In the Caro-Kann Panov-Botvinnik Attack 5... e6 6. Nf3, I am hesitating between 6... Be7 and 6... Bb4

  [StartPly "11"]

  [FEN ""]
  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3 Be7 (6... Bb4)

I would like to know all the differences between these two moves.

Which one of these two moves tends to lead on average to the most solid, positional, boring, strategic, slow and quiet positions?

  • 3
    You did it again !!!! You really want to play boring chess ??????????
    – Niels
    Mar 27, 2015 at 13:05
  • 1
    If you like passivity then 6...Be7 is the right choice.
    – Niels
    Mar 27, 2015 at 13:06
  • It has been a long time, but let me try and help you: with Be7 you play "true" Caro-Kann while with Bb4 you play Nimco-Indian + Caro-Kann hybrid. Be7 is not passive, but is way harder to play as Black ( sadly, I speak from my painful experience! ). You must know so many typical pawn structures/maneuvers, you must control key squares and all this is very hard for someone who does not study openings and theory extensively. Bb4 tries to go for the easier game, hopefully into positions with isolated queen pawn. Karpov and Podgaets covered both lines in their book. Apr 8, 2015 at 17:52
  • 1
    @Niels You are talking to Petrosian! Jan 19, 2018 at 9:31

1 Answer 1


As surprising as it sounds, 6...Bb4 is probably going to lead to the quieter game. The reason is that with the bishop on b4, pieces will get traded off on c3.

As an example, the game Najdorf-Portisch 1-0, from 1962 shows some of these ideas. Although the game begins as a 1. d4 game, the position transposes directly to the Panov Botvinnik.

[FEN ""]
[Event "Varna"]
[Site "Varna"]
[Date "1962"]
[EventDate "?"]
[Round "3"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Miguel Najdorf"]
[Black "Lajos Portisch"]
[ECO "B14"]
[WhiteElo "?"]
[BlackElo "?"]
[PlyCount "43"]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e3 cxd4
7.exd4 Bb4 8.Qc2 Nc6 9.Bd3 Nxc3 10.bxc3 Nxd4 11.Nxd4 Qxd4
12.Bb5+ Ke7 13.O-O Qxc3 14.Qe2 Bd6 15.Bb2 Qa5 16.Rfd1 Rd8
17.Qh5 f6 18.Qxh7 Kf7 19.Be2 Qg5 20.Bc1 Bxh2+ 21.Kxh2 Qe5+
22.f4 1-0
  • This game is definetly not a good example of "a quieter game" !
    – Evargalo
    Mar 28, 2019 at 13:50

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