Scandinavian Gambit

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
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Jon Mahony
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Scandinavian Gambit

Post by Jon Mahony » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:28 pm

Hi all

Can anyone direct me to some good reading material on the following line - 1.e4, d5 2.cxd5, Nf6 3.c4, c6 4.dxc6, Nxc6 - not a great choice for white, but I think it’s a likely scenario when playing against anyone under 120/30 say.

I’ve had a load of draws with the Sicilian this season, and so I’m thinking of replacing it with the modern Scandinavian - I’ve got the Emms and Plaskett books, and between them they cover pretty much everything else I’m going to need. But the Emms book doesn’t cover this line at all and assumes the game will transpose into a Panov-Botvinnik, while the Plaskett book only devotes 4 pages which consists of one example game.

They do both give an alternative of playing 3…e6 the Icelandic gambit, but I’ve never liked the look of that.

I’ve got my database but nothing is annotated, so it would be nice to have some theory go mull over as well.

Cheers
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

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David Shepherd
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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by David Shepherd » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:02 pm

New book out by Jovanka Houska

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David Shepherd
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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by David Shepherd » Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:04 pm

But not sure if it covers that line but would be worth getting anyway

Anthony Taglione
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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by Anthony Taglione » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:24 pm

As White, I think I'd decline the pawn and play 3.d4.

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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:46 pm

Jon Mahony wrote: They do both give an alternative of playing 3…e6 the Icelandic gambit, but I’ve never liked the look of that.
I know someone graded ~ 140 who played this as black on occasion, and it just seems to lose a pawn. He no longer plays it, so I assume he came to the same conclusion.

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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by Geoff Chandler » Wed Feb 17, 2010 9:10 pm

Hi Jon.

Without seeing any of your games* and only going by what you are saying
I'd say switching from the Sicilian to the Scandinavian is a backward step.

You say you draw a lot of Sicilians so therefore you have equalised
and nuteralised the White plus.

By tradition When White losses the tug v a Sicilian then he is losing.

Your next step up is not to switch openings but to fine tune
the current opening you are playing well in.

Go over these draws.

Were there stronger moves you could have played?
Did you hold back from pushing an advantage you had because it got messy?
Is your technique in winning a won game lacking?
Are you happy with a draw as Black?

Another factor against switching openings is that the Sicilian
is all about containing and developing against White's e-pawn.
It's the Sicilian target.

You lose this target when you play a Scandinavian.
It's whole new ball game. It may not be the opening for you.

I'm of the opinion that chess openings choose their players
and not, as you would think, visa-versa.

You cannot wake up one day and declare yourself a King's Indian player.
KID/Pirc/Modern players are born, they are not created by wishful thinking.

So it appears the Sicilian is serving you well, (and visa-vesa).
You have found your Black weapon to 1.e4. Don't abandon it. Sharpen it.

However if you MUST play the Scandinavian, and this goes for any opening,
don't stick your head up your ass worrying about obscure lines that might appear.
The reason it's not mentioned or treated lightly is because the chances
are you won't ever see it.

*Actually I have seen one of your games.
You fluked a mate v Martin Blythe with Qg3 mate which started 1.f4.

LozCooper

Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by LozCooper » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:06 pm

However if you MUST play the Scandinavian, and this goes for any opening,
don't stick your head up your ass worrying about obscure lines that might appear.
The reason it's not mentioned or treated lightly is because the chances
are you won't ever see it.

That might be so but if you're learning a new opening it's useful to know what to do if your opponent is a pawn up after move 3 :)

Roger de Coverly
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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:39 pm

LozCooper wrote:That might be so but if you're learning a new opening it's useful to know what to do if your opponent is a pawn up after move 3 :)
The answer according to Chandler-Adams about 20 years ago at Hastings is to chop the queens and win the ending. :)

http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1013806

That's a decent approach to all obscure lines really - look them up in a database and "write your own book".

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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:10 am

Hi.

By obscure I meant that I played the Scandinavian on and off
for 20 years and only once did anybody try to hold the d-pawn with c4.

Even then I had to leave the loose d-pawn sitting there till move 6
before White finally 'cracked' and wasted a tempo defending it.

E.Smith - G. Chandler. Edinburgh League match 1991

Image

White has just played 6.c4

There followed a standard Chandler game. Both rooks sacced,
unsound attack etc...etc...

Image

Nice win though. Final position.

[Event "Sandy Bells v Balerno"]
[Site "Edinburgh"]
[Date "1991.??.??"]
[Round "?"]
[White "E. Smith"]
[Black "G. Chandler"]
[Result "0-1"]
[ECO "B01"]
[PlyCount "-"]
[EventDate "1991.??.??"]

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. Nf3 g6 4. g3 Bg7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. c4 b5 7. d6 exd6 8.
Ne5 Re8 9. O-O Rxe5 10. Bxa8 c6 11. cxb5 Ng4 12. h4 Nf6 13. d4 Rh5 14. Bg5
h6 15. g4 hxg5 16. gxh5 Nxh5 17. Kh2 d5 18. Qd3 Qd6+ 19. Kh1 Bf5 20. Qe3
Be4+ 21. f3 Qg3 22. Qf2 Qh3+ 23. Kg1 Nf4 24. Qh2 Bxd4+ 25. Rf2 Ne2+ 26. Kh1
Ng3+ 27. Kg1 Qf1

White resigned on move 25. I've added the forced finish for effect.

Anthony Taglione
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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by Anthony Taglione » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:22 am

It is a fair point that the line is likely to be unlikely. As a 1.e4 player, I took a quick look earlier and just thought that any attempt to hold the pawn with c4 would lead away from the type of game I'm attempting to engender by opening with the e-pawn.

If you're going to play these openings then, of course, you would feel silly to be out of your "book" by move three but it's also likely that the opponent will be making things up as he goes along, too. It's not the type of position that most open players would enjoy spending an evening worrying over so the likelihood of an opponent being prepared along such lines is roughly nil. The chances are that simple familiarity with the likely positions will carry you to victory if the pawn sac is at all valid.

Regarding opening selection, GC is obviously correct in what he suggests about honing your Sicilian but I think it's also worth having a backup opening to hand. It can be useful on the odd occasion when you simply fancy a change but it can also be useful for the occasions when your confidence in your preferred opening has taken a knock or two or when you think that your opponent has prepared for your favourite lines. I often used to switch between the Dragon and the Pirc, of all things.

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Jon Mahony
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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by Jon Mahony » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:33 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:Hi Jon.

Without seeing any of your games* and only going by what you are saying
I'd say switching from the Sicilian to the Scandinavian is a backward step.

You say you draw a lot of Sicilians so therefore you have equalised
and nuteralised the White plus.

By tradition When White losses the tug v a Sicilian then he is losing.

Your next step up is not to switch openings but to fine tune
the current opening you are playing well in.

Go over these draws.

Were there stronger moves you could have played?
Did you hold back from pushing an advantage you had because it got messy?
Is your technique in winning a won game lacking?
Are you happy with a draw as Black?

Another factor against switching openings is that the Sicilian
is all about containing and developing against White's e-pawn.
It's the Sicilian target.

You lose this target when you play a Scandinavian.
It's whole new ball game. It may not be the opening for you.

I'm of the opinion that chess openings choose their players
and not, as you would think, visa-versa.

You cannot wake up one day and declare yourself a King's Indian player.
KID/Pirc/Modern players are born, they are not created by wishful thinking.

So it appears the Sicilian is serving you well, (and visa-vesa).
You have found your Black weapon to 1.e4. Don't abandon it. Sharpen it.

However if you MUST play the Scandinavian, and this goes for any opening,
don't stick your head up your ass worrying about obscure lines that might appear.
The reason it's not mentioned or treated lightly is because the chances
are you won't ever see it.
Hi Geoff

That certainly is food for thought, and a lot of what you say makes sense! I always force to make myself look at my games, good or bad analyse them myself first, then stick them in Fritz so it can laugh at me.

My problem is, I’ve always played the sicilian (after a brief and disastrous experimentation with the c6 pirc - Andrew Martin makes it look like a forced win on his DVD :lol:) but it’s never felt quite right somehow, never feel like I’m enjoying a sicilian game as black - I love playing against it. Still as you say, I’ve been playing it well enough to equalise a lot, maybe it’s just worth sharpening up.
*Actually I have seen one of your games.
You fluked a mate v Martin Blythe with Qg3 mate which started 1.f4.
Lol oh god where have you seen that?

That was when I was just stating out, I thought it was a great win at the time and annotated it for my club website. I looked back at it recently and it’s just an embarrassment - I tried to play some dodgy London System setup and lost a Knight as I recall. The mate was easily stopped, so yes a fluke. I must get my captain to take that down. I’m hoping to run into Martin again actually, got From’s gambit down pretty well now :wink:

I don’t know what it is about Rose Forgrove, but about 5 of the stronger ones play the Bird, and I’ve never come across it anywhere else OTB.
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by Geoff Chandler » Thu Feb 18, 2010 1:09 pm

Hi Jon.

Don't take the fluke win down. leave it there so it reminds your opponent.
He will be thirsting for revenge and next game play out of character.

As Larsen once said, Some games score more than one win.

"after a brief and disastrous experimentation with the c6 pirc...."

I think there is some truth in openings choosing you, you don't choose your opening.
The Black middle game positions resulting from the Pirc may not be you.

Have wonderful OTB record with From's Gambit but beware White
can swing it into a King's Gambit. Are you ready for that?

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Jon Mahony
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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by Jon Mahony » Fri Feb 19, 2010 12:34 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:Hi Jon...
Have wonderful OTB record with From's Gambit but beware White
can swing it into a King's Gambit. Are you ready for that?
Hi Geoff

Yeah I’m a Bishop’s gambit player as white, KG is an opening I love - not enough people playing 1…e5 anymore though! Great record with it too - it’s amazing how many players go for 3…Qh4+ which looks good, but wastes a lot of time in the long run.

Against a Bishop’s gambit id just go down the main line with 2…Nf6 which is supposed to be slightly better for black if played right, so I'm told.

Against the Knight’s gambit (which seems to be coming back into fashion this last year!) I don’t see anything wrong with the d6 followed by g5 plan.

I’ll have a look at some of your From’s games on Chessgames.com if any are up (can’t see at the moment because the site is blocked at work) might give me some hints!
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by Geoff Chandler » Fri Feb 19, 2010 1:53 pm

Hi Jon.

This is a brilliant games site.

http://www.timeforchess.com/gamesexplorer/

They have 576,549 games (an update coming soon) played by under 1900 players.

Never seen the point of looking at Master games. I don't play any. (do you?).

We play a different game in a different world to these guys.
They play one game in the afternoon in perfect conditions with a time control
that we can only dream off.

Us. We sit in cold church halls on hard chairs after a days work racing along
at 36 /1.15 mins. 10 mins allegro looking at a set made up of bits of other sets
or things lying around the club rooms.

I had to use a matchbox as a Rook once. Have you ever castled with a matchbox?

Do you really expect to produce the blunder free games of the same calibre
of these Masters by looking at a few of their games?

We win games by avoiding and punishing awful blunders we never ever see in Master
games and he who has mastered the two move trick is King.

Look at the games of the players WE will be playing against and see the errors and
blunders they make. You will see and get ideas.

Did a quick check, that site has 231 games with the From.

231 games with some shocking blunders, occasional good moves, attacks,
no matter how unsound, win 99% of the time.

It's the minging, pigs trough of chess but it's where we live Jon.
(and we love every minute of it.)

I have stack of games on there 'greenpawn34'.

He who has mastered the two move trick is King.

Have you ever seen 6.b4 against the Benoni in a Master game?

http://www.timeforchess.com/gameanalysi ... venumber=5

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Jon Mahony
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Re: Scandinavian Gambit

Post by Jon Mahony » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:46 pm

Geoff Chandler wrote:Hi Jon.

This is a brilliant games site.

http://www.timeforchess.com/gamesexplorer/

They have 576,549 games (an update coming soon) played by under 1900 players.

Never seen the point of looking at Master games. I don't play any. (do you?).

We play a different game in a different world to these guys.
They play one game in the afternoon in perfect conditions with a time control
that we can only dream off...
That’s an interesting site, had a quick look over the weekend, will have to give it more time - its layout seems very similar to RedHotPawn.com is it connected? - I do have a paid up account on there, but haven’t been on in ages, rating it probably down below 1000 now because of all the games I will have lost on time.

All very true by the way! - I’ve never had to use a match box, but at a game last week I was using a decapitated Queen

I enjoy looking at Master games, and use them in my Correspondence Chess (just started postal again!) where I do strive for a bit more perfection. But as you say, we (or most of us!) just aren’t in the same league as the masters.
"When you see a good move, look for a better one!" - Lasker

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