ~83 "18 8 c3 .g611
12 1llc3 O.() 13 0-0 Illb4
This also looks questionable, but in fact
there is already no holding back the ad-
vance of the d-pawn, and the enonnous
lease of life which this can imply for
White's dark-squared bishop. Hence
Black's moti.vation for exchaaging OD eJ.
14 eb3 8616 83 ~2 16 Dae1 IlabS 17
1lle21Dxe3 18 "xe31
There are many fme examples in this
variation of White capturing OD e3 with
the f-pawn, strengthening his centre pawn
and opening the f-file. This renders
White's judgement here all the more ad- Of all the side-lines at Black's disposal,
mirable, realising that the knight on e7 this is the perhaps the most challenging.
constitutes Black's main problem and that Again, Black seeks to disturb the flow of
the e-fUe represents White's main oppor- White's development by hitting gl.
tunity. . Moreover, he can increase the pressure
18.. ':te8 19 Illt4.de 20 Ilte1 .d8 21 against e4 with •.•~.
lIe61 7.82
Threatening not just the a-pawn, but 22 A clever move! White defends e4 tacti-
lIeS :IS well. Black has got into a rare old cally (7••••xe4 8 ~Q and by suppon-
pickle on the e-fUe, and there is no longer ing the bishop on eJ renews ideas of lllb5
any question that White's active forces orevenM.
remove any great relevance from the The main alternative 7 llld2 (7 lllb5?1
'problem' of the IQP. .txeJ slfuc7+ 'i!id8 9 lDxa8 .t.f41 is risky
21 ••id7 22 'lfc3 c6 23 Jha5 b6 24 lIe1 for White) seems to have been tamed.

4 ... ~c5 5 il.e3: Early deviations for both sides

Black has 7...lLlf61 8 lLlfs (8 0 dS allows 1tld6 24 Vd3

Black free and active devdopment)
8.. be3 9lOxcJ and now:
a) 9...lDxe4?I 10 .i.d31 lDxf2 11 J.xg6
lihdl 12 ~xf7+ Wxf7 13 ~+1 We6 14
bdl, followed by lDdc4 and lDds, and
Black's king will face heavy pressure de-
spite the exchange of queens (Wells).
b) 9•..~ 10 i.d3 dSl 11 exdS "xd3 12
dxc6 lIe81? (I like this move, which pre-
vents lDc4; 12... b6 is also possible) 13lDb3
'fibs 14 tlc2 (14 cxb7 Jlxb7 gives Black
too much light-squared counterplay, while
White's king faces some danger in the cen-
tre) 14...'iVxc6 with a very comfort3ble 24 •••1De7l
position for Black in Pavasovic-Ibragimov, Both sides' knights have good·looking
Ljubljana open 1996. outpostS. Black's withdraws from his to
7 ...lDxd4l 8 hd4 challenge the opponent's, since dS will
After 8 cxd4 J.b4+ 9 J.dl hdl 10 also be avail3ble for a rook. At the end
lDxdl lDe7! 11 0.0-0 (11 h4?1 looks well Black has very comfortable equality.
met by 11...1i'b6I, since if White defends 26 Ildf2 1De6 28 ec4 IdS 27 lDxeB
both pawns by lDf3 Black has 11...dSl and fixe6 28 94 f4 29 Wb1 %-%
...J.g4 to come) 11...~ 12 'tte3 d5 I think
Black is fine. . Fifth move altematives for Black
8 ...Ld4 9 exd4 liJ.e7 10 iDc3 0-0 11
O-O..{, cB Game 78
11...d51? 12 exdS lIeS is a sharp alterna- Smagin-Unzicker
tive of Romanishin's. Dontnund open 1992
121fie3 d5 13 f3
Better than 13 e5 f61 14 f4 ExeS 15 dxeS 1 e4 e6 2 ~f3 IDea 3 cf4 exd4 4 lilxcf4
lDfS 16 ~dl d4 when White will sUffer .icS 6.te3
over his weak e3-square. I hope that it has been sufficiently em-
13 ..•dxe4 14 fxe4 Ag41 151td2:ad8 16 phasised that inducing White's c-pawn to
h3 AeSI? 17 .ic4 c3, thus blocking the natural devdopment
Smyslov explains that 16.. ..*.e6 would of his queen's knight and hindering his
have been met by 17 g4!, but that now 17 control of the square dS, is central to
g4(1) would be met with 17.. Jlfe8, for Black's strategy here. If so, it should
which reason Black kept the e-file clear. hardly need to be stated wat we
However, I do not see what is then wrong 'voluntary' 5 c3?! which crops up in a
with 18 6'f4!? It is surely of overriding surprising number of games on my data-
importance to hinder the advance ...f7-fS, base, is not recommended. Black is simply
which enables a build up of pressure with a whole tempo up on Chapter 13, Game
i.c4 and WI. I slighdy prefer White in 83.
this case. S.. ib6
17•.. bS 18 Abl as 19 lin b4 20 lDa4 In addition to the main line 5...'I'f6,
.ie6 21 &s.bb3 22 axb3 f51 23 eS Black has another alternative in 5...hd4 6

The Scotch Game

bd4 and now: but the a-file might be worth having to

a) 6...llmI4 7 1Ixd4
"xb6!? (9 "c3 "(6 B eS tib6 9
is also possible) 9...axb6 10
take the sting out of White's plan with
castling queenside.
llkJ f6 (10.. ltaSl~ is a bener way to reach b) 6... d5!? is a bid for complications, af-
the position from the game while avoiding ter which 7 iLDtg7+1 ~8 8 Axb6 axb6 9
11 llXlS) 11 fol~1 (11 ~d5 wda 12 exf6 ~51 seems the best 'risk-free' routc to a
should be an edge for White) l1...fxe5 12 positional plus.
£xeS Aa5 13 iLlbS 'i!i'd8 14 b41l1a4 15 aJ 7ltixa31llf6 8 o!llc3 0-0 9 'fi'd21
lLlb6 16 ~eol1 ~g4 17 .i.b3 DaB 18 e6! c6 Not the only plan by many means. 9
(lB... dxe6 19 ~+I We7 20 1[he1ltd8 21 gJl? for example is a quite respectable
h3! lhdl+ 22 'itlxdl also favours White) 19 mode of development which retains the
ltXi6 <lic7 20 ~ dxe6 21 iLDtc8 llaxc8 22 space advantage.
b6 ltlf2 23 Ad7+ ~ba 24 Acl gave 9 .• Jla8 10 t31 d6 11 i-a2 ~B6 12 0-0-0
White an enduring plus in Krakops- i-d7 13llh011
Zhuravliov, Latvian Championship 1993.
b) 6...lLlf6 7 ~c3 Q.O is an attempt to
develop at maximum speed and hence gain
counterplay against the e4-pawn, since
.i.d3 is temporarily prevented. After 8
i.e3!? lIeS 9 .i.d3~1 dS 10 exd5iLlb4 Black
gets the kind of active chances he is seek-
ing. However, 9 .i.eol!? (Wells) looks bet-
ter, since the e-pawn is immune (9.••1t1xe4
10 ltlxe4 lhe4 11 i.xf7+ Wxf7 12 '&0+)
and also ... d7-d5 is hindered.
e Illf51
s.. ib6 is a rather unpretentious sys- I
tem. Black meets the threat of 6 lLlxc6 Care is, as ever, still required. 13 g4
winning a piece, and avoids the draw- would be premature, offering Black the
backs, witnessed in the last couple of chance to exploit the undefended f3-pawn
chapters, associated with the position of and play 13...b5!
the queen on f6. However, White's devel- 13...J.e671
opment is also unhampered, and we have a A strangely planless move. Black has to
case of the fairly unfettered space advan- sct on with 13...a6 and ...b7-b5 and hope
tage which I discussed in the Introduction for the best.
(mdeed one example came straight from 14 ~f6 8616 g4 'itih8 16 06 ~td7
this line). Unsurprisingly, there is not Positionally it is often worth playing
much wrong with 6 lOc3 either, but the the knight to h5 to block the advance of
text seems very strong, sina: it limits the h-pawn in such positions. Here, of
Black's options, and the knight on e3 bol- course 16...lllh5? 17 fol! does not come
sters White's central predominance. into consideration. Now White's attack
5 .. ba3 plays itself.
It seems a shame to play this after the 17 h4 ~c6 18 h6 ~6 19 f4 ll)d7 20
loss of tempo with 5...Ab6; Still, alterna- .ite4 lOde6 21 .itd5 "d7 22 h6 06 23
tives offer no great improvement. ~ 1IIa7 24 f6 /Df8 26 ifd4+ .a6 26
a) 6.••g6 7 .i.xb6 axb61~ alDe3 is similar, .hf7 1-0

4 ... Ac6 5 iLe3: Early deviations for both sides

The conventional wisdom is that 7 g31? is the most challenging alternative to 7 .i.c4(!)..
The early games of the chapter do not challenge this view~ Games 71 and n are both
really contrasting model games, in exploitation of a slight advantage on the one hand,
and blasting away tactically with an otherwise positionally well-motivated idea on the
7 ~ (Game 73) should not be underestimated. Only the note on 7.. ..ixe31
(Schmittdiel-SmejkaJ) looks like a cast-iron equaliser.
In fact 7 g3 looks pretty shorn of its terror. Game 75 and the note on 11..ixe4! in
Game 76 represent two decent possibilities. I will not be rushing to put them to the test
with White.
6...Wg61? (Game 77) looks to me one of the best side-lines in the whole of the Scotch.
Unlike S... .tb6?1 (Game 78) it cannot be basically ignored. Ivanchuk may have been able
to demonstrate a slight pull with 17 g41?, but there are alternatives before that too which
could be examined.

1 e4 a5 2 lL:if3 &6 3 d4 exd4 4 Qlxd4 R.c5 5 .b3

5 ....f6
S....i.b6 - Game 78
6 c3 (DIlJ:J.ga7
6.....g6 - Game 77
7 i-e2 - Game 71
7 'ti'dl - Game 72
7ll)c2 - Game 73
7 ...d6(D)
7••.0-0 - Game 74
8 .Q.g2 Qlxd4 (D)
8... dxe4 - Game 15
9 cxd4 - Game 76

6c3 7... d5 8 ... liJxd4

4 ...iVh4

1 e4 e5 2ll)f3 ~ 3 d4 exd4 4 bd4 Wh4

In the Introduction, 4...fib4 was men-
tioned along with 4•..lOf6 as the other way
for Black to attack e4. It does have one
advantage over the latter. After 4•••lOf6 the
threat was generally dealt with by the ad-
vance of the pawn, wbich in tum gained
time for White. Here White does not bave
that option. Moreover, there are no con-
venient ways to defend e4, and aU such
attempts give Black good play. However, '
the move does have two drawbacks: First,
c7 is weakened, the implications of which
will be clear throughout the chapter. Sec- slt)bs
ond, by breaking one of the most basic For a long time this was the standard
rules of opening play, not just developing reply, though the pendulum is now swing-
the queen before other pieces, but expos- ing towards S lOcJ (Games 80-82) in the
ing ber to attack, Black creates the justifi- popu1arity stakes. In my view, both are
cation for White's best course - to saaifice promising.
the pawn on e4 for rapid development. Defence of the e-pawn by 5 "d3~I, for
White· bas two good ways to give up example, is none too impressive: 5•••lOf61
the e-p;lwn: 5 lObS (Game 79) and S lOcJ (5•..-*.c5 6 .i.e31 is less clear) 6 ~ dxc6 7
(Games 80-82). lOc3 -*.b4 8 i.d2 ().Q and Black develops
naturally, while Wbite's queen will be
Game 79 embarrassed on the open dome.
Komeev-Komljenovic 6 .. ic517
ZaragoZA open 1996 This introduces two ideas (three if we
include the threat of mate!). First, as in so
1 e4e62~f3&63d4eJCd44~ many variations of the Scotch, Black
'iih4 wants to tty to impede White's natural

development, in this case vinually forcing when Black's king is on dB, and his queen
the white queen to either e2 or O. Second, the catalyst for White's rapid develop-
this bishop may be headed for b6, to ment.
provide a less disruptive defence of c7 than 8111131
.. .';1IdB.
The immediate acceptance of White's
gambit is rightly regarded with scepticism.
After S..:i'xe4+ 6 .i.e2! Black has no alter-
native to 6... 'it>d8 (apart from 6.. .,j.b4+ 7
.i.c12 [or 7 ti:Jlc3 which is Game 81] con-
sidered below). Then White effortlessly
develops a formidable initiative, for exam-
ple with 7 Q.O a6 8 tt:Jd2 1i'e8 9 .!Dc3 fS 10
Acl i.e] 11 ti:Jc4lDf6 12 ~l, as in Lau-
Elstner, Bad Worishofen 1992.
More challenging is S.. .,j.b4+I? 6 .i.d21
Qogical, as it prevents 6 .. oU; 6lClcJ?! is
Game 80, while 6 cJ ~ fits in a little too This seems to have a lot more punch
comfonably with Black's plans) and now; here than 6 "e2, when Black has the re-
a) 6....i.cS 7 .e2 d6?1 was my own idea. treat 6...'IId8. The 'general' claim must be
Sadly it is time to put it gently to sleep. that White has been forced to make suffi-
After 8LOxc7+1 Wd8 9lfixa81 (9 g3 .f6 10 c.ient concessions to justify the loss of
.i.c3 "h6 II .td2 1ff6 leads to a rather tempo. In concrete terms after 7 i.e3
amusing draw) 9... .i.g4 (the point of the .ihe3 8 'ii'xe3 a6 9 iLld4 "'£61 Black forces
check on move five; the queen is denied another concession with 10 ell fOge7
the MJuare d2) 10 g3 tihs 11 1rd3 lOd4 when he has an easy game. The tactical
looks dangerous enough, but after 12 h31
LOf3+ 13 ~dl tt:Je5+ 14 hxg4 "xhlIS fi'e2
lLlg4 16 .i.e1 Black has no real follow-up,
12 We2 'trxcZ+ 13ltld2 'tIIxc6 14 1txg7
15 ilxf6 lDxf6 did not give White enough
point is that 10 ltixc6 .xb2! 11 'l'd4 1tc1+

and White's m:l1erial advantage is too seri- for the pawn in K.Miiller-Godena, Mi-
ous. tropa Cup 1995.
. b) 6...•xe4+ 7 .i.e2 ~dB (7.....xg2 8 6 .•.lUd4
.:.Ul -'lxd2+ 9 ~d2 1rhl 10 Lc6! bxc6 This will be pretty conclusively found
11 tt:Jxc7+ wd8 12 lOxaB lDf6 13 901 is wanting. The difficulty is to find a palat-
well known to be unsound) 8 0.0 .i.xd2 9 able alternative. The fU'St thing to note is
ltixd2 'fIe5 10 Jlel LOf6 11 .tc4 "'f5 12 that here 6...1!fdB? fails to 7 1i'g31 Neither
lDfl 11'0 was Sveshnikov-Sermek, Bled does the attempt to generate counterplay
1994, when White could have played the against White's king by 6•••iLlf6?1 promise
tricky 13 _e21 l%e8 14 -.d3, threatening much against the no-nonsense 7 ltixc7+
both i.xf7 and the simple exchange of 'ifitd8 8 'fff41 The thematic 6....tb6 is more
rooks. For Black his rook is a key re- testing. However, 7 .i.e3 .L5+ 8 ~d2J is
source of the defence, while his opponent good for White according to Gutman.
on the other hand will fand it much easier The knight OD b5 will retreat comfortably
to mobilise reinforcements. Although it is to d4, and Black's play looks untidy.
by no means exhaustive, this anaIyns gives 7 &c7+ Wd8 8 .140xc2+ 9 Wel1 .xf4
an idea of White's attacking potential 10.bf40xa111Itlxa8lLlf812~d3

The Scorch Game

appropriate setting. The problem is sim-

ple. Black's bishop covers the threat to c7
without undue inconvenience, and then
White's knights will be driven back when
they rather step on each others' toes. 6
.i.c21 is Games 81 and 82.
e....t.a5 7 .i.d3 a6 8 ~3 b5 9 iLd217
If 9•..b4 10 li)dS is a good reply, renew-
ing the problem of a.
10 g37
Disattrous. White had to play 10 ().()!
when he can consider the imponant roor-
12•••~g4 g;mising move lthlS, without subjecting
It begins to become clear that every- his king to the kind of heavy fire it meets
thing comes down to a batde of which in the game.
knight can get out, and that this is bad 10•••1Ih3 11 ~S71
news for the black cause. The c7-square is Now White will be massacred by a fme
simply too easy for White to access. attacking sequence, but it is hard to sug-
12..•b6 13 lUc3 .i.b7 (lJ ...ltlh5 14 .ic7+ gest anything very satisfactory. Black
does not help) 14 roa ltlh5 15 107d5! is, threatens ....g2 and ...b5-b4, and after for
for example, winning for White. example 11 .i.f1, the e-pawn would again
13 <be2 ~2 14 llc1 lfixd3 15 'ihd3 d6 be weak.
16 fUc7 95 17 .toe51? dxeS 18 llxc5 15 11 ...lOxd5 12 exd5 0-01 13 dxc6 lle&+
19 ~2 fxe4+ 20 we3 1t18 21 Ilc1 1118 14 A.2 dxce 15 1t11 Ag4 18 13 'ilrKhZI
221Cb5 JIbe 23 &3 1bb2 24 1lxa1 .iof5 17 .ba5 llad8 18 .iod2 "xg3+ 19 Ilf2
25 1111 .ioge 28 Ilf2 1tc2 27 lildxe4 J1c1 Ah310-1
28 llb2 Wc8 29 1t»2 11h1 30 h3 h6 31
tal6+ We7 32 ~7 Jlb1 33 llxb1 JLxb1
All through the game, White's pieces
have been poised to cover his weak points
with consummate ease. Black could have
resigned here.
34•• .Axa2 35 lWle2 WJlb7 36 we4 We8
37 w'eS We5 38 ~6 'otc4 39 cag6 e5
40 'otxh8 a4 41 *-g5 a3 42 h4 ~3 43
h5 w.a2 44 he 1-0

Game 80
Schmaltz-Karpatchev An extraordinary picture of paralysis.
Cappellela Grande open 1993 White has two extra pieces, but almost
everything is pinned. and he is quite inca-
1 e4 ruce 2 ~f3 e5 3 d4 exd4 4 lWld4 pable of dealing with the threat of .....gl
1Ih4 S ~c31 Ab4 8 lL)dbS?1 mating. A clear warning for White not to
A standard and dangerous idea in an in- neglect his development.

4 ... flh4

Wc1 .f5 13 W83 d6 14 ned1 l1a7 16 c4

Game 81 .b616i.f31
Azmaiparashvili-Hector The problem for Black in this type of
San Sebastian 1991 position is that, even in the absence of a
quick knockout, it is very difficult for him
1 &4 a6 2 otlf3 1&6 3 d4 axd4 4 ~d4 to fully free himself. Now there is a direct
Vh4 51&31 .i.b4 6 h21? threat - 17.Lc6 and ~4.
16.. Jld7 17 .bc6 bxc8 18lL1d41ihS

The most recent trend.. By no means re-

jecting ideas of ltXib5, White would rather 19.i.g511
all but force Black to accept his pawn offer Much stronger than the routine capture
(otherwise Black has made unnatural on c6, after which Black's king could hope
moves without extracting any such con· to escape to the kingside. The bishop is
ce5loions from his opponent) before setting immune because the breakthrough on the
his knight on this committal course. e-me adds the decisive impetus to the on-
6 ..."x&4 slaught after 19••:t!i'xgS 20 lbe61 'fIc5 21
The only real altcrnaLive, 6 ...lOf6, is .a61
considered in Game 82. 19...c5 20 .i.xf6+I gxf8 21 /t)c6+ WeB 22
7 ~b5 ILIf6 8 0-01 'ifb211ih4 23 . 7 Ilad8 24 Ad31 1-0
There is a very nineteenth century feel The entry of the rook via g3 fmally
to some of these lines and White should breaks Black's resistance. To the end
beware how quickly the initiative can pass White remained immune from the lure of
if he places material before attack. Azmai- material.
parashvili gives the instructive line 8
lLbcc7+?1 wd8 9 ~ ffxg2 10 ~f3 lle8+ Game 82
11 .i.e3 Wit3 12 .hc6 bxc6 13 'ffe2 tndS Mat.Mulier-Schiffer
14 0.0.0 lLbce3 15 fxe3 1fxe3+ 16 'i'xe3 Gennan Bundesliga 1997
11:<e3 when the knight is not coming out
.and the bishop pair stands Black in good 1 a4 8S 2 ~ 1tlc:6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4
stead. Wh4 6 ~I i.b4 6 .b21? tat6 7 0-01
B•• ..txc3 9 bxc3 hc3
Attack before structure! 9 tnxc3?1 Wd41 Consistent, as Black wants to capture
is not so clear. on e4 with the knight rather than the
9 •••WdB 10 .!tel 1188 11 lle1 'itd5 12 queen. The problem is that the queen is

The Scotch Geme

always vulnerable to olDf5 anyway. his king around at leisure.

7...lID:e4 8 ~f5 lID:c3 9 ~+I? (9 bxc3 13...wxg7 14 1I'g3+ Wl8 16 .i.h&+ we7
..f6) is a nice case in point. After 9...wdB 16 llae1+ .LI6
(9...wf8 10 bxc3 i.xcJ 11 olDf5 "e4 12
.i.h6+ also gives White a massive attack) 10
bxc3 .bc3 11 ~f5 .f6 12 ~61 White
saves the rook by the threat of .i.g5, and
retains a tremendous initiative (Wells).

A further flne continuation of the at-
tack. In the bare analysis, we can blame
the lack of a dark-squared bishop for the

a ~f61 ifxe4 9 Ad3 "g4 10

f3 .a4 11
defence, and the desertion of Black's queen
from defensive duties.
17...Wxe6 18 lIe1+ ~5 19 f4 lIag8 20
The bishop pair and the excellent 1ih3+ ~fg4 21 beS dxe5
knight on f5 obviously give White good 21 ...d5 22 Aft! is no solution either.
compensation. The full extent of Black's 22 lIe4 1i'xe4 23 he4 f5 24 ,i,d3 ~8
problems is not at first evident. The text is 26 ..tc4+ Wf8 26 hga ~g8 27 fIh4+
maybe necessarysince 11...0-0 is splattered Wt72Sfl'd8
by the memorable combination 12 lID:g71 White's fonnal material advantage is
Wxg7 13 .i.h6+1 in Vukovic-Mozetic, small, but the black forces still experience
Banja Vrucica 1991, when 13...Wxh6 14 difficulties finding the scene of the action.
• d2+ Wg7 15 'i'g5+ wh8 16 'fIxf6+ Wg8 28 ...e4 29 .dSt *96 30 g4 bg4 31
17 "g5+ wh8 181i'h6 or 13...Wg8 14 'ii'el "xe4t Wf7 32 1Ixb7 fOe7 33 .xa7 h6
are likdy to meet a similar fate. 34 .xc7 mt6 35 a4 lIg6 36 85 h4 37
12 ".11 d6 13 ~g71 'irc4+1-O
Anyway. Black is so desperately weak A fine attacking game which pinpoints
on the dark squares that White can drive everything that is wrong with 4...'iWh4?1

4 ... flh4

4...1Ih4?! seems to be rushing full steam ahead towards the status of 'unplayable'. This.
crisis is two-pronged. Both slObS i.c5 6 .£31 (Game 79) and the 'new' gambit approach
Slik3I? £b4 6 £e2! (Games 81-82) cause very severe problems.

1 e4 eS 2 lLlf3 l2lce 3 d4 exd4 4 i2lxd4 9h4 (D)

slObS - GIZ17U: 79
S ••..Ilb4 (D) 6 .i.e2
6 ~bS - Game SO
6 ..•1ixe4(D)
6...ltIf6 - Game82
7 ltlbs - Game 81

4 .....h4 5 ... J.b4 6... 'fIxe4

Black's Fourth Move

1 e4 e5 2 /lif3 JDc:6 3 d4 exd4 4 1lIxd4 sibility of developing his queen's knight to

In this chapter we conclude our survey its 'natural square'. The challenge for
of the Scotch with a look aI Black's more White is to find uses for the move c2-c3.
unusual fourth moves. The most respect.
able of these is 4... .1\.1>4+. which as we shall
see in Games 83·85 has been played by
Peter Leko and Tony Miles. The chapter
is rounded off with 4....f6 (Game 86),
4...121ge7 (Game 87) and 4...g6 (Game 88).

Game 83
Tilburg 1997
1 e4 e5 2 /li13 1De6 3 d4 exd4 4 1lixd4
.i.b4+ 6 c3 .i.c517
The passive S•...t.e7 is the subject of sllixc6
Game8S. The main alternative has been 6 .1\.eJ,
The interpolation of a check on b4 be- although a number of games from Tony
fore this familiar posting of the bishop, Miles look quite promising for Black after
represents a stark version of the 6....i.b6! (compare Game 78, where
'disruption of development' theme which White's pawn is still on el) and now:
has appeared at many points throughout a) 7 .tc4 lOes 8 .1\.e2 lDf6 9 £4 lbc6 10
the book. Supporters of this rather new .tf3 d6 11 ().O (11 lOxc6 bxc6 12 .Lb6
and interesting system claim (plausibly) axb6 13 e5 lDds 14 .txdS adS 15 fi'xdS
thaI they are seeking positions similar to ~l [Wells] looks promising for Black
those of Chapters 9-11 without the obvi- too) ll .••()'() 12 .tf2lDe7 13 c4lDg6 14 g3
ous drawback of a vulnerable black queen JlhJ 15 Del 'itd7 16 Whl It)eS1 Hadzi-
on £6. There is no doubt that we will find dakis-Miles, Hania open 1997, was vintage
positions where White will miss the pas- Miles. Active and original piece play,

Black's Fourth Move Alternatives

combined with just enough provocation Restricting Black's knight, and prepar-
to secure a real scrap. ing to target the advanced black queen. It.
b) 7 li)d2 (the interpolation 7 'lfa4 all looks easy aher the event, but IUs-
[threatening lOxc6 and .lUb6 when Black parcv's judgement that he can push his
will have to recapture away from the cen- kingside pawns forward with impunity is
tre on b6] 7...lIbSI is not daogerow for very fme. 9 ~?! Le3 10 'i'xe3 0-0 II
Black) 7...~ge71 S .i.d3 (SIlk4?! allows the llld2 IleS 12 0-0 d5 would have given
familiar freeing manoeuvre S... i.xd4! and Black just the kind of active counterplay
9...d5) 8... ltJc:s 9 lDc4 d6 10 lDxb6 axb6 11 he was seeking. .
0.0 0.0 12 .i.e2 f5 13 exf5 liW5 14 ~5 9 •.•0-010 031ih6 11041 'IIe512 051
1hf5 15 f4 lDc6 16 iLd3 gave White no
more than a tiny edge in Zahariev-Miles,
Hania open 1997.
6 ... bxc6
The first impact of the additioo of 5 c3
over Chapters 9-11. 6....f6?? 7 ll)d4
would not be too clever! .
7 Ad3 'ilh471
This, however, seems to be too ambi-
tious, since Kasparov's precise reaction
renders Black's queen a target for White's
own kings ide . ambitions. Tony Miles's
7...lDe7!? (see Game 84) is certainly an
improvement. 12...1Oxa471
7...lDf6?1 on the other hand does oat Taaically flawed, but 12...lDeS 13 f4
look right. AherS e5 .!bd5 either 9 0-0 or ti'e7 14 iM2! (6 15 ~3 nb8 16 b4! .i.b6
9 c4 the position resembles those from 17 .i.d2 (Kasparov) was also none too pal-
Chapter 5 which Black prefers to avoid atable. White has a readymade attack on
However, what about 7...d6!? preparing the kingside, while he may even be able to
...~f6 here? In the analogow position castle long despite the open l>file. The
with the pawn on c2, White's best results (otherwise quite impressive) bishop on b6
have, after all, been achieved by playing might rather impede his own side·s opera-
the knight to c3. tions on the queenside.
An important idea here is that mer S 13 ohe4 lIee 14 i.f31
0.0 lDf6 (if S...\ih4?! 9 li)d2 iLg4 10 00 Somewhat paradoxically, it is 14 .i.d3?1
ti'h5 11 '§'a41 ~7 12lOci4 White reorgan- which BI~ can meet by 14.. ..i.a6! since
ises his forces to advantage) 9 .i.g5 h6 10 15 b6 "ciS 16 0-0 lhe2 17 be2 1!re5
~h4?1 Black will get a strong attack with gives Black a lot of counterplay.
10...g51 11 .i.g3 h5?1 and if U e5 then 14.....xe2+ 16 he2.la6 16 c4! .bc4
12. ..h4! is strong. 17~c3
White probably does best to develop Basically refuting Black's idea. Apart
quite slowly; something like 8 lO:l2I? ~6 from two pawns, Black can claim little for
9 lDb3 .i.b6 10 JLgS h6 11 ~4 which his piece. White develops without undue
might be wonh an edge, but in general difficulty, neutralises the few threats, and
this idea looks wonh a try (or Black. sets about exchanging pieces.
8 ee2 ~f6 9 h31 17 .. J1ab8 18 ""1 .b6 19 b3 f8 20 gxf8

The Scotch Game

.i.d4 21 .i.b2 .i.xf8 22 ~ .llh4 23 ~c& 11 e5 looks more like the logical culmi-
lU8 24 .ID121 .bh3+ nation of White's strategy, but even
This wins a third pawn, but White's l1...h61? may be possible, since 12 i.xh6
26th move ensures total liquidation in gxh6 13 'irxh6li)fSI 141Whs Wh41 is not
return. sufficient for White. Also 11 ... g6 12 \th6
25 "'91 Abe8 26 ~d71 .bf2+ 27 1lxf2 dxeS 13 .i.f6lOfs 14 hdBltixh6 15 hel
hd7 28 .i.c4+ .i.ee 29 1W8+ Wxf8 30 lIb7 is promising for Black.
llf1+ We7 31 .be6 1-0 11 .....e8 12 b4 J.b6 13 ~ ~g6 14
~6 ube 16 .te3
Game 84 If 15 0-0 "eSl Black threatens ...ltif4,
Sax-Miles and White's pieces are terribly over-
Szeged 1997 extended to no obvious end.

1 e4 ~I? 2 ~f3 e6 3 d4 exd4 4 &d4

~c6 bxc6 7 J.d3
.i.b4+ 6 c3 .i.c6 6

This move, albeit here with an extra
tactical dimension. forms a basic part of
Black's repertoire in this line. The resul-
8~5 tant position finds Black enjoying a clear
This looks like a prelude to some ag- initiative based on his active rooks. more
gressive idea based on attacking h7 by ad- compact pawn position. and chances to
vancing the e-pawn. It never comes to embarrass the white king. For White's
fruition, and hence a quieter approadl part, he could reflect that something like
looks in order, e.g. S 0-0 lDg6 9 b4 .i.b6 10 this structure with the exchange of knight
liXI2 or 8...0-0 9 b4 i.b6 10 a4 as 11 ~ for bisbop on b6, could have been attained
8 ...d6 9 .i,g6 Abel 10 b3 with his king in safety and a more solid
It is VelY pleasant to be able to throw in development of bis queen.
a useful move like 9.. ,m,SI, safe in the 16 exf6 lDf4 17 "xe8 ~d3+ 1B wd2
knowledge that 10 b4?! is refuted tactically Ilxe8 19 obd3 .txf&+ 20 Wd2 e6 21 a3
by lO...nxb41 11 cxb4 i.d4 12 i.c4 0-0 13 ~8 22 JZhe1 W 23 We1 :lee 24 Wb2
_4 !lea 14 'iIhS dSl Hence the text, JIae8 26 a4 .i.a4 26 g3 .tf3 27 a5
which represents an unhappy loss of Black still has the chances, but in the fi-
tempo. and a potential weakening of the nal position the potential strength of
dark squares. White's b-pawn renders the task of getting
10•••0-011 .ttld2 his connected pawns rolling difficult.
Black's Fourth Mo ve Alterna tives

27 ••. exb4 28 axb8 bxc3+ 29 'i'xc3 e5 30 11 'fIxc6+ .i.d7 12 'WdS lllic4 13 "'xc4
lla7+ ~g8 31 m,1 llb8 32 lId7 i.c8 Ab81 for similar reasons to those outlined.
.%-% in the note above.
11 ...0-0 12 .i.d3llb8 13 Qxl2 e6 14 ~
Game 85 ~c4 15 .hc4 Jul6
WorldJunior Ch., Halle 1995
1 e4 e6 2 IOt3 lUe6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4
.i.b4+ 5 c3 .i.e7 8 i.c4(1)
Of course Black's slightly passive choice
can be countered in several ways, but I
like the direct quality of the text. White
will also not allow his opponent to de-
velop unhindered.
6 .•.ll:lfB
The alternative 6...d6?1 looks unjustifia-
bly risky. After 7lOxc6 bxc6 8 'fib31 ~f6
9 U7+ 'itif8, the simplest antidote ~ 16.id51
pears to be 10 ~e6I? ltlxe4 11 i.xcB 'fIxcll Bringing together two of our most per-
12 ().O dS 13 ~ lQc5 14 'itc2 g6 15 b4 sistent themes. Again Black is trying to
lDe6 16 .i.b2, when Black's king position seek compensation for a weakened pawn
and the potential disaster of his loose structure through active piece play. Here
pieces on the e-flle should add up to a after 16 b3?1 .i,b7 17 1thS? (17 1i'fS was
great advantage for White, as in A.Grosar- relatively better) 17...1I'f618 Ae3 :beal he
Sennek, Portoroz 1993. was extremely successful in this endeavour
7 lWIc6 bxc6 8 e5 lCe4 in Vragoteris-Grivas, Iraklio 1994. White
8...lodSl? is also possible, offering a in turn, gives priority to preventing
pawn which White does well to leave Black's intended mobilisation, and fmds
alone. After 9 '*.xdS?1 cxdS 10 .xdS '*.a61 his opponent, faced with this very strong
not only is White's king caught in the novelty,lacking in any back-up plan.
centre, but the advance c2-c3 has caused 18...0471
weaknesses on the light squares, compli- A rather desperate invitation to avarice
cating the task of combating the powerful which White again passes up, and exploits
piece on a6. slowly and positionally.
So, White should prefer 9 ().O lOb6 10 17 b3 .i.a& 18 :e1 .ic5 19 b4 b6 20
i.b3 ().O 11 ll)d2 dS 12 exd6 cxd6 (there is e4 c5 21 b5 i.c8 22 .i.'4 i.e7 23 llaci1
nothing in White's piece position here to i.d7 24 hc7 'be7 25 lIe7 ~ 28
justify capture with the bishop on d6) 13 .bc4 :beI8 27 .d5 .'4 28 i.f1 1-0
1Of3!? dS 14 ~c2 .L.6 IS l:el i.f6 16ltXi4
cS 17 It)fS and ·although Black's pieces are Game 86
satisfactorily developed, White will have Van der Wiel-Sosonko
the easier task rmding a plan, as in Milov- Dutch Ch' Hilversum 1987
Shvidler, Israe11996.
9 .'31 d5 10 exd6 lWId6 11 0-01 1 e4 e6 2 ~f3 lUc6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4
Again White should avoid the greedy .f617

The Scotch Game

ing a simpler retreat for the knight on b5,

also gave White a pleasant edge after 9...a6
10 IM4 I.ili:d4 11 hd4 'itg612 ().().() 0-0
13 'Bf4 d6 14 lld3 f6 15 AgJ itf7 16 ~
in Bruk-G.Flear, Tel Aviv 1989. It is not
so clear to me why Black must be in such
a rush to play 9... a6?! now that White has
prepared a comfortable reply. I would
prefer 9...0-0 10 ().().() d6.
9 ... a61
Now, by contrast, White's last move
unpinned his c3-knight and Black would
be wise to pay attention to White's pivotal
5~5 positional threat. Thus the casual 9...0-0?1
White's principal attempt to avoid was strongly met by 10 lL'ldSl ~dS 11
tranSposition to wdl-known paths. Thus exdS lDe7 12 d6! cxd6 13 lhd6 'fIeS 14
after 5 .i.eJ .i.c5 6 c3 we fmd ourselves in .i.xal 'fIf4+ 15 'fi'eJ (15 i.eJl?) 15...'fIxe3+
Chapters 9-11. After 5 lrucc6 Black can 16.Le3 lOf5 17 lld3 lruce3 18 fxe3 d5 19
again return to main lines with 5... i.o a3 and Black has insufficient compensation
(see Chapters 6 and 7) although 5... dxc6 is for the pawn, since the white knight still
also playable here. has a fme outpost available on d4. in
5 .• .Ac5 6 "82 .i.b617 Chiburdanidze-MiIes, Palma de Mallorca
Again the main move here, but in 1989. For those trying to locate this game,
Chapter 12 a case was made for the posi- it is worth DOting tbat the opening moves
tion reached after 6.....d81? (see Game 79). were 1 d4 llk6, which just goes to show
The move order here also has the vinue of that the Scotch can crop up in the least
virtually forcing White's queen to e2 expected placesl
rather than to f3, although of course here 10 ltldSlOxdS11 exd5 axbSI7
Black has to reckon with the transposi.
tional possibilities discussed at move five.
7101c3lZlg87 8 .a83 .aaS

Black realises that the immediate dis-

covered check does no serious damage,
and that 11 ...lUe7 definitdy gives White
90~ more room to manoeuvre after, for exam-
The apparently quieter 9 'iid2I?, prepar- ple, 12 lOd4 (U lW3 b51?) 12...0-0 13 tLlb3

Black's Fourth Move Alternatives

~b4 14 ti'c4 ~d6 15 ~dJ, as in Vaidya- this enables Black to sacrifice a pawn, liq-
Shabtai, Budapest 1992. uidate his weakness and prove full equal-
12.i.d4+7J ity.
Nimzowitsch's dictum, that 'the threat 18 e3 .Q.e8 19 g3 b41 2011dl
is stronger than the execution' has a sur- White did not like the look of 20 axb4,
prisingly wide validity. Here White when Black's active pieces ensure enough
should capture immediatdy on c6, when counterplay, for example 20.• ':al+ 21
12.••dxc6?? is ruled out due to 13 Jlg5+1 ~d2 Axdl+ 22 'itixd1 .i.d5 23 Jlg1 1las
'$'e6 14 AdS mate. It is rather less self- followed by .. Alt. The rest of the game is
evident that 12•.. bxc6 13 Jld4+ 1'fe6 14 very comfonable for Black.
'fIxe6+ fxe6 15 .A.xg7 AgS 16 .i.h61 would 20._.bxa3 21 Ilxa3 llxa3 22 bxa3 .\U5 23
represent an improvement for White over .i.c4 b5 24 lle1+ <imJ 25 .if1 lIas 26
the game. The point is that although <Sb2lle4 27 I1e3 litd4 28 We1 h8 %-%
Black's structure is not so ugly as in the
next diagram, neither in terms of piece Game 87
activity nor pawn breaks can he expect as Kotsur-Shchekachev
much counterplay as he enjoys in the Smolensk 1997
12.. JWe7 13 dxc6 dxc8 14 'fIxe7+ ~xe7 1 e4 e5 2 ~f3 ~c8 3 d4 exd4 4 1tlxd4
15 .i.xg7 IlgB 18 Ad4 b81 17 .bb6 IOge7

This move is not without logic. Bl:u:k

Black's pawn formation is not a pretty will exchange on d4, briefly centralising
sight, and although both his rooks are on White's queen in order in tum to evict
half~pen files, White will play g2-g3, tak- her. He will be able to compete for the
ing a lot of fun out of the g-file. However, dark squares in the centre, and his king's
the dS-square is an excellent potential post bishop can develop without hindrance.
for his bishop and the a-fde the real key to The drawback is pretty much as discussed
the position. White bas the very concrete in the Introduaion - White's space advan-
question of the threat to his a-pawn. The tage remains largely uncontested, and
advance b2-b) hardly comes into consid- above all, there is less competition than
eration since Black can quickly double on normal for the d5-square.
the a-me, and even play ...b5-b4 if neces- 5 1Oc3 1Wcd4 8 "xd4IOcS 7 Vel
sary, fIXing the weakness. Hence 31-33, but I believe that this is the best square,

The Scotch Game

preparing JLdZ and ().().(). Johann Hjanar- rather convincing. Mer this reasonable
son won a nice game after 7 "d2 ~b4 8 a3 looking move, White seems to gain a deci-
~a5(?Q 9 b41 ~b6 10 ~dS 0-0 11 ~b2 Ae8 sive plus by force. However, after 14.••fxe4
12 ()'()'()I d6 (12 .•Jlxe4? would meet with a 15 ~!? (15 Le4 is fme too, but the
most elegant and original refutation 13 threat of ~g5 will provoke another weak-
Jl.d3 1le8 14 .tf611 gxf6 15 'flh6 with a ness) 15...hd2+ 16 lWl2 h6 17 ~1?
mating attack) 13 f3 .i.e6 14 Whl, when in Black will in any case come under heavy
HjartaJ'SOn-Keitlingha~, Copenhagen pressure, as the g6-square is very weak.
1997, White had the typical space advan- 15 exf51 .hI5 16 llxe8 lbe8 17 lOd51
tage of which we have seal many exam- Despite allowing exchanges, this move,
ples, with clear chances for kingside ex- pivotal to White's whole system, cawes
pansion. It is also instructive how, with Black great difficulties here too. The
his poorly placed bishop on b6, Black's threat of lDf6 wins a valuable tempo, and
counterplay is in no way enhanced by with it a pawnJ
White's advanced queenside pawns. How-
ever, after 8 a3 Black should play 8...bc31
9 'IIxc3 when interestingly his slight lead
in development compensates for White's
bishop pair. White comes to rather miss
his c3-knight, as his e-pawn becomes a
target for Black's operations. We11s-Czebe,
Budapest 1997, continued 9...0-0 10 J.c4
'ith41 11 .idS ~e7 12 0-0 c61 13 J.b3 d5 14
exd5 It>>c.d5 15 .i.xd5 adS 16 .i.e3 .*.f5
with full equality.
7 ..ih4
Bo~ Spassky recently tried another
pla~ible looking development, 7.•. g6?1 8 17 •• ..txd2+ 18 J:lxd2 IUS 19 .bf5 Hxf5
~d2 ~g7, but he will need a good reply to 20 1ib31 11n 2111xb7 h6 22 93 whB 23
the excellent 9 1t:Id5! found by the com- l1d3 Wh7 24 b3 85 25 11c3 lOd4 26 Wb21
puter Kallisto. The point is that 9.. ..hb2? White's excellent knight ensures that
fails to 10 J.c3I, and however Black reacts his opponent has no counter-chances
he will be subjected to horrors on the long whatsoever. Safety first is the philosophy
diagonal. Note that the unusual position by which he will maintain that grip. 26
of Black's king's knight helped to produce 1hc7 "£51 27 ltle31 was also possible but
this rare tactical possibility. there is no need to allow Black any activ-
8 .*.d2 0.:0 9 0-0-0 d6 10 1193 .tee 11 f4 ity at all.
f5 26 ...~6 27 1Ice .d8 28 11.3 1icS 29
11...f6I? had already been played with
satisfactory results in Sax-Keitlinghaus,
1tlb8 .!tld8 30.84+
.f5 31 lLld5 cB 32
.!tlc3 1ixe4 33 lbe4 d5 34 11e8 11d7 35
Feldbach open 1997, but after 12 ~ ~I
hd2+ 13 lbd2 liJe7 White should avoid In addition to his extra pawn, White
exchanges with 14 lbe3, keeping a small also has the more active pieces. This rap-
spatial plus. idly secures him a second, and the game.
12 a3 .i.a5 13 Ad3 .d7 14 mwe1 :aeS 35 ...*06 36 .!tlc6 Ad6 37 lle7 d4 36
I find White's play in this whole game :a7lld5 39llxa5 1-0

Black's Fourth Move Alternatives

'fIc3+ f6 16 h4!? 'ftxg2 17 h5 .if5 18

Game 88 hxg6 .i.xg6 19 .cUl fig5 20 Ite7+ 'i!1h8 21-
Pavasovic-Z.Basagic f4 . 0 22 i.d31 breaking through deci-
Bled open 1996 sively on h7.
12 hg7 wxg7 13 h5 .i.e6 14 :e1 wg8
1 e4 a6 2 ~f3 ~c6 3 d4 exd4 4 ~d4 1&141
06 5 lOc3 .*.07 6 .*.a3 d6 7 ti'd2 ~f6 B Since Bladt can always capnu-e on g6
~c611 bxc6 9 .!the with the f.pawn, the crude attempt to give
White's last two moves represent a very mate using the home alone would be des-
direct and· logical approach to the posi- tined for disappointment. This move
tion. He believes that after the exchange of however, creates havoc. The advance of
dark·squared bishops, Black's counterplay the pawn to £S adds crucial weight to the
on the half-open b-file will not amount to assault on Black's g6-pawo, and inciden-
very much. Indeed it seems on this evi· tally wins back the powerful a2-g8 diago-
dence to be less potent than that generated nal for White's bishop. All this induces
when Black is able himseU to trade on d4 Black into the opening of the h·file with-
and then expand with ...c7-c5, ... a7·a6 and out allowing a second rank defence.
...b7·b5. Moreover, while Black's next 15...~5 16 15 .i.d7 17 04\ ~g3 18
move could be open to the familiar charge llh3lOxf1 19 -.61
of 'castling into it', it is clear that given the Black has removed the potentially dan-
possibility of White advancing his e-pawn gerous bishop, but at what cost?
(with or without a supponing f2· (4) nei- 19...f6 20 bg6.bo4 21l1h4 15 221lxf1
ther the centre nor the queenside are very 'irg7 23 gxh7+ ~8 24 1fxg7+ Wxg7 25
attraclive options for Black's king. exfS 1-0

9 ...0-0100-0-0 'ire7 11 h4\l1b8 Black loses a piece, since 25...AxfS can

If Black tries 11 ...~, he will fmd be met by 26 h8'iI + I, deflecting the f8-
that after 12 lllxe4 'tixe4 13 i.xg7 Wxr,7 rook. A brisk miniature and a funher il-
his knight is $Ordy missed, and that he is lustration of the potential of castling on
subjected not just to the usual h·me indigo opposite sides when Black h~ failed to
nities, but to invasion down the e-file too. make a successful challenge White's space
One illustrative line: 14 Dell? 'fId5 15 advantage.

The Scotch Game

I expect that 4...~b4+ 5 c3 .*.c51 (Games 83 and 84) is here to stay. After 6lilicc6 bxc6 7
.*.d3, both 7..,riJe7 and the untried 7...d6Iook reasonable.
4...tif6 seems to have continued validity as a transpositional option, not least due to
the interesting and unusual 5 lLlbS ..tc5 6 \lke21i'dBl? Perhaps its relative lack of popular-
ity arises because it side-steps a line (4 ..icS SlLlb3) which is none too frightening in any
4...lLlge7 is less impressive, and seems rather overrated. White's approach in Game 87
looks promising. Other moves fall prey to the objection discussed in the Introduction.
White' gets his space advantage without a fight, Game 88 is a rather graphic case in point.

1 e4 e6 2 lllf3 ~c6 3 d4 exd4 4lllxd4

4 •• ib4+(D)
4......f6 - Game 86
4.../Dge7 - Game 87
4...g6 - Game 88
6 c3 .i.c6 (D)
S.. ie7 - Game 85
6lllxc6 bxc6 7 i.d3 (D)liJ.e7
7...'fIh4 - Game 83
8"6- Game 84

4 ... i.b4+ 5 ... .*.c5 7 i.d3


Adams-Wells, Dublin ~ 1993 ............................................................................... 103

Anand-Shirov, Linares 1997.......................................................................................... 93
Azmaiparashvili-Hector, San Sebastian 1991 ........................................................... 147
Baklan-Smejkal, German BuruJes/iga 1997.................................._............................. 120
Beliavsky-Almasi, Yi'goslav l.e4gue 1997.................................. _ ................................ 22
Campora-Rodriguez Talavera, Dos Hermanas 1992............................................... 134
Chandler-AdamS, Hasting,s Pn!mier 1991 .................................................................... 55
Djurovi~::.Rajic, Novi Sad open .1988 ........................................................................... 105
Dochev-Kazhgaleyev, PariJub,ct 1996......................................................................... 51
EblvC$1;-Beliavsky, Reykja1Jik 199/ .............................................................................. 109
Fogarasi-Hebden, CappeJlela Grande open 1993........................................................ 58
fogarasi-Varavin, Kobanya upen 1992 ............................................_.._....................... 46
Handoko-Speelman, MoscO'Ul Olympiad 1994........................................................... 129
Hector-Kristensen.B, Vejle 1994 ..................................................................... ;.......... 104
Ivanchuk-Smyslov, TJblI'R 1994................................................................................ 140
Kasparov-Anand, PCA World 0,., New York (8) 1995...............-............................. 27
Kasparov-Ivanchuk, Amsterdam tIS.,
1994 ................................................................ 25
Kasparov-Karnsky, TJburg /99/ ................................................................................. 125
Kasparov-Karpov. Tilburg 1991.................................................................................... 19
Kasparov-Leko, Tilburg 1997 ...................................................................................... 150
Kasparov-Nikolic, unares
1997.................................................................................... 30
Kasparov-Short, PCA World 0,., Lomkm {II} 1993 .................................................. 85
Kasparov-Sokolov.I, Ye7e'V4n Olympiad 1996............................................................ 39
Kasparov-Sorin, Buenos Aires (sim,Jeaneous) 1997.................................................... 113
Kasparov-Topalov, Las Pa/mas 1997............................................................................ 91
Klovan-Pioch, USSR 1974............................................................................................ 136
Komeev-Komljenovic, Zaragoza open /996.............................................................. 144
Kotsur-Frolov, Russian Cup, Tomik /997 ................................................................... 16
Kotsur-Shchekachev, Smolensk 1997......................................................................... 155
Lalic-heta, Ub:eda open 1988........................................................ _ ............................... 38
Landen~ue-Kori:hnoi. Ptuj Zona/1995 ............................................................... 107
Lautier-Bellavsky, BielI992 .......................................................................................... 73
Leko-Almasi, UIJeda 1997............................................................................................... 41
Ljubojevic-Spassky, Mont7'e4l1979............................................................................... 63
Lupu.Miles, Cappidle Lz GrtUUle open 1994 ................................................................ 133

Index of Complete Games

Markovic-Mozetic, VmjackA Banja 1992..................................................................... 97

Miles-Hebden. London 1994.......................................................................................... 99
Morozevich-Arkhipov. Tal Memori4J, MoSCO'W 1992................................................. 47
Morozevich-Balasllov, St Petersburg Zonal 1993 ...................................................... 119
MiiUer.Mat-5chiffer. Genn4n Bunilesliga 1997........................................................ 147
MiiUer.Mat-WeIls. Gerr1IiIn BunJesliga 1998 .............................................................. 60
Nielsen.P-H-Dautov, Bad l.JJutl!7'beri. 1991 ................................................................. 44
OU-Gan:ia.G. New York open 1997 .............................................................................. 50
OU-Georgiev.Kir, Groningen 1993 .............................................................................. 78
OU-Peng Xiaomin, Beijing 1997................................................................................. 126
PaIac~rgadze.G. PUI4 open 1977............................................................................. 29
Pa1ac-Ma1aNuk, World Temn 0,., Lucerne 1997........................................................ 94
Pavasovic-Basagic.Z, Bled 0fJ!:'J 1996.......................................................................... 157
Pavasovic-Dos Santos, WoTIJ Junior 0,., Halle 1995................................................ 86
Pavasovic-Kunte, WoridJunioro,.,HaJ/e 1995 ....................................................... 153
Polgar.J-Piket. Tdburg 1996........................................................................................ 124
Polgar-Zsu-Xie JUD, Women~ World o,.•Jaen (l) 1996............................................ 81
Ramesb-Kazhgaleyev, YeTn1tUJ Olympiad 1996 ......................................................... 57
Rdange-5myslov. Genera/:i()ns rn4II:h, Cannes 1996. .................................................. 88
Rublevsky-Anancl,.PC:A MOSCOfII (rapidplay) 1996...................................................... 84
Rublevsky-Goldin. Tit1at 1995.................................................. _ ................................. 96
Rublevsky-Gretarsson.H, Yerm:m OlympiAd 1996 ........._ .................................... 112
Rublevsky-Mikhalevski, EuropeAn Cup, fIiInius 1995 .............................................. 14
Rublevsky-Peng Xiaomin, Yerevan OlympiAd 1996............................................... 114
Salov-!tarpov, Reggio EmiJia 1991.............................................................................. 137
Sax-Miles. Szeged 1997 .................................................................................................. 152
Sdunaltz-KarPatchev, CappeJJela Grande open 1993 .............................................. 146
Schmittdiel-dostisa, Mitropa Cup, Buk 199J .............................................................. 75
SchnUttdiel.TlSchbierek, German BundesJiga 1992 ................................................. 128
Sc:hoeJlrnann·Mikhalchishin.A., BIeJ open 1995 ........................................................ 72
Smagin-Gligoric. Yugoslavia 1991................................................................................ 98
Smagin.Murcy. V'unna open 1991................................................................................ 70
SJDagin-UnziCker, DortriUnuJopen 1992 ................................................................... 141
Smyslov-Ioseliani, VeID'ans w. Women. PrAgue /995 ........._ ................................ 123
Soc:ko-Grabarc:z.yk, Polish a,., Sopot 1997............................_ .................................... 66
Socko-Jakubowski, PolAnd 1997..................................................................................•40
Strange-McMahon, ShejJield 1996 ................................................................................ 59
SveshiUkov-Malaniuk, AiustA 1994.............................................................................. 53
Svidler-Adarns, 'Ii/burg 1997 ........................................................................................ 35
Svidler-Arkhipov, RussiAn 0,., EJistA 1994............................................................... 116
SUJDZO-Eismont, Harkanyopen 1993........................................................................ 132
ThorhaUssou.Pedenen.S, NOrdic Grand Prix, Tonha'llTJ 1997................................. 68
Thorhallsson-Pinter, Manila OlympiAd 1992 ........................................................... 121
Tunman-Karpov, London 1984......................................................_ ............................ 36
Tompa-LukaCs, Budapest 1976..............................__........ _................. _....................... 139
TseitIin.tdk-Mikhaievski, Beenheva 1997................................................................... 33
Van der Wiel-Grabarczyk, EmopeAn Temn 0,., PuI4 1997.... ___ ......................... 65
Van der Wiel-Gulko, Amsterriatn 1987 ......................... _ ......._ .._ ........................ 102
Van der Wiel-5050nko. Dutch a,., HiJfIeTS14m 1987....................___ ........" ........ 154
Van Wely-Piket, Monaco (2nJ m41£hgame) 1997............................... "...................... 118
Vukovic.Z-BIag~·eviC, Y"ROSlavia 1993 ...................................................................... 23
Webb.I.-LejUc, as
iJanTe 1994 .................................................................................. 77
WelIs-Cladouras, Worishofen open 1997....................................."." ..................... 49