Caro Kann Rope a Dope

Caro Kann Rope a Dope

Oct 6, 2016, 12:49 AM |

Arguably the greatest miracle in the Boxing Ring (or sport!). Muhammad Ali's "Rope a Dope" against George Foreman. Improvised at the last minute, Ali allows Foreman to wail away at him till he becomes exhausted and punches himself out.


Playing Black in the Advanced Caro Kann feels somewhat like this. White launches himself as Black, swarming with Kingside pawns and then switching with Queen and minor pieces on the Queenside. It felt this way in my game, though I believed I had made no weakness and could not be worse.

Dream Position for Black in the Advanced Caro Kann

For me, this is my dream position in the Advanced Caro Kann as Black. I have structurally wonderful pawns, my King is safe plus I have a Bishop pair. After the very cool 18. ... Kf8 I feel it is White having to prove any sort of advantage. White replied with 19. Rd1 which allowed 19. ... Nxd4 20. Rxd4 and a choice between 20. ... Bc2 exploiting the pin on the c-file or 20. ... a6 exploiting the undefended b2 pawn (which I chose).
After seizing a winning advantage, this game taught me not to let up in converting a win as I missed a number of decisive moments to end it. Three moments to be exact. As I hope to move up in the ranks, such moments won't come frequently an I must take them. I think a big flaw in my thinking is playing "routinely" rather then "concretely". I made moves based on general principle such as freeing my poorly placed Rook rather than accounting for the concrete tactics in a position

 Missed Chance: Common Fork plus removing the Guard

I missed a chance to dynamically get my e-pawn rolling with 24. ... e5 (instead I played the principle 24. ... Ke8 to centralise my King and activate my Rook).
I had failed to see the 24. Rxd5 is not possible due to the shot of 24. ... Rxg3! (removing the guard of e4) followed by Be4 forking both Rooks.

Missed Chance: Pin
I failed here to take into account the pin of the Rook along the g1-a8 diagonal by simply initiating 26. ... Rxg3+ followed by Bc5. I played mechanically here with 26. ... Rgc8 rather that strive for more in my position

Missed Chance: Fork and Removing the Guard
A difficult concept to spot (relatively). White's King is the only defender of the light squared Bishop. Black can exploit this with 41. ... f5+ 42. gf gf and much of the sting is taken out of White's potential Kingside play.

My Game Annotations and Analysis