Botvinnik Miniaturizes Spielmann's Caro Cannot

Botvinnik Miniaturizes Spielmann's Caro Cannot

NM GreenLaser
Mar 7, 2009, 12:00 AM |
18 | Opening Theory

Mikhail Botvinnik (1911-1995) was the Soviet champion numerous times and world champion most of the years from 1948-1963. One of the openings he was well known for playing was the Caro Kann Defense. With the white pieces, he pioneered the 6.Bg5 line in the Panov Attack. He also played the black side of the defense. Recently, I showed Botvinnik playing 6.Nf3 after 5...e6. A reader commented that he plays 5...Nc6 and if 6.Nf3, he uses Bf5. However, Bf5 does nothing to counter White's idea of cxd5 and Bb5 which can be followed by Ne5 or Bxc6 and then Ne5. 6...Bg4 is often played rather than Bf5. After 5...Nc6, 6.Nf3 was the way Panov played the ... Panov. Botvinnink played 6.Bg5 after 5...Nc6 against Spielmann in the following game. Spielmann had earlier lost with the white pieces in the same line and prepared a line to play with the black pieces. Botvinnik commented on the players of his time who were not as prepared as he was. The idea that top level players would find themselves in new territory by move seven or eight was something he would point out. Due to Botvinnink's example and his training of new players, as well as the natural development of chess, players today are much more prepared than years ago. 

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