[March 13, 2019] Updated Opening Line by Slaviša Brenjo:
Scotch Game (incl. Mieses, Tartakower & Malaniuk Variations); Goering Gambit

[Line 359 : 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4]

In the position arising after 3… exd4 4. Nxd4 players of Black have tried various moves, among which 4… Bc5 (covered in our Lines 361-362) and 4… Nf6 are by far the most popular ones. In case of 4… Qf6, in addition to 5. Nxc6 Bc5 (transposing to Line 362) and 5. Be3 Bc5 (dealt with in Line 361), White has an interesting option in 5. Nb5 Bc5 6. Qd2. Another sideline is the Malaniuk Variation (4… Bb4+), where White is able to gain a slight edge with 5. c3 Bc5 6. Be3 Bb6 7. Nf5.

The main topic of this opening line is 4… Nf6 with 5. Nxc6 bxc6 being the usual follow-up, where 6. Bd3 and 6. Qe2 are rarely seen alternatives to the more common Mieses Variation 6. e5. The main line goes 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 with both 8… Ba6 (Line 360) and 8… Nb6 frequently seen in the modern grandmaster practice. Against any of these moves Black has more than one way to obtain roughly equal chances.

The Goering Gambit (3… exd4 4. c3), as well as the Tartakower Variation (3… exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. Nd2) hardly pose serious problems to the players of Black, which is the main reason for their rare occurrence in modern tournament practice.

[Diagram: White to Move] Can you find the winning move sequence for White in the diagrammed position?

Click here to see the line in our viewer…

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