Winning Quickly With the Caro-Kann by FM Dennis Monokroussos
The Caro-Kann is a very solid opening, but it can be played for a win. In the recent U.S. Championship Yaroslav Zherebukh tried surprising Hikaru Nakamura with a sideline. Had Nakamura responded in the way prescribed by “official” theory he’d have equalized, but in such a way as to have very few chances to play for a win. Doubtlessly well-prepared, he played more sharply, and forced Zherebukh to take some risks if he wanted any chance for an edge. Zherebukh tried to keep the game quiet, but didn’t manage at all. Everything went wrong for him, and Nakamura won in just 21 moves, with White resigning in a position where his choices were to lose his queen or get mated. The Caro-Kann is not an aggressive opening, but it can be played with ambition!