What are the main points, tactical or otherwise, backing up the so-called Apocalypse Attack vs the Caro-Kann?

[Title "Caro-Kann Apocalypse Attack"]
[fen "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"]

1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5!? 

Is it an opening based on a few cheap tricks? And if so, what are these tricks?

There is a long article here


but it is difficult to me to sum up the main ideas or tactical themes in a more concise way.

  • 4.Ne5 Nc6 5.Bb5 Bd7 6. Nxd7 Qxd7 is how the line is usually played. Black is considered not worsel in this line. Perhaps theres a line better than mine. – InfiniteFlashChess Mar 1 '16 at 4:56

Maybe it's about having a Knight on e5, which cannot be dislodged easily with pawn moves. I think it's not so significant though, because black can still at least exchange it against the knight on b8, which could come to d7 or c6. d7 might prevent the exchange o black's bishop against the knight on e5. If white manages to get black to exchange on e5, white will have a pawn on e5 most likely. Maybe a point is to still have a pawn there, although white didn't move e4-e5 earlier? I don't really see how Ne5 is really that helpful to be honest. It doesn't even look that interesting to me or much different than other positions.

  • 4... Nd7(c6) helps white to develop with 5. Bb5. Putting the question to the Bishop doesn't help, as then the queenside pawns can become overextended – user1108 Mar 3 '16 at 10:57
  • @Bad_Bishop It actually crossed my mind to play Nd7 followed by a6 and b5 and then putting the bishop maybe on b7. Doesn't look so bad to me. – Zelphir Mar 3 '16 at 11:07
  • Just analysing in my head here, but 4... Nd7 5. Bb5 a6 6. Nxf7 Kxf7 7. Bc4+ Ke8 8. Qf3 looks like a promising sacrificial line. – user1108 Mar 3 '16 at 11:14
  • 1
    @Bad_Bishop interesting idea, but I think the pawn on d5 prevents Bc4+ ; ) – Zelphir Mar 3 '16 at 11:23
  • Ah, the problem of analysing a position in my head alone! Maybe Nd7 is the best way to play, aiming to go into Smyslov Caro-Kann type structures. – user1108 Mar 3 '16 at 11:39

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