I was wondering if there is a top level coverage of plans for Black in the below pawn structure:

[fen "8/pp3ppp/2p2p2/8/3P4/8/PPP2PPP/8 w - - 0 1"]

Or this one:

[fen "8/pp3ppp/2p2p2/8/2PP4/8/PP3PPP/8 w - - 0 1"]

I know similar ones arise from Caro-Kann, but have also seen it in many other openings where White plays Bxf6.

Computer claims equality, or a slight edge, but I would like to "hear an opinion" from top GMs if possible.


Vallejo has a great series (Spanish only) in chess24 about the Caro-Pirc, which covers this particular structure. Note that the dynamics of positions with those two pawn structures are probably very different from one another (a ...c5 break by Black would have a very different impact on each case. Similar ofr the pressure on the semi-open d file)

"Engine claims equality" does not make much sense when referring to the pawn structure itself, since many different factors will determine the actual evaluation of a given position.

  • I would guess that the pawn structure showed above with only kings on the board is winning for white, but I'm not certain. Certainly white is pushing for the win. Jul 14 '20 at 4:44
  • With kings only, sure. White has a huge advantage but Black will definitely fight hard to avoid reaching a situation like that
    – David
    Jul 14 '20 at 6:47

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