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  1. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    19 Aug '08 14:18
    I have a question about facing the C-K advance variation... basically. How do you play against it? Rather than do some work and get a book about it, I figured I'd be lazy and ask you guys to do the work for me; and maybe get a witty line or two from GP34 (no pressure, though).

    I generally play the Sicillian and I feel pretty comfortable with it, but I run into some problems against a late d4 in the closed Sicillian. A couple of months ago, I decided to try 1 e4...c6 as black. I found that after 2. d4... d5 3. exd5 cxd5, I had a nice, comfortable game. Then people started playing 3. e5 instead. I've tried Nd7 to set up c5 and c5 right away, etc., but I always seem to get a cramped and vulnerable king side with that ugly white pawn on e5 causing all sorts of havoc.

    Can anyone give me any insights on playing against 3. e5?
  2. 19 Aug '08 14:24 / 1 edit
    I think you are supposed to play Bf5, e6, c5, cxd4 and treat it in a similar fashion to the french defence, with black looking to get counterplay down the c file and also having a much superiorly placed bishop.

    It is probably even possible to castle on the queenside as black..
  3. 19 Aug '08 14:34
    The main line goes 3. ..Bf5 followed soon by ..e6 after which the position is comparable with the advance french. In both openings it is usual that black will try for counterplay with ..c5, ..Nc6 etc, while white will try to conjure up something on the kingside.
    The main differences are that in the advance CaroKann the case of the 'bad' c8-bishop is resolved. On the other hand, black's counterplay is slower, white can make a target of the bishop on f5 and there is always the question whether it is a good idea for black to immediately go for ..c5, because without the c8-bishop around, his queenside is not so well protected, especially when white answers ..c5 with c4.

    There are 1001 ways for white to deal with 3. ..Bf5, so it is impossible to list them all. In any case, I think that black can equalize with precise play, but he cannot avoid a sharp game.

    The main alternative to 3. ..Bf5 is 3. ..c5!? It's not really that black doesn't want to deploy the c8-bishop outside the pawn chain, but he's merely waiting for a move like Nf3 so he can deploy it more effectively to g4. The biggest problem with this move is that it implies a pawn sacrifice; if white replies dxc5 followed by Be3 it's impossible for black to regain the pawn. If you know your stuff you'll get good compensation, but it's probably not what the typical caro-kann player likes.
  4. 20 Aug '08 13:36
    The Caro-Kann Advance is playable for both sides. With black, 3. ... Bf5 is undoubtedly best. 3. ... c5 was completley in the dustbend until starting out the caro-kann revived it. It's still a little shaky. You end up with a french minus some tempos, so 3. ... Bf5. There are 3 good moves.
    4. Bd3 Bxd3 is easy for black. You just play for c5 and maybe f6 later to break up the center.
    1. 4. Nf3 e6 5. Be2 play for c5
    2. 4. h4 threatening to win a piece and gaining space. I play this some. 4. ... h5 seems to be best 5. c4 e6 if black plays dxc4 white gets an exposed d pawn on an open file. white on the other hand uses the e4 square for pieces with Nge2 and Ng3 Nc3 Ne4.
    3. 4. Nc3 The most dangerous I always like 4. ... Qb6 (4. ...e6 5. g4 Bg6 is the main line) 5. g4 Bd7 White doesn't get the attack rolling against the exposed bishop. I think young Kasparov played 4. ... Qb6.
    You really have to learn a little theory. This is just an overview. 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 drove me back to the french defense.
  5. Standard member sh76
    Civis Americanus Sum
    20 Aug '08 15:41
    Thanks everyone. I think I'm gonna stick to the Sicilian for now... I'm not sure I'm comfortable locking my bishop out of the pawn chain and risking a cramped king side even if in theory it's a perfectly fine position. Still, when I have some time, I'm going to study those variations. If nothing else, it should help me understand pawn structure a little better.