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migchess20 8 ( +1 | -1 )
Carokhan defense
What is the best movement in the following position?

1.e4, c6 2.d4, d5

3. e5 or 3. Nc3 ? for white

So long.

premium_steve 47 ( +1 | -1 )
i think it's a matter of preference.

i prefer 3.Nc3... because development for white is usually pretty natural and quick.
queen-side castling happens a lot, and sometimes you can build up an attack on e6 (with Bc4 and Ng5) and break up black's defense with a piece sacrifice or something.

3.e5 makes the position more complicated and i think it's more difficult for white to play unless he knows what he's doing.

3...Bf5 is the normal move for black, but 3...c5 is played sometimes too and white needs to be prepared for it.

ionadowman 107 ( +1 | -1 )
For the Advance Variation: 3.e5 Check out the Tal-Botvinnik World Championship match, 1961 (the return match). In quite a few games Botvinnik played the 3....c5 line, but a couple of squashes cured him of that. 3...Bf5 is possibly the better move - it seems more natural, at any rate.
Generally, 3.Nc3 is preferred, but Nimzovitch's 3.e5, although the great man didn't have a whole lotta success with it himself, is playable. After 3...Bf5, White often plays 4.Bd3 or 4.h4, but I have a feeling less forthright methods might be preferable. Maybe 4.c4 (Tal-Golombek), 4.Ne2 or 4.Nc3 are more circumspect.
Just by the way, there is an alternative 3rd move for White: 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4, the Panov-Botvinnik Attack. After 4...Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5 or 6.Nf3 are often played. But a particularly aggressive line after 4...Nf6 is 5.c5!?, the Gunderam Attack, with which White early establishes a Q-side majority that, if Black isn't careful, can put a serious crimp in his development of that wing.
Anyhow, there's some light remarks to get you going...
(My favorite lines as White against the Caro-Kann are the Gunderam Attack, and 1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3, a rather non-committal approach, reserving d2-d4 for the time being.)
ccmcacollister 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Lest we forget ... 3.Nd2 is another alternative there
aqeel 2 ( +1 | -1 )
I also prefer Tarrach Nd2.
mean_guy183 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Question What's the difference between 3. Nd2 and 3. Nc3? Black is going to capture either way?
perfessor 45 ( +1 | -1 )
The difference as I understand it is that Black may leave the central tension and develop with g6, Bg7 and Nh6 (f6). In this closed type of position, White might rather build a pawn chain with c3 and d4. So anticipating this, he plays 3. Nd2 just in case Black decides to keep it closed. If Black takes on e4, it's no difference.

I usually play 3. ed5 cd5 4. c4, the so-called Panov-Bottvinnik attack, which is similar to QGA or Nimzo lines. It's just a matter of taste.
jstack 23 ( +1 | -1 )
kind of wondering Whats the difference between Rubinstein french and the caro-kann the middlegame positions seem very similar to me. The only thing that jumps out at me is that black has the option to play c5 in one move but how important is this?
gloomy_den 61 ( +1 | -1 )
the difference is the light-square bishop in the all French lines, including Rubinstein black is struggling with that bishop, since pawn on e6 blocks its natural development. In the Caro-Cann, however, black can develop the bishop conviniently on f5 or g4 (1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 Bg4).

Generally, Caro-Cann is played with intention to resolve the tension in the center (3...dxe4), whereas in French black usually tries to keep it (playing 3...Bb4 or 3...Nf6 depending on white's third move). That's why Rubinstein is not very popular among top-players: Black can achive similar position in the Caro-Cann lines without locking their light-square bishop.
ccmcacollister 140 ( +1 | -1 )
And Yet ... It is the French Tarrasch position that is considered drawish, and any advantage developing may go to black, while the PV Caro is considered 'dangerous' to the BL pieces. Great remark, jstack, that bears some thought it seems. (Which I'd never done... but could use a lot more than this bit here too! :)
On difference tho, in the French postions, only sometimes does WT play c4, sometimes c3. So I'm thinking it will involve the center situations. And it can be Very dangerous for BL to play dxc4 early on in the PV ...I've found from experience.
Also found, like gloomy_den says, Yeah, ...Bg4 is quite convenient for BL in that French, and usually a large factor if he does get advantage. Also in making it drawish, if that's what's sought. Generally tho, if one really wants to play for something with a French, vs the Tarrasch line, BL will go with Nf6 rather then ...c5 line.
The Real difference in a Caro, after dxe4, is if the 2Knights line preceeds that.
1.e4 c6 2.Nc3(Nf3 may be more accurate to prevent ...e5, tho no one ever plays it that way it seems, but me. Maybe because no Caro player ever seems to play 2...e5 there! Whereas 2.Nc3 allows transpostion into mainline with 2...d5 3.d4)
Anyway, back to the line ...
2...d5 3.Nf3 dxe5 4.Nxe5 and now 4...Bf5 is considered an error. Which compounds if 5.Ng3 is met with Bg6. As BL will give up his B in a way advantageous to WT if he knows the follow-up. :) [study, study ...]
john_wr 81 ( +1 | -1 )
I prefer 2. Nc3 because.... ... according to one of my books, 'delaying d4 gives White the chance of a double trap'..

Trap 1.
1. e4 c6, 2. Nc3 d5, 3. Nf3 dxe4, 4. Nxe4 Nd7 (preparing Ngf6), 5. Qe2 Ngf6, 6. Nd6++
I have played this game in a Worcester League OTB match (as White) on 2 occassions now. okay
it may look obvious but it's surprising how players can overlook Nd6. I tried it in a Simul once
against British GM Keith Arkel but he just laughed and played Ndf6 and needless to say he went
on to win ... good fun though.
Trap 2.
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 Nf6 and Nxf7 wins, eg.. (10... Kxf7 is met by Qxe6+ followed by Qf7++) (any N
or B development move on 10... loses to Nxf7) (10... Qf6 is okay for Black but many playes fail
to spot this or are reluctant to move the Queen so early)
What's good about this line is that from move 7 almost all Blacks responses are forced.

migchess20 9 ( +1 | -1 )
Question two
In the following position What is the better for the black 4...h6 or 4...h5?

1.e4, c6 2.d4, d5 3. e5, Bf5 4. h4,

So long

Thanks por your comments.
ccmcacollister 78 ( +1 | -1 )
migchess20 Good Question. I wonder about that too. And only know that ...h6 is much more commonly seen. Seems more heavily analyzed, or was by the 90's anyway, tho I think the other may be older actually. I have encountered ...h6 being played more than a dozen times for each time that ...h5 has been met, in corr play. It seems to me that the ...h6 games have often tended to drawishness. Or WT develops a middlegame pull. Yet an FM friend of mine has used the ...h6 variation very effectively in otb, often winning the h-pawn after the stage where that is considered dangerous, and thus converting to a pawn plus win. And has done well with it even vs higher rated players.
That's my comment, and I look forward to what others will say too.
sf115 40 ( +1 | -1 )
h6 is better because it is supported by the pawn on g7. If you play h5 then you have to play g3 at some stage to support it. This weakens your kingside, a popular side to castle at. So I think that h6 is better than h5 but I do have doubts.

I want to know what other peole think because, like some other people on this page, I am a bit confused about this
ccmcacollister 78 ( +1 | -1 )
AH ... now I see tho ... I was confused, but sf115 got me thinking about pawn structure there. And that is true. But also, it put me on the path to that most basic tennant of pawn play ... if in doubt, move a pawn!
Thus it occurred to me, by playing h7 rather than h5, I can move that pawn TWICE and therefore it is twice as useful in such circumstances! Yes!? !
Hmmm ... on the otherhand, it just occurred to me, if I move that pawn twice then there is TWICE as Much DOUBT in my game ... so maybe ...h5 IS better!?
But on the foot of it, that takes a tempo too! And so ... I have definately decided,
I am confused again!
(Or is that Still Confused?! mmm maybe so. Yes, I'm sure of that ... :))) -AND-
that I want to wish Happy New Year everyone!