I was looking at some positions arising from the Caro-Kann Advance variation with an early c5 by black, and was wondering if this was a common structure that I could easily find model games for, or comments on the plans whether online or in a pawn structure book.

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1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 c5 4. c3 Nc6 5. Nf3 cxd4 6. cxd4 Bg4 7. Be2 e6

From what I can tell from a few games in the database, the backwards d-pawn is often a target for black, but just wanted to read some more on this structure.

1 Answer 1


In "Chess Structures A Grandmaster Guide" by Mauricio Flores Rios he calls this structure "French Type III" Most of the examples keep the c-pawns on for a while, but there is one example with exactly the structure you describe.

Black plan is to

  • target the backward d-pawn as you say
  • exchange light-square bishops
  • consider f6 to break up the center
  • consider f5 to slow White's kingside attack

In your example with c-file open Black needs to contest the c-file as a basis for queenside play.

  • 2
    But in a way, the fact that the black light squared bishop is on g4 instead of c8 makes the structure a bit different (even though it's not a pawn). Does he mention situations where that happens? It reminds me of the KID where the structure after d4-d5 with the black queen's knight on e7 (the Mar del Plata) is often considered a separate structure from the one with the knight on b8/a6/c5/d7. Jan 3, 2022 at 19:16
  • 1
    @RemcoGerlich He does cover the black light square bishop outside the pawn chain and is not so eager to exchange it in this case. The piece placement effects strategic plans, your KID example is a great one, but I don't think of that as part of the pawn structure. Interesting. Jan 4, 2022 at 2:06

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