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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Repertoire for Black in the Catalan... (Read 31418 times)
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #66 - 05/14/13 at 12:34:13
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The Catalan has lost some of its prestige lately, black is finding more and more lines to equalise and win.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #65 - 12/13/12 at 07:15:32
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Ok, thx. I also think White has the better chances in the variations with ...Bd6, but I guess that actually most White players at club level won't be able to navigate these correctly. I just wanted to see if I missed something in this particular one, since I meet the variation with ...Bd6 directly pretty often as White playing at Playchess. I have that one under control, but not this one, since Nfd2 is not available.

I am playing the Catalan from the White side, but am also thinking of adding the QGD to my repertoire for Black and I think the Catalan is pretty popular even at club level nowadays. However, most players sub-200 don't seem to have a good idea of how to play from either side. Cox's recommendation is probably what I'll start with, even though I also have thought about the recommendation in Kotronias Beat the Flank Openings.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #64 - 12/12/12 at 21:31:32
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I've stood at += in this for awhile now, see the game M. Kraemer-S. Ovsejevitsch, 2007. Keano may still think it's equal, but my investigations don't lead me to believe as such.

You can reach your own conclusions, I suppose. I stand by my convictions.

There are bigger fish for white to (try to) fry in the Catalan than this at the moment, in my opinion.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #63 - 12/07/12 at 15:18:21
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I was looking into the recommendations of Avrukh, and dug up this old thread.

In the Semi-Slav set-up tried with ...Bd6 (without the check on b4), Bologan clearly recommends Nfd2 (both in his Chessbase video and book), and says he stopped playing the variation precisely because of that move. I.e. 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 Nf3 5.Nbd7 6.0-0 Bd6.

He also mentions the line with the check on b4, but can't remember the conclusion. This was with the game Meier-Ponomariov, 2010, in the video.

Do you have anything new on these lines? BP, do you still stand by equal for Black?
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #62 - 10/27/10 at 05:48:53
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I think the question is somewhat incoherent (e.g., you can't have a repertoire with the Lasker and the Tartakower, you have to choose one or the other, and they are rather different), but my first thought is that the Tartakower is perhaps similar in spirit to the (now seemingly deeply unpopular) Closed Catalan.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #61 - 10/27/10 at 03:19:43
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If I was going to make repertoire based on the lasker defense and the tartakower defense(something similar to cox's forthcoming "Declining the queen's gambit" book), what line against the catalan is consistent with the style of play of the lasker/tartakower?


What about the lines topalov tried against Anand in their World champ match? It is given below.

[Event "Anand-Topalov World Chess Championship"]
[Site "1:07:33-0:58:33"]
[Date "2010.01.03"]
[EventDate "2010.04.23"]
[Round "2"]
[Result "1-0"]
[White "Viswanathan Anand"]
[Black "Veselin Topalov"]
[ECO "E04"]
[WhiteElo "2787"]
[BlackElo "2805"]
[PlyCount "85"]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 a6 6.Ne5 c5 7.Na3
cxd4 8.Naxc4 Bc5 9.O-O O-O 10.Bd2 Nd5 11.Rc1 Nd7 12.Nd3 Ba7
13.Ba5 Qe7 14.Qb3 Rb8 15.Qa3 Qxa3 16.bxa3 N7f6 17.Nce5 Re8
18.Rc2 b6 19.Bd2 Bb7 20.Rfc1 Rbd8 21.f4 Bb8 22.a4 a5 23.Nc6
Bxc6 24.Rxc6 h5 25.R1c4 Ne3 26.Bxe3 dxe3 27.Bf3 g6 28.Rxb6 Ba7
29.Rb3 Rd4 30.Rc7 Bb8 31.Rc5 Bd6 32.Rxa5 Rc8 33.Kg2 Rc2 34.a3
Ra2 35.Nb4 Bxb4 36.axb4 Nd5 37.b5 Raxa4 38.Rxa4 Rxa4 39.Bxd5
exd5 40.b6 Ra8 41.b7 Rb8 42.Kf3 d4 43.Ke4 1-0

  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #60 - 10/21/10 at 09:22:41
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Well I checked Avrukh last night and it doesn't seem like he covers this move order with 7...Nbd7 instead of 7...0-0, so its yet another new position to ponder over.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #59 - 10/20/10 at 15:10:40
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I'll check it later...

btw - came across a 2010 game in the stonewall:

Avrukh, B - Gofshtein, L. , 2010
1. d4 e6 2. c4 f5 3. g3 Nf6 4. Bg2 d5 5. Nf3 c6 6. O-O Bd6 7. Nc3 Nbd7 8. Qc2 Ne4 9. Nxe4 dxe4 10. Ng5 Nf6 11. f3 h6 12. Nh3 e5 13. fxe4 Nxe4 14. g4 14... Nf6 15. gxf5 O-O 16. c5 Bc7 17. dxe5 Qd4+ 18. Kh1 Bxe5 19. e4 Re8 20. Rb1 b6 21.
Qb3+ Kh7 22. Be3 Qd8 23. Bf3 bxc5 24. Rg1 Qc7 25. Rg2 Rb8 26. Qc2 Ba6 27. b3
Rbd8 28. Rbg1 Rd7 29. Qf2 Bd4 30. Bxd4 cxd4 31. Qh4 Qe5 32. Ng5+ Kh8 33. Ne6
Rg8 34. Nf4 Kh7 35. Ng6 Qe8 36. e5 Nd5 37. f6 Bd3 38. Be4 1-0


I like Blacks play a lot in the opening here, there are various improvements - 14...Qh4!? being just one. So by analogy I am thinking of taking with the d-pawn in our own line with a white pawn on b3 and Bishop on d2. Gofshtein is a lot stronger than I am so I'll have to bow to his wisdom here.  I think the plan works OK here also, even though White has the extra possibility of Bc3 but its no big deal.

Does anybody know if Avrukh recommends 9. Nxe4 in his own book in that position from his game above, or does he go for 9.Rb1? Or have we strayed too far off topic  Wink  Dont think so though because there is a direct comparison between the 2 positions...
« Last Edit: 10/20/10 at 16:56:46 by Keano »  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #58 - 10/20/10 at 14:37:33
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Keano wrote on 10/20/10 at 14:30:55:
Sorry I added to my previous post: 12...h6 Dont think 13.fxe4 is working so I'm assuming Black is doing OK. Would help if I played the stonewall, but I'll chance my arm, its still chess.


13. fxe4 is tame.

13. Nh3 is completely dangerous. Once you have the chance to do some engine analysis you'll see why.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #57 - 10/20/10 at 14:30:55
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Sorry I added to my previous post: 12...h6 Dont think 13.fxe4 is working so I'm assuming Black is doing OK. Would help if I played the stonewall, but I'll chance my arm, its still chess.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #56 - 10/20/10 at 14:26:52
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Keano wrote on 10/20/10 at 14:18:48:
But isnt Marin dealing with normal Catalan with the Bishop on c1, or does he deal with the check also? The point here is Black is trying to claim the Bd2 would be better off on its original square. Will check that Ng5 idea, not got an engine now but just looked OK to me for Black. I think with a Queen on c2 instead of pawn on b3 and B on d2 its a direct transposition to Avrukhs analysis. Would be interesting to compare the difference.


Marin discusses Stonewall structures with Bb4+-e7 included, however Bb4+-d6 doesn't change the fact that Stonewalls equalize completely versus Rd1, and with b3 only if white has combined it with Qc2.

It's noteworthy that white's 11. Ng5 resource in this position wouldn't work if black's Bd6 were on e7.

Not surprisingly Ponomariov only uses ...Ne4 when faced with Qc2+Rd1 (his aforementioned game against Topalov), and Ponomariov is the biggest name that plays this continuation with great regularity.

Quote:
Seems to me it must be a big improvement for Black and White will have to go Qc2 anyhow. Where is this big initiative coming from after f3 - cant I go 12...h6, or is 13.fxe4 coming there... ah that might be messy.


White doesn't play Qc2. Some fascinating lines come out of the engine's analysis (13. Nh3 is way more dangerous than 13. fxe4, by the way) but black is under serious pressure.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #55 - 10/20/10 at 14:18:48
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But isnt Marin dealing with normal Catalan with the Bishop on c1, or does he deal with the check also? The point here is Black is trying to claim the Bd2 would be better off on its original square. Will check that Ng5 idea, not got an engine now but just looked OK to me for Black. I think with a Queen on c2 instead of pawn on b3 and B on d2 its a direct transposition to Avrukhs analysis. Would be interesting to compare the difference. Seems to me it must be a big improvement for Black and White will have to go Qc2 anyhow. Where is this big initiative coming from after f3 - cant I go 12...h6, or is 13.fxe4 coming there... ah that might be messy.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #54 - 10/20/10 at 14:00:50
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Keano wrote on 10/20/10 at 13:55:16:
hmmm not quite, what I mean its its some kind of normal stonewall position slightly improved for Black (i.e. put a Queen on c2 instead of the pawn on b3 and Bishop on d2 and thats a standard position). White has gained a move, but not really because b3 and Bd2 dont fit well. The line you gave looks decent enough for Black to me after 11...Nf6, but perhaps we need a stonewall expert to chime in.


The improved Stonewall positions occur when Rd1 is played. This is old news (see: Marin's Catalan database for a discussion of when Stonewall set-ups are, and aren't okay when reached from Catalans).

11...Nf6 12. f3 and white has a serious initiative, you can use an engine to verify it. Aside from that, there's a reason black doesn't play ...Ne4 too early in the normal Stonewall - it can easily end up being premature.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #53 - 10/20/10 at 13:55:16
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BPaulsen wrote on 10/20/10 at 09:50:09:

8...Ne4 9. Nc3 f5 10. Nxe4 fxe4 11. Ng5 is far from easy for black.
Stonewalls work best when white plays Rd1 (see: Topalov-Ponomariov, despite the final result).
It's no surprise that in practice black has avoided Stonewall set-ups versus b3.


hmmm not quite, what I mean its its some kind of normal stonewall position slightly improved for Black (i.e. put a Queen on c2 instead of the pawn on b3 and Bishop on d2 and thats a standard position). White has gained a move, but not really because b3 and Bd2 dont fit well. The line you gave looks decent enough for Black to me after 11...Nf6, but perhaps we need a stonewall expert to chime in.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #52 - 10/20/10 at 11:40:54
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Like I said, dunno. Why dont you ask him if you're that interested.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #51 - 10/20/10 at 11:38:26
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Thats what he talked about on his PowerPlay show??
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #50 - 10/20/10 at 10:14:53
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ghenghisclown wrote on 10/20/10 at 09:51:57:
I guess nobody knows which line King recommended.


No. He played the Toppy line with ...a5 himself against Andrew ledger in the 4NCL though, take your bets.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #49 - 10/20/10 at 09:51:57
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I guess nobody knows which line King recommended.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #48 - 10/20/10 at 09:50:09
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Keano wrote on 10/20/10 at 09:26:30:
Yes. 8.b3 is another interesting move in this system. I reckon Black can eventually equalize in the 9...b6 line, and this is the move Turov has been playing and the approach I like myself. Have to admit its a bit dry though, and White is the one playing for anything.


It's a long defense after 9...b6 10. e4. Obviously there's no forced win, black should likely draw with best play, but white is easier to play and the only one playing for anything. That's pretty much a normal +=.

Quote:
In that particular move-order though I reckon Black has 8...Ne4!? If nothing else he must be able to transpose to an improved type of stonewall then, although perhaps he can avoid playing ...f5 altogether. 8...Ne4 makes a lot of sense to me after White takes a move out for b3.


8...Ne4 9. Nc3 f5 10. Nxe4 fxe4 11. Ng5 is far from easy for black.

Stonewalls work best when white plays Rd1 (see: Topalov-Ponomariov, despite the final result).

It's no surprise that in practice black has avoided Stonewall set-ups versus b3.

  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #47 - 10/20/10 at 09:26:30
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BPaulsen wrote on 10/20/10 at 03:57:21:
A game that got little press because it was a short draw is interesting from the white perspective - in the final position white had a small edge. This system has parallels to a line Marin assesses as += versus the standard Bd6 line.

Meier-Ponomariov, Sestao 2010.
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Nf3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 6. Bg2 c6 7. 0-0 Nbd7 8. b3 0-0 9. Nc3 Re8 (9...b6 10. e4 Nxe4 11. Nxe4 dxe4 12. Ng5 Nf6 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 +=, white will be able to achieve c4-c5 hampering black's position and black will be in for a long, arduous defense, 9...h6 10. Qc2 looks perfectly fine for white) 10. Qc2 (this set-up for white is more common with the Bc1, but the way the game unfolds shows the Bd2 isn't a drawback) dxc4 11. bxc4 e5 (standard in these sorts of positions) 12. e3 (white is quite willing to take on hanging pawns as black's piece set-up is not well suited to handle them, in comparison to the standard hanging pawn structures the c-file is closed, and this feature also favors white) Nf8!? 13. dxe5 Bxe5 14. Nxe5 Rxe5 15. Ne2 Re8 16. Bb4 +=. The game score continues Bd7, but that was probably just included in the notation at the draw offer.

Food for thought.


Yes. 8.b3 is another interesting move in this system. I reckon Black can eventually equalize in the 9...b6 line, and this is the move Turov has been playing and the approach I like myself. Have to admit its a bit dry though, and White is the one playing for anything.

In that particular move-order though I reckon Black has 8...Ne4!? If nothing else he must be able to transpose to an improved type of stonewall then, although perhaps he can avoid playing ...f5 altogether. 8...Ne4 makes a lot of sense to me after White takes a move out for b3.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #46 - 10/20/10 at 09:07:50
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ghenghisclown wrote on 10/19/10 at 11:18:52:
OK, I figure you're right BP. I don't know what the history exactly is between you guys, but it seems you don't "suffer" him too lightly.

Anyhow, has anyone on Chesspub mentioned/heard/written about  the variation that Daniel King talked about on his Playchess show??


Ghengis a nice try at stirring the pot!  Wink If you mean he's right about what Marin said, or what Khalifman says, or any other book or CD for that matter, he invariably is. Not that I'm saying that isnt useful information in its own way. Anyway - stop trying to fish for agro just when we're best friends again.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #45 - 10/20/10 at 03:57:21
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A game that got little press because it was a short draw is interesting from the white perspective - in the final position white had a small edge. This system has parallels to a line Marin assesses as += versus the standard Bd6 line.

Meier-Ponomariov, Sestao 2010.
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Nf3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 6. Bg2 c6 7. 0-0 Nbd7 8. b3 0-0 9. Nc3 Re8 (9...b6 10. e4 Nxe4 11. Nxe4 dxe4 12. Ng5 Nf6 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. Bxe4 +=, white will be able to achieve c4-c5 hampering black's position and black will be in for a long, arduous defense, 9...h6 10. Qc2 looks perfectly fine for white) 10. Qc2 (this set-up for white is more common with the Bc1, but the way the game unfolds shows the Bd2 isn't a drawback) dxc4 11. bxc4 e5 (standard in these sorts of positions) 12. e3 (white is quite willing to take on hanging pawns as black's piece set-up is not well suited to handle them, in comparison to the standard hanging pawn structures the c-file is closed, and this feature also favors white) Nf8!? 13. dxe5 Bxe5 14. Nxe5 Rxe5 15. Ne2 Re8 16. Bb4 +=. The game score continues Bd7, but that was probably just included in the notation at the draw offer.

Food for thought.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #44 - 10/19/10 at 11:18:52
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OK, I figure you're right BP. I don't know what the history exactly is between you guys, but it seems you don't "suffer" him too lightly.

Anyhow, has anyone on Chesspub mentioned/heard/written about  the variation that Daniel King talked about on his Playchess show??
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #43 - 10/18/10 at 18:59:19
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Keano wrote on 10/18/10 at 15:10:37:
really? Equal sounds a bit dramatic.


It's analyzed at length in Marin's database on the Catalan. Marin even goes as far as to discourage white players from using that set-up.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #42 - 10/18/10 at 15:10:37
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really? Equal sounds a bit dramatic.

Out of interest, I'll throw this out there for all Catalan fans, the idea came to me and I've checked and seen its been played by Xu Jun and Kurajica - instead of Avrukhs suggestion against an early ...Bd6 of Nc3 I recommend the move-order refinement:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bd6 5. Bg2 c6 6. O-O Nbd7 7. Nfd2!?

It might look a bit bizarre, but the idea is that if Black plays 7...0-0 then after 8.Nc3 we are back into a favourable position for White, meanwhile the ...dxc4 businesss has been avoided.

The old game Xu Jun-Grishchuk (2001) continued 7...0-0 8.Nc3, as did the Kurajica game.

There you have it, a good line for White against the early ..Bd6 without the check.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #41 - 10/18/10 at 13:46:13
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Keano wrote on 10/18/10 at 13:43:41:
It is allowable you know, essential even.

btw the point of including the check is to avoid the simple harmonious development for White of Qc2,Nbd2 etc. following up with either e4 or b3 - surprised Avrukh did not recommend that instead of this sharper attempt.


See Marin's Catalan database for why - it's equal.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #40 - 10/18/10 at 13:43:41
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It is allowable you know, essential even.

btw the point of including the check is to avoid the simple harmonious development for White of Qc2,Nbd2 etc. following up with either e4 or b3 - surprised Avrukh did not recommend that instead of this sharper attempt.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #39 - 10/18/10 at 13:34:37
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Keano wrote on 10/18/10 at 13:31:58:
I'd say the reverse - if the Black pawn was on h7 or h6, White would have a small but persistent edge because of the better minor piece. The whole point of this position is the Black pawn on g4 - this changes the assessment to "at least equal for Black" - assessment borrowed from John Watson  Play the French.


Borrowing assessments from unrelated analysis?  Grin

You're free to disagree. Obviously your positional insight is superior to mine and Avrukh's when it comes to this position.

Grin
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #38 - 10/18/10 at 13:31:58
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I'd say the reverse - if the Black pawn was on h7 or h6, White would have a small but persistent edge because of the better minor piece. The whole point of this position is the Black pawn on g4 - this changes the assessment to "at least equal for Black" - assessment borrowed from John Watson  Play the French.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #37 - 10/18/10 at 13:22:26
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Keano wrote on 10/18/10 at 12:57:58:
Yes. Well in that particular position I'd like to take on c4 myself. I've just downloaded the Avrukh update from the website and the first thing that struck me is this line, without going through the whole thing yet this looks like something I'd be happy with:

Its a bit confusing because the check move-order adds a move, but I'll use this move-order:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 6. Bg2 c6 7. O-O O-O 8. Qc2 Nbd7
9. Nc3 dxc4 10. Bg5 h6 11. Ne4 hxg5!? "N" - Avrukh
12. Nxd6 Nb6 13. Nxc8 Rxc8 14. Rfd1 g4 15. Ne5

(Here Avrukh stops saying something like- "White regains his pawn and has superiority of the Bishop v the Knight")

I think Black can make use of the h-file here and in general should be comfortable. The White bishop for the moment is not biting on anything with the Black pawn on c6. Lets continue a bit:

15...Qe7 16. Nxc4 Nxc4 17. Qxc4 and now it seems like there are 2 decent plans:

a) 17...Rfd8 followed by doubling on the d-file and an eventual ...e5

b) 17...g6!? intending to put the king on the nice g7 square and open the possibility of ...Rh8 using the h-file.

Over-all this line seems reliable enough to me from Blacks point of view, I'd certainly be happy playing it over the board. I believe White has better options than going in for this type of thing.


Black can get the position with or without Bb4+, which eliminates a lot of the appeal of including the check.

Aside from that, while black is playable I agree with Avrukh's evaluation - the long term prospects favor white's minor piece. If the Pg4 were on h7, or h6, I'd be more apt to believe black has equalized.

  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #36 - 10/18/10 at 13:07:40
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Well said, Stigma.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #35 - 10/18/10 at 13:01:40
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Glad to see you guys are now sticking to variations and assessments instead of name-calling!

So two people disagree about what should be called "new", "old" and "critical". Big deal! It doesn't make either an idiot.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #34 - 10/18/10 at 12:57:58
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Yes. Well in that particular position I'd like to take on c4 myself. I've just downloaded the Avrukh update from the website and the first thing that struck me is this line, without going through the whole thing yet this looks like something I'd be happy with:

Its a bit confusing because the check move-order adds a move, but I'll use this move-order:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 6. Bg2 c6 7. O-O O-O 8. Qc2 Nbd7
9. Nc3 dxc4 10. Bg5 h6 11. Ne4 hxg5!? "N" - Avrukh
12. Nxd6 Nb6 13. Nxc8 Rxc8 14. Rfd1 g4 15. Ne5

(Here Avrukh stops saying something like- "White regains his pawn and has superiority of the Bishop v the Knight")

I think Black can make use of the h-file here and in general should be comfortable. The White bishop for the moment is not biting on anything with the Black pawn on c6. Lets continue a bit:

15...Qe7 16. Nxc4 Nxc4 17. Qxc4 and now it seems like there are 2 decent plans:

a) 17...Rfd8 followed by doubling on the d-file and an eventual ...e5

b) 17...g6!? intending to put the king on the nice g7 square and open the possibility of ...Rh8 using the h-file.

Over-all this line seems reliable enough to me from Blacks point of view, I'd certainly be happy playing it over the board. I believe White has better options than going in for this type of thing.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #33 - 10/18/10 at 12:24:22
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Keano wrote on 10/18/10 at 12:14:07:
Crikey, this is like talking to child, can you try calming down a bit and maybe sometimes open yourself to the possibility that once in a while you might even be wrong about stuff? And also recognize your books might also be wrong.  I mean if you're always right you must be a GM by now? You're not going to get any more rating points by acting smart on this forum.


Grin

Quote:
Now for the chess part, the 2 systems are different because without the check White has a strong move Nf3-d2 after ...0-0.


Yes, the move order avoids that option, much like 5...Be7 avoids certain options for white when compared to the standard Closed Catalan. That's not relevant to the concrete position being discussed.

Quote:
But, if I can read in between all your hyperbole you are saying that in the system with the check 9.Nc3 is the critical move (even though more top players have been playing 9.Bg5), because Black has nothing better than 9...dxc4 transposing to some analysis by Avrukh in the other line - right?. Well obviously in that particular position (White queen on c2 and Nc3) ...dxc4 is a decent move I would have thought (although not forced - maybe ...b6 is possible) because its winning a pawn and the central response is met by ...e5. Thats a very specific position which as yet I've not come up against.
What intrigues me is Avrukh is recommending this for White - I would have thought this line was better for Black than the other ones he has to contend with, OK I know hes recommending it from a different position but still. I'll have to get hold of the Avrukh analysis to check what hes on about but for now I'd remain confident that Black is reliable enough there.


Unless black can demonstrate something other than 9...dxc4 10. Bg5, it's a position Avrukh recommends for white all the same.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #32 - 10/18/10 at 12:14:07
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Quote:
The position you got twice is the same as 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 c6 5. Bg2 Bd6 6. 0-0 Nbd7 7. Qc2 0-0 8. Bg5 - not a critical line.


Crikey, this is like talking to child, can you try calming down a bit and maybe sometimes open yourself to the possibility that once in a while you might even be wrong about stuff? And also recognize your books might also be wrong.  I mean if you're always right you must be a GM by now? You're not going to get any more rating points by acting smart on this forum.

Now for the chess part, the 2 systems are different because without the check White has a strong move Nf3-d2 after ...0-0.

But, if I can read in between all your hyperbole you are saying that in the system with the check 9.Nc3 is the critical move (even though more top players have been playing 9.Bg5), because Black has nothing better than 9...dxc4 transposing to some analysis by Avrukh in the other line - right?. Well obviously in that particular position (White queen on c2 and Nc3) ...dxc4 is a decent move I would have thought (although not forced - maybe ...b6 is possible) because its winning a pawn and the central response is met by ...e5. Thats a very specific position which as yet I've not come up against.
What intrigues me is Avrukh is recommending this for White - I would have thought this line was better for Black than the other ones he has to contend with, OK I know hes recommending it from a different position but still. I'll have to get hold of the Avrukh analysis to check what hes on about but for now I'd remain confident that Black is reliable enough there.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #31 - 10/18/10 at 11:55:34
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ghenghisclown wrote on 10/18/10 at 11:47:46:
Isn't a critical line one that challenges the variation such that it's the toughest and one which gives the other side (usually gives Black) the most problems?


Right.

Quote:
In this case, I'm having trouble understanding whats wrong with saying that Bg5 is critical "among many" if it's critical for that particular line (without Bb4+ as you pointed out).


It's not critical in that variation, that was the point. 9. Bg5 (or 8. Bg5 if Bb4-d6 and Bd2-g5 aren't included) has never been viewed as threatening to black's set-up theoretically.

Quote:
Or is critical for you just mean the sharpest/most challenging for both sides?


Critical, in this particular case, meaning black is under pressure to demonstrate equality based on existing analysis/games. In this case the analysis happens to be Avrukh's, since in the position after 9. Nc3 every single game in the www.chesslive.de database (which gets updated regularly) has seen black play 9...dxc4, transposing to Avrukh's analysis of the position after 10. Bg5, one he analyzes to a white advantage.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #30 - 10/18/10 at 11:47:46
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Isn't a critical line one that challenges the variation such that it's the toughest and one which gives the other side (usually gives Black) the most problems?

In this case, I'm having trouble understanding whats wrong with saying that Bg5 is critical "among many" if it's critical for that particular line (without Bb4+ as you pointed out).

Or is critical for you just mean the sharpest/most challenging for both sides?
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #29 - 10/18/10 at 09:36:32
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Keano wrote on 10/18/10 at 08:43:49:
Oh my god. Are you really serious? This is like a Monthy Python sketch trying to create an argument. -its a new idea to me and I stand by it! I doubt very much you've much of a handle on this system at all from what I can make of your comments, and are probably quite a weak player - sorry but you asked for it. If you're looking for a fight you picked the wrong man! As for the ideas - you mentioned ....dxc4 is NOT a typical idea in the system at all. For what its worth in both my games the players picked the same continuation and both were reasonable players one an IM and one as good as:
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 6. Bg2 c6 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Qc2 O-O 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bxf6 Nxf6 11. Nbd2


9. Bg5 is a transposition to a line without Bb4+ included.

The position you got twice is the same as 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 c6 5. Bg2 Bd6 6. 0-0 Nbd7 7. Qc2 0-0 8. Bg5 - not a critical line.

Quote:
This is one of the critical positions amongst many, and one you're very likely to get if you play the line. Now I've wasted enough time dealing with your rubbish, sorry I even tried to help the original poster out now will keep my ideas to myself in future to avoid abuse by cabbages with their head stuck in books who couldnt play a decent game of chess if their life depended on it.


It's not even a critical line. You really need to learn what you're talking about, that way the next time you make an informed opinion about this variation it'll be your first time.

And to enlighten you - the critical continuation is 9. Nc3 when black has to either allow e4 next move,  play 9...dxc4 which transposes to Avrukh's analysis after 10. Bg5, because 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 c6 5. Bg2 Nbd7 6. 0-0 Bd6 7. Nc3 dxc4 8. Bg5 0-0 9. Qc2 is the exact same position Avrukh analyzed in his update, or play a waiting move like 9...Re8 that does little for black's position.

Just to slam the door shut on your comment about dxc4 - it's the most common move by far in the database after 9. Nc3 including games where black is a GM. So much for it not being a typical idea. Grin

Go figure I had to enlighten you again on theory. It's getting old.
« Last Edit: 10/18/10 at 10:36:55 by BPaulsen »  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #28 - 10/18/10 at 08:43:49
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BPaulsen wrote on 10/17/10 at 22:37:07:
Keano wrote on 10/17/10 at 21:02:29:
I think you're fighting a losing argument trying to call it an old idea.


The idea of Bb4-d6 is even older than the Utasi games - it's been used in a slightly different move order going as far back as 1961 (black playing c6 before Bb4-Bd6).

The Utasi move order isn't new. The idea of Bb4-d6 isn't new. The position isn't new. The ideas in the positions from GM games aren't new.

All that's new is interest from GMs of late. If you actually take the time to study those GM games you'd quickly find the ideas being used by both sides have been used many times before in the lines with Bd6 without Bb4+ with transpositions being extremely common.

Of course, I have a feeling you'll persist with your "it's new" nonsense, when you'd be better off with this:  Lips Sealed

Quote:
Ultimately there is nothing new in chess but a couple of old games from 1985 and then nothing... we've seen this a million times over in other openings. Actually my database has only one not especially relevant game from Utasi in 1985, but I'll trust you there is another one - could you let me know the other Utasi game, like to add it to my database  Wink Anyway, back to the subject, even the jokers in chessbase trying to flog us dodgy DVDs that dont play on the telly call it new. Anyway if its such an old idea how is that Avrukh missed it? In 2010 we have seen a flurry of high level games in this line, so I think you get my drift.


Avrukh missed the more common line with Bd6 at first until it was brought to his attention. He isn't infallible, so why are you going to act like that's an argument?

Chessbase is trying to sell a product, what do you think they're going to call it?

A line becoming suddenly popular doesn't make it new, either. It makes it popular. The difference is obvious.

Quote:
As for the rest of the comments on the themes etc. I'm forced to disagree - too specific, the ideas are not as you say, although no doubt it could be one possibility. Anyway its not the way I play the line, and so far my method has stood up to the test against strong opposition.


I mentioned the critical ideas used in GM play against white's primary responses. You'd know this if you had studied the games.

Quote:
Granted it could be an approach no doubt, in which case it is further evidence of my general impression so far - the whole line is full of rich possibilities for both sides at this moment.


Not really. Your mystery approach aside, the methods of play are well established in GM play.

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. d4 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 6. Bg2 0-0 7. 0-0 Nbd7 (7...c6 7. Qc2 Nbd7 8. Nc3 dxc4 9. Bg5 ends up in Avrukh's analysis of ...Bd6 without Bb4+) 8. Qc2 is going to quickly end up back in normal waters.

Play only gets "rich" when white varies with Qb3, Qc2+Rd1, or Bf4.

Of course, there's always your mystery method unknown to the world that's worked against "strong opposition".  Roll Eyes


Oh my god. Are you really serious? This is like a Monthy Python sketch trying to create an argument. -its a new idea to me and I stand by it! I doubt very much you've much of a handle on this system at all from what I can make of your comments, and are probably quite a weak player - sorry but you asked for it. If you're looking for a fight you picked the wrong man! As for the ideas - you mentioned ....dxc4 is NOT a typical idea in the system at all. For what its worth in both my games the players picked the same continuation and both were reasonable players one an IM and one as good as:
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 6. Bg2 c6 7. O-O Nbd7 8. Qc2 O-O 9. Bg5 h6 10. Bxf6 Nxf6 11. Nbd2

This is one of the critical positions amongst many, and one you're very likely to get if you play the line. Now I've wasted enough time dealing with your rubbish, sorry I even tried to help the original poster out now will keep my ideas to myself in future to avoid abuse by cabbages with their head stuck in books who couldnt play a decent game of chess if their life depended on it.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #27 - 10/17/10 at 22:37:07
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Keano wrote on 10/17/10 at 21:02:29:
I think you're fighting a losing argument trying to call it an old idea.


The idea of Bb4-d6 is even older than the Utasi games - it's been used in a slightly different move order going as far back as 1961 (black playing c6 before Bb4-Bd6).

The Utasi move order isn't new. The idea of Bb4-d6 isn't new. The position isn't new. The ideas in the positions from GM games aren't new.

All that's new is interest from GMs of late. If you actually take the time to study those GM games you'd quickly find the ideas being used by both sides have been used many times before in the lines with Bd6 without Bb4+ with transpositions being extremely common.

Of course, I have a feeling you'll persist with your "it's new" nonsense, when you'd be better off with this:  Lips Sealed

Quote:
Ultimately there is nothing new in chess but a couple of old games from 1985 and then nothing... we've seen this a million times over in other openings. Actually my database has only one not especially relevant game from Utasi in 1985, but I'll trust you there is another one - could you let me know the other Utasi game, like to add it to my database  Wink Anyway, back to the subject, even the jokers in chessbase trying to flog us dodgy DVDs that dont play on the telly call it new. Anyway if its such an old idea how is that Avrukh missed it? In 2010 we have seen a flurry of high level games in this line, so I think you get my drift.


Avrukh missed the more common line with Bd6 at first until it was brought to his attention. He isn't infallible, so why are you going to act like that's an argument?

Chessbase is trying to sell a product, what do you think they're going to call it?

A line becoming suddenly popular doesn't make it new, either. It makes it popular. The difference is obvious.

Quote:
As for the rest of the comments on the themes etc. I'm forced to disagree - too specific, the ideas are not as you say, although no doubt it could be one possibility. Anyway its not the way I play the line, and so far my method has stood up to the test against strong opposition.


I mentioned the critical ideas used in GM play against white's primary responses. You'd know this if you had studied the games.

Quote:
Granted it could be an approach no doubt, in which case it is further evidence of my general impression so far - the whole line is full of rich possibilities for both sides at this moment.


Not really. Your mystery approach aside, the methods of play are well established in GM play.

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. d4 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 6. Bg2 0-0 7. 0-0 Nbd7 (7...c6 7. Qc2 Nbd7 8. Nc3 dxc4 9. Bg5 ends up in Avrukh's analysis of ...Bd6 without Bb4+) 8. Qc2 is going to quickly end up back in normal waters.

Play only gets "rich" when white varies with Qb3, Qc2+Rd1, or Bf4.

Of course, there's always your mystery method unknown to the world that's worked against "strong opposition".  Roll Eyes
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #26 - 10/17/10 at 21:02:29
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I think you're fighting a losing argument trying to call it an old idea. Ultimately there is nothing new in chess but a couple of old games from 1985 and then nothing... we've seen this a million times over in other openings. Actually my database has only one not especially relevant game from Utasi in 1985, but I'll trust you there is another one - could you let me know the other Utasi game, like to add it to my database  Wink Anyway, back to the subject, even the jokers in chessbase trying to flog us dodgy DVDs that dont play on the telly call it new. Anyway if its such an old idea how is that Avrukh missed it? In 2010 we have seen a flurry of high level games in this line, so I think you get my drift.

As for the rest of the comments on the themes etc. I'm forced to disagree - too specific, the ideas are not as you say, although no doubt it could be one possibility. Anyway its not the way I play the line, and so far my method has stood up to the test against strong opposition. Granted it could be an approach no doubt, in which case it is further evidence of my general impression so far - the whole line is full of rich possibilities for both sides at this moment.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #25 - 10/15/10 at 21:18:00
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Keano wrote on 10/15/10 at 10:09:24:
Thats it, well done lads - not even given a mention by Avrukh. There may be a game in 1985 - but who played it then? Its basically a new idea. In the last 2 years this variation has started appearing in the repertoires of top top players like Fressinet, Michael Adams etc. and so far statistically it is doing outstanding. Of course theres work no matter what line you pick but the advantage with this is that it is new and fresh. The idea is obvious - to put a stop to Bf4, and also leave a square for the Queen on e7.


Just because it's suddenly gotten popular among the elite doesn't make it new. Utasi (a 2400 strength player) used it a couple of times in the '80s. Georgiev-Utasi, Szirak 1985 saw a GM on the white side of the board.

The idea extends well beyond just playing Qe7/denying Bf4. The purpose of the set-up is achieving ...dxc4 and ...e5, or ...b6 if white plays Bf4 Bxf4 gxf4 (playing it too soon runs into cxd5 cxd5 Nb5). Not surprisingly these same ideas are used when ...Bb4+ isn't played. If white plays Rd1 in tandem with Qc2 then ...Ne4/...f5 produces a viable Stonewall.

Transpositions to lines Avrukh covered (no Bb4+) are possible as well if black plays ...dxc4 at some point.

Quote:
White introduced a quite direct interesting new idea in the olympiad, and no I'm not going to do a pgn attachment!


It's an old idea that has a main line that transposes to a position without ...Bb4+ included if black responds accurately. The resulting position in black's best defense is easier for white to play, but black should draw without much difficulty.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #24 - 10/15/10 at 10:26:59
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White introduced a quite direct interesting new idea in the olympiad, and no I'm not going to do a pgn attachment! Search for it yourself, or copy paste:

[Event "39th Olympiad Men"]
[Site "Khanty-Mansiysk RUS"]
[Date "2010.09.29"]
[Round "8.14"]
[White "Le, Quang Liem"]
[Black "Papaioannou, Ioannis"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "A13"]
[WhiteElo "2694"]
[BlackElo "2622"]
[PlyCount "102"]
[EventDate "2010.09.21"]
[WhiteTeam "VIE"]
[BlackTeam "GRE"]

1. Nf3 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. d4 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 6. Bg2 O-O 7. O-O c6 8. Nc3
Nbd7 9. e4 dxe4 10. Ng5 Be7 11. Ngxe4 Nxe4 12. Nxe4 e5 13. d5 f5 14. d6 fxe4
15. dxe7 Qxe7 16. Bxe4 Nf6 17. Bg2 Bf5 18. Qe2 Rad8 19. Rfe1 Bd3 20. Qxe5 Qxe5
21. Rxe5 Bxc4 22. Bf4 Rfe8 23. Rxe8+ Rxe8 24. Be3 a6 25. a4 Bd5 26. Bh3 Re4 27.
Bc5 Re2 28. Bd4 Ne4 29. Bg4 Rd2 30. Rd1 Kf7 31. a5 g6 32. Kf1 h5 33. Be2 Rxd1+
34. Bxd1 Nd2+ 35. Ke2 Nf3 36. Ke3 Nxh2 37. Kf4 g5+ 38. Kxg5 Nf3+ 39. Bxf3 Bxf3
40. Kf4 Bd1 41. Ke5 Kg6 42. Bc5 Bf3 43. Kd6 Kf5 44. Kc7 Be2 45. Kxb7 Bb5 46. f3
Be2 47. b4 Bb5 48. Kc7 Be2 49. f4 Bb5 50. Kd6 h4 51. gxh4 Kxf4 1/2-1/2

Can't help but believe Black has better ways to play the opening, over-all the whole line seems reliable though with potential for rich play and winning chances, still early days in its development so there is a wide variety of options for both players at the moment, and scope for a bit of creativity.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #23 - 10/15/10 at 10:09:24
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BPaulsen wrote on 10/15/10 at 03:08:46:
Interesting? Yes.

New? No. The idea first popped up in 1985.

Instead of being all mysterious - the line in question is 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 instead of the more common 5...Be7.

As with any Catalan line there's theory to learn, nuances to be aware of, and don't expect a comfortable ride.


Thats it, well done lads - not even given a mention by Avrukh. There may be a game in 1985 - but who played it then? Its basically a new idea. In the last 2 years this variation has started appearing in the repertoires of top top players like Fressinet, Michael Adams etc. and so far statistically it is doing outstanding. Of course theres work no matter what line you pick but the advantage with this is that it is new and fresh. The idea is obvious - to put a stop to Bf4, and also leave a square for the Queen on e7. I see also that my favourite company to hate chessbase has an opening survey on it by Kuzmin in CBM 138:

http://www.chessbase.com/shop/product.asp?pid=532

There you go chessbase, I dont hate you all the time:

"Kuzmin: Catalan E01
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bd6 6.Bg2
In the Catalan the black bishop usually moves to e7 – no matter whether it first delivers a check on b4 or whether it goes there directly. But why not to d6? Alexey Kuzmin presents the latest state of affairs in this still quite new setup."
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #22 - 10/15/10 at 06:22:21
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TN wrote on 10/15/10 at 04:00:23:
My impression from studying the survey in Yearbook 96 was that Black has excellent chances of equalising. White's best chance for an edge is to follow Kramer-Ovseevich, Neuhausen 2007, but Black can deviate with 7...dc4 or 9...h6, both of which offer equal play.


Black has excellent chances of equalizing in any Closed Catalan variation (Bd6 or Be7, with or without Bb4 included) when white doesn't play critically, so that doesn't say a whole lot.

Kraemer-Ovsejevitsch, Neuhausen 2007

1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Nf3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 6. Bg2 0-0 7. 0-0 (7. Qb3 avoids 7...dxc4 if white even cares to avoid it) c6 (7...dxc4, see Postny-Turova, Rethmynon 2010) 8. Qb3 Nbd7 9. Nc3 Nbd7 (9...h6) etc.

It is far from clear how 9...h6 is so useful as to equalize. Simply preventing Ng5 isn't that big of a deal when white can play Rad1/Rfe1 instead (discouraging ...dxc4 with ...e5 and preparing e4, respectively) and play cxd5 if black plays ...b6. It's up to black to prove he has more useful waiting moves than white - white being the only player with an actual active plan in the position.
« Last Edit: 10/15/10 at 12:06:00 by BPaulsen »  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #21 - 10/15/10 at 04:00:23
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BPaulsen wrote on 10/15/10 at 03:08:46:
Keano wrote on 10/14/10 at 17:02:10:
There is an interesting new system against the Catalan which has been played by a lot of strong players in 2010. This nice system is not even mentioned in Avrukhs "Grandmaster Repertoire" so should be a useful surprise weapon also, and is perfectly sound. I'll leave it to yourself to find it in the databases. I'll give you a clue - Avrukh patched up one line he missed in the book in an update, but forgot about a similar line which is even stronger for Black.


Interesting? Yes.

New? No. The idea first popped up in 1985.

Instead of being all mysterious - the line in question is 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 instead of the more common 5...Be7.

As with any Catalan line there's theory to learn, nuances to be aware of, and don't expect a comfortable ride.


My impression from studying the survey in Yearbook 96 was that Black has excellent chances of equalising. White's best chance for an edge is to follow Kramer-Ovseevich, Neuhausen 2007, but Black can deviate with 7...dc4 or 9...h6, both of which offer equal play.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #20 - 10/15/10 at 03:08:46
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Keano wrote on 10/14/10 at 17:02:10:
There is an interesting new system against the Catalan which has been played by a lot of strong players in 2010. This nice system is not even mentioned in Avrukhs "Grandmaster Repertoire" so should be a useful surprise weapon also, and is perfectly sound. I'll leave it to yourself to find it in the databases. I'll give you a clue - Avrukh patched up one line he missed in the book in an update, but forgot about a similar line which is even stronger for Black.


Interesting? Yes.

New? No. The idea first popped up in 1985.

Instead of being all mysterious - the line in question is 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Bd6 instead of the more common 5...Be7.

As with any Catalan line there's theory to learn, nuances to be aware of, and don't expect a comfortable ride.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #19 - 10/15/10 at 02:43:00
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Keano wrote on 10/14/10 at 17:02:10:
XChess1971 wrote on 10/09/10 at 03:24:39:
Anybody knows a good possible repertoire for black in the catalan?


There is an interesting new system against the Catalan which has been played by a lot of strong players in 2010. This nice system is not even mentioned in Avrukhs "Grandmaster Repertoire" so should be a useful surprise weapon also, and is perfectly sound. I'll leave it to yourself to find it in the databases. I'll give you a clue - Avrukh patched up one line he missed in the book in an update, but forgot about a similar line which is even stronger for Black.


You're referring to the Ukranian Variation, right?
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #18 - 10/15/10 at 01:09:15
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Stigma wrote on 10/14/10 at 23:54:43:
Edit: Consulting my database, I "discovered" another interesting option for Black: 5...Nc6 6.0-0 Rb8 7.a4 Be7, keeping the ...Na5 idea but delaying it for one move. Now 8.Nbd2 gives up the d4 pawn. 8.Qc2 looks like a more critical way to do that, while 8.Na3 Na5 has scored very well for black. I will dig up my Marin Chesssbase CD (I actually have it somewhere) and see what he thought about all this!


Marin gives 8. e3. If 8...a6 trying to hold the c4 pawn then 9. Nfd2!

Just on a preliminary check I'm not sure 8. Na3 Na5 is as good as the statistics indicate. The position after 9. Qc2 Nb3 10. Ra2 Nd5 11. Nxc4 Nxd4 12. Nxd4 Nb4 13. Qb3 Qxd4 14. Ra1 (Novelty, apparently, but obvious) isn't simple despite black's extra pawn. I've done some tests and white's compensation is powerful.

In regards to the 5...Nc6 6. Qa4, or 5...a6 6. Ne5 issue, I don't think black needs to fear either one, leaving it as a matter of taste.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #17 - 10/14/10 at 23:54:43
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So let's say Black is aiming for the posiition with both ...a6 and ...Nc6. Then black's choice along the way is whether to allow 5...Nc6 6.Qa4 or (the rarer) 5...a6 6.Ne5!? which may get a boost after featuring in Wojo's Weapons.

5...Nc5 6.Qa4 must be considered very much OK for black given its continued high-level usage and various improvements on Avrukh, while 5...Nc6 6.0-0 Rb8 may or may not be a playable option. What reasons are there really left to prefer the 5...a6 order?

Btw. if 5...a6 6.0-0 Nc6 7.a4 Na5 (Markovich) is fine for Black, can it really be that much worse to have ...Rb8 in (as in Palliser's line) instead of ...a6? I guess it can, since (continuing Markovich's line) 8.Nbd2 c5 9.Qc2 allows 9...cxd4 10.Nxc4 Qc7!; in the analogous position with ...Rb8 that line would blunder an exchange, so there 9.Qc2 is strong.

Edit: Consulting my database, I "discovered" another interesting option for Black: 5...Nc6 6.0-0 Rb8 7.a4 Be7, keeping the ...Na5 idea but delaying it for one move. Now 8.Nbd2 gives up the d4 pawn. 8.Qc2 looks like a more critical way to do that, while 8.Na3 Na5 has scored very well for black. I will dig up my Marin Chesssbase CD (I actually have it somewhere) and see what he thought about all this!
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #16 - 10/14/10 at 21:49:34
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Stigma wrote on 10/14/10 at 21:29:11:
Right. Sorry for being confused.

Buth the lines I mentioned (7.a4 Na5 [Palliser] and 7...b6 [Raetsky/Chetverik]) are after 5...Nc6 6.a4 Rb8. But that's the whole point of 5...Nc6 isn't it, to try to do without ...a6? I don't see why the lines should transpose then.

7...b6 8.e4 not mentioned by R/C 2001, but does look logical.


Yes, I recognized the lines you mentioned were after 5...Nc6 6. 0-0 Rb8, hence why I responded with what Marin gave. The question is whether 6...Rb8 ends up being any better theoretically than 6...a6, given this 7. a4 continuation.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #15 - 10/14/10 at 21:29:11
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BPaulsen wrote on 10/14/10 at 20:53:51:
Tango! uses 6...Rb8, not Markovich's mentioned move order.

Marin claims a white initiative in your first line with 12. Bg5 Qc7 (12...f6 weakens e6) 13. Rfc1.

Quote:
There is also 7...b6!? intending usually Bb7 and Na5, given by Raetsky and Chetverik in their Catalan book (at least in the 2001 German edition which is the only one I have). Their main line follows this game:


7...b6 isn't best met by 8. Na3 according to Marin, he dismisses it as just allowing equality. He likes white after the immediate 8. e4.



Right. Sorry for being confused.

Both the lines I mentioned (7.a4 Na5 [Palliser] and 7...b6 [Raetsky/Chetverik]) are after 5...Nc6 6.a4 Rb8. But that's the whole point of 5...Nc6 isn't it, to try to do without ...a6? I don't see why the lines should transpose then.

7...b6 8.e4 not mentioned by R/C 2001, but does look logical.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #14 - 10/14/10 at 20:53:51
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Markovich wrote on 10/14/10 at 16:20:57:
It took me some days to realize it, but I think that with 5...a6 6.O-O Nc6 7.a4, Black has the significant resource 7...Na5!?, e.g. 8.Nbd2 c5 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Ne5 c3 with what seems to me to be a rather reasonable game. 


In that specific move order white can and should head for Avrukh's analysis instead of playing 7. a4.

5...Nc6 6. 0-0 Rb8 is the continuation that 7. a4 works against.

Quote:
Incidentally, 7...Na5 was Palliser's recommendation in his book "Tango!" (transposing from... the Black Knights' Tango). He even seemed to say White is struggling to equalize there. White's best according to him is 8.Nbd2 c5 9.Qc2!? cxd4 10.Nxc4 d3!? 11.exd3 Nd5 and "The d5-steed is pretty strong and d3 is isolated, but White enjoys the better development". He also finds 8.Nc3!? interesting and eventually equal, quoting Inkiov-Van der Wiel, 1983.


Tango! uses 6...Rb8, not Markovich's mentioned move order.

Marin claims a white initiative in your first line with 12. Bg5 Qc7 (12...f6 weakens e6) 13. Rfc1.

Quote:
There is also 7...b6!? intending usually Bb7 and Na5, given by Raetsky and Chetverik in their Catalan book (at least in the 2001 German edition which is the only one I have). Their main line follows this game:


7...b6 isn't best met by 8. Na3 according to Marin, he dismisses it as just allowing equality. He likes white after the immediate 8. e4.

The Marin database has games up to February of '04, but has analysis that is actually deeper than a lot of newer resources in numerous lines. Anyone that's interested in the Catalan needs to get it, even more so since Marin is one of the biggest Catalan experts around.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #13 - 10/14/10 at 19:25:21
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Markovich wrote on 10/14/10 at 16:20:57:
It took me some days to realize it, but I think that with 5...a6 6.O-O Nc6 7.a4, Black has the significant resource 7...Na5!?, e.g. 8.Nbd2 c5 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Ne5 c3 with what seems to me to be a rather reasonable game. 


Incidentally, 7...Na5 was Palliser's recommendation in his book "Tango!" (transposing from... the Black Knights' Tango). He even seemed to say White is struggling to equalize there. White's best according to him is 8.Nbd2 c5 9.Qc2!? cxd4 10.Nxc4 d3!? 11.exd3 Nd5 and "The d5-steed is pretty strong and d3 is isolated, but White enjoys the better development". He also finds 8.Nc3!? interesting and eventually equal, quoting Inkiov-Van der Wiel, 1983.

There is also 7...b6!? intending usually Bb7 and Na5, given by Raetsky and Chetverik in their Catalan book (at least in the 2001 German edition which is the only one I have). Their main line follows this game:

[Event "Bad Zwesten op 3rd"]
[Site "Bad Zwesten"]
[Date "1999.01.06"]
[Round "8"]
[White "Sandner, Gunter"]
[Black "Luther, Thomas"]
[Result "1/2-1/2"]
[ECO "E04"]
[WhiteElo "2345"]
[BlackElo "2542"]
[Source "ChessBase"]

1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. g3 d5 4. c4 dxc4 5. Bg2 Nc6 6. O-O Rb8 7. a4 b6 8. Na3 Bxa3 9. bxa3 Bb7 10. Bb2 O-O 11. Qc2 Na5 12. Ne5 Bxg2 13. Kxg2 Ne8 14. e4 Nd6 15. Bc3 Nb3 16. Rab1 Qe8 17. Nxc4 Nxc4 18. Qxb3 Nd6 19. f3 Qd7 20. Rfd1 c6 21. Rbc1 Rfd8 22. Bb4 Ne8 23. Bd2 Rbc8 24. a5 b5 25. Bg5 f6 26. Be3 Nd6 27. a6 Nc4 28. a4 f5 29. axb5 cxb5 30. exf5 exf5 31. Bf4 Qd5 32. Rb1 Re8 33. Re1 Rxe1 34. Rxe1 h6 35. Re5 Qxd4 36. Rxb5 Kh7 37. Qb1 Rc5 38. Rxc5 Qxc5 39. g4 Kg6 40. Qxf5+ Qxf5 41. gxf5+ Kxf5 42. Kg3 Ne5 43. Be3 1/2-1/2

with the final comment after 19...Qd7: " We have reached a calm position with roughly equal chances" (my translation).
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #12 - 10/14/10 at 17:02:10
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XChess1971 wrote on 10/09/10 at 03:24:39:
Anybody knows a good possible repertoire for black in the catalan?


There is an interesting new system against the Catalan which has been played by a lot of strong players in 2010. This nice system is not even mentioned in Avrukhs "Grandmaster Repertoire" so should be a useful surprise weapon also, and is perfectly sound. I'll leave it to yourself to find it in the databases. I'll give you a clue - Avrukh patched up one line he missed in the book in an update, but forgot about a similar line which is even stronger for Black.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #11 - 10/14/10 at 16:20:57
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It took me some days to realize it, but I think that with 5...a6 6.O-O Nc6 7.a4, Black has the significant resource 7...Na5!?, e.g. 8.Nbd2 c5 9.dxc5 Bxc5 10.Ne5 c3 with what seems to me to be a rather reasonable game.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #10 - 10/13/10 at 13:44:51
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BPaulsen wrote on 10/12/10 at 20:26:12:
Markovich wrote on 10/12/10 at 19:32:40:
True, true.  It seems that against any of Black's better defenses, White has a number of plausible ways to go, which could place a strain on Black's preparation.

For instance, after 5...a6 6.O-O Nc6, I think that 7.a4, intending 7...Rb8 9.a5, is underrated.  I don't claim it produces += with best play, but it does seem to me that some of the more popular antidotes don't really work very well. 


That line you mention usually pops up via 5...Nc6 6. 0-0 (instead of the more popular 6. Qa4) Rb8 (the main line that's supposed to exploit the difference between 5...a6 and 5...Nc6 in black's favor) 7. a4 a6 8. a5 b5 (8...Bb4 9. Qc2!) 9. axb6 cxb6 10. Bf4 Bd6 11. Ne5 Ne7.

Marin mentions it in his Catalan database. He thinks white has two valid options, one of which annotations indicate += (12. Nxc4), but black has good drawing chances according to Marin, and the other white gets good compensation for his pawn (12. e4) according to Marin/Oll. My personal analysis prefers 12. e4.

Yes, it's significantly underrated. I have a feeling it's going to increase in popularity in the near future once white's fascination with 5...Nc6 6. Qa4 is over, which is coming up soon.


Your conclusions seem to mirror mine.  White also has a dangerous alternative in 10.e4, which I have analyzed at some length.  I looked mainly at 10...Bb7 11.Nc3 Nb4 (I don't think much of 11...b5 12.Bf4) 12.d5!.  I opine that 12...exd5 is dangerous for Black, so 12...Nd3 and 12...Bc5 seem to be the leading candidates, and each seems to lead to a complicated, tactical struggle.

Thanks for pointing out the transpo from 5...Nc6, of which I wasn't aware.  So this one, a4 system can be played against either of these "modern" defenses.  Hmm.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #9 - 10/13/10 at 03:25:05
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It has been already suggested but I want to cast my vote for 4. ... dxc4 followed by 5. ... Nc6. If White is not careful he may easily end up worse and not even equal. An example would be: 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 dxc4 5. Bg2 Nc6 6. Qa4 Bb4+ 7. Bd2 Nd5 8. Bxb4 Ndxb4 9. a3?! b5 10. Qxb5 Nc2+ 11. Kd2 Bd7! and Black is already better.

The other advertisement for this line is that Kramnik plays it as Black (afaik he always avoids the main line).
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #8 - 10/12/10 at 20:26:12
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Markovich wrote on 10/12/10 at 19:32:40:
True, true.  It seems that against any of Black's better defenses, White has a number of plausible ways to go, which could place a strain on Black's preparation.

For instance, after 5...a6 6.O-O Nc6, I think that 7.a4, intending 7...Rb8 9.a5, is underrated.  I don't claim it produces += with best play, but it does seem to me that some of the more popular antidotes don't really work very well. 


That line you mention usually pops up via 5...Nc6 6. 0-0 (instead of the more popular 6. Qa4) Rb8 (the main line that's supposed to exploit the difference between 5...a6 and 5...Nc6 in black's favor) 7. a4 a6 8. a5 b5 (8...Bb4 9. Qc2!) 9. axb6 cxb6 10. Bf4 Bd6 11. Ne5 Ne7.

Marin mentions it in his Catalan database. He thinks white has two valid options, one of which annotations indicate += (12. Nxc4), but black has good drawing chances according to Marin, and the other white gets good compensation for his pawn (12. e4) according to Marin/Oll. My personal analysis prefers 12. e4.

Yes, it's significantly underrated. I have a feeling it's going to increase in popularity in the near future once white's fascination with 5...Nc6 6. Qa4 is over, which is coming up soon.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #7 - 10/12/10 at 19:32:40
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True, true.  It seems that against any of Black's better defenses, White has a number of plausible ways to go, which could place a strain on Black's preparation.

For instance, after 5...a6 6.O-O Nc6, I think that 7.a4, intending 7...Rb8 8.a5, is underrated.  I don't claim it produces += with best play, but it does seem to me that some of the more popular antidotes don't really work very well. 
« Last Edit: 10/13/10 at 13:34:19 by Markovich »  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #6 - 10/12/10 at 08:08:04
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Regardless of what you pick there is very dense theory to learn. Whether it's Markovich's choice of 5...a6, Kramnik's choice today of 5...Nc6, or anything else.

Just pick something and go with it. Catalan theory is extremely diverse.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #5 - 10/12/10 at 07:21:36
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Markovich wrote on 10/11/10 at 21:34:42:
I've been investigating 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 a6 6.O-O Nc6, and I think it's a good defense.  Or if White goes 6.Ne5 as recommended in Wojo's Weapons, then 6...c5 7.Na3 cxd4 8.Naxc4 Bc5 is fairly solid.

There are many lines to learn, but I suppose that's true in general on Black's side of the Catalan.


Kramnik got a draw against Anand in round 3 of the Bilbao Tournament 2010.
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Nc6 6.Qa4 Bb4+ 7.Bd2 Nd5 8.Bxb4 Ndxb4 9.0-0 Rb8 10.Na3 0-0 after an active fight black got a draw. A variation to take a look at I think.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #4 - 10/11/10 at 21:34:42
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I've been investigating 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 a6 6.O-O Nc6, and I think it's a good defense.  Or if White goes 6.Ne5 as recommended in Wojo's Weapons, then 6...c5 7.Na3 cxd4 8.Naxc4 Bc5 is fairly solid.

There are many lines to learn, but I suppose that's true in general on Black's side of the Catalan.
  

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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #3 - 10/11/10 at 06:17:11
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4...Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7 is always another significant option.

There's a ton of lines you could choose. Just pick one.
  

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XChess1971
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #2 - 10/11/10 at 05:38:58
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TN wrote on 10/09/10 at 05:17:59:
You could do worse than 4...dc4 5.Bg2 Bb4 6.Bd2 a5.


Any other suggestions besides 6...a5; 5..Bb4 or 4...dxc4?.
  
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Re: Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
Reply #1 - 10/09/10 at 05:17:59
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You could do worse than 4...dc4 5.Bg2 Bb4 6.Bd2 a5.
  

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Repertoire for Black in the Catalan...
10/09/10 at 03:24:39
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Anybody knows a good possible repertoire for black in the catalan?
  
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