Caro-Kann Defense

Chessboard showing the Caro-Kann Defense with the moves 1. e4 c6 played
Learn the Opening
Play against Stockfish

From beginners to grandmasters, the Caro-Kann opening finds proponents at any level. This opening offers Black a solid game with a good pawn structure.

Use this opening if you like to get into endgames.

Video content

If you want to learn the Caro-Kann opening there are many YouTube videos you can study.

Hanging Pawns has created a video series about the opening. In 10 videos the ideas of the opening are presented, main variations are covered, and sample games are shown.

Caleb Denby also covered the Caro-Kann extensively in a series for the Saint Louis Chess Club. In six videos a lot of valuable information is given. He also introduced many plans for the middle game in the structures that arise out of the opening.

Sample lines

With his opening move Black plans the subsequent expansion in the center with 2 … d5.

In contrast to the Scandinavian Defence, where 1. … d5 is played directly in the first move, Black can now, after having captured the pawn (3. exd5), strike back with a pawn (3. … cxd5) and thus maintain his central position. The Caro-Kann follows the same idea as the French Defence, 1. … e6. Essential differences to the French defence are, among other things, that the white square bishop c8 can be developed on the diagonal c8-h3 and is not blocked by the pawn on e6. Furthermore, no symmetrical position is created after an exchange on d5. That the Caro-Kann Defence is nevertheless played less frequently than the French Defence is due to the fact that it is more difficult for Black to attack the white center than in the French Defence with c5, Nc6, Qc7/Qb6/Qa5.

Studies about the Caro-Kann Defense

Learn the Caro-Kann Defense using public studies.

gotham's caro-kann
154 by ozzion

gotham's caro-kann defense from the video and subsequent lichess study

Caro-Kann defence
48 by Ja

Caro-Kann by Mr_Penings

Caro Kann Defence - Complete Repertoire
31 by BlitzableOnLiStudy

The Caro–Kann Defence is a chess opening characterised by the moves: 1. e4 c6 The Caro–Kann is a common defence against the King's Pawn Opening and is classified as a "Semi-Open Game" like the Sicilian Defence and French Defence, although it is thought to be more solid and less dynamic than either of those openings. It often leads to good endgames for Black, who has the better pawn structure. The Caro–Kann allows Black to circumvent enormous bodies of theory of various responses to 1.e4 such as the Ruy Lopez and the Sicilian Defence. Unlike its sister opening, the French Defence, the Caro–Kann allows Black to develop their light-squared bishop, although at the cost of a tempo because Black has to play 1.c6 before pushing the pawn to c5, whereas in the French defence Black can push c5 in one move. The drawbacks of the Caro–Kann are that white can combat it in several different ways, often gaining a space advantage and black has less mobility and a lag in development. In present-day

Fantasy Variation vs the caro Kann
14 by alphadave

This is a study of the fantasy variation opening vs the caro-kann defense by gotham chess. Link to the video:

Caro-Kann Defense Repetoire
11 by hideyogirl

I did not create this study.

Caro-Kann Advanced
9 by RelationalBeing

In this study black can practice the different variations of the Caro-Kann advanced

Play against Stockfish

Play the Caro-Kann Defense
Play against the Caro-Kann Defense

Do you want to try out the Caro-Kann Defense? Train this opening against Stockfish.

Play against Stockfish either as white or black and explore the opening.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Caro-Kann Defense?

The Caro-Kann Defense is a chess opening for black. In the Caro-Kann Defence, Black responds with pawn to c6 to White's opening of pawn to e4. It is considered a solid opening that gives Black a good game with a solid pawn structure.

Is the Caro-Kann Defense better than the French Defense?

In the Caro-Kann defence the white bishop is not trapped in by the e6-pawn. However, it is easier for black to attack the center in the French defence. So it is a matter of opinion on which you prefer in your games.