Scandinavian with d3 instead of d4

Technical questions regarding Openings, Middlegames, Endings etc.
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Phil Neatherway
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Location: Abingdon

Scandinavian with d3 instead of d4

Post by Phil Neatherway » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:21 pm

A recent game proceeded thus:-
1. e4 d5
2. exd5 Qxd5
3. Nc3 Qa5
4. Bc4 Nf6
and now 5.d3 instead of the more common d4. I seem to recall Nigel Short playing this and using d4 for a Knight preventing the c8 Bishop coming to f5.

I got a poor position after
5... c6
6. Bd2 Qc7 (is this necessary yet?)
7. Qe2 g6 (maybe too slow but how else am I to develop my bishops?)
8. Nf3 Bg7 (I could play Bg4 here)
9. h3 0-0
10 a4 a5
11. 0-0 Na6
12 Re1 e6
13. Ne5 Nb4
14. Bf4 Qb6

I was then astonished when my opponent (graded significantly higher than me) repeated moves with
15.Be3 Qc7
16. Bf4 Qb6 draw agreed

Any comments on how to combat d3? Fritz isn't much help, it claims a significant White advantage. Thanks for any advice!

Roger de Coverly
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Joined: Tue Apr 15, 2008 2:51 pm

Re: Scandinavian with d3 instead of d4

Post by Roger de Coverly » Mon Apr 10, 2017 4:41 pm

Phil Neatherway wrote: I seem to recall Nigel Short playing this and using d4 for a Knight preventing the c8 Bishop coming to f5.
There's a game of his against Cherniaev at Simpson's in 2008. Cherniaev used a plan of playing .. a6 and .. c5

Your game followed one between Alex Lopez and Kotronias in the EU Liverpool 2008 event, but Kotronias then lashed out with .. b5, following it up with .. a5 and the threat to trap the Bishop creates some activity. Being able to displace the Knight with .. b4 helps as well.

Looking at my collection of British games, a number of Congress and 4NCL regulars have given d3 a try with decent results.

The idea does have its points. Normally in that variation, Black gains play by attacking the d4 pawn and to a lesser extent the c2 pawn. If those ideas aren't available, what is there?

IanCalvert
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Re: Scandinavian with d3 instead of d4

Post by IanCalvert » Mon Apr 10, 2017 8:21 pm

Wahls et al. in "the Modern Scandinavian", New in Chess, 2011, page 355, says of 5.d3 "is a solid line against which Black should be able to equalise... 5..Bg4 , 5...c6."

Mark Ashley
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Re: Scandinavian with d3 instead of d4

Post by Mark Ashley » Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:25 pm

I think this is the line for white recommended in Collin's recent repertoire book.

Javier Gil
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Re: Scandinavian with d3 instead of d4

Post by Javier Gil » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:28 pm

The variation has been known for around 33 years.
There were a couple of games played with this variation at this year's Olympiad:



And a more positional one where a 2662 got defeated:


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