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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿ (Read 2287 times)
kylemeister
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #35 - 09/26/18 at 08:15:04
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Oddly enough, 7...b6 has also appeared on the opening-theory website "Chess Publishing" (incl. more recently than in the Yearbook, as far as I know). 
  
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Leon_Trotsky
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #34 - 09/26/18 at 07:41:15
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mn wrote on 09/26/18 at 05:06:55:
You mentioned you didn't like the Classical lines with ...Be7, ...0-0, ...dxc4 and ...a6 (or rather, liked them for White!). I would suggest maybe taking a look at the modern twist 7...b6!?. If White plays "normally", Black gets ...c5 in more easily than in the adjacent ...a6/...b5 lines, whereas the Exchange Sac line after 8 Ne5 gives Black dynamic play in return for the invested material.


I could take a look it. If I remember in one of the Yearbooks recent maybe I saw 7...b6 there (or maybe not, I do not remember  Cheesy). But yes, the entire 4...Ae7 complex was why I was attracted to playing Catalán for White. Fianchetto, long diagonal and slow positional torture.

Working backward, as White 4...Ab4+ is less comfortable to meet than 4...Ae7, with 4...Ab4+ 5. Ad2 Ad6 the most annoying for me as White. So like Stigma said, that might be choice one for me as Black.

3...c5 is annoying because it forces White to play tactically compared to the Catalán lines. So I might add that one too.

In worst case scenario, in many 9+ round tournaments where they give one game per day where round starts in the late afternoon, one can see the pairings the night before and at least prepare. If see that opponent plays 3. g3 as White, can just play another one of my openings like Grünfeld or Slav  Cheesy
  
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mn
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #33 - 09/26/18 at 05:06:55
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You mentioned you didn't like the Classical lines with ...Be7, ...0-0, ...dxc4 and ...a6 (or rather, liked them for White!). I would suggest maybe taking a look at the modern twist 7...b6!?. If White plays "normally", Black gets ...c5 in more easily than in the adjacent ...a6/...b5 lines, whereas the Exchange Sac line after 8 Ne5 gives Black dynamic play in return for the invested material.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #32 - 09/23/18 at 05:49:08
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No I'm not; in that position as Black, I would prefer 8...Nbd7. 

I'm not referring to one precise line, but rather a more sophisticated approach as Black where you choose between various ways of playing depending on where White puts his pieces.  For instance, an early Rd1 from White can often invite ...Ne4! in good form from Black.   

If (using the move order of your last post) White plays 7.0-0 c6 8.Qc2 Nbd7 9.Bf4 a5!? is an interesting move.  Then after 10.Rd1 Black could consider 10...b5!? or 10...Nh5 or 10...h6.  If White plays 9.Rd1 instead, Black could consider 9...a5!? again, or 9...Ne4 is not stupid. 

Anyway, I would still play 3...c5, I just mean that you don't have to play the Closed Catalan in completely passive fashion.
  
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Leon_Trotsky
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #31 - 09/23/18 at 00:35:05
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ErictheRed wrote on 09/22/18 at 23:58:50:
There are also ways to make the Closed Catalan more combative, such as the lines with ...b5.  Combine those ideas with ...Bb4+ and ...Be7, and playing some early ...Ne4 lines depending on White's move order, can be a way to try to outplay White.


Are you referring to this line ¿:



I have analysed a little bit of this line. Black has to be aware of tactics on the queenside, as well as when expanding on kingside. From my experience, but on White side  Cheesy
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #30 - 09/22/18 at 23:58:50
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There are also ways to make the Closed Catalan more combative, such as the lines with ...b5.  Combine those ideas with ...Bb4+ and ...Be7, and playing some early ...Ne4 lines depending on White's move order, can be a way to try to outplay White.
  
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Leon_Trotsky
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #29 - 09/22/18 at 20:02:44
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IsaVulpes wrote on 09/22/18 at 14:53:35:
From here, the lichess master DB knows 29 games, with 28 draws and 1 Black win. Do you think this position is better (at least in practical terms) for White?
Here's a 2016 correspondence draw, where Black played what -at a glance- looks like just a bunch of normal moves, and never got any problems: https://lichess.org/1PtdWykS

You haven't gone into any detail regarding what you play, and obviously the Catalan is a very serious try for an advantage - as seen by its frequency at the highest level, most recently in the candidates -, but your concrete loathing of the ..Be7 line in particular I can't really follow.


I generally follow Awrukh's 2th version of the GM Repertoire Catalán. Besides my one game as Black in 4...Ae7 a decade ago, with White also the positions somehow feel more comfortable. I feel that it is similar to the line 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Cc3 Cf6 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Ag5 c6 6. e3 Af5 7. Df3 Ag6 8. Axf6 Dxf6 9. Dxf6 gxf6 that elites like to play so much. It is like they saying, «I know I probably would not win, but I try to draw here». Unless of course the opponent is much lower rated. That is my personal feeling with 4...Ae7. Even if it has a good theoretical reputation, in practical game White always has that little pressure that can get bigger after small inaccuracies.

In correspondence of course, is much easier togo down long theoretical lines to strive for equality, more than in OTB where you probably would forget at least half of such long analyses. I would play a lot of things in correspondence that I would never play in OTB, maybe even 4...Ae7. Except I play only OTB and never correspondence  Cheesy

ErictheRed wrote on 09/22/18 at 19:01:55:
Going back to the original poster, I really think that if you're happy with the Benoni there's absolutely no reason not to play 3...c5!  There's got to be some line after 4.Nf3 that works for you.


I have to look more into that 3...c5. My reasoning is that although the Fianchetto Benoni is quite sharper than both Nimzo and QID (and a bit more than Ragozin), it is either that or Catalán.
  
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ErictheRed
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #28 - 09/22/18 at 19:01:55
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Going back to the original poster, I really think that if you're happy with the Benoni there's absolutely no reason not to play 3...c5!  There's got to be some line after 4.Nf3 that works for you.  I would personally play 3...c5 in that position as Black all day long, except that I don't want to play the Benoni!
  
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #27 - 09/22/18 at 17:30:14
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Tony Rotella's You Tube video and Lichess study are excellent and supplement the Bb4+ / Bd6 line recommended by Pert and King.
Many thanks Tony !
  
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #26 - 09/22/18 at 14:53:35
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Leon_Trotsky wrote on 09/11/18 at 20:50:41:
I see a lot of elite games with 4...Ae7 line. I still ask me, why play this line ¿ From White perspective, this type of positions is exactly what I would like to play against Shocked

Why not play this line? It's sound! It might be 'what White wants', but perhaps it's also what Black wants..

The "current mainline" (as far as I know anyway, haven't kept up with anything, as I never face the Catalan) of the Qc2 complex (as you mentioned you're not playing Ne5) goes like this:

I don't know if White has any convincing deviations along this road, or if 10.Bg5 superceded 10.Bf4 as the mainline since I looked, but that's my state of knowledge.

From here, the lichess master DB knows 29 games, with 28 draws and 1 Black win. Do you think this position is better (at least in practical terms) for White?
Here's a 2016 correspondence draw, where Black played what -at a glance- looks like just a bunch of normal moves, and never got any problems: https://lichess.org/1PtdWykS

You haven't gone into any detail regarding what you play, and obviously the Catalan is a very serious try for an advantage - as seen by its frequency at the highest level, most recently in the candidates -, but your concrete loathing of the ..Be7 line in particular I can't really follow.
  
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Leon_Trotsky
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #25 - 09/11/18 at 20:50:41
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CanadianClub wrote on 09/11/18 at 17:43:48:
In the Catalan, there are different good choices theoretically for Black. But, practically OTB, you have to know the subtleties of what you are playing because White pressure is always there, very annoying sometimes even if there's nothing concrete.


I know this from playing White. The worst result I have in Catalán so far is drawing a 2150, and I was slightly better in the opening anyway.

I still wonder why some White players choose to face the Nimzo and then complain that Black keeps equalising. Why not just try Catalán instead where the chance for suffering is much higher ¿   Cheesy

TonyRo wrote on 09/11/18 at 15:17:51:
Yeah, it's true, that's a real line that I would need to take a look at it. I might have time to take a look at it - one of the weaknesses of YouTube videos, but one of the strengths of attaching an updated lichess study!


Why not make a Black repertoire book on Catalán ¿ If you cover 4...Ab4+ 5. Ad2 Ad6 I would buy ¡

I see a lot of elite games with 4...Ae7 line. I still ask me, why play this line ¿ From White perspective, this type of positions is exactly what I would like to play against Shocked
  
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CanadianClub
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #24 - 09/11/18 at 17:43:48
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I was playing for a while TonyRo recommend lines in his youtube vid and I was always well prepared and knowing where I am. For me this is more important than having a slightly advantage where it's difficult to proceed (or more precisely, where it's not obvious to you why you're slightly better or worse).

Being a nimzo player helps, because of (surprisingly) this Nc3 was the main choice of my opponents instead of the critical Bd2.

Richard Pert chapters on his book on the Ragozin (Bb4+ Bd2 Bd6) are very interesting and practically a very good option.

In the Catalan, there are different good choices theoretically for Black. But, practically OTB, you have to know the subtleties of what you are playing because White pressure is always there, very annoying sometimes even if there's nothing concrete.

  
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TonyRo
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #23 - 09/11/18 at 15:17:51
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Yeah, it's true, that's a real line that I would need to take a look at it. I might have time to take a look at it - one of the weaknesses of YouTube videos, but one of the strengths of attaching an updated lichess study!  Grin Cheesy Wink
  
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #22 - 09/11/18 at 14:01:19
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TonyRo wrote on 09/11/18 at 03:06:07:
A while back I did some work on 4...Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bd6!? and uploaded it to YouTube here: TonyRo vs. the Catalan

There's more analysis in the YouTube study linked in the video description, though it's likely somewhat dated by now!



Looks great, thanks! I will have to look at all of it later, but just from the early parts I realized I haven't taken 4...Bb4+ 5.Nc3 seriously at all, though I really should. The 4.g3 Nimzo-Indian is topical right now, with Caruana and So playing it recently.

I actually planned to avoid this line entirely as Black by playing 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.g3 c5 instead of ...d5 and ...dxc4, but if I combine that with 3.g3 d5 4.Nf3 Bb4+ it could come right back and bite me.
  

Improvement begins at the edge of your comfort zone. -Jonathan Rowson
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TonyRo
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Re: Playing Catalán as Black seems unpleasant ¿
Reply #21 - 09/11/18 at 13:39:39
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Leon_Trotsky wrote on 09/11/18 at 06:18:50:
Do you think that 4...Ab4+ 5. Ad2 Ad6 is activer for Black than other lines ¿

No I don't - I think if you're looking for more active tries the logical choices are those where Black chooses an early conflict in the center with ...dxc4 and/or ...c5 instead of bolstering the d5-point with ...c6.
  
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