Originally posted by Marc Benford
I have always played the sicilian, but I'm thinking of switching to the Caro-Kann (no idea why though, maybe it's because I want to play an opening which is a little less common, and because I like the fact that it permits me to get my bad light squared bishop active).
I'm currently 1600 Elo on rapid, 1300 Elo on blitz, and 1800 Elo on corres ...[text shortened]... ne the Caro-Kann, or am I strong enough to try it?
Thanks in advance for your answers.
In my opinion, the best response to 1.e4 is probably the classical 1...e5. The problem with it is that it has been extensively analyzed and you must be aware of all the tactical traps and pitfalls that may result from the different variations at White's disposal.
I believe this is why the Sicilian Defence 1...c5 became popular, because it gives Black a chance to reduce the choices at White's disposal so that Black can try to stir the game into a safe variation that he has studied. However, as you know, now the Sicilian Defense has been analyzed extensively from both sides and without much study the beginner is still at a disadvantage against one who knows this analysis.
So, in my opinion if you have been able to learn the ideas behind the Sicilian and don't mind playing it, I don't see why you can't learn the ideas behind the Caro-Kann. It is not likely to give you a quick win, in my opinion. But it can give you equality coming out of the opening because I have played against it. However, I think I agree with most masters that it tends to lead into only endgame wins, if you are able to overcome the drawing chances on either side.