Mastering Chess – Scotch Opening: Blumenfeld Variation


We have included this game in the spirit of helping the reader fully grasp how powerful your chess you can become when you get really good at your openings. Last week I won the Expert Section of the San Diego Class Championship in the final round with this game.


Here’s what’s interesting …

I normally use almost all the time on my clock. However, on this particular evening, less than one minute ticked away before I defeated a very talented Expert.

That’s because I know this opening extremely well. I’ve worked out many of the details playing chess against the computer, and I know many of the variations about 20 moves deep. I’ve fondly named it “The Troglodyte Variation.” That’s because it’s so primitive, that it conjures up a vision of two cavemen beating on each other with clubs. If I knew all my openings this well, then I’m certain I would be rated over 2300.

The Power of Anomalies

My opponent’s first 12 moves were perfect. However, on move 13, he played an “obvious looking move” that “wants to get played.” It’s a natural move that many players will play quickly.

However, it loses immediately.

This is the last point to make in this discussion of openings. Personally, in building my opening repertoire, I search for positions that contain “anomalies.” That means I look for unique positions that contain special problems to solve. They resist the average player’s pattern recognition skills, which they have developed over hundreds (possibly thousands) hours of study.

A Steep and Slippery Slope

This is one of those “very sharp imbalanced openings” that present a steep and slippery slope to your opponent. Picture someone walking along in the grass on soft ground. If they happen to trip and fall, they just get up and keep walking.

Now picture another person climbing up the side of a snow-capped mountain. Their rope suddenly breaks and they fall hundreds of feet. That’s what I mean by a “steep and slippery slope.”

George Zeigler

George Zeigler is a published writer, have a Masters Degree in Psychology, and have played chess for over 30 years with a current rating of USCF 2073, and peak rating of USCF 2199

One Response

  1. Joseph
    Joseph at

    Hi, is there any possibility to make the sparkchess software program to provide a flip view on opponent’s side?