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GM Eugene PerelshteynThe Caro-Kann Defense is an extremely solid opening choice for black against 1. e4. While the Advanced Variation involving 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. e5 is certainly the most topical variation for white in the 21st century, it is definitely the most thoroughly studied and well-known line by Caro-Kann players. However, the Exchange Variation with 1. e4 c6 2. d4 d5 3. exd5 is not nearly as popular because many players (incorrectly!) think that this line is very drawish and promises white little chances to fight for an advantage from the opening.