Upgrade to Chess.com Premium!

Why does GM like Slav but not Caro Kann?

  • 7 months ago · Quote · #21


    Some players find a comfort zone in playing ...c6 and ...d5 systematically (Bologan and Shankland have been mentioned).  However, the Caro-Kann and Slav are not related systems.  That is, unless you can sneak this transposition:

    Caro-Kann Panov

    Slav Exchange


  • 7 months ago · Quote · #22


    There's more to any opening than merely the placement of one's own pawns, and a pairing that may make sense to one player may well be somewhat off-putting to another.

    Take the King's Indian defense.

    To somebody who likes games that feature interlocking pawn chains in the center of the board, and the strategies that revolve around those, the French defense makes sense as a counterpart, as has already been mentioned.

    To somebody who likes games that feature a dark-square defense, and the similarity of the targets in the opponent's camp that different dark square defenses tend to have in common, the Accelerated Dragon may make more sense than the light-square French, because tactics and piece placements aren't going to be as thematically connected in the French.  A recent thread highlighted GM Malakhov's preference for this pairing.  I think Perelshteyn plays like this too.

    To somebody who likes the tendency of the KID to evolve into a direct counterattack on the opponent's king, certain Sicilians such as Najdorfs or d6 Dragons may make sense as a counterpart.  Kasparov springs to mind.

    To a Petrosian who liked playing with the solid kingside structure and defensive resources of the KID, it made sense to pair it with the Caro-Kann frequently.  Though Petrosian's repertoire was very diverse, of course, those two defenses featured prominently during his WC tenure.

    To a player who likes the idea that extremely similar positions can arise from extremely different openings, and the secondary idea that deep knowledge of those positions can give you a better shot at high-level understanding of the differences and similarities (and thus perhaps a small edge over your opponent), the Breyer Lopez may be a good pairing.  See: Radjabov.

    The point is, it's very reasonable to find similarities that you want to highlight in two different defenses, and the fact that Soltis chose to do so with the Caro and Slav doesn't make him "right" or "wrong," just outspoken in his opinion.  There are plenty of similarities between these two defenses.  They aren't universal, but you might choose to agree.  Or you may dissent.  It's a lovely game that way.

Back to Top

Post your reply: