The Center Counter Defense:

1.e4 d5

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "1.e4 d5"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Scandinavian Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B01"] [Annotator "Kestenberg,Tal"] [PlyCount "2"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [SourceDate "2018.02.13"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.02.13"] 1. e4 d5 {[%cal Yd5e4] The Center Counter, or Scandinavian Defense. One of the oldest recorded openings, seen as early as the game De Castellvi, F - Vinoles, N, Valencia 1475. This immediate challenge aims to eliminate the opponent's center, and forces the enemy to take action.} (1... c6 {[%cal Gd7d5] to support the advance in the center is the Caro-Kann defense, which I will mention from time to time as the arrising pawn formations (which guide play, pawns are the soul of chess according to Philidor!) are similar.}) *

2.e5

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "2.e5"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Scandinavian Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B01"] [Annotator "Kestenberg,Tal"] [PlyCount "8"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [SourceDate "2018.02.13"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.02.13"] 1. e4 d5 {[%cal Yd5e4]} {The alternatives to the capture in the center are not as challenging.} 2. e5 {Pushing ahead grabs space, but it neglects development and allows black easy mobilization. The defender gets a position similar to one from another sound opening, namely the caro-kann, but with an extra move and therefore this is not considered a great try.} Bf5 {The defender gets an active position by developing the lightsquare bishop outside the pawn chain (rather than move the center pawn locking the bishop passively behind it), and fighting for the center with the c-pawn (before developing the queenside knight, so that they can work together to attack the opponent).} (2... c5 { [%cal Gb8c6,Gc8g4,Gc8f5,Yf5g4] is also good, intending the bring the bishop and knight out next} 3. Nf3 {allows the additional option to pin} (3. c3 Nc6) 3... Bg4) (2... e6 $6 $14 {[%cal Rc8e6] is not the best way to develop as it shuts the bishop out.}) (2... Nc6 $6 {[%csl Rc7][%cal Rc7c5] is not ideal development because it blocks the pawn from coming to the center.}) (2... c6 { [%cal Rc7c6,Rc6c5] resembles a Caro-Kann defense, in which the defender must spent another move with their pawn to reach the center, a tempo we can of course save here.}) 3. d4 e6 4. Nf3 c5 {[%cal Gb8c6]} *

2.Nc3

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "2.Nc3"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Scandinavian Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "A00"] [Annotator "Kestenberg,Tal"] [PlyCount "6"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [SourceDate "2018.02.13"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.02.13"] 1. e4 d5 {[%cal Yd5e4]} 2. Nc3 {defending and counterattacking is another option, but this is easily delt with and the defender has numerous reasonable continuations. The simplest are to either eliminate the enemy center pawn, or attack their knight by advancing, the choice is a matter of taste.} dxe4 (2... d4 {Grabbing space and forcing the enemy knight to retreat is also good.} 3. Nce2 $8 ({The natural move} 3. Nd5 $6 {centralizing the knight leaves it stranded after} e5 {[%csl Rb4,Rc3,Rd5,Re3,Rf4][%cal Gc7c6] when it has no escape.}) 3... e5 4. Ng3 {In this position one should note the move} Be6 $1 { [%csl Rf1][%cal Rf1c4] to hinder the development of the enemy bishop infront of its pawn.}) 3. Nxe4 {Here development can be completed by bringing the lightsquare bishop out, or preparing to bring out the kingside knight.} Nd7 { [%cal Gg8f6] is a good move, with the idea to support the kingside knight's advance without allowing the ruining of the pawn structure} (3... Bf5 { Bringing the bishop out is the main alternative, which could lead to Caro-Kann like positions, with a tempo saved.} 4. Ng3 (4. Qf3 $5 {isn't critical, but would keep play original}) 4... Bg6 5. Nf3 Nd7 {[%cal Rf3e5]}) *

2.exd5

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "2.exd5"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Scandinavian Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B01"] [Annotator "Kestenberg,Tal"] [PlyCount "4"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [SourceDate "2018.02.13"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.02.13"] 1. e4 d5 {[%cal Yd5e4]} 2. exd5 {The best option, highlighting the last move's drawback, which is that the queen must recapture exposing it to attack. Things are however not so simple and the possible attacks against the queen have their own downsides which offer the defender some salvation.} Qxd5 ({The alternative is to aim to recapture the pawn with the knight} 2... Nf6 {However this line is questionable as it allows the opponent to establish a strong pawn center for little in return} 3. d4 ({There are no serious problems after} 3. Nc3 Nxd5) ({and} 3. c4 {Is a bit greedy if the opponent intends to try to maintain their extra pawn.} c6 $1 {A strong move, offering a pawn to develop and attacking the center} 4. dxc6 $6 ({Better is} 4. d4 {when the game again reaches Caro-Kann channels, in this case the Panov - Botvinnik variation after} cxd5) 4... Nxc6 $44 {[%cal Ge7e5] And there is more than enough free development and positional compensation for a pawn, I have seen an example that continued...} 5. d3 e5 6. Bg5 Bc5 7. Nc3 O-O 8. Ne4 $2 {white tried to attack when they should have been making defensive and developing moves, swift punishment followed.} Nxe4 $3 9. Bxd8 Bxf2+ 10. Ke2 Nd4# {A checkmate made famous by the ancient French player, and mentor of the great Philidor, Sire de Légal}) 3... Nxd5 4. c4 $14 {is difficult to defend}) *

3.c4?!

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "3.c4?!"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Scandinavian Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B01"] [Annotator "Kestenberg,Tal"] [PlyCount "10"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [SourceDate "2018.02.13"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.02.13"] 1. e4 d5 {[%cal Yd5e4]} 2. exd5 Qxd5 {Here the less critical alternatives should also be examined as some precise moves must be known in order to disarm them.} 3. c4 $6 {[%cal Gc4d5,Yd2d4] has good intentions, to establish a pawn duo in the center with tempo, but concretely poses no real threat as the defender can take the sting out of the position} Qe4+ $1 {the check is a bit awkward to defend, white is forced to trade queens and fight to equalize} 4. Qe2 ({If} 4. Be2 {then} Qxg2 $15) ({and on} 4. Ne2 Qxc4 $15) 4... Qxe2+ 5. Bxe2 Nc6 $15 {[%cal Gc8f5,Ye8c8]} *

3.d4

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "3.d4"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Scandinavian Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B01"] [Annotator "Kestenberg,Tal"] [PlyCount "48"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [SourceDate "2018.02.13"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.02.13"] 1. e4 d5 {[%cal Yd5e4]} 2. exd5 Qxd5 {The simple occupation of the center} 3. d4 {delaying or perhaps avoiding the attack against the queen allows the defender to equalize with the central strike} e5 $1 4. dxe5 {The capture in the center sees the defender take over the initiative after spoiling the enemy castling rights, with fantastic play for a pawn} ({Alternatively} 4. Nf3 {defeding the pawn is a logical option, in this case} Nc6 $1 {active defense is the solution, with rapid development black gets a good game} 5. Nc3 ({No better is} 5. dxe5 Qxd1+ 6. Kxd1 Bg4 $15 { [%cal Ge8c8,Yg4d1,Yc6e5] when black is doing well}) ({The defender is also okay after} 5. c3 Bg4 6. Be2 exd4 7. cxd4 Bb4+ 8. Nc3 Bxf3 9. Bxf3 Qc4 $1 { [%cal Yc4f1,Yc4c3,Yc4d4] a position that can arrise from other openings aswell, first seen in the game: Marshall, F - Capablanca, J, Lake Hopatcong 1926} 10. Be3 Bxc3+ 11. bxc3 Qxc3+ 12. Kf1 Qc4+ 13. Kg1 Nge7 14. Rc1 Qxa2 15. Ra1 Qc4 16. Rc1 {and the players agreed a draw}) 5... Bb4 $1 {black mustn't waste time, a pin keeps queen centralized.} 6. Bd2 {Now black is forced to part with the bishop pair, but in doing so they strengthen their control over the lightsquares} Bxc3 {play takes on a forcing nature} 7. Bxc3 e4 8. Ne5 Nxe5 9. dxe5 Ne7 10. Qxd5 Nxd5 {with level chances in the endgame}) ({If instead} 4. Nc3 {attacking the queen, then the typical reply} Bb4 $1 {pinning to maintian the queen's position and renew the threat to the pawn is best, and if the defender keeps up the rapid development they will be fine.} ({Rather than} 4... Qxd4 5. Qxd4 exd4 6. Nb5 $14 {[%cal Gb5c7,Gb5d4] which is a bit better for white})) 4... Qxd1+ (4... Qxe5+ {is also fine, with about even chances for both sides in a dry positioin}) 5. Kxd1 Nc6 6. f4 Bf5 7. c3 ({Or} 7. Nf3 O-O-O+ $1 8. Bd2 f6 $1 $44) 7... O-O-O+ $1 {long castle activates the rook with a tempo} 8. Ke1 f6 $1 $44 {A typical motif, offering the pawn to bring the pieces into play before the enemy can coordinate. One instructive grandmaster encounter continued:} 9. Bb5 fxe5 10. Bxc6 bxc6 {initiative is the most important factor here, long term considerations such as pawnstructure may never play a role} 11. fxe5 Bc5 12. Nf3 Nf6 $1 {the fastest development strategy, supported by tactical ideas} 13. Bg5 (13. exf6 Rhe8+ {wins}) 13... h6 14. Bh4 g5 15. Bf2 Bxf2+ 16. Kxf2 Ng4+ 17. Kg3 $2 h5 $1 {the king finds itself in danger, the active pieces are overwhelming} 18. h4 gxh4+ 19. Nxh4 Bh7 20. Nf3 Rhg8 21. Rxh5 $2 Nf6+ $1 22. Rg5 Ne4+ 23. Kh4 Nxg5 24. Nxg5 Rd1 $1 { And white soon gave up in De Firmian,N - Granda Zuniga,J Amsterdam 1996} *

3.Nf3

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "3.Nf3"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Scandinavian Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B01"] [Annotator "Kestenberg,Tal"] [PlyCount "70"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [SourceDate "2018.02.13"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.02.13"] 1. e4 d5 {[%cal Yd5e4]} 2. exd5 Qxd5 {The main alternative to the mainline is} 3. Nf3 {With this simple development white may have the idea to save the attack against the queen for a better moment, or perhaps to occupy the center with a duo of pawns, and by holding back their pawn they dont provide an immediate target. The defender should immeadiately begin fighting for control of the center by coordinating their forces against it, aided by the usual rapid development} Bg4 $1 {[%csl Gd4][%cal Yg4d1] this pin is the start of the right plan for the defender, which is to quickly develop the queenside, pressurizing the center with the idea to long castle} 4. Be2 (4. Nc3 {can be answered} Qe6+ $1 {when white must exchange queens to avoid structural damage, and black is fine} 5. Qe2 (5. Be2 $6 Bxf3 $1 6. gxf3 $15) 5... Qxe2+ 6. Bxe2 Nc6 {[%cal Ge8c8]}) 4... Nc6 5. d4 (5. h3 {is well met} Bxf3 $1 6. Bxf3 {and} Qe5+ $1 {forcing a concession} 7. Qe2 ({Otherwise the joiins the fray as in:} 7. Be2 Nd4) ({Or} 7. Kf1 Nd4 {setting the trap} 8. Bxb7 $2 Qb5+ $1) 7... Qxe2+ 8. Bxe2 $11) ({and on} 5. Nc3 Qd7 {is a good place for the queen, keeping pressure on the center, for instance} 6. h3 Bxf3 7. Bxf3 O-O-O 8. O-O e5 ({Or simply} 8... Nd4 $11) 9. d3 f5 {[%cal Gg8f6,Gc6d4] and black went on to win with a decent result from the opening in the top level grandmaster game Morozevich, A - Kramnik, V Moscow 2009}) 5... O-O-O $1 { the most challenging, black continues to pile up on the center, and the rook is placed opposite the enemy queen which can often prove dangerous} 6. Be3 ({If } 6. Nc3 Qf5 {puts some pressure against the enemy center, it is white who must be careful not to come away worse here} 7. h3 (7. Be3 Nf6 {white is experiencing unpleasant pressure} 8. h3 (8. O-O e5) 8... Bxf3 9. Bxf3 Nxd4 $1 { tactics make use of the rook opposite the queen} 10. Bxd4 e5 $15 {pin to win}) (7. O-O Nf6 8. Be3 e5 $15 {is good for black}) (7. d5 {can be answered with the cool} e6 $1 $15) 7... Bxf3 8. Bxf3 Qf6 (8... Nf6 9. Bxc6 Qe6+)) (6. c4 { can also be answered} Qf5 {with some tactical ideas in mind, for example} 7. Be3 (7. O-O {runs into the shot} Nxd4 $1 8. Nxd4 Bxe2 9. Qxe2 Rxd4) 7... Bxf3 8. Bxf3 Nxd4 $1 {and black gets the piece back after} 9. Bxd4 Qe6+ 10. Be2 Qe4) 6... e5 $1 {a key move, with this thematic strike the defender gets sufficient counterplay} 7. c4 (7. Nc3 Qa5 $1 {best} ({in this case it is not necessary or most accurate to play} 7... Bb4 8. O-O Bxc3 {when black must give up the bishop and open lines to their king} 9. bxc3 Nf6) 8. Nxe5 Bxe2 9. Qxe2 Nxe5 10. dxe5 Qxe5 $11 {with an equal position}) (7. dxe5 {poses no challenge} Qxd1+ 8. Bxd1 Nxe5 $11 {offers quick equality}) 7... Qa5+ 8. Bd2 Bb4 9. d5 (9. Nxe5 { would lose to} Bxe2 10. Nxc6 {and now} Re8 $1 {e.g.} 11. Nxa5 Bxc4+ 12. Qe2 Rxe2+ $19) 9... Bxf3 $1 {securing a post for the knight in the center} ({ not falling for the elementary "rubber band trick"} 9... Nd4 $4 10. Nxd4 Bxe2 11. Nxe2 $19) 10. Bxf3 Nd4 11. Nc3 {and now one high level encounter continued: } Qa6 $5 12. b3 Qa5 13. Rc1 f5 14. O-O Nf6 15. g3 Kb8 16. Bg2 Rhe8 $15 { and black won the opening battle with the more active prospects, but their advantage eventually dissapated} 17. Re1 h6 18. Re3 a6 19. h3 Nd7 20. Be1 Nc5 21. Kh1 g5 22. f4 exf4 23. Rxe8 Rxe8 24. Qxd4 Rxe1+ 25. Rxe1 Bxc3 26. Re8+ Ka7 27. Qf2 fxg3 28. Qxg3 Bd4 29. d6 cxd6 30. Qxd6 Qc3 31. Kh2 Qa1 32. Qb8+ Kb6 33. Qd8+ Ka7 34. Qb8+ Kb6 35. Qd8+ Ka7 {1/2-1/2 (35) Leko,P (2751)-Ivanchuk,V (2779) Mukachevo 2009} *

3.Nc3

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "3.Nc3"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Scandinavian Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B01"] [Annotator "Kestenberg,Tal"] [PlyCount "6"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [SourceDate "2018.02.13"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.02.13"] 1. e4 d5 {[%cal Yd5e4]} 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 {[%cal Gc3d5] The most natural and critical reply, white gains time for their development by attacking the queen. This is of course good for the attacker but it does have a drawback, which is that the knight developend in front of its pawn blocks it and in turn limits strategic possibilities in the battle for the center. The queen must choose where to go, throughout history a few moves have been played with some regularity and have been proven to offer the defender reasonable chances.} Qd8 {An ancient and solid choice, the queen simply retreats to safety. this is not the only choice and there are a couple other moves that deserve mention} (3... Qe6+ {is a dubious move, connected with swinging the queen to the kingside which is time consuming and not particularly safe. A game between worldchampion and talkshow host demonstrated the dangers rather entertainingly: } 4. Be2 Nc6 (4... Qg6 {right away is also played. white should offer the pawn to develop, getting more than enough mobilization to compensate.} 5. Nf3 $1 Qxg2 6. Rg1 Qh3 7. d4 $16 {and white has a large advantage}) 5. d4 {[%cal Gd4d5] threatening to advance with a double attack} Qg6 6. Nf3 $1 {white offers a poisonous pawn} Qxg2 $2 {it is taken and white drums up the winning initiative} 7. Rg1 $36 Qh3 8. d5 Na5 9. Nb5 Qd7 10. Bf4 Nf6 11. Nxc7+ Kd8 12. Ne5 Qxc7 13. Nxf7+ Ke8 14. Bxc7 Kxf7 15. Bxa5 Bf5 16. Qd4 Bxc2 17. Rc1 Be4 18. Rc7 Rd8 19. d6 b6 20. Bc3 Bd5 21. Qe5 Be6 {allowing a win in style} 22. Qxf6+ $1 gxf6 23. Bh5# {1-0 (23) Kasparov,G (2775)-Letterman,D New York 1989}) (3... Qa5 {Is the classical variation, a choice which has been played at the highest level, notably a world championship match between Kasparov,G - Anand,V New York 1995. The queen is placed off to the side avoiding attack and remaining active. This is arguably the most challenging approach, but it has its downsides. It is unclear whether or not it stands up to modern theory and it is more complicated, having amassed a lot of theory, with many options for the attacker that may require precise defense.} {One classic exapmle of poor handling of the defense continued:} 4. Nf3 Bg4 5. h3 Bh5 6. d4 Nf6 7. g4 Bg6 8. Ne5 Nbd7 9. Nc4 Qa6 10. Bf4 Qe6+ 11. Ne3 {white has gained a clear advantage chasing around the enemy queen for tempi, and now the opponent collapses under pressure} O-O-O $2 12. d5 $1 Qb6 13. Nc4 $1 Qb4 14. a3 Qc5 15. Be3 {Alekhine, A - Schroeder, A New York 1929}) (3... Qd6 {Is a modern approach and another attempt to keep the queen more active, but it too has its flaws and is more demanding}) *

4.Bc4

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "4.Bc4"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Scandinavian Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B01"] [Annotator "Kestenberg,Tal"] [PlyCount "41"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [SourceDate "2018.02.13"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.02.13"] 1. e4 d5 {[%cal Yd5e4]} 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 {[%cal Gc3d5]} Qd8 4. Bc4 {An age old and still viable choice, developing and taking aim at the king. In this case black must be aware that the most natural development, which is the most popular set up in other main lines, runs into a trap and that therefore a different setup must be played.} (4. d4 {Is the most played move, when black will usually develop as follows} Nf6 5. Nf3 (5. Bc4 Bg4 $5) 5... Bg4) ({ Another popular move order is} 4. Nf3 {here play will probably transpose to the main lines as after} Bg4) 4... Nf6 {this flexible move is still a good start} (4... c5 $5 {is a little played move but it recieves the computer's approval}) 5. Nf3 (5. d4 Bg4) 5... Bg4 $2 {this blunder was played in one of the earliest games of chess, and has been repeated ever since.} ({a better move is} 5... a6 $5 {a flexible waiting move, black may grab some space on the queenside intending to fianchetto their problem bishop, but they keep options open in case another oppertunity arrises} 6. a4 {aimed against the queenside expansion, but this weakens some squares, and justifies black in playing} ({ If instead} 6. Ne5 {then simply} e6 {and black intends to strick at the center, as in} 7. d4 ({Or} 7. O-O c5 {[%cal Gc8b7,Ge8g8]}) 7... c5) ({On other moves black can develop the light square bishop} 6. d4 b5) ({Or} 6. O-O b5) 6... Nc6 $5 (6... c5 {first is also playable}) 7. h3 Bf5) 6. h3 {In the ancient game the player missed the tactical shot, in fact there are two solutions} (6. Ne5 $1 {offering the queen to threaten checkmate!} Bxd1 ({if} 6... Bh5 7. Qxh5 $1 { removes the guard} Nxh5 8. Bxf7#) 7. Bxf7#) ({There is also the posibility of a fork trick} 6. Bxf7+ $1 {exposes the king} Kxf7 {for} 7. Ne5+) {the game continued} 6... Bxf3 7. Qxf3 {and black proceeded to blunder again} e6 $2 8. Qxb7 Nbd7 9. Nb5 Rc8 10. Nxa7 Nb6 11. Nxc8 Nxc8 12. d4 Nd6 13. Bb5+ Nxb5 14. Qxb5+ Nd7 15. d5 exd5 16. Be3 Bd6 17. Rd1 Qf6 18. Rxd5 Qg6 19. Bf4 Bxf4 20. Qxd7+ Kf8 21. Qd8# {1-0 (21) De Castellvi,F-Vinoles,N Valencia 1475} *

4.Nf3

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "4.Nf3"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Scandinavian Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B11"] [Annotator "Kestenberg,Tal"] [PlyCount "55"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [SourceDate "2018.02.13"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.02.13"] 1. e4 d5 {[%cal Yd5e4]} 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 {[%cal Gc3d5]} Qd8 {Another popular move order here is} 4. Nf3 {here play will probably transpose to the main lines as after} Bg4 $1 {pinning the knight and developing the problem bishop} 5. h3 $5 {here there are some independent options} ({but white doesn't really have much better than} 5. d4 {when play transposes with} Nf6) (5. Be2 Nf6) 5... Bxf3 6. Qxf3 c6 {which is similar, though there is a unique option in } 7. Ne4 $5 (7. Bc4 {instead can be met} e6) 7... Nd7 {preparing to develop the kingside knight without allowing doubled pawns} 8. d4 ({Fisher once tried to directly refute the defender's play but it should have backfired} 8. Ng5 $5 Ngf6 9. Qb3 e6 10. Qxb7 {this is very greedy, white will be on the defensive after} Nd5 $1 11. Ne4 $6 Nb4 $44 {as in Fischer,R-Cardoso,R Portoroz 1958, though there black misplayed the position and lost}) 8... Ngf6 9. Bd3 Nxe4 10. Qxe4 e6 ({it is best to proceed with the completion of development, for example black was ok in:} 10... Nf6 11. Qh4 e6 12. O-O Qc7 13. Bf4 Bd6 14. Bxd6 Qxd6 15. c3 O-O {Gligoric,S - Vidmar,M Ljubljana 1947 despite later losing}) 11. O-O Be7 12. c3 Nf6 13. Qh4 Nd5 14. Qg4 Bf6 15. Re1 {now black starts to go astray, simple development would have been ok} Qb6 $6 16. c4 Nb4 17. Rxe6+ $1 { white now started an attack before black completed their development, and the defender failed to hold} fxe6 18. Qxe6+ Kf8 19. Bf4 Rd8 20. c5 Nxd3 21. cxb6 Nxf4 22. Qg4 Nd5 23. bxa7 Ke7 24. b4 Ra8 25. Re1+ Kd6 26. b5 Rxa7 27. Re6+ Kc7 28. Rxf6 {1-0 (27) Tal,M-Portisch,L Bled 1965} *

4.d4

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "4.d4"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Scandinavian Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "B01"] [Annotator "Kestenberg,Tal"] [PlyCount "100"] [EventDate "2015.??.??"] [SourceDate "2018.02.13"] [SourceVersionDate "2018.02.13"] 1. e4 d5 {[%cal Yd5e4]} 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 {[%cal Gc3d5]} Qd8 4. d4 {This straight forward occupation of the center is the most popular move in the position and the main line, though others may transpose.} Nf6 $1 {This noncommittal move is the best way to develop, the defender stays flexible and keeps options open} ({the alternatives are rather poor, a famous example of a disaster for the defender continued:} 4... g6 {this plan has been forgotten in modern practice, as we will see it gives the opponent a free hand to attack.} 5. Bf4 Bg7 6. Qd2 {[%cal Gd2h6]} Nf6 7. O-O-O c6 8. Bh6 $1 {the start of a typical attacking play, exchange the defensive bishop, open a file for the rook, and in the words of the legend with the with pieces, 'Sac, sac, mate.' - Robert Fischer} O-O 9. h4 $1 Qa5 $2 10. h5 $1 gxh5 11. Bd3 Nbd7 12. Nge2 Rd8 13. g4 Nf8 14. gxh5 Ne6 15. Rdg1 Kh8 16. Bxg7+ Nxg7 17. Qh6 Rg8 18. Rg5 Qd8 19. Rhg1 Nf5 20. Bxf5 {Fischer,R-Robatsch,K Varna 1962}) (4... e6 {[%cal Rc8e6] is another inflexible move which is best delayed to give the bishop the oppetrunity to develop}) (4... Nc6 {isn't stable and invites} 5. d5 {[%csl Rc6] }) 5. Nf3 (5. Bc4 {can also be met with} Bg4 $1 ({Worse is} 5... Bf5 $6 { as was demonstrated by Fischer in:} 6. Qf3 $1 Qc8 7. Bg5 Bxc2 8. Rc1 Bg6 9. Nge2 Nbd7 10. O-O e6 11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. d5 $1 e5 13. Bb5 Be7 14. Ng3 a6 15. Bd3 Qd8 16. h4 h5 17. Bf5 Nb6 18. Nce4 Nxd5 19. Rfd1 c6 20. Nc3 Qb6 21. Rxd5 cxd5 22. Nxd5 Qxb2 23. Rb1 Qxa2 24. Rxb7 {1-0 (24) Fischer,R-Addison,W Palma de Mallorca 1970}) 6. Nge2 (6. f3 {was played in Fuderer,A-Bronstein,D Kiev 1959, when black was satisfied with the weakness they provoked and went back} Bc8 $5) 6... e6 7. O-O c6 8. Bg5 Be7 9. h3 Bxe2 10. Nxe2 Nbd7 {Martos Martin,J-Karpov, A Villarrobledo 1997}) (5. Bg5 {[%cal Yc8f5,Yd1f3,Gd1d2,Ge1c1] Is another try, an agressive set up which was first played in Lasker,E-Olly,E New York 1893, but black is doing OK} c6 $5 {a flexible move, keeping options open} ({the dubious} 5... Nd5 $6 {was played in the aforementioned game, but it shouldn't be repeated}) 6. Qd2 {this is usually white's idea, intending long caslte. This isn't too critical however, as black has good squares for the pieces starting with} Bf5) 5... Bg4 $1 {[%cal Gb8d7,Yc7c6,Ye7e6] The best way to develop the forces. This solves the 'bad bishop' problem, and intends now to errect a modest center, placing the pawns on lightsquares, with a solid position and easy development} 6. h3 {this is the critical test, putting the question to the bishop} ({if white simply develops black can follow suit} 6. Be2 e6 7. O-O c6 {[%cal Gb8d7,Ge8g8]}) 6... Bxf3 {the simplest solution, black gives up the bishop pair, but in return they have easy development, and a solid position without weaknesses.} (6... Bh5 $6 {runs into trouble, the opponent can start a spike attack, as in:} 7. g4 $1 Bg6 8. Ne5 $1 {and now if} e6 9. Bg2 c6 10. h4 $1 {Threatening to trap the bishop is very unpleasant, white has a large advantage here so this should be avoided.}) 7. Qxf3 c6 { defending against the opponent's threat and placing the pawns on the color of the missing bishop, now the enemy must tend to their pawn} 8. Ne2 {an offbeat move which was played at the higest level rather recently, white intends to grab space and bring their forces to the kingside. The following game is a nice demonstration of the opening's potential:} ({The more popular alternatives are objectively stronger:} 8. Be3 $5 {a logical try and the most popular, developing, defending the center, and enabling castling on either side } e6 9. Bd3 {flexible} ({if instead} 9. O-O-O {then black can force matters somewhat with} Bb4 $1 {[%cal Gb4c3] threatening to spoil the enemy castle, and if} 10. Ne4 Nxe4 11. Qxe4 {and now black can neutralize the positon with} Qd5 $1 {[%cal Gd5e4,Gd5a2]}) (9. g4 {can also be met} Bb4) 9... Nbd7 10. O-O (10. O-O-O Bb4) (10. g4 Bb4) 10... Bd6 $14 {[%cal Ge8g8,Yd8c7] This is a typical set up for black, white may have a slight pull but black is solid}) ({white can also offer the pawn to develop an initiative} 8. Bf4 e6 $1 ({it is best to politely decline the offer} 8... Qxd4 9. Nb5 $1 {is problematic, black cannot keep their material, and will come under some serious pressure.} cxb5 10. Bxb5+ Nbd7 11. Qxb7 {the position is wide open, black is in trouble} Rd8 12. Bc7 Qe4+ 13. Qxe4 Nxe4 14. O-O-O $16) 9. O-O-O Bb4 $5 {a typical move when the opponent castles long, threatening to damage the castle} 10. Ne2 {and now black has a noteworty simplifying operation} ({play is similar after} 10. Ne4 Nxe4 11. Qxe4 Qd5 $1) ({on} 10. Kb1 {the defender can simplify with} Bxc3 11. Qxc3 Nd5) 10... Qd5 $1 {as in Sethuraman,S -Bartholomew,J chess.com INT 2017, where Youtube streamer and strong player in his own right beat a strong grandmaster with black}) (8. Qd3 {has also been played by strong players} e6 9. Be2 Nbd7 10. O-O Bd6 11. Bg5 Qc7 {[%cal Ge8g8,Ge8c8] black simply develops as planned} 12. Ne4 Bh2+ 13. Kh1 Bf4 {the exchange of an enemy bishop is a strategic goal for the defender} 14. Nxf6+ Nxf6 15. Bxf6 gxf6 16. c4 O-O-O {[%csl Ge2,Gf4][%cal Yg8g2, Rh7h5,Rh5h4] a successful opening, in this position with both opposite castling and opposite color bishops is good counterplay, black even went on to beat a very strong player in:} 17. Bf3 Kb8 18. Rad1 h5 19. b4 Rd7 20. b5 c5 21. d5 Be5 22. Rde1 h4 23. a4 Qa5 24. Qa3 Qd2 25. Re3 Qb4 26. Qa2 exd5 27. Rd3 Rhd8 28. Rc1 dxc4 29. Rxd7 Rxd7 30. Qc2 c3 31. Rd1 Qb2 32. Be4 Rd2 33. Rxd2 cxd2 34. Qd1 Qd4 {0-1 (34) Karjakin,S (2786)-Iotov,V (2553) Tromsoe 2014}) 8... e6 9. g4 {in this game white took an agressive aproach, grabbing space on the kingside} Qd5 $1 {a thematic reply, with this typical queen sortie black neutralizes the opponent's aggressive intentions} 10. Bg2 Nbd7 11. Qg3 Qc4 $1 {another common motif, when the bishop leaves the queen harasses the area it left behind.} 12. Qb3 Qxb3 13. axb3 Bd6 {a normal position for the line, the defender has less space and the inferior minor piece, but they can take solace in their lack of weaknesses, some darksquare control, and easy development} 14. c4 a6 15. Be3 O-O-O 16. O-O-O Rhe8 17. Ng3 Nf8 18. Bf3 Ng6 19. h4 Bf4 {exchanging a set of pieces, especially an enemy bishop, can ease the defender's task with the lack of space} 20. h5 Bxe3+ 21. fxe3 Ne7 22. e4 h6 $1 23. e5 Nh7 {black got enough out of the opening and went on to out play the opponent in:} 24. Ne4 Rf8 25. Nd6+ Kc7 26. Bg2 Ng5 27. Rhf1 f6 28. Kc2 fxe5 29. dxe5 Nc8 30. c5 Ne7 31. b4 Nd5 32. Bxd5 cxd5 33. b5 axb5 34. Nxb5+ Kc6 35. Nd6 Nf3 36. b4 Ra8 37. Ra1 Rxa1 38. Rxa1 Nxe5 39. Ra7 Rb8 40. Ra3 b6 41. Ra7 bxc5 42. Ra6+ Kc7 43. bxc5 Nd7 44. Ra7+ Kc6 45. g5 Nxc5 46. Nf7 d4 47. Ne5+ Kd5 48. Nd7 d3+ 49. Kc1 Nxd7 50. Rxd7+ Ke4 {Caruana, F - Carlsen, M, Tromso 2014} *