Robert Ris’ Fast and Furious: Adventures in the Karpov Variation (4...Nd7) of the Caro-Kann

by Robert Ris
5/20/2021 – In this week’s show, well-known Dutch trainer Robert Ris takes a look at the Karpov Variation of the Caro-Kann, a still reliable but also somewhat risky system. | "Fast and Furious" is available on-demand with a ChessBase Premium Account. You can register a Premium account here.

Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening Mastering Pattern Recognition in the Opening

Pattern recognition is an important tool in modern chess, as it helps you to understand better the characteristics of a position. Particularly when you have been confronted with a surprise opening system played by your opponent, it helps when you can just


The move 4...Nd7 may not be as popular as the original main line 4...Bf5 and the trendy 4...Nf6, but it's still considered to be a reliable system dealing with the Caro-Kann.

However, this particular variation is not without risk for Black as can be seen in this week's game Lagarde-Kamsky. True to his style Kamsky didn't fancy a theoretical battle in the main line (6...e6) and deviated with the rare 6...Qc7?!, which is known to be bad for Black since the game Van der Wiel-Karpov, Amsterdam 1987.

But during the game both Lagarde and Kamsky didn't seem fully aware of all the subtleties and this led to a very fascinating opening battle with mutual mistakes.

Here's a warm-up: How does White take advantage of Black's inaccurate opening play?


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Robert is an International Master who mostly spends his time training and coaching talented youngsters. On the PlayChess server The Fast and the Furious is a popular show where he explains sharp opening lines for a wider audience. He is also a well-known ChessBase author who produced numerous DVDs and regularly contributes to ChessBase Magazine as well. Since 2015 he is the organizer of the Dutch Rapid Championships in his home town Amstelveen. He has started a YouTube channel with chess analysis as well.


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