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torre_tinorete ♡ 22 ( +1 | -1 )
Caro-kann advance variation I've been playing the caro-kann variation as black lately and I'm having trouble handling the advance variation. What are the main ideas in the advance variation for black? What is the best defense against it?
sigve ♡ 113 ( +1 | -1 )
I have studied this variation in great detail. I have also tried the suspect move 3...c5!?, which has scored quite well in practise. The bad thing with the move is of course that the bishop on c8 very often become locked in by the pawn on e6 (this move is always played) An interesting line is 4.dxc5 e6 5.Nf3 Bxc5 6.Bd3 Nc6 7.0-0 f6 which Shirov (white) had problems against in two different games (Agdestein and anand??) . The main line is of course 3...Bf5. In the old days white played 4.Bd3 against this move and black had no problems after 4...Bxd3 5.Qxd3 e6 and tried to exchange queens by checking on a5 and then a6.
In the later years white has started to play more aggressivly. I think sometnig like 4.Nc3 e6 5.g4 and so on. Also the more slowly 4.Nf3 5.Be2 and so on has scored well. 4.a3!? is also an interesting line. Maybe you have problem against some of these lines? I would suggest to find the latest games on the opening at or maybe looked more at 3...c5!? If you send me a private message, i could give you some lines that I have studied and written in my book "The Caro-kann Defence"!
myway316 ♡ 69 ( +1 | -1 )
Being an old C-K player... ...from way back,I practically drool whenever White trots out the Advance Variation,as I consider the line to be practically a forced loss for White! 3.e5 releases the central tension too soon,allows Black free and easy development,and lets him get in the thematic freeing move c6-c5 way too easily. Should Black achieve this break,it exposes the fatal flaw in White's camp:the backward,isolated d-pawn.(this is the same reason I dismiss the Panov-Botvinnik Variation as also being inferior for White.) I also don't feel the Adams/Short idea of Nf3/Be2 is very effective for White,since it fails to challenge Black's most dominat piece-the Bishop on f5.
tulkos ♡ 43 ( +1 | -1 )
A question about the caro kann. I hope no one minds my sticking this question in. In a game I played at a tournament,my opponent played a strange variation in the caro kann that i haven't seen before: 1.e4 c6 2.d4 Qc7!? I have never seen this before, and I played 3.g3!? in return. Has anyone ever seen this before? by the way, I won the game in the middlegame after losing two pawns in the opening--- my opponent payed to much attention to material and not enough to development. ;-)
premium_steve ♡ 7 ( +1 | -1 )
myway what way do you think is best to beat the caro-kann then?
myway316 ♡ 42 ( +1 | -1 )
Premium Steve There are a couple of good ideas for White that I think are much better than the Advance or the Panov-Botvinnik.Best is 3.Nc3,and after 3...dxe4,White can go back into any of the main lines with 4.Nxe4,or he can try transposing into a line of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit with 4.f3.Another try for White would be the Fantasy Variation 3.f3,which has lttle theory,and could catch Black by surprize.
More: Chess
peppe_l ♡ 73 ( +1 | -1 )
myway316 I find your explanation about the value of Advance variation, well, very strange.

First of all Nf3/Be2 is one of the best lines in Advance variation. Not doing anything to challenge Bf5? For example very popular line 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2 Nd7 6.0-0 Ne7 7.Nh4 looks like "challenging Bf5" to me...

I too like playing against Advance and Panov, but to claim they are almost forced win for black? Wow, and I though there are things like good compensation for the weakness of d-pawn and so on.

And in your second post - after claiming both Advance and Panov are inferior - what lines do you recommend? BDG. Wait a sec - BDG???

Are you serious?

If BDG and Fantasy are (theoretically) best against Caro, Advance and Panov being inferior, my friend you have refuted the current theory of Caro-Kann...

atrifix ♡ 25 ( +1 | -1 )
After 1. e4 c6 2. d4 Qc7 I'd probably play 3. Nc3, when Black can't play 3... d5 and 3... e5 exposes the Queen (4. dxe5 Qxe5 5. Nf3). On other moves White can just develop the rest of his pieces with Bd3, Nge2, 0-0, Bf4, etc. 3. g3 certainly doesn't seem like the most testing, anyway.
loreta ♡ 24 ( +1 | -1 )
My two cents I've to agree to atrifix about Nc3 and further development of White. but the position after 1. e4 c6 2. d4 Qc7 3. Nc3 d6 (it seems) is playable for Black and includes some mixed Caro and Pirc ideas. Somebody could like positions like these, i think.
atrifix ♡ 7 ( +1 | -1 )
Well For example, 1. e4 c6 2. d4 Qc7 3. Nc3 d6 4. f4 Nf6 is a Pribyl Defense with the unfavorable move ...Qc7 instead of ...Qa5.
loreta ♡ 6 ( +1 | -1 )
Again I agree :-) but I'd play 4. ... e5 instead of Nf6
Anyway, I am not 'induce' anybody to play 2. ... Vc7 :-)
loreta ♡ 9 ( +1 | -1 )
Sorry i skipped a couple of words...
I wanted to say:
Anyway, I am not going to 'induce' anybody to play 2. ... Vc7 :-)
loreta ♡ 19 ( +1 | -1 )
Just on my taste To peppe_l:
Anyway, I see 4.h4 or 4.c4 more active varations...
4.Nf3 I see as quiet variation without great gain for White... And after
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 e6 5.Be2
I'd like to play 5. ... c5
Where is there 'refutation' of Bf5?
Excuse me for my two cents.... ;-)
torre_tinorete ♡ 55 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks for the suggestions... Thanks for the suggestions guys! I've been playing the caro-kann for at least 4 mo. now and the advance variation gives me the most problem although I've been playing the Kavelek defense against it 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Na6. I had apprehensions playing the main lines of the advance variation simply because Karpov had a hard time dealing with it especially with the 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 c5 line. I don't know the current theory with this variation and any input would be greatly be appreciated. At least I now know that you can bypass this altogether with the 3... c5!? variation as suggested by sigve
myway316 ♡ 78 ( +1 | -1 )
Peppe_1 Afraid we must agree to disagree. First,what "comp" does White really get for the d-pawn isolano,if Black achieves c5xd4? I see no real activity or attack for White-all I see is a frozen,easy to attack pawn cluster in the center. That backward d-pawn sticks out like a street walker in church. Plus the fact that black has an open c-file just waiting for his rook is enough to convince me that this line is garbage for White. My personal record vs.the Advance Variation in OTB events is +16-1=9,with my opponents ratings ranging from 1800-2245.And what's wrong with the BDG? It may not be totally "correct"(whatever that means),but it's fun to play. Sorry,but I'll continue to regard this variation as an easy point for Black.
myway316 ♡ 78 ( +1 | -1 )
Peppe_1 Afraid we must agree to disagree. First,what "comp" does White really get for the d-pawn isolano,if Black achieves c5xd4? I see no real activity or attack for White-all I see is a frozen,easy to attack pawn cluster in the center. That backward d-pawn sticks out like a street walker in church. Plus the fact that black has an open c-file just waiting for his rook is enough to convince me that this line is garbage for White. My personal record vs.the Advance Variation in OTB events is +16-1=9,with my opponents ratings ranging from 1800-2245.And what's wrong with the BDG? It may not be totally "correct"(whatever that means),but it's fun to play. Sorry,but I'll continue to regard this variation as an easy point for Black.
loreta ♡ 7 ( +1 | -1 )
I've got interested torre_tinorete: I never tried 3. ... Na6... ;-) Have to look at that variation...
peppe_l ♡ 122 ( +1 | -1 )

There is no such thing in Advance, I was obviously talking about Panov - the other variation that was forced win for black.

But Advance, you see no compensation for the weakness of d4 (after cxd4)? Strange. If we assume your 1800-2245 opponents were 2000+ in average, you have 2400+ performance against Advance. Very impressive IM myway316! You see, I cant even dream of scoring +16 =9 -1 vs 1800-2245 opponents, but still I know about space advantage after 3.e5 etc. You see no real activity or attack? Hey, Advance is no BDG.

Oh well, why am I teaching chess principles to a master level player? :-)

I have a request...

Since you play against Advance on 2400+ level, why not challenge some top players of GK for 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 thematic games and let me watch how Advance is an easy point for black? Since I am a Caro-Kann player myself I am sure it would be both instructive and beneficial for me.

BTW I downloaded your recent games and found out your Caro-Kann has scored +2 =1 -5 vs opponents 1354 in average. Your performance rating was 1213. Time to challenge Brunetti and get your Caro-Kann performance where it belongs! :-)

Good luck for your C-K games!

Yours, fellow C-K player, Peppe

myway316 ♡ 54 ( +1 | -1 )
It's obvious,Peppe... ...from your snide tone,that you think I'm lying about my record vs. the Advance.Well,I really don't give a rat's a** what you think. As for your challenge,I guess you didn't notice that I'm no longer active,except for 2 team games I'm playing as a favor to a friend.So,I don't have to "prove"anything,and my views on the Advance Variation,and the Panov-Botvinnik will not change,ever.They are 2nd rate pieces of crap,always have been,always wil be. And that's the bottom line,'cause Myway said so!
peppe_l ♡ 89 ( +1 | -1 )
I am not saying That you are lying. Of course you have nothing to prove, but if you claim well known variations many Grandmasters (are you a Grandmaster?) consider very good are actually 2nd rate piece of crap, surely you understand why Im asking these questions?

Also, even though I realize GK and OTB ratings are not comparable, whenever a 1300+ (GK) player claims he has 2400+ performance vs Advance, it sounds, well, surprising. Ok perhaps you have +16 =9 -1 record vs Advance vs 1800-2245 players, I am not accusing you of lying. All I know is your GK rating is 1300+ and your explanations of Advance variation give certain impression of how well you really understand it.

You are no longer active and therefore will not challenge GK top players. Ok, I believe you. Can you post your 26 Advance games here or to me in private? Since you have a great record vs Advance, I am not lying when I say I could learn a lot from your games.
myway316 ♡ 58 ( +1 | -1 )
If you have bothered to scan... total GK record,you'd notice that quite a few of my "losses" were basically forfeits,games I gave up when I decided to retire from all competative chess. Since we all start out on GK at 1200,ratings mean little. As for those 26 games,you can't be serious!Even if I still owned all those game scores,which I no longer do,I have better things to do with my time than tracking them down,transcribing them,and sending them on the net. I will,if possible,send one score,against a 2245,that I think you might find interesting.
peppe_l ♡ 4 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanks! I am looking forward seeing the game.
firebrandx ♡ 62 ( +1 | -1 )
Nice thread:
Peppe, you did an excellent job of logically debating an otherwise absurd claim. I admit to being just as "enlightened" about certain opening refutations during my first few years of chess ;-)

In any case, I find myself going for the traditional Gurgenidze system against the advance variation. I've long since switched to playing the Modern, but find that particular position can be transposed into from the Modern.

For those that don't know, the Gurgenidze system is based on playing h5 and getting your knight to f5. This is perfectly playable because the center has become closed with the advance variation.
peppe_l ♡ 84 ( +1 | -1 )
firebrandx Thanks! I play "main lines" against the Advance variation. However I play 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 h5!? usually followed by Nf5 etc. This is not Gurgenidze of course, but a nice way to counter the agressive and theoretical lines after 4...e6 (theoretically best). As far as I know there is no refutation or even guaranteed advantage against 4...h5!? and there is a bonus - when white plays 4.Nc3 most likely he wants a sharp game and attacking chances. After 4...h5!? white is forced to change his plans and the nature of the game :-) Seriously, I choose lines I play only based on what I like (I believe seeking "lines that opponents hate" is waste of time, all players are different anyway), and most often 4...h5!? leads to positions I enjoy playing...

But I guess you can play pretty much anything, since in Advance black always wins anyway :-)

myway316 ♡ 9 ( +1 | -1 )
You can call me absurd... ...if you like,firebrandx,not that I really give a damn about your opinion.
myway316 ♡ 9 ( +1 | -1 )
You can call me absurd... ...if you like,firebrandx,not that I really give a damn about your opinion.
loreta ♡ 35 ( +1 | -1 )
Some lines... SIGVE:
In some way I skipped your message. Just now I read it carefully and, if it's possible, bring to private your opinion about variations:
What do you think about
A) 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.dxc5 e6 5.Nf3 Qg4?
What is bad in
B) 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 Bg4?
C) Could you give some lines with evaluation about
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.a3?
I'd like to look at your remarks and later respond witjh my opinion?
sigve ♡ 10 ( +1 | -1 )
Hi loreta!
I will send you some lines this week!
Best regards, Sigve
loreta ♡ 16 ( +1 | -1 )
My fault... mea culpa ... :-( I just look and found I pointed incorrect line (because of copy-paste from different place). Correct line have to be:
A) 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5 4.dxc5 e6 5.Qg4?
tonlesu ♡ 11 ( +1 | -1 )
myway316 I seem to recall that you were a strong expert otb when you were active in the uscf, am I mistaken?
myway316 ♡ 14 ( +1 | -1 )
That is true,Tonlesu... ...back in the days before I had the brains to climb out of the snake pit known as OTB chess. Still,how did you know?I don't believe I put my full name on my profile.Or did I?
superblunder ♡ 201 ( +1 | -1 )
Advance variation is strong for white. I have a self-selected database of games I call "modern masters" The requirement for a game to be in the database is that it must be a game between the present day and 1984, that way it is a game played with most of the modern theory. Also all the games played are between players of 2400+ FIDE strength. Basically every game is between IM's and GM's. I use this database mainly to study the statistics of different opening lines among these modern professional players.

Interestingly enough The advance variation overall scores higher than any other variaiton in the caro-kann against black. Of course that is overall, and there are some lines that black can play against the advance variation that are quite strong and score better. Though according to my statistics black is lucky to get a draw and wins much less often than myway316 claims. I find his claims hard to believe and his opinion that the advance is a win for black is complete rubbish. At best it is a draw for black, like almost any main line opening in theory.

For the record, my database of players rated 2400+ playing torunament games from 1984 to today the caro-kann scores as follows for white:

caro-kann overall, 4721 games: 54% for white

3.Nd2, 1370 games : 52% for white (elo performance 2541.)

3.e5 (advance variation), 1072 games: 58% (elo performance 2583) *played by Kamsky, Shirov, Anand, Ivanchuk, Gelfand and other Grandmasters who would blow myway316 out of the water with the advance variation.

3.Nc3, 1173 games: 54% for white(elo performance 2542.)

3.exd5, 1034 games: 53% for white (elo performance 2534.)

3.f3, 69 games: 54% for white (elo preformance 2542.)

So it seems the advance variation is the best overall line in the caro-kann for white statistically at the professional level.
loreta ♡ 102 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanx superblunder
for your [great] job and sharing information. I'd like if you agree to share some more even... :-)
Eventually, I put my two cents again. You wrote:
"... The advance variation is the best overall line in the caro-kann for white STATISTICALLY..."

It depends on what is your goal in particular game:
a) Statistical (win) - then it could seem you have to select the best move in position. But that not always works as many lines go to draw positions anyway (with little advantage of one or other side). So, sometimes, it's better to select not the best, but move, what is the most unpleasant for your opponent (and anyway, good enough) - to force him/her into position he/she doesn't like very much. But for that you've to examine your opponent playing style.
b) for fun. Then you play to feel more positive emotions. Then you select not the best or the most unpleasant (for opponent) moves, but you seek positions where you feel well.
If somebody interested, I'd share my opinion about C-K...
myway316 ♡ 70 ( +1 | -1 )
Yes, may be the best the professional level,but most of us are not GM's. So,does your precious little database take that into account? As for your assertion that a super-GM would "blow me out of the water"with the Advance Variation"that is an absurd redundancy.Of course he's going to beat me,regardless of what I play! But this will be my last post on this subject-I'm getting tired of being the target here.But all your insults,your silly little stats,won't change my mind on the viability of this line for White.It bites,always has,always will,and nothing will change my mind on that score.And that's the bottom line,'cause Myway said so!
mladen ♡ 51 ( +1 | -1 )
Thank you, Mr. Schrade ... ... for making this thread so entertaining. You are quite a character. I totally understand your exuberant appraoch, even if it is unrealistic. This is of course debatable as even the best players in the world don't know the absolute truth about chess. Of course, there would be no entertainment without the good responses you received, so cheers to everyone who posted here! Oh yes, I should mention that I like playing against the Advanced Variation as black, although that doesn't prove anything :-)
white_disc ♡ 34 ( +1 | -1 )
ideas behind caro-kann I am very new to chess, and has not played the C-K before, except when I decline the Queen's Gambit using c6 and thought it was the C-K ;P

What r the main ideas behind C-K ? Is it to replace the black d-pawn (if taken by white) with the c-pawn so that the center for black is intact ?

I also do not see how it is passive, or drawish. Can anyone enlighten me on this ?

Thanks so much :)
premium_steve ♡ 13 ( +1 | -1 )
i'm wondering about 4.h4 variations can someone please tell me some possible white ideas for the middlegame after this set of moves:

1.e4,c6 2.d4,d5 3.e5,Bf5 4.h4,h6 5.g4,Bd7

loreta ♡ 41 ( +1 | -1 )
Main idea of C-K is to prepare attack (or, as better to say, pressure) to e4. Here it's easier than in French to develop c8 bishop. Black et a slightly constrained but very credible position. Black (as well as white) have to be very regardful - anyway there more traps where black could fall-in (even well-known so called closed checkmates). It's good for those who likes similar positions.
white_disc ♡ 15 ( +1 | -1 )
loreta Thanks. I have seen such things happening.. 1. d4 c6 2. Nc3 d5 3. e4!?

Is the e4 here expected as part of the C-K opening ? Or its just bad game-play on white's part ?

sigve ♡ 7 ( +1 | -1 )
It is the Caro-kann, but with a different move order (normal is 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3)
loreta ♡ 21 ( +1 | -1 )
The best? And that variation is considered (by 'book') as the best for white (who knows, who knows...) Main lines here are
a) 3. ... de 4. de Bf5
b) 3. ... de 4. de Nf6
c) 3. ... de 4. de Nd7
d) others (not so popular)
Could superblunder be so nice and give his statistics for these particular variations?
loreta ♡ 3 ( +1 | -1 )
Sorry it could be 4. Nxe4 in place of 4. de