Caro Kann help

Hi! I have recently been introduced to chess and have been playing the caro kann a lot recently. So can anyone look at my games and tell me what mistakes I made in the opening and how to get better with the caro kann? Thanks.
K thanks

Looked at this game of yours and I think you played well up until move 7.
8 ... c4 however closes the position down and sets the queenside as your playing field and the kingside as your opponents playingfield. Assuming your plan is to castle kingside this makes it much easier for your opponent to create a mating attack against your king than it is for you to do the same. Thats why I believe c4 is an inaccuracy.

8. ... cxd4 would've been better because after 9. cxd4 you can focus all your pieces on attacking the weak pawn on d4. One way I look at the advance variation is "the war over whites d4 pawn". If you can win it, e5 is weak, you end up with pawns in the center and a favorable endgame (generally speaking).


Please tell me what you think.


Another game, this time the exchange variation of the Caro Kann.

One mistake is 32. ... gxf5. This creates another pawn island while at the same time missing the opportunity to undouble your e pawns. I assume you played gxf5 over exf5 to avoid giving him a passed pawn. This however is not really a threat  as your king can march up the board to stop the pawn.

The better move would've been 32. ... exf5.
This leaves you with a far better pawn structure which means trading down into an endgame is a plan from that point on. Using your bishop to "close" the open file and prevent your opponent to invade your position with his rook. Use your rook to take your opponents weakend queenside pawns after which you can push your connected queenside pawns for the win. Only trading rooks looks promising as well because your bishop is far better placed and much quicker than your opponents misplaced knight.

EDIT: Just realized you asked explicitly for mistakes in the opening. Meaning this post doesnt really fit. Sorry. For general tips on the Caro Kann check out the youtube channel named HaningPawns.
There you find a excellent playlist on each variation.


Thanks Januar. Admittedly after the first game shown I realized that I should have taken the pawn. However closed positions are my strength. So do you know any lines where black completely closes the position and is perfectly fine? On a side note: can you please friend me so I can play variations of the caro kann against you and you can tell me when I make a mistake?


The problem with closed positions is that it takes both players to create them. Much like a queenless middlegame. It only shows up if both players like it. So if your opponent likes open files he will find a pawnbreak to open up the position.
I have not found a reliable way to close the position in the Caro Kann.
BUT if you like closed positions because the middlegame is solid, static, slow and quiet I advice you to trade queens early. I try to do it regularly with the following sequence.


If he accepts I take with the knight. Although its slightly misplaced on the a-file with the queens gone the play slows down quite a bit and there time to manouver.

I manage to get a closed position in the Nimzo quite consistently. Look up "Dark square strategy in the Nimzo Indian" to learn more about this. Another opening for a closed position would be the Dutch Stonewall. I have no expierience with it though.

Would love to practice with you.


Cool! I love to play that queen exchange line too since gm Sam Shankland has played it multiple times in his games.


One opening tip. In the exchange variation game, White's 4.c3 is an inaccuracy you could have taken advantage of.  White usually plays either 4.c4, the Panov-Botvinnik Attack, putting the centre under immediate pressure, or 4.Bd3, the point being to stop you bringing the light-squared bishop out right away. After 4.c3?!, you can play 4...Bf5! with a comfortable position.


In the Caro-Kann, Black aims to get the bishop out early so that the future e6 won't shut it in, as happened in the game above when Black didn't take advantage of the opportunity White gave him. In the exchange variation, White plays Bd3, preventing the immediate development of the bishop, and then delays the development of the king's knight so that Black can't play bishop to g4.


It's got nothing to do with c3. In the game White played 4.c3 instead of the correct Bd3 (or c4). Any other move would have been just as inaccurate. As a matter of fact c3 is usually played in the exchange variation (as opposed to the Panov-Botvinnik), just not at move 4.


To give some clarity: the Panov and the Exchange Caro-Kann are two variations that can both arise after exd5:


The Panov is characterized by Isolated Queen’s Pawn positions (eventually the c-pawn will be traded for the d pawn), where white takes on a structural weakness (worse pawn structure, with which, among other things, a lot of endgames are bad for white) for piece activity and a slight space advantage.

The exchange CK is broadly everything else after exd5: the most precise move order is considered to be

Because it limits black’s development options  (black can’t play Bf5 quickly for example).

To understand the structure best, it helps to know that this exact pawn structure is actually very common in another entirely different opening with reversed colours:

And so even though piece activity and initiative doesn’t quite transfer over, some general ideas still do: the minority attack on the queenside is a very important plan to know for the black side of the exchange CK and even more so for the white side of the black exchange QGD


(FYI Yasser Seirawan has some lectures on the minority attack on YouTube)


4.c3 is not a blunder - White is not worse after it. It's just that it misses an opportunity to slow Black's development, therefore it's considered inaccurate. If I were Black (and I don't play the C-K, but I do play the White side of this line) I would take the immediate opportunity to bring the bishop to its natural square, the one it usually occupies in the C-K.


When you said "caro kann" i Thought corona virus its called then i realised the "shocking truth" sorry i dont know how to play itcry.png


Be ready for the Fantasy Variation as well, 3.f3, which tends to make that c8-bishop a problem once again.

There are a ton of tricky lines, so if you want to avoid all the traps, best thing to do is transpose directly to the Steinitz French, both sides wasting a move:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 e6 4.Nc3 Nf6 5.e5 (white has nothing better) Nfd7 6.f4 c5 7.Nf3 Nc6 8.Be3.


The only real independent line that you have to learn is 4.Be3 instead of 4.Nc3.

AetherOfTime wrote:

Dont trust those with blitz ratings of 1000. Fayiz....

Will do. Btw do you have any ideas?


When it comes to the exchange variation, it is important to know a few london system patterns cos it really is the same thing