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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W? (Read 28971 times)
Jonathan Tait
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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #35 - 08/27/22 at 11:23:37
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Frankly wrote on 08/27/22 at 09:24:53:
I bought the Gutman book years ago, and enjoyed all the variations except 6Be2, which I was sadly not aware until in a recent tournament was not only the current main line but one that got Black into trouble if, like me, he was not sure what to do.

Gutman has Wells as saying 6...Nf6 is the only viable line, but a recent video on chess.com by GM Delchev examines 7Nf5 (not even 0-0 first) as crushing for White. Chessbase online database to 26 Aug 22 has 8 games all won by White.

As one tends to get when having invested time in an opening by default (like buying a book years ago as it looked fun), I am a little despondent now with my pet ...Qh4. Looks like Scotch players of most levels all now know to play 6Be2 and then Nf5 soon after ...Nf6, and I should simply learn to play classically then. Those lines with Qxe4 and having to play Kd8 just seem silly to undertake voluntarily for me personally.


I give 4...Qh4 for Black in my book, and 5 Nc3 Bb4 6 Be2 Qxe4 7 Nb5 Bxc3+ 8 bxc3 Kd8 9 0-0 Nf6.
My record with that is P17, W11, D5, L1, which is close on 80% as Black.
But okay, the one loss there was pretty damn critical.
  

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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #34 - 08/27/22 at 09:24:53
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I bought the Gutman book years ago, and enjoyed all the variations except 6Be2, which I was sadly not aware until in a recent tournament was not only the current main line but one that got Black into trouble if, like me, he was not sure what to do.

Gutman has Wells as saying 6...Nf6 is the only viable line, but a recent video on chess.com by GM Delchev examines 7Nf5 (not even 0-0 first) as crushing for White. Chessbase online database to 26 Aug 22 has 8 games all won by White.

As one tends to get when having invested time in an opening by default (like buying a book years ago as it looked fun), I am a little despondent now with my pet ...Qh4. Looks like Scotch players of most levels all now know to play 6Be2 and then Nf5 soon after ...Nf6, and I should simply learn to play classically then. Those lines with Qxe4 and having to play Kd8 just seem silly to undertake voluntarily for me personally. Anyway. Apropos the observation about who knows lines anyway - I had moved into the attitude of 'play better chess and try to remember fewer lines' until I recently played a tournament where my young 1500s opponent blitzed out the correct 16 moves in a sideline in an Open Spanish (with 9Nd2 instead of c3 when I was trying to play the Dilworth), although he had looked at my games online after the draw. Nevertheless, it was a bit disconcerting, as the sideline in question was not amongst my online games!

Never too old to try to learn...
  
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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #33 - 08/15/17 at 10:03:51
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VGA wrote on 08/14/17 at 17:16:47:
I am just a little disappointed, I guess the opening is not for my tastes.

That's totally correct, given your "I found myself defending". When my opponent has a centralized king I always find myself attacking and I have about the same ELO as you. Your point is just wrong. The problem is not the position, it's you not understanding how to handle it. On our modest level it's totally possible to do something about it. So the real question is: do you want to? Or are you going to feel put off every single time you have long term compensation for a pawn, no matter how much?
  

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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #32 - 08/15/17 at 05:48:33
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It's certainly interesting. For what it's worth, in our online thematic tournament (from which I posted a game earlier), the position after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Be2 Qxe4 7.Nb5 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Kd8 9.0-0 Nf6 has been reached 11 times, and most of the games look like being draws.
  

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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #31 - 08/14/17 at 17:16:47
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Getting better in chess would solve a lot of my chess problems, indeed Cheesy

But my point was that I started "studying" a sound opening that is being sometimes played at the top level and found myself defending from move 4. As White and while following solid theory. I am just a little disappointed, I guess the opening is not for my tastes.
  
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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #30 - 08/14/17 at 17:11:11
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VGA wrote on 08/14/17 at 15:18:27:
This looks uncomfortable to me for White. It put me off the Scotch.


Are you serious?   Wow, that is NOT something that I'd like to play as Black without serious preparation.  Maybe a GM could defend that, or a correspondence player, but that should whet your appetite if you have the White pieces in an over-the-board game.
  
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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #29 - 08/14/17 at 16:22:05
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VGA wrote on 08/14/17 at 15:18:27:
am I missing something?

Yes - you're missing Rudolf Spielmann's The Art of Sacrifice on your bookshelves (or something similar but more modern). Learning how to keep continuous pressure on Black's position, usually resulting in a collapse, is essential for every chessplayer past the absolute beginner stage.
For a change set your computer on ELO 2000 mode and let it take White in this position, you doing the defending. You will quickly be convinced that White's position may not be immediately won, but is full of promising possibilities. Only an excellent and persistent defender may foster realistic hope as Black (so yes, if you have White against GM Lev Gutman, who wrote a book on 4...Qh4, you still will lose).
  

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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #28 - 08/14/17 at 15:18:27
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Hello, this is my first post in this forum.

I recently borrowed the John Emms Starting Out The Scotch book from a friend and did a practice game versus a ~1800 rated engine in Lucas Chess, while taking a looksie in the book for guidance. My rating is about 1700-1800.

I don't remember the game exactly but with the help of Stockfish I recreated it as best I can remember



So I am a pawn down and with a destroyed pawn structure and with some compensation that someone on my level probably cannot capitalise on. Even having the help of excellent/theory moves, and Black just playing natural, easy to find moves in some sideline, having the initiative for quite a while.

This looks uncomfortable to me for White. It put me off the Scotch. Is it just how the cookie crumbles or am I missing something?
  
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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #27 - 06/16/17 at 18:44:42
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Hi.

Jonathan Tait wrote on 06/16/17 at 10:48:41:
Nice analysis. Just one query: in the 17...Kc8 line, what happens after 22...Rxh6 - ?

23.Ne3 planning to take on a8 (or the queen Grin) and then pretend you have the significantly more coordinated position.

Jonathan Tait wrote on 06/16/17 at 10:48:41:
You're not a used car salesman by any chance, are you? Smiley

Nope. The most I've sold is 30-something boxes of cookies for school (very limited success Roll Eyes).

I do genuinely wish almost everyone to have a nice day though.
  
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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #26 - 06/16/17 at 10:48:41
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Confused_by_Theory wrote on 06/15/17 at 18:31:15:
Hello.

Against 10...h6 probably 11.Bf3 is most straightforward.

I checked a bit and I can't find a decent looking setup for black; even though there are some dead ends white can stumble upon with less than great play.


Nice analysis. Just one query: in the 17...Kc8 line, what happens after 22...Rxh6 - ?

Confused_by_Theory wrote on 06/15/17 at 18:31:15:
Have a nice day.


You're not a used car salesman by any chance, are you? Smiley
  

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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #25 - 06/15/17 at 18:31:15
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Hello.

Against 10...h6 probably 11.Bf3 is most straightforward.

I checked a bit and I can't find a decent looking setup for black; even though there are some dead ends white can stumble upon with less than great play.



Have a nice day.
  
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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #24 - 06/13/17 at 06:25:50
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fdunne wrote on 06/12/17 at 20:51:16:
So in the first line, what's happening after 12 Bf3 -? 12...Qf5 13 c4 Re8 14 Re1 transposes to Shaw's line, and 12...Qg6 13 c4 Bg4 14 c5!?N followed by cxd6 and Ba3 looks good for White.


Yes, my own engine (Houdini 4) flagged that as a possibility. In response it suggests 14...h5!? 15 cxd6 (15 h3 Qf5, 15 Qb3 Bxf3 16 Qxf3 Qe4) 15...cxd6 16 Ba3 Rc8 17 Bxd6 (17 Qb3 Bxf3 18 Qxf3 Ne4) 17...Nd5 and claims equality, though I can't say I'd be too keen to try and defend it without computer assistance over the board.
  

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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #23 - 06/12/17 at 20:51:16
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So in the first line, what's happening after 12 Bf3 -? 12...Qf5 13 c4 Re8 14 Re1 transposes to Shaw's line, and 12...Qg6 13 c4 Bg4 14 c5!?N followed by cxd6 and Ba3 looks good for White.
  
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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #22 - 06/12/17 at 12:43:18
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Currently playing in a 4...Qh4 thematic tournament at chessworld.net. Eleven of the games reached the critical position after 9...Nf6.

fdunne wrote on 03/17/17 at 03:23:22:
After 10...Nxd4, he gives one line: 11 cxd4 Re8 12 Bf3 Qf5 13 c4 d6 14 Re1, with some comment about White being better without needing to memorize only-moves.


Here's a just finished game with 10 Nd4:

[Event "Chessworld.net"]
[Date "2017.??.??"]
[White "juliangon"]
[Black "tsmenace"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C45"]
[PlyCount "58"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Qh4 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Be2 Qxe4 7. Ndb5 Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 Kd8 9. O-O Nf6 10. Nd4 Nxd4 11. cxd4 d6 12. Bg5 Qf5 13. Bh4 h6 14. Re1 g5 15. Bg3 Re8 16. c4 b6 17. Bf3 Rb8 18. Qb3 Bb7 19. d5 Nd7 20. Re3 Rxe3 21. Qxe3 Ne5 22. Re1 Bc8 23. Be4 Qf6 24. Qc3 Nd7 25. Qd2 Nc5 26. f3 Ba6 27. Bf2 Nxe4 28. Rxe4 Kc8 29. Qd1 Kb7 1/2-1/2

Confused_by_Theory wrote on 03/23/17 at 20:47:34:
Hey.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Be2 Qxe4 7.Nb5 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Kd8 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Re1 Re8 11.Bg5
Looks absolutely prospectless for black imo and could well be the most practical line.

Have a nice day.


I was going to try that in one game, but my opponent replied to 10 Re1 with 10...h6!?. A few moves further on, I didn't seem to have much of an advantage. Possibly 11 Be3 at once is a better try.

[Event "Chessworld.net"]
[Date "2017.??.??"]
[White "tsmenace"]
[Black "AndyAndyO"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "C45"]
[PlyCount "38"]
[EventDate "2017.??.??"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Qh4 5. Nc3 Bb4 6. Be2 Qxe4 7. Ndb5 Bxc3+ 8. bxc3 Kd8 9. O-O Nf6 10. Re1 h6 11. Rb1 Re8 12. Be3 d6 13. c4 Bd7 14. Nc3 Qe5 15. Qd2 b6 16. Bf3 Qa5 17. Rb5 Qa3 18. Rb3 Qa5 19. Rb5 Qa3 1/2-1/2
« Last Edit: 06/12/17 at 16:23:03 by Jonathan Tait »  

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Re: Is 4... Qh4 Scotch playable, what line favours W?
Reply #21 - 03/23/17 at 20:47:34
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Hey.

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Qh4 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Be2 Qxe4 7.Nb5 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Kd8 9.0-0 Nf6 10.Re1 Re8 11.Bg5
Looks absolutely prospectless for black imo and could well be the most practical line.

Have a nice day.
  
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