1

The Caro-Kann has often been maligned for being dry and boring, played by those wishing to bore their opponents to death.” – IM (WGM) Jovanka Houska

Are there other defenses in which black can bore white to death? For example, when white starts with

  • 1. d4.
  • The English Opening.
  • The Reti Opening.

Other than the opening choice, are there are other strategies if black wishes to bore white to death? How about if white wishes to bore black to death?

Other than the opening choice, what are other strategies to bore your opponent?

  • I would add the French Rubinstein for Black: 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Sc3/Sd2 dxe4 4. Sxe4. Very often Black establishes a Caro-Kann pawn structure. – Peter G. Jul 5 at 12:58
  • I love how the "caro-kann" tag is used in a question about how to bore your opponent! – David Jul 8 at 8:48
5

The London system (for White), the Caro-Kann and the Classical Slav with ...Bf5 (for Black), are extremely similar, we are aiming for the same setup (c3, d4, e3, Bf4, Nf3, Nbd2, 0-0, h3, Bd3 or Be2) in all of them, so they fit well together in a repertoire, and they all have the reputation of being extremely boring, especially the Slav Exchange variation that has an extremely high draw percentage and the London system that is nicknamed "the boring system" and "the old man variation".

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Other openings that are considered to be boring are the French Exchange variation (1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5) and the Petrov (1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nf6).

Generally, the openings that are considered boring are either the openings that have a high draw percentage because they are symmetrical (Slav Exchange, French Exchange, Petrov) or the openings that are very positional, slow, quiet, solid, safe, passive, unambitious (London system, Caro-Kann).

  • 1
    Note that in the exchange variations that you mention, it is White who chooses "boredom" (the London system also starts with White's choice, of course). – itub Jul 4 at 15:15
  • This is assuming your opponent enjoys wild attacking games and gets bored in strategical/endgame positions, which may or may not be the case – David Jul 4 at 15:17
  • 4
    +1 for a hilarious picture! – Rewan Demontay Jul 4 at 15:50
3

The Berlin Wall in response to the Ruy Lopez is the classic "boring" opening.

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1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. O-O Nxe4 5. d4 Nd6 6. Bxc6 dxc6 7. dxe5 Nf5 8. Qxd8 Kxd8

It results in a very dry queenless middlegame where Black's advantage of having the two bishops is balanced by White's kingside pawn majority which is far more likely to result in a passed pawn than Black's queenside majority. Breaking down the Berlin Wall is a difficult proposition as even Kasparov found in his world championship match with Kramnik.

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