The Karpov Variation has some advantages over other lines in the Caro-Kann Defense. It avoids the sharp and complicated lines of the Advance Variation and the Exchange Variation. It also avoids the risk of pawn storms that can occur in the Two Knights Variation.
However, Black must be ready for unusual lines that White can choose to set a trap. The game below demonstrates the most typical one:
One of the key ideas behind the Karpov Variation is to wait for white to make a move that weakens their position. Black can then launch a counterattack against the weakened pawn structure. This makes it a dynamic opening that can lead to tactical and strategic battles.
If you like playing closed positions, make sure that it doesn’t become too close, ergo prone to surprise attacks like the one we just showed.