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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move (Read 6503 times)
Keano
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #23 - 08/22/15 at 19:38:26
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Bf4 is the worst of Whites options
  
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tipau
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #22 - 08/20/15 at 22:08:53
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If the reason you don't like 8.Bf4 is because of 8...Nh5 9.Bc1 Nf6 then maybe you could play 8.Nbd2 (when bishop on c1) and 9.Bf4 (when the bishop is on d2) with the idea 9...Nh5 10.Bc1 Nf6 11.Nbd2?

I doubt most of your opponents will go for the repetition, so another approach could be that you try 8.Bf4 (when the bishop starts on c1) and only change to Nbd2 lines when your opponent repeats the position once.
  

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Keano
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #21 - 08/20/15 at 21:15:31
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could take 3 volumes to explain it, challenging question all the same.
  
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Marc Benford
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #20 - 07/13/15 at 09:02:10
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Sorry for bumping this 12 months old thread, but I was wondering if there was some possibilities of good transpositions between the line where White's Bishop is still on c1 and the line where Black inserts a Bishop check to force White's Bishop to be on d2?

Because I really like having an "economical" and "cost-effective" repertoire. But with still playing strong variations.
So I would like to find two lines (one when my Bishop is still on c1, and one when it gets on d2) which most of the time transpose into each other.

I was looking at this:
- When White's Bishop is still on c1: 8. b3 b6 9. Rd1 Bb7 10. Nc3 Rc8 11. e4
- When White's Bishop is on d2: 9. Rd1 b6 10. b3 Bb7 11. Nc3 Rc8 12. e4
and then in both cases White will play Bf4 and Black won't be able to play ...Nh5 anymore since White would just retreat the Bishop on e3 without blocking any Pawn (since the Pawn is already on e4)
So both lines transpose into each other, right?

And if instead Black chooses to put his Bishop on a6:
- When White's Bishop is still on c1: 8. b3 b6 9. Rd1 Ba6 11. Bf4
- When White's Bishop is on d2: 9. Rd1 b6 10. b3 Ba6 11. Bf4
Here again they both seem to transpose into each others apparently...

But I have a feeling that something is wrong somewhere...
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #19 - 08/09/14 at 21:02:05
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gauss wrote on 08/08/14 at 17:33:28:
I don't think b3 makes a lot of sense if black throws in Bb4+-Be7.


Actually there are some interesting ideas in there, some associated with a2-a4, though I'm not sure White can get an advantage.  But I don't think that White can get an advantage against best play by Black.
  
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gauss
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #18 - 08/08/14 at 17:33:28
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I don't think b3 makes a lot of sense if black throws in Bb4+-Be7.
  
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fling
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #17 - 08/08/14 at 17:01:23
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Well, as mentioned, a good reply to 8. Rd1 is ...Ne4, because the rook has nothing to do on d1 in a Stonewall formation. 8. b3 has of course also been played a lot. The problem is that it doesn't develop a piece. Even though it supports c4, as shown, the pawn on c4 can be defended tactically, or even sacrificed in some of the continuations. Also, the pawn on b3 hinders the queen from going to a4, which may often be a good move once Black has played ...Rc8.

Thus, all moves have drawbacks. What I would look for if I were you would be the resulting pawn structures and the sharpness of the variations etc. And yes, I think you should try the moves (all four) to see how you like them.
  
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Marc Benford
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #16 - 08/08/14 at 00:24:57
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Thank you all for your answers.

It seems that 8. Rd1 and 8. b3 are the most solid/positional/slow/closed/quiet/strategic moves.

I would prefer to be able to play the same thing both against 4...Be7 and against  4...Bb4+ 5. Bd2 Be7
So it seems that I can already eliminate 8. Nbd2

8. Bf4 can be easily neutralized by 8... Nh5 9. Bc1 Nf6 (therefore we can't only learn 8. Bf4 alone, we have to also learn another move in case Black plays 8... Nh5) so I think I won't choose this one either.

So I will either choose 8. b3 or 8. Rd1
I don't know which one yet. I will try them both in some games and will see which one I like best.
  
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gauss
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #15 - 08/05/14 at 22:05:20
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I can't imagine any result except a draw in a high level correspondence game from the position after gxf4. I looked at the white wins the top 100 games in my database (not very many games) and I noticed that there was only one game white won where black played Qc7 and a quick c5 (Caruana-Nielsen, 2010). Sure, if black wants to make it interesting than he can avoid the draw, but if black wants a draw than there is little white can do about it.
After Rxd5, I don't see how the game could be anything but a draw (unless one side blunders). All the rooks will be traded off and there will be little to play for with the opposite colored bishops.

I appear to have overestimated whites chances. Black score 50.0% in the position after gxf4, and, in the top 100 games, white only scores +13 -10 =77. The reason for the lack of draws is because of tries like Nf6-d5, which leads to a somewhat unbalanced game. After 13...Qc7 14.e3 Rad8, 91% of the games are drawn and somehow white only scores 49.3%
  
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MartinC
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #14 - 08/05/14 at 21:18:40
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Definitely not that drawn at move 13 though Smiley That's what I was very gently objecting to in principle. 13.. Nf6 is down to 50 per cent draws say.

More drawish after Rxd5 it seems Wink (Quite astonishing frankly!). Small sample and some prearranged draws it seems mind - maybe you'd get 25/60/15 with a bunch more games. A grinder at club level could do quite nicely I suspect.

Not that 10 percent wins, 90 percent draws is anything for white to complain about - its the usual 55 per cent Smiley
  
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gauss
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #13 - 08/05/14 at 14:22:56
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If black continues with 13...Qc7 14.e3 Rad8, then after the most common move 15.Rac1 black can play 15...c5 16.d5 exd5 17.Nxd5 Bxd5 18.Rxd5, and 96% (!) of the games to reach this position have been drawn. The only person who managed to lose with black was an 1800. White has alternatives on move 15 of course, but I don't think they give white much. Most of white's wins come from him being allowed to play a3 and b4 when black dallies with c5.
  
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MartinC
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #12 - 08/05/14 at 09:22:23
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If you're accepting a slightly worse position with no winning chances by move 14 then you'll crack under persistent pressure quite a bit more than ninety percent of the time Smiley
(Presumably it isn't half that drawish though. Only a few pieces gone and quite an unbalanced pawn structure.).
  
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fling
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #11 - 08/04/14 at 17:25:10
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gauss wrote on 08/04/14 at 17:15:08:
After 8.Rd1 b6 9.Bf4 Bb7 10.Nc3 dxc4 11.Nd2 Nd5 12.Nxc4 Nxf4 13.gxf4 white has no real advantage. This might be slightly unpleasant for black as he has no winning chances, but objectively it should be 10% white wins 90% draw.


This is the line that seems best for Black. Theoretically, it looks like White is not better, I totally agree.

Anyway, I forgot to mention that even if 8. Bf4 would be best, 8 ...Nh5 is most likely best met by 9. Bc1. If Black plays 9 ...Nf6, it means White has to find something else to avoid a repetition. On the other hand, if you only prepare 8. Nbd2, you need to answer the bishop check with something else than Bd2 (which is likely best), or else be move ordered out of your set-up!
  
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gauss
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #10 - 08/04/14 at 17:15:08
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After 8.Rd1 b6 9.Bf4 Bb7 10.Nc3 dxc4 11.Nd2 Nd5 12.Nxc4 Nxf4 13.gxf4 white has no real advantage. This might be slightly unpleasant for black as he has no winning chances, but objectively it should be 10% white wins 90% draw.
  
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fling
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #9 - 08/04/14 at 16:59:46
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hicetnunc wrote on 08/04/14 at 16:02:23:
RdC wrote on 08/04/14 at 15:10:00:
hicetnunc wrote on 08/04/14 at 14:38:57:
The main splitting points are where you develop your bishop (Bb2 or Bf4) and your Knight (Nd2 or Nc3).


Another one is whether you are intending to play e4. Usually that involves Nd2 and then Rd1 either before or after e4. Black doesn't have to take on e4 as being pushed back by e4-e5 may not be so bad.


Isn't e4 always an idea for white ? I mean, is there a plan without e4 at some stage ?


It is, but depending on the timing, it may lead to very different structures and variations.
  
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fling
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #8 - 08/04/14 at 16:58:24
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RdC wrote on 08/04/14 at 15:10:00:
hicetnunc wrote on 08/04/14 at 14:38:57:
The main splitting points are where you develop your bishop (Bb2 or Bf4) and your Knight (Nd2 or Nc3).


Another one is whether you are intending to play e4. Usually that involves Nd2 and then Rd1 either before or after e4. Black doesn't have to take on e4 as being pushed back by e4-e5 may not be so bad.


Well, Bf4 does support some tactics later on, and is the recommendation in Wojo 1 and mentioned by Bologan as an interesting try. Even though it is usually reached following the bishop check on b4, in this exact position 8. Bf4 will transpose to one of Avrukh's lines. But I think the verdict is that White won't get an advantage with best play after that (there are e.g. some games by Tiviakov that look ok for Black).

After 8. Rd1 Ne4 9. b3 f5 10. Ba3, White gets to exchange the dark-squared bishops, true, but I am not sure Black is worse. The rook has nothing to do on d1 in this structure. I have played the line as White, but after 10 ...Bxa3 11. Nxa3, IIRC, Black will manage to play either ....c5 or ...e5 before White can get the knight back into play.

I fully agree that the knight should be on c3 in many cases, the tactics often work in White's favour. In this particular position, Avrukh recommends 8. Nbd2 (p. 188 in GM1), although as mentioned, by transposition, Avrukh also gives 8. Bf4 by transposition (p. 157 in GM1).

And as we both have mentioned, 8. Nbd2 means a totally different type of strategy, as White is committed to playing 9. e4 if he wants to achieve an advantage.
  
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hicetnunc
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #7 - 08/04/14 at 16:02:23
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RdC wrote on 08/04/14 at 15:10:00:
hicetnunc wrote on 08/04/14 at 14:38:57:
The main splitting points are where you develop your bishop (Bb2 or Bf4) and your Knight (Nd2 or Nc3).


Another one is whether you are intending to play e4. Usually that involves Nd2 and then Rd1 either before or after e4. Black doesn't have to take on e4 as being pushed back by e4-e5 may not be so bad.


Isn't e4 always an idea for white ? I mean, is there a plan without e4 at some stage ?
  

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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #6 - 08/04/14 at 15:10:00
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hicetnunc wrote on 08/04/14 at 14:38:57:
The main splitting points are where you develop your bishop (Bb2 or Bf4) and your Knight (Nd2 or Nc3).


Another one is whether you are intending to play e4. Usually that involves Nd2 and then Rd1 either before or after e4. Black doesn't have to take on e4 as being pushed back by e4-e5 may not be so bad.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #5 - 08/04/14 at 15:09:41
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In my opinion, 8.Bf4?! makes no sense in this exact position.

8.Rd1 and 8.b3 are both useful waiting moves.  White wants to see where the c8-bishop develops before developing his knight.  In particular if it goes to b7 the knight really wants to be on c3.

8.Nbd2 prevents 8...Ne4 and just gets on with pushing e2-e4 as rapidly as possible, leading to a different kind of position with the pawn on e5.
  
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hicetnunc
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #4 - 08/04/14 at 14:38:57
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The main splitting points are where you develop your bishop (Bb2 or Bf4) and your Knight (Nd2 or Nc3).

The most passive options among those are probably the most solid as well...  Wink
  

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gauss
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #3 - 08/04/14 at 14:15:11
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8.Nbd2 is best, but that means you have to have different against 4...Bb4+ and 5...Be7.
  
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #2 - 08/04/14 at 12:11:06
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I'd say that Rd1 and Bf4 tend to transpose (unless Black plays 8. Bf4 Ne4, after which Rd1 is not really meaningful). However, b3 and Nbd2 means potentially playing a slightly different plan, i.e. going for a direct e4.
  
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Re: Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
Reply #1 - 08/04/14 at 09:30:57
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On average I bet they all tend to transpose around move 15 or so Smiley
  
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Marc Benford
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Closed Catalan: Main Line - White's 8th move
08/03/14 at 23:43:28
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Hello.

In the Main Line of the Closed Catalan, after 1. Nf3 d5 2. d4 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. g3 Be7 5. Bg2 O-O 6. O-O c6 7. Qc2 Nbd7



I am hesitating between these four moves:
- 8. Rd1
- 8. b3
- 8. Bf4
- 8. Nbd2

Could you explain what are all the differences between these four moves? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each one of them?

And most importantly: which one of them tends on average to lead to the positions which are the most solid, positional, slow, closed, quiet and strategic? (the least sharp/tactical positions)?

Thanks in advance for your answers.
  
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