Learning to play Chess: Caro-Slav structure

Learning to play Chess: Caro-Slav structure

Apr 22, 2015, 12:05 PM |

In an effort to actually get better I have started to learn about pawn structures starting with the Caro-Slav. Starting to study these has been eye-opening by showing just how clueless I am about chess. But I suppose that is natural for everyone starting out in their chess learning. Anyways, here is what the structure looks like.

 I won't go into too much detail about the structure since I am still learning, but the general ideas I have understood so far can be the following.

Themes for Black: Weakness of the (white) d4 pawn, c5 and e5 breaks.
Themes for White: Outpost on e5, kingside space advantage, d5 break, and pressure on the C file.

Among other resources, I have watched the Chess.com video series on the structure by IM Daniel Rensch which have been helpful for me to learn and study the structure.


One thing I have really liked about starting to study pawn structures is that it gives me a chance to look at games in a different way. I have tried to avoid a lot of opening theory or study and instead focus on tactics and avoiding obvious blunders, but it has left me at somewhat of a loss as to how to plan my midgame and endgames. Bieng able to use my developing knowledge of pawn structures lets me at least try to formulate plans during and for those parts of a game.


I have started playing the Scandinavian Defense as Black just to help facilitate me getting into this pawn structure. I would say that it has been successful in getting me to that structure more often than not, but overall I have been struggling in all the games I have played. I think there are a lot of factors on why this is, but I will simply chalk it up to growing pains.


These two games are a loss and a draw playing as black.

I think the second game where I drew was very interesting. I didn't play that accurately, but after I castled queen-side and dealt with White's rather annoying Knight in the center, I was able to play a fairly good attack on the King-side. I missed a few key moves that could have won me the game, but I was happy with the game overall.
I am overall happy with how I am progressing in my chess abilities. It is a bit slow, but there is a lot to learn and I am just happy with improving a little bit every week. I am hoping to play in another local tournament in the next 2 weeks, and I will hopefully have a tournament report looking at some of my games OTB.
Thanks for reading, and as usual, if you have anything to comment on/suggest or if you are looking for someone to play/learn/practice with, feel free to post below, or send me a PM.