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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Catalan suited below 2000? (Read 27325 times)
ErictheRed
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #48 - 01/08/14 at 19:16:17
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kylemeister wrote on 01/08/14 at 17:13:12:
I find the position after 13. d5 in Giri-Morozevich in the first edition of ECO (1978), where it was given as leading to a slight advantage for White.

The line with 7. Qc2 and Bg5xf6 makes me think "1986" ...


I'm always surprised at how little "new" theory there is, or more accurately at how often old theoretical verdicts are unchanged by new games. 

Sorry for the off-topic/tangent, I was just trying to point out that there is a lot of scope for original play even now that a few popular books have been written on the Catalan.
  
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kylemeister
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #47 - 01/08/14 at 17:13:12
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I find the position after 13. d5 in Giri-Morozevich in the first edition of ECO (1978), where it was given as leading to a slight advantage for White.

The line with 7. Qc2 and Bg5xf6 makes me think "1986" ...
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #46 - 01/08/14 at 16:30:51
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Thanks, Orangecounty.  My own experience was that against non-Masters I saw a lot of passive Closed Catalan positions where I had more space and play against a bad bishop on c8, more or less the same type of play that White gets when Black misplays a QGD.  I also saw a lot of Bogo-Indians.

I also wanted to point out that there is truly fashion in chess, and before Kramnik started playing the Catalan it was almost completely unknown to amateurs.  Of course that isn't the case any more, but amateur chess fashion is almost entirely dictated by which openings have had a good recent book written about them (or in the case of the Catalan, several!). 

Finally, I achieved a completely winning position against IM Danny Rensch recently by just following an old line recommended in a subvariation of Dunnington's old book: http://www.chess.com/video/player/live-sessions-an-old-friend-and-a-new-line.  Unfortunately I didn't find the most precise way of winning in a 10-minute game, and because Danny is an old friend I just took a draw at the end (I also didn't know that he was filming it and thought we'd look at the opening line and move order issues together, for fun). 

Afterward I looked through some of Danny's games and other videos in this line, and it looks like he's done some work on it and played it a lot against strong opposition (GMs even), and he just completely walked into a losing position against me unawares.  I don't mean that as a knock against Danny, I just want to point out that there are always plenty of interesting options that aren't in the latest repertoire books, and allowing yourself to be swayed too much by fashion (only what's been covered by Avrukh or Bologan) is dangerous.  And in that case, the line Danny walked into was known from...the mid 80's?  But it's completely out of fashion (for reasons unknown to me).  It was played once in Giri-Morozevich, 2012, in which White won quickly, so...it's a mystery why White doesn't play this way more often.    

Along those lines, I have a very good score with lines like the sharp 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Nf3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O dxc4 7.Na3!? and the "boring" 7. Qc2 a6 8. Qxc4 b5 9. Qc2 Bb7 10. Bg5 Nbd7 11. Bxf6 Nxf6 12. Nbd2.  I just analyze games of specialists (Krasenkow has an incredible score in 7.Na3, for instance) and go.  There is so much more to chess than "repertoire book theory." 
« Last Edit: 01/08/14 at 19:17:52 by ErictheRed »  
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OrangeCounty
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #45 - 01/07/14 at 21:42:47
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As a nonmaster who plays the Catalan regularly, I can speak to why it should appeal to practical players in the lower reaches of the 2000s and higher reaches of the 1000s.  Or, at least, why it appeals to me.

The Catalan is an opening where White has a clear plan, and success depends on the execution of that plan and the use of White's more extraneous resources (Q-side minor pieces) to achieve those plans.  In addition, the Catalan presents problems to the second player that are different from those posed by many other openings.  White has a lot of "ideas" but few requirements, leaving broad scope for the opponent to go wrong, even though the areas of conflict (d5, c4, the h1-a8 diagonal and the c-file) are fairly stereotyped.

The other point is that a lot of amateurs throw themselves off a cliff trying to defend the pawn after dxc4, which is useful.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #44 - 01/07/14 at 15:35:12
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Sorry, don't have any special database, just Megabase 2012. But there is of course also a lot of material at ... Chesspublishing.com  Grin

I agree, though, it is pretty cumbersome to type all the lines. I am still working on it.

As for the holes, of the ones I found some have been played even OTB, not just in corr.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #43 - 01/07/14 at 15:04:29
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Fling,
As I have found in ICCF, there is nothing like a strong opponent(s) to show demonstrate the holes in one's opening repertoire.
Can you recommend any online databases that focus on the Catalan?
It is very burdensome to have to type into my computer all the lines from Avruch and Bologan's books.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #42 - 01/06/14 at 06:28:27
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Yes, that is correct, I meant GM1 of course, sorry for the typo.
  
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cma6
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #41 - 01/06/14 at 04:14:54
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Fling,
Thanks for the recs. I have Avruch 1. d4 vol. 1 (2008), is that what you meant, as it covers the Catalan?
  I have  Bologan's "Powerful Catalan" (2012).
I will look into Wojo's Weapons 1.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #40 - 01/06/14 at 00:27:35
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fling wrote on 01/05/14 at 08:29:38:
Avrukh's GM2, ....


ITYM Avrukh's GM1?
  
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ANDREW BRETT
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #39 - 01/05/14 at 11:11:53
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just on the 3 g3 line, quite a few strong players are happy to play the Benoni .
  
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fling
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #38 - 01/05/14 at 08:29:38
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cma6 wrote on 01/05/14 at 00:20:24:
I am interested in studying the Catalan with a Whte perspective. Can you recommend several books from your library. I am an ICCF GM and will do very intensive computer analysis the the best lines.


Avrukh's GM2, Wojo's weapon 1 and Bologan's books all are on the Catalan. There are holes in the repertoire in all of these, as I found out trying them in corr. chess. But they are a good starting point of course.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #37 - 01/05/14 at 00:20:24
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I am interested in studying the Catalan with a Whte perspective. Can you recommend several books from your library. I am an ICCF GM and will do very intensive computer analysis the the best lines.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #36 - 07/17/13 at 00:14:36
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/16/13 at 23:37:45:
If there's actually a theoretical problem, I suspect it's that Black can use the "extra" tempo to attack d4 very quickly, i.e. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 dc 4.Nf3 c5, etc.  At a quick glance it looks like the omission of ...Nf6 has helped Black a good amount. 


That is indeed one of the ideas I'm aware of.  One comparison would be that after 5. Bg2 Nc6 6. Qa4 cd 7. Nxd4 Qxd4 8. Bxc6+ Bd7 there's no Rd1.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #35 - 07/16/13 at 23:37:45
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I don't know that 3.g3 is theoretically inferior, but Black can take advantage of not having played ...Nf6 yet in practice.  For instance, he can now transpose to a Stonewall Dutch since he knows that White is committed to the main lines with g2-g3 (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 f5?! 4.Bf4!, or 4.Nc3 c6 5.Bf4!). 

If there's actually a theoretical problem, I suspect it's that Black can use the "extra" tempo to attack d4 very quickly, i.e. 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 dc 4.Nf3 c5, etc.  At a quick glance it looks like the omission of ...Nf6 has helped Black a good amount.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #34 - 07/16/13 at 04:55:02
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Ty wrote on 07/16/13 at 02:39:55:
Isn't 3.g3 just an alternate move order? Can Black take advantage of it in any way?


Surely 3. Nf3 is more normal.  It seems that on 3. g3 dc (maybe also on 3...c6 and 3...c5) it suits Black not to have Nf3 and ...Nf6 in.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #33 - 07/16/13 at 02:39:55
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kylemeister wrote on 07/15/13 at 23:58:56:
Well, speaking of the opening, 3. g3 strikes me as unusual, but what Black did with his QN looks odd indeed. 
Looking at a few of Black's other recent games against 1. d4, there appeared to be more evidence of "winging it," as in not being aware of standard/natural ways of playing.  One of them went like this:  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Nf3 0-0 6. e3 Nc6 7. Rc1 Bd7.

It's things like this that lead me to wonder whether (at least/especially in online-chess-land) players can largely be divided into (1) those who buy a lot of opening-repertoire products in an apparent attempt to arm themselves against (2) their opponents who tend to be "out of book" by about move 5.



Isn't 3.g3 just an alternate move order? Can Black take advantage of it in any way?

And yeah, that was my second game against that guy -- both times I had White. In the first I played the QGD exchange with White, and he played a strange set-up, and kind of gradually drifted into a worse position as I got f3/e4 in, before blundering due to time pressure/positional pressure. He also takes a very long time early in the game, which leads me to believe he is more-or-less winging it from the start.

There are definitely some people who become fairly strong without knowing much theory, but in my experience most of the 2000+ crowd on FICS play faster in the opening and tend to know what they are doing for the first 10-15 moves... Though that varies depending on what line is played. I also think that some people purposely avoid theory in order to try to throw their opponents off -- but when doing that with Black, natural and principled moves from White can give you a tough time!
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #32 - 07/15/13 at 23:58:56
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Well, speaking of the opening, 3. g3 strikes me as unusual, but what Black did with his QN looks odd indeed. 
Looking at a few of Black's other recent games against 1. d4, there appeared to be more evidence of "winging it," as in not being aware of standard/natural ways of playing.  One of them went like this:  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Be7 5. Nf3 0-0 6. e3 Nc6 7. Rc1 Bd7.

It's things like this that lead me to wonder whether (at least/especially in online-chess-land) players can largely be divided into (1) those who buy a lot of opening-repertoire products in an apparent attempt to arm themselves against (2) their opponents who tend to be "out of book" by about move 5.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #31 - 07/12/13 at 20:12:25
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Just played my first ever Catalan game (on FICS)! I have no idea if it was of any theoretical relevance (Black's set-up looked strange to me), and I mostly just played moves that looked intuitively good for me -- though I was struggling to find a way to convert my positional edge into a material one. Nonetheless, I feel as though Black never really equalized, but of course play could be improved in many stages of the game for both sides, especially for Black:



This seems like a nice way to squeeze your opponents! I will have to try it again in the near future.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #30 - 07/12/13 at 01:23:27
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/12/13 at 00:41:18:
tony37 wrote on 07/11/13 at 22:26:14:
ErictheRed wrote on 07/11/13 at 20:19:59:
But it's not more theory-heavy than any other mainline opening, and suggesting that playing it requires more theoretical knowledge than a QGD/Nimzo repertoire is ridiculous. 

I'm still inclined to say that, yes, the Catalan requires more theoretical knowledge.


Did you also think that about 6 years ago, before anyone knew that Avrukh was working on a book?  How about ten years ago, before Nigel Davies, Raetsky/Chetverik, and Marin?   I doubt it. 

It's a question of fashion and how the theory gets disseminated down to the masses.  I still think that there is more theory required (or at least a very comparable amount) in taking on the Queen's Gambit Declined and Nimzo-Indian than the Catalan alone. 


Well, the Catalan also comes with the Bogo, right? And maybe some other lines such as the Catalan Benoni (Black gets a Benoni with an early ...b5).

Though I have not played a Catalan with either side, it seems to me that Black has a lot of different set-ups against it due to the non-forcing nature of White's early moves (looking at a PDF excerpt of Bologan's book, there seems to be a lot of different ways Black can play). Whereas, in the QGD exchange White seems to force the pace of the game more with the early exchange and a clear plan of either f3/e4 or the Queenside minority attack -- and thus it seems to me that Black would have fewer good set-ups compared to the Catalan, where early play is less forced, but I am not really sure. In the Nimzo, however, White does have to know quite a bit after 4.Qc2 or 4.e3, no doubt about that.

At least in studying the QGD exchange, there does not seem to be a lot of theory, but I suppose that someone could take Schandorff's QGD/Nimzo recommendations and expand them into a three hundred page book... And indeed, Avrukh's books are definitely intended for a stronger audience than Schandorff's, at least it looks that way by the depth of the analysis.

@Katar -- Indeed, those Botvinnik games are inspiring, instructive, and well worth playing through!
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #29 - 07/12/13 at 00:41:18
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tony37 wrote on 07/11/13 at 22:26:14:
ErictheRed wrote on 07/11/13 at 20:19:59:
But it's not more theory-heavy than any other mainline opening, and suggesting that playing it requires more theoretical knowledge than a QGD/Nimzo repertoire is ridiculous. 

I'm still inclined to say that, yes, the Catalan requires more theoretical knowledge.


Did you also think that about 6 years ago, before anyone knew that Avrukh was working on a book?  How about ten years ago, before Nigel Davies, Raetsky/Chetverik, and Marin?   I doubt it. 

It's a question of fashion and how the theory gets disseminated down to the masses.  I still think that there is more theory required (or at least a very comparable amount) in taking on the Queen's Gambit Declined and Nimzo-Indian than the Catalan alone.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #28 - 07/11/13 at 22:26:14
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ErictheRed wrote on 07/11/13 at 20:19:59:
But it's not more theory-heavy than any other mainline opening, and suggesting that playing it requires more theoretical knowledge than a QGD/Nimzo repertoire is ridiculous. 

I'm still inclined to say that, yes, the Catalan requires more theoretical knowledge. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's certainly not a ridiculous question
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #27 - 07/11/13 at 21:34:59
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The Carlsbad pawn structure still has plenty of room for refinement and nuance, but the two basic elemental plans give you something to bang your opponent on the head with -- i.e., minority attack with b4-b5 or central expansion with f3 & e4.  These simple plans can be played with as much subtlety as a Quentin Tarantino movie, but they can also be effective at high levels.  So I can understand Ty's enthusiasm.  BTW, offtopic but you can get the Karlsbad structure from a Grunfeld too (you won't get an edge, but that's not the point):
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4.Nf3 Bg7 5.Bg5 Ne4 6.cxd5 Nxg5 7.Nxg5 e6 8.Nf3 exd5 then e3, b4 etc.

I agree with Eric that it is possible to conceive of a concise well-written primer on the Catalan in 30 or so pages.

Schandorff 1 and 2 are actually pretty good games collections.  Playing thru all the quoted Botvinnik games is surely beneficial to any player regardless of your opening preferences.

Seems like Ty has answered his own question.
  

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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #26 - 07/11/13 at 20:19:59
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Ty wrote on 07/11/13 at 18:48:44:
Thoughts?


Everything is theoretical, and the fact that Avrukh's two-volume repertoire is much larger than Schandorff's has everything to do with the authors' coverage and not the lines covered.  When I saw Schandorff's coverage of the main line 6.Ne5 Slav, for instance, I was surprised at how short it was.  Compare Avrukhe's 2-volume Grunfeld work to other books on the Grunfeld; the fact that Avrukh's book is twice as large as Delchev and Agrest's is because Avrukh wrote it.

You can pick up a shorter book on the Catalan and play it if you want.  Or not.  But it's not more theory-heavy than any other mainline opening, and suggesting that playing it requires more theoretical knowledge than a QGD/Nimzo repertoire is ridiculous. 
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #25 - 07/11/13 at 18:48:44
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Thanks for the recommendations.

Though, after reading this thread and briefly looking at just how much space Avrukh and Bologan give to the Catalan, I start to question why anyone below Master level would want to play it. Right now I more or less am using Schandorff's two volume repertoire as White and with great results! And when I look at how much space he gives to the QGD exchange variation and the NID COMBINED it is around 70 pages -- and I think he does a pretty thorough job!

Surely the QGD exchange with the Nge2/f3/e4 plan gives White a slight edge in most, if not all, variations? I find it very comfortable and have won many games after taking the center. If Black plays an early ...c5 I get good play against his IQP, and all this with hardly any memorization of concrete lines! I also seldom see Black allowing it at the top level, though I have not really kept up with the latest trends for the last few years.

So, if the QGD is not the problem, I guess the NID is what people want to avoid? Indeed it is a nice opening for Black, but still 4.e3 and 4.Qc2 are definitely challenging lines IMO. Maybe Black is equal with best play, but I for one think he has only a few narrow paths to equality in the mainlines, and objectively I prefer having the space edge and/or bishop pair to Black's development lead!

So why do non-Master's play the Catalan? It seems rather impractical for those of us who lack the refined middle game technique required to build on White's slight edge (generally speaking, I know there are sharp tactical lines too). Also, it avoids the NID but allows the Bogo, which is perhaps not quite as good, but is still another thing to be prepared for!

I could see myself playing it for variety -- I get the QGD and the NID more than anything else -- except the KID. But from a practical point of view, I am not sure it would be worth the time it takes to learn!

Thoughts?
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #24 - 07/09/13 at 12:50:43
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Also "Catalan E00-E09" by Marin (ChessBase 2004, CD).
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #23 - 07/08/13 at 21:54:59
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Ty wrote on 07/08/13 at 20:53:13:
This is a bit of a hijack, but which book(s) would be the best choice for a sub-2000 player looking to take up the Catalan as White for the first time? I might add it to my repertoire eventually.


Dunnington's older Winning with the Catalan is probably the best place to start, as it's a complete repertoire that is digestible in size.  The recommended variations are also still fine today, though as with any older opening book you'll have to look for the improvements and new ideas in those variations if you want to stay abreast of theory.  But sub-2000 it's certainly fine as is. 
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #22 - 07/08/13 at 20:53:13
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This is a bit of a hijack, but which book(s) would be the best choice for a sub-2000 player looking to take up the Catalan as White for the first time? I might add it to my repertoire eventually.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #21 - 10/16/12 at 07:54:08
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You hit the nail on the head! I am a lifelong Reti/English player but I am trying to incorporate more and more 1.d4 (+ Bg2-fianchetto) transpositions to enter the repertoires of Hilton & Ippolito, Avrukh and to a lesser extent Khalifman. I have Davies' "Play the Catalan" and are a great fan of (all of) his work.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #20 - 10/16/12 at 00:47:14
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Hey TD, have you checked out what Nigel Davies has to say about the Catalan. His approach may be a good way to tackle the learning curve. He also has the Reti and English in his repertoire as I recall so this may be a nice fit for you.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #19 - 09/30/12 at 14:53:16
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TD wrote on 09/27/12 at 14:28:45:
GabrielGale wrote on 09/21/12 at 17:28:49:
@TD, do you have the Bologan book? How is it? Same as CB DVD or different? is the layout better or just as bad as The modern French and the Sokolov's book The strategic NID? and how does the book compare with Avrukh's GM Rep 1 d4 books?

I received the book yesterday and it looks very good. I don't know the books you mentioned, but I have Bologan's Chebanenko book which has the same layout and quality.
It is much better than the DVD with obviously much more detail, but as far as I have seen it covers the same repertoire plus extra variations. He refers to Avrukh a lot, but doesn't always agree with him. Bologan is very good in his explanations, which Avrukh doesn't have a lot.
The only small obstacle I think is the usage of A2223) and A23522 etc. which makes you sometimes wonder where you are in all those variation.
Conclusion: I find it a very good addition to my Catalan-library.


Thanks for the reply. I will see if I can get it for Christmas. From the sample, I agree the layout is better than the Modern French and Sokolov's NID book.
  

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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #18 - 09/27/12 at 18:41:25
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TUNO NEGRO wrote on 09/27/12 at 18:09:18:
Bologan's is as positional as Wojos? Active lines?
Thanks!

Send from my hands Smiley

I am not that in to it to determine if that is the case. They have some lines in common but I think much more lines are different. Like I said before, Bologan has much more in common with Avrukh.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #17 - 09/27/12 at 18:09:18
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Bologan's is as positional as Wojos? Active lines?
Thanks!

Send from my hands Smiley
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #16 - 09/27/12 at 14:28:45
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GabrielGale wrote on 09/21/12 at 17:28:49:
@TD, do you have the Bologan book? How is it? Same as CB DVD or different? is the layout better or just as bad as The modern French and the Sokolov's book The strategic NID? and how does the book compare with Avrukh's GM Rep 1 d4 books?

I received the book yesterday and it looks very good. I don't know the books you mentioned, but I have Bologan's Chebanenko book which has the same layout and quality.
It is much better than the DVD with obviously much more detail, but as far as I have seen it covers the same repertoire plus extra variations. He refers to Avrukh a lot, but doesn't always agree with him. Bologan is very good in his explanations, which Avrukh doesn't have a lot.
The only small obstacle I think is the usage of A2223) and A23522 etc. which makes you sometimes wonder where you are in all those variation.
Conclusion: I find it a very good addition to my Catalan-library.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #15 - 09/21/12 at 18:20:16
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I ordered it. I expect to have it on wednesday.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #14 - 09/21/12 at 17:44:01
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There's a small sample at New in Chess.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #13 - 09/21/12 at 17:28:49
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@TD, do you have the Bologan book? How is it? Same as CB DVD or different? is the layout better or just as bad as The modern French and the Sokolov's book The strategic NID? and how does the book compare with Avrukh's GM Rep 1 d4 books?
  

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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #12 - 09/21/12 at 14:57:02
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GabrielGale wrote on 09/21/12 at 13:20:16:
Look at what turned up for the holiday season:
http://www.newinchess.com/Shop/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=975&utm_campaign=cv...

Not that I am saying this book is suitable for U2000, no sirreee, no but it will be interesting to compare with Avrukh as well as Bologan's CB DVD.

I ordered it already, although I am below 2000! Wink Even though I may not play the Catalan very much or at a good level, I indeed have great fun comparing the book to my other Catalan sources (like Avrukh, Hilton & Ippolito, Bologan and others).
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #11 - 09/21/12 at 13:20:16
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Look at what turned up for the holiday season:
http://www.newinchess.com/Shop/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductID=975&utm_campaign=cv...

Not that I am saying this book is suitable for U2000, no sirreee, no but it will be interesting to compare with Avrukh as well as Bologan's CB DVD.
  

http://www.toutautre.blogspot.com/
A Year With Nessie ...... aka GM John Shaw's The King's Gambit (http://thekinggambit.blogspot.com.au/)
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #10 - 09/21/12 at 10:25:54
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In fact I think most of the people would agree to a fair degree anyway Smiley The key thing that turns up in those discussions is that is utterly key that people get a good grounding in tactics in open positions, which you don't seem to dispute.

In terms of being too sophisticated the thing I have seen suggested that seems to make sense is that some white openings which trade off short term activity etc for long term advantages just don't make sense below a certain level.

The chance of an accident due to the activity goes up, while the chance of managing to exploit the favourable late middlegame/endgame goes down.

I think that's more relevant for certain Nimzo lines and the like though. The Catalan does at least get white developed fast with a solid base in the center etc. It can of course also lead to some very sharp gambit play.
(Maybe a better way to play it at lower levels than some of Kramnik's quieter ideas.).
« Last Edit: 09/21/12 at 13:31:24 by MartinC »  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #9 - 09/21/12 at 10:11:31
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No problem Smiley
  

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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #8 - 09/21/12 at 00:41:15
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I apologize if my tone was harsh; I'm having a terrible couple of weeks here.  Still, that's my opinion--too bad we can't discuss it in a real pub!
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #7 - 09/20/12 at 21:51:11
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I agree with both of you.
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #6 - 09/20/12 at 20:56:13
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As I alluded in my previous post, I'm not one of those posters who is going to man the barricades over this issue Smiley so, if it works for you, great...fortunately for all of us, there are no hard and fast rules in chess.
  

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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #5 - 09/20/12 at 16:43:01
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Dink Heckler wrote on 09/20/12 at 15:43:47:
Yes, I mean 'hinders'...but this is such a broad topic that has been discussed in many forum threads, so I don't want to derail your thread by getting too deeply into it here. Some posters seem to feel very strongly about the topic, and there have been a few fights...

I think in general you would be better off playing an opening that pursues more concrete objectives. This helps one to improve. Form plan ---> execute plan ---->prevent opponent executing his plan; that's good chess. Shuffling your pieces around delicately pretending you have an edge Catalan-style will not do much for your chess, in my opinion.


I couldn't disagree more.  Sure, I'm not that strong of a player, but I started playing the Catalan at 1600 or so and I don't think it's stunted my development.  I'm now rated 2189, which is pretty good considering I came to the game as a college student, joined the military, have worked a full time job, etc. etc. in all that time.

The idea that the Catalan involves "shuffling your pieces around pretending you have an edge" is ridiculous.  The idea that it is overly-refined is ludicrous.  Are there refined ways of playing?  Of course.  Are there straightforward ones?  Of course.  Do many lines of the Ruy Lopez involve "shuffling your pieces around pretending you have an edge?"  Of course; that's called playing chess in an equalish position.  Does the Catalan allow you to "form plan ---> execute plan ---->prevent opponent executing his plan?"  Of course.

I really don't understand why some people think that some openings are so crazily sophisticated or something that they will stunt your chess development; I really don't get it.  Yes I think that everyone needs some experience in Open positions, and yes I think that some openings are so extremely theoretical and tactical (like the Botvinnik Semi-Slav) that they're probably best suited for later on in your chess development, but at least 90% of all "normal" openings are suited for everyone.  By the way, I think the Semi-Slav is perfectly fine for players rated under 2000--you just need to pick and choose which lines you play a little wisely.

You're playing chess, for God's sake.  Fianchettoing a Bishop happens, it's good, quick development that influences the center.  Where does this notion that the Catalan is uber-sophisticated come from?  Do you feel the same way about the King's Indian, The Queen's Indian, The Nimzo with 4.e3 b6, The Colle-Zukertort, The Benoni, The Grunfeld, The King's Indian Attack, The Closed Sicilian, The Sicilian Dragon...????
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #4 - 09/20/12 at 15:43:47
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Yes, I mean 'hinders'...but this is such a broad topic that has been discussed in many forum threads, so I don't want to derail your thread by getting too deeply into it here. Some posters seem to feel very strongly about the topic, and there have been a few fights...

I think in general you would be better off playing an opening that pursues more concrete objectives. This helps one to improve. Form plan ---> execute plan ---->prevent opponent executing his plan; that's good chess. Shuffling your pieces around delicately pretending you have an edge Catalan-style will not do much for your chess, in my opinion.
  

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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #3 - 09/20/12 at 15:21:45
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Dink Heckler wrote on 09/20/12 at 14:27:51:
Catalan could be a very good option sub-2000, because your opponents would have virtually no experience of it!

However, my pedagogic side would always caution against playing 'over-refined' openings, as I believe it stunts one's chess development.

The refinement of the Catalan is also my worry, compared to my chess-level. That is why I posed my question. By "stunts" do you mean "hinders"? (English is not my native language and I couldn't find it in my dictionary) But maybe, just because of the refinement, it could HELP my chess development?
  
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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #2 - 09/20/12 at 14:27:51
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Catalan could be a very good option sub-2000, because your opponents would have virtually no experience of it!

However, my pedagogic side would always caution against playing 'over-refined' openings, as I believe it stunts one's chess development.
  

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Re: Catalan suited below 2000?
Reply #1 - 09/18/12 at 18:04:19
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Of course it is.  Why wouldn't it be?  In just about every main line White can develop quickly and efficiently, put his pieces on natural squares, and get a decent game. 

This same question could be asked of many openings and I'd give the same answer.  Is the Ruy Lopez suitable for lower rated players?  Of course it is.  Will a beginner know or understand all the intricacies and theory?  No, but he's playing good, logical, straightforward moves and can get a playable game even when he plays "inferior" moves like 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 a6 4.Ba4 Nf6 5.Nc3 or 5.d3.

The only exceptions I can think of are those lines that are extremely complicated tactically or strategically (Botvinnik Semi-Slav, Winawer Poisoned Pawn), or that break a lot of "rules" (Alekhine's Defense).  Otherwise, just play chess, develop your pieces quickly and efficiently, control the center, and don't worry about the "name" of the opening you're playing.  Just PLAY CHESS.
  
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Catalan suited below 2000?
09/18/12 at 17:06:56
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I find the Catalan a very interesting but also difficult opening. I love to fianchetto my King's bishop, but have some difficulty with the clash between the pawns on c4 and d4 vs. c5 and d5 and the different pawn configurations in the centre. I already play the Reti and the English, but want to implement some 1.d4-variations in my repertoire (following Hilton & Ippolito and Avrukh). Do you think the Catalan is suitable for a player rated below 2000 or does a Catalan-newcomer need more chess understanding?
  
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