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1 a1 rl b1 nl c1 bl d1 ql e1 kl f1 bl g1 nl h1 rl 1
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1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6

The Scandinavian Defense, Modern Variation is a variation of the Scandinavian Defense, and along with the otehr Scandinavian lines is listed under ECO Code B01. The opening moves are:

  1. e4 d5
  2. exd5 Nf6

This variation begins with black opting to delay recapture with the move 2... Nf6. The idea here is to later take with the knight instead of the queen, preventing white from securing a tempo with 3. Nc3. Since the pawn cannot retreat, it can be captured with ease on the next turn.

The main line of this variation begins with white's 3. d4. This allows black to recapture the pawn with 3... Nxd5, but white can kick it back with c4.

Main line:[]

The most active move for black after 4. c4 is Nb6, pressuring the c-pawn. However, since the c-pawn is protected, the move does not actually accomplish much.

Marshall Retreat:[]

Black retreats with 4... Nf6. While more passive than the main line, some see it as superior.

5. Nf3 c5
6. d5 e6

Kiel Variation[]

Black assumes an aggressive but tricky position with 4... Nb4. An ideal move set is:

5. Qa4+ N8c6
6. d5 b5

This is a strong position for black; however, white can instead respond with 6. a3, kicking the knight back. Also available is:

5. a3 N4c6
6. d5 Ne5

This is also beneficial to white, so the Kiel is not recommended for black.

Black is not forced to recapture the pawn with the knight, and may sometimes allow it to survive in order to develop efficiently.

Portugese-Jadoul Variation[]

Black plays 3... Bg4, giving up the d-pawn in order to achieve rapid development and piece activity. However, it can be repelled by the easy move 4. f3.

Richter Variation[]

Black plays 3... g6, a more passive move. Black can develop a strong defense against white, but may find themselves overwhelmed by pawns.

Scandinavian Gambit[]

This gambit begins with the moves 3. c4 c6. White plays c4 to hang onto their extra pawn, and black uses it as an opportunity to develop. White may choose to take with 4. dxc6; however, this is widely considered a mistake, as Nxc6 gives black strong central control. Black may also opt to play 4... e5, the Ross Gambit, which leads into 5. cxb7 Bxb7, also strong development for black, although debatable if it is worth the two pawn cost.

Arguably best for white in response to the gambit is 4. d4 cxd5, which transposes to the Caro-Kann Defence, Panov-Botvinnik Attack.

Icelandic-Palme Gambit[]

If white plays 3. c4, black may choose to play e6 instead of the Scandinavian Gambit. Black chooses an option that allows for faster development, but with a much higher risk to themself. The critical line is:

4. dxe6 Bxe6
5. Nf3 c5

Otehr Variations[]

3. Bb5+ is the Bishop Variation. White plays this in order to delay the loss of their pawn. Black then counters with Bd7, attacking white's bishop. White may then trade bishops with 4. Bxd7 Qxd7.

3. Nf3 is the Knight Variation. It is a versatile move that usually transposes into another of the aforementioned lines.


3. c4 c6 4. d4 cxd5 transposes to the Caro-Kann Defence, Panov-Botvinnik Attack.

3. Nc6 transposes to Alekhine's Defense, Scandinavian Variation.