The Short Variation is currently the most popular variation of the Caro-Kann Defense. White typically plays for a long-term space advantage, slowly improving the position of his pieces.
From other possible options where Black is able to reach roughly equal positions, we recommend 5… Nd7 6. O-O Bg6. The idea is to proceed with Be7, Nh6 and O-O. White has many ways to continue, and generally Black should reach more or less balanced positions with a few accuracies.
[Diagram: White to Move] Black’s last move was f7-f6, undermining White’s pawn center. However, there is a reaction from White that can pose serious problems for his opponent – can you see it?
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