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Starting Out: The Scandinavian (Starting Out Series) Paperback – 2 Oct 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman Chess; 1 edition (2 Oct. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857445821
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857445824
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 16.1 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 342,561 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Houska has provided an excellent and much needed repertoire for the Caro-Kann player, and I would recommend it to anyone including myself! Evan Kreider reviewing Jovanka Houska s Play the Caro-Kann for Chessville.com. Houska writes clearly and effectively and is especially good at explaining thematic ideas. International Master John Donaldson reviewing Jovanka Houska s Play the Caro-Kann."

About the Author

In 2006 Jovanka Houska won the English Chess Federation Player of the Year award, the first time a female chess player had received this prestigious recognition. Highlights of her career so far include winning the European Girls Junior Championship, representing the English team at numerous Chess Olympiads and qualifying for the 2006 Women's World Championship. Her first book for Everyman Chess, Play the Caro-Kann, was very well received by both reviewers and the chess public.

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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By K. Sullivan on 13 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been playing the "Dynamic 3...Qd6" variation for a number of years now, as recommended in Gary Lane's excellent "Ideas Behind Modern Chess Openings: Black". I was hooked pretty much straight away. I have also seen Andrew Martin's DVD The Scandinavian the Easy Way (both Edition 1 and Edition 2), which recommends the 3...Qd6 variation. I have also read the Scandinavian works by Plaskett and Emms with a view to playing the variation. I also own both editions of Michael Melts' "Dynamic 3...Qd6" excellent work. In summary, I would say that if you want to play this variation, then Lane is a good primer but a little short on detail, and Melts is the bible (definitive content but mainly unreadable). Houska's work falls somewhere in the middle and is therefore essential reading for the 3...Qd6 player. I particularly liked her section on the 6.g3 line which was originally 'refuted' but now found to be alive and kicking. Incidentally, Andrew Martin felt the need to re-issue his DVD after the line against 6.g3 was found wanting! Both Houska and Martin give the same general treatment of this critical line, but Houska's (being a book, not a DVD) is the more thorough. Also, she gives an excellent treatment of the critical 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nf3 line, which has caused me problems in the past, but no more. Finally, the book is basically divided into three sections, the normal 3...Qa5, the dynamic 3...Qd6 and 2...Nf6. I've only read the 3...Qd6 part as that's what I play, but I was impressed that she has managed such a complete coverage and it's a relatively large book for Starting Out. Incidentally, I would not recommend the Plaskett and Emms books if you intend 3...Qd6, but they are generally good otherwise. In summary, essential reading if you want to play 3...Qd6 (oh, and earlier deviations are also catered for, which Melts ignores.)
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Lee on 5 July 2010
Format: Paperback
A great book on the Scandinavian defence. At times the explanation feels a little too heavy for a "starting out" book, but this is a minor quibble.
All the major lines are covered - 2... Qxd5, (3...Qa5 or 3...Qd6), 2...Nf6 - in a fair amount of detail with lots of example games.
Plenty of hints, tips, and warnings throughout. With one section devoted to crucial knowledge about tricky move orders in the 3...Qa5 variation that White can try to use to gain a tempo.

Compared to this book, both the books by John Emms and James Plaskett seem a little outdated now and not as user friendly. If you want a book on the Scandinavian, get this one. Top marks!
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This book covers all the major variations of the Scandinavian. The material is arranged as follows:

Chapter 1 - Introduction and strategic ideas;
Chapters 2-6 cover 3...Qa5;
Chapters 7-9 cover the more modern 3...Qd6, with some good analysis of the critical 6.g3 lines;
Chapter 10 covers (mainly) 3...Qd8 and 3 Nf3 from white;
Chapters 11-16 cover 2...Nf6, including the dangerous Portuguese Gambit (2...Nf6 3. d4 Bg4!?). Lines with an early c4-c5 from white are given good coverage.

The book is structured around a set of well-chosen illustrative games (71 in total), with many more game references given in the notes. It is clearly laid out with lots of diagrams. The use of 'Warnings', 'Notes' and 'Tips' sections embedded in the text is fun and educational. The author's informal, conversational style makes the book very easy to read.

The book contains some quite deep research and analysis, perhaps more than you'd expect given the 'Starting Out' in the title. I have had the book for a few months now, and haven't noticed any typos or other mistakes yet, which indicates to me that the book has been carefully written and well proof-read.

All-in-all this is an excellent overview of the modern Scandinavian that will benefit players of all levels who are interested in this fascinating, multifaceted, and still quite unusual, opening from the Black or White side.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By L. Hancock on 25 Mar. 2011
Format: Paperback
This is a very clear explaination of how to play the Scandinavian Defence. Its well written and well structured. I have quite a lot of chess books and this is one of my favourites to dip into for reminders.

Definately one to buy.
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5 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sören Östmark on 1 Feb. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Straight to the point of beeing useful, this book carries word about the Scandinavian opening. And you have good overview of all the different variations that puts up an fight for victory. Good!
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