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Anatoly Karpov vs Vlastimil Hort
"The Caro Can't" (game of the day Oct-14-2007)
Bugojno (1978), Bugojno BIH, rd 12, Mar-11
Caro-Kann Defense: Karpov Variation (B17)  ·  1-0
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-14-07  Sularus: Caro Can't eh... funny coz later on this became Karpov's pet opening against e4 players.
Oct-14-07  CapablancaFan: Actually the Caro-Kann is a very solid system IF handled correctly as I play it often. Here, Hort fumbles the opening and pays the price. For example after 4.Nxe4 Nd7?. The most accurate and best continuation if your a Caro-Kann player is 4...Bf5! immediately putting the question to the knight, forcing it to either move or instantly be defended. The moved played just gave Karpov too much of an easy hand.
Oct-14-07  dx9293: "The Caro Can't" was also the name for Kasparov-Karpov (Linares, 2000) when it won GOTD!!
Oct-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  SwitchingQuylthulg: <dx9293> Linares 2001, actually (Karpov didn't even play in Linares 2000): Kasparov vs Karpov, 2001
Oct-14-07  soberknight: That looked too easy. A very impressive quick win.
Oct-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Chessmensch: That horts!
Oct-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: <CapablancaFan: Actually the Caro-Kann is a very solid system IF handled correctly as I play it often. Here, Hort fumbles the opening and pays the price. For example after 4.Nxe4 Nd7?. The most accurate and best continuation if your a Caro-Kann player is 4...Bf5! immediately putting the question to the knight, forcing it to either move or instantly be defended. The moved played just gave Karpov too much of an easy hand.>

If you're serious, then you should check out: Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation (B17) . 4...Nd7 is not in any way at all a blunder, nor is it a bad move.

Oct-14-07  CapablancaFan: <ganstaman> Well, you are correct, in that Nd7 isn't a "bad" move in itself, but IMO it's just too passive for my taste. I do play the Caro-Kann regularly and to me when white opens like this, the classical variation is the best road to equality for black. I do realize though it's a matter of preference, but the classical line immediately limits white's responses as the Steintz variation is a paper tiger. Caro-Kann, Classical (B18)
Oct-14-07  CapablancaFan: <ganstaman> Here's a game between Marshall and Capablanca for example. Capa played the classical. Notice Capa had no problems at all equalizing in the opening all the way to the middlegame. Against Frank Marshall of all people who was no slouch! Marshall vs Capablanca, 1927
Oct-14-07  xrt999: <Spitecheck: <Honza> When I looked at the position I looked at Nd7 (instead of e6) and immediately thought Nxf7 but surely that can't be the best move for white.>

I agree, 8...e6 is pretty bad. It does nothing but locks out the bishop, white immediately replying with 9.g4 and after move 12 you can see black is in big trouble.

I think if you are going to play 4...Nd7 you would tend to prefer an open game rather than the closed version after 8...e6. I think you would rather want to develop your b and c pawns and develop your light square bishop along the a1-h8 diagonal, rather than move your bishop to f5 then closing it out with e6, where it will be immediately attacked or traded on d3.

Oct-14-07  xrt999: <ganstaman: <CapablancaFan: Actually the Caro-Kann is a very solid system IF handled correctly as I play it often. Here, Hort fumbles the opening and pays the price. For example after 4.Nxe4 Nd7?. The most accurate and best continuation if your a Caro-Kann player is 4...Bf5! >

Deep Blue vs Kasparov, 1997

Interestingly enough, in response to 4...Nd7, Deep Blue played 5.Ng5 in this system against Kasparov in 1997.

Oct-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: <CapablancaFan: <ganstaman> Here's a game between Marshall and Capablanca for example. Capa played the classical. Notice Capa had no problems at all equalizing in the opening all the way to the middlegame. Against Frank Marshall of all people who was no slouch! Marshall vs Capablanca, 1927>

Like you said, it <is> just a matter of preference. Your example is a complete joke:

1) A 1 game sample on each side shows less than nothing.

2) Here, Karpov won, and there, Capablanca won. I could have predicted that without knowing the openings or sides. Sure, Hort and Marshall weren't weak, but Karpov and Capa were almost god-like.

3) I could find hundreds of counter-examples that show the opposite (but in reality, they would show nothing all the same). In fact, click the "find similar games" link here and you will see that 4...Nd7 gives black a fine game.

Oct-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  acirce: 4..Nd7 was of course Karpov's own favourite.

Repertoire Explorer: Anatoli Karpov (black)

Oct-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: And I just looked at the Marshall-Capablanca game -- it featured the very uncommon 6. f4 by white. If one wanted to show that 4...Bf5 was best, I'd think they'd need to present a game where white plays the most critical variation but still loses, not some obscure sideline.
Oct-14-07  CapablancaFan: <ganstaman> You are correct that Nd7 isn't bad as black has many wins with that continuation. To me it's just not the strongest and too passive as I said before IMO. You obviously have a different view and that's fine. As far as 4...Bf5 goes, you said my example game was a "joke". What about this game. Here Petrosian thought there was nothing wrong with 4...Bf5. But then again, what does he know? A Dueckstein vs Petrosian, 1962
Oct-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: Maybe you didn't understand what I meant when I called it a joke. I meant that it's a laughable excuse for an argument. I already explained why this is in my post above (the 3 numbered points).
Oct-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: And once again, you come up with an example of a WC winning a game against a non-WC. Even if I could be swayed by a few examples that 4...Bf5 is tougher on white than 4...Nd7, you picked 3 of the worst possible examples.

Your opinion is fine (I prefer 4...Bf5 myself), but why try to back it up with games whose outcomes I could have predicted without knowing the openings?

Oct-14-07  savagerules: The only weak thing about 4...Nd7 is if White plays 5 Qe2 and Black plays 5...Ngf6 mechanically and loses to 6 Nd6 mate! Happens in blitz more than you think.
Oct-14-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  RookFile: Yeah, Alekhine did this to '4 Amateurs' playing against him once.
Oct-15-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A nice finish: after the exchanges at e8,whire takes the rook at g8 and is ahead by a bishop and two pawns.
Feb-20-09  M.D. Wilson: Hort was tough to beat. "Anatoli Karpov beat Vlastimil Hort 10 to 1, with 16 draws." Wow.
Feb-21-10  M.D. Wilson: Although Karpov liked the Caro-Kann as Black, when he was on the White side, he generally treated the opening with disdain! He beat Larsen in similar set-ups to this, and in very dynamic fashion.
Nov-10-10
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: Hort's 7....Bf5 is mercilessly exploited in this tilt; chiefly as a result of this game, the odd-looking 7....Be6 came into fashion, intending to fianchetto the other bishop.

When I first saw 7....g6, I thought it a strange idea, but eventually played it myself!

All this discussion of 4....Nd7 being a bad line is pointless, but neither is 4....Bf5 objectively stronger. I played both of these early in my career (plus the line 4....Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6 numerous times as a master) and it's more a stylistic preference than anything.

Jul-13-11  DrMAL: I guess when Kasparov made his many comments about Karpov's whimpiness he was not referring to games like these. Not sure if 7...Bf5 was so hot in the first place (e.g., compared with Be6 and g6) but 8...e6 has to be considered as a mistake. 9.g4 and 10.h4 boldly starts the punishment. 10...h5 was clearly weakening (instead of simply Bd6) and after 13...Kf7 (instead of preparing long castling) black is busted.

Karpov chose a less obvious plan (than 14.Be3 or 14.Bd2) and executed it beautifully. After 16.Rf3 black already does not have any good moves, perhaps the ugly looking 16...Ke7 and 17...Kd7 was best (other than resigning). 24...Ke7 (instead of 24...Qc8 to suffer more slowly) stepped into a forced mate.

Aug-26-16
Premium Chessgames Member
  profK: very cute. If 25...Qe6 26 Qc7+ Qd7 28.Bd6++ !!!
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