A Cheeky Scandi, Part 3

In the last part of this mini-series about me trying to constructively maintain my sanity during the lockdown, and also about chess, I guess, we will look at a critical test of the Cheeky Scandi. White aims to hold onto the extra central pawn in a more active way than the previous article and Black’s compensation lies in their piece activity. First up is the small matter of the puzzle from last time.

Puzzle 3

11… Bc2!! is a beautiful move decoying the queen from the defence of the d4 pawn. 12. Qd2 If the bishop is captured, White gets quickly destroyed in the centre. 12. Qxc2 Qxd4+ 13. Ke2 Re8+ 14. Ne4 Nxe4 White will have to give up their queen but the attack rages on. 12… Ng4+! Black is so insistent! 13. fxg4 Unsurprisingly, the king doesn’t survive if he tries to run up the board; 13. Kf4 Bd6+ 14. Kxg4 Bf5+ 15. Kxf5 Qh4, a quiet move after even more sacrifices traps the king and g6 mate is unavoidable. 13… Qg5+ wins the queen and White resigned in Sergeev-Saulin.

The main test of the Cheeky Scandi goes 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. d4 Bg4 4. f3 Bf5 5. Bb5+ Nbd7 6.c4 e6. Black hopes that the open lines for their pieces and development lead compensates for the missing pawn. This is the line I studied the most in the Scandi before getting back into competitive chess. Black has to play actively and with purpose to justify the gambit. The next game shows one example of things working out perfectly for Black.

There’s too much going on in this variation to do it complete justice, but another biased, self-aggrandising victory can only help. Hopefully, the last three articles have inspired some of you and, at least shown what makes this subset of the Scandinavian particularly cheeky.

No puzzle this time, although another series like this may appear in the future. Instead, here is a lovely cocktail recipe to make your only Cheeky Scandi:

  • 2 shots of Akvavit
  • 1 bottle of Blue WKD
  • Salt and bitters for any losers
  • Stir with a sacrificed d pawn

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