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Caro-Kann Defense

1. e4 c6

1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5
(Approx. 80% of Caro-Kann Games)

The Caro-Kann Defense is named after H. Caro of Berlin and M. Kann of Vienna who analyzed the first
analyzed the opening in the 1890s. Black's Idea is to give up the center pawn for easier development,
and not to have his Bishop on c8 "trapped." Contrast this with French Defense where Black maintains a
center pawn, but gives up mobility and the Bishop on c8 is "trapped." The Caro-Kann works better for
overly aggressive players (for White) and good endgame players (for Black).

Whites Ideas / Goals


1. Control the Center immediately by playing d4.
2. Develop pieces ASAP. Try to gain control of
more Space.
3. Two basic strategies:
A) Kingside Attack. Note that White can usually
invade on the light squares.
B) Central Breakthrough. If Black has not
castled, White can open the e-file (or the
center) by playing d5, even if this means
sacrificing the pawn.

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Blacks Ideas / Goals


1. Contest the Center
2. Develop pieces ASAP without creating any
major weaknesses.
3. Black usually attacks on the queenside,
especially if White castles there.
4. Exchange pieces that reduce Whites attacking
chances and increase your endgame winning
chances.

Caro-Kann Defense Variations:


1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5

A. Main Line (50%)


3.Nc3 (or Nd21) dxe4 4. Nxd4
1

Nc3 is play 32% of the time and Nd2 is played 18% of the time.
A1. Classical Variation (50%)
4. Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6 6.h4 h6 7.Nf3 Nd7 8.h5 Bh7 9.Bd3 Bxd3 10.Qxd3
A2. Steinitz Variation (32%)
4. Nd7 5.Nf31 Ngf6 6.Nxf6+ Nxf6 7.Bc4 Bf5 8.O-O e6
1

5.Bc4 Ngf6 6.Ng5 e6 7.Qe2 Nb6 8.Bb3 h6 9.N5f3

A3. Bronstein-Larsen Variation (17%)


4. Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6

B. Exchange/Panov-Botvinnik Attack Variations (26%)


3.exd5 cxd5
B1. Panov-Botvinnik Attack (65%)
4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Nf3 Be71 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Bd3 Nc6 9.O-O O-O 10.Re1 Bf6
1

Bb4 7.cxd5 Nxd5 8.Bd2 Nc6 9.Bd3 O-O 10.O-O Be7 11.a3 Bf6

B2. Exchange Variation (25%)


4.Bd3 Nc6 5.c3 Nf6 6.Bf4 Bg4 7.Qb3 Qd7 8.Nd2 e6 9.Ngf3 Bxf3 10.Nxf3 Bd6

C. Advanced Variation (24%)


3.e5 Bf5 4.Nf31 e6 5.Be2 Nd7 6.O-O Ne7 7.Nh4 Bg6 8.Nd2 c5 9.c3 Nc6 10.Nxg6 hxg6 11.Nf3
1

Or 4.Nc3 e6 5.g4 Bg6 6.Nge2 c5 7.h4 h5 8.Nf4 Bh7 9.Nxh5 cxd4

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Sicilian Defense

1.e4 c5
For Black, the Sicilian Defense is the most popular and best-scoring response to White's 1.e4 (and the
most successful first move for White is 1.d4). The Sicilian Defense was analyzed by Giulio Polerio in
his 1594 manuscript on chess, and the name actually comes through the English translation (by Jacob
Sarratt in 1813) of an old Italian manuscript phrase "il giocho siciliano."
The Sicilian Defense was fairly popular during the 1800s, but fell out of favor in the late 1800's.
However, the Sicilian Defense was revived in the 1940s and 1950s by players such as Miguel Najdorf
and Reuben Fine. Further efforts from world champions such as Bobby Fischer and Garry Kasparov
helped place the Sicilian Defense as the defense that offers Black the most winning chances against 1.e4.
Whites Ideas / Goals

Blacks Ideas / Goals

1. Develop ASAP. And since White has more


kingside space, he should develop pieces there.
2. White will have a lead in development,
especially since black must make more pawn
moves to free his pieces.
3. Attack kingside.
4. Depending on the variation, White can castle to
either side.
5. Control the light colored squares.

1. Trade the c pawn for Whites d pawn. This will


give Black a central pawn majority (= more
control of the center) and a half open c-file.
2. Castle kingside.
3. Attack queenside. It is also likely that Black
will advance the queenside pawns.
4. Central strike. Because White will attack the
kingside, a central strike at right moment is the
best response.
5. Black usually has better endgame chances.
6. Control the dark colored squares.
7. Often: Double rooks on c-file
8. Possible: If white castles kingside, sacrifice the
rook for the knight on c3. This creates holes
and weakened pawn structure around the King.

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Sicilian Defense Variations:


1. e4 c5
A. Open Defense, 2.Nf3 (78%)
White plans to open the position and use his (future) advantages of space and development.
2.Nf3
A1. Main Line, 2. d6 (41%)
2. d6 is played to control central dark squares, prepare Nf6, and to free the c8 Bishop.
2. d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3
A1-1. Najdorf (44%)
5. a6 is played to prepare 6. e5 (or e6) and prevents White from playing Bb5+ or
Nb5. It also prepares Blacks b5 pawn push and queenside minority attack. Black plan is
also to attack the pawn on e4 by playing b5, Bb7, and playing the knight to c5. Play often
transposes into the Scheveningen Variation (see A1-4).
5. a6 6.Be21 e52 7.Nb3 Be7 8.O-O O-O 9.Be3 Nbd7 10.a4 b6 11.f3 Bb7 12.Kh1 Qc7
1
2

Bg5 e6 7.f4 Qb6 8.Qd2 Qxb2 9.Rb1 Qa3 10.e5 dxe5 11.fxe5 Nfd7 (Poisoned Pawn Var.)
e6 transposes to the Scheveningen Variation (see A1-4).

A1-2. Classical (28%)


5. Nc6 is a natural developing move that defers how to develop the f8 Bishop. This
variation is usually named after Whites 6th move.
5. Nc6
A1-2A Richter-Rauser Attack, 6.Bg5 (46%)
Whites plan is create a pawn weakness and to play Qd2 and O-O-O
6. Bg5 e6 7.Qd2 a6 8.O-O-O Bd7 9.f4 b5 10.Bxf6 gxf6 11.Kb1 Qb6
A1-2B Fischer-Sozin Attack, 6.Bc4 (23%)
White attacks e6 and also plans f4 followed by f5. White can castle to either side.
6. Bc4 e61 7.Be3 Be7 8.Qe2 a6 9.O-O-O Qc7 10.Bb3 O-O 11. g4 Nxd4 12.Rxd4
b5 13.g5 Nd7
1

Qb6 7.Nb3 e6 8.O-O Be7 9.Be3 Qc7 10.f4 a6 11.Bd3 b5 (or O-O)

A1-3. Dragon (15%)


Black's bishop is developed to g7, where it aims along the long black diagonal towards
White's queenside. Black plan is to castle kingside, put his rook on the c file, move his
queen to a5, and attack on the Queenside by pushing forward his a and b pawns. Black
may also sacrifice the rook for Whites knight on c3 which will create holes and a
weakened pawn structure around the King. White most common plan is the Yugoslav
attack: castle queenside, play f3 to help control the center, try to exchange Black's Bishop
on g7-bishop, and attack Black's king by advancing his g and h pawns.

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(A1-3. Dragon, Cont.)


5. g6 6.Be31 Bg7 7.f3 (Yugoslav Attack) O-O2 8.Qd2 Nc6 9.O-O-O3 d5 10.exd5 Nxd5
11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Bd4 e5 13.Bc5 Be6 14.Ne4 Re8
1

6.Be2 Bg7 7.O-O O-O 8.Be3 Nc6


Nc6 8.Qd2 O-O 9.O-O-O (or Bc4 and play continues like main line or footnote #3)
3
9.Bc4 Bd7 10.O-O-O Rc8 11.Bb3 Ne5 12.h4 h5
4
12.Nxd5 cxd5 13.Qxd5 Qc7 14.Qc5 Qb7
2

A1-4. Scheveningen (12%)


Black creates a "small" center (pawns control d5 and e5), plans to castle kingside, and
retains the flexibility of a central break with either e5 or d5. White the choice of several
plans: Keres attack (6.g4), Classical (6.Be2), English attack (ideas similar to the
Yugoslav attack in the Dragon Variation), etc.
A1-4A. Classical (29%)
5. e6 6.Be2 a6 7.O-O Be7 8.f4 Qc7 9.Be3 Nc6 10.a4 O-O 11.Kh1 Re8
A1-4B. Keres Attack (24%)
5. e6 6.g4 h6 7.h4 Nc6 8.Rg1 d5 9.Bb5 Bd7 10.exd5 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 exd5
A1-4C. English Attack (16%)
5. e6 6.Be3 a6 7.f3 b5 8.g4 h6 9.Qd2 Nbd7 10.O-O-O Bb7 11.h4 b4
12.Nce2 d5 13.Ng3 dxe4 14.Nxe4 Nxe4 15.fxe4 Nf6
A2. Main Line, 2. Nc6 (31%)
2. Nc61 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4
1

A developing moved that helps control the central dark squares and prepares Nf6
A2-1. Sveshnikov (43%)
Black forces action in the center at the cost of permanently accepting a weaker d5 square,
on which White will ultimately try to settle a knight or a bishop.
4. Nf6 5.Nc3 e51 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Nd52 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3
1
2

d6 leads to the Classical Variation (A1-2)


Bxf6 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5 11.Bd3 Be6

A2-2. Taimanov (25%)


4. e6 (See Taimanov Variation, A3-1)
A2-3. Accelerated Dragon (15%)
Accelerated Dragon simply aims to put early pressure on d4, but does allow White to
play c4 and gain control over d5. If White tries to play in the style of the Yugoslav
attack, d5 by Black usually equalizes.
4. g6 5.Nc31 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Bc4 O-O 8.Bb3 d62 9.f3 Bd7 10.Qd2 Rc8
1
2

c4 Bg7 6.Be3 Nf6 7.Nc3 O-O 8.Be2 d6 9.O-O Bd7 10.Qd2 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bc6
a5 9.f3 d5 10.Bxd5 Nxd5 11.Nxd5 f5

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A2-4. Kalashnikov (8%)


The Kalashnikov is similar to those in the Sveshnikov: Black accepts a backward pawn
on d6 and a weak d5 square. The difference though is that Black has not developed his
knight to f6 and White has not developed his knight to c3, so both players have options.
4. e5 5.Nb5 d6 6.N1c31 Nf62 7.Bg5 a6 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf63 gxf6 10.Nd5 f5
1

c4 Be7 7.N1c3 a6 8.Na3 Be6 9.Nc2 Bg5 10.Be2 Bxc1 11.Rxc1 Nge7
a6 7.Na3 b5 8.Nd5 Nf6 9.Bg5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 O-O
3
Nd5 Be7 10.Bxf6 Bxf6 11.c3 O-O
2

A3. Main Line, 2. e6 (24%)


2. e61 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4
1

Gives priority to develop the Bishop on f8


A3-1. Taimanov Variation (38%)
Blacks plan is to play the f8 Bishop to b4 or c5 and to develop the other pieces naturally
OR to revert to a Scheveningen formation with pawns on e6 and d6. White can play Nb5
to prevent Bb4 and White also has the option to fianchetto his f1 bishop to control the
center and to defend the pawn on e4.
4. Nc6 5.Nc3 a6 6.Be2 Qc7 7.O-O Nf6 8.Be3 Bb4 9.Na4 O-O 10.Nxc6 bxc6 11.Nb6
Rb8 12.Nxc8 Rfxc8 13.Bxa6 Rd8
A3-2. Kan Variation (33%)
Black does not commit himself, and can refute 5.c4 (central control) with 5. ... Nf6 6.
Nc3 Bb4. Black could play Nc6 or fianchetto the queen's bishop instead. After 5. Bd3,
Black could even play 5. ... g6 is possible, exerting pressure against d4.
4. a6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Bd3 Nf6 7.O-O Nc6 8.Be3 Bd6 9.h3 Be5 10.Nxc6 Qxc6
A3-3. Four Knights (26%)
4. Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc61 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bf4 e5 8.Bg5 a6 9.Na3 b5
1

d6 transposes to the Scheveningen Variation (see A1-1)

B. Closed Defense, 2. Nc3 (10%)


Whites plan is to dominate the light squares at the cost of giving Black control of the central dark
squares. White may attack the kingside by pushing his f and g pawns. The Closed Defense turns into an
Open Defense if Black plays 2.d6, Nc6, or e6 and White plays 3.Nf3This occurs in about 53% of
Closed Defense games.
2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg6 5.d3 d6 6.Be31 e6 7.Qd2 Rb8 8.Nge2 Nd4 9.O-O b5
1

f4 e6 7.Nf3 Nge7 8.O-O O-O 9.Be3 Nd4

C. Alapins Variation (7%)


White plans are to gain more central control by setting up an idea pawn center, and Blacks plan is an
immediate central counter-attack.
2.c3 d51 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Be2 Nc6 7.O-O cxd4 8.cxd4 Be7
1

Nf6 3.e5 Nd5 4.d4 cxd4 5.Nf3

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Other King Pawn Openings


Center Counter (Scandinavian) Defense

1.e4 d5
(Black neutralizes the e4 pawn, and the move 2.exd5 is play 94% of the time)
1. e4 d5 2.exd5
A. Main Line (59%)
2. Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Bd2 e6
B. Marshall Gambit (40%)
2. Nf6 3.d4 Nxd5 4.Nf31 g6 5.Be2 Bg7 6.O-O O-O 7.c4 Nb6 8.Nc3 Nc6 9.d5 Ne5 10.Nxe5 Bxe5
11.Bh6 Re8
1

4.c4 Nb6 5.Nf3 g6 6.Nc3 Bg7 7.h3 O-O 8.Be3 Nc6 9.Qd2 e5 10.d5

Petrov Defense

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6


(The offers attacking opportunities for both sides, and often Black gets a centralized Knight.)
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nxe5 d6 4.Nf3 Nxe4 5.d4 d5 6.Bd3 Nc61 7.O-O Be7 8.c4 Nb4 9.Be2 O-O
1

Bd6 7.O-O O-O 8.c4 c6 9.Re1 Bf5 10.Qc2 Bg6

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Kings Gambit

1.e4 e5 2.f4
White offers a pawn to divert Blacks e-pawn and to play d4. Black must decide whether or not to
accept the gambit because White cannot easily regain the pawn. However, the pawn advantage for
Black comes at the cost of a weakened the position of Blacks pieces.
A. Kings Gambit Accepted (57%):
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4 3.Nf3 g51 4.h4 g4 5.Ne5 Nf6 6.Bc4 d5 7.exd5 Bd6 8.d4 Nh5 9.O-O O-O
1

d5 4.exd5 Nf6 5.Bc4 Nxd5 6.O-O Be7 7.d4 Be6 8.Bxd5 Qxd5 9.Bxf4 Nc6

B. Kings Gambit Declined (43%):


1.e4 e5 2.f4 d51 3.exd5 exf42 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.Bc4 Nxd5 6.O-O Be6 7.Bb3 Be7 8.c4 Nb6 9.d4 g5 10.Re1 O-O
1
2

Bc5 3.Nf3 d6 4.c3 Nf6 5.fxe5 dxe5 6.Nxe5 Qe7 7.d4 Bd6 8.Nf3 Nxe4 9.Be2 O-O 10.O-O c5
e4 4.d3 Nf6 5.dxe4 Nxe4 6.Nf3 Bc5 7.Qe2 Bf5 8.Nc3 Qe7 9.Be3 Nxc3 10.Bxc5 Nxe2 11.Bxe7 Nxf4

Modern/Pirc Defense

1.e4 g6
Black allows White to build up a pawn center with 2.d4, but Black plans to develop the f8 Bishop to g7
and attack the center from the side.
1.e4 g6 2.d4 Bg7 3.Nc3 d6 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.h3 Nc6 6.Be3 O-O 7.Qd2 a6 8.Bd3 d5 9.e5 Ne8 10.h4 Nb4

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Caro-Kann Defense:
1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5
Opening Moves
3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxd4 Bf5 5.Ng3 Bg6
3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxd4 Nd7
3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nxf6+ gxf6
3.exd5
3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4
3. e5

Variation Name
Classical Variation
Steinitz Variation
Bronstein-Larsen Variation
Exchange Variation
Panov-Botvinnik Attack
Advanced Variation

Sicilian Defense:
1.e4 c5
Opening Moves
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 a6
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bg5
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bc4
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 g6
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Be2
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.g4
1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 d6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e6 6.Be3
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 g6
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6
1.e4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 a6
2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nf6
2.Nc3 Nc6 3.g3 g6 4.Bg2 Bg6 5.d3 d6
2. c3

Variation Name
Najdorf
Classical: Richter-Rauser Attack
Classical: Fischer-Sozin Attack
Dragon
Scheveningen: Classical
Scheveningen: Keres Attack
Scheveningen: English Attack
Sveshnikov
Accelerated Dragon
Kalashnikov
Taimanov
Kan
Four Knights
Closed Defense
Alapins Variation

Other King Pawn Openings:


Opening Moves
1e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc5 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6
1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Nf6 3.d4 Nxd5
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nf6
1.e4 e5 2.f4 exf4
1.e4 e5 2.f4 d5
1.e4 g6

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Variation Name
Center Counter Defense: Main Line
Center Counter Defense: Marshall Gambit
Petrov Defense
KingsGambit: Accepted
KingsGambit: Declined
Modern/Pirc Defense