All You Need To Know About Chess Scandinavian Defense


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For all those who are aware of the game of chess, you must be aware that the game also has a lot of openings that have been discovered over the course of the years of playing the game. These openings are used by most people ranging from beginners to professional chess players. Of these openings, one of the most famous openings in the Chess Scandinavian defense. The Scandinavian Chess Opening is one of those openings that is used mainly by beginners because of how easy it is to play and the different opportunities that the move presents to take the game forward. In this article, we shall talk about the Chess Scandinavian defense in detail and cover every aspect of the opening including how to reach the move, how to work the defense, and also the different variations of the Scandinavian defense traps in a game of chess.

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What is the Chess Scandinavian Defense?

Firstly, before we get into the working of the move, how to play, and what is the importance of the Scandinavian defense, let us first understand what exactly this Chess opening is.

The Scandinavian Defense, also known by the name of Center-Counter Defense, is a kings pawn opening that mainly aims to give black the center control over white, attacking immediately the white’s pawn in the center and allowing black to further develop some of the other pieces and create a strong play strategy.

How to Reach the Chess Scandinavian Defense?

When it comes to reaching the Scandinavian Defense, it is quite an easy move to reach and that is precisely the reason why it is loved by many beginners who start out with the game of chess.

  • How the game starts out is with white moving the king's pawn two squares forward from E2 to E4.
  • Black then immediately responds by playing the queen steps also two steps forward, thereby administering the central control over white on the chessboard and putting white in an uncomfortable position.

This is all that the Scandinavian Defense is.

Why Play the Scandinavian Chess Opening?

When talking about why anyone would choose this move to play in a game, the Chess Scandinavian Defense is a creative yet simple strategy that can be quickly used to put your white opponent in a not-so-comfy position.

The simplicity with which the game automatically plays out by playing the most obvious moves is what makes this defense very popular among all those who are starting out with chess. Although this move is quite easy for beginner players to start out with, it is also used by professional chess players in tournaments.

Hence, the play is an option to consider for all levels of chess players across the world.

Main Line Variations in the Chess Scandinavian Defense

Now that we have understood the defense, what it is, and why to play the opening, let us now discuss the different variations that are present in the Scandinavian chess opening.The different variations are created on the basis of different situations that are faced by players of both black and white in a chess game. In this article, we shall be mainly looking at 3 of the main variations of the Chess Scandinavian Defense. They are

1. The Modern Variation

The modern variation of the Scandinavian defense is what we shall be looking at first.

The main aim of this variation is to use the Kingside knight on the black side to capture the pawn, instead of using the queen to avoid making use of the most powerful piece in chess so far early in the game. How the whole play works out is that after white moves the first kingside pawn toward the front, black shall make use of the queen's pawn and take that two steps forward.

Once the white has managed to capture the black pawn, black will take out a white pawn and then start to play out this variation by playing the knights. Although black is down a pawn, it will still be at an advantage because he will be using both his knights to take center control and stop the white pawn from entering any more of the center region.

Although this move may look like an aggressive play, black is using more strategy than aggression to drive the white pawn back and gain control of the center, which will then help black to gain an advantage over white in the game.

If white tries to protect its pawn and try playing defensive, they will not only be losing time but also be ignoring the fact that it is one pawn against two knights which is anyways a very to hard to win situation.

2. The Kingside Knight Variation

The second variation that we shall be talking about in the Chess Scandinavian Defense is known as the kingside knight variation. Remember how when talking about the modern variation, we mentioned that black chooses to play the knights instead of the queen at first, although having the option?

Well in this variation of the Scandinavian defense traps, we shall be doing exactly that. We know for a fact that white will not be playing the queen so early because their queen does not have a direct path because of the white pawn blocking her way. Instead, white will choose to play the kingside knight in an attempt to try and protect the pawn which is out in the field.

If white does in fact bring the queen forward diagonally, then black can try a more defensive strategy. However, in most cases, white will not proceed with the queen and hence, black can move their queen forward and think of playing a more aggressive game. The whole time, the white pawn has no space to move, and the white trying to protect its pawn will leave more open space for black pieces to push around and gain control of the board. Many professionals have taken a liking for this strategy, especially because it is a more aggressive play and puts your opponent in a very uncomfortable position.

3. The Mieses-Kotrč Variation (Main Line)

Last but not the least, we shall be talking about the Main Line variation of the Scandinavian defense opening. This opening is referred to as the mainline opening because of how widely these sets of moves are played. The best part about this variation is that it is suitable for all kinds of chess players, regardless of their levels of experience in the game.

This move is more about taking initiative and playing around with the white king's pawn at D4. At the start of this variation, like all the other variations, white tries to take control of the center and hence will play D2-D4 and also C4. This development not only helps white to gain control of the center but also helps white to perform castling quickly and protect their king. Black, however, as we saw in the previous defense, will try and bring out the queen in order to perform a more aggressive play.

Black will also try to bring the knights in position so as to clear the way for the queen in case white too decides to play aggressively. Soon enough, black brings the bishop to F5, thereby helping black to have multiple effects on the board at the same time. By the end of the opening, black will have trapped the white pawn, taken center control, and also have an escape plan ready. This is one of the many reasons why most professionals and amateurs decide to play this variation of the Scandinavian defense, as it covers multiple aspects of the game together.

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