Who better to teach you the spiciest, most aggressive openings and gambits in chess than the GingerGM, Simon Williams! Put that in yer pipe and smoke it!
This video is a small slice of Simon’s new Spicy Gambits and Openings, a 15 hour collection of training on the most dangerous weapons in chess. His premium chess.com series includes killer ways to generate early attacks against the Sicilian, Scandinavian, French, KID and tons more.
In this preview, Simon concentrates on how to face the Scandinavian 1. e4 d5. The Scandinavian is a surprisingly popular chess opening at club level, but in general isn’t used at higher levels, and for good reason. Although it challenges the center right from move 1, it can be a rather reckless opening, often used at beginner level.
Simon Williams is all about seizing the initiative as White, all-out attacks at all costs and piling on the pressure from as early as possible in the game. He gives his recommended moves and plans that you can use the next time you’re at your club and your opponent tries the Scandinavian. You’re sure to give them such a thrashing, they may even decide to drop the Scandinavian from their repertoire altogether!
White is able to generate very dangerous threats very early in the opening if they play very actively and with a clear plan in mind. One general idea is to develop pieces that threaten Black’s queen that has ventured out into the open, and work to get a knight into e5. Simon presents a simple system that squeezes Black off the board with dynamic, aggressive moves. Get ready to push those kingside pawns!
Hacking the Scandinavian Defense
The Scandinavian Defense begins with 1. e4 d5. Simon recommends continuing by capturing the pawn with 2. exd5 where Black usually plays 2…Qxd5. Alternatively, Black sometimes plays 2…Nf6, the so-called Portuguese variation. It is best not to be greedy and old onto the pawn, but simply continue development with a move like 3. Nf3 and after 3…Nxd5, play 4. d4 with c4 coming, Be2 or Bd3, with a comfortable advantage due to the space in the center.
After the more popular 2…Qxd5, develop a piece and create a threat at the same time with 3. Nc3, attacking the queen. Here, Black has 3 main options, namely 3…Qa5, 3…Qd6 or 3…Qd8. Any other move, such as 3…Qe5+ is real beginners stuff and nothing to worry about. Simply block the check while developing (with Be2), and attack the queen again next move with d4 or Nf3.
After 3…Qd6 or 3…Qd8, Simon recommends a setup with Nf3, d4 and a very fast Ne5.
Usually after 3…Qa5, d4 is the move common response, but your opponent is likely prepared for this if they are playing the Scandinavian. Instead, try the spicy Bc4! This move attacks f7, and then follow this move up with d3. Why not d4? On d4, the pawn becomes a target for Black to attack with moves like …c5 or …Nc6. But on d3, the pawn is safe and White has nothing to worry about. The idea is to then play Bd2 (x-raying the Black queen), Qe2 and prepare to long castle 0-0-0, getting more and more aggressive!
Simon covers all these ideas in more depth in the video, and shows some examples from games, so be sure to watch it!
Spice Up Your Chess Openings
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