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