79 ( +1 | -1 ) Scandinavian Defense!Calling all scandinavian players!!! 1.e4 d5! 2. exd5 Qxd5 etc. I have been looking into this opening and although it isn't as popular as mainstream defenses, it has proven to be much sounder than the classicists thought a hundred years ago (losing a tempo with the queen, many classic chess intruction books use this as an example of how NOT to play the opening..including Aron Nimzowitch's 'My System.') But yet, this opening scores averagely for black compared to other openings in my databases of master players (all games between players of 2400 FIDE or higher in the last 20 years). I think I may have found the answer to my lifelong dilemma of what to play against 1.e4 as black...sometimes the answers are in unexpected places. All thoughts welcome on this interesting opening system.
16 ( +1 | -1 ) I've tended to favor Anderssen's variant for its agressiveness: 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qa5 4. d4 e5. John Lutes' book on this variation comes recommended highly if you're interested.
The Anderssens variation is not very good, I've seen it refuted many ,many a time! but like you say aggressive!... there are some very subtle nice traps with the Andersson variation though.
The whole premise of the Scand is to eventually make your queen count as a developed piece, and as play continues as black you want to look to attack first, there is just a tempo advantage here, but thats all that is required to make your attack work. Remember this when things staret to look grim as the counter attack is often best since the queen is active.
There are sometimes overlooked quick mating 'opportunities' with the scand as black especially if you can castle queen side before white decides which side to put the king, the rook comes into play quite nicely on the white kings file.
2...Nf6 is more popular at higher levels, but I find that with the classical variation, if you have got patience has plenty of play in the game.
Beware play in the scand as black needs to be careful though an early bad positional move can lose you the game.
3... you get a lot of theory on other places to put the queen other than Qa5 but I have found Qa5 to be best.
Watch out for poisoned pawns on b2!... but the good thing about this pawn if undefended and under attack is that a good scand player will not take it since it is poisoned, but a bad white player will defend it losing his tempo!
After trying many lines I find its important to get Nf6 in early, and the timing of when to play c6 is crucial.
24 ( +1 | -1 ) IM andrew martin has a dvd out on this opening called 'the scheming scandinavian' which is a good place to start and he has also written a book on the qa5 variation called the center-counter opening. i have tehm both and i recommend them.