Me and my practice buddy met on FICS the other day. Topic was the Scotch Gambit. I must say, practice buddies are a great improvement “tool”, especially if they happen to be stronger than you! Nothing compares to listening to a stronger player articulate his plans.
We focused on one line of the Scotch Gambit in particular: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Bc4 Nf6 5. e5 d5 6. Bb5 Ne4 7. Nxd4 Ld7 8. Bxc6 bxc6. Here’s the tabia:
The conclusions we reached hark back to two classical principles: the principle of securing the centre before attacking on the flank, and the principle of two weaknesses. To get more concrete, here are some plans for White:
- castle and develop (obviously)
- challenge Black’s knight on e4
- prevent Black from playing c5 (securing the centre before attacking on the flank)
- attack on the queenside with pawns to provoke a second weakness in Black’s camp and distract Black’s kingside defenders
- attack on the kingside with the pawn ram f3-f4-f5-f6
- once you manage to get Black into a bind (if you do), either bring your pieces to the kingside or invade on the queenside
I won’t go into details, and I’m not quite sure how to convert such plans into gifs. Here’s a gif showing key positions from one of our games in which I’m steamrolled by White, who’s putting the above plans into practice.
Update: To rub it in, here’s a gif summing up some plans for the player with more space (partly also inspired by Silman’s The Amateur’s Mind).