Learn the Caro-Kann in 15 Minutes [Chess Openings Crash Course]

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🔹 Caro-Kann Counter Gambit for White –

♛ Find the variations shown in the video in this blog-post –

In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov provides you with a complete chess opening crash course on the Caro-Kann Defense, which occurs after the opening moves 1.e4 c6. Whether you play 1.e4 as White or play the Caro-Kann Defense as Black, you should watch this video.

GM Igor Smirnov’s goal is to give you a complete overview of this opening, move by move, so that you understand it completely instead of memorizing several different variations.

You will learn how to play against the common responses of White including the Exchange Variation, the Advance Variation, and the mainline where White opts for 3.Nc3. You will learn the common ideas, middlegame plans, and most importantly, some IgorNation special tricks!

► Chapters

00:00 Learn the Caro-Kann Defense Chess Opening
00:34 Mikhail Tal trolled Bobby Fischer
02:47 3 main variations of the Caro-Kann Defense
03:16 1) Exchange Variation: 3.exd5
05:13 2) Advance Variation: 3.e5
05:55 2.1) 3…Bf5, Mainline
06:40 2.2) 3…c5, Botvinnik-Carls Defense
08:50 3) Mainline: 3.Nc3
09:50 Do NOT fall into this TRAP!
10:25 4…Nf6, Korchnoi or Tartakower Variation
12:00 Common Middlegame Plans for Black
14:00 Example Middlegame
15:01 Tactical Quiz: Marcus Kann’s game
15:19 Caro-Kann Defense for White
15:35 4.f3, Rasa-Studier Gambit

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#IgorNation #CaroKann #ChessOpenings #CaroKannDefense #ChessOpening


  1. I have a chess turnament and i am watching it 15 minutes before

  2. You are actually best at lecturing ❤ I will be coming to watch this video every time someone likes my comment

  3. I have never pushed a pawn one square in the opening, and I will never do that. I still liked your video. Thanks for the work you offer to us :).

  4. Igor, would love a video as White from the opening moves 1. e5 c6 2. Nf3 d4 3. exd4 cxd4 4. Ne5 (Apocalypses Variation of the Caro-Kann?)I've been playing this against the Caro, and it's super fun to play and not well-known.

  5. I hated facing caro kann before, then saw a video about landau gambit, started playing 3. Bd3 and trapped a few people and otherwise simple equal games

  6. Спасибо огромное, это то чего я ждал

  7. Watched twice, wish I could like it twice. The knight mate is very cool..

    Kann's winning move should be castling.

  8. I really like your vidieos it helped me a lot thanks🎉

  9. Great video can you make more of these opening crash courses like one for the Scandinavian defence

  10. Wait… You actually did it.. i-i cant believe it

  11. What about 1. e4 c6 2. Nf3 this infuriates me as Black, are there any traps to counter it?

  12. Very nice explaining! Thankyou for the video

  13. At 16:40 I would just go knight e5. If he takes my queen guess what bf7 is mate!

  14. I think the puzzle's solution is 1. …Rc1!, if 2. R*c8 then black queen takes queen. if white queen takes queen then 2. … R*d1+ which is a nice in between move, and then a*b6 take back. white has nothing else to do

  15. Hey Igor can you please make a video on how to memorize the board the squares and each colors this might help us to calculate better.

  16. at 16:42 an alternative move (with a similar engine valuation) you can play 7. Ne5 ! threatening mate with the bishop to f7 and "sacs the queen" in the process which is always fun. Black's only move to not be even worse is to play 7. … Be6 where you then trade bishops, double their e & f pawns, and just overall have a comfortable position from a human's point of view

  17. Igor I like your attack vs the Caro as I've used the fantasy variation for years and they are similar. Your thoughts on the Fantasy Variation. Thanks as always!

  18. The winning move in the Kann game would appear to be 1. … Rc1. If 2. Qxb6 then Black has 2. … Rxd1 ch to throw in before 3. … axb6, and of course if 2. Rxc1 then 2. … Qxd4 ch winning the whole board.

    Your recommendation for White against the Caro-Kann reminds me of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. Related to that, what do you think of the Fantasy Variation (3. f3)?

  19. I played Igor's f3 line for white and my opponent resigned immediately after the bishop check on f7 trick 😂

  20. As White against the Caro-Kann, do you prefer this opening, or the Tennison Gambit?

  21. A video this well built and explained, while around 20 min. A fantastic constant information stream. This is why I watch, thank you for making this crash course exist I really can not find other videos as excellent as these

  22. For some reason i lose every game with and against the caro kann

  23. Give them a pill to memorise all the lines in caro-kann but if they want to make hasty moves and not analyse properly they will always stay a beginner.

  24. Great video, Igor ⭐
    Let me try to solve the video puzzle. I suggest to move rook to c1 to attack two pieces at once. Oponent is forced to capture queen and then the rook captures at d1 with check. After that I recapture the queen at b6 and I am winning the rook. Hope this was to correct solution 🙂

  25. Igor I always play advance variation as white in the caro khan defense and I always win, I lose only a few times..

  26. I think of the move Rc1.
    If R×c1, Qxd4+ winning queen
    If Qxb6, Rxd1+ and then take the queen
    Btw your videos are amazing. Keep it up. I wish to see more about this opening

  27. I thought you said not to play the caro kann since there is no attacking options for black

  28. Igor, Please do similar video for French defence. Thank you.

  29. Im 400 and everyone I play they play advanced and if I push c pawn then they take every single time. Idk about that being advanced lol

  30. This isn't the main line for caro kan opening

  31. Rcl pinning the d1 rook variation is Rc1 ,qb6 rxd1 after axb6.

  32. exd5 is the best response according to Stockfish even though the advance variation on paper seems better (lichess PC stockfish 16 NNUE 45 depth)

    Edit: Apparently exd5 isn't the best on lichess, you have to look at 4-5 lines to see that it ranks e5 as higher. For some reason looking at 3 engine lines doesn't let you see the best move

  33. I have just tried this line in blitz games and I achieved good results…it was very funny…thanks Igor

  34. 15:18 Rc1 pins their rook forcing the Queen trade and you have Rxd1+ Zwischenzug before taking back the Queen.

  35. Can you please do us a favor and play against Leela at Knight Odds there is now a bot on LiChess called "LeelaKnightOdds" in 5/3 time control, Lots and lots of GMs are loosing please show us that humanity still has a chance

  36. You won me over! I have an adopted coach – but your videos keep popping up in my queue at opportune times and I just have to stop and watch.

    This may be the 5th or 6th video of yours I've seen. I like your presentation, your energy, your matter-of-fact yet inviting style. I want to recoil at yet another example of Russian dominance – but the Cold War is over and your personality shines.

    I wasn't intending to explore the Caro-Kann right now – but the promise of a brief introduction – less than 20 minutes – drew me in. I am mindful of our short attention spans in this age – and although I am a senior, I'm not readily inclined to invest 30 minutes or more on a topic that doesn't interest me, or from a content provider I'm unfamiliar with. You've broken both barriers, GM Smirnov – and I have subscribed. Thank you for sharing your passion for the Game!

  37. What should I play if 1. e4 c6 is followed by 2. c4? The answer to that question would also be interesting in the French defense (1. e4 e6 2. c4)?

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