Karpov Variation of the Caro-Kann Defense (B17) ⎸Chess Openings

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Caro-Kann Defense – Karpov Variation B17 ⎸Chess Openings for Tournament Players

The Karpov Variation is a great way for black to challenge white’s main line against the Caro-Kann. Instead of going for Bf5, the most common move, Nd7 is a great alternative.

For the theory of the Caro-Kann Defense, the basic ideas and principles, watch this video:

The variation occurs after the moves:

1.e4 c6
2.d4 d5
3.Nc3 dxe4
4.Nxe4 Nd7 – entering the Karpov Caro-Kann. From this position on white has five main replies, each is covered in detail. The most common reply, and the main line of the Karpov Variation is:

1:45 5.Nf3

The alternatives are:

10:19 5. Bc4 – the most common sideline, often transposing to Nf3
13:46 5. Ng5 – an aggressive line, but easily dealt with
15:08 5. Qe2 – a one-trick line in which black easily equalizes
16:00 5. Bd3 – this is the most passive continuation for white

The Karpov is very solid for black and it can often surprise your opponents since not many people know this line. Here are the videos on the more common variations of the Caro-Kann:

The Advance Variation:
The Exchange Variation:
The Panov-Botvinnik Attack:
The Fantasy Variation:


  1. The Tartakower has offered me mixed results. I am going to try this. Thanks!

  2. this is super cool as usual. Will you make a video about Caro-Kann Two Knights variation or did i miss one?

  3. Nice, very nice, thank you, would like to request if you could do the same for the sicilian accelerated dragon and the caro kann brother the slav

  4. Very nice video !It really helped me for my preparation!

  5. 5. Ng5 – an aggressive line, but easily dealt with – completely wrong, black has to play lots of accurate moves to survive, so 4. …Nd7 was for years under the cloud and only recently Ding revived this line.

  6. This was my first video of yours I watched. You spoke with such authority, clarity, speed, and logic – and the depth of your presentation was perfect as well (beautiful English, too). I was amazed when I saw another video of yours and learned that I was a couple of hundred ELO or more above you, when I had assumed after this video you were at least an IM. I've rewatched this one a couple of times, and am still in awe. Bravo!

  7. Deep Blue won Kasparov using the "weak" Ng5 variation!

  8. I didn't like the Caro Kann as black before watching this series…now I think that the Caro Kann is quite good and positional reply to 1.e4

  9. What do you think about pinning the knight with bg4?

  10. Thank you a lot for this very instructive video. I am from Istanbul/Turkey and I met your channel a little while ago. I am thinking to look at all your Caro-Kann videos. May I ask you to speak a bit slower. I hope I am not alone to ask that 🙂 🙂

  11. on 12:55 what if Nxf7? Will it be the same because you retreated your knight to d7?

  12. Nf3, Pgf6, NxN, NxN, c3, Bf5, Ne5, e6, g4!? Is what I lately encountered. What do you suggest there?

  13. Bro can u do a kings indian attack video..

  14. Hi, I'm Gabriel, I'm Brazilian and I'm watching the playlist to learn and improve my repertoire, I met the channel a week ago and I'm really enjoying it, great videos, I learn a lot! I will start the series of ninzoindia defense. Thanks for the videos and the channel! Manda um abraço para a galera do Brasil hahahahaha/ (Send a hug to the guys from Brazil hahahahaha) 😁😀

  15. I enjoy how you showcase not only the basic mecanics but the directing idea proper! Thanks!

  16. master add me on your facebook i want to learn more to you idea how to beat oponent good advice imrovenent about Chess

  17. 7:05 I think you should've talked about the big blunder Bg4 for Black, with Ne5 winning the game.

  18. That seems cool to try for that one game in a hundred where white doesn't play the advanced variation

  19. Awesome video series, I love it! In the Bc4 variation, it's important to mention not to develop your Bishop to the naturally looking g4, because that already loses after Bxf7, Kxf7 and Ne5 😀

  20. i had been hunting for a different way to meet e4 after playing the Caro-Kann most of my life. However, I've never tried this variation. I think I'll abandon the other things I was trying and return to the Caro-Kann. I find this variation interesting and I think it will invigorate my passion for the Caro-Kann. Thanks for the nice video.

  21. These lectures combined with LiStudy and I’m understanding this so much better. Highly recommend combining these lectures with either Chessable or LiStudy which both use spaced repetition which helps massively in committing basic theory moves to memory. Thanks!

  22. "5.Ng5 is an inferior move, and 5.Qe2 is a tricky move?" What? I think 5.Ng5 is the move still preferred by GMs, and 5.Qe2 is a patzer's trick.

  23. Lost to 5.Qe2 once 🤦🏿‍♂️

  24. Exceptional series, thank you! I would love to see such a good series about Nimzo-Larsen

  25. I came to this video because I'm looking on Lichess and it says 5.Ng5 is the most common move for masters and has the highest winrate. So I'm not sure why you are saying it's inferior. It also has the highest winrate when looking at the entire database. There has to be a reason for this, disappointed you just kind of skipped over it.

  26. I saw the video this morning while having coffee, this afternoon I logged in to play blitz, got the Karpov variation on the board and won fairly easy! Do you review games?

  27. Very great effort from you is felt by everyone who watched this. I am glad to see people like you making such effort and putting it as free content on Youtube. Words cannot describe my happiness that I am getting better in the opening I like without paying for it. Thanks!!

  28. This is the most solid line. Karpov was Karpov for a reason. […4 K d7].
    Thanks Stefan.

  29. Isn't it also called the Steinitz Variation?

  30. There's another deadly trap after Qe2 on move 5 for white, because if you play something normal like Ngf3 there's a smothered mate for white on d6. So 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. nxe4 nd7 5. Qe2 nf6(??) 6. nd6#

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