Tiviakov: Avoid weaknesses with the Scandinavian

2/5/2012 – "In my youth the Scandinavian Defense was considered a second-class opening," writes reviewer GM Dejan Bojkov. Miniatures that showed how to avoid wasting time in the opening inevitably used the Scandinavian. But now it is finding its was into tournament play and is even used by top players. The latest DVD by Sergei Tiviakov, a top expert in this opening, provides full insight into the 3...Qd6 line.

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Sergei Tiviakov: Scandinavian

Fritztrainer Opening DVD by ChessBase

The Scandinavian with 3...Qd6 could well be called “The Tiviakov System”. The grandmaster, currently rated at 2650, has been working with this plan for many years and has successfully employed it against 1.e4 players of all calibre, both against weaker title holders, but also against World Champion Vishy Anand.

On his new DVD Sergei Tiviakov shows you everything you need to know in order to be able to play 3...Qd6 yourself, right away. He not only presents all the important variations and plans for Black, but at the same time he does not omit a single one of White’s possible side variations on move three.

The DVD comes with a special sweetener: a collection of all the author’s games with the Scandinavian, including many which have never been published before. Video running time: 4 hrs. 16 min.


Avoid Weaknesses with the Scandinavian

Review by GM Dejan Bojkov

In my youth, when I was learning chess, the Scandinavian Defense was condemned as a second-class opening. The reason for this was that the openings miniatures, meant to show how one should not waste time at the early stage of the game, were always played in this very opening.

Then in 1979 the great Bent Larsen won a Scandinavian game against Anatoli Karpov at the Montreal Star Tournament. He explained his opening choice with a reluctance to create weaknesses against the World Champion. He also made the remark that “the Scandinavian is only a good sub-line of the Caro Kann Defense”.

Nowadays, with the increase of defensive skills (partly due to our silicon friends) the Scandinavian has started to appear more often on the chess stage, and even at the top level. Many strong GMs have given it a try – Anand even tested it against none other than Kasparov in their match in 1995. New systems started to appear, and one of them is championed by Sergey Tiviakov. This particular set-up starts after the moves 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qd6 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6

The idea of avoiding weaknesses suits the style of the Dutch GM very well. Being a chess player who rarely makes mistakes, calculates well, and has excellent technique in the endgame, Tiviakov found a reliable weapon in the Scandinavian.

I experienced the difficulties in gaining any advantage in our encounter at the Greek Team Championship in 2009, therefore the DVD of the actual founder of the line was very tempting to watch. Despite the title, one can expect more from the Scandinavian then pure patient defense. Here is an impressive example from the author’s practice:

[Event "13th Russian Cht Premier League"] [Site "Dagomys (Sochi)"] [Date "2006.04.20"] [Round "1"] [White "Grischuk, Alexander"] [Black "Tiviakov, Sergei"] [Result "1/2-1/2"] [ECO "B01"] [WhiteElo "2719"] [BlackElo "2669"] [Annotator "Bojkov,Dejan"] [PlyCount "51"] [EventDate "2006.04.20"] [EventType "team-tourn"] [EventRounds "11"] [EventCountry "RUS"] [Source "Chess Today"] [SourceDate "2006.04.21"] 1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Qxd5 3. Nc3 Qd6 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nf3 c6 6. Ne5 Nbd7 7. Nc4 Qc7 8. Qf3 Nb6 9. Bf4 Qd8 10. Be5 Bg4 11. Qg3 h5 12. f3 (12. h3 h4 13. Qf4 Be6 14. Ne3 Nbd5 15. Nexd5 Nxd5 16. Qd2 Nxc3 17. Qxc3 Bd5 18. Qd2 e6 19. c4 Be4 20. f3 Bf5 21. a3 Rh5 22. Rd1 Bd6 23. Qe3 f6 24. Bxd6 Qxd6 25. f4 Kf8 26. Be2 Rh6 27. O-O a5 28. Bd3 Bxd3 29. Qxd3 Rd8 30. Kh1 Rh5 31. Qg6 Rf5 32. Qg4 b5 33. c5 Qd7 34. Qxh4 Rd5 35. Qe1 a4 36. Qe4 Kg8 37. Rd3 Kf7 38. Re1 Rh8 39. Ree3 Rh4 40. Rf3 Rf5 41. Rde3 {1/2-1/2 Hossain,E-Tiviakov,S/Turin 2006/CT-2023 (41)}) (12. Bd3 h4 13. Qf4 Be6 14. Nxb6 axb6 15. Bc7 Nd5 16. Nxd5 Qxd5 17. O-O b5 18. Rfe1 h3 19. Be4 Qd7 20. g3 Bd5 21. Bd3 e6 22. a4 bxa4 23. c4 Bg2 24. Be5 Rh6 25. Qd2 f6 26. Bf4 g5 27. Bf5 Kf7 28. Bxe6+ Qxe6 29. Rxe6 Kxe6 30. Be3 Kf7 31. Qc2 b5 32. d5 Be7 33. Qf5 cxd5 34. cxd5 Ra6 35. Re1 Rh8 36. Bxg5 Rd6 37. Bf4 Rxd5 38. Qe6+ Kg6 39. Qg4+ Kf7 40. Qe6+ Kg6 41. Qxe7 Rhd8 42. f3 {1-0 Landa,K-Borgo,G/Reggio Emilia 2007/CBM 116 ext (42)}) 12... Be6 13. Ne3 Nbd5 14. Ncxd5 Nxd5 15. Nxd5 Qxd5 16. Bd3 f6 17. Bb8 h4 18. Qc7 {Grishchuk wants to trap the rook on a8. It is not every day that you can see such an original position at so early stage.} Kf7 19. Qxb7 c5 20. Qxd5 Bxd5 21. c4 Bxf3 22. Bxa7 Bxg2 23. Rg1 Rxa7 24. Rxg2 cxd4 25. Bg6+ Kg8 26. c5 {Both players showed incredible resourcefulness in the game.} 1/2-1/2

The Scandinavian Defense can be a good choice for the players who do not have a lot of free time to study the long and complex lines of, for example, the Sicilian Najdorf. There are very few critical lines that the readers should know, and they will have them in mind once they have studied the DVD. Those of you who seek for creative and unexplored opportunities will also feel well after looking at Tiviakov’s DVD. If you are one of those you should definitely give it a try. My assessment of the product: Very good.

Dejan Bojkov


Sample lecture: Sergey Tiviakov - Scandinavian with 3...Qd6

Sergei Tiviakov, born in 1973 in Krasnodar (Soviet Union), was a member of the Smyslov school and gained the titles of World Youth Champion at the U16 and U18 levels. In the PCA World Championships he reached the Candidates' Matches in 1994; in the same year he represented Russia in the Chess Olympiads. Although he has considered himself a professional chess player since 1989, Tiviakov also finished a degree in agricultural economics. Since 1997 Tiviakov has been living in Groningen and has become a naturalised citizen of the Netherlands. With his new home country he won the title in the European Teams Championships in both 2001 and 2005, and was victorious in the championship of the Netherlands in 2006 and 2007. Tiviakov celebrated his biggest success in 2008, when he won the Individual European Championship.

Sergei Tiviakov, roving reporter

The author of our latest DVD has a professional hobby: to play in tournaments in distant, geographically and culturally interesting places. He not only descends on exotic locations, usually winning the tournament – he also finds time to take a large number of pictures and send us reports with descriptions of what he has seen. Here is a selection of recent articles:

Tiviakov wins First Panama Chess Open
09.11.2011 – Do not ask us how he does it – we have no idea! But Dutch GM Sergei Tiviakov somehow manages to (1) travel to the most exotic places in the world, (2) win the tournaments staged there, and (3) send us a huge batch of photos he has taken during his stay. Here are his pictorial impressions of a rare Middle American event, and the solution to our Panama Canal quiz question.
Tiviakov wins 5th Leiden Chess Tournament
18.07.2011 – One round before the end it looked as though Predrag Nikolic would wrap it up. But the Bosnian GM had to face his closest rival, GM Sergey Tiviakov of Holland, who won the crucial game and the tournament. Sergey not only did that, but periodically supplied us with pictures from Leiden and, this time, Scheveningen, where a famous opening was invented. Final report.
Tiviakov wins and reports on the Eforie Nord Festival
02.07.2011 – This event was marred by a warning issued by the Romanian Chess Federation that the tournament had not been sanctioned and organisers were not to be trusted. The final winner, GM Sergey Tiviakov said that he was well treated and received good conditions. The Black Sea venue was spectacular and Sergey went on not just to win the tournament but also send us this beautiful pictorial report.
Chess and general impressions from Luanda
22.05.2011 – The CUCA International Chess in Angola's capital of Luanda is a generously staged event in an exotic part of the world. We have problems coming by the games, but two of the participants, Romanian-born WGM Alina l'Ami and GM Sergey Tiviakov, originally Russia – both now live in Holland – took time off to explore the town and its culture. From them we have received this giant pictorial report.
CUCA International in Angola
18.05.2011 – In a sign of the enormous reconstruction efforts being made in Angola, the CUCA international Chess event is being held in the capital Luanda. The Open brought star chess globetrotters, Nigel Short and Sergey Tiviakov, not to mention the generous prize fund, and the Women's event has also been given its due. With his tireless camera, here is a large pictorial by Sergey Tiviakov.
Tiviakov wins 19th Fajr Open – and goes caving!
10.03.2011 – In another display of Iran's vibrant chess community, after the recent world records set in giant simuls, the 19th Fajr Open was held, bringing together 25 GMs, 15 IMs and 10 FMs. This event allows Iranian players a rare opportunity to seek title norms in their home country. It was won by Sergey Tiviakov. No games are available, but Sergei sent us underground photographic impressions.
19th Fajr Open under way
28.02.2011 – This exotic open tournament is staged regularly in the north-western part of Iran, very close to eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, southern Armenia and Azerbaijan. Amongst the participants are 25 GMs, 15 IMs and 10 FMs. Nine GMs are rated 2600+. After three rounds there are 24 players with perfect scores. One of them, GM Sergey Tiviakov, sent us this pictorial report from Fajr.
Wijk 04: Ivanchuk beats van Wely, Shirov wins yet again
19.01.2010 – Vassily Ivanchuk needed 26 moves to finish off Loek van Wely. Magnus Carlsen had Nigel Short on the ropes, but let the British GM escape with a draw. Kramnik was in trouble against Tiviakov but survived. Alexei Shirov scored his fourth win in succession, to lead with a 4.0/4 score and a 3483 performance. You'd think that was a record, but he will have to win the next five games to do that. Curious?
Tiviakov takes Univé Hoogoveen with a single win
24.10.2009 – Certainly an unusual four-player double round robin. In this "Crown Group" all games but one were draw, so that the winner of that game, Dutch GM Sergei Tiviakov, came in first, and the loser, Judit Polgar, last. Vassily Ivanchuk and Anish Giri scored 50%. In the Univé Open English GM Steward Haslinger was first by a full point. Final report.
Drozdovskij, wins Bhubaneswar Open
18.06.2009 – The First SCS International Open GM tournamnent hosted more than 80 title holders, was held in the state of Orissa, India. Five players tied for first, with Ukrainian GM Yuri Drozdovskij taking first on tiebreak points. We bring you games and results, plus a spectacular travelogue on this very popular tourist spots in India by GM Sergey Tiviakov. Enjoy the temples and animals.
ChessBase photo reporter Tiviakov wins Politiken Cup
28.07.2008 – He spends an inordinate amount of time taking pictures, selecting and sorting them, giving them proper file names, so that the editors can make proper reports. Somewhere in the middle of it all Dutch GM Sergey Tiviakov finds time to actually participate, play his games – and even to win. He took the Politiken Cup 2008 in Helsingør, Denmark on tiebreak points. Illustrated (of course) report.
IV Torneo Internacional Abierto de Ajedrez “Alajuela 2008”
14.07.2008 – We ask you: is it polite to belch sulfurous steam, smoke and ash behind a strong grandmaster? Well that is what Volcan Poaz, just a few meters higher than Sergey Tiviakov's Elo rating, did in Costa Rica, where the the Alajuela chess event was held. We don't have all the games, but we did get some spectacular images, including GM Tiviakov's impressions of tropical Central America.
Dominguez Perez wins the 43rd Capablanca Memorial
22.05.2008 – It was the 43rd edition of a great and prestigeous event, and was won by Cuba's top GM Lenier Dominguez Perez, who took clear first with 6.0/9 points. Unfortunately no games are yet available from Havana, Cuba, where the event took place. But: we have received splendid pictures and impressions from one of the players. Enjoy part one of Sergey Tiviakov's pictorial report from Cuba.
The fascinating Maroczy System
16.11.2007 – Sergei Tiviakov is not only one of the leading Dutch grandmasters but also a fighter for creative chess – for instance in the Sicilian Maroczy system, which is the topic of one of his new training DVDs. As John Donaldson put it in his review, "no one in the world understands the Black side of the Maroczy as well as Tiviakov". Buy 'The Marcozy System' now or read more.
IV Calvia Chess Festival in Magaluf
15.10.2007 – This annual event started on October 6th (with an amateur open). It is taking place in Majorca, which is part of the Balearic Islands archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea. Which means the climate is balmy and the landscape lush. The big International Open begins today, with lots of grandmasters. One of them, Sergey Tiviakov of Holland, has submitted a pictorial report.
Chinese dragon wins Canadian Open
16.07.2007 – Chinese super-GM Bu Ziangzhi is a man of few words, but many powerful moves. He demonstrated his class last week at the 2007 Canadian Open Chess Championship in Ottawa, the capital of Canada. In a field crowded with more than twenty GMs, including Nigel Short, Vadim Milov, Sergey Tiviakov and Kamil Miton, Bu finished clear first. Big illustrated report.
Tomsk wins the Russian Team Championships
13.05.2007 – The team from Tomsk-400 won the Russian Team Championship with a perfect 9/9 score. The victorious team included Morozevich, Jakovenko, Karjakin, Kasimdzhanov and Bologan. Second was Ural Ekaterinburg, which fielded Radjabov, Grischuk, Shirov and Akopian. Big photo report by Sergey Tiviakov, who for some reason mainly concentrated on the women's section.
Russian Team Championships in Sochi
03.05.2007 – Two high-class fields of men's and two of women's teams are competing, with ten GMs rated over 2700. With Ivanchuk, Morozevich, Gelfand, Grischuk, Radjabov, Karpov and Korchnoi. Our photo correspondent GM Sergei Tiviakov has sent us a first batch of pictures, mysteriously only from the women's section. You will see some well-known and some new faces. Enjoy.

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