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Caro-Kann (B10)
1 e4 c6

Number of games in database: 8072
Years covered: 1856 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 40.0%
   Black wins 27.3%
   Draws 32.7%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Normunds Miezis  44 games
Rauf Mamedov  38 games
Ljubomir Ljubojevic  35 games
Aleksey Dreev  46 games
Salomon Flohr  40 games
Vladimir Burmakin  37 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Tal vs Smyslov, 1959
Tal vs Karpov, 1987
Tarrasch vs Reti, 1922
Chandler vs Y Gruenfeld, 1979
A Espeli vs Andersen, 1952
Alapin vs Nimzowitsch, 1911
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 page 1 of 323; games 1-25 of 8,072 
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Cochrane vs Somacarana 1-0401856CalcuttaB10 Caro-Kann
2. Cochrane vs Somacarana 1-0671856CalcuttaB10 Caro-Kann
3. Mohishunder vs Cochrane ½-½301856CalcuttaB10 Caro-Kann
4. Cochrane vs Somacarana 1-0371856CalcuttaB10 Caro-Kann
5. Englisch vs Meitner  1-0391882ViennaB10 Caro-Kann
6. W Paulsen vs M Weiss ½-½4418833rd DSB Congress, NurembergB10 Caro-Kann
7. F K Esling vs Gossip 1-0521885New South Wales v Victoria Telegraph MatchB10 Caro-Kann
8. Muenchoff vs H Caro  0-1181886Casual gameB10 Caro-Kann
9. Burille vs N MacLeod 1-02118896th American Chess Congress, New YorkB10 Caro-Kann
10. Landau / Pinner / Walbrodt vs Caro / Keidanski / Em. Lasker 0-1411891Consultation gameB10 Caro-Kann
11. Lasker vs Allies  1-0261899Consultation simul, 10bB10 Caro-Kann
12. Dadian / Lebedev vs Schiffers / Yurevich  1-0381903Consultation gameB10 Caro-Kann
13. R J Guckemus vs K S Howard 0-1431904Sylvan BeachB10 Caro-Kann
14. B Maliutin vs P Evtifeev 0-13819064th All Russian TournamentB10 Caro-Kann
15. J Mieses vs Duras 0-1381907Trebitsch MemorialB10 Caro-Kann
16. Olland vs H Wolf 1-0491907KarlsbadB10 Caro-Kann
17. Lasker vs B van Trotsenburg 1-0111908SimulB10 Caro-Kann
18. H Suechting vs H Wolf  ½-½30190816th DSB Congress, DuesseldorfB10 Caro-Kann
19. G Wainwright vs F J Lee  1-0601909British ChampionshipB10 Caro-Kann
20. R T Black vs A Kreymborg  1-0471911New York MastersB10 Caro-Kann
21. Alapin vs Duras  ½-½721911KarlsbadB10 Caro-Kann
22. Alapin vs Nimzowitsch 0-1431911KarlsbadB10 Caro-Kann
23. G Bernheimer vs G Cenni  0-12019115th Congress USI-AB10 Caro-Kann
24. Capablanca vs J Davidson ½-½291911Simul, 26bB10 Caro-Kann
25. Levenfish vs Nimzowitsch 0-1291912Vilnius All-Russian MastersB10 Caro-Kann
 page 1 of 323; games 1-25 of 8,072 
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 21 OF 21 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-25-10  rapidcitychess: I love the ck, but how do you beat the anti-caro. < 1 e4 c6 2 c4!?>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <rapidcitychess> So simple, either 2...d5 or 2...e5 are perfectly good and don't need much prep. I give some advice in my CK book, but you don't need it for this line. Just play sensibly.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Troller: <rapidcitychess> Larsen once recommended looking at 1.e4 c6 2.c4 Qa5!?

Whereas your opponent has probably met 2..d5 before, there's a good chance this is new to him. In some cases it will transpose to 2..e5 lines, as Black will often want to play ..e5 at some point.

Mar-04-10  rapidcitychess: Thanks. I'm still scared after Lautier wiped out a Grandmaster in 10 moves. Of course that was a blunder.
Mar-06-10  Oker67: I have never used the Caro kann as black and would be interested in other players comments- especially at my level 1400 ish. it does look interesting though.
my regards to all chess fanatics.
Premium Chessgames Member
  tpstar: <Oker67> Welcome to the site. =)

Here's an excerpt from an article I wrote with one of my students:

"The Caro-Kann Defense (1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5) was named after Horatio Caro from England and Marcus Kann from Austria who published analysis on this opening idea in 1866. The Caro-Kann has served as a concrete defensive system against 1. e4 and has been played by World Champions including Jose Capablanca, Vasily Smyslov and Anatoli Karpov. It is a safe and solid set-up for Black which may lead to better endgame chances due to superior Pawn structure."

"The Caro-Kann Defense is very similar to the French Defense because Black establishes a center Pawn at d5, but there are important differences. First, the Caro-Kann often leads to an open or semi-open center, while the French Defense aims for a closed center. Second, since Black supports the d5 Pawn with the c6 Pawn, either Pawn trade (exd5 by White or … dxe4 by Black) will unbalance the Pawn majorities on both sides, resulting in more dynamic play compared to the French Defense. Third, the French Defense has the inherent problem of developing Black’s QB which is locked in after … e6; in the Caro-Kann, Black typically develops the QB first (to f5 or g4) and then plays … e6, avoiding this situation altogether."

Caro-Kann players tend to be solid and sure, which is why I always use the Panov-Botvinnik Attack as White (1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. ed cd 4. c4) with the benefits and drawbacks of an IQP.

A great place to learn more about the Caro-Kann would be reviewing this page from the top, including several comments by Ray Keene and Eric Schiller. Good luck. =)

Mar-07-10  rapidcitychess: The ck has always been a pet of mine, but I still play the french due to the closed nature of the position.
May-17-10  Archswindler: Has anyone come across this line:

1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. Ne5!?


M Sebag vs Xu Yuanyuan, 2004

May-17-10  FrogC: It's called the Apocalypse Attack. Here it is, explained by Michael Goeller:
Aug-11-10  chesswonder: Please tell me how to refute the 1.e4 c6 2.Ne2 in the caro kann...and where will i develop my c8 bishop?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: 2.Ne2 is unusual, but it cannot be refuted. It is a perfectly reasonable move intended to place the night at g3. Black should continue normally and place the Bishop at F5, retreating it to g6 when the knight attacks it.
Aug-12-10  chesswonder: Thx Mr.Eric Schiller, but there is something wrong with Bishop on g6... 1. e4 c6
2. Ne2 d5
3. e5 Bf5
4. Ng3 Bg6
5. h4 h6
6. h5 Bh7
when the follow up of 7.e6
makes black in cramp position.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: No big deal. Just return the pawn with ...e5 and everything is fine.

[Event "It"]
[Site "Moscow (Russia)"]
[Date "2005.2.18"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Romero Holmes Alfonso (ESP)"]
[Black "Ageichenko Genadi A (RUS)"]
[Result "0-1"]
[Eco "B10"]
[Annotator ""]
[Source ""]

1.e4 c6 2.Ne2 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Ng3 Bg6 5.h4 h6 6.h5 Bh7 7.e6 fxe6 8.d4 e5 9.dxe5 e6 10.Bd3 Bxd3 11.Qxd3 Qd7 12.O-O Bc5 13.Be3 Na6 14.Bxc5 Nxc5 15.Qd4 Na6 16.Qg4 Ne7 17.Qxg7 O-O-O 18.Nd2 Rdg8 19.Qf6 Rf8 20.Qh4 Nf5 21.Qh3 Rhg8 22.Nf3 Nc5 23.Nh4 Nxh4 24.Qxh4 Qg7 25.Rad1 Rf5 26.Qh3 Rf4 27.Ne2 Rh4 28.Qf3 Ne4 29.g3 Ng5 30.Qf6 Rf8 31.Nd4 Nh3+ 32.Kh2 Rxf6 33.exf6 Nf4+ 0-1

Aug-12-10  acirce: <<rapidcitychess> So simple, either 2...d5 or 2...e5 are perfectly good and don't need much prep.>

Excuse me... 1.e4 c6 2.c4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.d4 is the Panov and you "don't need much prep"?

Also, but this is of course something where I don't have a firm independent opinion, <For example, 1.e4 c6 2.c4 e5 was something I always felt was a solid choice for those wishing to avoid mega-theory. Karpov and Podgaets smash my fantasy by pointing out that 3.Nf3! (all other White options on move three are given a thorough examination and turn out to be fine for Black) leaves Black with a rather cheerless position in all lines.>

Aug-22-10  rapidcitychess: <acirce> <3.Nf3!> I would play that any day as white, it seems natural. I'll probably play the Panov, and wing it. And lose. Oh well.
Mar-21-11  philchess: Doesn't White gain more space in the caro-kann after 1.e4 c6 2.f4 d5?
Mar-21-11  geniokov: Guys,What can you say if White encounter a CaroKann shocker like 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 e5!?.What will be the best continuation for White?Shall White has to worry of something?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: @geniokov: White has a big lead in development after 5.Nf3 but that is all. It is playable for Black in amateur games.
Mar-22-11  geniokov: Thanks<Eric Schiller> My only option to play is 5.Nf3 as you said but i like Black´s position after playing 4..e5 which is for me more dynamic with an active piece play...Probably,Black can try after 5.Nf3, a) 5..Bg4 b) 5..Qd5 etc with queenside castling at the end.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: @geniokov: one of my students plays this. He's just rated 1000 so he can get away with it.
Sep-04-11  Karpova: Interesting: C.N. 7249 <The name ‘Caro-Kann Defence’>


Sep-10-11  mulde: @geniokov & Eric Schiller:
Maybe, the following game is of some interest concerning your matters:

Pokorny,F - Mihajlovic,J [B15], Illinois, 1972
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 e5 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Bc4 exd4 7.Bxf7+ Kxf7 8.Nfg5+ Kg6 9.Qxg4 h5 10.Qg3 h4 11.Qd3 Bb4+ 12.c3 dxc3 13.Nd6+ Kf6 14.Qf5+ Ke7 15.Qe6+ 1-0

Feb-26-12  NeverSummer: Hello, I've been playing Caro-Kann hap-hazardly for a number of years. I've started chess tuition with a FIDE Master and he's recommended that I look into Houdini Aquarium or I think he mentioned as far as using as a trainer / ingame tutor. I've watched loads of Youtube videos as well as searching sites like this for games to watch to learn book responses to a number of responses to white moves. Is there a computer program / product you can recommend that is particularly good for Caro-Kann. I'm definitely more of a pattern recognition, visual, memorization type of student... don't do so well with annotated books! sorry :)

So basically looking for a program that will track my play and point out weak moves.. and why.. and possibly suggest better moves and why... Does a good one exist, or am I dreaming?? Price within reason isn't so much of an issue. ;) I'm around a 1800 ELO player... I think.

Feb-11-19  WDenayer: The Caro-Kann is very difficult. In the main lines, Black needs to play extremely precise to safeguard a draw. The Panov, with or without Bg5, is really difficult. The endgame that arises is difficult to handle – see Schandorf for a good explanation. It might be equal, but it takes a lot of technique. The advance variation is unplayable without extreme preparation and theory advances at great speed. I am not surprised that Houschka proposes 3. … c5. Once a backwater, there is a lot of theory here too now. Even minor systems, like the fantasy variation (f3), are difficult. 2.Ne2 is a perfectly good move. There have been new developments in the exchange variation. It is far from harmless. The two most played systems are the advance variation and the main line which have often been analysed 20 -30 moves far. The Caro-Kann is a fascinating opening, but, if I were young, I wouldn’t play it. I don’t know what I would play. I suspect that between players of equal strength, White wins more games than in other openings.
Feb-11-19  WDenayer: And FrogC posted this link re. the 'apocalypse variation' (1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Ne5!). Look how difficult this is. Black also even has to reckon with 2.b3 these days. It's far from harmless, you need to know how to play this. Don't you think that studying the Spanish is simpler - play, for example, the Marshall?

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