10 June 2012

Annotated Game #49: The evil e-file

The following tournament game was against a much lower-rated player, who nevertheless played well and solidly out of the opening, a Caro-Kann Classical.  Certain decisions he made, including playing 10. c3, indicated that he was probably aiming for a draw rather than a win.  That might help explain him missing 16. Qxd5! which would have nastily exploited the pin on the e-file.

Caro-Kann players need to have an internal radar/warning system about White's play up the e-file, in the Classical variation especially.  While the pressure White can exert with a rook or Queen (usually both) appears to be going nowhere, danger can lurk in various forms, including potential piece sacrifices on e6 and tactical ideas (as in this game) involving the e-file.  Having a solid opening doesn't mean there is no danger, something in the past I repeatedly overlooked by failing to check for tactics on every move.

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