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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Caro Two Knights (Read 4760 times)
Glenn Snow
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Re: Caro Two Knights
Reply #11 - 12/12/03 at 18:43:27
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Both of those moves (5...e6 and 5...Ngf6) look better than the move I gave (5...Ndf6).  I basically agree that Black should be OK here, however perhaps White can try:

A. 5...e6 6.d4 Ngf6 7.Nxf6 Nxf6 (7...gxf6!?, 7...exf6!? -- of course both of those options transpose to other variations where White hasn't played the most testing systems) 8.0-0 ,transposes to the old game Lein vs. Benko 1978 which continued 8... Be7 9.Qe2 0-0 10.c3 b6 11.Bf4 Bb7 12.Rad1 which ECO assesses as slightly better for White. 

B. 5...Ndf6 6.Nxf6 Nxf6 7.Ne5 e6 8.d4 (This similiar to the 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Nxf6 Nxf6 7.Ne5 where White is commited to Bc4 and Black to ...e6, which I think favors White slightly as Black usually plays ...Be6 or ...Nd7 and a later ...g6.) 8...Nd7 (Here White would normally play Nd3, but that looks ugly now with the Bishop on c4, so maybe...) 9.Bf4 Nxe5 10.Bxe5 now without the moves ...e6 and Bc4 included ECO recommends Black play ...Qd5 or ...Bf5 both of which are impossible here. 

But as Badknight mentioned Black has to be careful in his move order.  I'm sure Black has a way to take advantage of White's move order here to gain equality, but I'll let you figure that out for yourself.  (Ok, it's because I don't know what his best is.)
  
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badknight
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Re: Caro Two Knights
Reply #10 - 12/11/03 at 11:16:47
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  Glenn, there is no arguing with the variation you quote but black isn't forced to play 5...Ngf6.  He may try e6, or even Ndf6 instead (5...Nb6? 6. Bxf7+! and white gets R + 2 good pawns and the initiative by force) these moves have a fair amount of theory in chessbase online.  White does well but there aren't a great amount of high level games here and certainly room for experiment.  Black must be careful and precise as is always the case in the 4....Nd7 lines but he should be able to play this.
  
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Glenn Snow
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Re: Caro Two Knights
Reply #9 - 12/05/03 at 11:53:34
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I read somewhere (can't find the reference now) that after 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.Bc4 (mentioned in a previous post as good) 5...Ngf6 6.Neg5 e6 7.Qe2! that Black is forced into an inferior variation of the Smyslov System since 7...Nd5 is nearly forced.  (7...h6 8.Nxf7; and if 7...Nb6 the move Black would probably like to play, then 8.Ne5!)
  
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badknight
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Re: Caro Two Knights
Reply #8 - 12/05/03 at 02:38:19
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Hello badknight,

After 4..Nd7, I play 5.Qe2!? (5.Bc4 is good too). Now 5..Ngf6?? 6.Nd6++ wins. Ok, ok, a trap. But that just goes to show the possibilities.

So, 5..Ndf6 6.b3 is cool. The idea is 6..Ne4 7.Qe4 Nf6 8.Qf4 and 9.Bb2, 10.OOO, 11.Bd3, 12.Rde1, etc. with smooth development.

Thoughts?

Bela


Bela,

After your 5.Qe2, since (as black) I'm trying to transpose to a main line I play 5...e6.  If you follow up with a quick d4 you've misplaced your queen (yes I know it goes to e2 in that line often but never before the KB has been developed.  You may have misplaced it anyway whether you choose to play d4 or not).

 If you try your b3 idea black just develops his king side either castling there or plays Qc7 and castles queenside.  In order to justify your queen placement you need to either go for a double fianchetto or run the kingside pawns at black,or some combination of the two (Maybe fianchetto the KB and play the QB to d2, g5 or f4 depending on circumstances but I don't believe it's good).  I think black is solid and has the time to counter in the center before you get a bind.  If neither of those plans are your cup of tea then you need to take more time to move your queen again.

My point is I don't believe black has to exchange on e4 early enough to relieve your cramp and your other plans seem too slow to cause a good player (Me it might work on!) much of a problem.  I think white has to try an early d4 if he wants an edge.  I think white is equal in the positions you describe but I don't believe he gets any edge.

Your 5.Bc4 seems a better try to me but if you want to play your queenside fianchetto it will be much tougher to organize and if you don't fianchetto how will you get play on the central dark squares without playing d4?

If these positions are your cup of tea with white then by all means play them.  My argument is that you can't realistically expect a theoretical edge with them and you may even sacrifice white's usual slight edge by playing them.  I don't believe the positions lead to forced dry equality, there is plenty of space for both sides to err and considering white isn't getting much (if anything) in the main lines of the 4....Nd7 Caro the attempt to play the 2 Knights may be as good as anything else.

Regards,
Badknight
  
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badknight
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Re: Caro Two Knights
Reply #7 - 12/05/03 at 02:32:54
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Hello badknight,

After 4..Nd7, I play 5.Qe2!? (5.Bc4 is good too). Now 5..Ngf6?? 6.Nd6++ wins. Ok, ok, a trap. But that just goes to show the possibilities.

So, 5..Ndf6 6.b3 is cool. The idea is 6..Ne4 7.Qe4 Nf6 8.Qf4 and 9.Bb2, 10.OOO, 11.Bd3, 12.Rde1, etc. with smooth development.

Thoughts?

Bela


Bela,

After your 5.Qe2, since (as black) I'm trying to transpose to a main line I play 5...e6.  If you follow up with a quick d4 you've misplaced your queen (yes I know it goes to e2 in that line often but never before the KB has been developed.  You may have misplaced it anyway whether you choose to play d4 or not).

  If you try your b3 idea black just develops his king side either castling there or plays Qc7 and castles queenside.  In order to justify your queen placement you need to either go for a double fianchetto or run the kingside pawns at black,or some combination of the two (Maybe fianchetto the KB and play the QB to d2, g5 or f4 depending on circumstances but I don't believe it's good).  I think black is solid and has the time to counter in the center before you get a bind.  If neither of those plans are your cup of tea then you need to take more time to move your queen again.

My point is I don't believe black has to exchange on e4 early enough to relieve your cramp and your other plans seem too slow to cause a good player (Me it might work on!) much of a problem.  I think white has to try an early d4 if he wants an edge.  I think white is equal in the positions you describe but I don't believe he gets any edge.

Regards,
Badknight
  
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belaji
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Re: Caro Two Knights
Reply #6 - 12/04/03 at 22:06:17
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Hello badknight,

After 4..Nd7, I play 5.Qe2!? (5.Bc4 is good too). Now 5..Ngf6?? 6.Nd6++ wins. Ok, ok, a trap. But that just goes to show the possibilities.

So, 5..Ndf6 6.b3 is cool. The idea is 6..Ne4 7.Qe4 Nf6 8.Qf4 and 9.Bb2, 10.OOO, 11.Bd3, 12.Rde1, etc. with smooth development.

Thoughts?

Bela
  
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Re: Caro Two Knights
Reply #5 - 12/04/03 at 14:03:22
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My problem with playing the 2 Knights with white is if black desires he can avoid the issue by playing 3...dxe4 and after 4.Nxe4 Nd7.  I think white has to transpose with d4 into the Smyslov main lines (where black is doing well at even the highest levels) if he wants to try for any edge. If he tansposes at move 5 for example he's stuck with the lines where the king knight comes early to f3 and those aren't his strongest theoretically.

  As someone who dabbles with both sides of the Caro I should add I'm disappointed black can't use this same trick if he wants to play the classical variation as it doesn't work! After 3...dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 black must try 5...Bg4 because on 5....Bg6(?! trying to transpose to the classical system) white can play 6.h4(!) h6 7.Ne5 and the tempo saved by not playing d4 is useful e.g.  7...Bh7(Qd6! [Gallagher]) 8.Qh5 g6 (UGH!) 9.Bc4 e610.Qe2 with a wonderful attack to come.  Look at black's QB or should I say extra  KR pawn!  Even after the better 7...Qd6 white is better after simply taking the bishop.
  
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Re: Caro Two Knights
Reply #4 - 11/13/03 at 08:11:31
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In Andrew's line 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 de 4. Nxe4 Nf6 5. Nxf6+ gxf6 6. g3 Bg4 7. Bg2, I would rather go for a K-side attack with h5 and h4, where Black has his bishop in a better position than in the main line Caro as it is supporting the h-pawn thrust. I would rather play e6, Qc7, Bd6 (or e7) f5 and get the knight in to e4
  

"When I am White, I am because I am White. When I am Black, I win because I am Bogolyubov" (?!) - Efim Bogolyubov, noted chess player and optimist.
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Glenn Snow
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Re: Caro Two Knights
Reply #3 - 10/28/03 at 00:46:32
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I'd also like to see any games or analysis on this gxf3 variation.  I like the 2 bishops, but White's kingside looks really weak to me.  I still think White might have a little something with Qxf3, but I doubt I've looked into it as deeply as "Tigger" has.
  
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Tigger
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Re: Caro Two Knights
Reply #2 - 02/21/03 at 07:40:51
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I used to play the two knights but gave it up because i was fed up with trying to prove anything against 3... Bg4 however Nigel Davies recommended 4. h3 Bxf3 5. gxf3!? I have tried to work out what is happening in this position but to no avail! Whites position seems to have a lot of potential with the bishops and the centre but at the same time Black looks very solid. Does anybody have any ideas about this position or have a clue what's going on???
  
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IMAndrewMartin
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Re: Caro Two Knights
Reply #1 - 02/13/03 at 13:53:57
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    Hello everyone,

     It's not at all easy to equalize in the Two Knights Variation. The lines after 3...Bg4 are well-catalogued but of the remainder I think 3...dxe4 4 Nxe4 Nf6!? 5 Nxf6+ gxf6 produces an interesting position eg 6 d4 Bg4 7 Be2 Qc7 8 Be3 Nd7 9 c4 e6 10 0-0 0-0-0 and Black has transposed into a non-threatening line of the Mainline Caro or 6 g3 Bg4 7 Bg2 Qd7 8 h3 Bf5 9 Nh4 Be6 10 d3 Na6 with obscure play in Van der Wiel-Miles Brussels 1986.

      As this posting quite rightly prompts- Smileymore discussion required !

       Andrew
Smiley
     
  
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belaji
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Caro Two Knights
02/12/03 at 09:30:26
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Hello all,

It seems to me that the line 1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 is underrated. Why is this line so unpopular? Can black really gain equality so quickly?

Let's chat!

Thanks,

Bela Geczy
  
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