KindredSpirit’s Kaleidoscope: Center Counter/Scandinavian Defense

This semi-open system puts a whole new light on the opening because it is a direct challenge to 1.e4 by playing 1…d5, a move often difficult to carry out in normal King Pawn openings.

In the 1980s it was heavily tested in the following variation.

1.e4  d5  2.exd5  Qxd5  3.Nc3  Qa5  4.d4  Nf6  5.Nf3  c6  6.Bc4  Bg4 7.h3.

Already Black sets a little trap with 7.Bxf7+? Kxf7 8.Ne5+ Qxe5+ securing  a huge material advantage.

7…Bh5 8.Bd2  e6  9.Nd5  Qd8  10.Nxf6+ gxf6!

In the game Chandler vs. Rogers, 1984, Rogers tried Qxf6 and ran into trouble after…

10…Qxf6 11.g4  Bg6  12.Qe2!  Bxc2  13.Rc1  Qg6 14.Bf4  Bb4+ 15.Kf1  Bb1  16.Rcxb1! Qxb1+ 17.Kg2 Qg6 18.Bd3 f5.

White now smashes the Black defense.

19.Bxf5  Qf6  20.Bg5  Qf7  21.Bxe6  Qc7  22.Bb3+ Kf8  23.Ne5  Be7  24.Rhe1  Ke8.

Nothing helps Black as after say, 24…Bxg5 25.Ng6+ and 26.Qe8 mate.

Quite common and a favorite of D. Taylor, the strong postal player goes like this:

1.e4  d5 2.exd5  Qxd5  3.Nc3  Qa5  4.d4  Nf6 5.Bc4 c6 6. Bd2  Bf5 7.Nd5 Qd8  8.Nxf6+  gxf6 9.Bf4 Qb6  10.Bb3 a5  11.a4  Rg8  12.Ne2 Na6 = Watson/Rogers, 1987.

A whole book has appeared on the variation that runs 1.e4  d5 2.exd5 Qxd5  3.Nc3  Qd6 which achieved considerable attention and practice in recent years.

Less seen is 3…Qd8 which Robatsch played against Fischer, 1962 at Varna. After 4.d4  g6 5.Bf4  Bg7  6.Qd2  Nf6 7.O-O-O  c6 8.Bh6 and Fischer here suggested 8…Bxh6 9.Qxh6  Bf5 as giving Black an equal game.

A little humor comes out of 1.e4 d5 2.exd5  Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd8 4.d4  Nc6 5.Nf3  Bg4  6.d5!  Ne5 as played at Nurnberg 1895 by Mieses vs. Oehquist. Now, Mieses springs into high gear with the blistering 7.Nxe5!  Bxd1 8.Bb5+ c6 9.dxc6 (1-0).

Fast forward to 1982, Goldenberg vs. Chevaldonnet at Bordeaux saw 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nxd5 4.Nf3 Nc6   5.d4 Nxc3 6.bxc3  Bg4 7.d5?!

With an almost identical tactic idea, White suscumbs to Black’s ingenuity showing that just one move can alter the outcome of a tactical idea.

7…Ne5  8.Nxe5  Bxd1  9.Bb5+ c6  10.dxc6.

In a 1980 game, 10…Qd5 was tried only to get the axe after 11.cxb7+ Kd8  12.Nc6+ Kc7 13.bxa(Q).

10…Be2!  11.Kxe2?

A better chance was 11.c7+ Bxb5 12.cxd(Q)+ Rxd8.

11…Qd5 12.c4  Qxe5+ 13.Be3 O-O-O wins.

Unlike some openings, this one offers a host of ideas and a good way to exercise your brain with critical thought. The discussion here is mainly to wet your appetite to explore what perhaps you have never before explored.

Chess play is fun. That is the purpose of my blog to both encourage learning the game for newcomers and to enrich the possibilities to all of just a small portion of possibilities that exist on the chessboard.

Adios for now!

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