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
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