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Caro-Slav structure question

  • #1

    Started reading Pawn Structure Chess by Soltis to better understand the caro-slav structure.
    I'm hoping a stronger player will be able to help me understand the following position, which doesn't seem to be classified as either.

    Soltis gives the following two positions: 

    Caro

     

    Slav:


    My position in question:


    This last position arises out of a lesser played line - 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 * 
    and while I can look at the Explorer and see some decent continuations for black, my main question is - is there any way to relate this structure back to the caro-slav family? I like to play the caro with Bf5, but this seems to prevent that idea.

    If someone can point me in the right direction for how to consider this structure, I'd appreciate it!

    Thank you in advance,

  • #2

    Personally, as a Caro enthusiast, I like the fact that if I play 4...dxc4, White is stuck with an isolated pawn at d4.  After 5 Bxc4 Qc7, chess.com's Opening Explorer (Master Games) shows Black wins slightly more games than White and none of the several usual White 6th moves gives much of an advantage and usually result in a slight disadvantage.

    After ,,,Qc7, White then has to protect his hanging c4-Bishop and Black, in the next more or two, usually plays Bg4 of Bf5 - so you're not prevented from doing that before ...e6 in most cases.

    The position invites Black to post a Knight on d5, usually through ...Nf6 and ...Nd5,  Of course, with your d and c pawns gone, Black should castle Kingside and most likely attack on the Queenside while trying to take advantage of White having to defend the d4-Pawn with pieces.

  • #3

    Welcome to the marvellous world of isolated d pawns. Hang on there!

    Basic rules when you play against an isolated d pawn.

    1) First, you clarify the plan you want to play against it. The isolated d pawn offers White a spatial space advantage, but in order to make progress, White has either to consolidate an attack around it or to push d5. Sometimes both are in the mix. Black can choose A) to blockade first B) Determine the structure in hanging pawns by taking the knight on c3 ( Caution on this! its not always a right idea) C) Play active early on and force an endgame

    2) The most important square is the d5 one. Controlling d5 square and later occupying it with a Knight deprives White of the choice pushing it forward.

    3) Reducing Whites attacking possibilities by exchanging first minor pieces and later Queens. You don't want to allow White build an attack based on this space advantage. Don't think if you should exchange Light square Bishops, just do it!

    4) The isolated d pawn in the endgame is a weakness because it cant be defended by other pawns and must do that by pieces.This obligation causes concessions on activity that Black can exploit in the endgame. If you think you can simplify to a quick endgame then its in your favour.

  • #4

    I appreciate your responses Mick & Bishop_g5. thumbup.png  It's nice to have stronger players give valuable and applicable advice.

    Won't blockading the pawn on d5 with a knight typically lead to white capturing and giving black his own isolated pawn?  I might be more comfortable simply developing and keeping a strong grip on d5, without actually occupying it. 

    I've lost most of my games that feature IQP which is why I've avoided them like the plague. Time to stop running from my weaknesses I suppose playhand.png

  • #5

       The positions with isolated pawns are not easy at all.

      Despite what everyone says , against a creative player you will most likely get mated.But at your rating no one knows how to play with the isolated pawn so you will be fine with generalisations like "block the pawn" and "attack q-side".

        I will advise you to take a good book and study the isolated pawn positions thoroughy because in higher levels you will be in big trouble if the only thing you do is  block the pawn.Isolated pawn and hanging pawns have created some of the most amazing attacks in the history of chess.

     

     

  • #6

    This structure is not part of the Caro/Slav family, even though it came out of a Caro-Kann! It will almost surely evolve into an IQP structure that could just as easily come from a Queens Gambit, Nimzo Indian, or even a French. These IQP stuctures are common and very important in chess because they offer plus and minuses to both sides. I personally enjoy playing with the IQP, but there are many beautiful examples of both sides prevailing

  • #7

    The last position will likely lead to an IQP structure with Black having a pawn at e6, as already said. These positions are extremely rich, and of great importance, as they can result from a lot of openings, not just Caro Panov variation.

    The IQP structures require a lot of serious study to be played properly.

    I can recommend the book "Winning Pawn Structures" by GM Alex Baburin.

    The title is rather deceptive: the book is IQP everywhere.

  • #8
    MickinMD έγραψε:

    Personally, as a Caro enthusiast, I like the fact that if I play 4...dxc4, White is stuck with an isolated pawn at d4.  After 5 Bxc4 Qc7, chess.com's Opening Explorer (Master Games) shows Black wins slightly more games than White and none of the several usual White 6th moves gives much of an advantage and usually result in a slight disadvantage.

    After ,,,Qc7, White then has to protect his hanging c4-Bishop and Black, in the next more or two, usually plays Bg4 of Bf5 - so you're not prevented from doing that before ...e6 in most cases.

    The position invites Black to post a Knight on d5, usually through ...Nf6 and ...Nd5,  Of course, with your d and c pawns gone, Black should castle Kingside and most likely attack on the Queenside while trying to take advantage of White having to defend the d4-Pawn with pieces.

    But you will probably hate the fact that after 4...dxc4?! 5.Bxc4 you give white what he wants with an extra tempo compared to the normal positions, and after 5...Qc7 you are attacking a piece which can be very easily defended, while losing much of your control over the important d5 square.

    6.Bb3 is certainly not mandatory, but quite OK. Yusupov annotates the following game very nicely in one of his books- I have omitted the comments for copyright reasons.

     

     

    Black has MUCH better ways to handle such positions.

  • #9
    pfren wrote:

    I can recommend the book "Winning Pawn Structures" by GM Alex Baburin.

    I've tried to find Baburin's book, because IM Frendzas has recommended it in other threads. All I've been able to find is a used copy on Amazon for US $86.69 and new copies for US $180. (If anyone knows a less expensive source, please let me know: I really want that book, but my pension doesn't allow me that kind of luxury.)

    Since you already have Soltis, you could start with his treatment of IQP positions, contained in the chapter on the queen's gambit family of structures. This will just give you a small taste of the richness of these positions, but at least it's a start.

    Another source with more detail on the subject, though still barely scratching the surface, is GM Flores's book "Chess Structures: A Grandmaster Guide". Don't let the title fool you: it is not written for GMs and you would have no problem learning from it.

  • #10
    OldPatzerMike έγραψε:
    pfren wrote:

    I can recommend the book "Winning Pawn Structures" by GM Alex Baburin.

    I've tried to find Baburin's book, because IM Frendzas has recommended it in other threads. All I've been able to find is a used copy on Amazon for US $86.69 and new copies for US $180. (If anyone knows a less expensive source, please let me know: I really want that book, but my pension doesn't allow me that kind of luxury.)

    Since you already have Soltis, you could start with his treatment of IQP positions, contained in the chapter on the queen's gambit family of structures. This will just give you a small taste of the richness of these positions, but at least it's a start.

    Another source with more detail on the subject, though still barely scratching the surface, is GM Flores's book "Chess Structures: A Grandmaster Guide". Don't let the title fool you: it is not written for GMs and you would have no problem learning from it.

    Flores' book is good.

    Another book dedicated to the IQP is by Beliavsky, Mikhalcsisin and Stetsko (a revised older edition). It's quite affordable, but I must confess that I don't like it that much- the analysis was done many years ago, and has plenty of errors.

    https://www.euroschach.de/alexander-beliavsky-oleg-stetsko-adrian-mikhalchishin-isolani-strategy.html

  • #11

    the panov caro kan. I think that clearly...you will not wind up with any of the pawn structures you are asking about. Instead, you are probably going to wind up with an IQP structure. Its a totally different ball game. The structures soltis was giving are not guaranteed simply because you play an opening with the same name...and you may very well wind up with those structures in a different opening. 

  • #12
  • #13
  • #14
    pfren wrote:

    Another book dedicated to the IQP is by Beliavsky, Mikhalcsisin and Stetsko (a revised older edition).

    Thank you for the suggestion. Fortunately, due to the generosity of a fellow chess player, I have now obtained a copy of Baburin's book. It is every bit as good as you said.

  • #15
    OldPatzerMike έγραψε:
    pfren wrote:

    Another book dedicated to the IQP is by Beliavsky, Mikhalcsisin and Stetsko (a revised older edition).

    Thank you for the suggestion. Fortunately, due to the generosity of a fellow chess player, I have now obtained a copy of Baburin's book. It is every bit as good as you said.

     

    It's a great book indeed, and it would be even greater if the author decided to republish it with the existing mistakes corrected with some engine aid. But still, even with some errors or misevaluations, it's excellent stuff.

  • #16
    pfren wrote:

    The last position will likely lead to an IQP structure with Black having a pawn at e6, as already said. These positions are extremely rich, and of great importance, as they can result from a lot of openings, not just Caro Panov variation.

    The IQP structures require a lot of serious study to be played properly.

    I can recommend the book "Winning Pawn Structures" by GM Alex Baburin.

    The title is rather deceptive: the book is IQP everywhere.

    I have this book and while I had hoped when I read it that it would also be about Carlsbad or Slav structures, it's a very nice IQP-focused piece

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