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gibo 64 ( +1 | -1 )
Your choice against the caro Like most 1.e4 players i've had some trouble with the caro-kann. I've changed my repotoire against it a few times, and am trying to find one i feel comfortable with. Before i played the most common 3.Nc3, then I played the advanced 3.e5 Bf5 then 4.Nc3 followed by a kingside advance.
But lately of been looking at a very modern move. 3.e5 Bf5 (yes there are other options but this is play about 90% of the time), then 3.Be3. This move can look somewhat passive, but it has been played by shirov, svidler and kasparov!
Has anyone else tried this interesting variation? What is your choice against the caro-kann?
basti1981 23 ( +1 | -1 )
I don't play 1. e4 bust afaik one the sharpest responses towards caro-kann is the Panov-Botvinnik-Attack
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 exd5 4. c4

but as I mentioned above since I never get into any caro-kann positions I'm not much of a reliable source
anaxagoras 165 ( +1 | -1 )
I used to play the caro kann almost exclusively against e4, and so I can relate to your question from the other side of the board.

1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 e5 Bf5 4 Be3 seems logical because the dark-squared bishop often develops to e3 anyway to support the white center, so white not develop there on move four? Nonetheless, from the Black side I don't mind the e5 advance very much because it gives me a very clear plan: advance c5, attack down the c file, and sometimes develop the King's Knight to f5 with h5 thrown in for good measure (to secure f5 for the Knight). The variations I have had the most trouble with are (surprisingly) those in which White develops normally and/or plays an early f4, e.g. 1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Bf5 5 Ng3 Bg6 6 f4!? e6 7 Nf3 Nd7 etc. White creates a bind on e5 and Black's Bishop feels like a target on g6 for the f4-f5 advance that is supported by White's Rook after he castles. Nonetheless, if I saw this plan more often I would put more effort into developing accurately against it. Here's a nice example where White developed his Bishop to c4 and Queen to b3, and sacrificed on e6:
1. e4 c6
2. d4 d5
3. Nc3 dxe4
4. Nxe4 Bf5
5. Ng3 Bg6
6. Nf3 Nf6
7. Bc4 e6
8. O-O Nb-d7
9. Re1 Be7
10. c3 O-O
11. Qb3 Nb6
12. Bxe6 fxe6
13. Qxe6+ Rf7

Instead of 8...Nbd7, Black can prevent the whole line with 8...Be7 9 Re1 0-0 10 c3 Re8. White still deserves credit for his enterprising variation and he won after 50 moves and some innacurate defence on my part.
...
Another line to look into is the fantasy variation with 3 f3. Theoretically it is not too highly regarded, and I doubt you'll see kasparov play it, but its surprise value has good effect and very few caro kann players know how to continue. (white scores something like 61% with the fantasy variation according to Gallagher).
baseline 25 ( +1 | -1 )
I like 1.e4 c6 2.c4 its tricky, it can be used to reach the Panov-Botvinnik variation (1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4) after 2...d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.d4 However, by delaying the move d2-d4 White gives himself extra options: he can try to force Black into transpositions that may not be comfortable for him.
ccmcacollister 212 ( +1 | -1 )
Brief Transpositional thoughts. . . The CK often bears great resemblance to the Scandinavian. Many times I've seen a Scand with ...c6 transposed to a Panov-Botvinnik by WT allowing cxd5.
*****
After dxe4 WT can always consider transposing to a Blackmar-Deimer Gambit, if it suits him. For an aggressive game where BL's ...c6 has already prohibited him from some line choices.
******
National and Corr Master Randy Bauer has played the Fantasy Variation. At least in OTB, with good result vs FM level competition, I've seen. Notice he's doing some writing these days, but don't know if he's covered this line in print? Anyone?
*****
Fischer seemed to have some changes of heart about meeting the CK, but ended up with the 2 Knights variation as his typical WT. An example 2Knights game that I played in OTB. It was a very exciting game for me, to make Expert and a first time win vs any Master. So if I may, thank you for letting me share this with you.
************
C.Collister(1986)-M.Blankenau(FM 2380)1,e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 Bg4 4.h3 Bxf3 (Bh5!? is complex & extremely interesting, especially in a line where BL sac's the QB for 3 or 4 pawns. Which I had one OTB win with in Class A, and one difficult drawn game in corr. with Master/Exp. Barry Noble; strangely we each preferred to have had the other sides advantages. So drew by agreement well into middle game)
...
5.Qxf3 d4?! 6.Bc4!? (He played without thought, to here he said, since an IM had played 6Ne2 in last tmt & BL did well .) ...Nf6 7.e5 dxc3 8.exf6 cxd2+ 9.Bxd2 exf6 10.o-o-o Nd7 11.Rhe1+ Be7 12.Bb4 Ne5 13.Rxd8+ Rxd8 14.Rxe5 Res. 1-0
....
In our next game Mike switched to 5 ...Nf6 instead of d4, with a much better opening from it. I feel our first game was truly a case of catching the better player before he had begun to think in full gear. Whereas WT HAD to think from the first, to try taking advantage of being an openings student vs an opp with a much stronger endgame ability. Rather similar to Silman's teaching in that Great Book
Amateurs Mind, where he counsules us strongly to note and plan ASAP, imbalances as they occur.
...................
In the Bxf3 line of the 2-Knights CK, more commonly WT may adopt a set-up with pawns d3 & b3, Bb2, maybe g3 & Bg2 or g4 with o-o-o.
* * * * *
gibo 105 ( +1 | -1 )
The fantasy variation... The fantasy variation has pointed out by anaxagoras, seems very interesting. The position is reached via, 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3f3!?, it isn't played very much at top level games but was played recently by morovich (excuse spelling) who beat akopian in a brilliant game with that move.
My problem with 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Be3 is that white often drastically changes his follow up depending what balc plays. if black play 4...Qb6 (common in top level games) then white answer Qc1 and these lines I know fairly well, where white will push for queenside expansion. But if white play an perfectly normal move such as 4...e6, 4...Nd7, then I believe white now plays for kingside play which doesn't seem quiet so appealing. I believe in teh above two options white will answer an eventual c5 with c3, and in this position it seems just like a french (3.e5), excepet white has a good light coloured bishop rather than the miserable one he does in the french. There is an interesting article on the 4.Be3 caro in NIC yearbook issue 70.
premium_steve 55 ( +1 | -1 )
i like playing open classical caros now, exclusively. i used to play the advance and it was alright, but it always involves closed game pawn-storming (which i've tried to avoid as much as possible lately) instead of simple piece play and attack, which i prefer.

i like f4 variations like anaxagoras mentioned. i think this is keres' idea?
i'll play two knights sometimes also, but i'm still a bit weary about playing the panov-botvinnik, since i don't really know what i'm aiming for with that.
jstack 53 ( +1 | -1 )
Panov attack The idea is to get a passed pawn in the center and get it moving! Here is an example from one of my games. I have tried a variety of variations against the cann and the panov attack seems to work the best for me.


jstack (1702) - caissad4 (1761)
Team match gameknot.com/chess.pl?, 08.05.2004

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 e6 7.Nf3 dxc4 8.Bxc4 Be7 9.0-0 0-0 10.a3 b6 11.Qd3 Bb7 12.Rad1 Rc8 13.Ba2 Na5 14.Bb1 g6 15.Ba2 Nd5 16.Bh6 Re8 17.Rfe1 Nxc3 18.bxc3 Bxa3 19.c4 Be7 20.d5 Bf6 21.Bf4 exd5 22.cxd5 Rxe1+ 23.Rxe1 Rc5 24.d6 Rc3 25.Qd2 Nc4 26.Bxc4 Rxc4 27.d7 Be7 28.Bg5 f6 29.Bxf6 1-0

oldhamer 21 ( +1 | -1 )
I also play the Caro-Kann. As White I play 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. ed cd 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. h3!?

Basically, don't let Black's bishop get out, and black will get stuck! If black tries a minority attack on the q-side with ...a6 and ...b5, I often play Nb1-d2-b3-c5. Ouch!
anaxagoras 28 ( +1 | -1 )
btw, Joe Gallagher's book on the caro kann is excellent, and written from the perspective of a player who plays the white side of the opening. It's very easy to understand (one of those "starting out" books) and will give you a very good survey of the many choices White has after 1...c6.
peppe_l 24 ( +1 | -1 )
oldhamer "I also play the Caro-Kann. As White I play 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. ed cd 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. h3!?

Basically, don't let Black's bishop get out, and black will get stuck! If black tries a minority attack on the q-side with ...a6 and ...b5, I often play Nb1-d2-b3-c5. Ouch!"

Black can play 6...e5! though.
anaxagoras 5 ( +1 | -1 )
yup, 6. h3? fails because it allows 6... e5 with equality.
oldhamer 22 ( +1 | -1 )
it's not that great.

6....e5 7. de nxe5 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Qe2 (or Bxd7+) and does Black really have much for the IQP.

At my level of chess I don't really care about theoretical equality, but about the position. I like this position for white...
jstack 105 ( +1 | -1 )
why 8..Bd7? Isolated pawn positions are one of my favorite topics. An isolated pawn is not always a weakness. True it can be, but if handled properly the isolated pawn can be a significant advantage. I agree after 8..Bd7 9. Qe2 white is winning. But why 8..Bd7? 8..Nc6 makes a lot more sense to me. The knight is supporting the square in front of the isolated pawn. And obviously 9. BxN just supports blacks center. Black should try to play moves like ..Bc5..Qd6..Rd8..Re8 and push the pawn at the right moment. White can find himself in a lot of trouble if he is not careful. This positon is very similar to Caro Kann Panov-Bovtivnik attack with the colors reversed. The proper plan for white is to play moves like Nf3 Nbd2 Nd4 blockading the pawn. If white can establish an effective blockade he should be able to win but if black gets the pawn moving it is black with the winning chances. 1 In the Panov Botovnik attack it is the side with the isolated pawn who has attacking chances. 6. h3 could turn out to just weaken the kingside defence. After 6..e5 the position is equal but I prefer black. after 6....e5 7. de nxe5 8. Bb5+ Nc6.
anaxagoras 88 ( +1 | -1 )
oldhamer, while it may be the case that you like the position after 9 Qe2 or 9 Bxd7+, you are wrong to prefer it to your other sixth move alternatives (h3 is a weak and slow move). The task for White is to keep the Black center pawns under restraint, i.e. not to allow Black to break through with e5. 6 h3 therefore ignores the center and gives Black a better game than you have to give him. Try 6 Bf4 instead and you'll see that ...Bg4 is not so scary.

8...Bd7 is correct and better than Nc6 (it develops a new piece). After 9 Qe2 Bxb5 10 Qxb5+ Qd7 11 Qe2 0-0-0! =/+ Better is 9 Bxd7+ Qxd7 10 Nf3 Bd6 11 0-0 Nxf3+ 12 Qxf3 0-0 and Black has a development lead entering the middlegame. This leads us to believe that Black's isolated pawn can be exchanged for White's c-pawn. A plausible continuation is 13 Re1 Rfe8 14 Be3 Bc5! 15 Nd2 d4! with obvious equality. This is the line you will have to improve on if you want 6 h3 to be a move that promises any advantage.
jstack 71 ( +1 | -1 )
8..Bd7 I am not convinced this really developes a piece. Is d7 really the best square for the bishop? In this isolated pawn position Black needs to get control of the square in front of the pawn. What does black do after 9. Be2 ? It seems to me blacks bishop will just have to move again. Whites plan seems clear to me Nf3 Nbd2 Nd4. He moved the white bishop twice but he is closer to get his pieces to the correct squares than black is. Blacks knight and bishop are not ideally placed for an isolated pawn position. The knight needs to be on c6 and the bishop anywhere but d7. Both will have to move in order to exert maxinum influence over the square in front of the isolated pawn.
peppe_l 15 ( +1 | -1 )
oldhamer "At my level of chess I don't really care about theoretical equality, but about the position. I like this position for white..."

Good point!

anaxagoras 52 ( +1 | -1 )
9 Be2 moves the White Bishop a third time to a post it could've occupied in the first place. What is really missing here is an appreciation of Black's speedy development. After this 9th move White has only developed his Bishop to e2 and has a pawn at c3, which is exactly where the QN would like to go. Consequently Black's structural weakness is *nil* and can be jettisoned at will:

9 Be2 Bc5
10 Nf3 Nxf3+
11 Bxf3 Qe7+
12 Qe2 Qxe2+
13 Bxe2 0-0
14 0-0 Rfe8
15 Bd3 Rac8
16 Nd2 d4!
Black is ahead in development, and as opposed to white, his pieces are even developed effectively.
jstack 81 ( +1 | -1 )
anaxagoras you seem to be choosing moves for white that are totally inconsistent with the plan I mentioned for white namely getting a knight on d4. 10. Nf3 makes no sense at all to me when considering the plan I mentioned. Why would white allow this knight to be exchanged if white wants a knight at d4. I feel like you did not even read what I said whites plan should be. Especially after reading what you said about wishing a knight at c3. I already said the plan is to go Nbd2 intending a knight to d4. I probably should have been more clear I mean the d2 knight. Nb3-Nd4. Maybe this idea can be refuted. but 10. Nf3 certainly is not the critical position. 10. Bf4 is certainly more consistent with the plan. then maybe these lines make sense?

A) 10. Bf4 Ng6 11. Bg3 Bc6 12. Nf3 Intending Nd4
B) 10. Bf4 Nc6 11. Nbd2 intending Nb3
anaxagoras 51 ( +1 | -1 )
It only sounds like I didn't listen to your plan ;-) I strongly suggest that you change your point of view on that isolani from a weakness to a dynamic attacking instrument, and that is all because of Black's development and active piece placement. 10 Nd2 fails because of ...Nd3+!, so it's good that you suggest Bf4 instead (I am talking about the 9 Bxd7+ Qxd7 line of course).

After 10 Bf4 I don't see why Black should retreat the N. Better is 10 ...Bd6, and then Nd2 is still unavailable to White unless Bxe5.
jstack 160 ( +1 | -1 )
isolated pawns anaxagoras, where did you get the idea I view the isolated pawn only as a weakness? Back when we started this discussion, I wrote,
.
"Isolated pawn positions are one of my favorite topics. An isolated pawn is not always a weakness. True it can be, but if handled properly the isolated pawn can be a significant advantage" I completely understand an isolated pawn can be a potent weapon. In an earlier post, I stated my enthusiasm for the panov-botovnik (as white) attack in which white voluntarily enters an isolated queens pawn position. How could I play such an opening if I did not know a little about the benefits of the isolated pawn. Based on your last comment
.
"I strongly suggest that you change your point of view on that isolani from a weakness to a dynamic attacking instrument"
.
I have a hard time believing you read any of this.
.
The obvious question, which I tried to answer earlier...maybe I wasn't clear.
why I would defend the side without the isolated pawn. The reason is it seemed to me after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. ed cd 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. h3? e5 7. pxp Nxp 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Be2!? blacks pieces are not ideally placed to play the isolated pawn position. The best square for the the queens knight is c6 dark bishop c5 light square bishop f5 or b7 Queen and rook on the d file other rook on the e file. This set up puts the most control over the square in front of the isolated pawn. However, for black to achieve this the knight and bishop will have to move again. So I felt white was actually a few tempos up even though technically speaking he has less pieces developed. Therefore, I prefer white.



.
jstack 124 ( +1 | -1 )
back to the analysis "10 Nd2 fails because of ...Nd3+!, so it's good that you suggest Bf4 instead (I am talking about the 9 Bxd7+ Qxd7 line of course)."
.
I thought we were discussing the 9. Be2 line? Blacks light square bishop does not belong on d7. Why should white exchanged blacks poorly developed piece and in the process speed up blacks developed. When I saw say developement I mean useful developement. There is no reason why the queen should not be on d7. ..0-0-0 is coming soon and black is ready to push the pawn before white even thinks about a Nd4 manuever.
.

9 Be2 Bc5 10. Bf4
to execute the plan white will have to get blacks knight out of here. Bf4 seems the best way to accomplish it. 10. Nbd2? Qe7 looks awful for white.

10... Bd6
White has to exchange on e5. Otherwise a knight will never land on d4 and without a knight on d4 black will win. The pawn will be pushed and black will have better squares for his pieces.
.
11. BxN Bxb 12. Nf3 and maybe 12..Bc7 13. Nbd2 0-0 14. Nd4 Re8 15. 0-0 Be6 16. Nd2f3 the isolated pawn is weak. However, white has his weaknesses too. Namely the dark squares. This might not be so bad but the kingside has already been weakened with 6..h3. If white can survive to the ending he should win but it may not be so easy because of 6. h3. The best plan to defend is probably Re1 followed by Bf1(to prepare g3 the bishop protecting the h3 pawn if g3 is necessary).

anaxagoras 187 ( +1 | -1 )
First of all, my apologies for confusing you with oldhamer.

Ok, so let's look at the 9 Be2 line.
9 Be2 Bc5
10 Bf4 and you give Bd6?. Instead I give:
10 ...Ng6
11 Bg3 (if Bh7 Qb6!) Ne4
12 Bd3 Nxg3
13 fxg3 Qb6! and Black is well ahead here.

What I see here is that the time-loss error of White's sixth move (6 h3?), and the consequent liberation of Black's center makes the Black isolani a non-issue. White just doesn't have time here to create an outpost at d4, let alone attack the isolani on d5.

You write: "The reason is it seemed to me after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. ed cd 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. h3? e5 7. pxp Nxp 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Be2!? blacks pieces are not ideally placed to play the isolated pawn position. The best square for the the queens knight is c6 dark bishop c5 light square bishop f5 or b7 Queen and rook on the d file other rook on the e file. This set up puts the most control over the square in front of the isolated pawn. However, for black to achieve this the knight and bishop will have to move again. So I felt white was actually a few tempos up even though technically speaking he has less pieces developed. Therefore, I prefer white."

Tell me if I'm wrong here, but you are describing a position where the isolani and the square in front of it are under dispute. Here there is *little-to-zero* pressure on the isolani, and consequently Black need not move bishop and knight a second time. (The Bishop on d7, while not actively placed yet, can also eye both the queen's and king's wing.) In fact, Black ignore his isolani here and attack the undeveloped White position to his heart's content.

After your 10 ...Bd6?
12 Nf3 Bc7 (...Bf4 is correct, 12 Qd4 Qc7 13 0-0 0-0)
13 Nbd2 0-0
14 Nd4 Re8
15 0-0 Be6
16 N2f3 you are correct that the isolani is weak, but this is only because of Black's faulty tenth move (...Bd6?) which you suggested above. After 10 ...Ng6 White does not have a good retreating square for his QB, as shown above, and Black has the attack. If you can find an improvement for White after 10 ...Ng6 then I would be very pleased to see it!
jstack 98 ( +1 | -1 )
anaxagoras First of all 10..Bd6 was never my suggestion. This was your suggestion. Somehow you forgot that you wrote,,,
.
"After 10 Bf4 I don't see why Black should retreat the N. Better is 10 ...Bd6, and then Nd2 is still unavailable to White unless Bxe5. "
.
so I offered some continuations where the isolated pawn becomes weak and now you change your mind and say Ng6 is better(which it is). I don't mind you changing your mind about the analysis...this is how we learn. But, I do find it insulting that you would give me credit for a weak move which I never suggested.
.
This said the truth in the position is that after 10..Ng6 black is better due to advantage in development. The isolated pawn can simply be sacrificed. For example
.
9 Be2 Bc5
10 Bf4 10 ...Ng6
11 Bg3 (if Bh7 Qb6!) Ne4
12. Qxp NxB
13. pxB Qb6 threatening Bf2+ getting the pawn back, ..0-0-0 is also coming

and if white tries
12. Nf3 NxB
13. pxB white will have a hard time getting the king to a safe place. The problem here is the pawn on h3. If white could take the knight back with the h pawn he would probably be okay.

anaxagoras 33 ( +1 | -1 )
That's a very nice quote, but please note the parathetical remark above it: "(I am talking about the 9 Bxd7+ Qxd7 line of course)."

Please be insulted then ;-) You introduced a different ninth move and gave 10 ...Bd6, which makes it a different move than 10 ...Bd6 in my line, a response to White's Nf3 (this is obvious, isn't it?).

jstack 97 ( +1 | -1 )
Not so obvious "Please be insulted then ;-) You introduced a different ninth move and gave 10 ...Bd6, which makes it a different move than 10 ...Bd6 in my line, a response to White's Nf3 (this is obvious, isn't it?). "
-
I don't see how you could think this. First of all, why are you discussing 9. Bxd7+ 10. Qxd7 with me in the first place? I never suggested that either. I never suggested it and still you think that was the line I was talking about when I said 10. Bf4. I fail to see how this makes any sense.
-
More to the point however is the post I submitted right above your post, where I suggested two continuations after 9. Be2 Bc5 10. Bf4
-
"A) 10. Bf4 Ng6 11. Bg3 Bc6 12. Nf3 Intending Nd4
B) 10. Bf4 Nc6 11. Nbd2 intending Nb3 "
I don't see how you could think this is not referring to the 9. Be2 line. Right above this post is your comments on 9. Be2.
-
But somehow you think I would suggest 10..Bd6? I really wish you would pay more attention. I really can't see how you could possibly miss this information. And you say it only seems like you don't pay attention to what I write. That's undiluted nonsense.
anaxagoras 42 ( +1 | -1 )
jstack, you're taking this way too personally. This whole thread has been rather convoluted and lacking in precision about specific lines of play. If you can rid yourself of the belief that I've been intentionally trying to obfuscate your commentary, then perhaps we can come to terms here. The reason why I wasn't commenting on the Be2 line is because I had confused you with oldhamer, as I already explained above.

Cheers.
jstack 171 ( +1 | -1 )
was it worth the trouble. Yes, I agree this is getting out of hand. But the funny part is that we were never in disagreement in principle. We both believed 6. h3 was a bad move for a variety of reasons, we only disagree on what blacks best technique of obtaining an advantage. I'm not sure what if anything can be learned from this thread except that the 9. Be2 plan does not work. But is this really that surprising after 6. h3. In fact, even in the line where white lands a knight on d4 and the isolated pawn becomes weak, white really isn't much better if at all. Black willget plenty of counter play against the weakened castle position(because of 6. h3).
.
Perhaps it would be useful to review why 6. h3 is a bad move
1. it does not develop a piece
2. it weakens the kingside
3. it does nothing to control the important e5 square
-
I would feel sorry for somebody trying to follow the lines in this thread, so I am going to try to piece them back together again.
-
Our main one goes 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. ed cd 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. h3!? e5 7. de nxe5 8. Bb5+ Bd7
-

A) 9.Bxd7+ Qxd7 10 Nf3 Bd6 11 0-0 Nxf3+ 12 Qxf3 0-0 13 Re1 Rfe8 14 Be3 Bc5! 15 Nd2 d4
-
B) 9 Qe2 Bxb5 10 Qxb5+ Qd7 11 Qe2 0-0-0!
-
C) 9. Be2 Bc5 10. Bf4
C1) 10..Bd6? 12 Nf3 Bc7 14 Nd4 Re8 15 0-0 Be6
C2) 20. Ng6! 11 Bg3 (if Bh7 Qb6!) Ne4 12 Bd3 Nxg3 13 fxg3 Qb6!
-
as has been previously discussed only line c1 gives white any real winning chances and even here white will have to be skillful in defence to be successful.
-
Conclusion: 6. h3 cannot be reccomended.
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anaxagoras, this conclusion we never disagreed on. In order to decide whether 8. Bd7 is superior to 8. Nc6, a detailed analysis of 8. Nc6 would be necessary. My feeling is black would a good chance for an advantage. Even if you feel it is bad because it is moving the same piece twice, black can afford this luxury because white wasted a move with 6. h3. Pehaps its worth discussing and is best to end the discussion here.
-
regards
oldhamer 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Ah well. That's another opening line I played down the drain.....
loreta 110 ( +1 | -1 )
My 2 ct I found very interesting discussion of anaxagoras and jstack.
Anyway (without any interest to argue) I'm about agree with oldhamer - 6. h3!? isn't so bad... Yep, it seems it doesn't give advantage to White and allow to play at centre for Black. But all main lines shows equality of position. And there all depends on player's style and his/her taste.
.
Anyway I would prefer 8. Nf3 (after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. ed cd 4. Bd3 Nc6 5. c3 Nf6 6. h3!? e5 7. de nxe5) ...
---------
As returning to initial post (gibo's) I could say I played exclusively 4. Nc3 against CK but I'm thinking about test od something else.
-------
And about Pannov's... I've to say to basti1981 It {panov's} could happen after 1. d4 {by Grunfeld's defence} as well as after 1. e4 c5 [yep, Sicilian :-) ] I played a game and went into position what could be transformed from many openings (different than CK)... I did annotations to that game but they are in Lithuanian, unfortunately...
loreta 26 ( +1 | -1 )
More... I've forgot to say, anaxagoras and jstack pointed out some lnteresting lines what need to be examined in more details...
john_wr 98 ( +1 | -1 )
Re; Caro Khan; why not delay 'd4' ? I remember reading some interesting comments about the Caro Khan, published
many years ago by British GM Leonard Barden.

He stated that "it is almost routine for White to play 2. d4 against the Caro Khan
but in doing so White passes up the chance of a double trap".

He suggests the '2 knights' line.

I have just completed the following thegame on Gameknot for the third time and
have also played it twice over the board.

gameknot.com/chess.pl?bd=2139346

1. e4 c6, 2. Nc3 d5, 3. Nf3 dxe4, 4. Nxe4 Nd7, 5. Qe2 Ng-f6, 6. Nd6++

okay it wont work against very strong players, I once played Qe2 in a simmul
against Keith Arkel, He looked at me and laughed.
--------------------
The other tricky line goes.....
1 e4 c6, 2 Nc3 d5, 3 Nf3 dxe4, 4 Nxe4 Bf5, 5 Ng3 Bg6, 6 h4 h6, 7 Ne5 Bh7, 8 Bc4
e6, 9 Qh5 g6, 10 Qe2.... Black has to be very carefull now as it looks natural to
develop, but any developing (Knight or Bishop) move loses to 11. Nxf7

Interested in others comments on this...
John
v_glorioso12 6 ( +1 | -1 )
i like the kings indian attack approach

1.e4 c6
2.d3 d5
3.Nd2 e5
4.Ngf3 etc. with g3, Bg2, 0-0, c3, Re1, Qe2, e5, Nf1, Bf4, h4, etc.
mandala 90 ( +1 | -1 )
Fantasy variation? I will always go for 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3. f3!
Most liked continuation:
3. f3 dxe4 4. fxe4 e5 5. Nf3 exd4 6. Bc4
very very entertaining.

Usually however, people playing the Caro-Kann are really boring players (none other than bore supreme Karpov used this to suck every life out of 1.e4 open games; until active players finally came up with an answer to his play and now he's back to to the petroff, another very cowardly and boring opening). Boring players will most likely continue after 3. f3 with e6 or perhaps Nf6.
But the fun thing then is: you really got them completely out of their opening book.
And they will start answering your moves with a6 or h6. So even if 3. f3 is somewhat speculative, it still is an enormous psychological blow to even the dullest player.

So I encourage everybody to analyse morozevich' brilliant 3.f3 games thoroughly.

So. bye now. enjoy






peppe_l 61 ( +1 | -1 )
mandala "Usually however, people playing the Caro-Kann are really boring players (none other than bore supreme Karpov used this to suck every life out of 1.e4 open games; until active players finally came up with an answer to his play and now he's back to to the petroff, another very cowardly and boring opening). Boring players will most likely continue after 3. f3 with e6 or perhaps Nf6."

Karpov's games are "boring" only if you cannot understand them :-)

IMO same applies to "boring" positions & openings, actually.


Just my two cents...

basti1981 18 ( +1 | -1 )
talking about boredom, I don't think a game has to be boring because of the opening, Kramnik's games are for me among the most boring ones, and he has played the sicilian far more than caro-kann or the french.
mandala 88 ( +1 | -1 )
pepel Neither do I understand Kasparov's games for that matter, pepel. Still they are spectacular and beautiful
Even more so, I meditated on Shirov's analyses of his games in Board on fire and I just could not repeat it. Still: I enjoy them thoroughly.
Just like Morozevich' speculative opening reportoire.
Then compare that to Mr Soviet's book How I suffocate my opponents. Read and yawn: on move 29 he wins a pawn, to ultimately take it home on move 102. never to fall for a beautiful combination or some tactics, just too risky for mr Soviet.

As for Kramnik Basti, I completely agree. But remember: he is absolutely crushed every time he plays the najdorf. So i guess we will see a lot of the berlin wall again in his match against mr Draw, Leko.

Now as for the Caro-Kann: some comments on the entertaining 3.f3?
anyone?
What would be the safes line here?







mindtwist 20 ( +1 | -1 )
Why not 3...e6 against the fantasy variation ? I think black is better not to play white's game and keep the position closed. As a Caro player, i would not be comfortable with a semi open f file.
peppe_l 212 ( +1 | -1 )
mandala "Then compare that to Mr Soviet's book How I suffocate my opponents. Read and yawn: on move 29 he wins a pawn, to ultimately take it home on move 102. never to fall for a beautiful combination or some tactics, just too risky for mr Soviet."

There is no rule saying tactics & attacking = interesting / strategy & endings = boring. The point is HOW Karpov wins a pawn and converts his material plus (or most often positional plus). If one cannot understand subtle positional nuances he exploits to suffocate his opponents, of course his games appear boring. Moving back and forth till opponent drops a pawn, then moving back and forth till opponent resigns. How boring! But if one can understand deep planning, how to turn nonexistent plus to crushing advantage, Karpov's games can be as interesting as Tal's masterpieces.

For the record, I am too weak player to really understand Karpov but I still like his games :-)

Of course, I agree dead drawn positions are boring. So are GM draws (Kramnik!). But IMO any position where there is play left is interesting. The question is can you see those small differences?

You also mentioned "cowardly" openings. This is completely untrue. I can as well say folks who play 3.f3 are cowards who try to create tactics to AVOID positional challenge of Caro-Kann main lines. But I know you play 3.f3 because you like it. In same way I play 1...c6 because I like it. Most often "cowardly openings" can be translated "openings I hate because I cannot understand them, and often lose to players who use them" :-) IMO players who call opponents "cowards" have weaknesses (usually strategy and endings) and are happy only when they can go for attack or tactics. To use a poor analogy this is like shark shouting to lion "only cowards stay on land and refuse to battle in water!" :-)

"Why not 3...e6 against the fantasy variation ? I think black is better not to play white's game and keep the position closed. As a Caro player, i would not be comfortable with a semi open f file"

Exactly. Why allow a type of position you dislike and your opponent (propably) likes?
ormus 66 ( +1 | -1 )
Ulysses Gambit? If you get bored with the same old classical Caro positions, try this gambit:

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nf3

I've had some interesting games over at FICS with this. The obvious point is 3... de 4.Ng5 Nf6 5.Bc4 e6 6.Nc3 Bb4. The whole nature of gambit play is about risk, which is why you don't see GMs play them, but at the club level, playing gambits is a good way to test your ability to evaluate dynamic positions. Gambit play forces you to be creative to compensate for your investment of material - this creativity makes you a stronger player. As far as correspondence chess goes, it has the psychological advantage of putting your opponent on the spot because there are virtually no master level games to research.