Learning the Scandinavian from Vishy Anand

7/2/2006 – India's supreme chess player Viswanathan Anand is second to none in producing beautiful games – well-prepared, displaying astounding tactical imagination, and forceful execution. In this week’s Monday night Playchess lecture Dennis Monokroussos looks at an Anand effort against Lautier's Center Counter and uses it as instructional material in the Scandinavian Defense.

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Dennis Monokroussos writes:

To my mind, no one wins nicer games than Viswanathan Anand does when he's in good form. His openings are always extremely well-prepared, his tactical imagination is astounding, and his play strikes me as forceful – but in a "correct" rather than speculative fashion. Many of his wins are model games, and that's true of this week's offering as well, his win with the white pieces over French GM Joel Lautier from Biel 1997.


Indian super-star and world number two chess player Vishy Anand

Lautier offered up a surprise with the Scandinavian Defense (aka the Center Counter) but Anand's home preparation – upon which he improved over the board, with an apparently risky but deeply calculated variation – gave him the advantage. Finally, Anand was able to conclude with a beautiful and brilliant attacking idea, putting the icing on the cake.

So join me this Monday night at 9 p.m. for our chess dessert: not only is it a great game, but it gives us the opportunity to discuss the Center Counter, an important opening that has received little-to-no coverage on the show thus far.

All the entertainment and twice the instruction – don’t miss out this Monday night at 9 p.m. ET!

Dennis Monokroussos' Radio ChessBase lectures begin on Mondays at 9 p.m. EDT, which translates to 02:00h GMT, 03:00 Paris/Berlin, 13:00h Sydney (on Tuesday). Other time zones can be found at the bottom of this page. You can use Fritz or any Fritz-compatible program (Shredder, Junior, Tiger, Hiarcs) to follow the lectures, or download a free trial client.

Note: you can watch older lectures by Dennis Monokroussos here:

Enter the above archive room and click on "Games" to see the lectures. The lectures, which can go for an hour or more, will cost you between one and two ducats. That is the equivalent of 10-20 Euro cents (14-28 US cents).


Dennis Monokroussos is 39, lives in South Bend, IN, and is an adjunct professor of philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.

He is fairly inactive as a player right now, spending most of his non-philosophy time being a husband and teaching chess. At one time he was one of the strongest juniors in the U.S., but quit for about eight years starting in his early 20s. His highest rating was 2434 USCF, but he has now fallen to the low-mid 2300s – "too much blitz, too little tournament chess", he says.

Dennis has been working as a chess teacher for seven years now, giving lessons to adults and kids both in person and on the internet, worked for a number of years for New York’s Chess In The Schools program, where he was one of the coaches of the 1997-8 US K-8 championship team from the Bronx, and was very active in working with many of CITS’s most talented juniors.

When Dennis Monokroussos presents a game, there are usually two main areas of focus: the opening-to-middlegame transition and the key moments of the middlegame (or endgame, when applicable). With respect to the latter, he attempts to present some serious analysis culled from his best sources (both text and database), which he has checked with his own efforts and then double-checked with his chess software.

Here are the exact times for different locations in the world. Since Europe has switched from Summer to Regular time please double-check at World Time and Date for your time zone.

Abu Dhabi Tue 06:00     Halifax Mon 22:00     New Orleans Mon 20:00
Addis Ababa Tue 05:00 Hanoi Tue 09:00 New York Mon 21:00
Adelaide * Tue 12:30 Harare Tue 04:00 Odesa Tue 04:00
Aden Tue 05:00 Havana Mon 21:00 Oslo Tue 03:00
Aklavik Mon 19:00 Helsinki Tue 04:00 Ottawa Mon 21:00
Algiers Tue 03:00 Hong Kong Tue 10:00 Paris Tue 03:00
Amman Tue 04:00 Honolulu Mon 16:00 Perth Tue 10:00
Amsterdam Tue 03:00 Houston Mon 20:00 Philadelphia Mon 21:00
Anadyr Tue 14:00 Indianapolis Mon 21:00 Phoenix Mon 19:00
Anchorage Mon 17:00 Islamabad Tue 07:00 Prague Tue 03:00
Ankara Tue 04:00 Istanbul Tue 04:00 Reykjavik Tue 02:00
Antananarivo Tue 05:00 Jakarta Tue 09:00 Rio de Janeiro * Tue 00:00
Asuncion * Mon 23:00 Jerusalem Tue 04:00 Riyadh Tue 05:00
Athens Tue 04:00 Johannesburg Tue 04:00 Rome Tue 03:00
Atlanta Mon 21:00 Kabul Tue 06:30 San Francisco Mon 18:00
Baghdad Tue 05:00 Kamchatka Tue 14:00 San Juan Mon 22:00
Bangkok Tue 09:00 Karachi Tue 07:00 San Salvador Mon 20:00
Barcelona Tue 03:00 Kathmandu Tue 07:45 Santiago * Mon 23:00
Beijing Tue 10:00 Khartoum Tue 05:00 Santo Domingo Mon 22:00
Beirut Tue 04:00 Kingston Mon 21:00 Sao Paulo * Tue 00:00
Belgrade Tue 03:00 Kiritimati Tue 16:00 Seattle Mon 18:00
Berlin Tue 03:00 Kolkata Tue 07:30 Seoul Tue 11:00
Bogota Mon 21:00 Kuala Lumpur Tue 10:00 Shanghai Tue 10:00
Boston Mon 21:00 Kuwait City Tue 05:00 Singapore Tue 10:00
Brasilia * Tue 00:00 Kyiv Tue 04:00 Sofia Tue 04:00
Brisbane Tue 12:00 La Paz Mon 22:00 St. John's Mon 22:30
Brussels Tue 03:00 Lagos Tue 03:00 St. Paul Mon 20:00
Bucharest Tue 04:00 Lahore Tue 07:00 Stockholm Tue 03:00
Budapest Tue 03:00 Lima Mon 21:00 Suva Tue 14:00
Buenos Aires Mon 23:00 Lisbon Tue 02:00 Sydney * Tue 13:00
Cairo Tue 04:00 London Tue 02:00 Taipei Tue 10:00


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