The main line of the Classical Variation of the Caro-Kann Defense goes 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3, where 10… e6 is covered separately in our Line 313. Another popular choice is 10… Ngf6 11. Bf4 Qa5+ 12. Bd2 Qc7, with the position that can also be reached via a slightly different move order: 10… Qc7 11. Bd2 Ngf6. The game usually continues with 13. O-O-O e6, with the following three moves deserving serious attention: 14. Ne4, 14. Kb1 and 14. Qe2. Though these positions are a bit easier to handle with White, Black is generally able to equalize with a few accuracies.
Move 8. Bd3 is a less committing, but at the same time a less ambitious choice for the players of White, so we recommend it for beginners.
[Diagram: White to Move] S. Sivokho – A. Timofeev, St. Petersburg 2008. Black is ready to play Rd8, easing the pressure created by the white pieces. However, it is White’s turn to move, which he can use to gain a decisive edge. White to play and win in a couple of moves!
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