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Why are there few Caro-Kann players?

  • #121

    The October 2016 issue of Chess lists the top twenty openings compiled from a list of 1874 August games where both players were rated over 2400 Elo. One can not take position on this list too seriously because it is greatly influenced by how the openings are grouped. For example, all the Retis are grouped together, while English is separated into 1 ... c5, 1 ... e5, etc. Nevertheless, for what it is worth, some of the list entries report: 66 Najdorf Sicilians, 60 Caro Kanns, 48 2 Nf3 d6 sideline Sicilians, 46 Berlin Ruy Lopezes, 40 Kan Sicilians, and 35 Taimanov Sicilians.

  • #122
    GoddessKirino wrote:

    I've recently heard alot of talk about the Caro-Kann bieng drawish and "boring".However in my opinion it doesn't give white any advantages early on and it also gives black a solid position and no "bad minor pieces" unlike other openings for black.
    So the question is this,why don't higher rated player go for this opening and instead play the sicilian if it gives black such a fine position?


    The modern carokann is very complex and tactical. To play it for winning chances black often has to accurately defend against kingside attacks which are very complicated and very difficult to play against top 2750-2850 GMs. Ding Liren used to regularly play the carokann until he experienced some extremely frustrating losses in positions where he wasn't worse according to engines, but holding it and finding the win was way too challenging. That is why he switched over to 1... e5 and a certain variation of the sicilian (if I remember right) that are much easier to play and take a lot less mental strain. Other guys like Jobava thrive in the insane carokann positions. In a recent game David Navara also recently drew Fabiano Caruana who is in the 2800s in the carokann. It was a pretty complex game.

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