# Chess Opening Theory/1. e4/1...e5/2. Nf3/2...Nc6/3. d4/3...exd4/4. Nxd4

< Chess Opening Theory‎ | 1. e4‎ | 1...e5‎ | 2. Nf3‎ | 2...Nc6‎ | 3. d4‎ | 3...exd4
Scotch Game, main line
 a b c d e f g h 8 8 7 7 6 6 5 5 4 4 3 3 2 2 1 1 a b c d e f g h
Position in Forsyth-Edwards Notation (FEN)
Moves: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4

# Scotch Game, main line

Black has now an opportunity to take the initiative that should not be wasted.

Three main weapons are available.

With 4...Bc5 (Classical variation), Black attacks white's central knight on d4 and forces White to either move it or protect it. Black should expect replies like Be3, Nxc6, or Nb3.
4...Nf6 (Schmidt variation). Black puts immediate attacking pressure on white's e4 pawn, asking them what they intend to do with it.
4...Qh4 (Steinitz variation) is more aggressive. Black immediately attempts to win white's e- pawn outright and indeed can practically win it by force. However, doing so costs him development time and white is thought to get more than enough compensation after 5.Nc3 Bb4 6.Be2 Qxe4 7.Nb5 Bxc3+ 8.bxc3 Kd8 9.0-0.

## Theory table

For explanation of theory tables, see theory table and for notation, see algebraic notation.. 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 exd4 4. Nxd4

4
Classical variation ...
Bc5
=
Schmidt variation ...
Nf6
=
Steinitz Variation ...
Qh4
=