In the Scandinavian Defence (also known as the Centre Counter) Black responds to 1.e4 with d5, immediately challenging White in the centre. Although an ancient opening it’s still relevant today and has been played by the likes of Alekhine, Larsen, Bronstein and Anand.
Very popular at club and tournament level, it is essential for 1.e4 players to know how to combat some of Black’s dangerous lines.
A thorough knowledge of the key moves and ideas against the 4 most common lines (2…Nf6, 3…Qd8, 3…Qd6 and 3…Qa5) will enable White to get a very comfortable position at worst and an early advantage if Black puts a foot wrong – something that is quite easy to do.
IM Lawrence Trent, manager of Fabiano Caruana, reveals his pet lines to crush the Scandinavian in this clearly explained video.
3. The Banker Variation 3…Qd8
4. The “Tiviakov special” 3…Qd6
5. The 3…Qa5 main line