Unusual Scandi vs. National Master | Climbing the Rating Ladder vs. 2445

In this continuation of the “Climbing the Rating Ladder” series I take on players of various ratings levels while pointing out typical mistakes and spots for improvement along the way (possibly my own!? :)). Here I commentate a 10+0 game against a National Master (NM) rated 2445 on Chess.com. The line 1.e4 d5 2.Nc3 isn’t too challenging for Black, but you can expect to encounter it frequently when playing the Scandinavian. I prefer 2…dxe4 3.Nxe4 Qd5!?, which offers White an invitation to the main-line Scandinavian with 4.Nc3. As played, White prefers the defense 4.d3, after which we’re “just playing chess.” I soon spot an opportunity to strand White’s king in the center, and the move 8-13 range proves critical in determining whether I can secure an advantage.

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33 Comments

  1. Electrosaw here. Thanks for playing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. I see a new video from John, I click. I see a new Scandi video from John, I mash that button.

  3. I see a John Bartholomew upload, I automatically smash the like button. Win, lose or draw. I enjoy the content.

  4. Hi John! I heard you decided to return writing the 3… Qa5 Scandi course! Will it be on Chessable? Any ETA? I'm willing to buy the course far in advance ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. More like looking over the top of the rating ladder at this point!

  6. Normal John, you are a Youtubing machine these days. Quality. Love to see it.

  7. ๐Ÿ˜€๐Ÿ˜€Really enjoy every video that you put together for us. Such a good way to learn chess. Dave from Ohio

  8. This is a great video for teamscandi: unusual opening, the ideas behind the response, and against a really accurate, highly rated player! Thanks, John!

  9. love to see the good sportsmanship from your opponent ๐Ÿค

  10. Hey John, love the video with a higher rated opponent. I have been struggling to beat players above 2400, so I was super excited to see you play someone at the rating range.

  11. Looking good in black John! Got a hot date? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Edit: Also love these games with 2000+ and Master players. I've been watching you since 2016, so 2100 is the level I'm at currently, so it helps to see how the same simple concepts you teach in lower rated videos still holds true in these higher rated ones.

  12. I'm only 4 minutes in and having fun watching this video. Wild version of the Scandi haha! I also love that this video is turning into a mixture of Climbing the Rating Ladder, Standard, and Using the Clock as a weapon!

  13. Coffee and Chess is like peanut butter and jelly.

  14. Wait, 2. Nc3 is playable? Back when Vienna was the cornerstone of my white rep I sometimes premoved it and I always was in a world of pain after 2…d4. Is it not as bad as I think?

  15. Hey John, non-chess related comment, but I love the fact that you use neutral pronouns when talking about your opponents. A lot of people will default to "he", and while it might seem inconsequential, I think subtle assumptions like these help keep the chess scene male dominated.
    I'm not saying anyone saying "he" as a default is doing anything bad, but it's nice to see folks making an effort (or maybe it's just something you do subconsiously?)!

    And also, your content is amazing <3

  16. Heads up, John. That โ€œdecafโ€ still has caffeine. Just not as much.

  17. One of the best channels to learn chess, thanks john.

  18. Watching before the analysis. What about Nf3+ instead of Nf5. I know thatโ€™s a question, but I canโ€™t really put a โ€œ?โ€ at the end of that clause ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚

  19. Thanks for all the new content lately John! Love it!

  20. The opening was a bit funky, not your usual Scandi but perhaps White had a practical motive in avoiding mainline Scandi theory, in which John is a noted authority. After Nf6 Nxf6 gxf6, the position reminded me of a similar pawn structure in the Caro-Kann (Nimzo-Larsen variation, I believe it was called): a more unbalanced position whereas exf6 would be more solid. John's NM opponent played a strong middlegame, then the rook and P ending with extra P for White (4 vs 3 Ps on one side) should be theoretically drawn, but of course unpleasant to defend, especially with little time on the clock and no increment. Lucky for John, his opponent was a gentleman (gentle woman?) and offered a draw. There are a lot of players (including Magnus Carlsen) who would have played on and flagged Black.

  21. Really interesting stuff!!! Nice! Kinda had that experimental vibe, and good play on both sides.

  22. Hi John, this is guys. I like your content, but the Scandi really is a rubbish opening. For a reason not played at the highest level.

  23. John, what was your comment about a queen being two squares away on the diagonal from a knight?

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