The anti-anti-Caro-Kann defence

Upon beginning to look over a Fighting-Kann on the CBDB (http://database.chessbase.com/js/apps/onlinedb/) I noticed the move 2 c4 has scored 59%, much better than the move most often played 2 d4 (54%), and 2 Nc3 (52%). Curious as to why, I put off the gxf6 Kann for the moment and decided to follow the path with the CBDB to learn where it led. This is the line the CBDB produced:
1. e4 c6 2. c4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. cxd5 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nxd5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Bb5 e6 8. O-O Bd6 9. d4 O-O 10. Re1 Bd7 11. Bd3 Qb6 12. a3 Rac8 13. Rb1 a6 14. Nxd5 exd5.

This looks like the kind of position for which Black should aim. Both players have reached a playable position, which is the aim of the opening.

A few days later GM Vadim Milov (2650) vs IM Roland Loetscher (2421) reached the position after 8 0-0 in the sixth round at the 114th ch-SUI 2014 in Bern. Both players tied for second, a half- point behind GM Yannik Pelletier. Loetscher played 8…Be7, as did Viktor Laznika against one of my favorite players, GM Richard Rapport, in their recent match, which was tied 3-3.

Milov played 9 d4, the move chosen by Stockfish… O-O 10.Re1 Bd7 and both games transposed to the this position. Milov plays the move chosen by Deep Fritz:
11.Nxd5 exd5 12.Qb3 Be6 13.Bxc6 bxc6 14.Ne5 Rc8 15.Qg3 c5 16.Be3 c4 17.Bh6 Bf6 18.h4 Qb6 19.Rad1 Qxb2 20.h5 Kh8 21.Bc1 Qc2 22.h6 Qf5 23.Qh2 Rg8 24.f3 gxh6 25.Bxh6 Bxe5 26.Rxe5 Qxf3 27.Rf1 Qh3 28.Qxh3 Bxh3 29.Bg5 h6 30.Bf6+ Kh7 0-1

Rapport played 9 Re1, which happens to be the same move Houdini would play…O-O 10. d4 Bd7 11. Bc4 (Stockfish plays this) Bf6 12. Nxd5 exd5 13. Bxd5 Bg4 14. Bxc6 bxc6 15. Be3 Rb8 16. b3 c5 17. Bf4 Rb4 18. Be5 cxd4 19. Qd2 a5 20. Bxf6 Qxf6 21. Ne5 Bf5 22. Nc4 d3 23. Nxa5 Rg4 24. f3 Rg6 25. Nc4 Bh3 26. g3 Qxf3 27. Re3 Qb7 28. Rae1 h5 29. Rxd3 Rf6 30. a3 Qa7+ 31. Rde3 Re8 32. Qe2 Ree6 33. a4 Rf5 34. Qd3 Ref6 35. Nd2 g6 36. Kh1 Rf2 37. Kg1 Rg2+ 38. Kh1 Rff2 39. Nf3 Bg4 40. Qc3 Be6 41. Rxe6 fxe6 42. Rxe6 Qf7 43. Rd6 Qe8 44. Qc4+ Kh7 45. Qc7+ Kh6 46. Qc1+ Kg7 47. Qc3+ Kg8 48. Qc4+ Kh7 49. Qc7+ Kh6 50. Qc1+ Kg7 51. Qc7+ ½-½

Here are two games I found on 365Chess (http://www.365chess.com/opening.php) with the move 8 …Bd6:

David Smerdon (2513) – William Van Rensselaer (1908)
Event: 41st Olympiad Open 2014
Site: Tromso NOR Date: 08/02/2014
ECO: B10 Caro-Kann, anti-anti-Caro-Kann defence

1. e4 d5 2. exd5 Nf6 3. c4 c6 4. Nc3 cxd5 5. cxd5 Nxd5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Bb5 e6 8. O-O Bd6 9. d4 O-O 10. Re1 Qa5 11. Bd3 Nxc3 12. bxc3 Qxc3 13. Rb1 Nxd4 14. Nxd4 Kh8 15. Nb5 Qc6 16. Be4 Rd8 17. Bxc6 1-0

Ismael Karim (2407) – Sarunas Sulskis (2573)
Event: 25th Open
Site: Cappelle la Grande FRA Date: 03/05/2009
ECO: B10 Caro-Kann, anti-anti-Caro-Kann defence

1. e4 c6 2. c4 d5 3. cxd5 cxd5 4. exd5 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nxd5 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. Bb5 e6 8. O-O Bd6 9. d4 O-O 10. Re1 Nce7 11. Bd3 b6 12. Ne5 Bb7 13. Qh5 Nf5 14. Bxf5 exf5 15. Qxf5 Qc8 16. Qxc8 Raxc8 17. Nxd5 Bxd5 18. Bd2 f6 19. Nd3 Bc4 20. Nf4 Rfd8 21. a3 Kf7 22. Ne2 Bxe2 23. Rxe2 Rc2 24. Kf1 Rxb2 25. Bb4 Rxe2 26. Kxe2 Bxb4 27. axb4 Rxd4 28. Rxa7+ Kg6 29. Rb7 Rxb4 30. Kf3 Rb3+ 31. Kf4 h5 32. h4 b5 33. g3 Rb1 34. Kf3 b4 35. Ke3 b3 36. Kf4 Rb2 37. f3 Rb1 38. Ke4 Kh6 39. Kf5 Kh7 40. Rb8 b2 41. Kf4 g6 42. Rb7+ Kg8 43. Rb8+ Kf7 44. Rb6 g5+ 45. Kf5 Re1 0-1

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One thought on “The anti-anti-Caro-Kann defence

  1. Coralie says:

    You’ve imerpssed us all with that posting!

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