Best Counter Against the Scandinavian Defense for White
Chess Openings

Best Counter Against the Scandinavian Defense for White

Best Counter Against the Scandinavian Defense for White

Today, I’m excited to share with you a powerful winning line for White against the Scandinavian defense. The Scandinavian defense has gained popularity, especially on the amateur level, making it essential for us to know how to handle it effectively.

Scandinavian Defense: Opening Moves

The Scandinavian defense begins with 1.e4 d5. Your initial response is to take the pawn with 2.exd5, and after the queen recaptures 2…Qxd5, you gain an extra tempo for attack and development with 3.Nc3.

scandinavian defense for white

Here’s the full video lesson:

Below, you can find the variations shown in the video:

3…Qd8 by Black

The most popular move for Black is to drop their queen back with 3…Qd8, which has been played in more than 38 million games. In this critical position, a powerful move is 4.Bc4. This move sets the stage for a dynamic attack.

scandinavian defense for white

If Black plays 5…Bg4

After the moves 4…Nf6 5.Nf3, some of your opponents will play the tempting 5…Bg4 aiming for an aggressive stance, you have a beautiful response:

scandinavian defense for white6.Ne5. Ignore the pin, and after they capture your queen with 6…Bxd1, it leads to a quick checkmate 7.Bxf7#.

Active Pawn Push: 6.d4

Another common response from Black is to play 5…Nc6. Here, you can play 6.d4, creating a threat of pawn going forward to d5. Even if Black tries to counter-attack with 6…Bg4, it backfires after 7.d5, giving you the upper hand.

scandinavian defense for whiteWatch the full video lesson here to see the continuation of this variation.

Passive Move 6…e6

If Black plays more passively with 6…e6, you have a comfortable position. One common continuation is 7.0-0 Bb4, which, despite appearances, is a move in the wrong direction for Black.

scandinavian defense for whiteFind out how in the video here.

Preparing Your Kingside Attack

As the game progresses, you’ll find that you have more space, better activity, and can launch a clear plan of attacking the king’s side after castling.

scandinavian defense for whiteA strategic move is to play 10.Bd3, preparing for a powerful Ne5. This move avoids premature queen exchanges and sets the stage for an aggressive attack.

Exploiting Weakness: h6 and g5

If Black weakens their king with moves like h6 and g5, you can exploit this weakness aggressively. Sacrificing a knight with 12.Nxg5 can lead to a winning position, leveraging the exposed king. See how that could end here – VIDEO LESSON.


By understanding these strategic moves and counter-attacks, you can confidently navigate through the complexities of the Scandinavian defense. For a more in-depth analysis and to master this winning line, check out the video tutorial here.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want GM Igor Smirnov to help you get better at chess, watch this Masterclass.

Free Training

Swipe Up to Get Better at Chess!
How Do GMs Find the Best Moves? Improve FASTER at Chess
Watch Now