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btw I made a typo earlier, the outpost gotten for white is on e5 not d5.
Yes that's considered one of the best lines for Black, but again I'm not too worried about it. Caro-Kann players like to have a solid, safe pawn structure, and now they've gotten an isolated d-pawn.
There's also another 5...Qc7 line that goes 6.h3 Nf6 7.Nf3 g6 8.O-O
Caro-Kann players aren't used to playing against people who know something to do against it. This is because the Caro-Kann player is using it in almost half their games, meanwhile the White 1.e4 player only sees it rarely. What I've found is just by knowing a tiny bit of theory and having this simple opening in my repertoirre I can beat a lot of Caro-Kann players because they're used to playing people who have no clue what to do against it. Maybe when my opponents start actually using 5...Qc7 and if they can beat me with it then I'll switch to something else, but I don't see that happening soon.
Being one that has the Caro-Kann as 1 of 3 defenses I play against 1.e4, and 1.e4 as 1 of 3 first moves I play as White, I can speak from experience from both sides. Below is an explanation of each of the main variations, and you can decide based on what you are looking for:
3.Nc3 - This can lead to a positional (4...Bf5) or tactial (4...Nf6), or that choice may be left to White (4...Nd7, where 5.Nf3 is safe but uninspiring, but losing chances are minimal - I actually find the 5.Nf3 and 6.Ng3 line [6.Nxf6 is utter cr*p] difficult as White has little to lose with actual winning chances - while 5.Bc4 and 5.Ng5 [best] can be highly tactial, but positional understanding is still necessary, it ain't like the Morra Gambit).
3.Nd2 - The main purpose behind this move is to avoid 3.Nc3 g6. Why 3...g6 is no good against 3.Nd2, I don't know. I don't play that line.
3.e5 - The short variation is very positional, 4.Nc3 is highly tactial
3.exd5 and 4.c4 - Panov is extremely tactical, especially if Black plays 5...Nc6 and White decides to avoid the endgame (6.Bg5 instead of 6.Nf3)
3.exd5 and 4.Bd3 - Dull - In essence, you are playing the Black side of the QGD Exchange Variation up a tempo. With correct play, it should be an easy draw for Black, but little beyond that.
3.f3 - Highly, HIGHLY tactial! Avoid if you are looking for a positional game.
It's also the same with scandinavian, I have only faced the main line with Qe2 and O-O-O once in live chess and never in OTB.
Black side of the QGD Exchange Variation up a tempo sounds good to me. Also I don't find conducting kingside attacks dull.
An easy draw for Black at what rating level? We're talking about 1500-1900 players here. We're not GMs, we're people who still make mistakes in our games. Personally I'd rather spend my study time on tactics, endgame, and general positional ideas rather than "The Advance variation of the Caro-Kann" or whatever it is that the Caro-Kann player is hoping you'll try against them so they can out-theory you. Maybe when I become an expert level player and am playing games where no mistakes are made then I'll switch to that.
i would just like to ask a question here : what about kings indian attack against caro-indian ?
I've consistently been between 2050 and 2150 for the last couple of years, nowhere near GM. Not even flat out master. Not once have I had an issue facing the exchange.
I would never advocate this line to anybody as a draw for Black is a moral victory. Only time this should maybe be used is if you are facing someone 300 points higher, it's the final round, and a draw is sufficient.
I would recommend the Panov, Fantasy, or 4.Nc3 line of the Advance Variation to a tactician, and 3.Nc3 or Advance with 4.Nf3 to a positional player. If you play 3.Nc3 and Black plays 4...Nd7, if you do choose to do the quiet line, 5.Nf3, then after 5...Ngf6, play 6.Ng3. 6.Nxf6+ is a joke and again, an EASY draw for Black!
You should also NEVER use rating as a basis for the rightness of an opening. 1500 players (over the board that is) are a joke. You could play 1.h4 against a 1500 player. However, why learn garbage when you are going to have to start all over again when you start facing 2000 players, or masters? There are 5 legimate lines against the Caro-Kann (actually, there's 6, even 2.d3, leading to King's Indian Attack lines, are better than the Exchange Variation), some positional, some tactical (see above). Might as well learn one of them now rather than having to start all over again once you gain a couple of hundred points.
If the Caro-Kann exchange leads to a draw for black why did Bobby Fischer decide to use it against Tigran Petrosian in an important tournament, and why then did Petrosian lose instead of getting this assured draw?
This is an opening white can play for a win with. There's not much theory to "learn" either, that's the point. If I decide to switch to something else it doesn't matter because it only takes a few days to learn the exchange variation anyway. Meanwhile I can be studying tactics and positional ideas and not get bogged down in theory against an opening I'm only seeing once in every 25 games or so.
I think your problem is that your bias against the exchange French is now carrying over into the exchange Caro-Kann. Just because they both have "exchange" in the title doesn't mean they're the same. And anyway, the exchange French isn't so bad either, that's another good way of avoiding theory. The Caro-Kann and French players don't want you to play the exchange variations, they want you to use the main line variations they've been studying for years so they can smash you off the board with their theoretical knowledge. Sorry, that's not what I'm going to do, and you can try to disparage the exchange variations all you want I'm not going to play right into their hands just because those openings are more "pro" or whatever.
Also the Caro-Kann exchange is helping me learn strategy and middlegame play. I enjoy having a game where each side has clear plans, and an opening that's based more on ideas rather than theory.
I refuse to accept any argument based on:
A) A single game
B) Any game before the computer era
Your argument is just as bad as those that claim the King's Gambit is sound. The pre-computer era, theory was not as well known. Many busts to lines that were once thought sound have been found. Many forced draws have been found.
Below are just a few of many openings whose assessment has changed when the computer era began (i.e. early days of Kasparov onward):
King's Gambit - Sound before the computer era, unsound since
Exchange Caro-Kann - Typical slight edge for White before the computer era, dead equal since.
Sicilian Dragon - Dynamic and tactical line with a slight edge for White, though chances for both side before the computer era, a flat out theoretical draw since the computer era.
Marshall Gambit (Ruy Lopez) - Suffered basically the same problem as the Dragon
Also, your garbage about my bias against openings that have the word "Exchange" in it is horsesh*t. There are openings that I personally don't play due to "fear" of the exchange variation.
Also, the Panov is a subset of the Exchange. That's why I said 3.exd5 and 4.Bd3 is garbage. Not 3.exd5 in and of itself. 4.c4, while still not any good against the French, is a potent weapon against the Caro-Kann. Another opening where the Exchange Variation is to be feared is the Grunfeld.
So instead of putting words in my mouth, try asking for reasoning instead.
Also, you said, and I quote:"The Caro-Kann and French players don't want you to play the exchange variations, they want you to use the main line variations they've been studying for years so they can smash you off the board with their theoretical knowledge."
Well now that's funny. I quit playing the French as Black because of many new ideas that favor White in the Advance that came out in the mid-2000s along with 3.Nc3. The Advance is still a lot less theoretical than 3.Nc3. So nowhere have I ever said you have to play the most theoretical line. I play the Advance myself, though I occasionally also play 3.Nc3 against the French. The Tarrasch and Exchange are both dead equal with correct play. Zippo advantage for White. As for the Caro-Kann, one of the least theoretical lines is personally my hardest one to face. The Fantasy Variation! Again, never said you have to play the "most theoretical" line to get a legitimate advantage. However, against anybody that knows what they are doing, the exchange with 4.Bd3 (4.Nf3 is even worse, and I've seen that as well) will get you nowhere! If you are going to trade on move 3, you need to act fast, and the way to do that is 4.c4!
Don't you think the Caro-Kann exchange variation is useful for teaching the elements of strategy and middle-game plans? I certainly think it's helping me in those areas.
I enjoy the opening so I'm going to keep playing it. I enjoy not having to learn much theory and just going by ideas, and spending this freed up time I would be studying theory studying tactics instead.
Whatever opening there is there's always going to be someone who bashes it. For me at least, and for many people in my same situation, the Caro-Kann exchange makes perfect sense. I've had success with it so far and I expect to win many more games using it.
Or perhaps I may even switch to the London System as white and not give them a chance to play the Caro-Kann in the first place. How do you like them apples?
By the way ThrillerFan, you say that 1500 players are a joke, but I notice it's only in "online chess" that you have a 2071 rating. In blitz, you're 1677, and if you look at my first post I show two games were I beat people around your same rating with the exchange variation this past week alone.
GM Davies and GM Perelshteyn say that the Caro-Kann exchange variation is good for white. I think they know more about it than you do. You'd do well to watch their DVDs and start playing it yourself, then you may experience the joys of the Caro-Kann exchange from the white perspective.
I'm sure you must have seen my posts before about the London System and how it's the most utter cr*p in all of chess. I respect the Trompowsky, Torre, Veresov, even the Colle, but not the London.
As for your argument of learning strategy, no, I don't think the exchange caro-kann is a good example. If one is looking for a simple system against the Caro-Kann that teaches the basics of strategy without reams of lines to remember, I'd advocate 3.Nc3, and after 3...dxe4 4.Nxe4, the following is what I'd recommend:
Against 4...Bf5 - The Main Line - White's ideas are extremely simple
Against 4...Nf6 - Take it! You can learn a lot about the ins and outs of doubled pawns. Black gets doubled pawns, but also gets a semi-open file (either e- or g-). Especially if he plays gxf6, it teaches the idea about who should be looking to trade. White has a better structure. Black has counter-play. Who wants to retain pieces? Who wants an endgame? (Hint - Exchange Ruy has the same effect).
Against 4...Nd7 - While 5.Ng5 is all the theoretical rage, 5.Nf3 Ngf6 6.Ng3! is an excellent line to use to learn the basics. Here, unlike the 4...Nf6 lines, White wants to retain pieces. He has a space advantage rather than an advantage in pawn structure. With the extra space, and all other factors equal, you want to keep pieces on the board. If Black has less room to manouver, he would love to get a few pieces off the board so that the others have room to breathe.
The problem that I have seen many times with amateurs playing the exchange Caro-Kann is two-fold:
1) You don't learn the true dynamics of the game, like space, structure, etc that you learn with 3.Nc3
2) Too many amateurs in these lines are too honed in on maintaining a pretty pawn structure that they completely ignore all the other dynamics of the game. If you force yourself into lines that involve one side having doubled pawns, isolated pawns, etc, you actually learn that they are not automatic death. Too many players get these structures, and then just assume they are lost, and start playing wreckless, looking to pull off a trap, when instead, the position was dynamically equal or even slightly better for them, but they don't understand it because all they've done is specifically avoid such situations at all cost - so even from a tactics and positional play standpoint, I don't advocate the Exchange with 4.Bd3.
3) Too many amateurs assume that a reverse opening is as advantage due to the extra tempo. Not true at all. Many times, that extra move just forces you to commit to something when you really want to wait and find out what the opponent does. For example, after 1.d4, e4 is weakened, so 1...f5 latches on to the e4 square. This does not make 1.f4 10 times stronger because Black hasn't committed to ...d5. He could play ...d6 at some point, and play for ...e5. The thing to realize as Black is that the minority attack, typical idea for White in the exchange QGD, is not priority one because he is down a tempo, which changes the game completely. If you don't understand this, and simply play the Caro-Kann because it looks just like a Slav or White Queen's Gambit Exchange, you are fooling yourself!
If you really want to learn tactics and positional play, I find the following the best ideas:
Pawn Structure - Queen's Gambit Orthodox (Breaks, releasing d5 by taking on c4 at times when trying to hold d5 is too much - identifying these is part of understanding it), Slav Defense, etc, just to name a couple
Executing a Space Advantage - Playing the opposite side of any hypermodern opening - i.e. Black side of the Reti, White side of the KID, White side of the Alekhine, etc.
Isolated Queen's Pawn (IQP) - Panov, QGA, Catalan, Tarrasch Defense, French Tarrasch with 3...c5 4.exd5 exd5, etc.
Doubled Pawns - Nimzo-Indian, French Winawer, Sicilian Lines with a frequent gxf6 (Najdorf, Sveshnikov)
Pawn Chains - French, King's Indian Defense
Tactics - Almost any 1.e4 e5 opening outside of the Closed Ruy, which is more positional in nature.
Strategy - Queen's Gambit, Closed Sicilian, Closed Ruy Lopez
Now, am I saying study the theory of all of these openings? Absolutely NOT! But if you look up a couple of the lines of say the Najdorf or Sveshnikov with a frequent gxf6, or certain lines of the Nimzo-Indian or French Winawer, plug them into Rybka, and search the position for games in the database, don't bother with the theory, but look at these games, and see how both players handle the doubled pawns (the owner of them, and the one attacking them).
Under no circumstances should you restrict your studying to you own repertoire. When studying middlegame and endings, specifically make sure that the openings of the games you study are diverse. For example, if you are a French player, and you are studying a book with 100 of Botvinnik's games, and 13 of them are the French Defense, don't just study those 13. Study all 100!
The usual nonsense.
The exchange Caro Cann is just equal. NOT DRAWN, JUST EQUAL.
But any position is not equal if the players aren't.
Leave aside the psychosis with openings, find a playable, rational position, and play chess.
I'm sorry for bringing up your blitz rating ThrillerFan, I have no doubt that you're a much better player than I am, and anyway your blitz rating is still very good.
Thanks for your comments as well. I have learned from your comments, though I still disagree with you about the Caro-Kann exchange. Perhaps it's something to do with my style but I really like this opening. Maybe in the future after I've gotten good at the middlegame and endgame I'll try some of those other variations out against the Caro-Kann.
Saying that my Blitz Rating is good is a joke and a half, but blitz ratings on chess.com (or ICC, or FICS, or any other) don't mean jack.
Server connections, 5-minute games, cheaters for some opponents, experimentation of openings before playing them in a real legitimate game, etc.
Blitz ratings are erratic. They go up based on trickery, better server connections, etc. I know other 2200 players that have much lower internet blitz ratings and 1700 players that have an internet blitz rating of over 2400.
Correspondence also can't be trusted because of cheaters, whether it be the 2400 correspondence player that has an over the board rating of 1200, or the 2000 correspondence player with an over the board rating of 2100 or 2200 that faces these 2400 cheaters!
So one's strength should be judged by their FIDE, BCF, USCF, CCF, or some other over the board, slow time control rating system.
ThrillerFan, to be perfectly honest, I've never heard of a consistent 2100 OTB player being only in the 1600s in blitz rating. I've played well over 25,000 blitz games in my life, and 1600s typically were no higher than 1800 in real life when I researched their tournament history. Most in fact had OTB ratings within 100 points of their blitz rating. I'm on the plus side in blitz that I play stronger blitz than I do rapid games. I'm over 1900 both here and on playchess, and at 2200 on chesscube. But again, I've never faced a strong expert that only had 1600 in blitz. They simply have too much experience and intuition to play that poorly.
Well I still think your blitz rating is quite good, considering it's harder to get a high rating the quicker the time control here, and your average opponent rating is higher than yours too. I think overall you're one of the best players we have here at chess.com that consistently posts in the forums.
To be fair, ThrillerFan is in fact a strong expert OTB (assuming he is Mr. McCartney). It's just that I've never played an expert that wasn't quite skilled in blitz as well. Maybe I just play too much blitz and can't relate to standard game skill anymore.
You do seem to be the exception Firebrand in that you have a higher blitz rating than you do live standard. I got a low blitz rating here when I tried it, and this is why I closed out my old account (AdorableMogwai). But I was playing very fast blitz games at 3 minutes per side, also I didn't have pre-move enabled and was using an old gummed-up laser mouse with no mouse-pad, but still it seemed like the blitz pool was stronger and there was a little more rating deflation there.
Thank you again guys for helpful advices!
As for the soundness of CaroKann Exchange, I think pfren's "The exchange Caro Cann is just equal. NOT DRAWN, JUST EQUAL." would be to the point. In fact, I'll try Exchange Variation anyway.
I learned a LOT about CaroKann through reading the discussion here, and I appreciate all the advices and suggestions.
However, ThrillerFan, you should refrain from writing something like "Also, your garbage about my bias against openings that have the word "Exchange" in it is horsesh*t. " and so on. It is too rude to FriendlySquid. Even though what you wrote about the CaroKann was very helpful(3.Nc3 lines especially interest me, and I might try it also), such words only degrade you.
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