White J. Fichtl Black R.J. Broadbent

Notes (B) by R. J. Broadbent
Scotch Gambit


1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 exd4 4.Bc4 d6 The characteristic of the Scotch Gambit is that White can often transpose into highly offensive lines such as the Max Lange Attack. The text move is designed to thwart any such possibility. (B)

5.Nxd4

Having started in the gambit spirit, he might well have tried to keep it up with 5.c3 and if 5...Nf6 6.O-O with a well developed game.

5...Nf6 6.Nc3 Be7 7.O-O O-O 8.b3

Black has the slight disadvantage of being somewhat cramped as a result of his early surrender of the centre, and this move aims at a general assault on the king's position across the open diagonals. In a game in the Warwickshire Championship in 1940, B.H.Wood continued less logically against Ritson-Morry with 8.Nxc6 bxc6 9.f4 d5! and Black quickly secured complete freedom of action.

8...Re8

Broadbent plays to restrain the White centre like a true disciple of Nimzowitsch.

9.Bb2 Bf8 10.Re1 Bd7

With a view to playing eventually ...Nxd4 followed by ....Bc6 with further pressure on White's centre. 11.Qd2 It must be White's ultimate aim to use the point d6 as a knight outpost station with the heavy pieces at its rear.

11...g6 12.Rad1 Bg7

Black's delayed fianchetto has not only helped to neutralise the opposing queen bishop but also has enabled him to keep white pieces out of f5.

13.Nxc6

Black threatened 13...Nxd4 followed by .......Nxe4 etc. (B.)

13...Bxc6 14.f3

Black has completed the first part of his task by depriving White's centre of elasticity, but before he can counter-attack effectively he must patiently find some way of eliminating the powerful e-pawn, and this is normally done by an eventual advance of the d-pawn or the f-pawn.

14...Qd7 15.a4

White does not pay sufficient attention to the requirements of the position. He needs a pawn at c4 to make...d5 completely impossible and the right plan appears to be 15.Bf1 followed by N-K2 and c4 after which the knight could be manoeuvred to d5. If at once; 15.Nd5 Nxd5 16.Bxg7 Nb6 followed by ...Nxc4 would seriously weaken his queen's wing.

15...a6

The possibility of opening the a-file with ....b5 is hereby created.

16.a5

This pawn becomes a decisive weakness in the endgame. (B.)

16...Re7 17.Nd5

He has his outpost at last, but Black is able to effect exchanges which further relieve his position.

17...Bxd5 18.Bxf6

18.Bxd5 Nxd5 19.Bxg7 Kxg7 20.Qxd5 (or 20.exd5 Rae8 etc.) 20...Qc6 would not offer White any better prospects.

18...Bxf6 19.Qxd5 Qc6 20.Kf1

After 20.Qxc6 bxc6 21.Rd3 could not be played because of 21...d5 whilst if ; 20.Qxc6 bxc6 21.Re3 d5 22.Bf1 c5 would be awkward to meet. The text, however, allows Black to reach a very satisfactory ending.

20...Qxd5 21.Rxd5 Bc3 22.Re3 Bb4 23.c3



White: Fichtyl Black: Broadbent
London, 1947

23...c6

The beginning of a combination to drive a White rook out of play at the cost of a pawn. Black had to estimate at this point whether the position reached after move 31 was worth the sacrificed pawn. (B.)

24.Rg5 Bc5

Naturally not 24...h6 because of 25.Rxg6 etc. (B.)

25.Rd3 Kg7 26.b4 Ba7 27.Rxd6 Be3

The rook finds himself frog-marched to oblivion in a most amusing fashion.

28.Rg4 h5 29.Rh4 Bg5 30.Rh3 Bf4 31.Rd3 Rc8

With the nasty threat of 32...c5 which could be answered by 33.b5 axb5 34.Bxb5 Ra8 since Black would recover his pawn with excellent chances. The game has been beautifully conducted by Broadbent from the 20th move.

32.g3 Bb8 33.Rd2

This permits ...c5, but it is very difficult to suggest a really good line for White.

33...c5 34.Bd5

White cannot make the freeing move g4 without first guarding his e-pawn. (B.)

If here 34.b5 Be5 35.bxa6 bxa6 36.Bxa6 Ra8 37.Bd3 Bxc3 38.Rc2 Bxa5 39.Rxc5 Bb6 and Black's rooks are able to penetrate into White's position before he can extricate his buried rook. Nevertheless it is by no means certain that Black could win, even though it would be impossible for him to lose, and White would have done better to try this line.    If 35.Rc2 there would follow 35...axb5 36.Bxb5 Ra8

34...cxb4 35.cxb4 Rc1

Now Black has a much easier task, for the White queen side pawns are "sitting birds."

36.Ke2 Rb1 37.g4

Not 37.Rd4 Be5 38.Rc4 Bd6

37...hxg4 38.fxg4 Rxb4 39.Rc2

The only way to attempt a defence of the hapless a-pawn.

39...Bc7 40.Rc5 Rb2

Now the a-pawn is without defence.

41.Kd3 Rd7

With the drastic threat of ....Rb3ch or ...Rxd5 followed by Rb3ch.

42.Kc4 Be5!

After this move White cannot avoid material loss. (B.)

43.Rb3 Rc2 44.Kb4 Bd6 45.Rbc3 Bxc5

Broadbent regards this game as one of his best efforts. It is a fine testimony to his positional judgment and technical skill.

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