Sunday, January 25, 2015

Why Trade Queens in Caro-Kann Defence

The Caro-Kann Defence provides a solid defence vs White opening attacks, but Black plays for much more than stopping an onslaught. A key strategy for winning chess is to minimize White's pluses and maximize Black's pluses. In today's game after a queen swap on move seven, White had exchanged two of his best attacking pieces. Black's knights and good dark squared bishop are left with excellent posts for operation. Good tactics are required for victory, but your chances improve with a favorable pawn structure and effective squares for your pieces.

Chess club players choose normal developing moves that may take you out of your prepared book, but beware of transpositions. In a  Caro-Kann Defence my late friend Bob Muir answered 1.e4 c6 with 2.Nf3. However after 2...d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.d4 e6 5.Bd3 we reached the 3.e5 Bf5 4.Bd3 line by transposition. Bob Muir was a mainstay of the club at Lycoming College during the years I lived in Williamsport, Pennsylvania where we just played games for fun. Black exchanges White's active pieces: a queen, a rook, a bishop and a knight. The game ends with a bishop fork check that picks up a knight.

Muir (1800) - Sawyer (2010), Williamsport PA 1997 begins 1.e4 c6 2.Nf3 d5 3.e5 Bf5 4.d4 e6 5.Bd3 Bxd3 6.Qxd3 Qa5+ 7.Qd2!? [7.Bd2 Qa6=] 7...Qxd2+ 8.Nbxd2 c5 9.c3 Nc6 10.0-0 cxd4 11.cxd4 Nge7 12.Nb3 Ng6 13.Bd2 Be7 14.Ne1 0-0 15.f4 Nh4 16.Nf3 Nxf3+ 17.Rxf3 g6 18.g4 Rfc8 19.a3 a5 20.Rc1? [20.a4=] 20...a4 21.Nc5? b6?! [Missing 21...Nxd4 22.Rfc3 Ne2+! with a winning fork.] 22.Nd7 Nxd4 23.Rf2 [23.Rxc8+ Rxc8-/+] 23...Nb3 24.Rxc8+ Rxc8 25.Bc3 Nc5 [25...d4! 26.Nxb6 Rc6 27.Bxd4 Nxd4-+] 26.Nxb6 [26.Bb4! Nxd7 27.Bxe7 Rc4-/+] 26...Rc6 27.Ba5 Ne4 28.Re2 Bc5+ 0-1


You may also like: King Pawn (1.e4 e5) and Queen Pawn (1.d4 d5)
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