I play the white side of this position often, and have an incredible winrate because to be honest, it feels very hard for black to develop naturally. Here's an example of how things can go wrong:
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. h4 h5 5. Bd3 Bxd3 6. Qxd3 e6 7. Bg5 Qb6 8. Nd2 c5 9. c4 Qxb2 10. Rd1 Qxd4 11. Qb3 Qxe5+ 12. Ne2 Qc7 13. cxd5 exd5 ...
"Reversed" Openings in general
A black defense and its white mirror counterpart will often play out quite differently (compare the rather sharp Sicilian Defense and the rather quiet English Opening).
The right to move matters, in both ways. By moving, you give away information to your opponent - the set of variations you can choose from shrinks with every ...
At a basic level, what we want from an opening and a defense, is: we want to be fighting for the center squares (1), we're trying to develop our pieces and get good squares for them (2), and thirdly, we want to have a safe king (3). This is as modest a expectation as one can have for a good opening.
Now roughly speaking, there are two types of defenses (say ...
First of all, the isolated pawn is a dynamic strength, and a static weakness.
But what does this mean?
This means that he represents a pawn weakness, but compensates this weakness in some other way. In short, Black should strive towards endgame, while White must obtain some sort of pressure/attack in order to compensate for his weak d-pawn.
Why is this ...
This is ctg format property, or bug, if you like. There were no games played with 14.Bf4 and as well there were no games played with 14...Qd8. The ctg tree just knows position after 14...Qd8. Certainly it happens via different move order. So in 196 games wasn't played 14...Qd8, but 196 games saw the position arising after 14...Qd8.
This position arises in ...
Against a white d4-e5 pawn formation, Black wants to play c5 (see e.g. the French opening). In the Caro-Kann, that will cost two moves (c7-c6-c5), while in the Scandinavian, it's only one move since the pawn is still on c7. That's one tempo, and as @Qudit notes in the comments, in the main line Scandinavian White usually wins a tempo by chasing the black ...
I don't think it's a good idea. Firstly, no 1.d4 player will go for 2.e4, unless they are also 1.e4 players and really, really good at playing against the Caro-Kann.
More importantly, you may like to play the Slav against d4+c4, and the Caro against d4+e4, but so far white has only played 1.d4. You lose options in case white doesn't follow up with a quick ...
The line usually quoted is 4.Bd3 Bxd3 5.Qxd3 Qa5+ 6. Bd2 Qa6! If White now exchanges Queens or allows the Queens to be exchanged he already has a poor endgame structure with a bad dark-square Bishop. Otherwise he will have difficulty Castling. Certainly White is not lost, but he has given away his first-move advantage.
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 ...
Its evaluation drops form +2.3 to +0.0, so it considers it a blunder. Of course this does not match what a human understands as "blunder", but computers are incapable of identifying that.
Your move is a perfectly reasonable one and if that's the biggest type of "blunder" you make in your games, you're on your way to a Grandmaster title.
I'm wondering if anyone has any general tips for how to make white
feel this "bad knight"
The fact that you manage to put "bad" and "bad knight" in scare quotes shows that there is some hope for you. White does not have a bad position. I suspect that this line isn't played much at master level because it isn't the best way to ...
5.c4 is bad in the Smyslov variation because black can equalize instantly with 5...e5! 6. dxe5 Qa5+ and 7...Qxe5. Black is not better though, it merely gives black an easy game with the queens off.
For the complete line:
[Title "Smyslov Variation"]
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. c4 e5 6. dxe5 Qa5+ 7. Bd2 Qxe5 8.
Qe2 Nc5 9. Nxc5 ...
The main reasons it is OK for black is that he is still down only one tempo in piece development, but he has traded off his bad bishop for white's good bishop, and his position is still very solid so he will catch up in development eventually. The downside is that white has more space. Black can eventually fight back with c5 after finishing his development, ...
I do not know that I would say "happy", but in chess, there are pluses and minuses to every move we make, and on top of that, there are exceptions to many positional concepts. We see GMs move pieces twice in the opening all the time when there is a good reason.
Now, as to that specific position, black is, indeed, somewhat behind in development, but has ...
But I have never seen 4. Bd3 played in titled games.
The reason could be that Black gets a superior version of the French Defense. In the French, Black blocks the natural diagonal of the c8-bishop and then struggles to solve this issue. They lose a lot of tempi to exchange the bad c8-bishop via b6, and Ba6. Here Black immediately trades the light-squared ...
It needs to be as much similar to the Caro-Kann as possible (since I already play the Caro-Kann against 1. e4).
Impossible. The problem with this approach is that you have already stopped e4 with ...d5 so White simply can not transpose even if he wished to do so. Your best bet is the Slav defense, as it is very similar to Caro-Kann ( same pawn structure for ...
You are the author of a series of questions of the type "What is the most boring way to play" and whereas I am fond of positional play as well, I must say that the way the question is formulated is completely wrong. I played the Caro-Kann for years and there is simply no way to avoid an heated battle in some variations, unless you are ready to make a lot of ...
1. c3 (and 1. d3 and 1. e3, which can lead to reversed Pircs, French defense or QGD) aren't bad in that they give White a worse position. So those moves might have some merit as a surprise weapon (if you don't do it too often). But they do offer Black the advantage of setting the first foot in the center and the possibility to defend it, which is normally ...
OK, after reading your reply to my question above, I can more accurately answer.
First, contrary to Fuxia's comment, the move you played, 4...Nc6, is actually more popular now at higher levels than Botvinnik's 4...e6. To quote GM John Shaw's 2016 book:
4...Nc6 is more popular these days and can be viewed as slightly more ambitious, as well as somewhat ...
This is a great example for explaining the concept of the bad bishop.
In the center, we see an example of a pawn chain. White has pawns on d4 and e5, and black c6, d5 and (soon) e6. These are pretty immobile (until either side plays some pawn break). White's pawns are on dark squares, black's on white squares.
As a result, black's white squared bishop is ...
Don't try this at home. ;-)
First of all, a simple LiChess search gives this is B12 Caro-Kann Defense: Advance Variation, Tal Variation, i.e. it has even a name and is legit.
Second, 8 games listed, with IMs playing it, so it's still rare.
Third, standard Black move is Kb8. He doesn't even try to immediately throw everything except the kitchen sink at the ...
EDIT ( December, 30 2013 ):
Removed unnecessary book from the list
Added explanation of basic ideas in response to the comment made by member Jonathan Garber
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).
You did not specify which side you wish ...
The Caro-Kann: Move by Move is a good resource for the Caro-Kann. The repertoire covered has winning chances but is very solid. (Just make sure your rating is at least 1500; below that, learning opening is not ideal.)
Where the knights go depends on your pawn structure.
One option is to do the following, at some point
You get a French defence pawn structure with corresponding ideas.
You could go for the same pawn structure with a different knight setup.
Putting pressure on the d4 square.
c4 is the usual beginner's mistake of releasing the tension unnecessarily. With the pawn on c5 you exert some pressure on d4 which can be increased with moves like Ne7-c6. When the pawn moves to c4 that pressure disappears.
If you played Ne7 instead then taking the c5 pawn is bad for white. You are not going to retake immediately but instead play Nc6. This ...
This line, the Botvinnik-Carls Defense, is my pet opening as Black. :)
The critical move after 4.dxc5 is e6! If White tries to hold the pawn with Be3, you answer that with Nd7. In many lines after that you have a way to get the pawn back or get the bishop pair and a much better pawn structure.
See the annotated example below.
There are in fact quite a few mistakes on both sides, but I can't correct the AI, so this is for White:
3.Qc2 is already bad - it is does not contribute to the fight for the center (and this is a fast one, no time for slow moves). After pawns exchange on e4 black plays Nf6 with tempo and gains the "first move advantage".
6.h3 is slow in that it doesn't ...
There is some analysis at the Kenilworthian blog. See http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/games/java/2007/caro-adv-h4.htm
Download for the ...
The shortest explanation I can think of: if you play 1.e4 and 2.e5, presumably you want that pawn there for a reason. If you then immediately trade it off, you've lost whatever you were trying to achieve, like maybe space or central control.
In the case with ...c5-c4 followed by b2-b3: again presumably you want that pawn to be there for some reason (...