Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Caro-Kann Defence Richard Mann

FIDE lists Richard Mann with a rating of 2205. He has earned a FIDE Candidate Master title. The USCF lists Richard J. Mann as having earned a National Master Title with a rating of 2200 from back in the year 1990. I played Richard Mann in a 1985 APCT postal chess section. Many times over the board masters had lower postal chess ratings. Those two types of play have slightly different skill sets, as do both blitz and tournament play.

The Caro-Kann Defence in the Exchange Variation is a good way for White to play for a win at minimal risk. A player at the level of Richard Mann was not likely to make any big mistakes. The question was, “Would Black make any notable mistakes that White could exploit?” As Black I chose 7…Qc8 instead of the 7…Na5 that I previously played. This line seemed to lead to total equality in theory.

Both players focused on the center. White opened the c-file for his rooks. Black had the fortunate knight fork move 20…Nd6. That forced the exchange of White’s remaining bishop. White had a weak isolated queen pawn on d4. Black had it blockaded.

As the endgame approached, the d4 pawn could potentially cost White the game. Optically it did not look like White had much, although a6 and f7 could have become weak for Black. My guess is that Mann offered me a draw since the final move was 26.Qc6. Not all Caro-Kann draws were bad for me.

Mann (2150) - Sawyer (2000), corr APCT 1985 begins 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Bg4 7.Qb3 Qc8 [7...e5!?=] 8.Nd2 e6 9.h3 Bh5 10.Ngf3 Be7 11.0-0 0-0 12.Rfe1 Bg6 13.Bxg6 hxg6 14.Rac1 Na5 [14...a6=] 15.Qb5 b6 [15...Nc6 16.Qd3+/=] 16.Ne5 Nb7 17.Nc6 Qd7 18.Nxe7+ Qxe7 19.c4 dxc4 20.Rxc4 [20.Nxc4 Rac8=] 20...Nd6 21.Bxd6 Qxd6 22.Nf3 Rfc8 23.Rec1 Qd8 24.Ne5 Rxc4 25.Qxc4 Qd5 26.Qc6 1/2-1/2

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