The Scandinavian (also known as the Centre Counter Defence) occurs when Black meets White’s 1 e4 with 1 ... d5, immediately countering in the centre. White invariably continues with 2 exd5 when Black can choose between two systems, both of which are covered in this book. Firstly 2 ... Qxd5, which regains the pawn immediately but exposes the black queen early on – a feature that complicates the play for both players. Secondly 2 ... Nf6, which invites White to risk attempting to hold onto the d5-pawn. If White goes down this path then a complex tactical struggle can easily develop.