[Event "Caro-Kann: Illustrative game: Classical Variation"] [Site "https://lichess.org/study/B35xSz0V/JSxf0duC"] [Result "*"] [UTCDate "2020.07.18"] [UTCTime "10:56:11"] [Variant "Standard"] [ECO "B18"] [Opening "Caro-Kann Defense: Classical Variation"] [Annotator "https://lichess.org/@/realhercules"] [Source "https://lichess.org/study/B35xSz0V/JSxf0duC"] [Orientation "white"] 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 { You will notice that sometimes White plays 3.Nc3 and sometimes 3.Nd2. The vast majority of the time it makes no difference after 3...dxe4 4.Nxe4. } 3... dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. Bc4 e6 7. N1e2 Nf6 8. O-O Bd6 9. f4 { This is certainly the most aggressive move at White’s disposal and Black is well advised to prevent the pawn advancing any further. } 9... Qd7 { Some black players believe they can stop f4-f5 by 9...Qc7, as after 10.f5 exf5 11.Nxf5 they can play 11...Bxh2+. However, practice has shown that this line is very dangerous for Black. It seems better to make sure that White can’t play f4-f5 rather than letting him play it at the cost of a pawn. One move that definitely stops White’s f-pawn in its tracks is 9...Bf5!?. This remarkable looking move is played with the idea of transposing into a sort of Tartakower Defence after 10.Nxf5 exf5. Black believes that he has a favourable version because the move f4 has weakened central squares such as e4 and rendered White’s dark-squared bishop passive. White, however, does have some attacking ideas in this position. Firstly, he can prevent Black from castling by playing 11.Ng3 g6 12.Re1+, although this is only a minor inconvenience for Black as after 12...Kf8 the king is close to a perfectly good square on g7. A typical continuation now is 13.Qf3 h5 14.b3 Nbd7 15.Bb2 Qc7 16.Re5!?, when White will leave his rook there until it is taken. In return, his powerful centre will give him good compensation. Practice has so far been unable to establish who has the better chances in such positions. } 10. Bd3 { White threatens to play f4-f5 again. } 10... Bxd3 11. Qxd3 g6 { But finally Black stops it once and for all. } 12. f5!? { Or at least he thought he had. This pawn sacrifice has breathed new life into the line. } 12... gxf5! (12... exf5? 13. Bg5 Be7 14. Rae1 Na6 15. Nxf5! gxf5 16. Ng3 Nb4 17. Qc4 O-O-O 18. Nxf5 b5 19. Qxf7 Bd6 20. Qxd7+ Rxd7 21. Bxf6 Rf8 22. Nxd6+ Rxd6 23. Be7 Rxf1+ 24. Rxf1 { 1-0 Fressinet-Mulder, French League 1999. }) 13. Bg5 Be7 14. Rae1 Rg8! { This is why Black has to take with the g-pawn as he now gains an important tempo by hitting the bishop. If instead he had played 14...Na6, then 15.Nxf5 exf5 has just transposed to the Fressinet game given above, a game that was particularly unpleasant for Black. } 15. Bxf6 { White players are still undecided between the text and 15 Bh4. Ide- ally he would like to keep his bishop and sacrifice later but the reply 15...Rg4 is a little annoying. } 15... Bxf6 16. Nxf5! { Otherwise White has insufficient play for the pawn } 16... exf5 17. Rxf5 Bh8 { This is better than 17...Bg7 as it doesn’t obstruct the rook. } 18. Qb3! { Immediate discovered checks don’t lead anywhere so White targets the f7-square. } 18... Qe7? { An incredibly naive move. In the later game Genocchio-Solozhenkin, Reggio Emilia 2000, Black played the superior 18...Rg6! and after 19.Nf4+ Kf8 White should have taken the rook with an equal game. } 19. Kf1! { Oh dear, Black really walked into that one! Now the rook is defended, White will be able to move his knight with devastating effect. Black now decided that he had nothing better than parting with his queen. After other moves he was liable to have to part with his king. } 19... Nd7 20. Nf4 Qxe1+ 21. Kxe1 O-O-O 22. c3 f6 23. Qa3 Rge8+ 24. Kf2 Kc7 25. Rh5 Re4 26. g3 Nf8 27. Qa5+ Kc8 28. Qf5+ { 1-0 } *