B f

B231) 6 d7 Compared to moving off the d-file, this retreat reduces the impact of having a Rook at d8 smiling at White's Queen (after 0-0-0) - for instance, the d4 pawn may capture with impunity. Seeing that the central pressure is less, the result tends to be a cramped game for Black. 7.d5 More reserved is 7. Ae3 0-0-0 8.& bd2 e6 9.0-0 Ab4 (9 Ae7 10.& e5 M.e2 ll.We2 & d4 * was Kassis-Vandevoort, Belfort 1989) 10. > b3 She8 11.a3 Ad6 12.& bd2 e5 13-d5 & d4 l4.Ad4 ed4 15.& d4...

Introduction

The Center Counter, or Scandinavian Defense, has been around almost from the beginning of modern chess some five hundred years ago. The characteristic moves of the original variation (l.e4 d5 2.ed5 Wd5) took advantage of the increased reach both of the pawns and the newly empowered Queen. The modern variation with 2 M6 gained in popularity throughout the nineteenth century, and for a brief time (c. 1910-1920) some of the world's best players added it to their repertoires, players like...

Le d ed f d Ag A e jLe B lTe

A quiet continuation whose chief appeal is simplicity and rapid development. Even so, Black frequently reaches a position with opposite side castling that gives him excellent attacking chances. Paradoxically, it appears that White's goals in this line - quiet development with a space advantage - are better served by the zwieschenzug 4.Jtb5 )bd7, and only then 5.J.e2 (see Chapter Four). The reason is that Black's troublesome piece activity based on WdS and sc6 is short-circuited, and the tempo...

A trd

Lacking independent significance is 3 > d5 4.d4, which is the main line of the Modern Center Counter. Al) 3 iLg4 If now 4. J,e2 then 4 d5 5.& c3 HTa5 (Blackshould avoid 5 1td7 6.& e5 , and 5 Wf5 6.h3. Instead 5 Mh5 6.0-0 & c6 7.h3 is A2) S Wd5 below). With 5 Wa5 we transpose to a branch of the old main line that is quite comfortable for Black after 6.d4 )c6 7.& e3 0-0-0 8.& d2 Ae2 9.tfe2 Wf5 10.& b3 (Duras-Spielmann, Vienna 1907) 10 e5 11.0-0-0 ed4 12. d4 > d4 13. d4 Ac5 ....

A d

Al) 5-lrh5 Allowing White to force a rather colorless' endgame with 6.Wb5( ). If Black wants a draw this is no drawback (if you'll pardon my punnish). On the other hand, 6. > ge2 c6 7.a3 0-0-0 8.& e3 e5 9.& g3 Wg6 10.1rg6 hg6 ll.de5 & e5 left Black better mobilized in Ferkingstad-D.Ribeiro, Herculane 1994. A2) 5 ttM7(0 This move is more ambitious. Now quiet play by White would let Black seize the initiative with simple moves (e.g. & c6, 0-0-0 and e5). White has a dangerous pawn...

A trfG

Note that the reply 5 Ma5 at once transposes into the historic main line of the Center Counter with 2 Wd5 , when 6.h3 requires either 6 Af3 giving White the Bishop pair, or 6 J.h5 yielding a big initiative after 7.g4 M,g6 8. amp e5. Al 5.-WhS We will examine two possibilities from the diagram shown on the next page Otherwise, 6.jLe3 is a placid continuation. After 6 c6 7.iLb5 e6 8.a3 a draw was agreed in Vorobiov-Ulko, Moscow 1996. For 6. iLe2, see 5 gt c6 below. There is no point in using a...