The Center Counter, better known as Scandinavian Defense, has been around almost from the beginning of modern chess some five hundred years ago.
Characteristic moves of the original variation ( 1.e4 de | 2.ed5 Qd5 ) took advantage of the increased reach both of the pawns and the empowered Queen.
The Portuguese Variation (after 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Bg4) ranks as Black's most combative system in the Center Counter Defense, closely allied to the Icelandic gambit (1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.c4 e6, also covered here!).
In the Portuguese, Black offers a pawn for rapid development and the chance to exploit weak squares in the enemy camp. The resulting play is sharp and trappy, with plenty of "coffeehouse" flavor for those wishing to mix it up as Black. An added benefit is the newness of the line, which came into prominence only in the early 1990s.
Therefore many players of White can still be caught unaware, falling victim to an early knockout. No mere surprise weapon, however, the Portuguese has been tested in the fire of world class tournament chess. Proof of the line's vitality is it's adoption by aggressive Grandmasters such as Spraggett, Hodgson, Shirov and Hebden.
This book is the first devoted exclusively to the Portuguese Variation. In a research tour de force, NM Selby Anderson has assembled all relevant games and articles, then fed it to top chess engines like Fritz4 and Chess Machine.
Consequently, the high percentage of original analysis found here stands in stark contrast to the typical opening monograph. Players of any level will appreciate the author's light and witty approach all the while dispensing lethal doses of tactical toxins. Pity the poor player who stumbles into the Portuguese without this book !
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