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Although, referencing the game you posted, Firebrand (a nice demonstration of said custom opening database)...i have to ask, is 6. OO h6[?!], mainline these days? Or even the somewhat pretentious attack on the King's wing, "normal"? I would (as an avid CK player) more likely postpone ...h6 in favor of lines involving ...c5, ... a6, ... Rc8, ... Nf5. Hitting the centre first, before any wing attack. (The Queenside, i would go, if anything).
6...Ne7 (540 games)
6...h6 (416 games)
6...Bg6 (138 games)
all other tries only have a few games apiece.
Thank you, Firebrand.
The Caro-Kann is known in tournament circles as a drawing weapon for Black. The main reason that players with the White pieces have so much trouble with the Caro-Kann is because it requires technical knowledge and experience in exploiting space advantages. Most players rated under 2000 have very little technical ability or experience in executing a methodical exploitation of a space advantage.
Maybe, instead of asking which variation of the Caro-Kann White should select, you should ask how can I force a transposition to a different opening by playing 1.Nf3 c6.
Saying that the Caro-Kann is a "drawing weapon" is an old wive's tale. I've won many games with it, and people are assuming that Black plays Qc7 and castles queenside in all scenarios against the Classical. That just isn't so. You still have players playing 4...Nd7, 4...Nf6, and castling Kingside in the 4...Bf5 lines.
If you want to talk drawing weapon, check out the Berlin.
Yesterday I watched a series of bullet games between a GM from Philippines and a master on this site; the GM won 4-1. In two games, the GM played the Caro-Kann and won both. Seeing how the GM managed to get all sorts of pieces into white's position was quite interesting. Both times White played the Advance Variation.
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