Over the last 25 years the Scandinavian Defence, previously thought to be a somewhat substandard response to 1 e4, has emerged from the doldrums and has been deployed with success by some of the world's strongest Grandmasters, including Larsen, Curt Hansen, Rogers, Shirov and Anand. The most usual form of this defence has been 1 e4 d5 2 ed5 Qd5 3 Nc3 Qa5 with Black subsequently deploying his Queen Bishop at f5 or g4, but a lot of other schemes have also been tried out. The current theoretical status of 3...Qa5 remains good, with, for example, Vishy Anand using it to achieve an excellent position in a game from his 1995 World Cup Championship match with Gary Kasparov. After 1 e4 d5 2 ed5 Qd5 3 Nc3 Qd6!? is one modern sideline that has been growing in popularity. Black often envisages a radically different middlegame to the stonewalling so frequently associated with the older 3...Qa5 middlegames. Recent games with a swift...a6 and...b5, others with...Bg4,...Nc6 and 0-0-0, and even the Black Queen foraging early on into the White kingside are studied, and it is clear that the crust has yet to form on this topical interpretation of the opening. International Master Andrew Martin ha
James Plaskett was British champion in 1990. He is the author of Playing to Win, The Grand Prix Attack, The Sicilian Taimanov, The English Defence and Can You Be a Tactical Chess Genius? He lives in Alicante, Spain with his wife, the poet and authoress Fiona Pitt-Kethley.