Power Play 24: A repertoire for black against the Catalan

The Catalan is a reliable opening for White, but there are ways for Black to shake White out of his complacency while still maintaining a sound and solid position himself. On this DVD Grandmaster Daniel King offers you a repertoire for Black against the Catalan, based around maintaining the rock of a pawn on d5. Keeping central control ultimately gives Black good chances to launch an attack against the enemy king. The repertoire is demonstrated in 10 stem games with the system 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 Nf6 4 g3 Bb4+. The check proves somewhat awkward for the smooth flow of White’s development. All three of White’s responses (5 Bd2, 5 Nbd2, 5 Nc3) are examined. 4...Bb4+ has been played by Magnus Carlsen of late and has been regularly and successfully employed most notably by Anand and Spassky. A system against the Reti/English 1 Nf3 d5 2 c4 e6 3 g3 is also provided. One of the great advantages of playing this system for Black is that theory is relatively simple: this opening depends on your understanding of ideas, not tricky variations with counter-intuitive computer moves. Complete games are discussed so that one gains an idea about typical strategies for both sides. More than that, these model games provide inspiration to play the opening. This is an interactive DVD. At key moments in the games Grandmaster King pauses and puts you on the spot. You will have to find and play the best move. He then gives feedback in further video clips according to the move you chose.

• Video running time: 5 hours 36 min. (English)
• A complete repertoire for Black against the Catalan. Up-to-date theory
• With interactive training including video feedback
• Exclusive database with 50 Model games with typical middlegame strategy
• Suitable for club players
• Including CB 12 – Reader


This is what is delivered:

  • Fritztrainer App for Windows
  • Available as download or on DVD
  • Video course with a running time of approx. 4-8 hrs.
  • Repertoire database: save and integrate Fritztrainer games into your own repertoire (in WebApp Opening or in ChessBase)
  • Interactive exercises with video feedback: the authors present exercises and key positions, the user has to enter the solution. With video feedback (also on mistakes) and further explanations.
  • Sample games as a ChessBase database.

That's what the FritzTrainer App can do for you:

  • Videos can run in the Fritztrainer app or in the ChessBase program with board graphics, notation and a large function bar
  • Analysis engine can be switched on at any time
  • Video pause for manual navigation and analysis in game notation
  • Input of your own variations, engine analysis, with storage in the game
  • Learn variations: view specific lines in the ChessBase WebApp Opening with autoplay, memorize variations and practise transformation (initial position - final position).
  • Active opening training: selected opening positions are transferred to the ChessBase WebApp Fritz-online. In a match against Fritz you test your new knowledge and actively play the new opening.

Even more possibilities: Start FritzTrainer in the ChessBase program!

  • The database with all games and analyses can be opened directly.
  • Games can be easily added to the opening reference.
  • Direct evaluation with game reference, games can be replayed on the analysis board
  • Your own variations are saved and can be added to the own repertoire
  • Replay training
  • LiveBook active
  • All engines installed in ChessBase can be started for the analysis
  • Assisted Analysis
  • Print notation and diagrams (for worksheets)

Sample video


  • 01: Introduction [08:49]
  • 02: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bd6 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Qc2 Ne4 9.b3 Nd7 10.Nc3 Nxd2 11.Nxd2 f5 Kalavannan,K - Hammer,J Model Games [39:59]
  • 03: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Bd6 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Qb3 Ne4 9.Nc3 f5 Zhao,Y - Ding,LModel Games [24:52]
  • 04: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Qc2 Nbd7 9.Bf4 a5 10.Rd1 Sadilek,P - Kasimdzhanov,R Model Games [36:35]
  • 05: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Qc2 Nbd7 9.Rd1 b6 10.Bf4 Bb7 11.Nbd2 Flesch,J - Spassky,BModel Games [26:47]
  • 06: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Bd2 Be7 6.Bg2 0-0 7.0-0 c6 8.Qc2 Nbd7 9.Rd1 b6 10.b3 a5 11.Bc3 Bb7 12.Nbd2 Qc7 Bluebaum,M - Babula,V Model Games [39:09]
  • 07: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Nbd2 0-0 6.Bg2 b6 7.0-0 Bb7 8.Ne5 Be7 9.b3 Nbd7 10.Bb2 c5 Gomez Jurado,L - Campos Moreno,J Model Games [31:58]
  • 08: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Nbd2 0-0 6.Bg2 b6 7.0-0 Bb7 8.Ne5 Be7 9.cxd5 exd5 10.b3 a5 11.Qc2 Na6 Lautier,J - Karpov,A Model Games [25:05]
  • 09: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 Bb4+ 5.Nc3 dxc4 6.Bg2 Nc6 Kanter,E - Beliavsky,A Model Games [27:27]
  • 10: 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxc4 c5 7.Ne5 Qc8 8.Na3 Nc6 Foisor,C - Houska,J Model Games [34:04]
  • 11: 1.Nf3 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Nf6 4.b3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 c5 7.Bb2 Nc6 8.e3 Re8 Neverov,V - Grabowski,A Model Games [26:20]

Catalan Opening

If White combines the moves characteristic of the Queen’s Gambit with the fianchetto of his king’s bishop, the result is the Catalan Opening. Although the setup had also been encountered earlier, it did not get a name until 1929 after a tournament in Barcelona, the capital city of Catalonia. Today the Catalan enjoys great popularity at the highest level, with both Kramnik (2006 in Elista) and also Anand (2010 in Sofia) scoring extremely important victories with this system with White in their WCh matches against Topalov.

A characteristic of the Catalan is that the bishop often exerts very strong pressure on the h1-a8 diagonal from g2. But the price to be paid is that the c4-pawn is not so well protected as in the Queen’s Gambit – in many variations White even offers to sacrifice this pawn. Black has above all a fundamental decision to take, whether to take the c4-pawn with his d-pawn early (mostly on move 4) or later (mostly on move 6) or whether he prefers to support his centre with ...c6. Should Black decide to go into the Open Catalan with 4...dxc4, then 5.Qa4+ with the immediate recovery of the pawn is considered to be relatively harmless, since after 5...Nbd7 6.Qxc4 the position of the queen on c4 can be exploited for the quick development of the queenside by 6...a6 7.Bg2 b5 8.£c2 Bb7. Black will get in ...c5 without problem and achieve equality.

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