Space and Dark-Squares in the Caro-Kann Advance

Space and Dark-Squares in the Caro-Kann Advance‎

GM thamizhan
28 | Opening Theory

by GM Magesh and GM Arun

We have studied the Caro-Kann advance variation before in our articles, but after seeing a game today I was compelled to get back to this variation. The game was played by none other than the creative genius Alexey Shirov. He is known for his imaginative and enthusiastic play. Obviously white gains a good amount of space in the advance variation from the early 'e5' advance. This space is the key for white to fight for any advantage. Another important factor would be black's dark squared bishop, since that plays a key role in defending his weak squares.

Our first game was between Alexey Shirov against the Ukrainian Grandmaster Pavel Eljanov played a few days back in the Tal Memorial tournament.


Chess inherently has several strategic ideas and most good players have studied these ideas. The difficult part is actually prioritizing these strategies and paying attention to the ones that matter the most in a particular position. It would be reasonable to say king safety is definitely a high priority and in the game we just saw the Intermediate move Rad1 from Shirov is easy to find if we focus on king safety. But like I mentioned earlier, everything is right in front of us, seeing the right thing at the right time is not as simple as it sounds!

Our second game today is between Grandmaster Evgeny Najer and Grandmaster Alexander Lastin. Najer dominates the whole game with the extra space and the control of the dark squares.


Hopefully our readers enjoyed these two instructive games that are entertaining in their own ways. The first one being very sharp and tactical and the second one a thorough domination, but both had the same positional idea behind them: more space and dark square weakness.
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