Caro-Kann Defense – Advance Variation in Depth ⎸Chess Openings

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The Advance Variation is the most precise way for white to fight the Caro-Kann Defense, but it’s also an extremely solid position for black, who creates a pawn triangle in the center and resolves the problem of „the bad bishop“.

For the introduction to the Caro-Kann watch this video:

Caro-Kann Defense, B12 Advance Variation – Chess Openings for Tournament Players

The advance variation became the most popular way for white to fight the Caro-Kann, it even surpassed the main lines which occur after 3.Nc3 for white. White simply advances his e pawn, gaining central space and getting more room for maneuvering. In exchange, black is able to play Bf5 fast, getting rid of his potentially worst piece, and he can then close down his pawn triangle with e6. Black thus has a perfectly solid central structure and white gets more space in exchange.

There are many approaches to the Advance Caro-Kann for white (and white gets to choose the variation on move 4). Here are the most common lines:

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf3 – Short Variation (the positional approach for white, simply developing, castling short and using the space advantage later on)

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Nc3 – Van der Wiel Attack (a very aggressive line for white, black is sacrificing his h5 pawn in exchange for some queenside initiative but both sides have great attacking chances)

Game to study: Shirov vs Topalov 2008 Olympiad
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. Nc3 e6 5. g4 Bg6 6. Nge2 c5
7. h4 h5 8. Nf4 Bh7 9. Nxh5 Nc6 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Bg2 Kf8
12. Bf4 Rc8 13. Bg3 Nge7 14. Nf4 Bd4 15. Qe2 Qb6 16. Nd3 Bxd3
17. cxd3 Bxe5 18. Bxe5 Nxe5 19. Qxe5 Qxb2 20. Rb1 Qxc3+
21. Qxc3 Rxc3 22. Rxb7 g6 23. Kd2 Ra3 24. Rc1 Rxa2+ 25. Ke3
d4+ 26. Kf4 Rh7 27. Rcc7 Nd5+ 28. Bxd5 exd5 29. f3 a5 30. h5
gxh5 31. g5 Rg2 32. Kf5 Re2 33. Rc8+ Re8 34. Rxe8+ Kxe8
35. Kf6 h4 36. g6 Rh6 37. Rxf7 1-0

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.h4 – Tal Variation

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.Ne2 – Bronstein Variation

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.c4 – a great surprise weapon for white; this line gives white a lot of positional advantages

Game to study: Ruslan Ponomariov vs Jan Timman, Pamplona International (2005)
1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 Bf5 4. c4 e6 5. Nc3 Nd7 6. a3 Ne7
7. c5 b6 8. b4 a5 9. Be3 axb4 10. axb4 bxc5 11. bxc5 Rxa1
12. Qxa1 f6 13. f4 g5 14. exf6 Nxf6 15. fxg5 Ng4 16. Bd2 Qb8
17. Nge2 h6 18. h3 hxg5 19. Bxg5 Bg6 20. Rg1 Bh6 21. Qc1 Bxg5
22. Qxg5 Nh6 23. Qf4 Qb4 24. g4 Nf7 25. Qe3 Be4 26. Bg2 e5
27. Bxe4 dxe4 28. Rg3 exd4 29. Qxd4 Qxd4 30. Nxd4 Ng5 31. Ke2
Kd7 32. Nf5 Ng6 33. Ke3 Rxh3 34. Nxe4 Rxg3+ 35. Nfxg3 Nf7
36. Nh5 Ke6 37. Kd4 Nfe5 38. Nf2 Nf3+ 39. Ke3 Nfe5 40. Ke4 Nd7
41. Nd3 Ngf8 42. g5 Kf7 43. Nhf4 Kg8 44. Kf5 Kg7 45. Ne6+ Nxe6
46. Kxe6 Nf8+ 47. Ke7 Nh7 48. Nf4 1-0


  1. Here's a great tool for learning openings:
    Chessbook allows you to import and practice your repertoire. It focuses on moves people actually play as well as your mistakes. Connect it to your lichess or chess com accounts to correct the biggest gaps in your repertoire!

  2. Your explanation is very good but can you provide the notes also in the description it will be more helpful.You are a good teacher. Thank you for your opening videos

  3. Actually now Gotham is the most famous player to play the Caro

  4. a recurring problem with this variant (and in most of its sub-variants: when to push c6-c5, then when to play cxd4. As far as I'm concerned, in either case, it's either too late or too early! And I can't find any tactical or positional criteria.

  5. hii new to the channel why not Qa5+ then Qxc5 bringing the queen early never hurts

  6. Thanks for your videos, they are very very instructive.

  7. What if instead of Nf3 they develop the bishop, attacking your bishop?

  8. Does anyone have pgn file of the variations or is there any good app for Android to put the moves as opening tree

  9. What is the purpose of …,Be4? (at 5:32 in the video?) I have seen this move in other videos and I don’t understand it. It appears to move the bishop twice in the opening for no obvious reason. If it’s to clear f5 for the knight, why not Bg6? If it’s to trade off the bishop, why not Bg4?

  10. i've been employing the st george and often back into a similar position as the main line. thank you for your help

    1. e4 a6
    2. d4 c6
    3. Nf3 d5
    4. e5 Bf5

  11. bruh teaching us more about how to counter caro kann as white 💀💀Just a joke actually, Very good explanation and clear ❤❤

  12. What if white doesnt take c5 but play c3 that is better i think

  13. Club Academia de Ajedrez Viña del Mar says:

    Excellent video! Im learning the Caro Kann and just got a lot of ideas from this, thank you!!! Btw, whats the name of the czech gm?

  14. The analysis after c5 is horrible (maybe outdated)

  15. I liked the 5. c4 line shown here in the Tal variation. Does anyone know where I can find resources on this? Most people rarely talk about the Tal variation, and even when they do they only talk about 5. Bd3 or 5. Bg5.

  16. just got crushed playing the advanced variation

  17. I thought this guy was a russian GM, keep it up

  18. My man you have to advertise your channel. Great channel

  19. The Last of Us- Realistically Vicious Gameplay says:

    I’m below 400 and I know the main line and advanced line of the Caro Kann theory because of you

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