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Caro-Kann (B10)
1 e4 c6

Number of games in database: 4304
Years covered: 1856 to 2018
Overall record:
   White wins 40.0%
   Black wins 27.0%
   Draws 32.9%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Ljubomir Ljubojevic  46 games
Nigel Short  30 games
Normunds Miezis  29 games
Salomon Flohr  34 games
Alexey Dreev  32 games
Anatoly Karpov  25 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Tal vs Smyslov, 1959
Tal vs Karpov, 1987
Tarrasch vs Reti, 1922
Ehlvest vs Kasparov, 1977
Bronstein vs Petrosian, 1960
Chandler vs Y Gruenfeld, 1979
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 page 1 of 173; games 1-25 of 4,304  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Cochrane vs Somacarana 1-0371856CalcuttaB10 Caro-Kann
2. Cochrane vs Somacarana 1-0401856CalcuttaB10 Caro-Kann
3. Cochrane vs Somacarana 1-0671856CalcuttaB10 Caro-Kann
4. Mohishunder vs Cochrane ½-½301856CalcuttaB10 Caro-Kann
5. Englisch vs Meitner  1-0391882ViennaB10 Caro-Kann
6. W Paulsen vs Max Weiss ½-½441883NurembergB10 Caro-Kann
7. F K Esling vs Gossip 1-0521885New South Wales v Victoria Telegraph MatchB10 Caro-Kann
8. Burille vs N MacLeod 1-0211889New YorkB10 Caro-Kann
9. Landau vs Lasker 0-1411891Berlin simB10 Caro-Kann
10. R J Guckemus vs K S Howard 0-1431904Sylvan BeachB10 Caro-Kann
11. B Maliutin vs P A Evtifeev 0-1381905St PetersburgB10 Caro-Kann
12. J Mieses vs Duras  0-13819071st Trebitsch MemorialB10 Caro-Kann
13. Olland vs H Wolf 1-0491907KarlsbadB10 Caro-Kann
14. Lasker vs B J van Trotsenburg 1-0111908NED tour simB10 Caro-Kann
15. H Suechting vs H Wolf  ½-½30190816th DSB Kongress, DuesseldorfB10 Caro-Kann
16. R T Black vs A Kreymborg  1-0471911New York MastersB10 Caro-Kann
17. Alapin vs Duras  ½-½721911KarlsbadB10 Caro-Kann
18. Alapin vs Nimzowitsch 0-1431911KarlsbadB10 Caro-Kann
19. G Bernheimer vs G Cenni  0-12019115th Congress USI-AB10 Caro-Kann
20. Capablanca vs Jacques Davidson ½-½291911Simul, 26bB10 Caro-Kann
21. Levenfish vs Nimzowitsch 0-1291912Vilnius All-Russian MastersB10 Caro-Kann
22. Levenfish vs Alapin 1-0331912Vilnius All-Russian MastersB10 Caro-Kann
23. Elihue Hill vs Capablanca  ½-½631915Simul, 17bB10 Caro-Kann
24. J Giersing vs O Loewenborg  1-0491917Nordic Congress 8thB10 Caro-Kann
25. Euwe vs Reti 1-0311920MatchB10 Caro-Kann
 page 1 of 173; games 1-25 of 4,304  PGN Download
  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>
Aug-23-09  BotanicalKnight: I like the Caro-Kann a lot.
Dec-21-09  Alphastar: Today I played a most odd Caro-Kann game: 1. e4 c6 2. Ne2!? d5 3. e5 c5 4. b4!? Nc6!? 5. bxc5 d4!? and an intriguing struggle ensued.
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

Premium Chessgames Member
  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.

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