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The best try against it gains a really nice position though, so I don't know why white would want to force a gambit line or draw.
Not necessarily. The main line quoted earlier in this thread--1 e4 d5 2 exd5 Nf6 3 Bb5+ Bd7 4 Bc4 Bg4 5 f3 Bc8 6 Nc3 Nbd7 7 d4 Nb6 8 Bb3 Nbxd5 gets the pawn back, after all. With 2...Nf6, Black simply delays recapturing. Black *can* play a gambit line with ...c6 or ...e6, but he hardly has to.
No when black plays Nf6 white plays c4 and black is forced into a gambit position
3. c4 c6 4. d4 cxd5 leads to Caro Kann, Panov Botvinnik Attack.
3. c4 c6 4. dxc6 is completely dubious for white. I have played several games with it. But that discussion is for another topic.
yay that is my favourite line against the Scandanavian
Even if it were a forced drawing line, when would White want to force a draw?
When Black is a higher rated guy. Simple.
then black will not go for this variation
There is no forced draw in this line, white can push.
I could add that 3.Bb5+ is a serious way to refute (!) scandinavian 2...Nf6.
3.Bb5's idea is quite simple : developing with tempo and disrupting black's way to capture d5.
This check prevents portuguese variation that some love to play and which can be quite tricky (though maybe unsound but OTB that's not so simple).
Here are 3 games where black replied the 3 possible approaches on Bb5 : the obvious Bd7, the undesirable Nbd7 (maybe the best but not sure...), and the gambit c6 :
1 - c6 gambit may be the most played line, because most 2...Nf6 users are Portuguese varation aficionados. But it doesnt work at all...
Black has some options in Nbd7 line, theorically speaking it may be the only way for black to survive but seems difficult... I wonder what Smerdon proposes in his book about scandinavian 2...Nf6 where he gives a repertoire based on the Portuguese variation.
Sorry for black hoping a quick draw but 3.Bb5 aims for a win. Moreover another way to play it could be 1.e4 d5 2.e4xd5 Nf6 3.Bb5 Bd7 4.Be2 which is quite simple and gives white a safe advantage with d4-c4 following. Bd7 is bad placed here.
The diagrams in post 45 are taking too long to load. Forgive me if I'm repeating something that has already been said.