Play the Caro-Kann like Schandorff – or else

An author can save the reader all sorts of suffering with a well constructed opening repertoire. I believe one of the strengths of Lars Schandorff’s GM Repertoire 7 – The Caro-Kann is the way he carefully selects his recommended move order to avoid lines where White has easy attacking play. The following game was played yesterday and shows exactly the sort of thing Lars avoids.

Dobrowolski – Fridman
Wroclaw 2010
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3 e6 11.Bd2 Ngf6 12.0–0–0 Be7 13.Qe2
This is a dangerous line, especially if Black plays a little too automatically.
Fridman is a lot higher rated than me, but I think this prepares a move that needs no preparation. Lars suggested the direct 13…c5! planning 14.dxc5 Qc7 or if 14.Rhe1 only then 14…0–0.
The simple 13…0–0 is risky after 14.Nf1 planning g2-g4-g5 with a crude but effective attack.
14.Kb1 0–0 15.Nf1
The same plan proves effective here. Instead 15.Ne5 c5 was fine for Black in Saric – Vallejo Pons, Rijeka 2010.
15…c5 16.g4
I won’t get involved in an exhaustive analysis, but White’s position is certainly easier to play, as shown by the fact that White, although out-rated by about 250 points, hacks straight through.
16…cxd4 was an alternative, but after 17.g5 White is faster.
17.g5 hxg5 18.Bxg5 c3 19.Rg1 Qa5
Of course 19…cxb2 is tempting, but in opposite-side castling positions such pawns on b2 generally help the white king to hide behind. In this case, 20.Bh6! is strong, as shown by 20…Nxh5 21.Ng3! or 20…Ne8 21.Bxg7 Nxg7 22.h6.
20.Ne5 Nxe5?
Now Black goes down in flames. The computer calmly suggests 20…Rfd8 when I can’t see a direct breakthrough. My first idea was 21.Re1 to avoid a rook exchange after 21…Nxe5 22.dxe5 and then 22…Nd5 23.Qg4 when I thought the black king had to run. I was wrong. The computer shows a stunning combination: 23…Nb4 24.a3 Rd4!! 25.Qxd4 Nxc2 26.Kxc2 cxb2+ 27.Kxb2 Bxa3+ 28.Kb3 Bf8! White is a rook and knight up and dead lost. Instead maybe 21.Nc4!? is the right start, but that is undeniably a guess.
21.dxe5 Qb4 22.b3 Ne4 23.Bc1 Nc5 24.Rg4 Qa5 25.Qe3 Rfd8 26.Rxg7+! Kxg7 27.Qh6+ Kg8 28.Nd2!
Making sure one rook survives to kill the black king.
28…Ne4 29.Rg1+ Ng5 30.Nf3 Rd1 31.Nxg5 Rxc1+ 32.Rxc1 Bxg5 33.Rg1 1–0

18 thoughts on “Play the Caro-Kann like Schandorff – or else”

  1. [Event “V MTSz Klubu Polonia Wroclaw”]
    [Site “Wroclaw”]
    [Date “2010.06.27”]
    [Round “2”]
    [White “Dobrowolski, Piotr”]
    [Black “Fridman, Daniel”]
    [Result “1-0”]
    [WhiteElo “2397”]
    [BlackElo “2654”]
    [PlyCount “65”]
    [EventDate “2010.??.??”]

    1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5
    Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bd2 Ngf6 12. O-O-O Be7 13. Qe2 Rc8 14. Kb1 O-O
    15. Nf1 c5 16. g4 c4 17. g5 hxg5 18. Bxg5 c3 19. Rg1 Qa5 20. Ne5 Nxe5 21. dxe5
    Qb4 22. b3 Ne4 23. Bc1 Nc5 24. Rg4 Qa5 25. Qe3 Rfd8 26. Rxg7+ Kxg7 27. Qh6+ Kg8
    28. Nd2 Ne4 29. Rg1+ Ng5 30. Nf3 Rd1 31. Nxg5 Rxc1+ 32. Rxc1 Bxg5 33. Rg1 1-0

  2. Jacob, can you give us an update on if Schandorff has decided to do a 2nd volume on 1 d4 covering non 1…d5 lines. Also, have there been any further developments in regards to a possible 2nd edition of Play the Semi-Slav?

  3. One thing I noticed glancing through the latest copy of the British Chess Magazine, which contained a review for the Schandorff Caro book, was the reviewer’s comment “it was expensive”. I stress this is not my opinion – I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen them write that comment in about 15 years of reading the BCM(I assume they were commenting on the price for the hardback).

  4. Abramov Anjuhin

    Hello my friends 🙂

    I’m awaiting from Germany MY copy of Avrukh’s GM Rep 1 in HARDBACK 🙂

    Also I can’t wait for King’s Gambit and GM Rep KING’S INDIAN.

    Can we get more information about King’s Gambit book? I think that author sank in deep variation jungle 🙂

  5. I give running updates, not weekly, but when there is something to say.

    I find it remarkable that the Caro-Kann book is marked down as expensive. It costs the same per page as those 128 gambit books, but I think a lot more soul went into it. But this is of course only my opinion. We have to price the books before we know if they are 256 pages or 612.

  6. Abramov Anjuhin

    Jacob, don’t be concerned about price. Nobody cares how much costs Rolls-Royce or Ferrari.

    The same is with your books. I don’t care for price cause I value the content 🙂

  7. Ponting is a Legend

    Who gives a toss about the price…what is good is that GM6 will be out next week, and that is all that matters.

  8. I think we will have it the Monday after next only, our warehouse will have the book on Wednesday if everything progresses as it should. We have all been on holiday this week, so the control has been a bit loose.

  9. Never mind when Gm rep 6 is out what we want is an good book. It would be even better if an improvement over Opening for white according to anand 13 is also included in the book . You dont want your book to be “out of date” within a week or two from its release or Do you ???

  10. Hello,

    Just purchased GM7 and started to look through it beginning with the main lines.

    Correct me if I am wrong, page 74 left column.

    17cb5 cb5 18Kb1 According to Mr. Schandorff black should play ’18…Qb7 with a good game’ and gives 2 lines as examples.

    Let’s consider a). 19.Nh4 0-0 (N – Schandorff) 20. Nhf5 Bd8……..

    What if 20.Ngf5? I believe that is much stronger. After 20…Bd8 21.Nh6! gh6 22.Bh6 the whole fun is on white side.

    And I am not so sure that after 20. Nhf5 Bd8 white should continue with 21.Nd6. I would go 21.Nh6.

    Just a quick remark. I may be wrong….

    Best regards

  11. @CaroKannFan

    Hi CaroKannFan,

    Almost missed your comment down on this old thread. We are thinking about your new move and will get back to you with a detailed answer. After just a quick glance, it certainly looks a threatening new idea.

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