Hello! My favorite opening, and the one I almost always play as black, is the Caro-Kann. I have a friend (rated about 1200) that says the Caro-Kann ‘sucks’ and is a terrible opening. He says I only beat him because of my middle game and endgame, but that the Caro-Kann doesn’t help me whatsoever. What do you guys think of the opening?
It is perfectly fine. I also hate it, but the taste from the people is different and that is good.
You need to find better friends.
Caro is a fine opening.
On your and your friend’s level it doesn’t matter what openings you play or if you play any at all. Focus on tactics and general positional concepts in the opening. And learn some basic endgames. Once you hit 30 on puzzle rush (regular 5 minute version) and rating here of 2000 then you can study opening a little more from free youtube videos.
Soviet chess school always had people start with 1 e4 e5 and active or gambit play from there, to learn open positions first, and to learn to attack, initiative, calculation, defense and fighting for the center. Only after they reach 2300 semi open and closed positions were introduced into their repertoire. Brutal stuff...
I think it's very solid and good to survive the opening. I played it myself some time, but nowadays i like playing against, because White gets to finish his development quicker and optains quite reasonable attacking chances.
When I was just starting out the Caro was my first opening against 1. e4 and I had great results with it. It suited me fine because at that time I was fond of positional play and studied avidly the games of Capablanca. I was fascinated by the principle of accumulating small advantages and felt that Caro-concepts such as "getting the light squared bishop outside of the pawn chain" and "develop all pieces, then break with c7-c5" was in the spirit of that. I studied variations in a book on it by GM Schandorf.
Is there anything in particular about Caro-Kann that you like @MathematicChess ?
IMHO when a friend says that an opening "sucks" and is a terrible opening, it usually means they don't like you playing it because you always win ;)
Caro-Kann is fine. It's still played at GM level so it hasn't been refuted or anything (not that this should discourage you from playing an opening... there are many openings that are rarely/never played at GM level but are perfectly fine at club level). As others have said, as long as your openings put you in somewhat sensible positions, it doesn't matter too much which one you choose, so go with what feels most natural for you.
@MathematicChess I thought you might like this previous thread on the Caro-Kann :]
it's a very solid opening, but i dislike it. Also, it doesn't seem to have any kind of "creativity" in it, what so ever. Same as the KID or any opening where the moves by one side is almost always the same
Your friend is kind of correct, you outrank him by more than 400 points, you could play the bongcloud and still win.
As for the opening ask the chess engine, e4 c6 d4 d5 is +0.2 according to stockfish
The worst reply to e4 is b5, look up a few lines and then try it on your friend.
Did you seriously give an engine evaluation after 1. e4 c6 ? Dude that's laughable...