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When my opponents play 1. e4, I usually think "THANK YOU, because I enjoy playing the Caro-Kann so much. I don't mind if I lose with it because I think there is a lot of different great lines in the defense, but I would like to ask everyone what their opinion was when someone plays the Caro Kann like so...
Without checking "book" , I think you are better off pulling the light squared bishop out to f5 on move 3 and then playing e6. What do I know.....I'm a patzer.
I just checked the game explorer and for once I was right. 6,000 masters prefer swinging the bishop out to f5 on move 3 and 11 prefer e6.
3...e6? is a terrible move. You are essentially playing a french advance as black, but down a tempo. 3...Bf5, getting the bishop out of the pawn chain first is obviously the best move as it forces white to try to take advantage of the bishop's position or else play an advance french with black's bishop outside of the pawn chain - an obvious failure for white.
If you do not like 3...Bf5, then look into 3...c5!?. Whatever you do, stop playing 3...e6.
Yep, Lars Schandorff (among many other strong masters and GMs) recommends Bf5 as well. If you are learning the CK I would highly reccommend his book. It covers a lot of information in a very detailed way. After Bf5, e6 is playable. Here's a line where white plays c3 from his book:
Glad to see you like the Caro-Kann so much. It is definitely my favorite defense against e4.
As others have pointed out, 3...Bf5 is pretty much the undisputed best here. 3...e6 is premature, and locks in the bishop. The problem with the advance variation (from white's perspective) is that the pawn advance loses a tempo and black is able to get his light squared bishop out quickly and with no problems. For this reason, the advance variation actually used to be considered somewhat dubious for white. Of course, this evaluation has changed in recent years, but the principle remains the same. A few players have experimented with 3...c5, 3...g6, and even 3...Na6, but 3...Bf5 has always been the unchallenged main line.
Hope this helps,
Ahh, thank you everyone! But with the example above by Lane-TIOBE, doesn't it make it very difficult to castle?
Schandorff shows a game where black does not castle at all! He says that castling long doesn't present any significant problems either. A lot of C-K games you will find will bring you into a very early endgame and a mobile center king may even be better. The C-K also offers a rock solid defense from your bishops and knights. You'll notice white isn't castled either and it's castling looks equally as grim if not grim-er (makin' up words) than white's.
Good point, Lane-TIOBE. Sometimes, the center is the safest place for the king.
Not to mention that if things really start to get ugly, black can always castle queenside.
Ajedrecito, Nf6 doesn't work in the advanced variation because of the pawn on e5?
How'd I miss that!? My fault. Carry on.
1.e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 is the line i prefer instead of Bf5.
If you do like to bring the bishop out after the knight takes on e4 it is perfectly acceptable.
Nc6 6. Bd3 Nge7 7. Qe2 cxd4
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