Chess lesson # 33: The Four Knights Opening (Scotch variation) | Theory and game analysis

In the four knights opening, we can find different variations such as the Scotch, the Spanish and the Italian. In this lesson, we will review a game where the player with the white pieces chose the Scotch variation. You will see how this opening follows the three principles we already discussed: control the center, develop minor pieces and castle your king. Likewise, we mentioned more advanced concepts such as exploiting the pin and the rook lift or rook roll over. The main objective of this class is for you to learn the basics of the opening, but I hope you also appreciate the tactical ideas used to win the game. Buckle up and enjoy learning Chess the right way!

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My Book Recommendations:
First tactics book:
Mixed tactics book:
Advanced tactics book:
Advanced tactics book (II):
Carlsen’s book (excellent):
Kramnik’s book (excellent):
Pirc Defense book:
Endgames book:

Learn how to play Chess the right way from beginner to master level. National Master Robert Ramirez will take you up the pyramid by following a proven Chess training program he has been improving and implementing for over 10 years.

Benefits of Playing Chess:
​- Promotes brain growth
– Increases problem-solving skills
– It exercises both sides of the brain
– Raises your IQ
– Sparks your creativity
– Teaches planning and foresight
– Teaches patience and concentration
– Optimizes memory improvement
– Improves recovery from stroke or disability
– Helps treat ADHD
Chess is an intellectual battle where players are exposed to numerous mental processes such as analysis, attention to detail, synthesis, concentration, planning and foresight. Psychological factors are also present on and off the board; playing Chess stimulates our imagination and creativity. Every single move a player makes is the result of a deep analysis based on the elements presented on the battle field.

Chess in its essence teaches us psychological, sociological and even moral values. In a Chess game, both players start with the same amount of material and time. The fact that the white pieces move first is considered to be practically irrelevant —especially because a player typically plays one game as white and one game as black. Consequently, the final result of the battle solely depends on each player. It doesn’t matter if you win by taking advantage of your opponent’s mistakes or by simply avoiding mistakes yourself. Truth is that Chess is an extremely individual sport and our defeats can only be blamed on ourselves and no one else. And this, in the end, only benefits us because we learn to be and feel responsible for our actions and never come up with excuses to justify ourselves.

We also learn that when it comes to our victories on the board, our opponent’s mistakes play a more significant role than our own skills. Let’s not forget that a Chess game without any mistakes would be a draw. This way, Chess provides us with another valuable life lesson: be humble at all times.

About National Master Robert Ramirez:

With an outstanding background as a professional Chess player and over 8 years of teaching experience, Robert Ramirez brings both his passion and his expertise to the board, helping you believe & achieve!

Robert Ramirez was introduced to the fascinating world of Chess when he was 5 years old and has participated in prestigious tournaments such as the World Open Chess Tournament and the Pan American Intercollegiate Team Championships. Thanks to his performance, he has earned his National Master title from the United States Chess Federation.

Currently, NM Ramirez and his carefully selected team teach at several private schools in the counties of Miami-Dade and Broward and they also offer private lessons. He says the key to their success as Chess coaches is their ability to adapt to every student and to make lessons fun and interesting for students and even their family members.

54 Comments

  1. Thank you Rob! I will use this opening in my next tournement, and I'm convinced that I will get great results! Thanks again!

  2. thank you for this video! i often struggle with the white pieces in the scotch game when black doesnt take the d pawn and developes a second knight. now i can enter the 4knights game with confidence! 😀

  3. Hi Im here in the lesson series and I want to start on my first book. What book do you recommend to start off with

  4. Love your videos, Robert. I hope someday I can think as you do. Keep going, mister!

  5. Wow… this lesson is so clear. Thank you so much!! I already gave a thumbs up, but I keep wanting to give it again because every step is so helpful.

  6. Great channel, one of the best, and I've vsited hundreds. Very clear and logical presentations of different aspects of chess. Thx so much, cheers.

  7. Unexpectedly I played this variation in one of my games and have been playing it ever since, but with a very big difference in placement after taking the middle

  8. Amazing, Can i get more information about this opening?

  9. 5:56 Here, what if the black takes the pawn by Knight instead of pawn and puts pressure on white pawn with a view to forking the King and the Rook? how to handle this?

  10. Four knights is awesome because if they do not accept the Stafford then i can do this! Thank you so much

  11. I understand what is going on here but the problem I am basically facing is the opponent or the computer against whom I am playing always doesnt play similarly everytime and ik thts quite natural but that screws me up a bit while building the game and sometimes even costs me losing a few games….can you help me up a bit?

  12. You are my teacher. I was looking for a chess course like yours. But can you please make videos on these questions:
    1. How much time it requires to increase rating?
    2. How to choose a move?
    3. How to calculate?
    4. How to make a strategy or plan?
    5. Your chess books collection.

    Please sir. 🙏🙏

  13. Wonderful video sir👌✨ Love your lessons ❤️

  14. Thank you Robert. Another stellar lesson explained in such a magnificent way. The more times I watch it the better it gets. I love how your game reflects actual games and that you show multiple lines. The recap at the end is where you shine above all others. You’re the best please keep the lessons coming!

  15. Could you still play this opening or the Ruy Lopez if they don't play e5?

  16. I’ve been playing three months.

    Have played only Queen’s pawn openings.

    TBH, I’m a bit intimidated by king’s pawn openings.

  17. hi sir your clasess are very intresting thank you sir

  18. Robert: At 05:00-Is it possible to move Bc1 to e3 before/after the Bf1 to d3 move?

  19. Couldn't continue for a while but now I am back to the lessons again informative for me thank you sir

  20. I noticed I've been playing this opening A LOT so searched for four knights scotch on YouTube. Nice video btw. Let me brag a little bit, I didn't need to pause, when you said I can.

  21. Amazing class, a piece of gold, i enjoy a lot this video, thanks ☺️

  22. No words professor. Thankyou for such great classes. Really appreciated

  23. Thanks for another great lesson. Really appreciate it.

  24. I am rated 1200 and used to play just intuitively till now and was stuck badly because of not knowing endgames (i.e. king with pawn/queen/rook) and also a lot of confusion with openings. I am definitely learning new everyday. Thank you so much Robert for creating this awesome course. 🙏

  25. The Four Knights has been around forever; but it has more bite than anyone would expect!
    A very fun opening. Thank you Robert. Love your channel!
    —Go Pirc!

  26. Just played a game with this opening and my opponent castled and blundered the bishop exactly as laid out in this video. Thanks so much

  27. Hi Robert. I love your videoes as they have helped me go from a complete beginner to a decent chess player. I was just wondering what you use for your videos when you are moving chess pieces around on the board because I would like to use it to memorize different openings for myself. Thank you in advance!

  28. sir you deserve million subscriber for your content
    . Thank you so much!!

  29. This has been my "go to" opening for a while, been playing this intuitively without knowing its name. From my games, I have oberved it gived less counterplay to black and always puts white in-charge for some tactics.

  30. Overall Opening Question Robert: What would be a good opening book repertoire to have, ( White and Black ) for someone like me who is a 1650 to 1700 player?

  31. I was looking for an easy opening for white and went from wanting to learn Italian, to Evans Gambit to Scotch and I arrived at this, I see many ways for black to screw up in the opening, maybe because it isn't so popular on lower levels, also it looks easy to learn, thanks for digestable explanation.

  32. Really great explanation. Thanks for sharing and putting this together!

  33. A Solid Lesson indeed. I am a big fan of the Queens Gambit and the Catalan for White, but I like this Opening due to its tactics that stem from the development. Thank you for another great video.

  34. I came back to play chess last November because I got interested again in this game. At first when I first played chess I stuck on 700 rating with bad openings and made so many blunders. Yet I start improving ang easily reach 1300 rating because of these simple lessons. I learn from my mistakes and will look forward to become a better chess player.

  35. Not sure if you mentioned doubled pawns yet, but I'm not fond of Bxc3 because those doubled pawns look ugly for white and that takes away all the tactics by taking the knight 🙁 . Although that's a beautiful attack in the variations you showed.

  36. There was a better move at 9:00 which was an instant mate in 3, basically knight takes C5, bishop forced to take knight, then bishop trades back and queen A7

  37. Thanks for the great lesson. What is the best place to move the queen if black attacks with c5? (3:01 in the video) Thank you.

  38. This is a much safer 4 knights strat than the Halloween gambit I’ve been playing 😂

  39. Great video..appreciate the intricacy..that Nd5 move is nice

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