The pawn structure in the above image is very familiar in chess practice. It can arise from openings like Slav and Semi Slav, Alekhine, Scandinavian, French and of course Caro Kann, the latter being the most common source of appearance. The special thing about such structure is that although white has more space, black is rock solid and his plans are very clear. Such a scenario always produces tense positional battles where both players need to understand the demands of the position and know well what the typical plans to follow are.
In this article, we want to shed some light on how to play these type of positions with black, what goals to aim for and what dangers he needs to be aware.
The following is a list of positional concepts that you must know:
1. The exchange of pieces– Favors black. The position with TWO minor pieces each is already considered a success for black
2. The trade of the dark-squared color bishops also favors black. The absence of this piece is of significant relevance since it is often the main defender of d4 pawn.
3. The main goal is to target the d4 pawn. Black often doubles the rooks on the D file and brings his queen to b6 in order to exert big pressure against white’s center.
4. An important idea seldom seen is the advance b7-b5. With this pawn thrust, black seeks to weaken the white pawn on c4; if white plays c5 then black obtains the d5 square for a knight and the white pawn on d4 is a permanent backward pawn.
5. The advance with c6-c5 is NOT ALWAYS an equalizer. Although it brings some freedom for the black pieces, the structure arising after dxc5 or cxd4 gives white a queenside majority in the endgame. So before advancing c5, it is best to make sure that there are dynamic factors such as piece activity to keep the balance.
6. Keep an eye on the d4-d5 break. This is difficult to achieve for white but when he manages to play it, it usually has a devastating effect on black’s position.
So this was all the basic about Caro Kann you need to know. Let us know in the comment section down below if we have left out anything important!