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

Number of games in database: 11068
Years covered: 1819 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 35.9%
   Black wins 30.9%
   Draws 33.2%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Sergei Rublevsky  103 games
Dusko Pavasovic  97 games
Blackburne  81 games
Vladimir Malaniuk  58 games
Michele Godena  54 games
Oleg Romanishin  52 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Marshall vs G Marco, 1904
Karjakin vs Malinin, 2002
L Maczuski vs Kolisch, 1863
T Lichtenhein vs Morphy, 1857
Showalter vs Gossip, 1889
NN vs Bird, 1888
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 page 1 of 443; games 1-25 of 11,068 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. W J Lewis vs W Perry 0-1211819USA Queen corrC45 Scotch Game
2. London vs Edinburgh CC 0-1521824Correspondence MatchC45 Scotch Game
3. Nottingham City vs Cambridge 1-0291838Nottingham - Cambridge corr C45 Scotch Game
4. P Bilguer vs Ribbeck  1-0261839BerlinC45 Scotch Game
5. Von der Lasa vs Mayet 1-0361839BerlinC45 Scotch Game
6. Szen vs Mayet  0-1411839Szen in BerlinC45 Scotch Game
7. Von der Lasa vs Szen  0-1271839Szen in BerlinC45 Scotch Game
8. Mayet vs Szen  ½-½541839Szen in BerlinC45 Scotch Game
9. W M Popert vs Staunton ½-½561840MatchC45 Scotch Game
10. W Hanstein vs Von der Lasa  ½-½581841BerlinC45 Scotch Game
11. W Hanstein vs Von der Lasa  1-0391841BerlinC45 Scotch Game
12. Staunton vs NN 1-0481841Casual gameC45 Scotch Game
13. W Hanstein vs Von der Lasa  ½-½521841BerlinC45 Scotch Game
14. Cochrane vs Staunton 0-1241841Casual gameC45 Scotch Game
15. Staunton vs Cochrane 1-0341841Casual gameC45 Scotch Game
16. Von der Lasa vs W Hanstein  1-0351841BerlinC45 Scotch Game
17. I Calvi vs Kieseritzky 1-0271842MatchC45 Scotch Game
18. I Calvi vs Kieseritzky 1-0331842MatchC45 Scotch Game
19. C Stanley vs J Brown  0-1531842MatchC45 Scotch Game
20. NN vs Staunton 0-1641842Casual gameC45 Scotch Game
21. H Kennedy vs B Greville  0-1281844Casual gameC45 Scotch Game
22. C Stanley vs J Schulten  0-1351844Stanley - Schulten m(1)C45 Scotch Game
23. C A Blankensteiner vs Bledow  0-1321844MatchC45 Scotch Game
24. Horwitz vs Kieseritzky 0-1291846Kieseritsky - Horwitz MatchC45 Scotch Game
25. L von Perenyi vs W Hanstein  1-0351846MatchC45 Scotch Game
 page 1 of 443; games 1-25 of 11,068 
  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>
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.
Mar-22-14  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.

Feb-12-15  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!!
Feb-12-15  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.

Feb-12-15  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.

Feb-13-15  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

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: So in the Scotch, 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4 I hear it being called the Steinitz version.

There's this uncommon line with 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Nb5 Qxe4+. And eventually black is forced to play Kd8.

So black takes a pawn in exchange for losing castling rights.

Grabbing material in the opening sounds like 19th century chess with all these flashy gambits and players being greedy. Steinitz was a guy who proposed the opposite. Interesting that it may be named after him.

Oct-03-18  JustWoodshifting: [Event "(300m+30s)/40+(150m+30s)/20+30m"]
[Site "My Burgh"]
[Date "2018.10.03"]
[Round "1.1"]
[White "Leela - 21389, Hardcore"]
[Black "SugaR 140217 64"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "C45"]
[WhiteElo "2700"]
[BlackElo "3440"]
[Annotator "Karl"]
[PlyCount "36"]
[EventDate "2018.10.03"]
[EventCountry "CAN"]

-- C45: Scotch Game : Schmidt Variation -- 1. e4 e5 2. d4 exd4 3. Nf3 Nc6 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. Bd3 d5 -- End of Schmidt Variation -- 7. Nc3 Bd6 8. O-O O-O 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bh4 Rb8 11. exd5 Rb4 12. Bxf6 Qxf6 13. dxc6 Bg4 14. Qe1 Bf3 15. Qe3 Bxh2+ 16. Kxh2 Qd6+ 17. Kg1 Rh4 18. g3 Rh1# 0-1

Premium Chessgames Member
  whiteshark: Lev Gutman has written a complete book on Steinitz' move <4...Qh4>. (216 pages, publ. in 1999, in German)
Feb-12-21  Poisonpawns: Magnus Carlsen(over career) defending against the Scotch Opening
Aug-09-22  VerySeriousExpert: The excellent defence in the Intermezzo variation of the Classical variation (C45) is considered in the new analytical article by Yury V. Bukayev: .
Aug-09-22  Lucia: gracious
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