Caro-Kann vs. French

najdorf96

YareYareWawa wrote:

The french has more and better options with which black can equalize but also press for a win (without risking much) than any other reply to 1. e4.   It is also the hardest assortment of variations for the white player to properly prepare for until *at least* 2500 FIDE and continues to be the trickiest to prepare with an engine well beyond that because Stockfish and friends don't really understand a lot of the critical lines,  dynamics and resources,  especially in messes like the poisoned pawn Winawer

Indeed. Weird. It is my opinion that the French is positionally based, strategic in nature. If you have read my posts 6, 7, 8 then okay: one would say, "cool"; black waits for an opportune time to counter-attack. Whether one can say for certainty that black can "press" for a win, as you say, is subjective. Barring outright blunders on white, the French Tarrasch variation & the noted Winawer Poison Pawn is either a slight plus (for white) or unbalanced. A far cry from being to "not risking much". It is this perspective that I can say you're being somewhat hyperbolic: no black defense can ever say it would equalize and then pretend to be able to "press" for advantage. No matter the level where each player is at. I agree with you engine analysis plus experience cannot properly eval a position in its entirety barring GM level but yeah; Cool. It's disingenuous to say the French is vis a vis soo "tricky". White automatically has space, piece play and the initiative for most of the game. If playing the French is deemed "wild & complicated" it is due to mostly white not the black side-and it is far easier playing white no matter what defense is presented. I really am disappointed when I hear such hype, not that yeah, I play the Caro Kann; but to exaggerate a defense; any defense as a silver bullet, without proper context.

najdorf96

ThrillerFan wrote:

little_guinea_pig wrote:

lol, i hate the french, whenever i used to play it i would always get a useless bishop and less space xD

Caro is easier to play for me, especially because most White players at my level have no idea how to play against it.

You find the Caro easy?  Ok, I play 3.f3!  Show me how easy it is!

Indeed. Very easy methinks. 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3[?!] de4 4. fe4 e5 5. Nf3 Be6 6. Bg5 (6. c3 Nf6 7. Nc3 Nbd7 8. 0-0 Bd6 9. Nbd2 0-0 10. Qe1 Re8 with complex play and mutual chances, Czsath-Flesch, Budapest 1967) 6. ... Be7 7. Be7 Qe7 8. Nc3 (8. Ne5 Qh4+ or 8. de5 after 8. ... Nbd7 & 9. ... 0-0-0 =+) 8. ... Bg4[!] 9. Nc3 Nd7 10. d5 Ngf6 11. h3 Bf3 12. Qf3 Nb6 13. Bb3 0-0 14. 0-0-0 Rad8 =

najdorf96

ThrillerFan wrote:

Wow!  Clowns using the basis of what white knows "at their level" as the basis of all logic.  Jesus these people need help!

 

Openings also are not tactical or positional.  You need to have a fundamental understanding of the game, plain and simple.  That includes tactics, strategy, etc.

 

Both the French and Caro-Kann entail Black putting his pawns on light squares.  The same color square as his King starts on.  For this reason, the King tends to be slightly safer here than openings where the fundamental weakness is a light square, such as the Dragon (f7).

One of the main fundamental differences between the French and Caro-Kann is the bad Bishop.  In the French, it is usually bad and inactive, with its main role being to guard the weak e6 pawn.  In return Black is quick to attack the White center with moves like c7-c5 in one go.  Main target is the d4 pawn.

With the Caro-Kann, black is spending a valuable tempo, c7-c6 and soon after that c6-c5, specifically to get the bad bishop outside the pawn chain.

Both openings offer White a space advantage, especially in the advance variation of each opening.  This is why 1...e5 is fundamentally the best move even though it leads to a higher draw ratio.  Both openings have their fundamental issues.  For the French, it is the Bishop on c8.  For the Caro, it is timing and the slowness of Black's Defense that gives white the edge.

Indeed. Wasting a valuable tempo in the opening with 1. ... c7-c6? Talk about clowning my friend. We as vets can argue about particular defenses but to say that ; in the context that black may or may not play ... c6-c5 (in the CK), is a potential waste of a tempo is totally misleading: In the Caro Kann Advance variation, true-we must disrupt the d4-e5 phalanx but it is not the philosophy of the defense itself. 1. ... c6 is no more a "time wasting" tempo than is 1. ... e6, locking in the LSB. Clear clowning. "Arbitrarily " NEEDING to play the ... c5 lever in most positions in the French sounds awfully like akin to saying, "play 1. ... e6 and screwing it and play ... c5 in one go" (paraphrasing obviously). Yeah, we can argue semantics and accurate definitions; combativeness and less combative, the "slowness" between the two; of which I totally disagree with your perspective & your perceived defensive philosphy~namely, these two defenses are reactionary in nature not provocative or "combative". Even then you cannot compare how one is more combative than the other because it's all about the variations white can play vs our defenses. All I know, and share with everyone is that imo the CK is the most solid against mostly every bombastic attempts by white. It's not wild & crazy, nor slow moving. It just affords more of an opportunity to equalize without the complications: be it dull, boring to just grind. Be it your defensive philosophy is to make concessions and force a melee or regroup behind a solid wall then fish for weaknesses...cool.

FonsecaSF

After read most of posts, i more and more believe that chess has two major "points". Technical and mental. It is obvious for me that white has always advantage (after all plays first and set the tone). If we were equal machines, it should be win for white all the time. But that advantage can be equalized/turned with a good black defense. That can be done by perfect play, 20 deep opening moves, studied by a dozen GM, that slowly gives some edge to black. Or because the opening is outside white players domain and the moves are not perfect. Well, i don't know your level, maybe at very high ratings like IM or GM it is less true, but for the most of us, the best white moves or black moves for my opponent are the one i'm not familiar with. I'm now trying a little 1.g4 (grob's attack) and i'm archiving a lot more wins with lower level rating players that with my common 1.d4 usual opening. Why? It's is worst by all means, but the number of my opponent blunders are... Well, let's say in 20 moves the game is over. They are mentally broken at 6/7 moves. So, when we have black... If you want to go technical you go 1.e5. It is the most studied and solid defense. Then maybe go spanish or italian. If you want to surprise a little, maybe scotch or russian. Then you have CK and French. If you want to go technical, "perhaps" CK is more solid. But it is simplier to play against french or CK as white? For me, as white, i don't like to play french. So, as black, i prefer to play french. Of course, years playing same openings, if i tried CK now i'd play awfully, simply because i have no experience. Playing french, i know the positions very well, and i feel well playing it, even with less space, white iniciative and so on. I think it is most a matter of style, and put your opponent out of confort zone than being the "best" technical defences. Probably the really best move is 1.e4. Even sicilian original point was surprise the opponent. Nowadays it is so studied that it turned to a deep (maybe deepest along with spanish) technical defence.

kindaspongey

"There is no such thing as a 'best opening.' Each player should choose an opening that attracts him. Some players are looking for a gambit as White, others for Black gambits. Many players that are starting out (or have bad memories) want to avoid mainstream systems, others want dynamic openings, and others want calm positional pathways. It’s all about personal taste and personal need.
For example, if you feel you’re poor at tactics you can choose a quiet positional opening (trying to hide from your weakness and just play chess), or seek more dynamic openings that engender lots of tactics and sacrifices (this might lead to more losses but, over time, will improve your tactical skills and make you stronger)." - IM Jeremy Silman (January 28, 2016)
https://www.chess.com/article/view/opening-questions-and-a-dream-mate

FonsecaSF

@kindaspongey  My opinion too!

ThrillerFan
kindaspongey wrote:

"There is no such thing as a 'best opening.' Each player should choose an opening that attracts him. Some players are looking for a gambit as White, others for Black gambits. Many players that are starting out (or have bad memories) want to avoid mainstream systems, others want dynamic openings, and others want calm positional pathways. It’s all about personal taste and personal need.
For example, if you feel you’re poor at tactics you can choose a quiet positional opening (trying to hide from your weakness and just play chess), or seek more dynamic openings that engender lots of tactics and sacrifices (this might lead to more losses but, over time, will improve your tactical skills and make you stronger)." - IM Jeremy Silman (January 28, 2016)
https://www.chess.com/article/view/opening-questions-and-a-dream-mate

 

Yes, there is no such thing as a "best" opening.  All openings have warts.  For example, against 1.e4, 1...e5 weakens the a2-g8 diagonal, and hence f7.  1...c5 gives up control of d5.  1...e6 blocks the c8-bishop, etc.

But while there is no best opening, the number of good openings is limited.  If 1...e5, 1...c5, 1...e6, etc have warts, 1...h5 or 1...f5 are cancers!