“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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68 Comments

  1. Reminds me of the KID game where John won a center pawn, resulting in a centrally placed knight followed by decisive tactics. One more reason why center pawns are more valuable than wing pawns!

  2. More of this please John. You have lots of competition for my time (not Gotham) and I like your educational videos at this kind of pace. Bullet games = zero interest.

  3. [Event "AI Factory's Chess"]
    [Site "Android Device"]
    [Date "2023.03.20"]
    [Round "1"]
    [White "Cpu (12)"]
    [Black "You"]
    [PlyCount "36"]
    [Result "0-1"]

    1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 d6 4. d4 a6 5. Bxc6+ bxc6
    6. dxe5 Bd7 7. O-O dxe5 8. Nxe5 Nf6 9. Bg5 Bd6 10. Nxd7 Qxd7
    11. Bxf6 gxf6 12. Qh5 O-O-O 13. Nc3 Rd8g8 14. Qa5 Kb8 15. Qxa6 Rxg2+
    16. Kxg2 Qg4+ 17. Kh1 Qf3+ 18. Kg1 Rg8# 0-1

  4. thank you for your cristalclear explanations!

  5. You're looking happy and healthy in the new year. Appreciate the new regular videos on YouTube

  6. Sad the analysis becomes so general with Caro Plans or specific about the 2.Nc3 mistake, I would have loved a more typical kind of position in which we could learn a bit more. Learning how to punish strategy mistakes is fine too.

  7. appreciate this analysis. play these type of games from the white side so often haha.

  8. Always make my day when I see a new video from you! Thanks for the great content.

  9. Gotta love this series! Cheers to the strongest IM out there, and an incredible online teacher 👍

  10. John posting chess content consistently again is the new years resolution I've always wished I could make good on

  11. ty for the vid, missed you on lichess plays today!

  12. I would expect a human and a horse to be a bad marriage by default tbh

  13. Really fun to see some Caro games, mine are not usually as tactical and end up in king + pawn endgames.

  14. Really sorry to hear this news about your marriage, my man.

  15. LOVE how active you've been!!

    I always click so fast when I see your videos.

  16. I've been watching and playing the Caro Kann lately so this is perfect.

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