After following the game posted originally by Heinzkat I was utterly intrigued as i have lately been indulging in the old masters Anderssen and Morphy, where the Scotch was a regular feature. Why it should be a surprise i do not know, for it is founded on sound principles.
There here follows my very first attempt at annotations given in the style of Chernev, that is move by move, which i hope will come under some scrutiny from the stronger players who post in the forum, for it may reveal my own inadequacies, for i am a measly 1500 rated player, but it may also provide some instruction for similar noobs.
it shall be noted that there are very few extensive variations, except where necessary, for i find that these distract rather than further any understanding of the immediate game at hand, where it is impossible to play two boards at once, and we live in an age where our attention is at a premium! The game was annotated without computer analysis and simply reflects my own understanding, i do not plan on giving up my day job!
(1.e4 e5, 2.Nf3 Nc6, 3.d4 cxd4, Nxd4)
1.e4 e5, 2.Nf3 Nc6, 3.d4 - the Scotch first played by Greenpawn at the Edinburgh chess club in 1868. This move is both logical and consistent, for there is no real way that black may defend the e-pawn, , after the exchange white is left with a pawn in the centre, and thus the die is cast, 'black must try to neutralise the effect of the e pawn either through direct attack or suitable preparations - Reti.
It must be noted that in many lines of the Scotch, whites e pawn is sacrificed as a manner of course, as in the 4...Qh4 variation, where white simply cannot keep it, although black is ill advised to take it.
Also it must be noted that the immediate ...d5 is not available for black, due to Bb5.
3...dxe4, 4.Nxd4 Bc5, 5.Be3 creating the threat of Nxc6 followed by Bxc5
5...Qf6 hitting d4, here the queen is actively placed with the possibility of going to g6, Nxc6 is no longer a threat as it can be met with Bxe3
6.c3 white secures the knight, but at the cost of taking away the natural developing square c3, alternative is thematic 6.Nb5 sharpening the game and attacking the c pawn.
6...Nge7 very flexible move perhaps hoping to liquidate white e pawn with a prepared ...d5
7.Bc4, bishop is actively posted and makes the the d7-d5 break more difficult for black 7...Ne4, centralising the knight and hitting light squared bishop.
8.Be2, an innocuous looking move, although white can gain time on the knight with an f4 later. Bb3 is also possible, as it keeps an eye on d5, but for tactical reasons it seems that the text is the best. 8...Qg6 with double attack on g2 and e4.
9.0-0 d6, bringing blacks white squared bishop into the game.
10.f4!? wow! John Emms describes this in his book as a dangerous pawn sacrifice and gives the following line 10...Qxe4, 11.Bf2 Bxd4! (11...N5g6? 12.Nd2! Qxf4, 13.Nb5 threatens both Bxc5 and Nxc7+) 12.cxd4 N5g6 13.Nc3 Qxf4, 14.Nb5 0-0!, 15.Nxc7 Rb8 has been seen in quite a few games and looks ok for black. it however appears to me, as described by Hienzkat as a purely positional sacrifice, for the e file is opened for a rook, once the dark squared bishop exchanges itself for whites knight the game is opened up which suits the two bishops. Whites domination of the centre after the sequence of moves is quite astounding. f3 is mainline and considered a solid move.
line given by Emms as ok for black (10...Qxe4, 11.Bf2 Bxd4! 12.cxd4 N5g6 13.Nc3 Qxf4, 14.Nb5 0-0!, 15.Nxc7 Rb8)
10...Qxe4, 11.Bf2 Bxd4, 12.cxd4 N5g6, 13.g3 0-0, 14.Nc3 Qf5,
15.d5, lines are opened through the centre for powerful white bishops and black is cramped, his c pawn may become week and the mobility of the queen is also severely restricted. 15...a6, preventing the thematic, Nb5
16.Re1, rook moves to open e file 16....Kh8, interesting move, providing place for the cramped knight.
17.Rc1, rook eyes the half open c file and the yet unprotected c pawn. 17...Be7. bishop is beautifully placed, surveys both sides of the board, may prove useful in trying to exploit the weakened light squares surrounding whites king, although a weakness is only a weakness if it can be exploited!
18.Bf3, multifunctional , rook on e1 makes its presence felt, d pawn is protected and the bishop moves to cover the light squares surrounding the king. 18...Rac8 black prepares to challenge the d5 pawn which is cramping his game with pawn advance on the c file.
19.Qb3 attacks the b pawn and indirectly pressures the c6 square. 19...b5, black is forced into some concession, for although this gains queen side space, the c6 square is weak forever.
20.Ne2 preparing to re allocate the knight to d4 20...Qh3 preparing to try to swap of the light squared bishop next move.
21. Nd4 centralising the beautifully placed knight 21...Bg4 trying to exchange white squared bishop which protects those weakened light squares.
22.Bg2 attacking the queen and keeping the bishop 22...Qh5, it must be noted that the black queen is almost entombed in that little corner at h5 and plays no real part in the immediate proceedings.
23.h4 a very interesting and instructive move. white wishes to close up his kingside and with the absence of the blacks dark squared bishop, these pawns will be almost invulnerable to attack, if black wishes to do so he must do so at the cost of compromising his own position. Blacks queen is really badly placed and has but one square she can go to. 23...Ng8 knight will be redeployed but it leaves the c6 square vulnerable.
24.Rc6, attacking the a pawn in the knight absence 24...Nf6 pressurising the isolated queen pawn. If there was time the knight on g6 will come back to e7 also attacking the isolated queen pawn.
25.Rxa6 Bd7. bishop comes back to defend the queenside but it is in vain.
26.Nxb5 Rb8 pinning the knight against the queen.
27.a4 defending the knight and breaking the pin. 27...Ng4, mmm, not sure about the purpose of this move, perhaps blacks idea is to trade the dark squared bishop and get some play against the weakened g pawn , although that being said, its usually a good idea to trade a knight for a bishop if ones opponent has the two bishops, especially in this case as they are such a dominating presence through the centre.
28.Bf3 pinning the knight. 28...Qh6, steps out of the pin, although one can see that the queens mobility is limited to one square.
29.Qc4, white pressurises the now backward c pawn, of which there is no good way to defend it, for example, (29...Nxf2 30.Kxf2 Rfc8, 31.Ra7 Nf8 and the pawn hangs). here back tries to open lines to the white king through a rather desperate sacrifice 29...Nxh4
30.Bxg4 Bxg4, 31.gxh4 Bf3
32.f5 protecting the h pawn and creating a potential out post on e6. 32...Qh5 threatening the f pawn.
33.Qf4 defending the pawn, and providing cover from the machinations of the black queen. 33...Bxd5 finally removing the restrictive queen pawn.
34.Nxe7 removing the ill fated c pawn and attacking the bishop. 34...Bb7, attacking the rook.
35.Rb6, a really interesting move, why did Carlsen not simply take the pawn on d6? perhaps he simply wished to restrict the bishops movements, pinning it to the rook? 35...f6 providing mobility for the black queen.
36.Bd4 centralising the bishop and making sure that the d pawn is going nowhere. interesting to note although i doubt its significance is that all of whites pieces are standing on dark squares, with the exception of one pawn, is this a deliberate attempt to diminish the effect of white light squared bishop? 36...Qf7 attacking the undefended knight
37.Ne6 threatens the rook and makes use of outpost created by the pawn on f5. 37...Rg8 a very interesting move, is black planning to open the g file with a pawn advance?
38.Kf2, white removes his king from the g file. 38...Rbc8, rook makes it presence felt on the open c file
39.Bc3 restricts rooks movements on the b file. the c8 rook has no entry points along the c file 39...Bd5
40.a5- pawn heads for promotion 40...Rc4
41.Nd4 - knight interposes itself between rook and queen, now dominates the white bishop 41...Ba8
42.Qxd6 Qh5, 43.Qf4 Rcc8 44.Rbe6
white is up a piece and has two queenside passed pawns!