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Play the Caro-Kann: A Complete Chess Opening Repertoire Against 1E4 Paperback – Apr 1 2007
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From the Back Cover
The Caro-Kann is a reliable yet at the same time dynamic answer to White’s most popular opening move, 1 e4. It has the seal of approval of numerous leading Grandmasters including Vishy Anand, Evgeny Bareev and Alexey Dreev, as well as former World Champion Anatoly Karpov, who has utilized it with great success throughout his illustrious career. One of the attractions of the Caro-Kann is that it suits a variety of different styles; it can lead to wild tactical battles as well as quiet, positional play.Jovanka Houska is a young International Master who has taken the big step of becoming Britain’s only female chess professional. Highlights of her short career so far include winning the European Girls Junior Championship, representing the England team at numerous Chess Olympiads and qualifying for the 2006 Women’s World Championship. She is also a regular writer for both CHESS and ChessMoves.
About the Author
Jovanka Houska is Britain’s only female chess professional. Career highlights so far include winning the European Girls Junior Championship, representing the England team at numerous Chess Olympiads, and qualifying for the 2006 Women’s World Championship. She is resident in the UK.
Top Customer Reviews
Covers most variations and the book is written in a way that it is supported by actual games.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As for the book... its money well spent. She provides such analysis for the Bf5 variation. 70+ pages alone. Neil McDonalds Caro Main line provided approximatly 50 and as the title goes it was only based around the main lines. Houska Provides her reader with what seems to be all possible continuations (Of course, not all continuations but really close!!!) And when continuations are interlinked she explains the reasons behind relevent positions.
And, frankly, it makes me feel good to see that not only did she recommend these lines in this book, but she also practices them over the board!
Each chapter is setup very nicely with a discussion of general ideas (ie: aims at which both sides would like to accomplish and the moves that will support each of these aims and moves that might nullify them). He also will bring up any sacrifices that both sides should be aware of in certain variations. Then he will dive into theory and will take time to explain the rationale behind key moves.
Overall, the book is a fine resource on the Caro-Kann. If one is looking for a playable repertoire all in one volume, you can find it right here. But this book is equally useful for players that have certain preference on variations "within" the Caro-Kann, and are looking for original ways to reply to a line that might be causing trouble in over-the-board play.
This book defies the myth that Caro Kann is only for those who play very defensively. The author shows that you can have sharp games even if you choose to play 1... c6. All major lines are discussed in detail. The fundamentals/ideas of each line are explained very well too.
Some ideas are very interesting. The ones that appealed most to me were castling short in the main line, playing an early ...Qc7 in the exchange variation and 3... c5 in the advanced variation.
The only negative that I can think of is that the author makes it feel like Black is better in almost all the lines, which is not true.
If, on the other hand, you know a little bit, then you should check the table of contents to see if the author's choices appeal to you. For instance, there isn't a single word on 4....Nd7, a common line in the Caro-Kann. The author preferred 4...Bf5.
For the Advance Variation the author suggests a Gambit!! This is anathema to the style of a Caro-Kann player! He chooses this defense because of its solidity. If he were willing to play a gambit, he wouldn't be playing the Caro-Kann. Any attempt to be modernish sounds ridiculous.
So look twice before you leap.