Questions tagged [caro-kann]

A semi-open defense with a well-earned reputation for producing solid positions that are sometimes a bit stodgy. The usual move order is 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5.

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3 votes
4 answers
772 views

Purpose of h4 on the main line of the Caro Kann

I'm beginning to study the Caro Kann defense and I don't fully understand why white plays h4-h5 on the main line. I can see that you get some space with that move, but the pawn on h5 might be a ...
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1 vote
1 answer
118 views

What are good books on the Panov-Botvinnik Attack and playing with an IQP?

Respectively, what are good books for the Panov-Botvinnik Attack and playing with an isolated queen pawn?
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2 votes
1 answer
134 views

Are there any recent books on the Caro-Kann English Exchange line(The Accelerated Panov Attack)?

I couldn't find any recent books, and most references seem to point towards just switching to the normal Panov-Botvinnik line. I'm specifically looking for a book on the White side of this line: [fen &...
  • 145
6 votes
5 answers
4k views

Is the Caro-Kann principled? Why is there no refutation?

As a beginner, one quickly learns about chess principles, and in particular, opening principles. The first openings most beginners learn are the Open Games. These were historically discovered first ...
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9 votes
1 answer
771 views

Does this pawn structure arising from the Caro-Kann Advance Variation have a name?

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 ...
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3 votes
1 answer
167 views

Where did this minority attack go wrong?

I have been playing the Caro-Kann recently and learnt that the exchange variation often involves a minority attack for black. I had never played a minority attack before, so I gave it a go. This was ...
  • 970
2 votes
1 answer
70 views

Poison Qb2 and prerequisites for Vaganian

What does black achieve with 1.d4 c6? Contributor mentions 1. d4 c6 2. Bf4 Qb6. Database shows few such openings, all responding 3.b3 with white winning no matches. Should white offer Qxb2 poison? ...
3 votes
2 answers
584 views

What is this line/trap in the Caro-Kann called? After Bf5, White chases Black's bishop and plays e6

What is this line/trap in the Caro-Kann called? If Black plays Bf5 on move 3, White chases Black's bishop around with several aggressive pawn moves (similar to the Tal variation) with the ultimate ...
8 votes
3 answers
2k views

Why did Lichess annotate this as a blunder?

Lichess analysis annotated 4. Nf3?? as a blunder preferring (4. Nc3) (see on Lichess). I am trying to understand the ideas that make this a blunder. At depth 23 with Stockfish 13+ NNEU, both were ...
6 votes
1 answer
664 views

Two Knights of the Caro-Kann: 2.Nc3 vs 2.Nf3

Is there any difference at all in playing 2.Nc3 or 2.Nf3 in the Two Knights of the Caro-Kann? On Lichess, why is 2.Nc3 the second most common move in the Masters database, and 2.Nf3 played almost one-...
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10 votes
1 answer
1k views

Developing the king before developing most of your pieces

I saw this opening for the first time and was amazed by the position of the white king. [FEN "?"] [startply "21"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h6 5. g4 Bd7 6. h5 e6 7. f4 c5 ...
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2 votes
2 answers
409 views

Attacking as Black in the Caro-Kann

Is it possible to play the Caro-Kann aggressively/tactically as Black? What are the attacking chances/ideas for black in the Caro-Kann? Or is it simply the wrong opening for that? I found a few ...
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11 votes
1 answer
3k views

Black's tools in the Caro-Kann Advanced Tal Variation

What are Black's plans to play for an advantage in this variation? [FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Qxd3 e6 The kingside development seems so slow, allowing ...
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3 votes
1 answer
340 views

3...c5 in the Advance Caro-Kann

Consider the following side line of the Advance Caro-Kann: [FEN ""] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.dxc5 e6 5.a3 Bxc5 In master OTB games, the move 3...c5 is one third as common as the main move ....
10 votes
4 answers
4k views

How can I punish the "bad" knight on c3?

I play the Caro–Kann Defence against 1.e4 as black, and for whatever reason it feels like I get the following line way too frequently: [FEN ""] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Nc3?! This ...
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

Is it true that amateur players tend to choose the advance variation after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5?

My database shows that after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5, white has the following main variations: Nc3 exd5 e5 and they are equally popular among professional players. However, from my experience playing ...
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3 votes
2 answers
300 views

Looking for resources on a sideline of the Caro Kann, 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Qe2

[fen ""] 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Qe2 d4 4. Nd1 I find this variation very interesting and would like to know whether it has a name, is in some books, or maybe just annotated games. It is ...
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7 votes
2 answers
579 views

Why do some strong players play 5... Be4 in Caro Kann, Tal Variation?

[FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 { B12 Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation, Tal Variation } h6 5. g4 Be4 6. f3 Bh7 7. e6 Nf6 What is the point of the intermediate move 5...Be4 ...
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-1 votes
1 answer
439 views

Sicilian Defence or Caro-Kann also help with Queen's pawn opening [closed]

I know and play the Sicilian defense. Specifically, I mix it with the Hyper Accelerated Dragon with the kingside rook pawn movement akin to the Najdorf. I am also learning the Caro-Kann, in which most ...
12 votes
3 answers
3k views

Theoretically, why is 4. Bd3 NOT one of the best candidates in Caro-Kann?

I seem to find 4. Bd3 to be one of the best choices in Caro-Kann. [FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Bd3 My reasoning: White's light bishop can only develop to Be2 or Bd3. Be2 seems passive. ...
5 votes
3 answers
303 views

In Caro-Kann, which one is less risky, the main line or the Steinitz?

After 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4, the most popular move (main line) is 4...Bf5. But former world champion Anatoly Karpov seems to like 4...Nd7. Since Karpov's style is "solidly ...
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2 votes
1 answer
650 views

Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation, Botvinnik-Carls Defense

I seem to keep losing games as white in this opening. What systems is good for white and what are the developing ideas before the middlegame for white after 4. dxc5? [FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 ...
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2 votes
1 answer
122 views

Advanced Caro Kann: Queenless Middlegame

I started analysing my games as a means to improvement. I am trying to form my own opinion without looking at the engine that much, as I can't rely on it while analysing a position in game. I really ...
  • 519
6 votes
1 answer
251 views

Why black is happy with slow development? [duplicate]

One important opening principle is to develop your pieces and being ahead in development is the aim of the opening. In the following opening, white is obviously ahead in development (developed the ...
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7 votes
3 answers
545 views

Why does 4.dxc5 work well for white in the Advance variation of Caro-Kann?

[FEN ""] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4. dxc5 I don't want to play 3...bf5 instead, but this 4.dxc5 line in the Advance Variation gives me so much trouble, whether they go with 5.Be3, 5.a3 or 5.Nf3. What'...
24 votes
3 answers
3k views

What is black’s compensation in the main line of the Caro Kann?

After move 10 in the main line of Caro Kann, black has already moved its light-squared bishop four times, while white manages to develop quite a bit. What exactly is blacks compensation for the lack ...
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4 votes
1 answer
264 views

Tactics in Firouzja's game round 3

In round 3, Firouzja and Artemiev played a very interesting Caro-Kann game, with white constantly trying to open up the position even at the cost of pawns, in order to exploit black's exposed king ...
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2 votes
4 answers
4k views

What does black achieve with 1.d4 c6?

I have faced 1...c6 as a reply to my 1.d4 quite a few times recently, and this makes me wonder why people play this as oppose to 1...d5. In addition to playing the Slav with 2.c4, I have an option of ...
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8 votes
2 answers
2k views

Caro-Kann advance variation w/ 3. c5 dxc5

I like to play the Caro-Kann as black, and in response to the advance variation play 3... c5!? This works really well for me (~1800 USCF), but as I've gotten better I'm being forced to deal with the ...
6 votes
4 answers
894 views

Artificially isolated pawn in the Caro-Kann

I would like to know why it is so disadvantageous to have an advanced artificially isolated pawn when it can be exchanged by another pawn. I refer to situations where a side cannot mantain such square ...
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6 votes
2 answers
971 views

Caro-Kann c5-c4 push

I am having trouble understanding why the push c4 here is incorrect for Black. After 9. Qc2 b5 10. a4 a6 11. axb5 axb5 12. Rxa8 can be recaptured with the Queen and the pawn chain is stable. What is ...
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2 votes
1 answer
407 views

I'm looking for more information on "Goldmann" of the Goldmann Variation (Caro-Kann)

I'm working out the Caro-Kann Defense, and I need your help. In the Lichess study below, I am dealing with the Goldman Variation. I couldn't find out anything about the chess player Goldman, nor ...
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2 votes
3 answers
1k views

How to "bore your opponent to death"?

“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 ...
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11 votes
6 answers
763 views

In Caro-Kann Defense, what are the differences between 3. Nc3 and 3. Nd2?

After 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5, what are the differences between 3. Nc3 and 3. Nd2? It seems 3. Nc3 is more popular, though after 3. ... dxe4, I failed to see the difference.
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8 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is the Advance Variation considered strong vs the Caro-Kann but not vs the Scandinavian?

As title above, why is the Advance Variation in these recent years considered strong vs the Caro-Kann, especially owing to White's early space advantage in the center, but not vs the Scandinavian? In ...
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10 votes
4 answers
4k views

If 1. e4 c6 is considered as a sound defense for black, why is 1. c3 so rare?

At 365chess.com, 1.c3 is ranked as the 14th most common first move for white. If the Caro-Kann defense is considered as a sound defense, why is the Saragossa opening so rare for white? After all, ...
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1 vote
2 answers
101 views

Is 9...Nxe5 recommended in this line of the Short Variation of the Advance Caro-Kann?

This question relates to the following possible continuation of the Short Variation of the Advance Caro-Kann: [fen ""] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 c5 6.O-O Nc6 7.c3 Bg6 8.a3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 ...
6 votes
1 answer
175 views

Comparing 9...a6 to 9...b6 in the Panov-Botvinnik Attack

This question is motivated by a recent LiChess game where I was black where I played the Caro-Kann and white played the Panov-Botvinnik Attack: [fen ""] [Site "https://lichess.org/J9cdDkL5"] [Date "...
8 votes
5 answers
504 views

Is 6...Bf5 inferior to 6...Bd6 in the Caro-Kann Tartakower after 6. Bc4? And if so, why?

I'm trying out the Tartakower variation of the Caro-Kann. It begins [fen ""] [startply "11"] [startflipped "0"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ exf6 6. Bc4 Bf5 (6... Bd6) I have ...
5 votes
2 answers
424 views

What are the similarities and differences in pawn Structure from the Scandinavian and the Caro-Kann?

It seems both openings have the Capablanca Pawn Structure with c6 and e6 I'm curious about where the similarities stop and what are the optimal pawn breaks.
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4 votes
3 answers
623 views

Caro-Kann 3.Nd2: is it worthwhile delaying or avoiding 3...dxe4 to exploit the poor position on the d2 knight?

In the Caro-Kann where white plays 3.Nd2, it seems like the d2 knight is misplaced: it's on a worse square than c3, and it blocks the c1 bishop. Black playing 3...dxe4 relieves white of both these ...
6 votes
1 answer
331 views

Advancing the c6 pawn in the Caro-Kann

I am having trouble understanding when Black should move c5 in The Advanced Variation of the Caro-Kann. I have posted two games of mine below: In this first game, after the seventh move of White, ...
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3 votes
1 answer
573 views

Strategy according to the pawn structure in the Caro-Kann

I have long been playing the Caro-Kann but I have never been able to come up with a plan according to the pawn structure in the games. After playing d5 (and entering the Pawn exchange variation or ...
  • 2,227
2 votes
2 answers
605 views

What are the goals for white and black in the Caro Kann exchange variation?

[FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. Bf4 Bg4 7. Qb3 Qd7 8. Nd2 e6 From this position what is black/white in broad terms attempting to do. What are some clear goals?
4 votes
2 answers
503 views

Please critique my game (Caro-Kann, Fantasy variation)

I'm an avid player of the caro-kann, yet I recently came across the Fantasy Variation for the first time. Although I won, I wanted to post my game for review: [FEN ""] [White ""] [Black "Bad_Bishop"] ...
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7 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is 14..Qd8 the most popular move in this variation of the Caro Kann?

According to chessbase, 14..Qd8 is by far the most popular continuation in this position (196 games), even though Stockfish 8 seems to prefer 14..Ngf6 (1 game). I'm struggling to understand the ...
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8 votes
2 answers
1k views

Why is it a good idea to retreat the bishop into the pawn chain in this variation of the Caro Kann?

I am reading a book about the Caro-Kann defence. In this position the author suggests playing 5...Bd7. (Although they assert that Bg6 is not a bad move either). In fact, the whole idea of playing Qb6 ...
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8 votes
2 answers
872 views

Is the advance Caro-Kann becoming less popular?

In my own games I have seen fewer advance Caro-Kann games (1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5) than the semi-open games (3. Nc3 or 3. Nd2) or the Botvinnik systems (3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 or 2. c4). My questions ...
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2 votes
3 answers
289 views

What are the main differences between 2...d5 and 2...e5 in the anti-Caro-Kann?

In the anti-Caro-Kann (also known as the Pseudo Panov-Botvinnik or Panov's little Brother), reached by 1. e4 c6 2. c4, what are the main differences between 2...d5 and 2...e5? [FEN ""] [StartPly "4"] ...
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3 votes
1 answer
388 views

What are the main differences between 6...Bb4 and 6...Be7 in the Panov-Botvinnik attack?

After the moves 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3 e6 6. Nf3, what are major differences in plans and variations for Black between 6...Bb4 and 6...Be7? [FEN ""] [StartPly "11"] [...
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