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Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4 (B11)
1 e4 c6 2 Nc3 d5 3 Nf3 Bg4

Number of games in database: 1590
Years covered: 1927 to 2020
Overall record:
   White wins 35.8%
   Black wins 28.4%
   Draws 35.7%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Robert James Fischer  14 games
Ian Nepomniachtchi  12 games
Lu Shanglei  10 games
Alexey Dreev  22 games
Petrosian  15 games
Arturo Pomar Salamanca  11 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Fischer vs S Kagan, 1968
Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1958
Judit Polgar vs Bareev, 2007
Fischer vs Petrosian, 1959
Smyslov vs Botvinnik, 1958
Fischer vs Keres, 1959
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 page 1 of 64; games 1-25 of 1,590  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Noteboom vs S Van Mindeno 1-0211927HollandB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
2. L Roedl vs A Kramer 1-0121929Duisburg-BB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
3. Capablanca vs E S Bensinger 1-0411929Simul, 40bB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
4. Tartakower vs G Holtey  0-1401931ExhibitionB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
5. J Mieses vs K Helling ½-½63193127. DSB KongressB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
6. Nimzowitsch vs O Zimmermann 1-0411931Training Match vs ZimmermanB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
7. Spielmann vs Flohr ½-½151931BledB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
8. Foltys vs Opocensky  0-1371935LuhacoviceB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
9. Spielmann vs J Fride  0-1271935SimulB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
10. Rauzer vs V Sozin  1-0361936TournamentB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
11. Ilyin-Zhenevsky vs Chekhover  1-0521937URS-ch10B11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
12. Rauzer vs Chekhover  1-0591937URS-ch10B11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
13. I Rabinovich vs A Ebralidze 1-0251937URS-ch10B11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
14. Lasker vs J T Alexander ½-½281939SimulB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
15. Prins vs E Thorvaldsson  1-0371939Buenos Aires Olympiad prel-CB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
16. A Khachaturov vs Ravinsky  1-0201940Candidate to MasterB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
17. Kasparian vs Konstantinopolsky  0-1411940URS-sfB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
18. Chekhover vs A Khavin  ½-½471940URS-sfB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
19. Boleslavsky vs P Dubinin 0-1441940USSR ChampionshipB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
20. Levenfish vs P Dubinin 1-0401940USSR ChampionshipB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
21. Boleslavsky vs V Makogonov 1-0361940USSR ChampionshipB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
22. Panov vs M Stolberg  ½-½481940USSR ChampionshipB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
23. Keres vs Bondarevsky 1-0531941USSR Absolute ChampionshipB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
24. Boleslavsky vs Bondarevsky ½-½761941USSR Absolute ChampionshipB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
25. Bogoljubov vs Euwe 0-1811941Euwe - BogoljubovB11 Caro-Kann, Two Knights, 3...Bg4
 page 1 of 64; games 1-25 of 1,590  PGN Download
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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 1 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Feb-09-04  Kenkaku: Fischer was a major proponent of this opening in his early years, but not having much success with it, he later switched to systems vs. the Caro-Kann more suited to his style of play.
Mar-25-04  PaulKeres: I played a game which continued
<4. h6 Bxf3 5. Qxf3>, 4...Bxf3 seems a very strange move to me - anyone know why Black might want to take?
Mar-25-04  Stavrogin: 1. Maybe he wanted to fight you over the e5-square.
2. And maybe when you replied with taking with the queen, he might have wanted to direct the game in to being of a closed nature in which his knights could prosper. He could aim for pushing the d-pawn and then playing e5, in order to lock things up a bit.
Mar-25-04  Helloween: <PaulKeres>Taking on f3 is the correct move in that position. If he doesn't, he loses the Bishop pair anyway, with a poor position because of 4.h3 Bh5? 5.exd5 cxd5 6.Bb5+ Nc6 7.g4 Bg6 8.Ne5.

After 4...Bxf3 5.Qxf3 e6, fortifying the centre, gives Black good chances of equality.

Mar-25-04  PaulKeres: If Black is likely to lose the Bishop anyway, why does he play 3...Bg4 ? I guess he doesn't value the Bishop pair, hoping the position will be closed, so Knight can run some riot, but I actually believe 3...Bg4 is ?!
Mar-25-04  Helloween: 3...Bg4 is meant to trade off the Bishop before it becomes a "bad Bishop". He gets it outside the pawn chain and exchanges it before playing e6. It is a good strategic move.
Mar-25-04  refutor: a game like this Alekhine vs R M Bruce, 1938 is the reason why black prefers to trade the bishop off and not leave it as a target for the white knights...
Jul-15-04  Helloween: A game I recently came accross in this line is B Shipov vs Bagirov, 1966 . Black keeps his King safe and uncastled in the center and demolishes the White King's protection on the Queenside. This game shows exactly why castling long for White can be suicidal in this line.
Jul-15-04  rochade18: Though 3...Bg4 is good I'd always play 3...dxe4 to get a classical Caro-Kann (I like B15-B16) because white plays always 3.e5 or 3.exd5.
Jul-15-04  Helloween: Once again, 3...Bg4! is such a good move that not only did it gain its own ECO code, but also it caused Fischer to completely abandon this variation: see Fischer vs Keres, 1959, Fischer vs Petrosian, 1959, and Fischer vs Keres, 1959.

<rochade18> Notice also that after 1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 dxe4?! 4.Nxe4 the "normal" move 4...Bf5? is not possible because of the Knight already posted on f3 as opposed to d2-d4 having been played in the classical main line: 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Ne5 Bh7 8.Qh5 g6 9.Bc4! e6 10.Qe2 and one would be hard-pressed to find volunteers to play Black's position.

Jul-15-04  refutor: <helloween> technically, i believe that 2.Nc3 (without 3.d4 obviously) is B11 ;) i play the 3. ...dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bg4 line. it avoids a transposition into a lame exchange line like 3. ...Bg4 4.exd5 cxd5 5.d4 and (in my 4. ...Bg4 line) the knight is misplaced on e4. 4. ...Bg4 is less common and i think just as good as 3. ...Bg4
Jul-16-04  rochade18: <Helloween> Good to know! I didn't know this "refutation" of 4...Bf5 but I always play 4...Nf6 anyway which is ok I believe. I said classical Caro-Kann but but I meant the B15-B16-lines (For example 1.e4 c6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 dxc4 4.Nxe4 Nf6 5.Nxf6 gxf6 leading to aggressive play like in the Bronstein-Larsen [B16])
Jul-16-04  checkpat: Does anybody knows why 4..Nf6
is always met by the exchange?
5 Ng3 seems strong too...
Jul-17-04  Helloween: <checkpat>4...Nf6 is almost always met by 5.Nxf6 instead of 5.Ng3 because most players consider creating a breach in Black's pawn fabrication worth more than preserving forces. Alas, some players also do not wish to worry about Black playing the manouever h7-h5-h4, kicking off the Knight at g3 and gaining space.
Jul-19-04  checkpat: Helloween: h5 looks double edged;
where will Black castle afterwards?
Jul-19-04  rochade18: Black often castles long in the Caro-Kann (at least in the Bronstein-Larsen) or not at all.
Jan-02-05  azaris: The opening of the day seemed to be one of Fischer's theoretical responses to the Caro-Kann, but oddly out of the 11 serious games he played using this system he only scored a lowly +2=6-3! The most of his other Caro-Kann games weren't mainline either. Why did he not play the book lines? Was he afraid of Soviets springing novelties against him in their pet opening at the time?
Sep-22-05  Gazman5: In a very similar way he didnt like facing the french either and often went for a Kings indian attack setup with 2.d3. Clearly fischer had developed a highly detailed understanding of a very small opening repertoire, and felt at home playing in this way, even if it meant conceding equality to black in openings like the French and Caro-Kann, as he no doubt felt his greater skill would then win the day in the late middle and endgame.
Sep-22-05  Resignation Trap: <Gazman5> Fischer played this line early in his career, but without any particular success. This was a favorite variation of Isaac Boleslavsky . It is not well-known, but Fischer read many of Boleslavsky's opening articles, and even modeled his play on his as well.

Here is a glaring example.
Take a look at this game, particularly after 14...Bf8: Boleslavsky vs Kholmov, 1956 .

Now compare it to Fischer vs Kholmov, 1965 after 18...fxe6.

Same opening, same move, same opponent, <almost> the same position...different result :{

Dec-23-05  alicefujimori: Ar...Opening of the day. A Fischer favourite in his young days.
Apr-15-07  gambitfan: OPOD Su 15/04/2007
Apr-15-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  IMlday: Nobody seems to play Tal's 4..Bxf3 5.gxf3!? any more. Day-Fuster Toronto Closed, 1972 went 5..e6 6. d4 g6 [6..Nd7 7.Bf4 Bb4 8.h4 Ngf6 is Tal-Botvinnik, 1960 World Match where Tal was dissatified with his 9.e5 which eventually drew.] 7. Be3 Bh6 8.Bxh6 Nxh6 9.h4 Ng8 10.h5 Qf6 11.Qd2 Qxf3 12.hxg6 fxg6 13.Rh3 Qf7 14.exd5 exd5 15.Re3+ Kd8 16.Bh3 Ne7 17.Na4 Nf5 18.Bxf5 gxf5 19.O-O-O f4 20.Re2 Na6 21.c4 dxc4 22.Nc5 Nc7 23.Nxb7+ Kd7 24.Qc3 Rae8 25.Qh3+ Ne6 26.d5 cxd5 27.Nc5+ Kd6 28.Nxe6 Rxe6 1-0
Apr-16-07  DMBFan23: In the C-K (my main defense against 1. e4) the light squared bishop is often bad due to pawns on c6 and e6 (and possibly d5 in many variations). I usually find my knights can become better than the opponent's bishops in the semi-open positions that typically arise from the C-K, but maybe that's because as a bad player, I play mostly bad players ;)

in the C-K I am much more hesitant to trade off my dark squared bishop which is often better than my opponent's

Oct-04-08  JohnBoy: I am curious as to whether anyone has a clear bust of 4.ed5 cd5 5.Ne5 Bxd1 6.Bb5+ Nc6 7.Nxc6 Qc7 (or b6) 8.Ne5+ Kd8 9.Nxf7+ Kc8 10.Kxd1

I've never seen this played, but find it an interesting speculative sac. Black's king is exposed, black has no development, but white has no direction to the pieces already in play.

Oct-04-08  Super Chess Man: I say the bust is just to play 1 b3 like the best of 'em !
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