Sunday, January 09, 2011

Panov Botvinnik (B14) Webliography

I have been trying to figure out how best to meet the Caro Kann.  I have tried a lot of different things, including the Caveman Advance, Apocalypse Exchange, Fantasy, Two Knights (also here), and Short's 2.Nge2, but I am still not satisfied.  Maybe it is time to return to the Panov Botvinnik Attack (B14) with 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4, which (along with the traditional Exchange) was among the first lines I learned and played as a kid.  There are lots of web resources to support exploration, and I have included a number of book sources as well.  If you want a quick-start, you cannot go wrong tracking down Aagaard's book (out of print) and joining ICC to watch the series of excellent videos by Ronen Har-Zvi (previewed above).  There is a video by David Vigorito from which gives a great overview of the whole Panov Botvinnik, including the fianchetto line (I won't embed that one due to the obvious copyright infringement).  I also think just playing over loads of games at a site like Chessgames helps a lot.  I have included some resources related to the isolated queen pawn, and should add Katar's excellent video "Intro to IQP Openings for White."  I am sure there are additional resources out there I have overlooked, so I welcome additions from readers.

Web Sources

Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack (B14) at
A useful collection for reviewing some games.  I find this is always the best place to start when learning a new opening.  You can also find some good focused games collections here:

Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack from 365Chess
Another good games collection to click through online.  Unlike, however, here you cannot download game files without membership.

The Panov Attack, Fianchetto Variation by Eric Schiller
From the web archives, presents a well-organized analysis of lines with Black g6, which I think is Black's best approach.

The Openings Explained #4 by Abby Marshall at ChessCafe
Covers the endgame line that follows Nc6 and Bg4 by Black.  A good substitute for that section of Aagaard's book.

An Unusual Weapon Against the Caro-Kann Part One by Andrew Martin

An Unusual Weapon Against the Caro-Kann Part Two by Andrew Martin

An Unusual Weapon Against the Caro-Kann Part Three by Andrew Martin
Martin advocates an early c5 advance for White, gaining space and control of dark squares.  I have played this line myself and like it a lot -- it is somewhat more positional than the more dynamic Panov lines which can get a little crazy.

Meeting the Panov-Botvinnik Attack wth the Albin Counter Gambit by Dennis Monokroussos

Winning Moves in the Panov-Botvinnik Attack by WT Harvey

Steiner's Variation vs The Caro Kann by Stefan Bucker at ChessCafe
The line with 1.e4 c6 2.c4 can often transpose to the Panov, but it also has some interesting byways worth exploring.

Selected Books, CDs, and DVDs

Jacob Aagaard, Easy Guide to the Panov-Botvinnik Attack (Cadogan Chess 1998)
This is a great book for amateur players, with lots of advice and explanations, including very useful diagrams so you "get the picture" right away and useful discussion of middlegame strategy.  The game examples are logical and very memorable.  I am especially impressed by his coverage of "the Classical Endgame" that arises after 1. e4 c6 2. c4 d5 3. exd5 cxd5 4. d4 Nf6 5. Nc3 Nc6 6. Nf3 Bg4 7. cxd5 Nxd5 8. Qb3 Bxf3 9. gxf3 e6 10. Qxb7 Nxd4 11. Bb5+ Nxb5 12. Qc6+ Ke7 13. Qxb5 Qd7 14. Nxd5+ Qxd5 etc. which makes this line more attractive for people who are often intimidated by positions where the queens are off. He also has a section quite explicitly labeled "Avoiding the Endgame" which is equally good.

Sam Collins, An Attacking Repertoire for White (Batsford 2005)
An excellent repertoire book based on isolani themes that includes Sveshnikov's favorites, including the c3-Sicilian, Advance French, and Panov Botvinnik.

Sam Collins.  1. e4 Repertoire: Grandmaster Lines Explained for Club Players (ChessBase 2009)  A slightly different repertoire from the earlier book, but mostly representing an improvement since it exchanges the Giuoco Piano for the Scotch.
Jovanka Houska, Play the Caro-Kann (Everyman 2007)
I think this is a good repertoire book and it is rightly popular among amateurs.  For that reason alone, it is worth knowing her suggestions for Black, which are 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 cxd5 4.c4 Nf6 5.Nc3 Nc6 going into main lines: if 6.Nf3 Bg4 and if 6.Bg5 e6 and 7...Be7

Anatoly Karpov and Mikhail Podgaets, Karpov's Caro-Kann Defence: Panov's Attack (Batsford 2006)
Along with Aagard's book, this is one of the few good things ever written on the Panov Botvinnik and it bears the name of a former World Champion known to play the defense.  So it would seem like a must-have book, though it is definitely very Black biased.  See review by Jeremy Silman, who is quite enthusiastic, and Bill McGeary who is less so.  

Zoran Petronijevic, Caro-Kann Panov Attack ChessBase CD 2004
See Preview from Steve Lopez describing it, very positive review from Carsten Hansen
Useful Isolani Resources
Alexander Baburin, Winning Pawn Structures (Batsford 2003)
This contemporary classic book should be in the collection of every chessplayer whose repertoire might ever generate an isolani situation.  Despite the title, it is really a textbook on the isolani and related structures and the last book you will need on that score.  What makes this book especially useful is that the majority of its examples could arise from either a 1.e4 or 1.d4 move order, so it is quite relevant to any isolani repertoire, especially to positions that can arise from the Caro Kann or the French.  This book is currently out of print, but you likely can find free copies online -- or borrow it from a friend and copy the useful bits.  Batsford really ought to bring out a second edition.

Ivan Sokolov, Winning Chess Middlegames: An Essential Guide to Pawn Structures (New in Chess 2008)

Sokolov is brilliant and this is a very good book, with over 100 pages devoted to isolani positions.  However, the game examples are exclusively Queen's Gambits, so I did not find the positions always as relevant to an e-pawn repertoire.

Isolani Lecture by Steve Stoyko
A great introduction to isolated pawn themes.

Pieces in Motion: The Isolated Queen Pawn by Manny Paddy Fealy

Intro to IQP Openings for White by Katar

1 comment:

ed g. said...

Back when I was still playing tournaments, I found the Steiner hard to play against. Not that it leads to a definite White advantage, but Black is walking on the lip of a volcano--and if he doesn't fall in, White still gets to play a fairly normal isolani position.

The early c5 line Martin advocates is trash IMO. I played it a few times in the 80s when it was advocated by Keene-and-somebody in a repertoire book, and got horrible positions. The Black reacts with a quick ...e5 left me struggling for equality; Martin (like Keene) shows Black being very cooperative.