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Scotch Game (C45)
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4

Number of games in database: 7212
Years covered: 1770 to 2018
Overall record:
   White wins 35.6%
   Black wins 31.3%
   Draws 33.1%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Sergei Rublevsky  93 games
Dusko Pavasovic  91 games
John van der Wiel  53 games
Ivan Sokolov  30 games
Gabriel Sargissian  27 games
Oleg Romanishin  27 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Marshall vs G Marco, 1904
Karjakin vs V Malinin, 2002
Kasparov vs Karpov, 1990
Showalter vs Gossip, 1889
NN vs Bird, 1850
T Lichtenhein vs Morphy, 1857
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 page 1 of 289; games 1-25 of 7,212 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Mephisto vs NN 1-0281770?C45 Scotch Game
2. W J Lewis vs W Perry 0-1211819USA Queen corrC45 Scotch Game
3. Nottingham City vs Cambridge 1-0291820MatchC45 Scotch Game
4. London vs Edinburgh 0-1521824Correspondence matchC45 Scotch Game
5. P Bilguer vs Ribbeck  1-0261839BerlinC45 Scotch Game
6. Von Der Lasa vs Mayet  1-0361839BerlinC45 Scotch Game
7. W M Popert vs Staunton ½-½561840MatchC45 Scotch Game
8. W Hanstein vs Von Der Lasa  ½-½521841BerlinC45 Scotch Game
9. W Hanstein vs Von Der Lasa  ½-½581841BerlinC45 Scotch Game
10. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0341841London m1C45 Scotch Game
11. Von Der Lasa vs W Hanstein  1-0351841BerlinC45 Scotch Game
12. W Hanstein vs Von Der Lasa  1-0391841BerlinC45 Scotch Game
13. Staunton vs NN 1-0481841SimulC45 Scotch Game
14. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1241841LondonC45 Scotch Game
15. I Calvi vs Kieseritzky 1-0271842MatchC45 Scotch Game
16. I Calvi vs Kieseritzky 1-0331842MatchC45 Scotch Game
17. NN vs Staunton 0-1641842LondonC45 Scotch Game
18. Carl August Blankensteiner vs Bledow  0-1321844Match GameC45 Scotch Game
19. Horwitz vs Staunton 1-0331846London m3 ;HCL 34C45 Scotch Game
20. Horwitz vs Kieseritzky 0-1291846Kieseritsky - HorwitzC45 Scotch Game
21. Staunton vs Harrwitz 1-0251846LondonC45 Scotch Game
22. Mayet vs Harrwitz 0-1221847Berlin mC45 Scotch Game
23. Mayet vs Harrwitz  0-1451847Berlin mC45 Scotch Game
24. Boston vs Philadelphia ½-½211847CorrC45 Scotch Game
25. Saint-Amant / B Horwitz vs H Staunton / D Harrwitz 1-0241847Consultation GameC45 Scotch Game
 page 1 of 289; games 1-25 of 7,212 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 9 OF 9 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-02-09  Chigorin: In Starting Out: The Scotch Game John Emms says of 10.h4: "...I certainly can't find an easy path to equality for Black." The example game given is Smeets-Timman 2002. It doesn't appear to be in the CG database unfortunately. The next few moves in the game were:

10.h4 ♗g7 11.♗b2 ♘f4 12.♕e3 h6 13.♘d2 ♘g6 14.♘f3 gxh4 (if 14...g4 then 15.h5)

Emms' seems to think Black should play 11...0-0-0 12.♘d2 ♖de8 (12...♘b4 13.0-0-0) which he thinks might equalize. Still, I don't think this is all so one-dimensionally bad for White as you make it sound.

Mar-04-09  FiveofSwords: well maybe so, I didnt know emms considered this move...sounds interesting and ill look at it. But im sure its a very new idea and the reason it took a long time for white to consider it would be for the reasons I stated.It might be playable but it would need to have the right idea behind it, and I dont understand the point of h4 if you arent trying to win the g pawn. So maybe its ok but i wouldnt try it until I understand the actual plan behind it. But you see, this is a testament to how impossible it is to exhaust all the interesting ideas in a position, because this is a position ive studied a huge amount and never considered any sort of plan involving the move h4.
Mar-05-09  FiveofSwords: concerning the endgame you speak of, Im sure its fine for black, and if white players use the scotch as their main weapon (such as rublevsky) and they actually want to win some games they probably have found various ideas to avoid this. Morozevich, for example, showed an interesting plan, and also people have been playing 10 f4 followed by Qf2 (this is the major point of 9...g5, preventing f4), and im sure there are other possibilities as well. That particular endgame just isnt very promising for white at higher levels or against extremely prepared opponents so you can expect white to avoid it.
Apr-03-09  Dredge Rivers: They should name an opening after Jack Daniels!

Or maybe Boone's Farm! :)

Sep-07-09  gungorh: Can anyone give me some advise about the below variation. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4
I used to play that opening but then I turned to d4 but as I remember Bc4 has lots of attack variations...
Sep-07-09  nescio: <gungorh> It's not clear to me what you are asking.

It seems to me that 4.Bc4 is predominantly a transpositional device as the most logical replies lead to well-known positions of other openings, e.g.:

4...Bc5 5.c3 dxc3 6.Nxc3 (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.c3 dxc3 5.Nxc3 Bc5 6.Bc4)

4...Bc5 5.c3 Nf6 6.cxd4 Bb4+ (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5 4.c3 Nf6 5.d4 exd4)

4...Nf6 (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4)

Especially the last variation can lead to quite complicated positions which I have never looked at properly. There was a time that I was lured in such messes so often that I stopped playing 1...e5 altogether.

That leaves 4...Bb4+ 5.c3 dxc3 6.0-0, but somehow it doesn't look good for Black.

Oct-25-09  timhortons: Opening Explorer

theres only 2 choices move on it and the game is an old game

9th move of scotch. sequence on how position was reached with link above

click for larger view

9th.Nc3 is the best option of rybka and has been played more time at database. database offer 9.Nb5 and 9.f3...

sometimes you cant say that following the database line of cg is really good, since some of the lines included in the game was used pre rybka time.

Dec-31-09  Stoned Knight: with all the great russian players there have been, I am surprised that there exists a scotch game but not a vodka one.
Dec-31-09  Where is my mind: <gungorh> <nescio> After 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4
I don't like playing the complicated positions of the 4...Nf6 variation at all. 4...Nf6 (1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.d4 exd4)
I try to avoid them by playing 4...Bc5 and transposing into an Italian,but after 5.0-0 Nf6 6.e5 its a complex Two Knights again.
Jan-05-10  nescio: <Where is my mind: I try to avoid them by playing 4...Bc5 and transposing into an Italian,but after 5.0-0 Nf6 6.e5 its a complex Two Knights again.>

I suppose so, but is there something wrong with continuing to avoid it by 5.0-0 d6 6.c3 Bg4 ( Some very respectable players there, but the setup may be refuted.

Jan-06-10  Where is my mind: <1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 Bc5 5.0-0 d6 6.c3 Bg4> Thats much better than what I usually play.I will play over those games.Thanks very much <Nescio>.
Mar-28-10  deputy1: Any one know about the Scotch game :Potter variation ? 1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 5 Nxd4 Bc5
5 Nb3 Bb6 I am playing black in e mail game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Scotch Game w/ 4...Qh4
1.e4 e5 2.♘f3 ♘c6 3.d4 exd4 4.♘xd4 ♕h4

click for larger view

Feb-16-12  RookFile: That's good for a few laughs, but if white is willing to gambit the pawn black gets a miserable game.
Jul-11-12  e4 resigns: <That's good for a few laughs, but if white is willing to gambit the pawn black gets a miserable game.> Steinitz was the first to come up with the idea.
It's a respectable move.
Jul-11-12  e4 resigns: I should say, first to popularize the move.
It was introduced before.
Mar-22-14  FiveofSwords: @e4 resigns...yes it is a 'respectable' move and refuting it isnt technically easy...however rookfile is also technically computer level play black does get a miserable game if white gambits the pawn and at computer level play black is very likely to lose.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: I second the comments. Black's Qh4 is an Anna Kournikova move, it looks spectacular, but rarely wins.

The e4 pawn may not be poisoned, but the juice is not worth the squeeze. Black needs to take advantage and develop.

Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: The Göring Gambit. For when you absolutely positively HAVE to kill everyone in the room RIGHT NOW!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Or Be Killed!!
Premium Chessgames Member
  offramp: I hate to disagree but 4...Qh4 is black's best move. Theory has proved that it is okay, and Steinitz, the first World Champion, thought it was a good move!
Feb-12-15  Volmac: <offramp: I hate to disagree but 4...Qh4 is black's best move. Theory has proved that it is okay, and Steinitz, the first World Champion, thought it was a good move!>

I agree wholeheartedly. Show Steinitz some respect! I have not been able to prove any white superiority in the main line 4...♕h4 5.♘c3 ♗b4 6.♗e2 ♕xe4 7.♘db5 ♗xc3+ 8.bxc3 ♔d8 9.0-0 ♘f6

click for larger view

The question is whether the initiative and Bishop pair is enough compensation for the pawn and structural weakness. I am so far unsuccessful against Fritz in this position.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: Finally some good back and forth regarding 4...Qh4.

As a White Scotch player, I find the lines with an early Bc5 & Nc6 more challenging than Qh4. Since the White d pawn is gone, White does not gain time on the Black c5 Bishop with d4. Development is often an issue for Black in quite a few openings. Not so in the Scotch, so IMHO, Black should take advantage of this opportunity and develop much as we were taught way back when.

Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <Mating Net> Did not know you like Scotch. I tend to favour this opening when faced with 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 and do wish to study the 500 lines of the Spanish Game.

I find ...Qh4 to be trouble-some for me, and I often do not know the Scotch beyond move 5.

But if black plays ...c5, I know the Sicilian relatively well, in a manner of speaking.

I use Sicilian to answer e4 and KID for everything else as black, and I only use e4 as white in serious games.

I do humour meself once in a while by playing the Nimzo-Larsen just for laughs in skittles games.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Mating Net: I hear you with regards to Spanish theory <Wannabe> that is the main reason I like the quick 3.d4.

I use this as my model game if Black castles in the ...Qh4 line Karjakin vs V Malinin, 2002

If Black refrains from castling, this is a good model game, Kasimdzhanov vs E Vladimirov, 2000

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