Thursday, November 23, 2006



I have been doing some reading in the Art of Logical Thinking, finishing up Ponomariov vs Conquest and getting into Vladimir Kovacevic vs Yasser Seirawan (1980). These seem like good game choices, and I can grasp the ideas in the annotations.

I don't know anything about the Caro-Kann Defense (Ponomariov vs Conquest). I have read several people discourage beginning and intermediate players from using that as Black, although it has a solid reputation. I get the impression that it is similar to the Petroff in that Black's attitude is more about not losing than it is about winning, and maybe more about getting to an endgame rather than a quick tactical miniature. Anyone have any opinions?

Have a look at this nice miniature I played lately:
1. e4 c6 2. Nb1c3 d5 3. Qd1f3 dxe4 4. Nc3xe4 Ng8f6 5. Bf1c4 Nb8d7 6. d4 Nf6d5 7. Bc1g5 Nd7f6 8. O-O-O Bc8g4 9. Ne4xf6 Nd5xf6 10. Qf3b3 Bg4xd1 11. Bc4xf7 Ke8d7 12. Qb3xb7 Qd8c7 13. f7e6 Kd7d8 14. Qb7xa8 1-0
Ok, point taken :-)...although I doubt that was what Black had in mind with 1...c6 ;-).
Isn't that McDonald book great? I have read through a couple of games in it. My new list of annotated games to read is as follows:
-Russian Chess (halfway done)
-Logical Chess (Chernev)
-Master vs Amateur (Euwe)
-Art of Logical Thinking
-Art of Planning

Impressive list! Quite a lot of good stuff there.
I've been doing quite nicely with e5 against e4 lately. My opponents always come out of the opening a pawn ahead with a big positional advantage.

They assume that I must be a horrible patzer for playing the opening so poorly. Then they attack recklessly and get stomped by my surprisingly aggressive counterattack.

My only fear is that someday all my opening study will pay off, and I'll finally learn how to play the opening properly. Then my opponents will play more cautiously, and I will lose the element of surprise, and it will cost me games.
The Caro-Kann is not really like the Petroff. The Petroff is about simplifying the centre *and( keeping the pawn structure symmetrical. In the Caro-Kann, black simplifies the pawn centre a bit *but* agrees to less central presence. In most lines he gets reasonable development and some potential pressure on d4.

However, there are a few hacks white can play against the Caro-Kann you need to be aware of. 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 and the sharp lines with Nc3/g4 is one. The exchange variation with c4 (The Panov Botvinnik attack) is another.

One challenge with the Caro Kann, because of this, is that to play it you will have to know *three* systems within it - a different one depending on what white does.
It all looks so great!
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