My Caro-Kann - Part 4
We are happy to announce the release of the final part of Eljanov's Caro-Kann Defence journey - My Caro-Kann - Part 4. You can find the previous three parts, as well as the other Caro-Kann Defence databases HERE.
In the current course, Eljanov deals with some of the most annoying systems - the Fantasy Variation starting with 3.f3, the Exchange Variation, and the Classical Variation with 3.Nc3.
The database consists of 8 theoretical chapters, 10 interactive test positions, a Memory Booster, and a Video Version (2h and 40 min).
Now, we shall take a look at the different chapters.
Chapter 1 is about the so-called Fantasy Variation with 3.f3!?, to which the old and principled reaction 3…dxe4 4.fxe4 e5 5.Nf3 Bg4 is coming back to challenge White’s early aggression.
Indeed, in the ensuing lively situations, there are many tactical intricacies. Every Caro-Kann Defence player should study the Fantasy Variation quite extensively.
The next 3 Chapters deal with the central exchange 3.exd5 cxd5, after which the pawn structure is fixed as a reversed copy of the famous Carlsbad one.
Regarding the fact that it occurs as early as on move 3, there are various tricky move orders.
Chapter 2 examines the main alternatives to 4.Bd3. It is remarkable that Black is immediately trying to take advantage by meeting 4.c3 with 4…Bf5!? Yet another important subtlety of his opening strategy is a timely advance f7-f6, which is helpful for both striking at the d4-pawn and bringing the Caro-Kann bishop in safety after Nf3-h4.
The author’s recommendation is to reply to 4.Bd3 with 4…Nf6!? with possibilities for a quick ….Bg4. In Chapter 3, he is concentrating on the alternatives to the usual 5.c3. The prophylaxis 5.h3 is already met by 5…Nc6, initiating sharp battle for the central squares, while after 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.c3 Bg4 it is important to learn that the queen sally 7.Qb3 is dubious, as well as after 7.Bf4 e6.
After 7.h3 Bh5 8.Bf4 e6 Black usually trades the dark-squared bishops and fights for the key e5-square. Note the timely exchanges of the other bishop for Nf3;
Black is relying on 5…Bg4 in answer to 5.c3 as well.
In this case, it is connected with an attractive pawn sacrifice after 6.Qb3 Qc7 7.h3 Bh5!?, which consequences are analyzed in Chapter 4.
The final 4 Chapters are logically dedicated to the main line of Caro-Kann Defence arising after with 3.Nc3(d2) dxe4 4.Nxe4.
Perhaps the readers, regarding the author’s choice against the Two Knights System, have already anticipated that the trendy 4…Nf6 5.Nxf6 exf6 will be suggested here.
In Chapter 5, the relatively rare alternatives on moves 5 and 6 (to 6.c3) are mentioned, including an analysis of 6.Bc4.
Chapter 6 goes on with the established main line 6.c3 Bd6 7.Bd3 0-0 and here the main alternative to 8.Qc2, namely 8.Ne2 Re8 9.0-0 Nd7.
Besides placing the knight on the freed f8-square, Black has a plan for …g6/f5 coming next, thus building a very solid (a lot of evidence of this is given inside) position even without the dark-square bishops.
The initial position of the last two chapters is 8.Qc2 Re8 9.Ne2 h5!?
Chapter 7 covers White’s intention to castle to the long after 10.Be3, to which 10…Nd7 is the natural reply. It is worth seeing the way 11.Ng3 is disabled, as well as how the first player can get worse after 11.0-0-0 Nf8 12.Nf4 and 12.Ng3 g6 13,Ne4 Be7.
Finally, in Chapter 8 the pros and cons of the most popular sequence 10.0-0 h4 11.h3 Nd7, as well as the significant alternatives, are thoroughly explained. Even more, White’s main plan 12.Bd2 Nf8 13.Rae1 Bc7 14.f4 is instructively met by an attractive pawn sacrifice.