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Scotch Game

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The Scotch Game is an King-Pawn opening classified as C45 in the ECO code, the opening moves being

  1. e4 e5
  2. Nf3 Nc6
  3. d4 exd4
  4. Nxd4
Chess zhor 26
Chess zver 26 Chess rdl44 Chess d44 Chess bdl44 Chess qdd44 Chess kdl44 Chess bdd44 Chess ndl44 Chess rdd44 Chess zver 26
Chess pdd44 Chess pdl44 Chess pdd44 Chess pdl44 Chess d44 Chess pdl44 Chess pdd44 Chess pdl44
Chess l44 Chess d44 Chess ndl44 Chess d44 Chess l44 Chess d44 Chess l44 Chess d44
Chess d44 Chess l44 Chess d44 Chess l44 Chess d44 Chess l44 Chess d44 Chess l44
Chess l44 Chess d44 Chess l44 Chess nld44 Chess pll44 Chess d44 Chess l44 Chess d44
Chess d44 Chess l44 Chess d44 Chess l44 Chess d44 Chess l44 Chess d44 Chess l44
Chess pll44 Chess pld44 Chess pll44 Chess d44 Chess l44 Chess pld44 Chess pll44 Chess pld44
Chess rld44 Chess nll44 Chess bld44 Chess qll44 Chess kld44 Chess bll44 Chess d44 Chess rll44
Chess zhor 26
1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 d4 exd4 4 Nxd4

4... Bc5 is often said to be Black's simplest and most economical answer to the Scotch (check Nigel Davies, Play 1 e4 e5: A complete repertoire for Black in the Open Games).

4... Nf6, followed by 5. Nc3 is also known as the Scotch Four Knights variation.

with 4... Nf6 Black attacks White's centre, which usually takes the oportunity to develop another piece with 5. Nc3.           5 Bd3, 5 e5, 5 f3 are not considered good alternatives, since they usually leave a piece en prise to 5... Nxd4! or 5 Nxe5 and in the last case, it weakens the king's position by opening the diagonals (see John Emms, starting out: the scotch game).

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