Dec 012010
This type of Scotch makes for a better
picture though don’t you think?

No, not the Scottish, (fine people though they be) but the Scotch. Not the single malt variety of Scotch either. No, yesterday was St Andrew’s day and that seems good enough reason for this blog to celebrate the Scotch Game. It is a venerable system that is first mentioned by Ercole del Rio in 1750 but which owes its name to a correspondence game played between the Edinburgh and London chess clubs in 1824.

For a very long time the opening lay dormant and slumbering as the players of the 20th century generally thought its waters were too quite to offer the White player any sort of advantage. That assessment was changed forever when Garry Kasparov sprung it on Anatoly Karpov in their 1990 World Championship match which was played in Lyon.

Since then the Scotch has gained a new lease of life as today’s Grandmasters use it as a viable alternative to the well trodden paths of the Spanish.

For me, the Scotch has been a reletively new acquaintance. For many years I exclusively played the Sicilian against 1.e4 but in the last four or five years I have started to insert 1…e5 into my repertoire and that has meant that I’ve had to figure out a way of meeting the Scotch. I have had some excellent results against it (in fact I don’t think I’ve lost against it over the board), and yet I’m beginning to consider playing it with the White pieces too as an altenative to the Italian Game that I usually trot out.

Today I shamelessly offer readers of this blog a couple of my greatest hits against the Scotch which may serve either to recommend or put off members from the opening, who knows.

This first game was played over the board.

And this one was played online.

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