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Poll closed Question: Catalan variations with ...Bb4ch. Which one to choose?
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*** This poll has now closed ***


4... Bb4!? 5. Bd2 Be7    
  3 (37.5%)
4... Bb4!? 5. Bd2 a5    
  1 (12.5%)
4... Bb4!? 5. Bd2 Bd6    
  1 (12.5%)
4... dc4 5. Bg2 Bb4!? 6. Bd2 a5    
  2 (25.0%)
4... dc4 5. Bg2 Bb4!? 6. Bd2 c5    
  1 (12.5%)




Total votes: 8
« Created by: FreeRepublic on: 03/19/22 at 23:19:59 »
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Hot Topic (More than 10 Replies) Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch (Read 4298 times)
FreeRepublic
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #19 - 05/10/22 at 19:11:41
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CanadianClub wrote on 05/10/22 at 14:59:07:
I am changing my repertoire as Black against 1.d4, so... in some weeks I will have to refresh my mind and choose a line to face the Catalan via the 1.d4 d5 move order.


The Catalan deserves a lot of respect, as do the exchange variation, QGD Bg5, and QGD Bf4. Black certainly has many responses for you to consider. I'm not actually recommending:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 Bb4+ 6.Bd2 c5

I've looked at it in some depth. I find it intriguing, perhaps even bizarre. It may not be the best line. It might be the hardest line to learn. On the plus side, it may take white out of his comfort zone by introducing a little chaos and discord into the position.
« Last Edit: 05/11/22 at 12:28:31 by FreeRepublic »  
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CanadianClub
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #18 - 05/10/22 at 14:59:07
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I am changing my repertoire as Black against 1.d4, so... in some weeks I will have to refresh my mind and choose a line to face the Catalan via the 1.d4 d5 move order. I always played Bb4+ Bd2 (only faced this OTB) Be7 (having taked on c4 or not) but... who knows...

So... I will check your notes, Free xDD

thx
  
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FreeRepublic
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #17 - 05/10/22 at 00:13:15
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I find the following Catalan line to be interesting:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 dc4 5. Bg2 Bb4 6. Bd2, and now 6...c5!?
This was recommended by GM Delchev at modern-chess.com. It was also covered in two games at ChessPub: Bang-Oosterom 2006 analyzed by Max Illingworth, and Dzagnidze Zatonskih 2011 analyzed by John Bartholomew.

6...c5 looks a little odd to me. I rejected it at first, then became intrigued. Clearly it holds the bishop, and pressures the center. However it looks like the black c pawn is overloaded and cannot perform both functions. Delchev analyzes 7dxc, 7Bxb4, 7Qc1, and 7a3. He also mentions 7.0-0, but it mostly transposes to one of the four moves above.

I think many players will play 7Qc2, not mentioned by Delchev. I think that Black is absolutely good after a sequence that is not absolutely obvious: 7.Qc2 Bd2! 8.Nbd2 cd4 9. Nc4 Nc6 10. O-O d3. 10...d3! is the key move to equality. Black returns the pawn, but inflicts white with an isolated and easily blockaded queen pawn.  If the queen were on c1 instead, White could respond with Rd1 with advantage.

Delchev says of 7a3 "In my opinion, this is the most dangerous line."

7. a3! Bd2 8.Nbd2 cd4 9. Nc4 Nc6 10. O-O O-O Delchev analyzes alternatives and concludes that 11. Rc1! is best. Here Delchev chooses 11...a5! Max Illingworth at ChessPub also analyzes 11...Rb8!?

After 11...a5 Delchev covers a few moves for white, concentrating on 12.Nfe5. Illingworth likewise analyzes 12Nfe5.

Delchev also looks at
12. Qd2 Ne4!
12...d3!? was played in the game Vishnu Prasanna (IND)-Raja Rithvik R (IND) 2021 AICF World Cup Qualifier won by Black. White played 13. exd, but might have done better with 13. e3.

After 12. Qd2 Ne4, Delchev continues with with 13Qc2. More aggressive is 13Qf4!?

13. Qf4! f5!? 14.Nfe5
The game Gnusarev Pavel (KAZ)-Barsov Alexei (UZB) It (open) Pavlodar (Kazakhstan) Round 6, 2014, was agreed drawn in this complex position. I suggest 14...g5!?

14Nce5 Qf6 is likewise interesting.

So to recap:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 dc4 5. Bg2 Bb4 6. Bd2 c5!? 7. a3!? Bd2 8.Nbd2 cd4 9. Nc4 Nc6 10. O-O O-O 11. Rc1! a5!? 12. Qd2 Ne4 13. Qf4!? f5 14.Nfe5 g5.

leads to complex play and is as critical as any other line in this variation.
« Last Edit: 05/10/22 at 13:00:32 by FreeRepublic »  
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #16 - 03/27/22 at 12:39:40
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CanadianClub wrote on 03/21/22 at 15:35:26:
So... I assume my vote was ok


I think your vote for ...Bd6 registered. I have no way of knowing.

I should have given a letter to the options, in which case that would have been line c. I haven't really studied it, but I like the bishop's placement, both to discourage Ne5 and to prepare ...e5. It seems more purposeful that the main line, line a, with the bishop retreat to e7. Of course, arguments can be made for that move as well.
  
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #15 - 03/27/22 at 12:28:10
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Thanks all to those who took the poll, made comments, or simply viewed the discussion. Additional comments are welcome.

I consider these five ...Bb4ch Catalan lines worthy of discussion. That said, there are also many interesting lines that Black can choose that do not include ...Bb4ch. I don't think the check is a panacea for Black. While some authors of black repertoires play ...Bb4ch, some do not.

The five lines I identified generally lead to very different play. The same could be said of the many lines Black can choose that omit the check.
  
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #14 - 03/27/22 at 12:10:28
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Dink Heckler wrote on 03/21/22 at 17:22:18:
Not sure what the point of the poll is - chess isn't a democracy, after all  Smiley


True enough. I suppose part of this was simply to play around with the polling technology available on the forum. To paraphrase a movie: Give them polling technology, and they will take polls. Also, I wanted to underline the variety of ways to play ...Bb4ch vs. the Catalan, and to try to sort this out.

About the only conclusion I can draw from this small sample is that no particular way of playing ...Bb4ch stands apart from the rest among participants at the forum.
  
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #13 - 03/27/22 at 12:00:04
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Kyuken wrote on 03/27/22 at 06:57:10:
n the Catalan LTR on Chessable the Bishop check is blocked by a Knight practically everytime. So this might catch up in popularity.


I just loaded the Short and Sweet Catalan Lifetime Repertoire. GM Narayanan answers 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bb4ch with 5Nbd2. However after 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 dc4 5. Bg2 Bb4ch he plays 6Bd2.

You are right of course that Bb4ch, on either move 4 or 5, can be answered by Nbd2 and this must be considered. For that matter, white can also block the check with Nc3.

I should clarify something I wrote earlier. When I mentioned my games data base, I was referring to the the Chess Assistant database of more than 7 million games, not a database of games that I have played.
  
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #12 - 03/27/22 at 06:57:10
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FreeRepublic wrote on 03/26/22 at 12:31:42:
ErictheRed wrote on 03/25/22 at 21:22:19:
What about lines where White blocks with the knight?


They have to be looked at also.

Blocking with the bishop is most common by far in my games data base and, I think, most often recommended. Viewed from the black perspective, I thought I'd start there.


Starting here is of course fine but in the Catalan LTR on Chessable the Bishop check is blocked by a Knight practically everytime. So this might catch up in popularity.
  
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #11 - 03/26/22 at 12:31:42
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ErictheRed wrote on 03/25/22 at 21:22:19:
What about lines where White blocks with the knight?


They have to be looked at also.

Blocking with the bishop is most common by far in my games data base and, I think, most often recommended. Viewed from the black perspective, I thought I'd start there.
  
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #10 - 03/25/22 at 21:22:19
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What about lines where White blocks with the knight?
  
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #9 - 03/25/22 at 16:40:24
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One day and 6 hours left to the poll in case you want to vote or comment. Smiley
  
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #8 - 03/22/22 at 12:49:30
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Additional information only:
Game statistics for 5 years (2017-2021)

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bb4ch 5. Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 Nbd7 8.Qc2 c6 9.Rd1 b6
+156=225-129, 52%
1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bb4ch 5. Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 Nbd7 8.Qc2 c6 9.Rd1 Ne4
+34-32-42, 46%

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bb4ch 5. Bd2 a5 6. Bg2 O-O 7. Qc2 c5!?
+47=51-73, 42%

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 Bb4ch 5. Bd2 Bd6
+389=370-341, 52%

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 dc4 5. Bg2 Bb4ch 6. Bd2 a5 (51%) 7. Qc2 Bd2 8. Qd2! c6 9. a4 b5 10. axb5 cxb5 11. Qg5! O-O 12. Qb5 Ba6!
+3=8-2

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. g3 dc4 5. Bg2 Bb4ch 6. Bd2 c5
+81=59-56, 56%
  
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #7 - 03/21/22 at 17:22:18
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Not sure what the point of the poll is - chess isn't a democracy, after all  Smiley
  

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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #6 - 03/21/22 at 15:35:26
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FreeRepublic wrote on 03/21/22 at 11:59:51:
CanadianClub wrote on 03/21/22 at 11:24:31:
I just voted for the Bd6.

Did you scroll the screen so that you saw the radio buttons and select one? I cannot vote for you and that is the only way to get a correct official tally.  Smiley


Yes, I voted correctly (I think). It appears in the top part of the thread:

Your vote was on: Today at 11:18am
Your vote choice was: 4... Bb4!? 5. Bd2 Bd6


So... I assume my vote was ok  Cheesy
  
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Re: Catalan lines with ...Bb4ch
Reply #5 - 03/21/22 at 14:59:03
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FreeRepublic wrote on 03/21/22 at 11:59:51:
Did you scroll the screen so that you saw the radio buttons and select one?


P.S. I have not voted yet myself! I don't think I will be able to see a tally until I vote. The tally will not be visible to all until the vote comes to an end.

Anyone wishing to offer opinions or discussion, should feel free to do so. As the person who set up this poll, I will try to keep my mouth shut until it has concluded  Lips Sealed
  
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