Video training with GMs Christian Bauer and Mihail Marin (total playing time over 45 min). Plus 26 in-depth analyses by Anish Giri, Peter Heine Nielsen, Romain Edouard, Michal Krasenkow, Spyridon Kapnisis and Tanmay Srinath.
Sergey Grigoriants has shown in his opening article in ChessBase Magazine #203 that in the main variation 1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Bd2 e6 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.Nxf6+ gxf6 after 10.0-0! Nd7 11.Re1 Qc7 12.Nh4 Bg6 13.Bxe6! is practically at a loss. In his video contribution, French GM and Scandinavian expert Christian Bauer presents several recipes for Black on how to consistently avoid this critical variation. Hi analysis includes recommendations after 5.Nf3 as well as after 5.Bd2. Bauer often refers to his own games but also to recent games by Richard Rapport from Norway Chess 2021 and Saint Louis 2021. Bauer's conclusion: Black is offered deviations at various points, depending on the move sequence chosen by White. For example, Black should respond to 5.Nf3 with 5...Bf5 (and not 5...c6). And after 5.Bd2 he can continue with 5...Bg4, instead of 5...c6. But even on move 10 or 11 Black still has interesting alternatives with the move Rg8!
Thanks not least to Vladimir Kramnik's successes, the Catalan Opening became one of the main openings with 1.d4. This status has not changed to this day - even if White must currently strive to prove a theoretically significant advantage. Mihail Marin summarizes the current state of theory for you in connection with the game between Bogdan Daniel Deac and Lucas van Foreest from the 2021 European Championship. In addition, Marin sheds light on the rare move 10.Be3, which the young GM from Romania experimented with in this game. It's an interesting and rather fresh idea, on which Marin intersperses his own thoughts and recommendations in his half-hour-plus analysis. "The Catalan is still alive, even if it sometimes takes some very subtle thoughts to prove that. And there is room for new ideas like this quite surprising 10.Be3."
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