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anaxagoras 73 ( +1 | -1 )
1 e4 c6 2 d4 d5 3 f3 The so called "fantasy variation" is actually a potent opening. I am usually a very solid 1...c6 player, but was soundly thrashed the other night by this mysterious opening that I almost never see. 3...e6 seems too timid for me, but I like the line that continues:

3... dxe4
4 fxe4 e5
5 Nf3...

but I missed the necessary 5... Be6 and lost quickly after:

5... exd4
6 Bc4! followed by white's kingside castling plus Ng5.

theory continues with:

5 Nf3 Be6
6 Bg5 Be7
7 Bxe7 Qxe7
8 Nc3 Bg4
9 Bc4 Nd7
10 d5 Ngf6

Other helpful hints and strategy would be greatly appreciated here, as I'm having an enormously difficult time countering this disreputable opening. Does anyone here play the fantasy variation or have good familiarity playing against it? Thanx.

skeeterss0 40 ( +1 | -1 )
Not well versed on the fantasy but I have the book "Starting out: The Caro-Kann" by joe gallagher. In it he states white has a 61% score in the fantasy variation. His advise to black is to keep the position closed.

A couple of third moves he also approached that you didn't mention were 3...e5 and 3...g7.

In actual games he only shows black winning in 2 of them. One with 3...e6 and one with 3...e5.

I don't know if this helps but I hope it does some
spurtus 15 ( +1 | -1 )
For the record.. Joe Gallagher... (and unlike most chess writers) writes very comprehensible books, I read the KID book... good stuff!

Spurtus
skeeterss0 26 ( +1 | -1 )
Gallagher & Nunn Yes I'm a big fan of both Joe Gallagher and John Nunn. Both of their explanations and analysis are easy to understand. I have just started studying chess books over the last couple of years and find them better than most authors.

anaxagoras 11 ( +1 | -1 )
Thanx for the tip! I bought the book and have found very useful information about the fantasy variation.
atrifix 23 ( +1 | -1 )
I don't know much about the Caro-Kann (particularly the Fantasy variation), but if you're not averse to playing French-like positions, you can play 3... e6 (e.g., 4. Nc3 Bb4 5. Be3). Also 3... e5 4. dxe5 Qb6!? is a critical line, but this tends to be unlike normal C-K positions.
john_wr 80 ( +1 | -1 )
I prefer 2. Nc3 instead of d4 It seems almost routine for White to play 2. d4, but White has some opening tricks
by delaying d4, as recommended by English GM Leonard Barden; Here are a couple
of examples the first from an OTB game from a local league which I have now played
twice, also occured in a Grandmaster .v. a group of Cambridge University Players.
1. e4 c6, 2. Nc3 d5, 3. Nf3 dxe4, 4. Nxe4 Nd7, 5. Qe2 Ngf6??, 6. Nd6 ++ 1-0
(I realize that most players will not fall for this and play the correct Ndf6)

The other trap goes, 1. e4 c6, 2. Nc3 d5, 3. Nf3 dxe4, 4. Nxe4 Bf5, 5. Ng3 Bg6, 6.
h4 h6, 7. Ne5 Bh7, 8. Bc4 e6, 9. Qh5 g6, 10. Qe2 and there are now several ways
for Black to go wrong; Nf6 Be7 or any other Knight or Bishop move loses to Nxf7,
Black can instead play Qf6 but many players overlook the threat of Nxf7 and choose
to continue developing a minor piece.

Hope this is of interest.
John

anaxagoras 33 ( +1 | -1 )
That's called the Two Knight's game, John. I see it a lot at chess clubs but it's not so popular in master strength chess because it's thought that Black can acheive a comfortable game with:

3...Bg4 4 h3 Bxf3 5 Qxf3 e6, and now White's two bishop advantage cannot be turned to account until the position opens up, which, could be a while.
amleto 11 ( +1 | -1 )
john_wr, doesnt "the correct Ndf6" still 'lose' to 6.Nd6+ follwed by Nxf7 forking queen and rook?
atrifix 4 ( +1 | -1 )
No 6. Nd6+ drops a piece after 6... Qxd6.
john_wr 8 ( +1 | -1 )
atrifix is correct.. .. with his reply to amleto's comment; 6... Qxd6 must be winning for Black.