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  1. Standard member Amaurote
    No Name Maddox
    14 May '06 11:26 / 1 edit
    Okay, having admired this Opening (and the Clan) for a long time now, but not really feeling comfortable with it, I was finally seduced by the "dull, predictable - for unimaginative players" ("Hey, that's me they're talking about" I foolishly thought) tag and bought the thing wholesale. However, upon taking the packaging off, I find the whole thing too frighteningly unstable and exciting for words.

    I've yet to have a safe, dull, predictable game with this - I'm sure I'm missing something, and I'm certainly no good at this opening, but can anyone explain why an opening which places Black in so precarious a position is deemed "safe"?
  2. 14 May '06 11:32
    Originally posted by Amaurote
    Okay, having admired this Opening (and the Clan) for a long time now, but not really feeling comfortable with it, I was finally seduced by the "dull, predictable - for unimaginative players" ("Hey, that's me they're talking about" I foolishly thought) tag and bought the thing wholesale. However, upon taking the packaging off, I find the whole thing too frig ...[text shortened]... lain why an opening which places Black in so precarious a position is deemed "safe"?
    Maybe you could give an example. That might help.
  3. Standard member Amaurote
    No Name Maddox
    14 May '06 11:42 / 1 edit
    That probably wouldn't help, unfortunately, pp: I can see my (frankly catastrophic) blunders in all those games, I'm just curious as to why a pawn structure like the Caro-Kanns is seen as sustainable, yet alone drawish.
  4. 14 May '06 11:52
    I would say that the pawn structure in the Caro-Kann is in fact very solid.

    Perhaps if you said which lines you had trouble in.

    The fact of the matter is that the Caro-Kann can require very precise defence, and White will almost always be able to come out of the opening with a small +=, due to the better space and development.

    It's certainly not ambitious. If you still want to play a positional game I would recommend the French.
  5. Standard member Amaurote
    No Name Maddox
    14 May '06 12:03 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Positional Player
    I would say that the pawn structure in the Caro-Kann is in fact very solid.

    Perhaps if you said which lines you had trouble in.

    The fact of the matter is that the Caro-Kann can require very precise defence, and White will almost always be able to come out of the opening with a small +=, due to the better space and development.

    It's certainly not ambitious. If you still want to play a positional game I would recommend the French.
    Thanks.

    I'm talking about the 7...Nd7 variation of the main line, and the dilemma I seem to face every time I have to choose between castling long to an unstable pawn structure of castling short to one which is one Bishop sacrifice away from catastrophe - or at least, which feels like it is. I'm currently playing one of these games (well past this point, though), so I won't ask for advice on games in progress: my question is kingside castling advisable in the main lines, or is it completely suicidal in the vast majority of cases?
  6. 14 May '06 12:19
    Originally posted by Amaurote
    Thanks.

    I'm talking about the 7...Nd7 variation of the main line, and the dilemma I seem to face every time I have to choose between castling long to an unstable pawn structure of castling short to one which is one Bishop sacrifice away from catastrophe - or at least, which feels like it is. I'm currently playing one of these games (well past this ...[text shortened]... ling advisable in the main lines, or is it completely suicidal in the vast majority of cases?
    I take it that you mean this position from the Classical Variation (4...Bf5):



    Normally you would castle long in this variation (for both sides), considering that White has more space on the kingside. I generally hate playing the Caro-Kann as Black as it seems that White can get a great game just playing natural moves.

    e.g. 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 Qc7 11. Bd2 e6 12. O-O-O Ngf6 13. Qe2 O-O-O 14. Ne5 +=

    There is a sacrificial line which White can play that runs 7.Nh3 Nf6 8. Nf4 Bh7 9. Bc4 e6 10. O-O Bd6 11.Nxe6!? fxe6 12.Bxe6 which is not entirely sound for White and with accurate defence Black will win the game thanks to the extra piece.

    Hope that helps.
  7. 14 May '06 14:32
    The Caro kann is played at the highest level of play. It must be considered a solid opening by the champions. Perhaps your playing style does not match well with the version of the opening you are playing. Maybe you are just playing bad moves? Use a database to see how other players have played the opening.
  8. Standard member Amaurote
    No Name Maddox
    14 May '06 17:25 / 3 edits
    Originally posted by Positional Player
    I take it that you mean this position from the Classical Variation (4...Bf5):
    Many thanks, pp: yes, the Classical Variation is what I meant. I was a little unwilling to go into details earlier on because one of my games involving it was still in progress, but to give an example of just where things are going awry (and yes, I know these are clear blunders and a result of my own incompetence, I'm not impugning the opening, merely trying to clarify where I'm going wrong with it), here's an example of how not to play the Caro-Kann:

    Game 2061844

    I think my problem is that I'm torn between a Hobson's Choice of castling options (in this game I dithered one half-move too long, blundered and failed to see White's pin, then blundered again by failing to immediately castle long), and White appears to have a number of traps and sacrifices which blow open the position even when I have a material lead: at the moment, I just feel I'm not up to the kind of precision it requires.
  9. 14 May '06 17:46 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Amaurote
    Many thanks, pp: yes, the Classical Variation is what I meant. I was a little unwilling to go into details earlier on because one of my games involving it was still in progress, but to give an example of just where things are going awry (and yes, I know these are clear blunders and a result of my own incompetence, I'm not impugning the opening, merely tryin aterial lead: at the moment, I just feel I'm not up to the kind of precision it requires.
    It looks like you just missed the pin there. The general guideline of getting your king off the same file as your opponent's rook should tell you to castle. Queenside obviously as the pawn sturcture there is less dangerous.

    For example, 13...0-0-0 14.Qe2 Bd6 15.Ne5 Rhf8 16.Kb1 c5 17.Nxd7 Rxd7 18.Ne4 Nxe4 19.Qxe4 Rfd8 20.d5 exd5 21.Qxd5 =

  10. 15 May '06 01:49
    Your opening was quite sound until 14... Bf4, either O-O or O-O-O would have been fine.