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Caro-Kann, Be6 lines in Panov-Botvinnik


  • 3 years ago · Quote · #1

    jtd200

    I've been trying to build my reportoire against Panov-Botvinnik, and in some variations, the best scoring move in the databases seems to be this ..Be6 move, placing the bishop in front of blacks e7 pawn...  It looks odd, but is scoring well.  Does anyone have experience or insight on how to really play these?

    It's probably a nice shot to take some players out of their normal plans... From what I can tell, black's plan is often placing a knight on e4, attacking the white bishop on g5...  fiancettoing the black bishop...  playing Qa5, pinning white's knight, etc...  I suppose that black is trying to eliminate the points of white's Bg5 move, which would usually be to threaten the d5 pawn and/or pin the knight, and the Be6 move counters both threats.

    Here's an example game:


    It does seem very drawish, so maybe this is a move to play against stronger opponents when playing black (much like in the example)?  Thoughts?

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #2

    transpo

    The immediate strategical idea behind the Panov-Botvinnik (4.c4)is attack against Black's center.  White has the slightly greater central influence because he has 2 pawns on the 4th rank while Black has only one.  White can use this slight central superiority to gradually build up an attack against Black's Kingside, or, by playing an early c4-c5, he can establish a 3 v. 2 pawn majority on the Queenside.  White's initial goal in the c4-c5 plan is to obtain a substantial space advantage on the Queenside wich in due course will lead to the creation of a healthy passed pawn.  Black's correct plan depends on which approach White chooses.  After the early c4-c5, Black will challenge White's beachhead with ...b7-b6 and ...a7-a5, and will also try to obtain counterplay in the center.  If White leaves the center pawns as they are or exchanges on d5, Black will try to get counterplay against White's isolated d-pawn.  In this case, control of the d5-square becomes very important.

    4...Nf6 Developing the King N while protecting d5 is strategically perfect and preserves all Black's options for his next few moves.

    5.Nc3 developing a new piece while applying pressure against d5 is clearly White's most logical approach.

    5...Nc6 You should know, however, that 5...g6 and 5...Nc6 variations require much greater technical and tactical mastery than the main line 5...e6!, and that Black also runs the risk of landing quite suddenly in an unfavorable position.  5...e6 is by far Black's soundest procedure in the Panov.  The critical d5-point is now sufficiently protected to allow Black to complete his Kingside development easily with ...Be7 and ...0-0.

    With 5...Nc6 Black attacks White's center. If White plays the routine 6.Nf3, Black's approach is vindicated, he pins the N with6...Bg4!, planning to continue 7...e6 with fully equal chances. To try for advantage White must play the attacking 6.Bg5.  The point is that after 6...e6 7.cxd5 Black must recapture with 7...exd5, giving himself an isolated pawn to match White's.  In spite of this 6...e6 is still Black's soundest plan.  White will have only a minimal advantage based on his slightly more active position.

     6...Be6 is somewhat tested by some 400 games.  The games are available on line at:   http://www.chessbites.com/  The best of those are: Vassily Ivanchuk v. Veselin Topalov Amber 2008 1-0, A. Morozevich v. V Anand Rus-The Wrld 2002 1/2-1/2, G. Kasparov v. A. Dreev Moscow PCA 1996 0-1   

    All other attempts at counteplay after 5...Nc6 6.Bg5 lead to a more serious advantage for White (eg. 6...Bg4?!, 6...dxc4?!, 6...Qb6?!, and 6...Qa5)

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #4

    Joshua4chess

    moving B- E6, not a good idea

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #5

    jtd200

    Hrm - in light of pfren's 6.Bg5 e6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.c5 line, in which white has scored really well at high levels, I'm inclined to either stick with 5..e6, or with 5..Nc6 6.Bg6 Be6 / 5..Nc6 6.Nf3 Bg4

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #6

    transpo

    pfren wrote:

    6.Bg5 dc4 is the main choice of Grandmasters in the Panov since at least six years ago.

    transpo, maybe you have to inform them that their choice is dubious.

    6.Bg5 Be6 may give white a very slight edge after 7.a3 or 7.Be2 Qa5 8.c5 Ne4 9.Bd2, but the resulting positions are quite complex.

    And finally, Black should have no real problems after 6.Bg5 e6 7.cd5 ed5, but 7.Nf3 Be7 8.c5 is more popular, by a huge margin.

    pfren,

    I apply the Socratic method when sharing information.  It is surprising to me that you do not apply this method given that you are Greek like Socrates was.  For those that are not familiar with the Socratic method, it is a system of teaching that answers a students question with a question.  It is designed to build into the student the habit of thinking for her/him-self.  Giving the student the answer does not encourage independent thinking.  He/she has to know why those moves are the correct ones.  That is why I went to the trouble with my original post of explaining the why of the moves prior to the move 6...Bg6.

    The answer(s) are in the games that I cited.  I did not tell jtd200 that 6...Be6 is dubious because he would not know why.   Having to go thru the games would cement in his mind the why 6...Be6 is dubious. 

    When I was building an opening repertoire there were no computers available.  The opening tree had to be built painstakingly by hand.  It took me 8-10 years to build that opening tree.  But I knew the why of every move in that opening tree.  Today with computers the building of an opening tree is automated and can be done while becoming proficient in openings in about 2-3 years.  But, because the process of building the opening tree is automated, the why gets neglected.  Then many parts of your opening tree are just memorized variations.  The player does not understand the why of the moves.  That is very dangerous when your opponent deviates from theory. 

    America is known as the land of the free and the home of the brave.  One of the main ingredients for acquiring freedom is the ability to think for yourself.  Knowing the why of things.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #7

    jtd200

    hushpuckena wrote:

    Another line that was played a fair amount in the 1980s was 6.Bg5 Qa5, but this has the slight drawback that White can force a draw after 7.Bxf6 exf6 8.cxd5 Bb4 9.dxc6 Bxc3+ 10.bxc3 Qxc3+ 11.Ke2 0-0 12.f3 Re8+ with a perpetual.

    Yeah, and even if I were to be "ok" with the draw as black, white could opt for 7.Bd2 which has scored well for white.  Here's an example miniature in a 7.Bd2 line in which black gets pawn hungry.

     


    I think my end thinking is that - if I'm playing someone that I don't feel is incredibly well prepared/dangerous for me (for example a player rated 1800 and under), then I play 5..e6.  If I am concerned that they may be more comfortable than I in the main lines of the Panov, though, I might opt for 5..Nc6, and if 6.Bg5 I go into these 6..Be6 lines, where it's unlikely the opposition will have much prepared, and we can just play chess with a tough position to crack.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #9

    transpo

    jtd200, maybe you could do as many otb tournament players have done for decades.  Play the Caro-Kann with the express intent of getting a draw. 

    The typical example is the player that is 2-0 after the first two rounds of the tournament.  In the 3rd round he is paired against the highest rated and usually the strongest player in the section who is also 2-0.  The Caro-Kann if played conservatively aiming for a draw is an impenetrable underground bunker.   The onus is on White that he can win because he has the first move and the initiative.  Play 5...e6 and let White bloody himself on the brick wall that is the Caro-Kann.  Eventually if he overplays or presses too hard for a win he will play himself into an inferior position.  At that point, as Black, you can begin thinking win.  But the whole time playing to KILL COUNTERPLAY and avoiding complications by exchanging into a winning or won endgame.

    Your opening repertoire should include at least 6 openings (3 as White and 3 as Black).  Save the Caro-Kann for when you need a draw in a tournament so that you can hold your place in the standings with the leaders and finish in the money.  Use another opening against weaker players. 

    Good Luck and hard work becoming a 'professional gunslinger'(a very strong player)

    By the way one bad variation for Black after 6...dc4?!, that you may already know, 7.Bc4 Qd4 8.Qd4! Nd4 9.0-0-0 e5 10.f4! and despite the exchange of Queens, White's huge lead in development gives him a very strong attack.

    And, stay away from the Gunderam Attack which is very good for White. 

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #11

    Estragon

    jtd200 wrote:

    Hrm - in light of pfren's 6.Bg5 e6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.c5 line, in which white has scored really well at high levels, I'm inclined to either stick with 5..e6, or with 5..Nc6 6.Bg6 Be6 / 5..Nc6 6.Nf3 Bg4

    I've played 6 ...dxc4 and 6 ...e6 - they lead to different types of games, but Black is fine with either.  8 c5 isn't so scary.  5 ...e6 is okay, but a bit more passive to me, if a tad safer. 

    This 6 ...Be6 is pretty interesting, really.  Black's going to play ...g6 and ...Bg7, so there is no rush to move the e-pawn since d5 is secure for the time being.  I haven't analyzed it, but it seems fully worthy of consideration - Black is okay in this line as long as he doesn't self-destruct, the particulars are more a matter of personal taste than objective merit.

    What interests me about 6 ...Be6 is White is less likely to have prepared for it - it is seldom played and visually easy to discount.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #12

    jtd200

    Estragon wrote:
    jtd200 wrote:

    Hrm - in light of pfren's 6.Bg5 e6 7.Nf3 Be7 8.c5 line, in which white has scored really well at high levels, I'm inclined to either stick with 5..e6, or with 5..Nc6 6.Bg6 Be6 / 5..Nc6 6.Nf3 Bg4

    I've played 6 ...dxc4 and 6 ...e6 - they lead to different types of games, but Black is fine with either.  8 c5 isn't so scary.  5 ...e6 is okay, but a bit more passive to me, if a tad safer. 

    This 6 ...Be6 is pretty interesting, really.  Black's going to play ...g6 and ...Bg7, so there is no rush to move the e-pawn since d5 is secure for the time being.  I haven't analyzed it, but it seems fully worthy of consideration - Black is okay in this line as long as he doesn't self-destruct, the particulars are more a matter of personal taste than objective merit.

    What interests me about 6 ...Be6 is White is less likely to have prepared for it - it is seldom played and visually easy to discount.

    Exactly, Estragon.  At the highest levels, it seems to have very high draw chances, which does not seem to be a bad thing when playing black.  The real down side to it, to me, is that it seems like white's play is also pretty easy, so that if I'm playing a weaker opponent, playing 6..Be6 might make it tough for me NOT to draw...

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #13

    jtd200

    The 6...Be6variation is being played at this moment in the US Championship!  It'll be interesting to see how the game goes.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #14

    FirebrandX

    Here's how it went:

     



  • 3 years ago · Quote · #16

    Estragon

    jtd200 wrote:

    Exactly, Estragon.  At the highest levels, it seems to have very high draw chances, which does not seem to be a bad thing when playing black.  The real down side to it, to me, is that it seems like white's play is also pretty easy, so that if I'm playing a weaker opponent, playing 6..Be6 might make it tough for me NOT to draw...

    On the contrary:  against weaker opponents, getting an easy equality in the opening without fully open files that promote massive exchanges should enhance your winning chances.  If the weaker player has a strong position from the opening, he can stumble into good moves!

    pfren wrote:

    Black's position after the first 15 moves or so was just fine.

    The losing move was 50...Ke8?? which is not so relevant to the opening.

    Preparation goes so deep these days . . . Wink

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #17

    jtd200

    pfren wrote:

    Black's position after the first 15 moves or so was just fine.

    The losing move was 50...Ke8?? which is not so relevant to the opening.

    I (and the engines) agree!  So definitely a weapon to keep in mind for Caro players.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #18

    transpo

    I've been trying to build my reportoire against Panov-Botvinnik, and in some variations, the best scoring move in the databases seems to be this ..Be6 move, placing the bishop in front of blacks e7 pawn...  It looks odd, but is scoring well.  Does anyone have experience or insight on how to really play these?____________________________________________________________________

    I have both experience and insight on how to play these.

    In my posts I tried to give you clues without actually giving you the answer(s):

    Plan of attack A:

    The immediate strategical idea behind the Panov-Botvinnik (4.c4)is attack against Black's center.  White has the slightly greater central influence because he has 2 pawns on the 4th rank while Black has only one.  White can use this slight central superiority to gradually build up an attack against Black's Kingside,

                                                 or

    Plan of attack B:

     by playing an early c4-c5, he can establish a 3 v. 2 pawn majority on the Queenside. 

    As soon as Black plays 6...Be6 , White has to begin thinking plan B.  Because ...Be6 blocks the center and is a big factor in the success of a flank attack.  Naturally the strategic principle states that counterattack in the center is the best defense against a flank attack.

    In the above game between Robson v Akobian, Robson as White begins preparing the flank attack with7.Be2, 8.c5.  Akobian finds it difficult to counterattack in the center because his Bishop on e6 is blocking the center

    I gave another clue in my second post when I made reference to avoiding the Gunderam Attack:

    1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nc6 5.c5 Premature execution of plan of attack B.  The center is fluid and Black counter attacks with 5...e5.

    Anyway good luck with refining your repertoire.  Hope you become a professional gunslinger (a very strong player) if that is what you want.

  • 3 years ago · Quote · #19

    transpo

    pfren wrote:
    transpo wrote:
    By the way one bad variation for Black after 6...dc4?!, that you may already know, 7.Bc4 Qd4 8.Qd4! Nd4 9.0-0-0 e5 10.f4! and despite the exchange of Queens, White's huge lead in development gives him a very strong attack.

    Actually in that line white has a "very strong" mildly better part of a draw. After 10...Bg4 11.Nf3 apparently both captures on f3 are playable.

    Anyway, currently Black inserts 7...h6! first, and takes on d4 only when white retreats on h4. This is analysed well after move 30, and is a dead draw.

     



    This analysis is getting into my tournament preparation.  So, let's just say, I would agree with you, if you were right.


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