The Scandinavian for Club Players

Start Playing an Unsidesteppable & Low Maintenance Response to 1.e4
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The Scandinavian Defence is one of the most popular chess openings among amateur players, and it is easy to see why. Black players immediately limit the opening theory they have to know because there is no way White can side-step Black’s first move. What’s more, the Scandinavian requires only very little theoretical knowledge, so it has an extremely low maintenance factor. To cap it all, Black gets a solid structure.

And that’s not even the end of the good news, as Thomas Willemze demonstrates in this compact and practical manual. Playing the Scandinavian teaches invaluable techniques that you can use in almost all of your other games. Pressuring the centre, neutralizing your opponent’s initiative, improving your piece coordination, trading the right pieces and exploiting your opponent’s weak points are all typical ‘Scandinavian’ spin-offs that Thomas Willemze teaches you in his trademark lucid style.

The Scandinavian for Club Players offers everything you need to know to be fully prepared to meet 1.e4. The various lines are enriched with verbal explanations, diagrams, flash-cards and exercises that make this book even more accessible. Willemze not just uses examples from the games of elite grandmasters. As an experienced trainer he knows that discussing club player’s adventures are particularly instructive for his target group.

Thomas Willemze is an International Master from The Netherlands. He is an experienced trainer of amateur players and has been the National Youth Coach of the Dutch Chess Federation. He is the author of the acclaimed ‘What would you play?’ column in New In Chess magazine, aimed at helping club players to improve their decision-making skills. In 2018 he published the best-selling improvement guide The Chess Toolbox, also available as a NIC Interactive eBook and a Chessable video course.

“This is a real gem! It’s almost as if each annotation specifies the key strategic elements that uphold the assessments and choice of plans. I can’t remember a previous opening work that involves such a sustained effort to do this. So when the ‘sub-sub-title’ states Simultaneously Improve Your Chess Technique, this is no idle claim! The author has performed his mandate well in putting together a Scandinavian repertoire apt for club players, but has then gone further in offering lessons in strategy, plus antidotes to seemingly troublesome white tries. Now you understand why I describe it as a real gem.” -- GM Glenn Flear, Yearbook 140

“Willemze is an expert in teaching middle game strategy to club players (his book Chess Toolbox comes to mind) and he uses that knowledge to explain the thematic plans in the Qa5 Scandinavian for both colors in a clear manner. The book is enriched with a series of memory markers and training positions to play the opening successfully.” -- Miguel Ararat, Florida Chess Quarterly

“This sounds like the answer to many players dreams. The Scandinavian is perfect for people who want to get their opening on the board as soon as possible. Willemze’s approach is to worry about how a player rated roughly 2000 and below might handle the opening and tries to give a clear path to equality. If White pushes too quickly then there are annotated games to give Black a plan on how to handle such things and take the initiative. I particularly like the way he treats with respect all the weird and wonderful ways how White might try to ignore the opening or try to refute it. The author has the knack of knowing his audience and making it easy to absorb the opening moves without frightening them off with numerous alternatives that need to be memorised. The prefect way to learn and win with the Scandinavian.” -- IM Gary Lane, ECF Newsletter


“This is a real gem! I’m generally suspicious about books aimed at middle or lower echelons as they are often superficial, but this is not the case here. In fact, even stronger tournament players could benefit by having a look. There are exercises (I know, many books have them these days) of varying difficulty at the end of each ‘Part’, but these are not just an afterthought. The solutions contain their own instructive conclusions, which are worth reading through even if doing puzzles isn’t normally your thing. In fact, there are conclusions all over the place (every four or five pages) so the reader has the salient points laid out for him at the end of each mini-section. Novel (well, to me) is the use of ‘Flash cards’ which is a sort of aide-memoire of the key decisions in a particular line. I liked very much this way of highlighting those key moments that could otherwise easily get overlooked. Early deviations are covered in their own Part, so even if White doesn’t comply with 2.exd5, the reader will be ready. So it really is a repertoire for Black starting from 1.e4. I do get the impression that explaining strategic elements is one of this Dutch IM’s strong points. It’s almost as if each annotation specifies the key strategic elements that uphold the assessments and choice of plans. I can’t remember a previous opening work that involves such a sustained effort to do this. So when the ‘sub-sub-title’ states Simultaneously Improve Your Chess Technique, this is no idle claim! So, summing up, the author has performed his mandate well in putting together a Scandinavian repertoire apt for club players, but has then gone further in offering lessons in strategy, plus antidotes to seemingly troublesome white tries. Now you understand why I describe it as a real gem.” -- GM Glenn Flear, Yearbook 140

“Willemze is an expert in teaching middle game strategy to club players (his book Chess Toolbox comes to mind) and he uses that knowledge to explain the thematic plans in the Qa5 Scandinavian for both colors in a clear manner. The book is enriched with a series of memory markers and training positions to play the opening successfully.” -- Miguel Ararat, Florida Chess Quarterly

“This sounds like the answer to many players dreams. The Scandinavian is perfect for people who want to get their opening on the board as soon as possible. Willemze’s approach is to worry about how a player rated roughly 2000 and below might handle the opening and tries to give a clear path to equality. If White pushes too quickly then there are annotated games to give Black a plan on how to handle such things and take the initiative. I particularly like the way he treats with respect all the weird and wonderful ways how White might try to ignore the opening or try to refute it. The author has the knack of knowing his audience and making it easy to absorb the opening moves without frightening them off with numerous alternatives that need to be memorised. The prefect way to learn and win with the Scandinavian.” -- IM Gary Lane, ECF Newsletter

More Information

Choose your edition:
Paperback
Publication date:
May 28, 2021
Number of pages:
272
Publisher:
New In Chess
Weight:
508 gram
ISBN:
9789056919764

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