I believe the future of chess may be not in obtaining an opening advantage, but in understanding certain positions better than ones opponent.There are several Russian Grandmasters that play the white side of the Giuoco Pianissimo not with any great expectation of obtaining an opening advantage, but to instead reach a position that they understand better than their opponent.Hence, the Giuoco Pianissimo scores well for them.Against the Caro Kann I personally like 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.ed5 cd5 4.Ne5 a favorite of Morozevich.No opening advantage here, but a contest on understanding the positions reached is what ensues.Thank you for your excellent insights.
That's not quite a 'pleasant initiative' white has there. Black is ultra-solid with no weaknesses. Really the only thing white has going is the bishop pair, but the position is such that they are not an active factor.
'Initiative' generally means you're directing the replies from your opponent such that he doesn't have time to make his own plans. It doesn't apply here because black can either address or completely ignore moves like a4, g3, or Be3. The position is in fact quite equal, regardless of engines giving white +0.20 or whatever insignificant value they give this position.
FYI, GM Shankland assigns black as being 'perfectly fine' after 10.c3 Nf6.
Totally agree with what u said!
Do you have any example games from Moro in that line? I know he likes jumping around with his knights, but I haven't seen him play that particular idea.
I don't see any games by Morozevich in that line in the last six years. Lines like that and the Two Knights Variation are based on getting out of established theory, where Black is very hard to crack, and into unfamiliar positions where he may make a mistake.
If you play it enough in slow games over time, you can become familiar with a position your opponent is unlikely to have played often, as armstrong789 suggests - but your advantage is only experience, basically you are hoping the opponent will stumble because of his lack of experience in the positions.
As a C-K player, I have to agree that White's best chance for advantage is the Short line and trying to gradually create play based on development and the space advantage. But even in that, I think White has to play well to emerge with a "normal" advantage from the opening without help from Black.
In the Nd2 line orginally mentioned by OP, the sounder continuation is Nb3, delaying c5, rather than g4. Then continuing like Short system with Nf3, be2 , 0.0 etc. White has a phleasant position to play there. Theoretically one of black's best ideas is to crawl on the back rank with Ng8-e7-c8, which isn't too terrifying for white.
In one game so far played in this line, messed up my ideas quite a bit but still got a better position, especially since opponent when out of book started playing very strange moves. For club players don't think these positions are very easy to play for black at all.
Yes, understanding certain positions better than one's oppeonent is an advantage. But we cannot forget about transpositions. While you are busy achieving a position that you know better than your opponent, he has been busy with his tournament preparation fine tuning his knowledge of transpositional junctures that change all the hard work you did to achieve that position.
Such is the life of a 'professional gunslinger' (very strong player.)
The Czech player Cernousek is the main advocate of 4.Ne5.A good game worth studying however is Morozevich/Dreev, Monte Carlo 2005 (blindfold)Volume 2 of "Secrets of Opening Surprises" has a chapter by Ian Rogers on 4.Ne5 also in Vol. 2 is a chapter on the Albin Counter Gambit with all Morozevich's pet lines as black.A very fine issue.