phorku's chess blog

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Scandinavian Declined / Nimzowitsch Defence

Last night at the club I played the Scandinavian like I always do against e4. My opponent declined to capture my pawn and advanced his e pawn. This is the line that I hate the most. I used to play Nc6 instead of c5 in this line because I was learning the opening. I have played c5 a couple of times now and played it last night at the club. I don't really like it since it opens up the Q side and it is difficult to get the K side pieces out to castle. I was looking through the chess database on the chessbase site and discovered that Nc6 transposes into the Nimzowitsch Defence. Since my book did not cover this I was under the impression I was making a mistake. I plan on sticking with Nc6 in future games. Instead of buying another dry opening book I will probably pick up one of the versions of Chessbase 9. This hobby is getting quite expensive.


  • c5 is fine. It transposes to a good version of the French defense. Black is developing slow, but since the center is closed that's no problem at all. Often castling queenside is possible too. But a good book about the French will cost you extra:)

    By Blogger Temposchlucker, at 6:45 AM  

  • When this happens to me, I go into a French Advance. 1. e4 d5 2. e5 e6 (and sometimes even 2. ... Bf5!?). This is good for me, because I play the French Advance against as White, so I know both ends of the spectrum.

    By Blogger CelticDeath, at 9:53 AM  

  • Which version of the scandinavian do you guys play if white takes the pawn? Do you recapture with the Q or play Nf6?

    I try to avoid closed positions since I don't have much positional knowledge. Closed positions often get me frustrated and I make bad moves. Or I try to squeeze my opponent too hard and open up weaknesses in my position.

    What opening do you like against d4?

    By Blogger phorku, at 5:05 PM  

  • 1. e4 d5 2. exd5: Nf6 3. c4 e6 Icelandic gambit or 3. d4 Bg4 Portugese gambit.

    By Blogger Temposchlucker, at 5:52 PM  

  • My openingrepertoire with white:
    With black:

    By Blogger Temposchlucker, at 5:58 PM  

  • Ditto with Tempo. I never retake with the Queen.

    By Blogger CelticDeath, at 9:37 AM  

  • I have similar advice to the others. Play the french for awhile. Once you realize that 2...c4! is a french without a bad bishop you will love it.

    Another thing to learn is that after White plays e5, developing the kingside is less urgent since it's not all that clear that you want to castle kingside. In the french after 1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.e5, there are many lines where Black's King stays in the center safe behind the pawn chain.

    By Blogger DG, at 1:42 PM  

  • While I haven't had the opportunity to play it in a game, when I do the move will be 2...Bf5, followed by e6. Get that bishop outside and start developing.

    I never capture with the Queen. Instead, 2...Nf6.

    Now many people don't like this guy, but Eric Schiller wrote a book called "Gambit Opening Repertoire for Black." He goes through both the Icelandic and Portughese variations but not in so much detail to get swamped. It is a nice starting point. I have developed a black opening repertoire file for Bookup using this and practice with it regularly. If you want to look at it, just send me an email at and I can send it too you. Same for anyone else by the way.

    By Blogger Pale Morning Dun - Errant Knight de la Maza, at 10:59 AM  

  • I have both of the Schiller gambit books. I also play the Nf6 line. I love the Icelandic gambit and before I started playing the Bishop's / Vienna I was winning more games as black. I will consider playing the French in the future. I have had a lot of fun games with the Nimzowitsch defence though.

    I tried some of the gambit white openings but why give a pawn away when with a good strong opening you can get and keep the initiative. I do like the Halasz gambit though. I was studying the Goring gambit for while but the better players would just defend and trade off to an end game where they have the advantage. This would have been a fun opening several hundred points ago.

    I am a poor memorizer so for the openings I mostly need a general idea of how it should be played and be aware of any tricky lines.

    I have never heard of some of the gambits tempo plays I will have to check them out.

    By Blogger phorku, at 12:25 PM  

  • 2.e5 is MADDENING! i can't figure it out! i win less than 10% of the games i play in the variation constantly tripping over my pieces and TRYING in vain to castle into danger OR get rid of those annoying pawns that keep one from being able to develop one's pieces.

    as a tactical player, i despise 2.e5 and have taken to calling it the weasel variation. playing the french is EVEN WORSE!

    the c5 move makes no sense to me either as it does nothing to get any pieces developed

    it's making me want to quit playing as you can only lose to so many 1100 players before move 25 without going insane

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:41 AM  

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