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I started out with a simple opening: 1. e4 d5 2. Nc3 and then the computer played 2... d4, surprising me, as I had never encountered it before. Since then, I've been trying to analyse the possible ways to see if I can make this turn in my favor or if it simply means my knight is going to go on a less active square; so I wanted to know what was the best way to counter this move. Please note, I am a casual player trying to get into more intermediate/advanced chess and if you have any programs or online suggestions on teaching me openings I would love to hear them. Thanks.

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    Note that 2. Nc3 is much less common than 2. exd5. By playing 2... d4, Black gains a spacial advantage, so White's best bet may be to attempt to undermine Black's center. Consider also the Van Geet Attack with Nce2-g3, usually activating both knights on the kingside. – Lily Chung Apr 2 '13 at 23:28
  • You're in luck. It just so happens that one of my favorite chess openings websites latest video is on the Scandanavian: chessopenings.com/scandinavian – xaisoft Apr 3 '13 at 0:44
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    To expand Arafinwe's answer, after Nce2-g3 the Van Geet Attack usually puts pressure on Black kingside with Nf3 then Bc4 (or Bb5), 0-0, d3. Another option is the King's Indian Attack with Nce2, d3, g3, Bg2, f4, Nf3, 0-0. – javatutorial Apr 3 '13 at 6:49
  • Reiterating Arafinwe's point that the overwhelmingly most common move is 2.exd5. Especially if you are a casual player, this makes more sense than getting into lines like the Van Geet where you give Black a lot of central space in return for an attack on the kingside. – dfan Apr 3 '13 at 12:13
  • Agreed with all the above. The reason why you are asking how to deal with the uncomfortable choice you have after 2...d4 is because 2. Nc3 was just a bad move to begin with. 2. exd5 Qxd5 exposes the white queen and gives you a lot of free tempi to chase it around while accelerating your development. It's just too attractive of a move to forgo in favor of 2. Nc3. – flicflac Apr 4 '13 at 11:07
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3.Nce2, followed by Ng3, Nf3, Bc4, O-O, etc. is reasonable.

A thematic game to reference is http://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1186636

In general, however, 2.Nc3 isn't known as the best theoretical response.

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