Subduing the Caro-Kann


I've been using this system against the Caro-Kann for years, and it has seemed to work really well.

As I understand it, this is generally what Bobby Fischer played v. defensive and prophylactic master Petrosian. My question is, what about e5?

I've had some trouble against this in blitz; against normal lines I'm doing fine. Any suggestions?


I would consider taking followed by Qe2.

lolurspammed wrote:

I would consider taking followed by Qe2.

That seemed logical to me as well in the few games I've played against this, but the tricky thing is this line...

After some computer analysis, it seems that perhaps this line is a little better:


If you don't want boring and equal then you're playing the wrong system..


I kind of disagree, I get a lot of exciting chess in this system. For example...


From my understanding black is suppose to get a good game from that position after the critical move 5...Qc7!


However, I must admit I have played 5...g6 in that position and it seemed like to me that my position was not that bad either.

I have not seen how white refutes 5...g6.

Which makes me think its perfectly playable move as well.


Qc7 is usually played in an attempt to stop Bf4, but Bf4 is played anyways after Ne2.


@ Roofslovepizza

I would agrue that blacks game is not as difficult as it seems.

For example:

You did not mention a very common plan black can have in this type of position.

Blacks bishop may be biting on granite for a short period of time.

However, blacks idea is to bring that bishop alive. By break up that granite.

One very common way black does this is with a minority attack.

I will flip the board so you can see it better.

I will throw up my queen side pawns to try and take on c3 which would give you a backwards pawn on blacks Semi-Open C file.

Which all will work in cordination with the bishop which is on g7.

If c3 falls than d4 comes under fire.

By playing Bg7 it does stop any white idea's of playing c4 later on since the d4 pawn would come under fire.

Obviously trading light square bishops would be another good plan black can do while doing there long term plan of the minority attack.

So it has some sting to it. An the plans are simple.

I don't play this from the white side so I am not exactly sure how white would play this. I really don't see whites plan in this line.

I mean black would of course like to play on the center / queen side portion of the board.

My first guess is white would want to play on the center / king side.

I just don't see how exactly they plan on doing that.

I suppose they will try to use the Open E file and the e5 square.

But I mean black has squares of his own he can get a foot hold of. So its kind of going to be a back and forward kind of a game.


However, this is just one variation there is also the 5...Qc7 variation.

Which is suppose to be good as well.


Yes, I see 5...Qc7 recommended before e5. But, if white does not do something to contest the e5 square with some urgency, black should get in e5 quickly after Qc7.

Roofslovepizza wrote:

I have considered 5...e5 quite a bit before and I have concluded that although it's not  a terrible move, black will probably get himself in a position which he isn't very comfortable with.

Good information, thanks. I've been wondering about exactly this question for the past several months, since none of the main book lines of the Caro-Kann that I've ever seen show Black playing an early ...e5, even when he can. Occasionally Chess Titans plays it against me in that opening and I was wondering if there were some refutation.


e5 is a key square...fortunately, white can easily play for it, e.g. Re1 Nbd2 Ne5 Nc3, that sort of thing.


Well ponz111

4.Bf4  does stop the 5...Qc7 variation.

However, doesn't 4.Bf4 just open the door for black to play other variations.


There is no stoping the great endgame for the caro.


I personally feel that if your playing white against the Caro-Kann.

An your idea is to play the move 3.exd5

The only satisfactory response is to follow up with 4.c4 going into the Panov Attack.

If your intention is to play any other 4th move after 3.exd5.

Than I believe your just wasting your time.

You might as well stop playing 3.exd5 if your not going to follow up with 4.c4.

Maybe you should consider the mainline 3.Nc3.

Few of options for sure:





I would say dxe5 after Nxe5 queen e2 with an ugly pin


My first instinct (after 6. dxe5 Nxe5) would be to play 7. Qe2 Qe7 8. Bb5+ when the queen exchange should suit white just fine in a variation like 8... bd7 9. Bxd7+ Nxd7 but after playing around with a computer a bit it does seem 9... Kxd7 10. Qb5+ Kc8 (or 10... Kc7) is surpisingly resilient variation for black. This leads me to believe that 5... e5 is not such a bad move as it may appear at first and maybe white should indeed just go 7. Bb5+ Nc6 and play normal chess. The position may look dry and boring to you but the isolated d-pawn should give the position enough assymmetry to avoid quick draw. 

There may not be that many examples with this paticular position in the literature or db but there is plenty of literature about isolated d-pawn positions and you might also compare the position to some simlar position arising from different openings like 1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. exd5 exd5 5. Bb5+ in the French.