White has a "fantasy" that features 3...dxe4?!
There has been a lot of interest of late in the Caro-Kann Fantasy Variation (1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3!?), which is looking more and more like one of the more viable alternative to the more mainstream Advance Variation (3.e5), Classical (3.Nd2 or 3.Nc3) and Exchange / Panov Attack (3.exd5). Though there was Nikolai Minev's decades-old pamphlet Caro-Kann, Fantasy Variation and Nigel Davies chapter in Gambiteer I (see games at Chessgames), the line otherwise seems mostly discussed in books from the Black perspective (including by Ian Rogers in SOS #3 on 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 e5!?). It does seem a fertile territory for analysis since there is not yet a lot of theory and the lines can get very sharp (so computers can be of great assistance here). ChessBase points out the line's popularity in the recent European Individual Championships and has published a few articles from their ChessBase Magazine [which no longer appear at their website]. For those with subscriptions, I have also seen videos online by Bryan Smith (at ChessLectures.com), by Boris Alterman (at ICC) and by Nigel Davies for Foxy Videos. As my interest is piqued, I figured I'd put together a little webliography. As always, I welcome additions.
- Winning Moves in the Caro-Kann, Fantasy Variation by W.T. Harvey
A collection of puzzles from fantasy variation games might make for good tactical training. Also available in a more interesting form at Chess.com.
- Preview: Gambit Guide: Caro-Kann, Fantasy Gambit by Boris Alterman
A good introduction to the basics of the line, especially for amateurs. You can see the complete series online at ICC if you are a member.
- The Fantasy variation with 3.f3, Parts One, Two and Three, by kingscrusher
Uses three videos to discuss a particularly intricate game arising from the Caro Kann Fantasy variation with 3...e6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Be3.
- Confusing Names by Sverre Johnsen
Discusses one of the author's losses as Black after 3...e6 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bf4 Nf6 6.Qd3 Qa5!?
- Fantasy (Opening Lanes #13) by Gary Lane
Lane is a big fan of the Blackmar-Diemer, so he is naturally interested in the line as White.
- Gibraltar Chess Festival with annotations by Sunil Weeramantry
You will find annotated the game Vachier-Lagrave-Zatonskih from the Gibraltar Chess Festival. Identical content available at Chessville.
- Morozevich - Bologan, Russian League 2004 annotated by Boris Schipkov
Features 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. f3 e6 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Bf4 Ne7 6. Qd3 b6.
- NJKOs Lose to New York Knights by Michael Goeller
Annotates the game Benjamin-Kacheishvili, USCL 2009 with 3...Qb6!?
- Canning the Caro, The Milner Barry Gambit, Part One and Part Two by Tim Mcgrew
Covers the 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.f3!? gambit originated by British GM Milner-Barry, which can transpose.
- Lawrence Trent
No longer on the web (nor in the Internet Archive):
- Fantasy Variation Analysis by Marcus Schmuecker at ChessBase Magazine Online
Analyzes the innovative 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3!? dxe4 4.fxe4 e5 5.Nf3 Bg4! 6.Bc4 Nd7 7.c3! (instead of 7.O-O first). This is probably the most important line to know since it is widely recommended for Black, including by Jovanka Houska in Play the Caro-Kann.
- Fantasy Variation EICC from ChessBase
A collection of games featuring the line from the recent European Individual Championships.
- Analysis by Alfredo Cueva at ChessBase
A reader's analysis of the line1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.f3 dxe4 4.fxe4 e5 5.Nf3 Bg4 6.Bc4 Nd7 7.c3 b5 8.Bd3!
- Nepomniachtchi-Jobava by Knaak at ChessBase
An interesting recent game from the European Ch that began with 3...Qb6 4.a4.