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The Main Line of the Caro-Kann is one of black’s strongest weapons against 1.e4. With correct play black can comfortably equalize and have great attacking prospects.
For the basics of the Caro-Kann, opening ideas, principles and main variations, watch this video:
For an alternative to the Main Line learn these variations:
Two Knights Variation:
The Main Line (or the Classical) Caro-Kann is by far the most commonly played variation after 1.e4 c6. It’s theory heavy, meaning that both sides could get in a lot of trouble if they are unfamiliar with it, but that also means that both sides have great attacking prospects and that most games will be exciting and double edged (unlike what non-Caro-Kann players think). I have covered all the opening traps after black plays Bf5, as well as all the sidelines white might venture into.
The Main Line Caro-Kann Defense occurs after the moves:
4.Nxe4 Bf5 – Black is developing the bishop seemingly with tempo on the knight, but after:
5.Ng3 black is forced to lose a tempo himself to retreat the bishop back with:
The normal continuation which you will see in the vast majority of games is:
However, white can deviate on move 6. The most common sidelines to h4 are:
6.Nh3 (Flohr Variation)