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Normal Topic 4... Nf6 in the classical (Read 393 times)
Fllg
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Re: 4... Nf6 in the classical
Reply #4 - 09/13/20 at 10:41:01
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I think GM Erwin L´ami convincingly shows in his recent course about the Caro-Kann that White´s queenside majority is not a problem in this line.

Given the pawn structure of course Black should avoid trading too many pieces unless there is some concrete reason to do so. Also it´s not uncommon for Black to play ...b7-b5 in order to hinder White from playing c2(c3)-c4, especially if White has castled queenside.
  
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Re: 4... Nf6 in the classical
Reply #3 - 09/13/20 at 07:18:22
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mn wrote on 09/13/20 at 01:31:31:
Regarding what has changed, I think people used to meet the c3/Bd3/Ne2/Qc2 plan with ...g6 or ...h6, whereas now ...h5 has become popular.


I recently heard about ...h5 but had not understood the reason why it changes the evaluation of the position. Nevertheless, the game that an ordinary chessplayer referenced was a clear illustration of why this move is necessary.

an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 09/13/20 at 03:10:38:
Yes, I think Kudrin - King was the model attacking game which put black off the opening for a long time. If memory serves, this game was in one of the Trends in the Caro-Kann volumes, and I saw it again in CHESS Monthly in 1996, with quite a pessimistic assessment for black.
https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1086790

King played 9...g6 and got hammered. Since 9...h6 also runs into problems, the whole line was discarded. It looks daft to play ...h7-h5, to outward appearances a fatal loosening of the kingside. It's probably in the same category as white castling queenside in the Najdorf and then playing b2-b4. If it works, it works, that's all we can say.


It is interesting that once you see the alternative (h6 or g6 as in the Kudrin - King game) the move ...h5 makes a lot of sense.

I would love to take up 4...Nf6 and play it in OTB games given it seemingly involves less theory than 4...Bf5. That being said, what worries greatly is that White is the only one with a healthy majority and the possibility of creating a passed pawn. When trying out 4...Nf6 in blitz I had some challenging games against White's plan of simply pushing his majority c3-c4, d4-d5 etc. and I felt I had no good way of countering it.

Is this still fine for Black somehow? I would be very interested to know if 4...Nf6 is played regularly in correspondence games and what the verdict is there but unfortunately I do not have a correspondence database.
  
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Re: 4... Nf6 in the classical
Reply #2 - 09/13/20 at 03:10:38
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Yes, I think Kudrin - King was the model attacking game which put black off the opening for a long time. If memory serves, this game was in one of the Trends in the Caro-Kann volumes, and I saw it again in CHESS Monthly in 1996, with quite a pessimistic assessment for black.
https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1086790

King played 9...g6 and got hammered. Since 9...h6 also runs into problems, the whole line was discarded. It looks daft to play ...h7-h5, to outward appearances a fatal loosening of the kingside. It's probably in the same category as white castling queenside in the Najdorf and then playing b2-b4. If it works, it works, that's all we can say.
  
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mn
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Re: 4... Nf6 in the classical
Reply #1 - 09/13/20 at 01:31:31
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Regarding what has changed, I think people used to meet the c3/Bd3/Ne2/Qc2 plan with ...g6 or ...h6, whereas now ...h5 has become popular.
  
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4... Nf6 in the classical
09/12/20 at 10:49:58
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I recently took up the Caro-Kann again after not having played it for the past two years. When I got back to it there had been some changes. One of them seems to be that 4... Nf6 in the classical has gotten a surge in popularity both in terms of games played and in theoretical coverage. When I played the Caro-Kann no one considered it to be a good option for Black but I never reflected on why that was the case.

I am curious what you think about 4... Nf6 as opposed to 4... Bf5, both in terms of theoretical value and from your own experience of playing both?

I have tried it out in a bunch of blitz games, after having studied a minimum of theory, and from what I can tell Black gets his pieces developed very easily and is in no danger of being attacked on the king side immediately. However, I am not at all comfortable yet with White having a healthy queen side majority while my majority is crippled. Is that latter why 4... Nf6 has not been played more often and if so what has changed?

Best regards,
HAJS
  
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