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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22
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
14
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4answers
1k views

Theoretical relationship between Caro-Kann exchange and Queen's Gambit exchange

Is there a book, or an article, which examines the relationship between these two openings? The Caro-Kann exchange (non-Panov) is 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5, and the Queen's Gambit exchange is 1.d4 ...
13
votes
3answers
7k views

Strategy in Isolated Queen Pawn Positions

What should Black's plan be in Isolated Queen Pawn Openings like this one arising from the Caro-Kann Panov attack? [fen ""] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 e6 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.cxd5 Nxd5
13
votes
4answers
8k views

French or Caro Kann?

I find the French more aggressive, as black gets easy queenside play with pieces and generally a pawn avalanche. However, my friend debates that the Caro is better than the French because the Caro ...
12
votes
3answers
2k 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. ...
11
votes
4answers
743 views

Knight constrained in advance Caro-Kann

Recently, I've been playing the Caro-Kann exclusively against 1. e4, with good results. The one line that I find somewhat confusing is the advance Caro - specifically, where does the kingside knight ...
11
votes
6answers
624 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.
11
votes
1answer
3k views

Caro-Kann Apocalypse Attack

What are the main points, tactical or otherwise, backing up the so-called Apocalypse Attack vs the Caro-Kann? [Title "Caro-Kann Apocalypse Attack"] [fen "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR ...
10
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4answers
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, ...
10
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
10
votes
1answer
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 ...
9
votes
1answer
2k 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What are the ideas behind the Short variation in Advance Caro-Kann?

What are the main strategic and tactical ideas behind the so-called Short variation in Advance Caro-Kann? I mean this line: [FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 Isn't White's ...
9
votes
7answers
2k views

For Black, against the Caro-Kann Advance Shirov variation 4. Nc3 which move tends to lead to the most positional, slow, solid and strategic positions?

I'm a 1800 Elo player that likes positional, quiet, drawish, slow, boring and strategic openings. As Black against 1. e4 I play the Caro-Kann. But there is one variation of the Caro-Kann that I ...
8
votes
4answers
5k views

If I like both the Caro-Kann and the Slav, is it a good idea to answer 1. d4 with 1… c6?

I was just wondering, if as Black I normally play the Caro-Kann and the Slav (but I slightly prefer the Caro-Kann), is it a good idea to answer 1. d4 with 1... c6!? I looked in an opening database, ...
8
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
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 ...
8
votes
5answers
402 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
6k views

What are some good books on the Caro-Kann which propose a Black repertoire based on positional, strategic, solid, boring and quiet variations?

I'm a 1750 Elo player, and 6 months ago I bought the book Grandmaster Repertoire: The Caro-Kann by Lars Schandorff, and I was disappointed. In my opinion, the repertoire proposed in the book is too ...
8
votes
2answers
831 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 ...
7
votes
5answers
542 views

Books/Videos for the Caro-Kann

I just started playing the Caro-Kann recently and have seen a variety of moves on white's third move. Are there any good "all-in-one" resources to examine the different variations? I consider the ...
7
votes
1answer
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
469 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

Caro-Kann variation 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Ng5

I would like to play the Modern Variation of the Caro-Kann. What is the best way to deal with Ng5? Best strategy and known tactics (e.g. the Ne6 sacrifice). Maybe you can recommend a book dedicated to ...
7
votes
1answer
691 views

Does a typical pawn endgame from Classical Caro-Kann lead to a draw?

Below is example of a Caro-Kann endgame - Evelev - Epstein - with White having a pawn on h5, and both sides with majority on each side of the board. While the game below ended as a draw, I wonder if ...
7
votes
3answers
411 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'...
6
votes
4answers
866 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
913 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
328 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, ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

In the Classical Variation of the Caro-Kann, what is the most positional, strategic, quiet, slow, closed, boring, dry and solid variation for Black?

I am not sure what to play as Black in the Classical Variation of the Caro-Kann, after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 [...
6
votes
1answer
236 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 ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Tactical variations in the Caro-Kann?

I am currently using the exchange variation of the Caro-Kann, so the: [Title "Caro-Kann refutation"] [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 I am ...
6
votes
1answer
739 views

Caro-Kann, Smyslov variation : Can Black punish early 5.c4 in this position?

Recently I have posted a question about declining the Marshall Gambit in the QGD, and asked if Black can transpose into another solid opening, as one way of defense. After analyzing the first ...
6
votes
3answers
4k views

Midgame Ideas in the Caro-Kann

Most of the writing I've found on the Caro-Kann online simply makes vague assertions about how "Black's endgame is better" or how White should try [some dubious move or other] to get a good attack in ...
6
votes
1answer
574 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-...
6
votes
1answer
603 views

Caro-Kann advanced variation pawn sacrifice

I used to play the Caro-Kann a lot as black. One line that I reached many times in advanced variation is: [FEN ""] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. g4 In this position I saw one game where Anand ...
6
votes
1answer
158 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 "...
6
votes
1answer
716 views

What are all the most common transpositions between the Caro-Kann Panov–Botvinnik Attack with 5…e6 6. Nf3 Bb4 and the Nimzo-Indian Defence?

I would like to know what are all the most frequent transpositions between the two following openings: . The Caro-Kann Panov–Botvinnik Attack with 5...e6 6. Nf3 Bb4: [StartPly "12"] [FEN ""] ...
5
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
226 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 ...
5
votes
2answers
313 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.
5
votes
1answer
278 views

What's my next move against this Caro-Kann variant?

I'm a beginner with openings and Steinitz principles, and I'm in the interesting position where I can develop an artificial intelligence which is better than me in chess. After the e4 c6, I have ...
5
votes
1answer
388 views

Is a Caro-Kann game still advisable after 1. e4 c6 2. g4?

For the record, I have already made my move. I am black and I moved 2. ... d5. But I am wondering if that was a mistake. I am a total newb and am trying to learn the Caro-Kann. As I understand it, ...
5
votes
3answers
837 views

Alternative plan in the Caro-Kann

I'm a Caro-Kann player who is coming up against the line 1. e4 c6 2. c4. This line has a few names, such as the "Anti Caro-Kann" and the "Quasi Panov-Botvinnik". The books recommend 2...d5. Afterall ...
4
votes
5answers
2k views

As Black, against 1. d4, what opening would you recommend me which is solid, positional, slow, strategic, quiet, closed, and similar to the Caro-Kann?

I'm a 1750 Elo player. I have a very positional, quiet and strategic style of play. As White I play 1. d4, but I plan to also learn 1. Nf3 soon. As Black against 1. e4 I play the Caro-Kann. I would ...
4
votes
3answers
1k views

Does the Caro-Kann or the Tartakower System of the Queen's Gambit Declined help with positional skills?

In the following Wikipedia biography on Gary Kasparov, I read the following: From age 7, Kasparov attended the Young Pioneer Palace in Baku and, at 10 began training at Mikhail Botvinnik's chess ...
4
votes
3answers
962 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 ...
4
votes
3answers
487 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
259 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 ...