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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation (Read 21346 times)
HgMan
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #25 - 09/27/17 at 22:19:57
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This is helpful. But your preference is to play 5...c5 first? I suppose the bigger debate in the Short Variation is when/where/whether Black can get this move in to good effect.
  

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ErictheRed
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #24 - 09/27/17 at 20:28:42
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True mn, the knight picks his circuit based on which squares become available or what squares he can fight for; sometimes it even goes back to e7 and f5--if the light-squared bishops are exchanged, for instance.

What I meant to get across is that move 6 is too early to have a grand plan in mind; the knight is getting out of the way so that Black can complete his development first, then will re-enter play later depending on how things progress.  The hope is that compared to an Advance French for instance, the time lost re-routing the knight is made up for by having an awesome bishop on f5.
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #23 - 09/27/17 at 17:25:21
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The Knight on c8, in an ideal world, is going to b6 - where it's generally out of the way, and discourages White's c2-c4 break further. Therefore, White often replies with a4-a5 to stop this. At which point, Black tends to choose an alternative path for the Knight: ...a6 and ...Na7-b5-c7. When White plays c2-c4, as is crucial for Black is the "Closed Short Variation" (without an early ...c5), the Knight can jump to d5.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #22 - 09/27/17 at 15:31:34
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I wouldn't personally call 6...Nc8 a waiting move.  Black really is trying to play quickly and develop the rest of his kingside; it's more of an untangling move.  I don't think that there is any particularly deep point behind it, though I'm sure that there are subtle nuances when compared to other lines with ...Nc8 by Black.  I would say that in the Short System in general, play can take on wildly different characteristics, which is what makes it so challenging for both sides.

Caveat that I only have personal experience with 5...c5, and positions such as 6.0-0 Nc6 7.c3 cd 8.cd Nge7 9.Nc3 Nc8 10.Be3 Be7 11.Rc1 Nb6 12.Na4 Nxa4 13.Qxa4 0-0.  Perhaps, as Jupp53 said, Black can take things in an entirely different direction by playing an early ...f6--which I have played as well, but without going ...Ng8-e7-c8 first. 
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #21 - 09/27/17 at 12:32:37
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It's funny how, compared with the French, Black solves the riddle of the light-squared bishop in the Caro-Kann (and especially the Advanced), but inherits a problem of what to do with the dark-squared bishop, hence ...Nc8 to clear room and options.

MartinC wrote on 09/27/17 at 08:41:06:
That's definitely something I'm really unsure about to - what is white meant to do if black basically does nothing for a while.

b3 to prepare c4 without conceding d5? Random Q Side expansion cf a4,a5 etc? Trying to utterly stamp on c5 via c3/b4/Nb3? Central consolidation via Ne1, f4, Nf3?


So: a waiting move of sorts? Where it's not yet clear what the central debate will be? It's interesting that the game can really take on wildly different characteristics over the next 5-10 moves.
  

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MartinC
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #20 - 09/27/17 at 08:41:06
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That's definitely something I'm really unsure about to - what is white meant to do if black basically does nothing for a while.

b3 to prepare c4 without conceding d5? Random Q Side expansion cf a4,a5 etc? Trying to utterly stamp on c5 via c3/b4/Nb3? Central consolidation via Ne1, f4, Nf3?
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #19 - 09/27/17 at 08:34:59
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HgMan wrote on 09/27/17 at 02:05:50:
Getting the knight out of the way as quickly as possible to expedite castling?



Black lacks space for pieces. Both the dark squared Bishop and the Knight would like to use e7 and the light squared Bishop and Knight would like to use f5. If Black isn't intending an early .. c5, there's no immediate need to get the Rook to c8.

As White I've found the problem to be what to do next after playing Nf3, Be2 and O-O.
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #18 - 09/27/17 at 03:06:29
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Yes - Burmakin plays it with fast castling and f7-f6 if possible.
This is a typical engine position in my eyes. I'm interested in the opinion of stronger players.
  

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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #17 - 09/27/17 at 02:05:50
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Could somebody please explain to me the following:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Ne7 6.0-0 Nc8

Getting the knight out of the way as quickly as possible to expedite castling? In practice the knight on c8 goes any number of directions and/or sits on c8 for quite a long time. Yet: Black seems to score reasonably well with it...
  

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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #16 - 02/09/14 at 23:46:40
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Short system seems like the most practical and sensible option against the Caro now.

Modern main-line?

At least White gets a decent strategical game of chess, there is theory but plenty of options for creativity also.
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #15 - 02/09/14 at 09:15:59
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Seems to me Nigel is no Caro theoretician and was just winging it against weaker players...

I'm happy with the Black side of the Short variation. Haven't seen many club players with the positional sophistication that playing White in this system demands.
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #14 - 02/08/14 at 12:02:45
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Nigel had to meet his own system in a couple of games from Gibraltar recently. In the first, which he drew, he didn't play .. c5 at all, allowing White to get in c5 for herself. He then broke the position up with .. f6 despite having played .. h6 earlier. This involved having to sacrifice a piece to get a pawn army. In the second, he played .. c5 but seemed to be blown away by one of the normal plans involving white playing c4.


  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #13 - 11/12/13 at 22:19:14
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The Advance seems to be getting very popular in correspondence chess...I'm playing in one tournament at the moment and all 4 players that opened 1.e4 opted for it. In my view the most dangerous line is the Short system but specifically where White plays Nbd2-b3, Bd2 and pushes his a pawn. The White set up is very flexible and Black has to be careful not to castle too early either side. If Black plays a5 that can be a target with the B and N already lined up.
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #12 - 10/19/13 at 20:30:38
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Not sure how popular it is at club level yet. I've been going 4 Be3 for a bit now and it very often seems to produce thought quite early on from both sides then interesting positions.

Its an ideal opening for club play actually as its too flexible to really concretely book.

I can't remember seeing many in other peoples games either, but I don't see enormous numbers of caro's.
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #11 - 10/19/13 at 19:57:36
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I played the Short system for a while after Kaufman recommended it in the first edition of his repertoire back in 2004. But then it got wildly popular and Black players started being ready for it (besides, I switched almost entirely to 1.d4). But the positions are interesting.
  

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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #10 - 10/19/13 at 15:45:28
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It's incredible how important this variation has become at the top level - every month Tom's update seems to be full of it! I'm curious - is it as popular with club players? Undecided
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #9 - 08/06/13 at 04:35:27
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I remember Topalov recently played 5...Bg6 6.0-0 Nh6 and despite losing quickly he was fine out of the opening. You don't really have to worry about Bxh6 gxh6 as White can't quickly attack on the kingside and Black counterattacks the White centre in French style with ...c5 and ...f6, opening the position for your unopposed dark-squared bishop. On a quick glance 7...Nf5 might be okay too. If White doesn't ever take on h6 you can eventually play ...f6 and ...Nf7 to solve the problem of getting your kingside pieces to good squares.
  

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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #8 - 08/06/13 at 02:51:35
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Bump.
Can anyone else give me some advices on this?
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #7 - 07/22/13 at 08:30:36
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The static evaluation of computers in that sort of very slow, strategic position is not a remotely reliable guide. It is probably slow enough that white gets an edge of some sort, but it isn't remotely obvious how he should use the time granted.

Its certainly the one thing I've found hardest playing white in these positions - black does 'nothing' and you've got to find something constructive to do for a few moves.
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #6 - 07/21/13 at 19:47:30
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Concerning the Two Knights Variation, yes that would pose me a problem too, but I could just choose not to follow the main line of that variation. For example I could play this : 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 and then either 4... Nf6 or 4... Nd7. Or this : 1. e4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. Nf3 Bg4 4. h3 Bh5 (it's technically inferior to 4... Bxf3 but it can't be that bad, and even though white ends up getting my light squared bishop in the main line of that variation he gives me an open h file and most of the time he will also give his own light squared bishop for my c6 knight).

But concerning the Classical Variation, I might be wrong (since I just started learning the Caro-Kann three days ago), but I can see only two lines where white gets my light squared bishop :
- 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. N1e2 e6 7. Nf4 Bd6 8. h4 Qc7 9. Nxg6 hxg6 but I get a great open h file
-  1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. Bc4 e6 7. N1e2 Bd6 and then he has three choices : 8. O-O Qc7 and I get to keep my bishop, 8. h4 h6 and I also get to keep my bishop, 8. Nf4 (less played than the other two choices) and yes I loose my bishop but I still get an open h file.
And these lines are a little rare. So I don't worry too much about my light squared bishop in the Classical Variation.

And finally, concerning the Shirov Variation, here too (if I'm not mistaken) I don't loose my light squared bishop.
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nc3 e6 5. g4 Bg6 6. Nge2 c5 7. h4 (7. Be3 Nc6 8. dxc5 h5) h5 8. Nf4 Bh7 9. Nxh5
Here is what the author says on 7... h5 : "It's all about structure. Black fights not only for the life of his strong bishop but also for the important light squares and the initiative. The move 7... h5 is actually a deep pawn sacrifice."
And then after 8. Nf4 Bh7 he continues : "The point - the bishop is more important than the pawn. Moves such as 8... Nc6 or 8... cxd4 are playable, but why allow Nxg6?"
This seems to be exactly the opposite of what almost everyone here is saying : "one of the main ideas for Black in the Caro-Kann is that he can give up the LSB for a Knight" and "one of the main points of playing the Caro Kann is to get rid of the 'bad' French Bishop".


@Pantu : Concerning the plan of playing 5...Nd7 6.0-0 Bg6 followed by 7...Nh6, I really don't like black's position after white shatters black's pawn structure with 8. Bxh6 (except if white responds with 7. Nbd2 which prevents that). In my playing style, I overestimate bishops a little too much, but I overestimate the importance of the pawn structure even more too much.
But for the plan of playing 5... Ne7 6. 0-0 Nc8 in the Short Variation, I actually really like this plan! But unfortunately, Houdini evaluates the resulting position as +0.36 for white after three hours of analysis (and the engine that made the evaluations in the ChessOK opening explorer gives +0.48), and since it has only been played 14 times I'm guessing it's maybe not such a great plan.



So now I'm hesitating between these three setups :
- Nd7, h6, Ne7, Bh7, Ng6 (or Nf5, I don't know), Be7, 0-0
- Ne7, Ng6, Be7, 0-0, Nd7 (but here maybe I could encounter some problems with h3 followed by g4)
- Ne7, Nc8, Be7, 0-0, Nd7, Ncb8
Can anyone tell me which one is good and which one is bad?
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #5 - 07/21/13 at 08:36:51
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I've always found Schandorff's specific recommendation against the Short variation (3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2) a bit odd, as against all the other positional advance lines such as 4.Be3 he likes the ...Ne7-c8 plan.  So that is simply what I have played instead, rather than learning all those lines with 5...c5 that I think might just be good for white anyway. For example, 5...Ne7 6.0-0 Nc8 7.Be3 Be7 8.Nbd2 0-0 9.Ne1 c5 10.c3 Nc6 has appeared in one of my games.

The other good plan, recommended by Lakdawala in his Move by Move book, is 5...Nd7 6.0-0 Bg6 followed by 7...Nh6 (not minding Bxh6 if it is possible) heading to f5, which also makes it hard for white to get the light squared bishop.
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #4 - 07/21/13 at 08:10:15
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Like the previous already mentioned, I don't get it myself either: one of the main points of playing the Caro Kann is to get rid of the 'bad' French Bishop, so you put it outside the pawn chain. So it is natural in many systems for White to target this Bishop as an integral part of his/her strategy. Apart from the Classical and the Two Knights already mentioned, what about Tal/Shirov's 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nc3 - your Bishop is going to be attacked once more.

Also note that the French-like approach with 3. ... c5 mentioned by ErictheRed above, may procude a lot of tactical lines.

ALso: Schandorff's book is very good, but as he states in the forward, he treats the C-K in a 'modern' way, i.e. aims for dynamic(/tactical) counter-attacking lines. There are other sources (I personally used Bologan's DVD) if you prefer more solid stuff.

One last note: I like the Bishops myself, but this C-K/Slav pawn structure favours the Knights in many occasions, so why limit your chess?
  

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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #3 - 07/21/13 at 06:36:32
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I did play a good game in the line with Ne7- Bh7- Ng6. I played 5..c5 for quite a while.It is an interesting option which leads to forced lines. While here you have the typical Caro-Kan maneuvering  Roll Eyes

  

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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #2 - 07/20/13 at 22:21:56
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Play something else (Sicilian, French...) if you don't want to give up a Bishop for a Knight; one of the main ideas for Black in the Caro-Kann is that he can give up the LSB for a Knight and have a very solid position.

Alternatively try 3...c5 against the Advanced Variation, I guess.
  
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Re: Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
Reply #1 - 07/20/13 at 21:47:49
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OT, but offhand I wonder what you are going to do about the possibility of White rounding up your QB with his KN in the Classical.  Or against the Two Knights ...
  
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Caro-Kann, Advance Variation, Short Variation
07/20/13 at 21:17:09
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Hello.

I'm currently learning the Caro-Kann thanks to a great book (Grandmaster Repertoire - The Caro-Kann, from Lars Schandorff), but I have a problem with the Short Variation of the Advance Variation (1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2) : every single line seems to either loose my light squared bishop for a knight (and personnaly I really prefer bishops over knights), or to be too complex and tactical (and if I chose the Caro-Kann it was also because I wanted quiet positional games).

So, what can I play in the Short Variation that allows me to keep my bishop and that doesn't lead to too much complex positions?

In my book, the author recommends 5... c5. Then white has two possible answers : 6. 0-0 and 6. Be3.
I have no problem against 6. 0-0 : 6... Nc6 7. c3 (7. Be3 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Nxd4 9. Qxd4) cxd4 8. cxd4 Nge7 9. Nc3 (9. Nh4? Qb6) Nc8.
But against 6. Be3 the author recommends 6... cxd4 7. Nxd4 Ne7 (7... Bg6? 8. h4 is bad for black) and then either 8. c4 Nbc6 9. Qa4 a6 (not sure if my bishop is going to survive or not) or  8. Bg5 Qa5+ 9. Nc3 Nbc6 (and I'm not sure either what's going to happen to my bishop - and the author doesn't want to play 9... Bg6 because it's supposedly bad because of 10. b4, although Houdini says it's ok for black).

So I've been thinking of playing instead something like 5... Nd7 6. O-O h6 (or 5... h6 6. O-O Nd7). And then I play Ne7, Bh7, and Ng6 (or Nf5 ?).
Or perhaps I should play 5... Ne7 6. 0-0 Ng6 (6. Nh4 is supposedly bad and gives black equality, though I'm not so sure I would like my position after this).
I have no idea if any of those two lines are even correct. But since there's only a dozen people (in an opening explorer/database) who have ever played this, I'm guessing the lines I gave are not so good for black...

So if you could give me some advices and recommendations on this... Thanks in advance for your answers.
  
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