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d4 Equivilent Scandanavian Defence?

  • #1

    Hi everyone.

    I have only recently started playing chess, and whilst I'm enjoying experimenting with all the various White openings until I find a couple that fit my playstyle/personality, I have really settled on the Scandanavian Defence when playing as Black.

    However, the obvious downside is that not everyone plays e4 openings, and so I was just wondering if there are any Black responses to a d4 opening (which is quite common here) that are the equivilent or similar in style to the Scandanavian defence?

    The main reasons I enjoy the Scandanavian defence are: 

    1. It has been really simple to learn (but fun to try and master). I have only be playing a few months and I feel really comfortable with the various lines available.

    2. I love that it is so aggressive and essentially steals the initiative from White and immediately forces a response capture or response defence and can really throw people off their early natural developement orders. I feel like after as little as one or two moves that I am in control of the flow of the game.

    3. I have been having a great time experimenting with the icelandic variation (hope thats the name) whereby you can attack a capture of d5 with Nf6 and avoid moving the Queen entirely and thus reduce the harm of breaking some of the early principles beginners like me learn (basically don't let your Queen get chased around the board!).

    So are there any other defences that are similar in style or principle to the Scandanavian Defence when responding to White d4?


  • #2

    Well, I dont play the Scandinavian with black.

    But if you points 1 and 2 are important to you, maybe you should check out the Budapest, I think it qualifies on both.

  • #3

    Thank you very much this is exactly what I was looking for. I looked up some of the main lines of this Gambit and had a go using it in a computer chess game and this suits my playstyle as Black perfectly.

    When playing Black I like to immediately force White to respond to what I'm doing, rather than let them smoothly develop whatever opening they have planned and then trying to counter that.

    Even better, it doesn't seem to be overly popular which is always a plus for me.

    Thanks again.

  • #4

    Cool. There is a group with plenty of vote chess games, If you join you can get insights from some pretty strong players. Vote chess is an excellent learning tool


  • #5

    Should also play the tarrasch d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 (common move) c5. Ive not had the chance to play it myself but I do love the scandinavian

  • #6

    Two remarks:

    1. The Scandinavian is a fundamentally passive opening.

    2. Players who "only recently started playing chess" should not bother about openings suiting their style, because they have no style.

  • #7

    Both solid points pfren. But the mainline is more positional than anything and the modern variation is simply delaying its own aggression with development. (the nice way of saying passive : D)

  • #8

    By the term "modern variation" you mean 2...Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6, or not?

    Because there's also the "ultramodern" 3...Qd8, which was good enough for Carlsen to win with Black against Caruana... :P

    But of course that win is quite irrelevant to the opening, where Black was just defending.

    Anyway, to the point: An "almost" sound and quite active defence against 1.d4 is the QGD Chigorin, which is (IMO) almost perfect at class player level. GM Ben Finegold has made  some simple videos on it, available here.

  • #9

    Improve your technique and you will see that deep knowledge openings are not as important at the class level. I should know - quite a few times I've had a very good position against master level players and was unable to take advantage of it because of poor technique and superficial understanding of the position. Only during postmortem was I shown the correct way to proceed. Sure, I got into a big plus position, but where the book ended, the real chess began.

  • #10

    @pfren the modern variation goes 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 and usually continues 3.d4 Nxd5 and id rather not go into great detail.

  • #11

    The Gruenfeld defense might be most similar to the Nf6 Scandi in terms of being hypermodern, putting pressure on the center from the sidelines and so forth. The Chigorin has some similarities to the Scandi mainline with the queen coming out early in some lines. The Tarrasch can resemble the gambit lines with Black invoking a positional weakness, his isolated pawn, giving him open lines and a bit of play.


    I'm of the opinion that when a titled player says "learn midgames" instead of learning openings, there is an implied subtext beneath that. The subtext is that.. you need to know enough about openings to get playable midgames to even be able to learn midgames. So learn 8-12 moves into something. The concepts that come from learning a new opening will supplement your knowledge of tactics. The Nf6 Scandinavian is a good opening for achieving that. You get a mix of gambit lines, positional lines, early endgame lines, and there are very minimal tricky sidelines to deal with compared to other defenses.


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