Catalan System - How to Play the d-pawn Openings - The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)

The Complete Chess Course From Beginning To Winning Chess! (2016)

Book Eight

How to Play the d-pawn Openings

Catalan System

This opening features the fianchetto of White’s light-square bishop (as in the Reti Opening) and d2-d4 (as in the Queen’s Gambit). It abounds in positional finesses that can prove fatal for Black if he plays carelessly.

Catalan System

White - Black

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 (D)


Position after 4.g3

This position can be reached by many transpositions, as for example 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Nf6 4.d4 etc.


More interesting - and more complicated - is the alternative 4…Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 c5 7.cxd5 Nxd5! (not 7…exd5 leading into the inferior Tarrasch line - page 261) 8.e4 Nb6 9.Nc3 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nc6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.Qe2 e5. In this position White undoubtedly has possibilities of pressure against Black’s weak c-pawn. On the other hand, Black’s excellent development gives him ample resources.

5.Qa4+ Bd7!

Simpler than 5…Nbd7 6.Qxc4 a6 7.Bg2 b5 8.Qc6 Rb8 9.0-0 Bb7 10.Qc2 c5 11.a4 Qb6 with a difficult position that gives both sides fighting chances.

6.Qxc4 Bc6 7.Bg2 Bd5

Black has countered White’s fianchetto without weakening his position in any way. After 8.Qc2 Nc6 9.Qd1 Bb4+ - or 8.Qd3 c5 9.Nc3 Bc6 10.0-0 Nbd7 11.Rd1 Qb6 the position is even.