Center Counter Game

1.e4 d5    a.k.a. Scandinavian Defense

White’s best response is 2.exd5. If White declines the gambit pawn with 2.e5, Black can counter with 2… c5. Now whether, White plays 3.d4, 3.c3, 3.f4, or 3.Nf3, Black can set up a superior French Defense formation because his Queen Bishop is not hemmed in by the King Pawn on e6. E.g.:

1.e4 d5 2.e5 c5 3.c3 Nc6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.d4 e6 or

1.e4 d5 2.e5 c5 3.d4 Nc6 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.c3 e6

 

If White declines the gambit with 2.d3, then:
1.e4 d5 2.d3 dxe4 3.dxe4 Qxd1+ 4.Kxd1 Nc6 with some advantage for black

The best way to play the Center Counter Game is to accept the gambit and take the pawn on d5, i.e. 2.exd5. Black’s two best replies are either 2…Qxd5 or 2…Nf6. Here a few examples on how to play:

If 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 then:
3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6
3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.h3
3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bf5
3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 Bf5 6.Ne5 c6 7.g4
3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 e5
3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 e5 5.dxe5 Bb4 6.Bd2 Nc6 7.Nf3
3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 e5 5.Nf3
3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 e5 5.Nf3 Bg4
3.Nc3 Qa5 4.b4
3.Nc3 Qd6

If 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6, then:
3.c4 e6
3.c4 c6
3.d4
3.d4 Nxd5
3.d4 Nxd5 4. c4 Nb4
3.d4 g6

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