“Bad Marriage” in the Caro-Kann | Climbing the Rating Ladder vs. 1410

In this continuation of the “Climbing the Rating Ladder” series I take on players of various ratings levels while pointing out typical mistakes and spots for improvement along the way (possibly my own!? :)). Here I commentate a 10+5 game against a player rated 1424 on Chess.com. Working against my Caro-Kann (1.e4 c6), my opponent opts for a common, but not-so-challenging setup with 2.Nc3 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.d4. Although this version of the Carlsbad Structure is playable for White, this construction lacks bite if White’s c3 knight doesn’t soon cause Black problems (White can face similar problems in the Jobava London). In the analysis, I discuss the typical middlegame plans for these “two center pawns vs. one” scenarios what abound at lower levels.

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  1. Hi John, this is Leonard. Glad to see so many great videos uploaded again!

  2. Best part of the video is AFTER the game when we get a mini lesson on middlen game plans

  3. 13:10 There’s a site that has easier analysis, with better depth. 😌

    It’s free!!! 🤯

    It begins with “L” 👀

  4. Middle game plans is something I’d love to see more eduction on. I play the Caro and found this so useful. I like that you discuss them in your CTRL videos.

    Perhaps you could even do an entire series on middle game plans of common openings such as the Caro. There’s just not much content on specifically this, and I’m sure it’s a spot a lot of players get stuck on. “Ok, I’ve developed. Now what?!”

  5. No better way to end the day then by watching a new climbing the ladder video! Thanks John!

  6. Thank you so much, John! Stoked to have you posting these again. Just so happens that I learned about the Panov-Botvinnik attack today. Your advice on considering the ramifications of capturing given whites center pawn advantage gave me better perspective on the opening. Please continue to post, John.

    Btw, had Lichess twitch open, was staring at the screen, and counting down the minutes until 12:30 today 😞😆

  7. Lately I've been having success in my rapid games because instead of playing 10+0, I've been playing 10+5 and taking my sweet time thinking while my opponents Blitz the moves. Thanks for the important time management lesson!

  8. I think maybe I'm worrying too much about the computer analysis numbers. Even when I win, when the numbers aren't very good, it feels like more luck than skill.

  9. The most applicable marriage advice I've received so far!

  10. Wait… You're not kidding? People actually leave once the game ends?
    No no no no… and especially when it's a lower rated opponent. The whole point is the analysis. I might get lucky and learn a little bit from the game itself, but the real learning is from the analysis!

  11. Great video as always! You are the best chess teacher on the internet!! Go John Go!!!

  12. Thanks for the fun and informative chess content as always John; keep up the great work!

  13. I am sorry but I will call the cops John. I will not be an accomplice to murder. RIP Puntacandor

  14. I always love watching a Caro game. I’m pretty low (1100 bullet, 1200 blitz, 1400 rapid) rated, and play c5 as black in response to e5. I get positions like at 17 mins where my pawns are on a6 and b5 like that alllllll the time (taimanov style!) and knight a5 is a gnarly thing to keep in mind.

    Thanks John. You’re a good man 🙏

  15. Thanks for the video JB, hopefully you enjoying playing these games & making these videos as much as we enjoy watching & learning from them.
    I’m sure your Twitch viewers/subs would love to play you if you’re ever stuck for an opponent!

  16. Also, tt vids are still always a blast. It’s always interesting to compare the starting face versus last game face. All that heightened adrenaline for that length of time takes a hilarious toll for us viewers. No one wears it more than Gm Hansen lol. So expressive. Go chessbrahs!! Go John!!

  17. Thanks again John for this amazing content! Always having a big smile on my face when I see you uploaded a new video:)

  18. The game may have been short, but the video was super instructive for us 1400s with Caro-Kann pretensions! 😅 Great to have you regularly posting, John. A new upload always brightens my mood!

  19. Fun game Minnesota Fins. Standard # 300 coming up, will be special. Congrats in advance on the future milestone.

  20. Love that you went over middle game plans. I've had so many positions that look exactly like the one you played and eventually I get to a point where I have no idea what to do next. Great stuff John!

  21. Excellent content again John. I was particularly interested in your comments on the c3 knight in front of the the pawn. I've been playing around with the Jobava London where the c3 knight is regarded as advantageous because it has more scope in front of the pawn. I'm now beginning to wonder if the Jabava London knight is best placed on c3. Any views?

  22. I have a reasonable record with the Caro Kann, except against the Advance variation. Just can't seem to buy a win against that. Could you show some lines in that if you get a chance?

  23. So awesome all these JB chess videos again!

  24. John, thanks for the interesting analysis! I'm used to seeing the rook go to b8 to prepare the minority attack as you showed in one of the lines you analyze after the game. Do you think that plan works better if White goes for the more normal e4, d4, exd5, bd3, c3 setup? With the knight on c3, do you think the rook is better placed on c8 than b8? That setup wasn't really on my radar until now because I'm used to going for the minority attack – super insightful to see the power of it here!

  25. I'd say exchange Caro is popular below 1500, I play the caro at 1600 and most people play the advance or try with the fantasy or the 2 knights

  26. Worst part about playing the French as black, is if white goes for the exchange variation and tries to beat me purely by boring me to death

  27. I have to confess to usually just watching the game as I have always been a terrible student BUT! I do get a ton of help just from your analysis during the game. Having said that there is undeniable truth in the old saying, One sure way to maintain an everlasting state of ignorance is contempt prior to investigation glad I stayed to the end!

  28. this was educational, I really enjoyed this one. hope everyone watches the whole video

  29. I can only think of one opening where putting your knight in front of the c pawn is good for white, the Pirc defense. I'm not even clear on why it's best play for white there, probably rapid development. Uh, I guess the 2 knights variation of the Caro Kann, uhh, there's like the old main line CK, don't see that often anymore.

  30. John, I remember finding you through your Bongcloud video a few years ago — I was fooled for much longer than I'd like to admit! That video is criminally underviewed. Anyway, thank you for the discussion of middle game plans — you are making us all into better strategists 🙂

  31. shame, I didn't think that was a resignable position at all.

  32. Mmm… love that Content. Good Content Creation!

  33. This series is very similar to Danya's "speedrun" games, love the series, it was one of the first ones that I started following when I started improving my chess game in about 2019, maybe early 2020.

  34. I may not remember everything in your analysis, but find it interesting when the patterns you review often come up in my games and I remember them then.

  35. Very very helpful and instructional. I hope my chess team will learn from your very clear points in the analysis. Thanks so much for all of the chess improvement you bring all of us.

  36. I play the Caro and both the game and especially the discussion and various analysis boards afterwards were very enlightening! Keep up the good work 🙂

  37. Really pleased to have caught this video ty

  38. Starting to make me want to play the Caro! The plan is so similar to Scandi, but less forcing in the beginning. Also a lot of white opponents transpose into the exchange variation of the Caro as we'll. Thanks John!!

  39. [Event "AI Factory's Chess"]

    [Site "Android Device"]

    [Date "2023.01.31"]

    [Round "1"]

    [White "You"]

    [Black "Cpu (12)"]

    [PlyCount "33"]

    [Result "1-0"]

    1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 e6 3. c3 Nf6 4. a4 Bd6 5. h3 a5

    6. g3 b6 7. Bg5 O-O 8. e3 c5 9. Bd3 c4 10. Bc2 Ra7

    11. Nb1d2 h6 12. h4 hxg5 13. hxg5 Ne4 14. Qb1 Nxd2 15. Bh7+ Kh8

    16. Bg8+ Kxg8 17. Qh7# 1-0

  40. Hey man, I just wanna say you're the most entertaining and educational chess youtuber I've seen as of yet. You've reignited my interest in chess 🙂

  41. Bad marriage? Tell me about it!! That knight on c3 reminds me of my ex-wife. Always walking in on her in bad positions with the neighbors.

  42. John, would love to watch some sort of "Bartholomew's Beatdowns" series (you can have the name for free), where you clap cheeks of <2000 rated players.

  43. Hey, John. Great content, as usual. Btw, the expression you were looking for at 11:11 is "word to the wise."

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