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The Modern Scandinavian: Themes, Structures & Plans in an Increasingly Popular Chess Opening Paperback – 1 Feb 2011

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: New in Chess (1 Feb. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9056913441
  • ISBN-13: 978-9056913441
  • Product Dimensions: 17.6 x 2.3 x 23.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 752,715 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

There is, without any exaggeration, no book nearly as good as this one (..) The 32-page Theoretical Appendix alone is probably more useful than many fat theory book! --Klaus Kreuzer, Rochade Europa Magazine

Contains a concise repertoire for Black (..) Very useful for players who are just taking up the defence (..) In all, the book contains an amazing amount of high-quality material, and is clearly a labour of love by the authors. It will be the definite book on this opening for a long time. --Joe Petrolito, Australasian Chess Magazine

It's an impressive work and it is clear that a lot of effort has been put in. Fans of 1.e4 d5 will find it required reading, but there is a lot more on offer than merely guiding the Scandinavian faithfull through their favourite opening; the middlegame wisdom imparted should be of interest to all practical players. --Marshtower Chess Reviews

About the Author

Grandmaster Matthias Wahls was a German champion in 1996 and 1997. In his home country he has made a name for himself as a chess teacher. Grandmaster Karsten Müller has gained a great reputation as a author. His ;Fundamental Chess Endings; (with Frank Lamprecht) won the British Chess Federation Book of the Year Award, and more recently he published ;Bobby Fischer: The Career and Complete Games of the American World Champion;. In 2007 Müller was voted ;Chess Trainer of the Year; by the German Chess Federation. Hannes Langrock is a successful International Master who in recent years has written many articles on openings. His first book, ;The Modern Morra Gambit; appeared in 2006.


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The publisher's blurb above notes that this book "does not concentrate on theoretical lines but on the structural ideas that govern this opening." There is a very good reason for that which unfortunately isn't made clear in the marketing pitch: this book is a translation of the second of a two-volume project on the modern Scandinavian. The first volume, not available in English, focuses on the theoretical lines, and the present text assumes that the reader has absorbed that information. To attempt to remedy this rather backwards approach, the publisher includes about a 20 page appendix which is designed to substitute for all the theory of the first volume. For those who already play the main line Modern Scandinavian, perhaps this may suffice, and I am sure they will benefit from the detailed explanation of the typical pawn structures and middlegame plans addressed in the main part of this book. For those without a foundation in this theory, I am doubtful that the appendix will suffice. I for one only play the Nf6 Scandinavian but was willing to entertain playing the main Qxd5/Qa5 lines occasionally on the strength of this book's reputation. But I'm not comfortable that the short appendix on theory suffices to deal with early variations and other issues. For example, the appendix has passing references to move order variations to avoid new lines where White gains "a very strong initiative," but the nature of the threat is not fully demonstrated. I prefer opening books long on explanations and short on very detailed vatiations, but the balance here seems too extreme and, more importantly, it does not seem that the authors themselves intended this book to totally supplant the first volume.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars 5 reviews
48 of 48 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Note: This is Volume 2 (Volume 1 unavailable in English) 6 April 2011
By C. Amari - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
The publisher's blurb above notes that this book "does not concentrate on theoretical lines but on the structural ideas that govern this opening." There is a very good reason for that which unfortunately isn't made clear in the marketing pitch: this book is a translation of the second of a two-volume project on the modern Scandinavian. The first volume, not available in English, focuses on the theoretical lines, and the present text assumes that the reader has absorbed that information. To attempt to remedy this rather backwards approach, the publisher includes about a 20 page appendix which is designed to substitute for all the theory of the first volume. For those who already play the main line Modern Scandinavian, perhaps this may suffice, and I am sure they will benefit from the detailed explanation of the typical pawn structures and middlegame plans addressed in the main part of this book. For those without a foundation in this theory, I am doubtful that the appendix will suffice. I for one only play the Nf6 Scandinavian but was willing to entertain playing the main Qxd5/Qa5 lines occasionally on the strength of this book's reputation. But I'm not comfortable that the short appendix on theory suffices to deal with early variations and other issues. For example, the appendix has passing references to move order variations to avoid new lines where White gains "a very strong initiative," but the nature of the threat is not fully demonstrated.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars chess1941 25 July 2011
By chess1941 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This book should be bought with "the scandinavian" by John Emms. The Emms book concentrates on recent theory and this book concentrates
on themes such as: The standard centre with f4-f5. The authors show how to play each of the themes and also some pitfalls for each side.

Pawn structure is also emphasized and this makes the book that much easier to read.

There is a LOT in this book-more than 350 pages. But all of it is very easy to read.

If you have both books then you have all you need from the intermediate level up to high master level. This book is a "bargain".
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Scandinavian book ever 23 Feb. 2012
By yoda425 - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
First of all, let me address a few comments about previous reviewers criticisms about this edition. This is a revised edition of GM Wahls second German edition of this same work. It has been translated into english, with a new theory supplement at the end discussing move order pit-falls and giving an up to date repertoire. GM Wahls had previously had a first and second edition of this work, both published in German and not available in English. These were published in 1997 and 2006 respectively. This revised English edition appeared in 2010.

The book breaks down all the plans by the pawn structures produced by the different variations. This is very much the same approach used in various mastering the opening series, which sadly are no longer in print, and used editions on amazon frequently sell for a premium over original retail prices. The book also draws on two other excellent Scandinavian defense volumes by IM Jovanka Houska, and GM Christian Bauer. Quite simply if you want detailed analysis and explanation of the various middlegame and endgame plans that result from all the different pawn structures which arise from this opening, there is no better work available on this defense in any language.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Modern Scandinavian 9 Oct. 2011
By M. Ararat - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
In this effort, Wahls,Muller and Langrock put together an instructive and readable text on the Qa5 Scandinavian.
Content:

Chapter 1: Intro

Chapter 2: The standard centre.

Chapter 3: The dxe5-center

Chapter 4: The fxe5 center

Chapter 5: The symetrical center after exd5

Chapter 6: The exchange center after..cxd5

Chapter 7: The Queenside pawn majority center

Chapter 8 : The isolated pawn center

Chapter 9 : the multi-isolani center (d4 against e6/c6)

Chapter 10The little center

Chapter 11: The fianchetto center (d3,g3)

Chapter 12:The Empty center (d2,b4)

Chapter 13:The dynamic center

Chapter 14: The Open center

Chapter 15: The viking center

Chapter 16: The philidor center

Chapter 17: Excercises

Chapter 18: Theorethical appendix

The pawn structure- type center is probably one of the best methods to learn an opening. This books is systematic, moving from the more easy to understand structures to the more complicated. You need to be prepared to be very flexible regarding the pawn structure, the e6-c6 restraing structure that may looks like the "lazy chess player " paradise may not work against White less direct options (d3).The same caveat applies to pieces exchanges, for example the thematic Bf8-b4 followed by the exchange on c3 is viable only when black can keep white's bishop pair at bay. The authors deliver this suble knowledge on piece exchanges in their annotations, in addition to extending their evaluation to the endgame. I like the way that the endgames are explained (well, K. Muller is one of the authors!). For example in Svidler-Adams Frankfurt 1999, the drawing techniques is explained in detail. The concept of reducing your opponent winning chances by forcing the right exchanges is superb. after theopening Svidler got a long lasting advantage (Bishop pair) and then Adams prevented that advantage from being decisive by modifying the pawn structure (restricting one of the bishops) ,timely exchange of pawns and pieces.

I own the version in German and this book is an updated version. Some parts are an exact translation of the German version, but significant updates are available in the apendix.
In summary, this is a well written book. After working on this book an improvement on the Scandinavian Qa5 opening, middle and endgame themes will be noticiable. The endgame themes can be used in position from different openings that share the c6-e6 structures like the Caro.

This book is highly reccomended.
Disclaimer: I am not a professional reviewer.My chess level is sub-master level 1930 USCF and is at that level that I wrote this review.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful book on the Scandinavian Defence 18 May 2011
By Robert Larmer - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
This is a very helpful book for Scandinavian players and those who face the Scandinavian. Through the use of commented games, it explains typical plans and mistakes in various Scandinavian structures. I use it in conjunction with Emms' book, The Scandinavian (2nd ed), which is available as an ebook in chessbase format from Everyman Chess.
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