The Scandinavian Defence

1.e2-e4 d7-d5

1. e2–e4 d7-d5 Black offers to exchange his d-pawn for the white e-pawn. But in the main line this exchange leads to Black bringing his queen into play very early and allows White to develop a piece with tempo, i.e. a gain of time. Accordingly the Scandinavian Defence is a rare guest in grandmaster practice and is mainly to be found at amateur level.

Ausgangsstellung Skandinavisch

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Main Line with 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3

Scandinavian Main Line: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6

1. e2-e4 d7-d5 2. exd5 This is the logical move. White exchanges the pawn and does not waste time in laboriously defending it. 2...Qxd5 This introduces the main variation. Black recovers his pawn but suddenly ends up with his queen in the centre of the board. 3. Nb1-c3 White develops the knight and attacks the black queen. 3...Qd5-a5 The classical move. Here the queen’s position is aggressive, but the plan has cost Black time. 4. d2-d4 White occupies the centre with his d-pawn. 4...Ng8-f6 Black develops a knight. As a rule, White now brings into play his kingside pieces and aims to castle short. Black has a slight lag in development since the queen’s position on a5 is problematic in the long run and so it often retreats to c7 after Black has created space with …c7-c6.

Scandinavian with 2... Nf6 - the quiet continuation: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Nxd5

1. e2-e4 d7-d5 2. exd5 Ng8-f6 Black would like to recapture on d5 with the knight. That is somewhat safer than taking on d5 with the queen, but in the long term it concedes more space in the centre to his opponent. 3. d2-d4 White should simply continue developing and not laboriously defend the pawn on d5. With d2-d4 he occupies the centre. 3...Nxd5 Black has recovered his pawn but to do so he had to move the knight a second time, which costs him time. White can now continue with the development of his kingside or drive away the knight on d5 with c2-c4. Black has two basic plans. He can try to quickly bring into play his light-squared bishop or fianchetto the dark-squared bishop to g7.

Scandinavian Gambit: 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.c4 e6 4.dxe6 Bxe6

Black plays a gambit, in which he totally forgets about the d5-pawn. As compensation he obtains an advantage in development. An opening for blitz chess or highly enterprising players.