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Caro Kann: A Practical Repertoire For Black Against The Advance Variation – IM Robert Ris (

caro kann defenseThe Caro Kann occurs after the moves 1.e4 c6 (see the diagram on the right) and is one of Black’s most solid replies to 1.e4. The opening has seen steady growth in popularity in recent years.

It has been a favorite of World Champions like Capablanca, Botvinnik, Petrosian and Karpov, but also modern Super-GMs such as Anand, Adams, and Leko.

While it is true that the Caro Kann is a solid opening, that isn’t to say that it is an opening weapon simply used to make a draw. In fact, it carries some hidden bite.

On many occasions, for example, Black outplays White in a slightly better endgame or parries an overambitious attack from White and counters with a winning strike.

But what’s the current state of the Caro Kann?

In a recent iChess Club exclusive video on the current theoretical state of the Caro Kann, GM Alexander Lenderman dived into the waters of the popular Classical Variation (1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3).

Despite the huge popularity of this variation, he concluded that Black is fine against the Classical Variation if he knows what to do against White’s most critical sidelines and mainlines. Black should comfortably equalize.

Caro Kann: A Practical Repertoire For Black Against The Advance Variation

In this iChess Club exclusive video, IM Robert Ris investigates another testing attempt for White to play against the Caro Kann – the Advance Variation.

Non-premium members can only watch the first 3 minutes of the video, premium members have full access to the full 30+ minute video.

caro kann 1The position of interest occurs after the moves 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 (see the diagram on the right).

Here, Black’s main move is quiet 3…Bf5, trying to develop the light-squared bishop outside the pawn chain. Yet, IM Robert Ris recommends the more ambitious 3…c5 for Black.

After 3…c5, Black falls slightly behind in development as he moves his c-pawn twice, but manages to immediately challenge White’s center.

As IM Robert Ris shows in the video, the move 3…c5 became quite popular lately and has been successfully used by players like Vishy Anand, Li Chao and Jorden Van Foreest. Black gets excellent practical play in this line and has a multitude of tactical ideas which White can easily fall for.

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