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best counter to caro kann?

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Im_a_Crow
switched to e4 after playing d4 exclusively for a long time. haven't faced caro yet, but since gothamchess and alex banzea promotes it so much, I think I should be prepared. Im thinking about playing two knights defense. Is there any other opening that I should look into?
Joel_Duelist

Against the Caro, I love playing the Panov Attack: 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. c4 Nf6 5. Nc3

tygxc

@1

It is a difficult question.
Fischer struggled against the Caro-Kann. He played the Two Knights 2 Nc3 3 Nf3, the Panov-Botvinnik 3 exd5, 4 c4, the Classical 3 Nc3, the King's Indian Attack 2 d3 and finally settled on the Exchange Variation 3 exd5 without 4 c4.
Nowadays the Advance Variation 3 e5 is most fashionable, though also the Fantasy Variation 3 f3 is respectable.

Toldsted

There is no such thing as 'best' in normal openings. It depends on your playing style and what your normal opponent prefers to play.

2 knights defence are fine. After 1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 (or 2.Nf3 d5 3.Nc3) 2...d5 3.Nf3 you will have to study the two main moves: 3...dxe4 and 3...Bg4. Then you are ready to play.

Later on you may take some time to also study 3...Nf6, 3...d4, 3...e6, 3...g6 etc. according to what your opponent plays.

EnPassantAvalanche

I like the exchange variation personally. But yes, it is a difficult question.

Zercs69

Probably fantasy variation

medelpad
Advance, Fantasy and Panov are all good options.
Fear0fChess

The Schweinhoffner Gambit.

Dsmith42

Lately, I prefer to play the Tal Variation of the Caro-Kann Advance:

The reasons I like it are that it throws the "development" of the light square bishop into question, forcing black to move it a second time after 4. ..h5 (black has to play this move immediately), and while there's not much king safety for either side, the tempo gain (the C-K already being a slow defense) combined with the space advantage tends to be decisive.

Of course, when I play the Caro-Kann myself (which I use as a secondary option, being mainly a French Defense player these days), I never play 3. ..Bf5. After studying Petrosian's use of the C-K (he never played Bf5, either), it seems best to either handle the C-K as a delayed French Defense, or else to wait for white to play Nf3 and then pin that knight with Bg4.

TheSonics

im bad vs Caro Kan...

I play in a way recommended by Wesley So... It's meant to throw people off... It works alot of times but... after this position

Black has like 8 different playable moves... I've faced them all in rapid or longer (30+20)

If he plays the main line (Nd7) I'm probably getting an edge... But statistically every time I faced either of these sidelines - I lost... so it's like a very bad opening for me stats wise happy.png

I'm not in to changing openings because I don't believe it's the most urgent thing for my improvement... But I fiddle with the 2 Knights instead of 2.d4 2.Nf3 3. Nc3... Sometimes it goes OK... Mostly not...

Caro - tough.

furinaga

The Caro is tough to "counter" directly since it's very solid. Someone seems to have already mentioned the Tal Variation (4. h4), so I will vouch for the similar Bayonet Attack (4. g4).

The psychological effect of these two variations aside, you are trying to possibly trap the Light Squared Bishop, or create a huge vulnerability if black plays fxg6. The danger of this attack is recognised even by the engine - whereas g4 in most positions immediately inflicts a disadvantage, the eval is about even in this variation. However, this does endanger your own king safety as well, so I wouldn't recommend it for beginners - be prepared of what you are getting into www