The venerable Scotch Game has enjoyed a great revival in recent years, with
many top Grandmasters adding it to their repertoires. World Champion Kasparov's
adoption of the opening aroused much interest, and the Scotch Game is regularly
seen by his opponents. But Kasparov has so far gotten a free ride after 1.e4 e5
2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4, because his opponents have failed to task him with
the dangerous and uncompromising 4...Qh4!?, the Steinitz Variation!
The Steinitz Variation with 4...Qh4 is undoubtedly Black's most challenging
counter to the Scotch Game. After only four moves White suddenly must fight on
Black's prepared territory, and is virtually forced to sacrifice his e-pawn and
burn his safe, "positional" bridges behind him. Black provokes an immediate
crisis, and brazenly grabs an important center pawn while keeping a compact
position without weaknesses. White then has no choice but to look for
compensation in the ephemeral world of tempi and development, ever mindful that
Black will win almost any endgame. Maximum tension prevails in the razor-sharp
struggle that follows, as the two sides play out the age-old chess conflict
between Time and Material. The Steinitz Variation is thus an ideal weapon for
those who want to win with the Black pieces.
Further, the Steinitz Variation has been tested in the fire of top level
international chess, and even World Championship match play. The move 4...Qh4 is
sound, aggressive and suitable for players of any level, from Grandmaster to
postal player to average club member. All will find a powerful weapon in this
cold-blooded, anti-Scotch counterattack.
This volume is the first monograph devoted exclusively to the Steinitz
Variation of the Scotch Game. Here will be found the latest professional
analysis of 4...Qh4, along with commentary by Chigorin, Zukertort and Steinitz
himself, gathered from the rich history of this dynamic variation. Senior Master
John Hall guides the reader to a deep understanding of the Steinitz Variation,
providing original insights and fresh evaluations all along the way. Scotch
4...Qh4, The Steinitz Variation will be of interest to a wide range of
players - from the practical competitor preparing for either color, to the
general student wishing to learn gambit play.
Author: John Hall
Title: National Master