Play it like Bologan

by ChessBase
10/4/2009 – Are you a Caro-Kann player or toying with the idea of building it into your repertoire? Then you should not miss this 2688 ELO rated GM revealing his own Caro-Kann repertoire. In over four hours of video lessons Viktor Bologan explains the lines in easy to grasp terms that makes the DVD extremely valuable for players of every level. Buy his Caro-Kann DVD now or read this review with sampler.

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Viktor Bologan: The Caro-Kann

Review by Michael Jeffreys

The Caro-Kann was the first defence to 1.e4 I ever learned. However in actual practice, as a beginner, I could not do much with it and found myself drawing and losing with it in tournaments more often than I liked and eventually gave it up. Perhaps if I had had GM Viktor Bologan’s new Chessbase DVD at the time, my results would have drastically improved.

This is the first video I have seen by the Moldavian GM Bologan and there’s a lot to like. First, as he explains in the introduction, he is giving you his own personal recommendations, i.e., what he plays. This is no small thing, as many of you know who have read my reviews, one of my pet peeves are those who put out loads of videos where it becomes clear they have not actually played the opening over the board. This is definitely not the case here, as Bologan has many nice wins with the Caro-Kann, including a victory over GM Peter Leko in the 2003 Dortmund Super GM tournament when Peter was rated 2745!

Click here for replay a video sample on the "Fantasy variation" (3.f3)

I also like how Viktor looks right into the camera and tells you what he thinks about each key move, sans hype. His presentation of the material is very systematic and logical. Additionally, he takes you through all the main lines, as well as several important side lines

So, after 1.e4 c6, we get the Caro-Kann.

Intro Video to The Caro-Kann Defense

Viktor’s coverage is as follows:

  • Intro Video
  • 2.d3 d5 (A passive, if solid side line for White)
  • 2.Nc3 d5 3.Nf3 Bg4 (Fischer’s two knights var.)
  • 2.d4 d5 3.f3 (The Fantasy Var.)
  • 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.Bd3 (Exchange Var.)
  • 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 (Panov Attack)
  • 2.c4 d5 3.cxd5 cxd5 4.exd5 (Where White holds back d4)
  • 2.d4 d5 3.e5 Bf5 (Advanced Variation)
  • 4.c3, 4.Be3/4.Nd2, 4.h4, 4.Nc3, 4.Nf3 (4th move sidelines – 6 videos)
  • 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3/d2 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Bf5 (Classical System – 7 videos)

At the conclusion of each video, Bologan gives the viewer a nice little wrap up/review of the main ideas covered in that segment. A nice touch that really helps to reinforce the material. While this DVD will certainly prove useful to those who play 1.e4 and have to face the Caro, Bologan (and rightfully so I might add) suggests ideas and moves mostly from Black’s perspective.

I like this and think you will find, as I did, that flipping the board around and seeing the moves made from Black’s side will help you absorb the material better (obviously if you are interested in learning how to play against the Caro, you will want to view the board from White’s side).

In this reviewer’s opinion, this is the best DVD ever put out on the Caro-Kann Defense and one I wish I had had when I was just starting out!

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