Scheming with the Scandinavian

Mar 27, 2009, 10:37 AM |

I like playing the Scandinavian. Its simple to learn, not bogged down with theory, and, if played carefully, can equalise comfortably for Black.


Although questions are raised over its strength and popularity, I have tended to find the opening enjoyable to play. Ideal for beginners, it is not unseen at Grand Master level, Larsen famously using it to defeat World Champion Karpov in 1979.


As a personal preference, I tend not to play 4. Nc3 Qa5, preferring to keep my Queen in the centre; playing either d6 or e6+ on my third move.


Here are a couple of games I played recently with the Scandinavian.















My opponent resigned on move 30. Although I felt he had a chance to equalise material, or force me into making a mistake.


I had never seen 3. Nf3 played within this context and targeting the Knight became my aim, exchange material and disrupt the Pawn structure. This came about at move 11, and I set about exchanging down and Pawning up.


The second game I think followed a more main line pattern. At a quick glance Castling on move 9 could have been a big mistake, maybe being more patient and waiting for a Queen-side Castle would be more effective, as it was in the first example.


I haven’t analysed them properly yet so any comment or contribution would be welcomed.