Though Classical Variation of the Caro-Kann Defense has passed the baton of popularity to the Advance Variation, it still has a decent number of its proponents. It typically leads to quiet positions with slight spatial advantage for White, but Black’s usually has no discernible weaknesses in his camp.
The main 11. Bf4 is certainly the most critical line in the Classical Variation, and the modern response 11… Qa5+ 12. Bd2 Bb4 is the most popular way to fight it nowadays. White usually goes for 13. c3 Be7 14. c4, where 14… Qc7 15. O-O-O Ngf6 should leave Black with a sufficient counterplay.
[Diagram: White to Move] A. Van Beek – J. Speelman, Gibraltar 2007. Black’s poorly protected King simply calls for some sacrifice from White. Agreed, but what should he sacrifice, and – most importantly – where?
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