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Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation (B17)
1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 Nc3 dxe4 4 Nxe4 Nd7

Number of games in database: 2425
Years covered: 1914 to 2014
Overall record:
   White wins 33.4%
   Black wins 21.6%
   Draws 45.1%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Boris Spassky  26 games
Peter Leko  22 games
Sergei Tiviakov  22 games
Anatoly Karpov  113 games
Jonathan Speelman  82 games
Michael Adams  36 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Anand vs Bologan, 2003
Deep Blue vs Kasparov, 1997
Fischer vs Petrosian, 1961
Tal vs Petrosian, 1973
Judit Polgar vs Anand, 2005
The World vs Karpov, 1996
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 page 1 of 97; games 1-25 of 2,425  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. A A Smorodsky vs Nimzowitsch 1-025 1914 St. Petersburg (Russia)B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
2. I Rabinovich vs A Selezniev  1-024 1914 Triberg 1415B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
3. Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs Levenfish  0-139 1924 Ch LeningradB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
4. M Romi vs Davidson  0-150 1926 SpaB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
5. D Marotti vs V Marin y Llovet  0-127 1928 OlympiadB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
6. G Nagy vs M Brody 1-040 1928 OlympiadB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
7. L Steiner vs B Koch  ½-½47 1928 It BSGB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
8. Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs P Romanovsky 1-026 1929 LeningradB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
9. Nimzowitsch vs B Nielsen 1-023 1930 simultaneous exhibitionB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
10. Ahues vs Przepiorka  ½-½25 1930 LiegeB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
11. B Kostic vs Nimzowitsch  ½-½38 1931 BledB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
12. Z Vecsey vs E Richter  0-142 1931 Kautsky mem 8thB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
13. Grob vs F Gygli 1-044 1934 ZurichB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
14. O Naegeli vs F Gygli  ½-½66 1934 ZurichB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
15. F Bohatirchuk vs S Belavenets  ½-½45 1934 USSR Championship 1934/35B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
16. Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs Riumin  0-145 1934 USSR Championship 1934/35B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
17. Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs S Belavenets  0-145 1934 USSR Championship 1934/35B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
18. Panov vs Veresov 0-137 1934 USSR Championship 1934/35B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
19. Panov vs M Yudovich Sr.  1-031 1934 USSR Championship 1934/35B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
20. Rauzer vs Veresov 0-145 1934 USSR Championship 1934/35B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
21. Rauzer vs Veresov  0-120 1934 Ch URS (1/2 final)B17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
22. Alekhine vs Pirc  ½-½57 1936 PodebradyB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
23. E Eliskases vs Opocensky  ½-½35 1936 PodebradyB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
24. L Steiner vs Pirc  ½-½25 1936 PodebradyB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
25. P Michel vs S Rubinstein  1-044 1936 Trebitsch Memorial 19thB17 Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
 page 1 of 97; games 1-25 of 2,425  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 3 OF 3 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jun-19-06  sixfeetunder: This system is also called Smyslov-Petrosian Variation.
Sep-01-06  aw1988: <Gypsy> Flogging the dead horse again. Possibly called the Steinitz defense because it is a 'cramped' game.
Jan-16-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Robin01: 1.e4, c6; 2.d4, d5; 3.Nc3, dxe4; 4.Nxe4, Nd7; now, what about the move 5.Qe2 here. Is this any good for white? Why is it good or bad? It looks solid to me. Anybody have any lines from any of their games using this line? Thanks.
Jan-16-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  plang: The king bishop is very strong on either d3 or c4. That is an obvious drawback to 5 Qe2.
Jan-16-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Robin01: <plang>More than likely, black is going to capture the knight on e4 with his knight, so the queen is going to move off of e2, so the bishop can then develop. However, there is also a possible development of the bishop to g2 later.
Feb-20-07  WTHarvey: Here is a little collection of winning combinations in B17 Caro-Kann miniatures: http://www.wtharvey.com/b17.html
Jun-24-07  Kangaroo: Has anybody found at least one game where Steinitz played this variation?

Why is this then named after Steinitz?

Jun-24-07  GamerMan: It is called that because either Steinitz developed it, did a majour peice of writing on it, or played it a lot in his lifetime. And just because we don't have him playing it on record, does not mean he didn't, it just means we never got a copy of said game(s).
Sep-02-07  Cactus: Why is Karpov listed as having more Steinizt variation games than Caro-Kann games?
Sep-03-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Karpova: He is listed as having played 255 Car Kanns:
http://www.chessgames.com/perl/ches...

so no contradiction to 114 Caro Kann games with the Petrosian-Smyslov (or Steinitz variation if you prefer it) variation

Dec-27-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  jamesmaskell: Its known as a number of different things. Karpov variation is the one my pgn viewer chooses to name it and its how I know it.
Feb-13-08  Open Defence: an interesting idea for White OTB is

1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Nd7 5. Ng5 Ngf6 6. Bd3 e6 7. N1f3 Bd6 8. Qe2 h6 9. Ne4 Nxe4 10. Qxe4 Nf6 11. Qe2 c5 12. dxc5 Be3


click for larger view

not as strong as the more conventional dxc5 but interesting and probably not well known at all

Apr-11-08  Alphastar: <1.e4, c6; 2.d4, d5; 3.Nc3, dxe4; 4.Nxe4, Nd7; now, what about the move 5.Qe2 here. Is this any good for white? Why is it good or bad? It looks solid to me. Anybody have any lines from any of their games using this line? Thanks.>

5. Qe2?! is a doubtful move because, as has been said, it blocks in the f1-bishop.

However, black needs to be alert, because the standard move 5. ..Ngf6?? .. well.. figure it out for yourself.


click for larger view

Instead, black should play 5. ..Ndf6! when he can exchange on e4 or white on f6, when he can simply follow up with Bf5 or Bg4. Black then has an easy game.

Apr-11-08  Alphastar: This variation of the Caro-Kann is drawish because white can simplify the position if he wants to. If white is more ambitious there is certainly space for a complicated struggle with counter-chances for black, but this will be entirely up to the player with the white pieces.
Jun-04-08  cuendillar: What about 5.Qf3? It's admittedly unconventional, but I've been doing some analysis on it and it seems ok. Below is an internet corr. game where I tried it out. The move order is different, but that's just transpositions. What's your thoughts, I'd be grateful for input.

cuendillar (2153) - ironpony (1978)
Online Chess.com (1), 08.04.2008

1.Nc3 d5 2.e4 c6 3.Qf3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7 5.d4 Ndf6 6.c3 Bg4 7.Qg3 A novelty of mine 7...Nxe4 8.Qxg4 Ngf6 9.Qh3

The point - black has weak light squares on the kingside


click for larger view

9...e6 10.Nf3 Qd5 11.Bd3 Nc5 12.Bc2 Ncd7 13.0-0 Bd6 14.Ng5 the pressure on e6,f7 and h7 is hard to cope with 14...Nf8 15.Re1 Bc7 16.f4 h6 17.f5 Qd6 18.g3 Qd7 19.fxe6 fxe6 20.Nxe6 Nxe6 21.Rxe6+

Black can resign


click for larger view

Kd8 22.Bf5 Qd5 23.Bg5 Bb6 24.Rae1 Bxd4+ 25.cxd4 Qxd4+ 26.Be3 Qb4 27.Rd1+ Kc7 28.g4 b6 29.Rxf6 Rac8 30.Rf7+ Kb8 31.Qg3+ Ka8 32.Rdd7 Qa5 33.Rc7 Rb8 34.Be4 Rb7 35.Bxc6 1-0

Jun-05-08  RookFile: Qf3 has been tried in big league chess, with reasonable results for white. Here, Petrosian was playing defense against your idea, and responded with 5... Ndf6, ...Nxe4, and ....Nf6, and had no problem getting an early draw.

Lutikov vs Petrosian, 1960

Aug-05-08  ravel5184: It's funny how 6. Qe2 gets such a high winning percentage because everybody who played against it fell for the basic 7. Nd6# trap.
Jan-14-11  Penguincw: How many openings are even named after Steinitz?
Jun-12-11  Calar: Quite a lot, actually. There are Steinitz Variations in tons of openings, like French, Scotch, Vienna, Three Knights, Ruy Lopez...
Oct-02-11  abaddon620: Can anyone tell me, Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation or Caro-kann, classical, which one is better?
Oct-02-11  Psihadal: <abaddon620> Neither of them is conclusively better than the other. Study them, choose which one you like better and which one suits you better and play that variation, or play both.

As for the name of this variation, I don't understand why it's called the Steinitz variation. Personally, I call this the modern variation or the Karpov variation, since he was the biggest practitioner of it.

Feb-02-12  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Caro-Kann, Steinitz Variation
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7


click for larger view

Feb-02-12  karnak64: <Psihadal>: yeah, I've wondered about the name for this variation as well.

I've also seen this one named after Nimzovich (whose name I've seen spelled more ways than I can count).

Apr-21-12  abaddon620: <Psihadal>, thanks for your opinion...
Feb-03-13  DanielBryant: Today, I had a bit of a brain freeze in a tournament after 5.Bc4 Ngf6, playing the totally unsound 6.Bxf7+. The funny thing is I played most of the game simply down a piece and somehow managed to win.
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