The Caro-Kann occurs after the moves 1.e4 c6 (see the diagram on the right) and is one of the most solid replies for Black 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 two recent iChess Club exclusive videos on the current theoretical state of the Caro Kann, GM Alexander Lenderman and IM Robert Ris explored the popular Classical Variation (1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3) and the Advance Variation (1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5).
These two variations are probably the two most testing attempts for White to get an advantage against the Caro-Kann. Don’t worry if you missed these two videos, you can still watch them here:
- Watch: Caro Kann: Theoretical Developments in the Classical Variation – GM Alex Lenderman (iChess.club)
- Watch: Caro Kann: A Practical Repertoire For Black Against The Advance Variation – IM Robert Ris (iChess.club)
Caro-Kann: Latest Trends in the Exchange Variation
In this iChess Club exclusive video, IM Robert Ris investigates another testing attempt for White to play against the Caro-Kann – the Exchange 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.
The position of interest occurs after the moves 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 (see the diagram on the right).
At first glance, this variation looks rather harmless. Yet, this is not the case and an unprepared Black player can soon end up in trouble if he does not take this line seriously.
Apart from the option to play 4.c4 (playing the Botvinnik-Panov Attack), strong White players have recently focused on the older move of 4.Bd3.
After the main continuation 4…Nc6 5.c3, Black is at a crossroads. He can either play the fashionable 5…Qc7 (with the idea of preventing White from playing 6.Bf4) or the old main move 5…Nf6 (see the diagram on the left).
Due to the fact that White players have found some new and promising ideas against 5…Qc7, IM Robert Ris sticks to 5…Nf6. He shows plenty of new ideas for Black in this line and proves that Black can get equal chances in this variation.
If you regularly face the Exchange Variation with Black or play this line with White and want to stay up-to-date, this video is a must-watch.
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