beto43 vs. lebesgue72: 1/28/16: B10: Caro-Kann Defense

Jan 29, 2016, 6:48 AM |

HI everyone! Here's a recent game I played. My goal was to start learning some of the ideas and themes in the Caro-Kann defense. I heard that it leads to more of a positional game, and I wanted to see for myself, modulo any tactics missed by me in the game. And I learned some stuff:

1. the idea of playing e5(with white's queenside knight developed to its classical square) and then following up with d6 to defend, and later to make a pawn break, isn't viable. This is because whenever that black d-pawn tries to advance, it's not defending the e-pawn anymore. In a future game, I would definitely not play the pawn to d6 in that position. 

2. That pawn to d6 move also made black's development congested. This is not ideal, since black early on made the decision to play c6, which already limits the development options for the black queenside knight, and as a result, the black light-squared bishop. In fact, the tactics on the black e5 pawn made the black dark-squared bishop deployment tricky, and in turned out not to do much in the game as a result. 

3. When I was looking to develop my black kingsdie pieces, I was concerned about white's dark-squared bishop's ability to pin, and the annoyance that this could cause. In some cases, making the h6 move isn't very helpful, but in this case, the flip side of the potential annoyance warrants it. In other words, sometimes stopping the opponent's bishop from making a classical pin is more warranted than other times. 

4. The tactical pressure agaisnt the black e5 pawn was exarcerbated by white's kingside knight deployment to its classical square. 

5. White's idea of pushing/making a break with their f-pawn seemed warranted in the positions that came up during the game, since it opened up the f-file for white's rook to play on. This, combined with the black pawn on h6 and the congested nature of black's kingside development, allowed white to use some tactics and strategy to attack the black king. Furthermore, the weakening of this diagonal seemed to be o.k. in the game because if black decided to move to take advantage of it, white calculated that black would likely lose material and that white would gain other, different trumps as a result. 

6. THere were some wasted black moves of the kingside knight to the e- and d-files. If I were to play the same position again, I would keep the kingsdie rook were it is, and just use the queenside rook to get behind places of pawn tension in the center. 

All in all, if I were to play the Caro-Kann again, I would look out not to congest the development of the black kingside pieces, and I would definitely not choose the pawn structure e5,d6 again. It seems that this deficient/dubious pawn structure was seen more in this game than in other games I've played. Here is the game: