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Where can I find information on the 7. ... e6 variation of classical Caro-Kann, preferrably a book? It was played in the Anand-Carlsen world championship match 2013.

[FEN ""]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 e6

The following books do not cover the classical variation (4. ..Bf5) with 7. ..e6:

  • Rambaldi's The Caro-Kann Revisited
  • Schandorff's GM Repertoire
  • Schandorff's Playing the Caro-Kann
  • Gallagher's Starting Out
  • Lifetime Repertoires: Caro-Kann by GM Erwin L'Ami
  • Opening Repertoire - The Caro-Kann (Houska Jovanka, Everyman 2015)
  • The Caro-Kann move by move (by Cyrus Lakdawala)
  • The Modernized Caro-Kann (Daniel Fernandez)

(some of these cover the classical variation, but with 7. ..Ne7 instead)

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  • 1
    Since the structures we're getting are the same as in other lines of the Classical Caro-Kann, the Scandinavian and the ..dxe4 French, you're probably better off by expanding your knowledge the strategy of those and find out the specific lines on your own with an opening explorer and an engine. Since it's not as popular as the mainline, there won't be that many resources on it (and those that exist will be outdated or done without the same effort).
    – David
    Dec 22, 2022 at 11:24
  • @David Thanks for answering. While this can transpose back to Nd7 lines, it seems that I think the 8. Ne5 and 8. h5 lead to peculiar positions which have been played many times, so I was hoping to find a source that's more easily digested than database digging. But if no master has already summarized these lines, that's what I'll have to do.
    – Anna
    Dec 22, 2022 at 12:09
  • 1
    @hauptideal Thanks for checking your books and adding them to the list!
    – Anna
    Dec 22, 2022 at 12:58

3 Answers 3

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Vidit Gujrathi - Fashionable Caro-Kann. Check his video at Bilibili. You can download the Bilibili app. It's a solid 'secretive' line (7...e6) for Caro players. I made a pgn file and will use the variation as the main line.

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  • Thank you! I managed to find the PGNs from his video.
    – Anna
    Dec 28, 2022 at 16:43
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The move 7...e6 is mentioned briefly by Andy Soltis on p. 105 of the Caro-Kann Defense book in the Understanding Chess series from R.H.M. Press. He doesn't recommend it:

But at this moment accuracy is essential. After 7...e6 White gains too much time by forcing Black's Bishop on g6 to move again; e.g., 8. Ne5 Bh7 9.Bd3 and if 9...Qxd4? 10. Nxf7! (for if 10...Kxf7 11. Bg6+! wins the Queen), or if 9...Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Nf6 11. Bd2 Nbd7 12. Ng6! (for if 12...fxg6 13. Qxg6+ Ke7 14. Bb4+ wins. Black can defend better in these lines (for example, 10...Nd7 instead of 10...Nf6), but basically he has lost a move (8...Bh7).

This is from 1980, and Soltis's 12. Ng6 may not stand up to engine analysis.

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  • Thank you for the detective work! I guess the book says 8. Bh7 (not Be7). The choice of contemporary Carlsen, Ding Liren, Caruana and Giri seems to be 10. ... Nd7..
    – Anna
    Dec 23, 2022 at 12:20
  • Sorry about the typo, fixed now.
    – bof
    Dec 23, 2022 at 21:45
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Chapter 1 of "...c6 Playing the Caro-Kann and Slav as Black" by Cyrus Lakdawala and Keaton Kiewra is 70 pages long and covers the Classical Variation in great detail. This is a good book which explores the ideas behind the moves as well just giving analysis. 10 games are analyzed in the chapter, 2 of which feature the black move 'e6' although on move 6 rather than move 7.

It's bizarre. As you say almost none of the books claiming to cover the Caro-Kann even mention the Classical Variation. I just checked in Volume 1 of the normally excellent John Watson's "Mastering the Chess Openings" to see what he covers for the Caro-Kann. Obscure (to me) lines like the "Short Variation" and "Zviagintsev Variation" get a mention but no Classical!

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  • Thank you, I'll see if I can find a copy of Lakdawala & Kiewra! I guess everything from 4. ... Bf5 should be considered the classical variation. In fact I have no idea about the history of 7. ... e6. I did find two game analyses with this variation on chesspublishing.com though, (behind subscription which I've got).
    – Anna
    Dec 22, 2022 at 18:54

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