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Instead of playing the usual 2)exd5, White tries e5. What, in your opinion, is the best reponse for Black? Is d4 then c5 ok?
As a Scandinavian player, I get this quite often and always play 2. ... c5. Depending on how White continues, I then either play e6 to transpose into a French, which is my second main answer to 1. e4, or Bf5 first to reach an improved French-like position with the bishop out.
I haven't tried 2. ... d4, but I'd guess it's not that great since it seems to weaken the center.
I have been playing Scandinavian for around 4 years in tournament levels. Against 2. e5, I play 2... Bf5 3. d4 e6 4. Nf3 c5 5. c3 transposing into French Defense with good Light Squared bishop for black.
Generally, 2. e5 is not played by anyone > 1600 FIDE rating in serious tournament play.
I don't understand you caro-kann types. Why would you want to give up your protection of e6 by putting the bishop outside the pawn chain? How does that help you challange the center?
The bishop locked inside the pawn chain is generally considered the weak piece. That's why they call it the 'bad bishop' in the French defense. Any chance you can get it outside the pawn chain without penalty is considered a failure by white.
I understand that's what they say about the french. I just don't believe them. That bishop accomplishes an awful lot from inside the pawn chain in the middle game. It's only if you move on to an endgame without giving yourself a way to free the bishop that it becomes a problem.
White gets an easy space advantage against the Scandinavian with exd5 - Nc3 - d4, so I don't know why you'd avoid it. As a former scandi player, I can easily say e5 was welcome: you get a french defense with all the benefits and none of the drawbacks.
LOL, im playing Black, not White ;) But anyway thanks for the comment.
C'mon that thing spends most of it's days on d7 or it goes on some 20-move journey to h5 LOL.
Anyway I'm not really sure if 2.e5 is "bad." I mean theoretically it's supposed to equalize or whatever but that's assuming that Black knows how to play that French pawn structure. If Black can't play the normal French then he probably wouldn't notice the change in position if the bishop gets to come out.
A similar position comes in Alekhine's:
Yeah but after f6 e6 is weak and the bishop is needed on d7. Or even without f6 the bishops influence is felt on f5 when white usually wants to ram that f pawn into your camp. Once the LSB is traded off or moved to a more active diagnol white gets a lot of play with the f pawn.
I don't play it, but isn't restricting f4-f5 a major theme in the caro-kann? French players can restrict f5 without moving their pieces! The extra time that's not spent developing the bishop is well used attacking the center and (almost always in the case of the advance variation) winning some pawns.
I know it's all just sematics though. The caro-kann makes up for being so slow to attack the center by achieveing a fortress-like equality before fighting back. I guess I'm just too impatient to defend first and always want to start fighting right from move 2.
It's a matter of power and scope of the piece. You're banking on a slow developing process that will likely get you crushed off the board against a strong player or master. Ask any master of the French defense and they will all tell you they would love to freely put their bishop on f5 without penalty instead of having to try and free it over the course of the middlegame. Saying you don't believe them doesn't make it any less credible.
2...Bf5 soon followed by ...e6 with a "good" FD Bishop IMHO, believe it or not I typed this before checking out chess.com's Game Explorer
LOL, if people want to play the Caro-Kann then let them play it! Perhaps you dont like because it dosent compliment your style of play but it does to others! :)
I checked the bishop developing lines in houdini and it gave me the opinion that it depends on what white does. The game explorer stats listed are a little unclear because 2. c5 is the more logical choice regardless of whether the bishop is coming out or not. Also, the game pool is a little small to draw conclusions. I checked the stats in chessbase and there are only about 30 IM or GM games with white playing the advance, and none of them are super-gm games.
Black wants to delay e6 until necessary to see what to do about the bishop. So d5 c5 Nc6 are in order. Against an early Bb5 black should rather play e6 and keep the bishop in.
Against the more typical advance with c3 and d4 then the bishop outside the chain looks pretty decent (about 4/100ths of a pawn better then e6, so not a huge deal).
I'm not advocating anybody avoid developing the bishop, I was just commenting that I don't really understand why you want to develop the bishop when it seems to hurt your ability to break up white's center compared to the standard french advance.
I don't think that the game explorer stats are to be trusted, because the players on the white side are not randomly selected.
I have an incredibly good record against this variation of the Caro-Kann
1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Ne5
But it doesn't mean that it's bad. It likely means that the players who play it against me are though.
Because having to attempt to 'break up' white's center using your hemmed in bishop is suppose to be the drawback of the opening. The french and the caro-kann have the same basic strategy, but they trade one weakness for another:
The French: Trades being able to develope the bishop outside the pawn chain for being able to push c5 in one move.
The CK: Trades being able to push c5 in one move for being able to develope the bishop outside the pawn chain.
I've played both and much prefer the CK version. The French was a little too risky for my tastes, although my best win in tournament practice did come from using the french against a titled master. However, once I switched to the CK, my results with black became much more solid. I recall finally beating a rival player using the CK when my three prior attempts to use the French against them had failed. That litte nuance in being able to play Bf5 made all the difference in the world for me in that game.
12/11/2013 - Topalov-Kramnik, Dortmund 1996
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