The line 1. e4 e5 2. ♘f3 ♞c6 3. d4 exd4 4. ♘xd4 ♝c5 is known as the Classical Variation of the Scotch Game, and it offers both sides a number of interesting opportunities. The one called the Intermezzo Variation occurs after White decides to capture the knight, hoping to create doubled pawns in the Black’s camp. However, Black has another option, which is actually preferred by the author of this article:
5. ♘xc6 ♛f6!
The exclamation mark doesn’t represent a significant strength here, it is more like a surprise response to opponents who aren’t familiar with this trick. It could be interesting to try this line in a bullet/blitz game, as White may be tempted to recklessly “save” the knight and, of course, instantly lose:
6. ♘a5?? ♛xf2#
However, since the chance to trap an opponent in the way described above is rather small, it pays off to know this variant in more details. Take a look at the following game:
The Intermezzo Variation of the Scotch Game is a fascinating and dynamic opening that offers both players unique challenges and opportunities. It allows Black to steer the game away from well-known lines and potentially gain a psychological advantage, while also posing challenges for both sides. As with any opening, careful study and preparation are key to success.