Caro Kann Basics

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16 CARDOZA PUBLISHING ã ERIC SCHILLER STRATEGIC GOALS OF THE CARO-KANN Black’s goals in the Caro-Kann Defense are to contest the center and to develop without creating major weaknesses. First of all, Black will develop pieces as quickly as possible. As White’s pawns advance further up the board they become possible liabilities in the endgame. Therefore Black should always keep in mind the technique of exchanging pieces, which not only reduces
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  16 CARDOZA PUBLISHING ã ERIC SCHILLER STRATEGIC GOALSOF THE CARO-KANN Black’s goals in the Caro-Kann Defense are to contest the centerand to develop without creating major weaknesses. First of all,Black will develop pieces as quickly as possible. As White’s pawnsadvance further up the board they become possible liabilities in theendgame. Therefore Black should always keep in mind the techniqueof exchanging pieces, which not only reduces White’s attackingpossibilities but also leads to favorable endgames.White should take control of the center immediately with 2.d4and develop pieces as quickly as possible in order to gain controlof space. There are two basic strategies: kingside attack and centralbreakthrough. I go into greater detail about those strategies in thesection on Typical Strategies and Tactics. PAWN STRUCTURE Pawn structure is of paramount importance in all of the variationsof the Caro-Kann. Each variation has its own particular structure,so we’ll consider each of them in a separate section. The followingdiagram show only the pawns. Classical Structure cuuuuuuuuC{wDwdwdwD}{0pDwdp0w}{wDpDpdw0}{DwDwDwDP}{wDw)wDwD}{DwDwDwdw}{P)Pdw)PD}{DwdwDwDw}vllllllllV  You can see at a glance why the Caro-Kann appeals to endgame Excerpted from Complete Defense to King Pawn Openings by Eric Schiller Published by Cardoza Publishing. © by Eric Schiller. All Rights Reserved.  STRATEGIC GOALS OF THE CARO-KANN 17 players! White has a weak pawn at h5 and lacks an e-pawn to enablea central breakthrough. White has a little more space and mustn’t beallowed to get the king to d6.  Advance Structure cuuuuuuuuC{wDwdwdwd}{0pDw0p0p}{wDpDwDwD}{DwDp)wDw}{wDw)wDwD}{DwDwDwDw}{P)PDw)P)}{dwdwdwdw}vllllllllV The situation in this structure is quite different from the previousexample. White’s pawn on e5 guarantees that a very substantialadvantage is space. At the same time, however, the center can beundermined by ...f6 and ...c5. Exchange Structure cuuuuuuuuC{wDwDwdwD}{0pDwdp0p}{wDwDpdwD}{DwDpdwDw}{wDw)wdwD}{Dw)wDwDw}{P)wdw)P)}{dwDwDwdw}vllllllllV The semi-open c- and e-les dene the contour of the middlegameand endgames in the Exchange Variation. White can take control of thecenter and advance the f-pawn to f5. Black can use a minority attack,advancing the b-pawn to b4 to weaken White’s pawn structure. Thoseadvances often provide the opponent with tactical opportunities, sothey must be used very carefully. Excerpted from Complete Defense to King Pawn Openings by Eric Schiller Published by Cardoza Publishing. © by Eric Schiller. All Rights Reserved.  18 CARDOZA PUBLISHING ã ERIC SCHILLER Panov Structure cuuuuuuuuC{wDwdwdwd}{0pDw0p0p}{wDwDwDwD}{DwDwDwDw}{wDw)wDwD}{DwdwDwDw}{P)wDw)P)}{dwdwdwDw}vllllllllV The endgame looks wonderful for Black if you strip away all thepieces! The isolated pawn at d4 is pathetically weak and in most casesthe king and pawn endgame is a simple win for Black. Life is not sosimple, however. Black has no presence in the center of the board, andWhite pieces will have great freedom to move around. The key to thenormal Panov structure is piece placement. This subject is covered inthe next part of the book.Before we leave the Panov pawn structure, there is one moreimportant formation to consider. Sometimes White advances the c-pawn to c5 early in the game. This is the Advanced Panov structure.  Advanced Panov Structure cuuuuuuuuC{wDwdwdwd}{0pDw0p0p}{wDwDwDwD}{Dw)pDwDw}{wDw)wDwD}{DwdwDwDw}{P)wDw)P)}{dwdwdwDw}vllllllllV This structure usually works well for Black if ...e5 can be played.That is not easy to achieve, especially in our repertoire, which stationsa bishop at e6, blocking the pawn. You will see in the game Einarssonvs. Schiller, however, that there are plenty of resources for Black. Excerpted from Complete Defense to King Pawn Openings by Eric Schiller Published by Cardoza Publishing. © by Eric Schiller. All Rights Reserved.  STRATEGIC GOALS OF THE CARO-KANN 19 PIECE PLACEMENT Where should your pieces be positioned for maximum efciency inthe Caro-Kann? This question cannot be answered generally, becauseeach of the structures in the last section requires a different answer.This time we’ll put all the pieces on the board. Classical Structure cuuuuuuuuC{rDw1w4kD}{0pDngp0w}{wDpDphw0}{DwDwDwDP}{wDw)wDwD}{DwDwDNHw}{P)PGQ)PD}{DwIRDwDR}vvllllllllVV King The King should be castled on the kingside, usually after all theminor pieces have been developed, but before the rooks or queenmove. You should leave it at g8, rather than sending it to the h-le,because, in the endgame, proximity to the center is important. Youwant to be able to get your king to d5 as quickly as possible. Queen The queen should not be developed until it can perform agenuinely useful function. The queen can be developed to a5, b6, c7.Try to exchange queens early to get to endgames where the d-pawn canbe weak. One way to do this is with the maneuver ...Qd5-e4, when thosesquares are safe for occupation. Rooks Usually we want to station our rooks on open les, but here therearen’t any. Black can use the semi-open d-le, which can become openif White plays Ne5 and Black exchanges and lures the d-pawn from d4to e5. The role of the rooks in the Caro-Kann is generally to supportpawn advances, especially from c6 to c5. Excerpted from Complete Defense to King Pawn Openings by Eric Schiller Published by Cardoza Publishing. © by Eric Schiller. All Rights Reserved.
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