The Scotch Gambit has a lot of different variations. In this article you will learn about the most popular ones.

I. Variation with 4. ... Bc5 often transposing to the Max Lange Attack. The opening is named for the German chess master Max Lange, who suggested it in 1854.Max Lange Attack

4. ...      Bc5

5. 0-0    Nf6

6. e5     d5! (a typical counter)

7. exf6  dxc4

8. Re1+ Be6

9. Ng5   Qd5

(9...Qxf6?? 10.Nxe6 fxe6 11.Qh5+!

followed by 12.Qxc5 is a notorious trap)

10. Nc3! Qf5

(obviously, 10...dxc3?? loses on the spot because of 11.Qxd5 as 11...Bxd5 is illegal)

11. Nce4  0-0-0 with complex play.


II. Variation with 4. ... Bb4+ referred to as the London DefenseLondon Defense

4. ...      Bb4+

5. c3     dxc3

6. bxc3  Bc5   or   6. ... Ba5 

with sharp tactical play

and equal chances for both sides.


It is worth mentioning that there is a subvariation of the above where White sacrifices yet another pawn (6.0-0) for quick development and a powerful attack (see diagram below).

London Defense v.2