Carlsen‘s Successful Experiment in the Scotch Game

Hi, it’s Ivan again. Today, I’m going to prepare against an opponent who plays the Scotch Game.

The good news is that he always plays the same line, while the bad news is that I have to play for a win in a line with which I objectively have to fight to equalize.

Such an ambitious task surely requires some help from the CHOPIN Professional package <click on the ”Feather“ tab>. Well, let me see… OK, nice – there’s an article on the Scotch Game!

Let’s check the Summary first <scrolling down the Summary, while talking at the same time>. I’ve been playing the main line with short castling on the seventh move so far. I should probably change it for two reasons: I need something more active, and definitely more surprising. Well, the seventh move d6 seems very interesting: it’s a Promising line for Black, and there’s Re8 on the tenth move as a Suggested Improvement for Black <click: Summary, Suggested Improvement for Black>. OK, let’s read the commentary: ”10… Re8 is the new try, and certainly one worthy of serious consideration. Black is hoping to exploit White’s awkward piece placement on the e-file, and he has no time to waste.“ <play move by move including 11… Bg4>

OK, so it’s either f3 or Bf3 on the twelfth move… <click on the plus sign next to 12. Bf3>. Let me see… <play move by move including 14. Qe3>. Let’s check the main line… <click on 18… Qe6> Well, yes – Bf3 is very much drawish… Bummer. I definitely won’t be playing Ne4, let’s check this b5… <click on the plus sign next to 14… b5, then play move by move till the end of the line>. OK, it’s not that hopeless; at least I can try something.

Let’s get back to f3 <scroll upwards, then click on 12. f3>. OK, I can close Bf3 now <click on the minus sign next to 12. Bf3>, so it’s Ne4… Wow! Now, that’s what I’ve been looking for! I have to take my chances and complicate the game – obviously, a draw doesn’t mean much to me, after all. Let’s see it… <play move by move including 13. Nd5; then I move 13… Nb4 and say:> Now, that’s the move! If nothing else, it will surely knock him off his chair! <play move by move including until 16th move>

OK, it’s definitely interesting; let’s check the other line <play move by move till the end of the main line>. OK, it’s more or less the same… I’ve imbalanced it as much as I could – it’s not perfect, but it’s what I wanted. I kind-of like it – more or less – and the material is actually on my side. For what it’s worth – this won’t end up in a draw! So, man up, soldier, and prepare for the battle – this case is closed!

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