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

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