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Play the Caro-Kann: A Complete Chess Opening Repertoire Against 1E4 Paperback – Apr 1 2007

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Everyman Chess; 1 edition (April 1 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857444345
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857444346
  • Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 1.4 x 22.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 363 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #622,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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.

Customer Reviews

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By Gordon Ritchie TOP 500 REVIEWER on Dec 20 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Much has been written about the Caro-Kann, long respected as a solid alternative to the Sicilian, favoured by great champions including Botvinnik and Karpov (who has published three books on the theory), and currently very popular. For the club player, however, none is better than this work by IM Jovanka Houska. It is billed as a completed chess opening repertoire against 1. e4 and, unusually, largely lives up to that billing. Her recommendations are imaginative but solid. If you are getting one book on this opening, I recommend this be your first choice.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Teaches the Caro kann well, well written and sufficient illustrations.

Covers most variations and the book is written in a way that it is supported by actual games.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa7c1cdc8) out of 5 stars 12 reviews
26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bd9828) out of 5 stars Fantastic Writer! Oct. 11 2007
By Rafael the avid reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Jovanka is a superb writer. I fell in love with the Caro while reading her book. She describes the system with such detail, from the complex to the simple. This is by far one of my favorite chess books in my library of chess books (50+). I look forward to anything else she writes. Maybe something on 1.e4 - d5 would be great.
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!
Spectacular!!!!
30 of 35 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bd987c) out of 5 stars A workable repertoire against 1.e4 July 9 2007
By Strawberry Eater - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Houskas aim with this work is to give solid and active lines against the major white alternatives. Not all of his reccomendations will be to everyones liking. For instance he reccomends the Botvinnik-Karls Gambit against the Advanced Variation (1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.e5 c5!?) where Black loses a tempo, but insists that White will have to work hard to achieve a playable game. His other reccomendations (classical,pannov-attack,exchange) are more "mainstream" but will offer ways to deviate and steer the game into lesser-known channels within the variation.

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.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bd9b58) out of 5 stars A very complete book Oct. 29 2008
By Vishwa Krishnamurthy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have been playing Caro Kann defence for a long time, and though my style of play has changed over the years, my openings haven't.

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.
7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7ba9090) out of 5 stars Read this first Dec 22 2012
By Farley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Before you buy this book there are a couple of things you should know. It's a repertoire book, so the author made choices. If you like the choices she made, then the book MIGHT be helpful; if you don't, the book will be virtually useless. But the question is: are you prepared to judge the author's choices? In other words, do you know anything about the caro-kann? If you don't, then your best bet would be to buy "Understanding the Caro-Kann" by Keene/Mednis.etc Or another way ,which many people dissatisfied with openings books are doing, is, instead of buying these books, they simply download the wikipedia article on the opening. ( Believe me, there isn't much difference!)
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.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7bd993c) out of 5 stars A good book but not really for beginners Jan. 30 2015
By Crafts24Seven - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A good book but not really for beginners, players 1400 to 1900 will get the most from this book but all classes will benefit by reading it.


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