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Caro-Kann Classical Variation game

KevinOSh
I played as Black in this game and lost to a lower rated player who played very well.
 

I think I made a few bad pawn moves, and failed to take advantage of the relative pin on the d4 pawn.

How could I have played this better?

1aardvark

LOL 😂 

Jdchess177

Honestly I’m not a fan of the mainline caro kann. I feel that black equalizes too quickly. Playing as white vs the caro kann I prefer the fantasy or the panov-botnivik. If you like trappy lines study the fantasy. If you are a fan of QGD then the panov-botnivik is for you!

Jdchess177

My bad. I just realized you were playing black 😂😂

PuffyFoot

Your a5-a4 plan was probably too slow, your opponent had better control of the center and you should’ve played the c6-c5 pawn break before doing so.

When your opponent played c5, trying to gain some space, b6 would undermine his own chain.

 

PerpetuallyPinned

In all honesty, I think both players played well up to a point and then didn't have clue. A few moves indicated neither side knew the importance of the d-file at certain points.

You didn't annotate your game. Can you tell us some of the typical plans for each side in the Caro pawn structure you played with here? The common pawn breaks and squares used for exchanges?

Yes, the pin of the d4 pawn shows c5 was ill advised.

You could also look at positions after 7.Bd3 and 17.Ne5 and share your calculations for the tension between minor pieces.

Optimissed

hi, 41 pawn takes en passant and white has a very simple win. Why didn't you take his pawn with your king, when you had the chance?

Optimissed

26 ...R d8 and he can't defend his pawn. You equalise.

f040

I think that your opponent traded down to a winning endgame, maybe you shouldn't have traded the rooks and queens. Also giving him the passed d pawn wasnt good

KevinOSh
Optimissed wrote:

hi, 41 pawn takes en passant and white has a very simple win. Why didn't you take his pawn with your king, when you had the chance?

26 ...R d8 and he can't defend his pawn. You equalise.

A lot of the game was played on my mobile phone while I was on holiday without a board or a proper computer.

Are you referring to 40...g5+ 41.Kg4? That was White's move but I don't think that was a bad move.

26 ...R d8 - do you mean 26...Rxe3

KevinOSh
f040 wrote:

I think that your opponent traded down to a winning endgame, maybe you shouldn't have traded the rooks and queens. Also giving him the passed d pawn wasnt good

 
To avoid a trade do I play ...Kf8 or move the rook?
 

A few moves later in this position White is so completely winning, I was just stalling and hoping for an opponent blunder. Could have resigned about 15 moves earlier but I have seen so much crazy stuff it is usually worth playing on to see. I could have taken the pawn instead of defending with the Queen but I did not want White to recapture Qxd5 with check. It would be easy for White to promote the c-pawn with the aid of an active Queen.

f040

I would play Rd8 and win the pawn back

tygxc

14...b5?? is a blunder. 14...Nxc5 wins a pawn.
17...Bf6? is a mistake. You had to trade away his outpost knight yourself 17...Nxe5.
27...Nxe3? is a mistake. You had to preserve the knight 27...Ne5 and leave him with his bad bishop on the color of his pawns.

KevinOSh
tygxc wrote:

14...b5?? is a blunder. 14...Nxc5 wins a pawn.
17...Bf6? is a mistake. You had to trade away his outpost knight yourself 17...Nxe5.
25...Nxe3? is a mistake. You had to preserve the knight 25...Ne5 and leave him with his bad bishop on the color of his pawns.

I just need to remember to keep looking out for opportunities to take advantage of pins and trade bad minor pieces for strong outpost minor pieces.

Maybe if I can manage this I can go up another 100 Elo.

PerpetuallyPinned
KevinOSh wrote:
tygxc wrote:

14...b5?? is a blunder. 14...Nxc5 wins a pawn.
17...Bf6? is a mistake. You had to trade away his outpost knight yourself 17...Nxe5.
25...Nxe3? is a mistake. You had to preserve the knight 25...Ne5 and leave him with his bad bishop on the color of his pawns.

I just need to remember to keep looking out for opportunities to take advantage of pins and trade bad minor pieces for strong outpost minor pieces.

Maybe if I can manage this I can go up another 100 Elo.

If you didn't ignore my post, you could identify some of these things to be on the lookout for.

But if you fail to identify your reasons for making moves, you won't be able to correct your problems.

"a few bad pawn moves"...Which were "good" pawn moves?

Edit #1:

Maybe start with your first structural change. Go back and revisit 12.b3.  What are your candidate moves here? Where does a5 fit in your list and why is it better than the other 5 or so options (if it is).

Edit #2:

The Caro structure (after Black has played e6 in this game). I call it the "solid Caro structure" just to distinguish it from others with pawns on different squares (noone else bothers so it's considered miniscule).

Imbalances:

• White has a pawn on the c-file and has a queen-side majority, while
• Black has a pawn on the c-file and has a king-side majority
• The d4 advanced pawn guarantees White a spatial advantage, as well as
• better control of the centre.

  • Black has a solid structure, but is cramped for the pieces


White’s Plans:
1. Launching a Kingside attack (often combined with #2 or #3),
2. Making good use of the b1-h7 diagonal and putting pressure on the vulnerable h7-pawn. Usually with Bd3 and queen help.
3. Placing a knight on the e5-square outpost
4. Playing c3-c4 or h2-h4 (gaining more space) and co-ordinating pieces in order to keep control the centre (c5-square and the e5-square) and
5. Prevent Black's pawn break (c6-c5) by playing c4-c5 in order to control the weak d6-square and limit Black's counter play

6. Use d6 as an outpost (after #5 is achieved)

 

Black’s Plans:
1. Playing c6-c5 (sometimes before c4 is played by White) in order to break the centre and create a 3-3 vs 4-2 structure (most likely) to level the playing field.
2. Attacking white’s c-pawn (challenging it's control), putting pressure in the centre by advancing the b-pawn (to b6 if White’s pawn is on c5 or to b5 if White’s c-pawn in on c4).
3. Playing e6-e5 in order to break the centre and create a symmetrical structure (equalizing chances in an endgame after White recaptures by dxe5). A reason White often likes the Qe2/Re1/Nf3/d4 setup.
4. Attacking the d4-pawn after White has advanced his pawn to the c4 square (rare because easy to defend).

rychessmaster1

ew Bf5

PerpetuallyPinned
rychessmaster1 wrote:

ew Bf5

I think Schandorff and Houska influenced the popularity of it a bit.