Originally Posted by Discipline
Random thought: I have a lot of trouble playing against 1. ...d5 and 2. ...Qxd5. Part of it is that people play it so rarely that I simply don't have much experience against it. (The corollary here is, of course, that offbeat openings have some extra value due to their offbeat nature.) But part of it is that Black gets these really annoying, solid position with pawns on c6 and e6 and then a knight comes to d5 and I feel like the position has become equal. also, if White's not careful there are some tricks with ...Qh5 at some point after ...Bg4. Maybe I should actually look into the theory?
That is actually why I've chosen caro-kann!
This is the pawn formation I usually get with Scandinavian defense:
It looks like black is really cramped. But there are few attackable weaknesses in black's camp, as long as he keeps d6 under control! And even with no exchanges, his pieces can find comfortable squares. e.g.:
Nb8-d7-b6-d5, or Nb8-a6-c7 in some circumstances
If white's blocked his c-pawn he can also move a knight to d5.
Generally people say I shouldn't play this because it's cramped and stuff but ok so what! What are you doing to do about it. Unless you know the theory or have good strategic sense, it's hard for white to find a constructive plan. But black has clear plans with c6-c5 and e6-e5.
And well, one of the caro-kann basic pawn formations is exactly this formation. There is another one that looks like the French defense, and another one that looks like a QGD. So the Caro-Kann is a natural transition for me from 1...d5.
(Pro tip: as white, some good themes to try include c4 -> d5; lockdown of the e5 square; trade his dark squared bishop away and kick ass on the weak dark squares; or the one I seem to face most often which is: go for a barbaric kingside attack and fail and trade into a pawn down endgame where black has a superior pawn structure but then lose because it's 5 minute blitz and black took too long moving and he falls into elementary knight forks which is totally annoying)