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Scandinavian Defense Chess Books

Scandinavian Defense

The Scandinavian Defense is bit of a strange animal, but often seen at every level, even sometimes as a surprise weapon at the absolute top. After playing 1. e4 d5, white usually takes the pawn, by doing that opening the d-line for black. If the second player takes the d-pawn back with the queen, sooner or later white plays Nc3 and three main options appear for the queen to land: a5, back to d8 or d6. Most popular square is a5, keeping some tactical motives in the positions and eyeballing the h5 square, for later purposes. Back to d8 is considered the solid option and d6 is the Sergej Tiviakov special. Another option with black is to play 2… Nf6, aiming to take back the d-pawn with the knight. Bringing out the queen early seems like something all chess players have learned not to do when they where young, but in the Scandinavian it serves some specific purposes. At first glance the opening seems like a rather wild one, but actually it is quit solid in most lines, taking care of a strong pawn structure and very few weaknesses. The Scandinavian was occasionally seen by the greats of the game in the early days like Siegbert Tarrash, Alexander Alekhine and José Raúl Capablanca. Later, in the 1960’s, Bent Larsen used the opening a couple of times with success. In these days the original name of the opening, the Centre Counter Defense changed into Scandinavian Defense. Curt Hansen and Alexander Rakhmanov are amongst the great experts of the opening. Magnus Carlsen played it several times, including two times to beat and draw Fabiano Caruana. As great trainers of the Scandinavian are considered David Smerdon, Sergej Tiviakov, Sergey Kasparov, J. Schmidt, Daniel Lowinger, Karten Müller and others.

Smerdon's Scandinavian - Smerdon, David
2015 Everyman Chess Smerdon's Scandinavian-Smerdon, David

The first moves in the Smerdon's Scandinavian are 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6, sometimes referred at as the Nf6-Scandinavian. In many lines author David Smerdon chooses to gambit a pawn. He is a life long player of the sharpest lines of the Nf6-Scandinavian, and is willing to share all the theory and ideas of this surprise weapon. The lines he developed on his own will be called unsound from the mainstream chess perspective.

The Modern Scandinavian: Themes, Structures & Plans In An Increasingly Popular Chess Opening - Matthias Wahls, Karsten Müller, Hannes Langrock
2011 New In Chess The Modern Scandinavian: Themes, Structures & Plans In An Increasingly Popular Chess Opening-Matthias Wahls Karsten Müller Hannes Langrock

In this standard work on the Scandinavian (1. e4 d5) the authors go into great depth of the opening, that’s getting more and more popular lately. The main focus are the themes, structures and plans, rather than throwing long theoretical lines at the reader. No, the theory is certainly not forgotten, but by knowing the ideas first remembering these lines comes naturally.

Understanding The Scandinavian - Kasparov, Sergey
2015 Gambit Publications Understanding The Scandinavian-Kasparov, Sergey

In his opening statement Sergey Kasparov directly makes a ‘revolutionary’ claim: the Scandinavian is an improved Caro-Kann. At first glance this seems to be a rather bold thing to say, but if one does consider the pawn structures of both openings are identical, it’s maybe not that a strange remark by the author. The quote does tell the reader that Kasparov is more on the safe, solid side of the Scandinavian. This book offers a complete view on all main lines in this opening.

First Steps: The Scandinavian (everyman Chess) - Lakdawala, Cyrus
2018 Everyman Chess First Steps: The Scandinavian (everyman Chess)-Lakdawala, Cyrus

First Steps: The Scandinavian is a compact, instructive piece of work which contains all the basics for chess players who are new to this opening. The main focus of this book lies on 2…Qxd5 and then transfer the queen to either a5 or d6. The reader can choose between these two lines or maybe even study both. The book ends with the chapters ‘White delays Nc3’, 2…Nf6 and ‘Everything Else’, completing the menu for the player who wants to learn the first basics of the Scandinavian.

How To Win With Scandinavian Defense - Kleider, Hans
2019 How To Win With Scandinavian Defense-Kleider, Hans


Opening Tactics: The Scandinavian: Volume 2: 2. ... Nf6 - Duke, Michael
2019 Opening Tactics: The Scandinavian: Volume 2: 2. ... Nf6-Duke, Michael


Opening Tactics: The Scandinavian: Volume 1: Qa5 - Duke, Michael
2018 Opening Tactics: The Scandinavian: Volume 1: Qa5-Duke, Michael


Chess Openings By Example: Scandinavian Defense - Schmidt, J., Schmidt, J.
2017 Independently Chess Openings By Example: Scandinavian Defense-Schmidt, J. Schmidt, J.


The 3...qd8 Scandinavian: Simple And Strong - Lowinger, Daniel, Müller, Karsten
2013 Russell Enterprises, Inc. The 3...qd8 Scandinavian: Simple And Strong-Lowinger, Daniel Müller, Karsten


Scandinavian: Move By Move - Lakdawala, Cyrus
2013 Everyman Chess Scandinavian: Move By Move-Lakdawala, Cyrus


Play The Scandinavian (grandmaster Guide) - Bauer, Christian
2010 Quality Chess Play The Scandinavian (grandmaster Guide)-Bauer, Christian


Scandinavian Defense: The Dynamic 3... Qd6 - Melts, Michael
2009 Russell Enterprises, Inc. Scandinavian Defense: The Dynamic 3... Qd6-Melts, Michael


Scandinavian - Emms, John
2004 Everyman Chess Scandinavian-Emms, John