2011 United States Chess Championship: Scotch Game Novelty

Robert Hess contributed a new move to the theory of the Scotch Game in a surprisingly quick victory over Alexander Shabalov at the 2011 United States Chess Championship. According to my sources, Hess’ “10…Nb6” is indeed a novelty.  After the novelty, Robert Hess played a very clean game while his opponent played a dubious “16. a4.” Shabalov’s “a4” was a little late and not as precise as the obvious “16. exf6 Qc5+ 17. Qf2 Qxf2 18. Kxf2 Bxf6 19. Rad1 dxc4.” Shabalov’s play continued with second best moves while Hess essayed the dangers of a passed pawn.
   Only time will tell the overall quality of Robert Hess’ invention. Should anyone face 10…Nb6 on the board, I propose responding with 15. 0-0-0!

[Event “US Championship (Group B)”]
[Site “Saint Louis USA”]
[Date “2011.04.18”]
[EventDate “2011.04.15”]
[Round “4”]
[Result “0-1”]
[White “Alexander Shabalov”]
[Black “Robert Hess”]
[ECO “C45”]
[WhiteElo “2590”]
[BlackElo “2565”]
[PlyCount “50”]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nxc6 bxc6 6. e5 Qe7 7. Qe2 Nd5 8. c4 Ba6 9. b3 g6 10. f4 Nb6 11. g3 O-O-O 12. Bb2 Bg7 13. Nc3 d5 14. Bg2 Rhe8 15. O-O f6 16. a4 fxe5 17. f5 gxf5 18. Rxf5 Kb8 19. Qf2 e4 20. a5 e3 21. Qe1 Nc8 22. cxd5 e2 23. Kh1 Rf8 24. g4 Nd6 25. Qf2 0-1

Another classic Scotch Game:

[Event “London”]
[Site “London”]
[Date “1881.??.??”]
[EventDate “?”]
[Round “?”]
[Result “1-0”]
[White “Joseph Henry Blackburne”]
[Black “Johannes Zukertort”]
[ECO “C45”]
[WhiteElo “?”]
[BlackElo “?”]
[PlyCount “41”]

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxc6 bxc6 6.e5 Qe7 7.Qe2 Nd5 8.c4 Ba6 9.b3 O-O-O 10.Qe4 Nf6 11.Qe2 Re8 12.f4 d5 13.Nc3 Qd7 14.Bd2 d4 15.Na4 Nd5 16.Qf3 Nb4 17.O-O-O Qf5 18.Bxb4 Bxb4 19.Bd3 Qd7 20.c5 Bb5 21.Bxb5 1-0

Published by chessmusings

Chris Torres is a nationally renowned scholastic chess coach working in the San Francisco Bay Area. His classes have attracted players of strengths ranging from rank beginners to world champions. A chess professional since 1998, Chris is widely recognized as one of the main driving forces behind the explosion in popularity and sudden rise in quality of scholastic chess in California. Chris Torres served as the President of the Torres Chess and Music Academy from 2005-2020 and currently is recognized as a correspondence chess master with the United States Chess Federation. Since 1998 Chris Torres has taught 6 individual national champions as well as led multiple school teams to win national championship titles. In addition, Chris Torres has directed and taught at 10 different schools which have been California State Champions at chess. In 2011 and 2012, several former and current students of Chris Torres have been selected to represent the United States at the World Youth Chess Championships. Mr. Torres’ hobbies include playing classical guitar and getting his students to appear on the national top 100 chess rating lists.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: