Are there any tricky, unusual replies by White against the Scandinavian Defense? I mean, avoiding 1. e4 d5 2. exd5, since, especially after 2... Nf6, for what I know, most of the tricks are on Black's side.

How about 1. e4 d5 2. e5!? or other unusual things like this one... a gambit maybe?

I am not asking for theoretical soundness but for surprise effect, especially for blitz or rapid games.

Is there any reasonably detailed analysis of a few of these lines on the Net or in published books, DVDs, etc.

  • 2
    1. e4 d5 2. e5 looks like a better French for Black after 2... Bf5 and 3... e6 because the light-squared bishop immediately gets outside the pawn chain.
    – Cleveland
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 19:48
  • If you're looking for entertaining games, try 2. Nf3, the Tennison gambit. It is covered in this video. You might enjoy some of the entertaining surprises that pop out of it. Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 5:49
  • How important is it that the alternative is good? Because 2.exd5 is definitely the best move. Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 8:13
  • I think I already explained why in my question: surprise value, especially for blitz / rapid. 2.exd5 may be the best move, but after 2...Nf6 Black has most of the tricks, 3.c4 e6 and 3.d4 Bg4 being just two of them, not to mention the recently popular 2...Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6. Commented Mar 18, 2016 at 19:40

4 Answers 4


Spielmann Gambit

[Event "?"]
[ECO "B02"]
[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/ b - - 0 1"]

[Setup "1"]

1. e4 d5 2. Nc3 (2...d4 {Probably the best move} 3. Nce2 {And probably the only reasonable retreat. White is losing the advantage of playing as White side here, that's true. That's why this is an 'unusual' reply. Both sides gonna fight for e5 square in this position. White can go for f2f4 and Ng1-f3.}) Nf6 3. e5 Nfd7 ( 3... d4 {Black dodges the gambit, resulting and open, even game with even material} 4. exf6 dxc3 5. fxg7 cxd2+ ) 4. e6 {Spielmann Gambit! White gives up a pawn to disorganize Blacks pieces, and will try to keep Black disorganized as long as possible. White has also good attacking possibilities on king side.} fxe6
5. d4 g6 (5... e5? { Trying to free up immediately, but... } 6.dxe5 e6 (6... Nxe5? 7. Qxd5 {Black has no material advantage and white has better position}) { Black gave up his extra pawn for reaching this defensive position. Worthy? I don't think so. White has a good play without giving up material.} ) {I think this is the best move for Black here. Fianchettoing bishop would give black a nice control over black squares in the center. Also ...g6 move closes e8-h5 diagonal, which will be used by white queen in some variations}

This is my favorite and totally awesome for a white player who wants to get initiative and attack.

After 5.d4, white plays to maintain control of central black squares, avoiding blacks freeing move ...e5, not letting black to develop, and attack from king-side using f7.

  • 1
    What is White to do after 1. e4 d5 2. Nc3 d4? Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 17:39
  • Definitely one of the most interesting and playable ways of declining the Scandinavian. Ditto @A.N.Other's comment - would be nice to see some lines after 2.. d4 also. Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 18:20
  • @A.N.Other Forgot to add it, I am going to edit.
    – ferit
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 19:25
  • After2. ... d4, White plays Nce2 and play is similar to Nimzowitsch with colours reversed.
    – Mike Jones
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 11:03
  • @MikeJones That's true.
    – ferit
    Commented Mar 19, 2016 at 16:44

1.e4 d5 2.d4 tranposes to the Blackmar-Diemer gambit (1.d4 d5 2.e4 dxe4 3.Nc3)

  • 1
    and 2. ... e6/c6 to French/Caro Kann defences :)
    – sharcashmo
    Commented Mar 17, 2016 at 14:33

I play 1.e4 d5 2.d3 dxe4 3.dxe4

  • I like this idea, although it's hard to fight for a real advantage in the middlegame then. Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 9:07
  • @A.N.Other Actually, it is quite effective in gaining advantage in the middlegame because I am more experienced in this type of position than my opponents because I play it all the time. My usual defense for black is 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 e5 allowing the queens to be exchanged. With huge experience with this black line I am actually already fighting for a real advantage against the Scandinavian in 3+0 blitz. Commented Apr 7, 2019 at 15:35
  • @DrCapablasker If you like that line, have a look at 1.d4 d6 2.c4 e5! if you haven't yet!
    – David
    Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 7:14
  • @David But I play that too :) Commented Apr 8, 2019 at 7:27

1.e4 d5 2.Nf3 transposes into the Tenison Ganbit (1.Nf3 d5 2.e4).

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