Are you bored of the mainstream theory in Sicilian, Italian, Ruy Lopez or Carokann? Are you looking forward to playing some creative chess and at the same time you want imbalances, then try out the Scandinavian defense. Scandinavian is also known as centre-counter. It is an opening based on creating imbalances in pawn structure and going for a slightly odd approach from the start.
Concept of Scandinavian Defense –
From the above file, you can see that Black is instantly challenging white in the centre. However, in chapter 2 and 3 white gets a good lead in development in the main lines. This opening also leads mostly to opposite side castlings. Black has a strategy to trade his light-squared bishop for the knight on f3 and then put his pawns on c6 and e6 to get a solid structure.
In chapter 4 we can see that black goes for sharp complications based on pawn sacrifice which allows him to get the upper hand in development. This makes it the turning factor in most of the games. It is suitable for players who love sacrifice and initiative.
Top players have played Scandinavian Defense –
Players like Current World Champion Magnus Carlsen, former World Champion Vishwanathan Anand, Hikaru Nakamura, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov, Firoujza Alireza, Jan-Duda Krystof. Magnus used it in Tata Steel Kolkata rapid and blitz against Anand and Nepomniatchtchi to score 2/2. Even Anand used it against Garry Kasparov in their 1995 PCA world championship match!
Another player who played Scandinavian against the player from Scandinavia world champion Magnus Carlsen and also had him on ropes was Bhaskaran Adhiban. He played an interesting game and also went for complications which had almost yielded him full point. But as he missed his chance, he couldn’t win the game.
Do check out the videos below to improve your knowledge on Scandinavian Defense.
Do inform your experience with Scandinavian Defense in the comments section.