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Document Text Contents
Page 2

the
catalan

by Alex Raetsky &
Maxim Chetverik

EVERYMAN CHESS
Gloucester Publishers pic www.everymanchess.com

Page 97

CHAPTER FIVE I
4 . . . dxc4 5 jLg2 a6

1 d 4 d 5 2 c4 e 6 3 4Jf3 4Jf6 4 g 3 dxc4 5
i.g2 a6

S . . . a6 is one of the most popular tries to
hold on to the pawn in what can rightly be
called the Catalan Gambit. Black wants to
defend the c4-pawn with the help of . . . b7-bS,
with White's compensation coming in the
shape of a formidable looking centre and a
lead in development. Not surprisingly the
result is complex play in which tactics and
aggression are major factors .

After S . . . a6 there are move order issues
and lines which could belong under other
systems such as the Slav Defence. Fortu­
nately this is not too confusing, and we have
endeavoured to indicate the most essential
transpositions. This has been done by focus­
ing on plans rather than concrete lines, which
seems to be the logical approach to positions
that can arise via numerous routes.

White can choose to prevent . . . b7-bS by
spending a tempo on 6 a4 (Game 46) , but
this cannot be recommended because after
6 .. .tbc6 the weaknesses of both b3 and b4
will prove significant. The difference be­
tween this system and S ... cS can be appreci­
ated in the following variation: 6 ... cS 7 0-0
cxd4!? 8 'ii'xd4 'ii'xd4 9 ttJxd4 eS when the
inclusion of a2-a4 and . . . a 7 -a6 benefits Black
as bS is unavailable to the knight and a4 to

9 6

the queen.
More attractive is 6 ttJeS, opening the h 1 -

a 8 diagonal and simultaneously attacking the
c4-pawn. Then only vigorous measures allow
Black to keep his material advantage.
6 . . . �b4+ (Game 47) is related to the varia­
tion beginning S . . . c6 6 ttJeS �b4, but there
are also some differences. White does not
have to enter the line with 7 �d2?! 'ii'xd4 8
�xb4 'ii'xeS because, compared with S . . . c6,
the d6-square is not weak here. But after 7
ttJc3 ttJdS 8 �d2 bS White generates an en­
during and satisfying initiative for the sacri­
ficed pawn.

The logical reaction to 6 ttJeS is 6 . . . cS
(Games 48-S0) , since White has surrendered
some control of d4. Defending with 7 e3
closes in the d-bishop and, after the strong­
est reply, 7 . . . .J:!.a7! (followed by . . . b7-bS) , it is
White who has difficult issues to address.
Practical experience also offers little value to
7 .Jl.e3 (Game 48) as after 7 . . . ttJdS! Black will
find the most appropriate moment to ex­
change on e3, thus damaging White's struc­
ture.

7 ttJa3 is the most promising continuation.
White sacrifices the d4-pawn in return for
rapid development, in the case of 7 . . .'it'xd4
responding with the strong 8 'ii'a4+ !? (Game
49) , when Black's 'centralized' queen will not

Page 98

fmd a safe haven. After 7 . . . cxd4 8 ttJaxc4
i.c5 the reader should pay attention to the
sacrifice of a second pawn with 9 0-0 0-0 1 0
b4!? with a considerable lead i n development,
the critical position arising after 8 .. J::ta 7!? 9
i.d2 b6 1 0 'iVb3 .tb7 1 1 .txb7 l:[xb7 1 2
ttJa5. Black should b e safe after both
12 ... l::ta7 (quiet) and 1 2 ... l:te7!? (complex) .

The most popular answer to 5 . . . a6 is 6 0-0,
White continuing development. Now Black
has two different paths down which he can
walk - advancing the b-pawn ( ... b7-b5) at
once or keeping his options open with the
sensible (developing) 6 . . . ttJc6.

The line 5 ... a6 6 0-0 ttJc6 is very similar to
the system with 5 ... ttJc6 (Chapter 6) and
there are often transpositions. little attention
has been given to 7 ttJa3 .txa3 8 bxa3 - es­
pecially when compared to 5 . . . .te7 6 0-0 0-0
7 ttJa3 .txa3 8 bxa3. Black has gained a
tempo with . . . a7-a6, but this seems to be of
little value - the notes to Gleizerov-S.Ivanov
(Game 51 ) illustrate that it is not dangerous
for Black. In that game we have also consid­
ered 7 a4, when after 7 . . J!b8 8 as it is better
not to open the game with 8 . . . b5, preference
being for the completion of development
with 8 . . . .th4.

After 5 ... a6 6 0-0 ttJc6 the requirements of
the position are best addressed by concen­
trating on the centre with e2-e4. White can
choose to prepare this expansion with the
help of 7 e3, 'iVe2 and .l:!.fdl or try the
quicker but riskier 7 ttJc3. After 7 e3 (Games
52-53) Black is unable to hit d4 and should
turn his attention to ... b7-b5. This can be
achieved with 7 . . .J::tb8, but this is probably
not good enough for equality in view of the
manoeuvre ttJf3-d2-c4 (rather common In
the Catalan). The main continuation is
7 ... i.d7 8 'iVe2 b5 9 l:[dl (Game 53) .

After 7 ttJc3 l:tb8 8 e4 (Games 54-56) ex­
perience has shown that e4-e5 is not the
most appropriate option. White needs to
break in the centre at the best possible mo­
ment with d4-d5. Practice has given us the

4 . . . dx c 4 5 i. g 2 a 6

following possibilities:
a) 8 ... .te7 9 d5 exd5 10 exd5 ttJb4 1 1 ttJe5

.tfS 12 a3 ttJd3 13 ttJxc4 ttJxc1 14 l:txc 1 .
This has been played often. Some commen­
tators evaluate it as even, while others believe
White's greater share of territory is enough
for an edge. The latter assessment seems
more accurate.

b) 8 . . . .te7 9 'iVe2 b5 (9 ... ttJxd4 is not so
clear and obviously need more tests) 10 :dl
and then d4-d5 with boundless complica­
tions (Game 54) .

c) 8 . . . b5 9 'iVe2 ttJxd4 1 0 ttJxd4 'iixd4
(Game 55), which is closely related to 8 . . . .te7
9 'iVe2 ttJxd4.

d) 8 . . . b5 9 d5 (Game 56) .
The system with 5 . . . a6 6 0-0 b5 (Games

57 -60) resembles 5 . . . b5, occasionally with
possible transpositions between the two
lines. However, 5 . . . a6 is different in that
Black has a wider variety of possibilities. In
reply to 7 ttJe5 Black has to choose between
7 . . . c6 and 7 . . . ttJd5. After 7 . . . c6 (Game 57)
play used to continue 8 ttJxc6 'iVb6 9 ttJe5
.tb 7, after which the exchange of bishops
and a strong central pawn formation af­
forded White a modest but enduring advan­
tage - all the way to the ending. The confi­
dence in 7 ... c6 was challenged by Razuvaev,
who came up with 8 b3!, the point being that
after 8 . . . cxb3 the knight receives an alternate
route in ttJc6-a5-b3. Here the pawn forma­
tion in the centre clearly favours White, thus
leaving 7 . . . c6 out in the cold.

After 7 ttJe5 ttJd5 White should play 8 a4
as 8 ttJc3 (Game 58) is probably less accu­
rate. First there is 8 . . . c6 9 ttJxd5 exd5 10 e4
.te6 1 1 a4, which was considered dangerous
for Black since the game Sosonko-Hiibner.
In light of 1 1 . . .11a7!? it seems that White's
initiative has been overestimated. Addition­
ally, Black also has 8 . . . .tb7 9 ttJxd5 exd5.
Here White can win the exchange with 10 e4
dxe4 1 1 'iVh5 g6 12 ttJxg6 fxg6 13 'iVe5 'iie7
14 'iixh8 but Black should receive more than
sufficient counterplay.

9 7

Page 193

Th e Ca t a la n

Raetsky-Landenbergue, Scuol 200 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Raetsky-Naiditsch, Dortmund 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 102

Raetsky-Sveshnikov, Kolontaevo 1994 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 46

Rashkovsky-Grigorian.K, Kishinev 1975 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98

Reti-Bogoljubov, New York 1924 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 38

Ribli-Bonsch, Thessafoniki 1988 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 71

Ricardi-Smyslov, Buenos Aires 1990 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 129

Rogers-Chandler, Wellington 1986 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 19

Romanishin-Ribli, Polanica Zdrrj 1993 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

Romero-Antunes, Havana 1991 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121

Rustemov-Sax, Germatry 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 126

Sandner-Luther, Bad Zwesten 1999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 128

Shipov-Volzhin, Hastings 1997/98 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 156

Stefanova-Kurajica, Benasque 1997 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 74

Sulava-Farago, Vinkovci 1993 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 186

Tkachiev-Solozhenkin, France 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 135

Topalov-Kramnik, Linares 1997 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Tukmakov-Hulak, Croatia 1999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 14

Vajnerman-Novikov, Lvov 1984 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 1 7

Vakhidov-Ziatdinov, Tashkent 1987 . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145

Vasilchenko-Meszaros, Kecskemet 199 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 8 1

Vila-Spassky, Castrop-Rauxel 1990 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Wells-Barsov, York 2000 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 107

Wojtkiewicz-Dzhandzhgava, Hastings 1989/90 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59

Yevseev-Goldin, St. Petersburg 1998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 132

1 9 2

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· .... . ..

EVE RYMAN C H ESS
I S B N 1 - 8 5 7 4 4 - 3 4 6 - 2

9

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