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the

catalan

by Alex Raetsky &


Maxim Chetverik
EVERYMAN CHESS
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www.everymanchess.com

First published in 2004 by Gloucester Publishers plc (formerly Everyman Publishers


plc), Northburgh House, 10 Northburgh Street, London EC1V OAT
Copyright 2004 Alexander Raetsky and Maxim Chetverik
The right of Alexander Raetsky and Maxim Chetverik to be identified as the authors
of this work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyrights, Designs and
Patents Act 1988.

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CONTENTS

Bibliography

Introduction

d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tiJf3 tiJf6 4 93

1 Closed Catalan: 4 ... .i.e7 5 .i.g2 0-0

2 4 ... c6 5 g2 d6

38

3 4 ... dxc4 5 'iVa4+

44

4 4 ... dxc4 5 .l.g2 .l.e7 6 0-0 0-0

58

5 4 ... dxc4 5 g2 a6

96

6 4 ... dxc4 5 .l.g2 tiJc6

124

7 4 ... dxc4 5 .i.g2 c5

151

8 4 ... dxc4 5 .i.g2 b5

165

9 4 ... dxc4 5 .i.g2 c6

172

1 0 4 ... dxc4 5 .i.g2 .i.b4+

176

1 1 4 ... dxc4 5 .i.g2 tiJbd7

181

1 2 4. . .dxc4 5 .i.g2 .l.d7

185

Index of Complete Games

190

BIBLIOGRA PHY

Books
Katalonskoe Nachalo, J.Neistadt (Moscow, 1986)
Beating the Flank Openings, v'Kotronias (Batsford, London 1996)
Winning with the Catalan, A.Dunnington (Batsford, London 1997)
The Queen's Gambit and Catalan for Black, L.Janjgava (Gambit, London 2000)
Die Katalanische Eroeffnung, A.Raetsky, M. Chetverik (Kania, Germany 2001)
Periodicals:
New In Chess Yearbook 1-67
Chess Informant 1-86
Shakhmatny bulletin, USSR/Russia.
Shakhma!J v SSSR
Database:
Chess Assistant: Huge base 2003

Acknowledgements
We would like to thank Esben Lund and Jacob Aagaard for moral and technical support dur
ing our work with this book, as well as our families for their forgiveness for our not so secret
Catalan lover.
This book is dedicated to the Catalan bishop. Thank you for everything!

INTRODUCTION

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 93
Between the authors there exists almost a
lifetime of dedication to the Catalan Open
ing. This positionally oriented opening fits
our classical style perfectly and has brought
us much pleasure in our chess careers. There
fore it is quite natural for us to write a book
about this opening, and we have already
done so in German. We should point out
here that, rather than a translation, this is
aimed at being a complementary work, with
slightly different points of gravity. In some
positions, where style is the main factor, we
have chosen slightly different recommenda
tions compared to the earlier book. Addi
tionally, this edition is more up-to-date.
We have decided to use the move order 1
d4 dS 2 c4 e6 3 4J O 4Jf6 4 g3 as a Catalan
standard in these pages because in our ex
perience this is more likely to be seen in prac
tice than 1 d4 4Jf6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 dS 4 4J O,
both leading to the same position:

(see following diagram)

This is the starting position of the Cata


lan. White could have played 4 ..tg2 instead
of 4 4J O, but this will make a difference only
in very few lines, mainly in Chapter 3 with S
'iVa4+ after 4...dxc4.
The lines with 1 d4 4J f6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 cS
and 1 d4 4J f6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 ..tb4+ will not be

I
found in this book. After 3...cS White has a
choice between 4 4J O, going into the Eng
lish Opening, or 4 dS, transposing to the
Modern Benoni. After 3 .....t b4+ the game
will almost always transpose to the Bogo
Indian Defence, where White would have
played 3 4J O instead of 3 g3.

The layout of the chapters in this book has


been set out mainly according to importance,
in a descending order. But we have also taken
into consideration the natural branches of the
move order. Therefore we have included
slightly obscure lines with 4...c6 and S.....td6 in
the Closed Catalan and 4...dxc4 S 'iVa4+ as
Chapters 2 and 3 respectively.
You will find that some of the games in
this book are those of the authors. Obviously
5

Th e Catalan

we are proud of our nicest wins but the main


reason for their inclusion is that we feel we
understand these games quite well. Not sur
prisingly, our losses also feature.
One of Alexander's most brilliant victo
ries, against a strong Hungarian Grandmas
ter, did not find its way into the first draft of
the book, but our friend Jacob Aagaard in
sisted that we include it, so here it is. It
should serve as a warning of the power of
the Catalan ...
Raetsky-Varga
Zurich 2000
1 d4 d5 2 c4 dxc4 3 ttJf3 c6 4 g3 b5 5
.tg2 .tb7 6 0-0 e6 7 a4 a6 8 b3 cxb3 9
xb3 ttJf6 1 0 J:td 1 ttJbd7 1 1 ttJe5 b6
1 2 ttJc3 ttJxe5 1 3 dxe5 ttJd5
13...ttJg4!? is also possible. White has com
pensation but it is not clear how much. The
following lengthy - and by no means forced
- fantasy line illustrates relevant themes: 14
ttJe4 ttJxe5 15 .i.f4 ttJc4 16 l:tac1 ttJa5 17
c3 .l:!.d8 18 .i.e3 l:txdH 19 l:txdl c5! 20
.i.xc5 c7 21 axb5 .i.xe4 22 .i.xe4 .i.xc5 23
l:tc1 rJ;;e7 24 xc5+ xc5 25 l:txc5 axb5 26
l:txb5 ttJc4 and Black maintains the balance.
1 4.txd5 ! ?
White parts with his good bishop t o fur
ther the collective cause - namely the exploi
tation of Black's tardy kingside development.
1 4 . . . exd5
14...cxd5 does not work because after 15
Jte3 c7 16 axb5 .i.e7 17 bxa6 .i.xa6 18
a4+ d7 19 'iVxd7+ rJ;;xd7 20 ttJa4 White
wins the exchange.
1 5 axb5 axb5 1 6 .te3 d8?
After this Black is, surprisingly, completely
outplayed. The problem is the advance e2-e4.
After the accurate 16...Jtc5 17 .i.xc5 'iVxc5
18 l:txa8+ Jtxa8 19 e4 d4! 20 ttJe2 d3! 21
'iVxd3 0-0 22 'iVd6 'iVc2 Black is doing fine.
1 7 .ta7 ! Wilc7 1 8 e4! b4
Black cannot avoid the deadly opening of
6

the centre. After 18...dxe4 19 ttJxe4 xe5 20


d3 d5 21 'iVe3 e6 22 6! the end is
fast approaching.
1 9 exd5! bxc3 20 d6 d7 2 1 .tc5! l!!.xa 1
21...l:tb8 22 l:tdbl g6 23 l:ta7 .i.g7 24
l:txb7 l:txb7 25 xb7 'iVxb7 26 l:txb7 0-0 27
f4 c2 28 .i.e3 l:td8 29 l:tb2 and Black has a
hopeless task - 29 ...f6 30 e6! l:txd6 31 l:tb8+
and White wins.
22 ':xa 1 d8 23 Wilxc3!?
Simple and safe, but 23 Jtb6+ rJ;;c8 24
Jtc7! is another way to end the game.
23 . . . h5 24 l:ra7 c8 25 'iVa5 b8 26
.tb6! ?
This does win, but a more direct route is
26 l:txb7+! xb7 (26 ...rJ;;xb7 27 a7+ rJ;;c8
28 a8 mate) 27 d8+ c8 28 .i.a7+ rJ;;b7
29 6+ rJ;;a8 30 d7! etc.
26 . . .txd6
.
27 exd6 xd6 28 J:ta8 + !

Winning a piece.
28 . . .txa8
.
29 Wila7 + c8 30 Wilxa8+
d7 31 'iVxh8 c5 32 'iVd8 + c6 33
Wilxd6 + xd6 34 f 1 d5 35 e2 g5
36 h3 g4 37 h4 1 -0
The Catalan is a dangerous weapon for
the positional player, and often we find our
selves enjoying a lasting advantage in the
rniddlegame and endgame due to the
strength of the Catalan bishop, or the weak
ness of c6 or c5 and so on. We hope you will
enjoy many such advantages, and that you
find this book useful.

CHA PTER ONE


Closed Catalan:
4 .,te7 5 .,tg2 0-0
.

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lUf3 lUf6 4 g3 i.. e 7 5


g2 0-0
Black decides to address development
(first the kingside, then the queenside - in
real classical fashion) and not undertake any
untimely action in the centre. This quite logi
cal approach was always popular against the
Catalan. In fact even before the birth of the
opening we can find games with this set-up,
one example being Blackburne-Baird, Leipzig
1884, where the game started 1 d4 dS 2 ttJf3
ttJf6 3 g3 e6 4 i..g2 Ae7 S 0-0 0-0 6 c4 c6 7
ttJc3 - a rather modern move order.
After 1 d4 dS 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3
i..e7 S i..g2 0-0 the most common move is 6
0-0. Occasionally White plays 6 c2 to reach
a position from the semi-open Catalan, in
tending to secure an advantage by postpon
ing castling. However, after 6 c2 the d4pawn becomes weaker and Black can chal
lenge it immediately with 6 ... cS. Black then
has a good game after 7 0-0 cxd4 8 ttJxd4
ttJc6 9 ttJxc6 bxc6, or 8 ... eS!? (Game 1) .
After 6 0-0 we get the basic closed Catalan
position (from hereon referred to as the CC) .
The CC is very similar to other closed
openings. Now 6 ... b6 transposes to the
Queen's Indian Defence, 6 ...cS to the Tar
rasch Defence and 6 ... ttJe4 followed by . . f7f5 to the Stonewall variation of the Dutch
.

Defence. Obviously we cannot examine


these openings here, but we do pay attention
to the possible transpositions.

The arrangement of the theory in the CC


can be awkward due to the number of move
orders. For instance after 1 d4 dS 2 c4 e6 3
ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 i..b4+ S i..d2 i..e7 6 j,g2 0-0
7 0-0 ttJbd7 8 i..f4 ttJhS 9 j,c1 ttJhf6 we
have a normal position in the CC with 6 0-0
ttJbd7. However, we will use the most popu
lar routes.
Since the game Botvinnik-LRabinovich,
St. Petersburg 1938 Black has used the plan
with ... c7-c6 and ... b7-bS. This hits the c4pawn and forces White to define the situa
tion in the centre. In the case of an exchange
on bS and the opening of the c-ftle, the most
7

Th e C a t a l a n

White can achieve i s a slightly better position


because the g2-bishop lacks bite. On the
other hand, c4-c5 notably restricts Black's
freedom, and after e2-e4 (and sometimes
even e4-e5) White has the better prospects.
The main response to 6 0-0 is ...ttJbd7.
The plan with 6...c6, 7...b6 and 8.....tb7
(Game 2) has gone out of fashion because
Black has serious problems after 8 ttJe5.
Here Black can easily go wrong, for example
8...ttJfd7 9 cxd5 cxd5 10 ttJxd5! or 8.....tb7 9
e4 ttJbd7? 10 ttJxc6! - in both cases White
should win.
In the main line, with 8.....tb7 9 e4 dxc4
10 ttJxc4 i..a6 11 b3, White has the initiative
in the centre, while in the case of 6...c6 7
c2 b6 8 ttJbd2 ..tb7 9 e4 ttJa6 White has
more space.
The main gambit continuation in the CC
is 6...ttJbd7 7 ttJc3 dxc4 8 e4 (Game 3).
There are various possibilities after 7 ttJc3 c6,
which we examine in Games 4-6: 8 3
(Game 4), 8 iVd3 (Game 5) and 8 b3 without
c2 (Game 6).
Game 7 is devoted to rare continuations
in the 7 c2 line. We have paid attention to
Zagoryansky's plan with 7...c6 8 .l:td1 b6 9
a4!? with the idea of a4-a5. Here Black must
play with some accuracy in order to avoid
trouble; Black seems to equalise after 9 .....ta6
10 b3 c8 11 as c5 12 axb6 xb6 13 a2
..tb7 14 ..ta3 fe8, as in Tratar-Atalik.
The main possibilities after 7 c2 c6 are
examined in Games 8-15. 8 ..tf4 (Games 8 &
9) allows Black to engineer a Stonewall posi
tion (8...ttJh5 and 9 ...f5). In our opinion this
appears to be the best option, but note that
after 8...ttJe4 9 ttJc3 (or 9 ttJbd2, 9 ttJfd2) the
direct 9 ... f5 is no good in view of 10 ttJxe4
fxe4 11 ttJd2.
White's main plan in the CC is the ad
vance e2-e4, when ...d5xe4 is not a popular
reaction in modern international practice,
being played mostly in games among ama
teurs. After ...c6-c5 and ...c5xd4 (or d4xc5) a
prototypical pawn structure arises:
8

White has the pawn maJonty on the


queenside, which provides a modest but sta
ble advantage, especially in the endgame. In
these positions it is not easy for Black to find
counterplay and very often Black is forced to
fight long and hard for a draw.
After 7 c2 c6 8 ttJbd2 b6 9 e4 ..ta6 or
9 ... ..tb7 White can grab space with e4-e5, and
in such a situation White has kingside attack
ing chances (Game 12). Occasionally after
e2-e4 the sides manoeuvre their pieces with
out altering the pawn structure, as in Game
13, where play continues 7 c2 c6 8 ttJbd2
b6 9 b3 ..tb7 10 e4 .l:tc8 11 i..b2 'iVc7 12
ad1 .l:tfd8. Again, thanks to his space ad
vantage, White's chances are slightly better.
Generally after e2-e4 Black prepares for
and then advances ...c6-c5. The modern
pawn structure in the CC arises after the
exchange e4xd5 ... e6xd5:

C lo s e d C a t a la n : 4

With this confrontational pawn structure


the current placement of the pieces and other
tactical nuances are more important than
strategic considerations. Black develops his
light-squared bishop either to b7 (Game 13)
or - more often - on a6 (Games 14 & 15). In
the line starting with 7 'it'c2 c6 8 ttJbd2 b6 9
b3 iLa6 White has a choice between 13 'ili'fS,
13 iLb2 and 13 ttJf1. The move order 10
iLb2 l:!.c8 11 e4 cS 12 exdS exdS 13 'ir'fS is
analysed in Game 15.

Game 1

iL e 7 5 iL g 2 0 - 0

ttJeS 1 5 "iV f4 ttJh5 1 6 'it'e3 iLc5 1 7 b4! iLxb4


18 0-0 Black did not have enough compensa
tion for the exchange in C.Horvath-yu Sha
oteng, Budapest 2000) 13 'if'h4 (13 'it'f4 e5!
14 'iih 4 ttJc6! 15 iLxa8 ttJd4! gives Black a
very strong attack) 13. .. ttJd5 14 'it'e4 iLc6! 15
iLxc6 ttJxc6 with strong play for the pawn.
Even worse here is 12 ttJc3?! l:!.c8 13 ttJb3
'ir'hS 14 'iif4 iLc6 15 0-0 h6 16 e4 ttJbd7 17
f3 as! 18 g4 'ili'eS 19 "iVg3 "iVxg3 20 hxg3 ttJe5
and Black's prospects were preferable in
Korchnoi-Short, Lucerne 1989.
7 . . . cxd4 8 lL'lxd4

H . Olafsson-E . Gelier

Reyifyavik 1986
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lL'lf3 lL'lf6 4 g3 iLe7 5
iLg2 0-0 6 c2
The downside to this is Black's reply.
6 . . . c5!
After 6 ... dxc4 7 'it'xc4 a6 there is a major
difference between this and the Semi-Open
variation in that White is not forced to castle
yet, and can achieve a slight advantage with 8
iLf4!, e.g. 8 ... ttJdS 9 ttJc3 bS 10 "iVd3 iLb7 11
ttJxdS iLxdS 12 0-0 ttJd7 13 l:tfdl cS 14 e4
iLb7 15 dS exdS 16 exdS iLf6 17 'it'c2 .l:!.e8
18 h4 h6 19 ttJd2 'i!i'b6 20 ttJe4, when White
was a shade better in Dorfman-Bansch,
Lvov 1984.
7 0-0
White needs to be careful even here. He
could easily get himself into trouble:
K.Grigorian-Vyzhmanavin, Pinsk 1986 con
tinued 7 cxdS?! cxd4 8 ttJxd4 ttJxdS 9 'iVb3
ttJc6 10 ttJxc6 bxc6 11 e4 ttJb4 12 0-0 cS!,
when White was behind in development and
was therefore not suited by the open charac
ter of the position. After 13 ttJa3 ttJc6 14
iLe3 l:!.b8 15 "iVc3 ttJd4 16 'lithl iLa6 17
fdl eS 18 b3 'it'c8 19 "iVaS .l:!.b4 Black had a
slight edge.
There is also 7 dxcS 'it'aS+ 8 ttJc3 dxc4 9
ttJd2 'it'xcs 10 ttJa4 "iVaS 11 "iVxc4 iLd7, e.g.
12 iLxb7 iLbS! (an important zwischenzug as
after 12 ... iLxa4? 13 iLxa8 ttJbd7 14 iLg2

8 . lL'lc6
Interesting is 8 ... e5!? 9 ttJfS d4 10 ttJxe7+
'iixe7 11 iLgs ttJc6 12 ttJd2 h6 13 i.xf6
'it'xf6 14 c5 iLfS 15 'it'a4 as in Zilberstein
A.Geller, Belgorod 1989. Now it is possible
for Black to continue I s .. :iVg6 16 ttJc4 i.e4
17 ttJd6 iLxg2 18 'litxg2 'iVe6 with reasonable
chances. It is not clear that the d6-knight is
well placed.
9 lL'lxc6 bxc6 1 0 b3
White has also tried 10 l:td l 'iib 6 11 ttJc3
iLa6 12 iLe3 'i!Vb7 13 cxd5 cxd5 14 iLd4 but
without much success. After 14.J:tac8 15
'i!Vb3 iLc5 16 'ili'xb 7 iLxb 7 17 e3 iLxd4 18
.uxd4 .l:!.cs 19 ltad1 as 20 iLfl iLc6 21 h3
l:tb8 a draw was agreed in Gulko-Khalifman,
Lucerne 1997.
1 0 . . a5
This looks like a luxury that offers Black
nothing in terms of development. Serious
. .

Th e C a t a l a n

consideration should b e given t o the con


tinuation 10 ... a6 1 1 b2 .l::!.c 8 12 e3 iVb6
1 3 ttJd2.l::!. fd8 14.l::!. fd1 ttJd7 1 5 l:tac1 b7 1 6
ttJ f3 c5, when 1 7 ttJe5? ttJxe5 1 8 xe5 d4!
19 exd4 xg2 20 'itxg2 f6 21 f4 cxd4 22
'iVe4 e5 23 d2 a3 24.l::!.b 1 as was excel
lent for Black in Gulko-Karpov, Thessaloniki
1 988. Instead Karpov gives 1 7 cxd5 exd5 1 8
'ti'fS ttJf6 1 9 ttJg5 with chances for both
sides.
1 1 .i.b2
After 1 1 ttJc3 iLa6 12 .l:!.d1 'ti'c7 13 ttJa4
dxc4 14 bxc4 .l:[ab8 1 5 iLd2 e5 1 6 nab 1
.l::!.xb 1 1 7 .l:txb 1 ttJd7 Black - in control of the
c5-square - was doing fine in Gulko
Hjartarsson, Iinares 1 989.
1 1 . . . .i.a6
An interesting alternative here is 1 1 ...a4!?
12 ttJd2 a3 13 d4 (1 3 c3?? d4 and the
bishop is lost) 1 3. .. dxc4 1 4 e3 cxb3 1 5 ttJxb3
ttJd5 1 6.l::!. fd 1 'ifc 7 1 7 e4 ttJf6 1 8 'ti'c3 a6
1 9 ttJc5 .l::!. fd8 20 .l:tab 1 when White had
compensation for the pawn in Kengis-Gild.
Garcia, Manila 1 992 (whether there is more
than enough is not completely clear) .
1 2 4Jd2 4Jd7 1 3 J:rfd 1 .i.f6 1 4 J:rac 1 J:rc8
1 5 4Jf3

1 5 . . :ii'e 7
White is already a little better. After
1 5 ... iLxb2 1 6 'ti'xb2 'iib 6 1 7 e4 ttJc5 1 8 iVd4!
dxc4 1 9 ttJe5.l::!. fd8 20 ttJxc4.l::!.xd4 21 ttJxb6
l:.cd8 22.l::!.xd4.l::!.xd4 23 fl i.xfl 24 'itxfl
ttJxe4 25 l':txc6 the endgame was slightly
10

unpleasant for Black in Kengis-Klovans, Riga


1 987.
1 6 .i.xf6 4Jxf6
After 1 6 ...'ti'xf6 1 7 'iVd2! 'iVd8 1 8 e4!
White is better according to H.Olafsson.
1 7 4Je5 .i.b 7 1 8 d2 a3 1 9 c5 .i.a6
White has secured the queenside and is
now free to start action on the kingside.
20 g4!

20 . . . J:rc7 21 g 5 4Jd7 22 4Jxd7 J:rxd7 23


e4 d4 24 e5 .i.b5 25 .i.e4 d3 26 h4 a4
26 .. .'ilib4 looks safer, when after 27 'ii'xb4
axb4 28 f3 f6 29 gxf6 gxf6 30 exf6 .l:txf6 3 1
'it f2 .l:!.f4 3 2.l::!.g 1+ 'it f7 33.l::!.g4 e 5 3 4 'it>e3 h 5
35 l':tg5 l':txh4 3 6 .l::!.c g1 White has nothing
special.
27 h5! axb3 28 axb3 'ilt'xb3 29 h6 g6?!
An improvement is 29 ....l::!. fd8 30 hxg7
'itxg7 3 1 'iY'f4 d2 32 'iY'f6+ 'itg8 33 .l::!.x d2!
'ti'a3! (not 33 ... l':txd2? 34 i.xh7+! xh7 35
'ti'xf7+ 'It>h8 36 g6 etc.) 34 .l:tb 1 'it'a4 and
Black still has sufficient counterplay.
30 'ii'f4 f5
Black loses in the event of 30 ....l:[fd8 3 1
'tWf6 'it>f8 32 xg6!, when White comes
crashing through: 32 ... 'ite8 33 'iVh8+ <t;e7 34
'ti'g7! .l:tf8 35 .l:ta1 ! and Black's parry is over.
31 gxf6
White also has the better game after 3 1
exf6 iVb2 32 .ub1 'iiVd4 33 l':txb5! cxb5 34
.l::!.x d3. The following line is important:
34 ...'iVa1+ 35 <t;g2 .l::!.xd3 36 'ti'c7! ! l':tf7 37
c8+ l:tf8 38 'iVxe6+ 'itt h 8 39 'iVe7 l':tg8 40

C lo s e d C a t a la n : 4

i.xd3 and White is completely winning. He


is threatening 41 f7 and after 40 ... b4 there is
even 41 'iYg7+ lIxg7 42 hxg7+ g8 43 .Jtc4
mate.
31 . . . l:td4 32 f3 iLc4?
32 ... l:td7 puts up some resistance, al
though 33 'ifg5 'ifb2 34 h1 ! still gives
White a strong attack.
33 l:tb 1 1 -0
After 33 ...'ilVc2 there comes 34 f7! etc.

Game 2
Pigusov-Goldin

Irkutsk 1986
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 iLe7 5
iLg2 0-0 6 0-0 c6
Black has some inventive alternatives:
6 ...ltJa6 7 ltJc3 c5 8 cxd5 exd5 is a Tar
rasch with the knight on a6 instead of c6, a
feature that sees Black without any hold on
d4. Rausis-Ponomariov, Enghien les Bains
1 999 went 9 dxc5 ltJxc5 1 0 i.e3 i.g4 1 1 h3
.Jte6 12 ltJd4 J:tc8 1 3 nc1 a6 14 l:tc2 b5 1 5
a3 'ii'd 7 1 6 'it>h2 lIfd8 1 7 lId2 'iib 7 1 8 'ilVb1
ltJce4 1 9 ltJxe4 ltJxe4 20 lld3 .Jtd7 21 l:tfd 1
with a slight edge for White.
6 ... ltJc6 7 'ic2 ltJb4 8 'ib3 dxc4 9 'ifxc4
b5!? is ambitious but weakening. Then 1 0
3 a s 1 1 ltJc3 J:tb8 1 2 .Jtf4 a4 1 3 'ifd1
.Jtb7 1 4 nc1 ltJbd5 1 5 ltJxd5 ltJxd5 was an
edge for White in Kengis-Hertneck, Ger
many 2000. Here 9 ... b6 looks solid but is not
too exciting for Black: 10 ltJc3 i.a6 1 1 'tIYb3
c5 1 2 dxc5 .Jtxc5 1 3 ltJe5 l:.c8 1 4 .Jtg5 'ilVd4
1 5 i.f4 ltJbd5 1 6 e3 'iVb4 17 l:tfd1 ltJxf4 1 8
gxf4 l:tc7 1 9 ltJc6 'iYc4 20 'ifc2 .Jtxe3?!
(20 ... ltJg4!? with an unclear game is better,
with the following tactical justification: 2 1
b3?! ltJxe3 2 2 fxe3 'ixf4 and Black has good
counterplay; 21 ltJd4 improves) 21 fxe3.l!Ixc6
22 l:td4 'ilVc5 23 SLxc6 'ifxc6 24 'ifg2 'ifc7 25
lIad1 .Jtb7 26 ltJb5 'iVb8 27 'iVd2 and White
was on his way to winning in Rausis-Kulaots,
Sweden 2000.
7 ttJc3

iL e 7 5 iL g 2 0 - 0

I n the event o f 7 ltJbd2 Black should


transpose to the main lines with 7 ...ltJbd7.
Instead Grivas-Papaioannou, Portaria 1 996
continued with the unnecessary 7 ... b5, and
after 8 cxb5 cxb5 9 ltJb3 as 10 .Jtf4 ltJa6 1 1
ltJe5 .Jtb7 1 2 l:tc1 'iVb6 1 3 .Jtg5 lIfd8 1 4 e3
h6 1 5 .Jtxf6 .Jtxf6 1 6 f4 White had a slight
lead.
7 'iVc2 can of course easily transpose to
the main lines featured later in this chapter,
but White's immediate action in the centre is
of independent significance, e.g. 7 ... b6 8
ltJbd2 i.b7 9 e4 ltJa6 1 0 a3 c5 1 1 e5 ltJd7 1 2
cxd5 i.xd5 1 3 'iVd3 c8 1 4 ltJe4 cxd4 1 5
ltJeg5 f5 1 6 exf6 ltJxf6 1 7 ltJxd4 SLc4 1 8
'ifd1 nd8 1 9 .Jtxa8 'ifxa8 2 0 'ifB 'it'xB 21
ltJgxB .Jtxfl 22 xfl and White had the
more comfortable ending in Karpov-Tal,
Brussels 1 987. An interesting alternative here
is 1 1 ...ltJe4 1 2 ltJxe4 dxe4 1 3 ltJd2 cxd4 1 4
ltJxe4 'ifc7 1 5 .Jtf4 ltJc5, when Damljanovic
Popchev, Yugoslavia 1 997 saw the over the
top 1 6 ltJf6+?! i.xf6?! (preferable is 1 6 ... gxf6
1 7 exf6 .Jtd6 1 8 "it'd1 h8 with the better
game for Black; it is difficult to see how
White's pieces should succeed in attacking
the black king) 1 7 exf6 'ifd8 1 8 .Jtxb7 ltJxb7
1 9 fxg7 l:.e8 20 lIfe1 f6, and now 21 'iVe4
ltJc5 22 'iVB would have maintained White's
lead .
7 . . . b6
Black is slightly worse - in traditional
Catalan fashion - after 7 ... dxc4 8 ltJe5 ltJbd7
9 ltJxc4, e.g. 9 ... ltJb6 1 0 ltJe5 .td7 1 1 e4 c5
12 i.e3 cxd4 1 3 i.xd4 i.e8 14 a4 ltJfd7 1 5
ltJxd7 ltJxd7 1 6 e5! ltJc5 1 7 b4! ltJb3 1 8
'it'xb3 'ifxd4 1 9 b 5 and White had the freer
game in Raetsky-Lemanczyk, Dusseldorf
2001 .
8 ttJe5 iLb7
Black can run into trouble with 8 ... ltJfd7?,
when 9 cxd5 cxd5 1 0 ltJxd5! exd5 1 1 .i.xd5
ltJxe5 1 2 dxe5 .Jth3 1 3 i.xa8 .txfl 14 'i'xfl
ltJd7 1 5 .Jtd5 ltJxe5 1 6 e4 left White a clear
pawn up in Chetverik-Laihonen, Nagyka
nizsa 1 993.
1 1

Th e C a t a l a n

8 ... .i.a6 9 cxd5 (9 'it'a4!? b5 1 0 cxb5 cxb5


1 1 ttJxb5 'iie 8 12 ttJc3 'it'xa4 1 3 ttJxa4 ..txe2
14 el .i.b5 1 5 ttJc5 l:te8 1 6 i.e3 ttJfd7 1 7
a4 ttJxe5 1 8 axb5 ttJc4 1 9 b 4 produced an
edge for White in Tunik-Dautov, Moscow
1 989) 9 ... cxd5 1 0 .i.f4 ttJfd7 (after 1 0 ... .i.b7
1 1 nel ttJh5 12 .i.d2 ttJf6 1 3 ttJb5 ttJe8 1 4
'it'c2 f6 1 5 ttJd3 ttJc6 1 6 ttJf4 'it'd7 1 7 e4!
favoured White in Smejkal-Bc)nsch, Germany
1 998) 1 1 ]::te l (1 1 ttJxd5?! exd5 1 2 .i.xd5
ttJxe5 1 3 dxe5? does not work this time due
to 1 3 ... .i.xe2!, when Black wins material)
1 1 ...ttJxe5 1 2 .i.xe5 and White is a shade
better.

9 e4! dxc4
Black loses a pawn after 9 ... ttJbd7? 1 0
ttJxc6! .i.xc6 1 1 exd5 exd5 1 2 cxd5 .i.b7,
when White has 13 d6! .i.xg2 14 dxe7 'it'xe7
1 5 'it>xg2 l:tfd8 1 6 'it'f3 l:tac8 1 7 .l:tdl 'it'b4 1 8
.l:tb 1 h 6 1 9 .i.f4 'iia5 20 d5, which was close
to winning in Poluliahov-Dragomaretsky,
Sochi 1 996. Black was also rather quickly in a
bad way in Korchnoi-Yusupov, Rotterdam
1 988, finding himself clearly worse after
9 ... ttJa6 1 0 .i.f4 dxc4 1 1 ttJxc4 b5 1 2 ttJe3
ttJd7 13 ttJg4 b4 14 ttJa4 ttJb6 1 5 ..te3 ttJc4
1 6 .l:tel ttJxe3 1 7 ttJxe3 .l:tc8 1 8 e5! etc.
1 0 ttJxc4 i.a6
The weakening of the queenside with
1 0 ... b5 seems risky. For example 1 1 ttJe3 b4
12 e5 bxc3 1 3 exf6 .i.xf6 1 4 bxc3 ttJd7 1 5
i.. a3 .l:te8 1 6 .l:tbl ttJb6 1 7 ];tel 'YWc7 1 8 ttJg4
i.e7 1 9 .i.xe 7 .uxe 7 20 ttJe5 led to a clear
12

advantage for White in Ivanchuk-Dautov,


Tashkent 1 987.
1 1 b3 b5 1 2 ttJe3
Also possible is 12 ttJe5, after which the
thematic 12 ... c5 results in superior prospects
for White following 1 3 d5 b4 14 ttJe2 'YWc7
1 5 .i.b2 lId8 1 6 lIe1 . Instead 12 ... b4 looks a
little suspicious (and greedy), as was demon
strated in Dizdar-limbach, Hamburg 1 993,
which went 13 ttJe2 .i.xe2 14 'YWxe2 'YWxd4 1 5
i.b2 'it'b6 1 6 l:!ael .l:td8 1 7 .tIc4!? with more
than sufficient compensation. 'The subse
quent 17 ... a5 1 8 'it'c2 .l:ta6 19 ttJxf7!? 'itxf7 20
e5 ttJd5 21 'it'xh 7, l:trn 22 l:tg4 'it>e8 23 .tIxg7
'YWd8 24 .i.h3 c5 25 l:tdl left White in the
driving seat.
1 2 . . . b4 1 3 ttJe2 ttJbd7
I t is dangerous to take the pawn 1 3. .. ..txe2 1 4 'it'xe2 'it'xd4 1 5 ..tb2 'it'b6 1 6
ttJc4 'it'b5 1 7 .i.xf6 gxf6 1 8 .:tad 1 a s 1 9 .tIfel
a4 20 e5 and White had a strong attack in
Smyslov-Guimard, Groningen 1 946.
14 e 1 c8 1 5 i.b2 'i'a5 1 6 ttJf4 g6
16 ... c5 17 e5 ttJe8 18 d5 and Black is in
trouble.
1 7 ttJd3 fd8 1 8 ttJc4 'i'h5 1 9 'i'c2
Even the ending after 1 9 'iix h5 ttJxh5 20
a3!? offers White the better prospects.
1 9 . . . 'ilfb5 20 a3

20 . . . ttJd5 ! ?
Black has t o try something. 2 0. . .bxa3 2 1
.i.xa3 c5 2 2 d 5 gives White a clear lead.
21 axb4!

Clo s e d C a t a la n : 4... e 7 5 Ji.g 2 0 - 0

A strong yet logical move, allowing White


to retains his structural advantage. 21 exdS?!
cxdS 22 ttJxb4 dxc4, on the other hand, is
not clear.
21 . . . lbxb4 22 lbxb4 .Jtxb4 23 ed 1 lbb8
24 a4 "ilfb7 25 da 1 .Jtf8 26 "ilfc3 .Jtg7
27 e5!'
The weakness of the d6-square is clearly
felt.
27 . . . .Jtxc4
27 ... .JtfS loses to 28 ttJd6! .Jtxd6 29 exd6
J:[xd6 30 dS, when the dark squares look like
a Swiss cheese.
28 bxc4 c7 29 .Jta3 .Jtf8 30 c5
30 .JtxfS cj;;x fS 31 J:[b4 'iVc8 32 .l:!.ab1 ttJd7
33 cS should also win
3 0 . . . cd7 3 1 .Jtc 1 .Jte7 32 h 4 c8 33
.Jte4 f5 34 exf6 .Jtxf6 3 5 b1 "ilfc7 36
.Jtf4 "ilfd8 37 "ilfb3 xd4 38 1:rxd4 1 -0
.

r------_

Game 3
Topalov-Kramnik

Unares 1997
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lbf3 lbf6 4 g3 .Jte7 5
.Jtg2 0-0 6 0-0 ttJbd7 7 ttJc3 ! ?
This gambit line i s n o longer s o 'hot' thanks in part to what now develops.
7 . . . dxc4!

The key to refuting a gambit is often in


accepting the pawn(s) .
8 e4 c6
One of several possibilities at this junc-

ture.
8 . ..lt:Jb6 9 'ili'e2 cS 10 dxcS .JtxcS 1 1 ttJeS
.Jtd7 1 2 .l:.dl 'iVe7 1 3 .JtgS gives White a
slight edge, this being transfonned to a dan
gerous attack in Gretarsson-Bjornsson, Reyk
javik 1 999 after 1 3. .. h6 1 4 .Jtxf6 gxf6 I S ttJg4
cj;;g7 1 6 eS! f5 1 7 ttJf6 .Jtc6 1 8 g4 .l:.fd8 1 9
.Jtxc6 bxc6 2 0 cj;; h 1 .
8. . .c S 9 d S exdS 1 0 exdS ttJb6 1 1 ttJeS
.Jtd6 12 f4 l:te8 13 a4 as (13. .. .JtxeS 14 fxeS
nxeS I S .Jtf4 gives White a strong attack for
the pawns; the lead in development is the
most important factor here) 1 4 ttJbS .Jtf5 I S
J:[e1 ttJg4 1 6 ttJxg4 J:[xe 1 + 1 7 'iVx e 1 .Jtxg4 1 8
.Jtd2 'ili'e7 1 9 'ili'xe7 .Jtxe7 20 d6 .Jtf6 21
.Jtxb7 .l:.b8 22 .Jtc6 .Jtxb2 23 l:tel was an
edge for White in Petursson-Dutreeuw, San
Bernadino 1 989 .
8 ... a6!? is an interesting option, Black try
ing to hang on to the pawn. 9 a4 J:[b8 1 0 as
bS 1 1 axb6 cxb6 1 2 .Jtf4 lIa8 1 3 ttJd2 bS 1 4
ttJxbS ttJb6 IS .Jtc7 'ili'd7 16 .Jtxb6 'ixbS 17
.JtaS is good for White according to Volzhin,
so Kramnik-Lputian, Wijk aan Zee 2000
went l 1 ...ttJxb6 1 2 'iVe2 .Jtb7 1 3 .l:!.dl .Jtb4
14 ttJeS as! (making way for ... .Jta6 in case of
ttJxc4 and improving on 14 ...'ie7, which
gives White the chance to win a tempo and
claim an advantage with I S .JtgS! h6 1 6 .Jtxf6
'iWxf6 1 7 ttJxc4 ttJxc4 1 8 'ii'x c4 'ili'e7 1 9 eS
.Jtxg2 20 cj;;xg2, as in Volzhin-Neverov, Du
bai 2001) I S ttJa2 na8 1 6 .JtgS?! (1 6 .Jtf4!?
looks like an improvement) 16 ... .Jte7 and
now 1 7 ttJxc4? .Jta6 1 8 b3 a4 1 9 .Jtxf6 axb3
20 'ili'g4 .Jtxf6 21 ttJxb6 cxb6 22 eS .Jte7
resulted in a clear advantage for Black.
Kramnik gives the lesser evil 1 7 ttJc3, when
the strongest is 1 7 ... ttJfd7! 1 8 ttJxd7 'ii'xd7 1 9
.Jte3 a4 with the better game for Black.
9 a4 e 5 ! ?
A n interesting, fresh try. Older games
contribute the following knowledge:
9 ... aS 1 0 'ili'e2 ttJb6 1 1 J:[dl .Jtb4 1 2 ttJeS
'ili'e7 1 3 .Jte3 .Jtd7 14 ttJxc4 ttJxc4 I S 'ili'xc4
and now Black went wrong in Botvinnik
Em.Lasker, Moscow 1 936 with I S ... bS?! 1 6
13

Th e C a t a l a n

e2 l:Iab8?!, when 1 7 axbS cxbS 1 8 eS ttJe8


19 dS! proved rather inconvenient for the
defender. After the improvement l S ... eS 1 6
dxeS ttJg4 1 7 i.d4 .ie6 1 8 e2 .ics White
has 1 9 ttJdS!? cxdS 20 exdS .ixd4 21 .l:!.xd4
.ifS 22 l:Iel , with sufficient compensation
for the piece to claim a lead.
9 ... b6 10 'iVe2 and now 1O ... .i.a6 1 1 Udl
'ifc8 12 dS!? exdS 13 exdS .l:!.e8 14 dxc6 ttJcS
1 5 ttJbS ttJd3 1 6 .u.xd3! cxd3 17 'iYxd3 fur
nished White with compensation for the
exchange in I.Zaitsev-Lukacs, Dubna 1 979,
while 10 ... aS 1 1 .l::!.d l i.a6 12 .i.f4 .l:!.e8 1 3
ttJd2 ttJ f8 1 4 ttJxc4 ttJg6 1 5 .i.e3 should be
better for White, which was the case in Ivan
chuk-Dreev, Tallinn 1 986 after l S ... ttJdS!? 1 6
e S .l:!.c8 1 7 .l:!.ac1 ttJxe3 1 8 fxd b S 1 9 ttJa3
'iYb6 20 i.f1 etc.
1 0 dxe5 ttJg4 1 1 .ltf4 'ii'a 5 1 2 e6
After 12 'iYd4 .l::[d 8 13 'ii'xc4 ttJdxeS 1 4
ttJxeS ttJxeS 1 5 'iYb3 b 6 1 6 ttJdS cxdS 1 7
i.xeS i.a6 1 8 .l::t fel d4 Black has the better
chances.
1 2 . . . fxe6
12 ... ttJdeS 13 ttJxeS ttJxeS 14 exf7+ J:!.xf7
15 ttJdS cxdS 1 6 i.xeS dxe4 17 i.c3 'it'a6 1 8
.ixe4 i. fS 1 9 i.xfS l:txfS 20 'ig4 .l:i. f7 even
tually led to equality in Ignatiev-Yagupov, St.
Petersburg 1 998.
1 3 'ii'e 2
Later Topalov tried to improve on his play
in the main game, still without proving an
advantage - Topalov-Kasparov, Sarajevo
2000 went 1 3 eS ttJdxeS 14 ttJxeS ttJxeS 1 5
'ifbs i.d6! 1 6 ttJe4 1:I.fS 1 7 'iYe8+ .l:!. f8 1 8
'iWhs ::tfS and a draw was agreed.
1 3 . . . ttJge5 1 4 ttJd4 ttJd3!
The e6-pawn is of lesser importance than
the placement of the pieces.
1 5 ttJxe6 %:tf6 1 6 .ltc 7
1 6 ttJc7? loses to 1 6 ... ttJxf4 1 7 'iYxc4+
h8 1 8 ttJxa8 ttJeS 1 9 'iYb3 ttJxg2 20 'iitxg2
ttJf3 21 Ufdl hS and Black has a winning
attack.
1 6 . . . 'ii'b4
All of this was - oddly enough - played
14

again later the same year. Perhaps White did


not know of this game?
1 7 ttJd4
After 17 ttJf4 'ifxb2 1 8 'ifxb2 ttJxb2 19 eS
Uh6, as in Maherramzade-Kacheishvili, Baku
1 997, White has compensation after 20 %:tab 1
ttJd3 21 ttJxd3 cxd3 22 ttJe4, but better is
1 7 ... ttJ7eS! with a strong position for Black.
1 7 . . . .ltc5 1 8 ttJc2 'iWxb2 1 9 ttJd 1 'ii'b 3
The black queen will survive, leaving
White's minor pieces looking very odd in
deed. Topalov clearly must have overlooked
something.
20 ttJde3 ttJ7e5 2 1 h3 .lte6 22 Wh2
22 i.. x eS ttJxeS 23 1:I.ab 1 'ifxa4 24 .l:!.xb7
'ia6 gives Black a clear advantage.
22 . . . %:th6 23 %:tab 1 ? !
2 3 f4 ttJg4+ 2 4 ttJxg4 .i.xg4 2 5 'iYxg4
'iVxc2 26 h4 improves, although Black is
ahead after 26 ... .l:!.f8.
23 . . . .ltg4!

A key tactic.
24 ttJxg4
24 'iid2 .l:txh3+! 25 i.xh3 ttJf3+ wins for
Black, while 24 f3 loses to 24 ... ttJxf3+! 25
i.xf3 i.xh3 with a deadly attack after 26
ttJg2 'ifc3! etc.
24 . . . ttJxg4+ 25 'iWxg4 'iWxc2 26 'iWg5
26 f4 runs into 26 ... ttJf2! 27 'iff3 l:Ixh3+
28 .i.xh3 ttJg4+ 29 hl 'iWh2 mate.
26 . . . ttJxf2! 27 %:txf2
27 'it'xcs again meets with 27 ... .l:!.xh3+!,
now with a twist after 28 'it>g1 Uh1+! 29

C lo s e d C a t a la n : 4

.txhl ttJh3 mate.


27 . . :i'xf2 28 f1 'i'd4 29 ii.. e S 'i'd7 30
'i'c 1 'i'e6 31 ii.. x g7 Wxg7 32 'i'gS + g6
33 'iWxcs 'i'd6 0-1

Game 4
Romanishin-Ribli

Polanica Zdrrj 1993


1 d4 dS 2 c4 e6 3 lLlf3 lLlf6 4 g3 ii.. e 7 S
ii.. g 2 0-0 6 0-0 lLlbd7 7 lLlc3 c6 8 'iWb3

8 . . . b6
Black has two main alternatives:
8 ...'iVb6 appears inadequate. White was a
litde better in Korchnoi-S.Polgar, Munich
2000 after 9 .l:.d 1 'it'xb3 10 axb3 b6 1 1 e4
i.b 7 1 2 e5 ttJe8 1 3 .tg5 .txg5 1 4 ttJxg5 h6
1 5 ttJh3 ttJc 7 1 6 ttJf4 a5 1 7 h4 i.a6 1 8 l:tac1
.l:.ac8 1 9 cxd5 cxd5 20 J:td2.
But 8 ... ttJb6!? looks sound. Then 9 c5
ttJbd7 10 c2 b6 1 1 b4 a5 12 b5 i.b7 1 3
cxb6 cxb5 1 4 ttJxb5 xb6 1 5 .l:.bl .l:.fc8 1 6
d3 i.a6 1 7 a4 i.b4 1 8 ..td2 ..txb5 1 9 axb5
:c4 gave Black the initiative in Martynov
Sherbakov, Taby 1 99 1 . This leaves 9 cxd5
cxd5, when an interesting idea is 10 l:tdl !?
with the point that after 1 0 ... .td7 1 1 ttJe5
.l:.c8 12 i.f4 White is a lime better. Instead
Chetverik-o.Kozlov, Pecs 1 996 went 1 0
ttJe5 ttJfd7! (the knight o n b 6 i s the better
placed of the two) 1 1 e4 ttJxe5 12 dxe5 d4 1 3
.I:tdl i.c5 1 4 ttJb5 .id7 1 5 a4 a6 and now
White should have played 1 6 ttJd6 ..txd6 1 7

ii.. e 7 5 ii.. g 2 0 - 0

exd6 e 5 1 8 a 5 ttJc8 1 9 'flVxb 7 ttJxd6 2 0 d5,


with chances for both sides.
9 ii.. f4
Also good is 9 i.g5 i.b7 1 0 .l:.fdl a5 1 1
cxd5 cxd5 1 2 t!.ac1 with the more comfort
able game for White. After the subsequent
1 2 ... ttJe4 1 3 .ixe7 xe7 1 4 ttJd2 ttJef6 1 5 e3
fc8 1 6 a3 .ia6 1 7 ttJbs lhc1 1 8 .l:.xc1 l:!.c8
1 9 .l:.xc8+ i.xc8 20 c2 .ia6 21 .ifl White
still had an edge in Tukmakov-Chernin, Lvov
1 990.
9 . . . ii.. b 7
Black has a couple of alternatives. 9 ... .ia6
1 0 cxdS cxdS 1 1 ttJbS! i.xbS 1 2 xbS gives
White a lasting edge with the two bishops,
e.g. 1 2 ... a6 1 3 c6 l:!.c8 1 4 'ii'a4 .l:.a8 1 5 .l:.fc1
bS 1 6 'ii'c 2 l:!.c8 1 7 i.c7 'ii'e 8 1 8 'ii'd2 ttJb8
19 ttJeS, Markowski-Filippov, Koszalin 1 999.
9 ... a5!? 10 .l:.fd 1 .ia6 1 1 cxdS ttJxdS! sees
Black keep his options open, 12 ttJeS ttJxeS
1 3 .ixeS a4 1 4 'iVc2 a3 offering good coun
terplay according to Kasimdzanov.
1 0 cxdS

White has also tried 10 .l:.ac1 dxc4 1 1


'iVxc4 ttJdS 1 2 ttJeS, when the natural
1 2 ... ttJxeS results in an unclear game after 1 3
i.xeS .tgS 1 4 e 3 i.xe3!? 1 5 fxe3 ttJxe3 1 6
'iie 2 ttJxfl 1 7 '.txfl f6 1 8 .if4 'tid7 (Ulibin
& Tiviakov) . In Ulibin-Tiviakov, Kastellanata
1 998 Black opted for the dubious 12 ... bS?!
but soon suffered: 1 3 'iVd3 ttJxe5 14 ..txe5
'it'b6 1 5 ttJe4 f6 1 6 .if4 .l:.ad8 17 .id2 .ic8
1 8 ttJcS as 19 .l:.fd 1 'it>h8 20 'iVa3! b4 21 a4
15

Th e C a t a l a n

'iWb5 2 2 'it'xb5 cxb5 2 3 lLlb3 a 4 2 4 lLla5 d7


25 lLlc6 xc6 26 ':'xc6 and life was not easy
for the defender.
1 0 . . . cxdS
1 O ... exd5 1 1 l:tad1 lteS 1 2 e4!? lLlxe4 1 3
lLlxe4 dxe4 1 4 lLle5 lLlxe5 1 5 dxe5 'WcS 1 6
Ji.xe4 Ji. f8 1 7 .l:.d2 c 5 1 S Ji.xb7 'Wxb 7 1 9
l:tfd1 1:te7 2 0 h4 l:[cS 21 'it'd5 'iVxd5 22 l:.xd5
was a litde better for White in Rashkovsky
Goloshchapov, Ekaterinburg 1 999 in view of
the domination of the d-ftle.
10 ... lLlxd5 1 1 lLlxd5 exd5 12 nael c5 1 3
l::t fd1 ncS 1 4 h4 cxd4 was played i n Chet
verik-Hajnal, Gyula 1 999. Now 1 5 lLlxd4
lLlc5 1 6 'it'f3 gives White a slight plus due to
the superior pieces and the isolated d-pawn.
If possible the queen will go to g4, and in the
event of 1 6 ... 'ii'd 7 White can consider 1 7
h2! with the idea o f 1 S h3.
1 1 l:tac 1
1 1 lLlb5!? is interesting, after which
1 1 ...a6?! is risky thanks to 1 2 lLld6!, when
White gets the two bishops. Tiviakov gives
1 1 ...lLleS 1 2 lIael a6 1 3 lLlc3 with an even
game, or 1 3 lLlc7 g5 1 4 lLlxaS gxf4 1 5 lLlxb6
lLlxb6 1 6 gxf4 with unclear play.
1 1 . . . lLlhS
After 1 1 ...lLleS White achieves a slight
edge with 1 2l::tc2 lLld6 1 3l::t fel lLlc4 1 4 lLld2
lLlxd2 1 5 xd2, when an invasion down the
c-ftle is imminent.
1 2 .lteS f6

1 3 .ltc7 ! ?
16

A very exciting piece sacrifice. White gets


two pawns and free access to the queenside
in return for the bishop. Meanwhile the
knight remains stuck on h5. The alternative is
1 3 f4!? lLlxf4 1 4 gxf4 rs 1 5 lLlb5 l:tf6 1 6
:c7 l:[bS 1 7 :tfel a6 1 S lLla7! with an attack
on the queenside (Romanishin).
1 3 . . . ii'xc7 1 4 lLlxdS ii'd6
White gets an extra possibility after
1 4... 'it'dS, when 1 5 lLlxe7+ transposes and 1 5
lLlc7!? offers a hell o f a ride: 1 5 ... lLlc5 1 6
l:txc5! bxc5 1 7 'Wxb7 l:!.bS 1 S 'Wxa7 'it'cS! 1 9
lLld5 d6 20 'it'e7! exd5 2 1 'it'xd6 and White
will probably have the better chances in the
endgame after 2 1 ...l:tdS 22 'ixc5 l:txb2 23
'it'xcs ktxcS 24 e3 as all the pawns are on one
flank and Black has problems with the knight
on h5.
1 S lLlxe7 + ii'xe7 1 6 l:tc7 .ltdS 1 7 ii'bS
l:tfd8
17 .. .l:1adS 1 S ':xa7 'iVd6 19 .l:.el , with
.l:i.cc7 to follow, also looks dangerous for
Black.
1 8 e4 .ltxe4
Worth considering was 1 S ... a6 19 'We2
xa2! (1 9 ... 'it'd6 20 :tfel Ji.xa2 21 e5! looks
dangerous) 20 .l:ta1 Ji.b3 21 'it'e3 'ib4 22
'it'c3 'it'xc3 23 ':xc3 e5 24 ':xb3 exd4 with
approximately even chances in the endgame,
although White might argue otherwise.
1 9 ii'xhS ii'd6
19 ... l1dcS is strongly met with 20 lLle5!
xc7 2 1 Ji.xe4 fxe5 22 'ir'xh7+ 'iii' f8 23 xaS
exd4 24 lId1 and Black's king is walking on
thin ice.
20 l:tfc 1 a6 21 lLlh4 .ltxg2 22 lLlxg2 eS?!
It was necessary to take the pawn with
22 ... 'it'xd4, and after 23 lLlf4 play 23 ...'iVe4,
when White has compensation. Perhaps 24
.l:i.1 c4!? is the best chance to fight for the
initiative.
23 lLlh4 g6?
23 ... exd4 24 lLlrs 'it'e5 puts up more resis
tance, although White has 25 lLlxg7! xg7 26
.l:i.xd7+l::tx d7 27 'iVg4+ 'it>hS 2S 'iixd7 with a
near decisive lead.

C lo s e d C a t a la n : 4 .

. .

i. e 7 5 i.g2 0 - 0

i.f4 lbc5 1 4 'it'xd8 l:[fxd8 1 5 h 3 lbh6 1 6


l:tfd 1 i.xc4 1 7 lbd4 l:tac8 1 8 i.xh6 gxh6 1 9
lb fS i.f8 20 lbd6 i.xd6 2 1 exd6 lbd3 22
ttd2 l:txd6 23l::tad1 with a clear advantage to
White. Here the brutal 1 3 ...g5!? is more ap
propriate, e.g. 1 4 i.xg5 (14 l'!ad 1 I?)
1 4 ... i.xg5 1 5 lbxg5 'iixg5 1 6 ii'xd7 lbxe5 1 7
'iY fS 'iYg7 with an unclear situation i n which
White has interests on the kingside while
Black is looking to the centre and to the
queenside.
9 . . . i.a6 1 0 b3 J:!.cS
Black could also choose to develop the
other rook. An interesting choice is 1Q ... ii'c8
Stripping away the defences.
1 1 i.f4 l:td8 1 2 e4 b5 1 3 cxb5 cxb5 1 4 :tac1
24 . . . hxg6 25 xg6 + 'ithS
b4 1 5 lbxd5! (forced) 1 5 ... exd5 (1 5 ... 'iYxc1 1 6
After 25 ... f8 26 I:t l c6 ii'e7 27 xd7! the
lbxe 7+ f8 1 7 l1xc1 i.xd3 1 8 lbc6 l:!.dc8 1 9
last line of defence falls.
i.d6+ 'it>e8 20 lbd2 leaves White with good
26 dxe5 1 -0
compensation for the exchange; Black will
,....--- have difficulties freeing himself) 1 6 l:!.xc8
Game 5
i.xd3 1 7 l:ha8 lha8 1 8 lhd3 lbxe4
(1 8 ... dxe4 1 9 lbel .l:!.e8 20 l:te3 favours
Gleizerov-Barua
White)
19 lbe5 lbdf6 20 lbc6 i.f8, UlibinKo/kala 2002
----------------.. Vaulin, Bydgoszcz 2000, and now 21 i.b8!?
gives White a modest plus.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tt:lf3 tt:lf6 4 g3 i.e7 5
1 1 e4
i.g2 0-0 6 0-0 tt:lbd7 7 tt:lc3 c6 S d3
A patent of the Russian Grandmaster.
S . . . b6 9 J:!.d 1
This seems to give White the best chances
for an edge. Now the queen will not be un
protected after e2-e4. Alternatives:
9 cxd5 cxd5 10 i.f4 a6 1 1 a4 i.b7 1 2
l:!.fc1 l:!.c8 1 3 lbd2 lbh5 1 4 i.e3 i.d6 1 5 f3
lbhf6 1 6 i.f2 'iYe7 1 7 i.h3 nfd8 1 8 .:tel
lbb8 1 9 lIac1 lbc6 resulted in a balanced
game in Ivanchuk-A.Petrosian, Lvov 1 988.
9 e4 i.a6 10 b3 dxc4 1 1 bxc4 e5!? and
now 1 2 .l:i.dl seems to be rather hannless.
One game continued 12 ...'iYc7 13 dxe5 lbxe5
1 1 . . . c5
14 lbxe5 ii'xe5 1 5 i.f4 ii'e6 1 6 lbd5!? cxd5
1 1 ...ii'c7 is best met with 1 2 i.f4 iVb7 13
17 exd5 ii'd7 1 8 d6 lIad8 19 'iic2 i.b7 20
e5 lbe8 1 4 a4 iVb8 15 i.gs i.xgS 1 6 lbxgS
dxe7 'iYxe7 21 l:!.e1 d7 22 l::ta dl c8 23
g6 1 7 g4 with bright prospects on the king
l:!.xd8 xd8 24 i.xb7 'iYxb7 25 i.g5 ii'c6 26
side, Yevseev-Azarov, Minsk 2000.
i.xf6 and a draw was agreed in Flear-Dizdar,
1 2 exd5 exd5 1 3 dxc5
Montpellier 1 998. Instead Vaganian-Mueller,
13 i.b2 dxc4 14 bxc4 cxd4 15 lbb5 lbc5
Germany 1 995 continued 1 2 dxe5 lbg4 1 3

24 tt:lxg6!

17

Th e Ca t a l a n

1 6 'iYxd4 'iWxd4 1 7 tLlfxd4 i.xb5 IS cxb5


tLla4 19 tLlf5 l:tfeS 20 i.d4 iLc5 21 l:tac1
gave White a fantastic advantage in Roman
ishin-Ciric, Dortmund 1 976. As in so many
positions in the Catalan, Black has a big
problem with the c6-square.
1 3 . . . dxc4 1 4 bxc4

1 4 . . Jbc5? !
Preferable IS 1 4...tLlxc5 1 5 'ii'f l 'iVeS
(1 5 ...tLlfd7!?) 1 6 tLlb5 tLlce4 1 7 tLlfd4 i.c5 I S
iLb2, when I S ...l:tdS should limit White to a
slight advantage. Worse is I S ...'iVe5?! 1 9 'ii'e2
iLxb5 20 cxb5 l:tcdS 21 tLlc6 l:txd1+ 22
l:txdl 'iVf5 23 i.d4, when Black was strug
gling a little in Gleizerov-Perez, Malaga 2001 .
1 5 ltJb5 xb5 1 6 cxb5 d5 1 7 ltJd4 ltJe5
After 17 ... tLlc5 IS 'iVc4 tLlfe4 1 9 i.e3 i.f6
20 iLO! White stands clearly better according
to Gleizerov. The main idea behind iLo is,
of course, to protect the rook. Now tLlf5 and
tLlc6 are threats, and Black will probably have
to give up his second bishop.
1 8 'ific3
IS 'iVe2? would be a slip as after IS ... i.c5! !
Black assumes the initiative.
1 8 . . . c5 1 9 b2!
Forced. 19 i.e3? tLlfg4! 20 i.xd5 'ii'x d5
21 'irb3 'iVe4 22 'irbl 'iNaS gives Black a
sensational attack, and 1 9 i.xd5? 'iVxd5 20
iLe3 iLxd4 21 iLxd4 tLlf3+ 22 Wfl tLlxh2+
23 Wg 1 tLlf3+ 24 Wfl tLlxd4 25 'iVxd4 'ifh 1+
26 e2 l:teS+ looks deadly.
1 9 . . . d6 20 d2 'ifid7
18

20 ... tLld5 fails to 21 i.xd5! l:txd5 22 tLlc6!


l:txd2 23 tLlxdS iLd4 (only move) 24 'iVxd2
tLlf3+ 25 Wg2 tLlxd2 26 iLxd4 IhdS 27 l:tc1
with a wonderful ending.
21 ad 1

2 1 . . . 'ilfg4
2 1 ...tLld5? 22 .txd5! l:txd5 23 tLlb3 and
White wins material. 21 ...l:tdS 22 tLlb3! is also
very uncomfortable.
22 h3!
This leads by force to a highly favourable
ending.
22 . . . xd4 23 hxg4 xc3 24 xc3 xd2
25 xd2 ltJexg4 26 c6 h5 27 f3 ltJe3
28 xf6 gxf6 29 d7
White has all the chances.
29 . . . 'it>g7 30 xa7 d8 31 d7 !
The minor piece endgame i s winning, and
the attack on f7 cannot be allowed.
3 1 . . . xd7 32 xd7 ltJc4 33 'it>f2 'it>f8 34
h3!
The h5-pawn is the target of this bishop
manoeuvre.
34 . . . 'it>e7 35 f1 ltJa3 36 f4 'it>d6 37
e2 'it>c5 38 xh5 ltJxb5 39 xf7 'it>d4
40 'it>f3 ltJd6 4 1 b3 f5 42 g4
White does not hesitate in creating a deci
sive passed pawn. An important point to
notice here is that as is a light square, so
White does not risk having a pawn + bishop
versus king scenario in which he cannot win.
42 .. .fxg4+ 43 'it>xg4 b5 44 'it>g5 b4 45
'it>g6 ltJe4

Clo s e d C a t a la n : 4

ii.. e 7 5 ii..g2 0 - 0

Black also loses after 45 ... 'it>e4 46 fS! ttJxfS


47 1i.c2+ etc.
46 ii.. c 2 ttJc5 47 f5 'it'e5 48 f6 ttJd7 49 f7
'it'd6 50 'it'g7 'it'e7 51 ii..f 5 1 -0

1 5 .. .'Jfd7! is good, when 1 6 ttJxf7!? 'it>xf7 1 7


exd5 i s unclear. The alternatives are worse,
e.g. 1 5 .. d4?! 16 e5! dxc3 17 'i!fc2! with a very
dangerous position for Black. And 1 5 ... h6?!
16 ttJxf7! 'it>xf7 17 e5 'it>g8 (1 7 ... ttJe4 18 e6+!
Game 6
'it>xe6 1 9 ttJxe4 is not something Black will
Korchnoi-Nogueiras
survive, an important line being 1 9 ... dxe4 20
lWe2!
i.d5 21 i.xe4 'itf7 22 'Wh5+ 'it>g8 23
Moscow 1994
'----------------.. lIxd5! and Black can resign as mate is com
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 ii.. e 7 5
ing) 1 8 exf6 1i.xf6 1 9 1i.a3 was a clear lead
for White in Tisdall-Chernuschevich, Halls
ii.. g 2 0-0 6 0-0 ttJbd7 7 ttJc3 c6 8 b3 b6
dall 1 996.
9 ii.. b 2
1 0 a4! ?
A highly original approach, gaining space
on the queenside. The alternative is lO ttJd2,
when Black has two main moves.
Ehlvest-Nogueiras, New Delhi 2000 went
lO ... b5 1 1 c5 (1 1 cxb5 cxb5 12 a3 lIc8 1 3 b4
ttJb6 14 ttJb3 ttJc4 1 5 1i.c1 ttJd7 1 6 lIa2 i.b7
1 7 ttJxb5 a6 1 8 ttJc3 was enough for an edge
in Korchnoi-Lputian, Sarajevo 1 998) l 1 ...b4
1 2 ttJa4 1i.b5 1 3 lIe 1 c7 14 'iVc2 e5 1 5 e4!?
dxe4 1 6 ttJxe4 exd4 1 7 i.xd4 lIfe8 1 8 lIac1
J:tad8 1 9 ttJb2 and White's extra territory
afforded him more room for manoeuvre and
therefore the superior prospects.
9 . . . ii.. a 6
lO ... lIc8 1 1 e4 dxe4 (l 1 ...c5 12 exd5 cxd4
Black's main alternative is, not surpris
13 dxe6 fxe6 14 ttJce4 slightly favoured
ingly, 9 ... 1i.b7, when White has tried a few
White in Tregubov-Fomichenko, Krasnodar
moves:
1 999) 1 2 ttJcxe4 (1 2 ttJdxe4?! b5! 1 3 lIel
10 "ifc2 might be best, transposing to 7
bxc4 1 4 'iVe2 'ia5 was pleasant for Black in
'it'c2 c6 8 b3 b6 9 ii.b2 ii.b7 l O ttJc3 (see
Cifuentes-Gomez, Terrasa 1 995) 1 2 ...ttJxe4
Game 1 0) .
1 3 ttJxe4 ttJf6 14 'YWc2 ttJxe4 1 5 1i.xe4 h6 1 6
1 0 l:!.c1 ttJe4!? 1 1 ttJxe4 dxe4 1 2 ttJe5 fS
Ihdl 1i.f6 1 7 'it'e2 lIe8 1 8 'ii f3 1i.b7 1 9 h4
1 3 'it'c2 ttJxe5 1 4 dxe5 c5 1 5 l:!.cdl "ifc7 was
l:!.c7 20 l:!.fel and White was slightly better in
a draw in Szabo-Spassky, Palma de Mallorca
Kaidanov-Cifuentes, Andorra 1 99 1 .
1 969, probably because the position offers
1 0 . . . dxc4
little promise of progress for either player.
Black is not forced to take the pawn but it
Stojanovic-Jovcic, Tivat 1 995 went l O
seems to be the best option. After lO ... lIc8
ttJe5 ttJxe5 1 1 dxe5 ttJd7 1 2 cxd5 cxd5 1 3 e4
d4!? (a logical temporary pawn sacrifice, de
1 1 ttJd2 l:!.e8 12 e4 ttJf8 13 l:!.el ii.b7 14 as
bxa5 1 5 c5 'iVc7 1 6 e5 ttJ6d7 17 ttJe2 ii.a6 1 8
signed to close out the g2-bishop) 14 'iVxd4
1i.c3 fS 1 9 h4 ii.b5 20 1i.xa5 'i!fb 7 2 1 ttJf4
i.c5 1 5 "it'dl ttJxe5 1 6 'it'h5 ttJg6 1 7 l:!.fdl
ttJb8 22 'iic 2 White had the advantage in
'iVe 7 1 8 ttJa4 ii.a3 19 ii.xa3 'iVxa3 with an
Poluliahov-Akhmadeev, St. Petersburg 1 999.
other draw.
1 1 bxc4 ii.. x c4 1 2 ttJd2 ii.. a 6 1 3 ii..x c6
lO 'it'd3 c5 1 1 cxd5 exd5 1 2 .l:!.adl l:!.e8 1 3
.l:!.c8 1 4 ii.. g 2 ttJb8!
dxc5 bxc5 1 4 ttJg5 ttJb6 1 5 e4!? and now
19

Th e Ca t a la n

The knight is transferred to a square with


a future, at the same time vacating a square
for the queen - and, in turn, the king's rook.
Black should not be worse here.
1 5 lLlb5 'tWd7 1 6 'tWb 1 ! ? xb5? !
After this White always has the advantage
of bishop versus knight. 1 6 ... ltJc6!? looks like
an improvement. After 1 7 ltJc4 ltJxd4 1 8
ltJe5 ltJxe2+ 1 9 'lith 1 'iVd2 20 ltJc6 .l:!.xc6!? 2 1
xc6 ltJg4 Black has strong compensation
for the exchange in the form of a direct at
tack on the enemy king. White is forced to
play 22 'iWe4 'iWxb2 23 'iWxg4, with chances
for both sides.
1 7 axb5 'ii'x b5 1 8 l:txa 7

1 9 c 1 lLlc6
Forced. After 19 ... d6 20 .if3 l:txc1 21
.ixe2 l:txb 1 22 l:txb 1 ltJc6 23 l:ta4 White is
close to winning.
20 xc6 l:txc6 21 l:txe7 l:tfc8 22 lLlb3 h5
23 l:ta7? !
White should play 2 3 e3!? ltJd5 2 4 l:ta7
J:k2 25 l:tel "it'd3 26 ltJal ltJxe3 27 ltJxc2
ltJxc2 28 .l:i.c1 l:!.c3 29 .l:.b7 with decent
chances of success.
23 . . . h4
Black needs to create some insecurity
around his opponent's king, but this is not
the only way. After 23 ... .l:!.c2 24 ..ia3 ltJg4 25
'iVel (25 'it'dl 'iVxdl 26 lhdl lhf2 27 l:td2
l:tf3! and Black is still fighting) 25 ... "it'xel 26
l:txe 1 J::tx f2 27 J::tc 1 J::tc c2! 28 .l:!.xc2 llxc2
there are still some drawing chances.
24 f4 lLld5 25 .!:te 1 'tWg4 26 'tWd 1 'tWxd 1
27 l:txd 1 l:tc3 28 l:tb 1 l:td3
28 ... ltJxf4 29 gxf4 l:tf3 30 l:tb7 .l:!.c6 31
llc1 l:td6 also offered stubborn resistance.
29 l:ta2 l:tcc3 30 l:tab2 h3? !
30 ... ltJxf4 31 gxf4 l:!.f3 was necessary ac
cording to Nogueiras.
31 f 1 lLlxf4 32 gxf4 l:tf3?
A blunder. After 32 ... 'lith7 33 'litel 'it>g6
White still needs to solve some technical
problems before he can write 1 -0 on the
score sheet.
33 lLlc 1 ! 1 -0

Game l
Chiburdanidze-Vaganian

Biel 1994

1 8 . . . 'tWxe2! ?
Essentially a piece sacrifice. 1 8 ... .id6 1 9
e3 ltJc6 20 l:ta2 gives White a modest but
enduring advantage. The passed pawn IS
more a weakness than a strength.
20

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lLlf3 lLlf6 4 g3 e7 5
g2 0-0 6 0-0 lLlbd7 7 'ii'c 2 c6
This slow build-up is the main line, and
the way the position should be played. How
ever, there are two notable alternatives.
7 ... c5 8 cxd5 ltJxd5 9 ltJc3 ltJxc3 (9 ...liJb4
10 iVb3 b6 1 1 lldl ltJc6 12 d5! favours
White, and in Adianto-Dao Thien Hai, Is
tanbul 2000 the subsequent continuation
1 2 ... ltJa5 1 3 c2 exd5 1 4 ltJxd5 ..ib7 15

C lo s e d C a t a l a n : 4

h3 lLlb8 1 6 lLlf6+ xf6 1 7 l::tx d8 xd8 1 8


f5 h6 1 9 b4!? cxb4 20 b2 lLlbc6 2 1 'ii'e 4
lLle7 22 h7+ 'it>h8 23 'iWg4 f6 24 d3 lLlac6
25 'ii'e 4 f5 26 'iWe6 saw Black come under
heavy attack) lO bxc3 cxd4 1 1 cxd4 lLlb6 1 2
f4 lLld5 1 3 l:!.ac1 d7 1 4 lLle5 b5 1 5
'iWb2 a6 1 6 l:lfdl with a healthy develop
ment lead for White in Allen-Soloveychik,
Canberra 1 999. There followed 1 6 ...l:tc8 1 7
xc8 'ii'x c8 1 8 ::tcl 'ii'd 8 1 9 d2 d6 20
lLlc4 c7 21 e4 lLlb6 22 lLle3, and White's
stronger centre and more attractively posted
pieces combined to form an advantage.
7 ... b6 weakens the c6-square and gives
White the advantage after 8 cxd5!, when
Black has two unpleasant recaptures. In the
case of 8 ...lLlxd5 9 lLlc3 b7 lO lLlxd5 exd5
1 1 .l:tdl lLlf6 1 2 lLle5 White has a slight but
stable advantage. The knight would like to go
to f4 and exert pressure on d5. Karpov
Spas sky, Riga 1 975 continued 1 2 ... c5 1 3 dxc5
xc5 1 4 lLld3 d6 1 5 f4l::te 8 16 e3 lLle4
17 xd6 'iVxd6 1 8 lLlf4 l:tac8 1 9 'ii'a4, when
White's advantage had increased.
8 ... exd5 9 'iWc6 Si.a6 lO lLlc3 l:tc8
(l O ... ne8?! 1 1 lLle5 J::tb 8 12 'iVa4 b7 1 3
lLlxd7 lLlxd7 1 4 lLlxd5 and White was a pawn
up for nothing in Raetsky-Renner, Apolda
1 993) 1 1 'ii'a4 lLlb8 12 h3 'iVe8 1 3 'iWc2!
(1 3 xc8 'iWxa4 14 lLlxa4 xe2 1 5 l:tel
xf3 1 6 Si.b7 is less clear) 1 3. .. l:td8 1 4 Si.f4
d6 1 5 e5 and Black will have consider
able problems getting his pieces into the
game.
8 .l:!.d 1 b6
Black has little chance of equalising with
8 ... b5. Then White has no use for the c-ftle,
so best is 9 c5, when Rashkovsky-Farago,
Sochi 1 980 went 9 ... lLle4 1 0 a4 a6 1 1 axb5
Si.xb5 1 2 lLla3 a6 1 3 lLle1 f5 1 4 lLld3 f6 1 5
lLlf4 IIe8 1 6 f3 lLlg5 1 7 h4 lLlfl 1 8 e4 g6 1 9
e 5 g7 20 d2 'ii'e7 2 1 lLlxb5 axb5 22 lLld3
with an advantage for White, who had more
space and access to the f4-square (which
might prove problematic for Black on e6) .
8 ... lLle4 9 b3 f5 i s a n interesting idea. Of

e 7 5 g2 0 - 0

course Black must accept the exchange of


the dark-squared bishops. Ara Minasian
Lputian, Yerevan 2000 continued 10 a3
xa3 I 1 lLlxa3 f4 1 2 lLlbi g5!? 1 3 lLlc3 g4 1 4
lLlh4 lLlg5 ( 1 4. . .lLlxf2!? 1 5 l::tf l fxg3 1 6 hxg3
lLlh3+ 1 7 'it>h2 followed by e2-e4 looks
promising for White) 1 5 e4 lLlf6 1 6 exd5
exd5 1 7 cxd5 cxd5 with chances for both
sides. In this kind of position Black obviously
hopes that he will achieve something on the
kingside, and he has reasonable chances of
doing so. White, for his part, will be looking
to quickly invade the queenside.
9 a4! ?

White i s putting immediate pressure on


the queenside. Consequently Black should
now be careful how he develops.
9 a6
Inferior is 9 ... b7?! due to 10 as!, with the
threat of a5-a6. In Zagorjansky-Bonch
Osmolovsky, Moscow 1 949 White emerged
with the better game after 1 0 ... bxa5 1 1 c5
lLle4 1 2 lLlbd2 f5 1 3 lLlb3 a6 1 4 lLlxa5
b5 1 5 b4 'ii'e 8 1 6 lLle5l::t c 8 1 7 f3 lLlef6 1 8
lLlb7.
1 0 b3 .l:!.c8!
Black needs to build up his ... c6-c5 push
with some care. After lO ... c5 1 1 lLlc3 dxc4 1 2
bxc4 xc4 1 3 dxc5 xc5 1 4 lLle5 lLlxe5!? 1 5
l:txd8 .l:taxd8 1 6 b2 there i s compensation
for the queen, but not much. It seems to us
that White still has slightly superior long
term prospects because Black has no obvious
. . .

21

Th e C a t a l a n

point of attack o n which t o concentrate.


Note that here 1 1 .J::k8?! is too late com
pared with the main game as now White has
12 lLlb5! dxc4 1 3 bxc4 cxd4 14 lLlfxd4 and
Black has the usual problems with the c6square, e.g. 14 ... lLld5?! 1 5 'iib 3 lLlc5 1 6 'itb1
lLlf6 1 7 .1i.f4 'iii e8 1 8 lLlxa7 lId8 1 9 lLlac6
and White was on his way to the full point in
Pigusov-Tavadian, Irkutsk 1 983.
1 1 a5
1 1 lLlc3 throws a pawn away.
1 1 . . . c5!
Black is finally fully prepared.
1 2 axb6 'Wii' x b6 1 3 'Wii' a 2

1 3 . . . b7
The strange looking 1 3. .. lLlb8 14 .1i.f4
.1i.d6 was played in Korchnoi-Spraggett, Wijk
aan Zee 1 985. Now White could try 15 b4!?
.1i.xf4 16 bxc5 'iic 7 17 gxf4 .1i.xc4 18 'it'd2
when the control over e5 and the weak a
pawn, together with his own protected
passed pawn, secure a lead.
1 4 a3 tLie4
Also possible is 14 ... l:tfe8 1 5 lLlbd2 cxd4
1 6 .1i.xe7 lIxe7 17 'iixa7 e5, as in Tratar
Atalik, Nova Gorica 1 999. Black should
never get into trouble here, and Atalik earned
approximate equality after 1 8 'ii'x b6 lLlxb6 1 9
lIa7 lIcc7 2 0 c5!? lIxc5 21 lLlxe5 lLlc8 22
lLld3 lIc3 23 lIa4 lIxe2 24 ltxd4 g5 25 lLlb4
lLle7 26 i.f1 .t!.e6 27 lId3 lIc5.
1 5 e3 f6 1 6 b2 dxc4 1 7 bxc4 z:.b8
1 8 tLic3
22

On 1 8 lLlbd2 Black has the interesting


1 8 ... lLlxf2!?, leading to equality after 19 c,t>xf2
.1i.xf3 20 'it>xf3 'iVxb2 21 'iix b2 lIxb2 22
ltxa7 lId8.
1 8 . . . a8
1 8 ... lLlxf2?? now loses to 1 9 lLla4! etc.
1 9 tLixe4
19 lhb 1 might well leave White ahead,
Black needing to improve on 1 9 ...'iVxb2!? 20
'it'xb2! (20 lIxb2 lLlxc3 21 'iVa 1 lIxb2 22
'ilixb2 lLlxd1 23 'iVd2 lLlxe3 24 fxe3 lId8
gives Black good counterplay) 20 ... .l:i.xb2 21
lLlxe4 .l:i.c2 22 lLlxf6+ lLlxf6 23 dxc5 .l:i.xc4 24
l::t dc1 , when the c-pawn is annoying for
Black.
1 9 . . . xe4 20 c3
20 lLle5 leads to equality - 20 ... i.xe5 21
dxe5 .1i.xg2 22 'it>xg2 7+ 23 'it>g1 lLlb6 and
the knight is no worse than the bishop.
20 . . . 'Wii' b 7
Also possible is 20 ... cxd4!? 21 exd4 'iVc6
22 lLle5 lLlxe5 23 i.xe4 lLlrn 24 i.xf3 'iix f3
with equality.
21 'Wii' x a7
21 lLle1 .1i.xg2 22 lLlxg2 cxd4 23 exd4
'iVb3 is fine for Black.
21 . . . xf3 22 xf3 'Wii' x f3 23 'ilfxd7 h5 24
'Wii' c 7 z:.b3 25 e 1 cxd4 26 exd4 g5!7

Black is trying to generate something in


teresting.
27 z:.db 1
27 l::t ab 1 ? .1i.xd4! is not what White wants.
27 . . . xd4 28 z:.xb3 'iYxb3 29 z:.a5 .if6

C lo s e d C a t a la n : 4

30 lXb5 tt'd 1 3 1 tt'a5 tt'f3 32 iLd2 lXa8


33lXxg 5 + !
White correctly goes for the draw before
he gets mated.
33 . . . iLxg5 34 'ii'x g5 + 'itt h 7 35 'ii'h 6+
'itt g 8 36 'ii'g 5 + Y. - Y.

Game 8
Kengis-M . G u revich

Jurmala 1985
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tLif3 tLif6 4 g3 iLe7 5
iLg2 0-0 6 0-0 tLibd7 7 ifc2 c6 8 iLf4 ! ?

iL e 7 5 iL g 2 0 - 0

e8 1 7 f3 hxg3 1 8 hxg3 'ii'g 6 1 9 l2Je2 d7


20 l2Jf4 'it'g5 21 '.t>f2 \itJf7 22 l:th1 llh8 with a
balanced game.
9 d2! fS to b4 g5 1 1 a4 g4 1 2 l2Je 1 l2Jb6
1 3 l2Ja3 dxc4 14 e3 e5 1 5 dxe5 l2Jxa4!? 1 6
l2Jxc4 i s a shade preferable for White, while
Black was in trouble in Kurajica-Flear, Las
Palmas 1 993 after 1 5 ... .te6?! 1 6 as l2Jd5 1 7
l2Jxc4 l2Jxb4 1 8 .1Lxb4 .txb4 1 9 l2Jd3 .te 7 20
l:tfd1 etc.
9 tLibd2
Harmless is 9 cxd5 cxd5, e.g. to l:tc1 b7
1 1 l2Jc3 l:!.c8 1 2 "it'd 1 l2Je8 1 3 l:tc2 g5 1 4 d2
l2Jd6 1 5 l:tac 1 f6 1 6 l2Je 1 fS 1 7 l2Jd3 l:te8 1 8
l2Jb 1 l:txc2 1 9 .l:txc2 'itb8, Andersson-Bareev,
Ubeda 1 997. After the second pair of rooks
is exchanged Black is by no means worse.
9 . . iLb7 1 0 e4
.

This development of the bishop does not


guarantee an advantage but is nonetheless a
sound and practical alternative to b2-b3,
which can be seen in Games to-IS.
8 . . . b6
8 ... a5 9 l2Jbd2 l2Jh5 to e3 a4 1 1 l:tfd 1
a5 1 2 g5 f6 1 3 e3 .1Ld6 1 4 l2Jel fS 1 5
l2Jdf3 'it'a6 1 6 .l:tac1 gives White a slight edge.
Khalifman-LSokolov, Rogatska Slatina 1 99 1
saw this increase i n value after 1 6 ... 'ii'x c4?! 1 7
'ii'x c4 dxc4 1 8 l:txc4 l2Jb6 1 9 l:tcc1 a 3 2 0 b3
l2Jd5 21 d2 l2Jb4 22 .1Lxb4 .1Lxb4 23 l2Jd3
.1Le7 24 l2Jfe5, with a dominating position.
In the event of 8 ... l2Jh5, little is achieved
by assuming that this is a normal Stonewall
and playing 9 c 1 . Bareev-Balashov, Elista
1 996 went 9 ... fS (9 ... l2Jhf6!? with a repetition
is also sensible, but perhaps 10 b3 was the
ide 10 b3 g5 1 1 e3 g4 1 2 l2Je5 l2Jxe5 1 3
dxe5 l2Jg7 1 4 l2Jc3 h 5 1 5 b2 h4 1 6 l:tad1

1 0 . . . !!.c8
The immediate to ... c5!? is possible, e.g. 1 1
exd5 exd5 1 2 l:tfe 1 l:tc8 1 3 'ii'fS !? dxc4 1 4
l2Jxc4 g6 1 5 h3, which was seen in
D.Gurevich-Browne, Key West 1 994. Now
Black should have played 1 5 ... cxd4 1 6 l2Jd6
xd6 17 xd6 l:te8 1 8 l2Jxd4 ..ixg2 1 9
"it'xg2 l2Jc5 with equality (Browne) .
1 1 lXad 1
White also achieves very little from closing
the position. After 1 1 e5 l2Je8 12 h4 h6 1 3
cxd5 cxd5 1 4 d3 c7 1 5 e3 .ta6 1 6
l:t fb l 'iVc2!? 1 7 l2Jel "ij' fS 1 8 l2Jdf3 l2Jc7 1 9
l:tc1 l:tfd8 20 l:tc2 l2Je8 2 1 .l:tac1 l2J rn the
position was complicated but no worse for
23

Th e C a t a l a n

Black i n Stohl-San Segundo, Moscow 1 994.


1 1 . . . c5 1 2 exd5 exd5 1 3 'i!t'b 1
1 3 fe l l!e8 1 4 f5 g6 1 5 'ii'h 3 dxc4 1 6
ttJxc4 cxd4 also gives Black a good game,
particularly after 1 7 ttJce5?! ttJxe5 1 8 i.xe5
d3 19 'ir'h6 i.c5 20 h3 i.xf3 21 i.xf3 l:txe5!
22 l:!.xe5 'ir'd4 as in Kaidanov-Vaganian,
Armenia 1 994, when Black had a strong
attack on the dark squares as well as a
dangerous passed pawn. All in all this is way
too much for an exchange.
1 3 . . .l::t e8
Also fine is 1 3. .. dxc4 14 ttJxc4 i.e4 1 5
'iii'ai cxd4 1 6 ttJd6 i.xd6 1 7 1i.xd6 I:te8 1 8
.l:txd4 with roughly even chances (Kengis) .
1 4 b3 dxc4 1 5 tZlxc4 e4 1 6 'i!t'b2 b5
16 ...ttJd5 17 i.d6 1i.f6, with unclear play,
is a sound alternative.
1 7 tZlce5 c4

An alternative is 1 7 ... 'iib 6!? 1 8 .l:tfe l 'itb7


1 9 ttJh4 i.xg2 20 ttJxg2 ttJxe5 21 1i.xe5 cxd4
22 i.xd4 with a draw.
1 8 tZlxf7 !
White enters the spirit of wild tactics. Af
ter 1 8 bxc4 bxc4 1 9 ttJxf7 Black has the at
tractive alternative 1 9 .. .'ii b 6! 20 1i'xb6 axb6
21 ttJd6 i.xd6 22 1i.xd6 c3 etc.
1 8 . . . c3 1 9 'i!t'e2 'i!t'b6
19 ... i.xf3?? 20 'ir'e6! and White wins due
to the threat of ttJh6+ and smothered mate.
20 tZl7e5 a3 21 h3 a8
21 ...c2!? 22 i.xd7 cxd l 'iV 23 I:txdl i.xf3
24 'iVxf3 ttJxd7 25 ttJxd7 'ir'c6 26 'ixc6 l::.x c6
24

2 7 d 5 I:tc2 2 8 d 6 with unclear play was an


interesting idea. But Black is happy with the
half point.
22 'i!t'c2 e4 23 'i!t'e2 Y:z - Y:z

Game 9
Dautov-Tiviakov

Venlo 2000
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tZlf3 tZlf6 4 g3 e7 5
g2 0-0 6 0-0 tZlbd7 7 'i!t'c2 c6 8 f4 b6
9 l:td 1

9 . . . b7
Here this is sounder than 9 ... i.a6, as now
White would have different options:
10 b3 l:!.c8 1 1 ttJc3 dxc4 12 ttJd2 b5!? 1 3
bxc4 bxc4 1 4 'iVa4 i.b5 1 5 ttJxb5 cxb5 1 6
'iVxb5 'itb6 1 7 'ir'xb6 ttJxb6 presented Black
with interesting counterplay in Delchev
Beliavsky, Moscow 200 1 .
1 0 ttJe5! uses the posting o f the bishop on
f4 creatively. After 1O .. .'c8 1 1 ttJc3 Black
has tried a couple of moves. 1 1 ...7 12 b3
l:.ac8 1 3 e4 h6 14 ttJxd7 'ir'xd7 1 5 e5 ttJe8 1 6
1i.f1 ttJc7 1 7 a4 1i.b7 1 8 'ilVe2 favoured White
in Burmakin-Graf, Ohrid 2001 . It is not clear
where Black will find genuine counterplay; a
lack of breathing space is a problem.
Wojtkiewicz-Zubarev, Moscow 2002 went
1 1 ....l1.xc4 12 ttJxc4 dxc4 1 3 ttJe4 h5 14 ttJd6
i.xd6 1 5 i.xd6 l::.d 8 1 6 a4 with an advantage
for White. The two bishops are clearly
stronger than the knights.

C lo s e d Ca t a la n : 4

1 0 4:le3 dxe4
Also possible is lO ... .l:!.c8. Then after 1 1
ttJeS ttJhS 1 2 3l.d2 ttJhf6 1 3 e4 cS Black has
good counterplay. In Fridman-Yusupov,
Essen 2002 a draw was agreed after 1 4 exdS
cxd4 1 5 ttJc6 3l.xc6 1 6 dxc6 ttJeS 1 7 ttJbS
ttJxc6 1 8 f4 'iVd7 19 J:tac1 3l.cS 20 xc6
lhc6 21 3l.eS 'iVe7 22 3l.xd4.
Now the strongest approach appears to be
the slow 1 1 b3, e.g. l 1 ...ttJhS 12 3l.c1 f5 1 3
b2 3l.d6 1 4 e 3 ttJhf6 1 5 ttJe2 ttJe4 1 6 ttJf4
'iWe7 1 7 ttJeS! ttJxeS 1 8 dxeS b8 1 9 a4 with
a pleasant game for White in Marin
Pogorelov, Andorra 1 994.
1 1 4:ld2 4:lh5 1 2 4:lxe4 4:lxf4 1 3 gxf4
"fie 7 1 4 e3 J:.aeS 1 5 J:.ab 1
In Lautier-Tiviakov, Mondariz 2000 White
played 1 5 l:tac1 ttJf6 1 6 a3 ttJdS 1 7 ttJeS d6
1 8 'iVa4 ttJxc3 1 9 l::tx c3 xeS 20 fxeS f6 21
f4 a8 22 b4 'iVf7 23 'iVc2 'iVhs 24 l:td2 fxeS
25 dxeS and achieved lasting pressure.
1 5 . . . 4:lf6 1 6 b4 4:ld5 1 7 a3 f5! ?
1 7 . . .ttJxc3 1 8 'it'xc3 c S 1 9 dxcS xg2 20
'it'xg2 bxcS 21 bS gives White a long lasting
advantage due to the strong knight and the
potential passed pawn, which will soon come
to b6.
1 S 4:le5 ii.. d 6 1 9 l:tbe 1 "ile7 20 "ila4 a6
21 "ilb3

2 1 . . . g5!
Black needs to create counterplay, other
wise White will have all the fun.
22 fxg5

ii.. e 7 5 ii.. g 2 0 - 0

22 ttJxdS cxdS 2 3 'iWd3 g4 with equality.


22 . . . ii.. x e5 23 dxe5 "fixg 5 24 h 1 hS
25 f4 "ilh5 26 4:lxd5 exd5 27 "ilb2 l:tgS
Black might solve his problems both eas
ier and quicker with 27 ... bS!? 28 'iVf2 lIc4,
when White has to search for an advantage.
2S l:tg 1 l:txe 1 29 l:txe 1 l:teS 30 l:txeS +
ii.. x eS 3 1 h3
3 1 'it'd4 'iVe2 32 h3 'it'bs 33 a4 'iVc6 and
Black maintains equality.
3 1 . . . "ileS 32 "ile2 "ild7 33 "ilf2 "fidS 34
h2 ii.. d 7 35 ii..f 3 a5 36 "fie 1 gS 37
ii.. h 5 fS 3S ii.. f 3 ii.. e S 39 bxa5 bxa5 40
"ile3 Y2 - Yo

Game 1 0
Kozul -lputian

Lucerne 1997
1 d4 d 5 2 e4 e6 3 4:lf3 4:lf6 4 g3 ii.. e 7 5
ii.. g 2 0-0 6 0-0 4:lbd7 7 "ile2 e6 S b3

The main system in the Closed Catalan.


White is in no hurry and slowly builds up his
forces.
S . . . b6
The same goes for Black - the queen's
bishop needs to find a route into the game.
However, there are interesting alternatives.
8 ... ttJe4 9 l:tdl (9 ttJfd2 ttJxd2 lO ttJxd2 f5
1 1 b2 'it'e8 1 2 ttJf3 'it'hS 1 3 'it'c 1 ttJf6 1 4
a3 gave White a slight plus i n Paunovic
Piankov, Burgos 2001) 9 ... b6 l O ttJe l ttJd6
1 1 ttJd2 b7 1 2 b2 l:tc8 1 3 ttJd3 cS 1 4
25

Th e Ca t a l a n

dxc5 bxc5 1 5 cxd5 exd5 1 6 ttJf4 ttJf6 1 7


.l:tac1 d 4 1 8 ii.xb 7 ttJxb7 1 9 ttJc4 ttJd5 20
ttJxd5 'it'xd5 21 e3 ii.f6 22 e4 'ii'e 6 23 f4 and
White had the better game in Poluliahov
Telnov, Tomsk 200 1 .
8 ... b5 9 c5! (opening the c-ftle makes little
sense with the queen on c2) 9 ... ttJe4 (this
seems to be too time consuming) 1 0 ii.b2 as
1 1 ttJe5 ttJxe5 12 ii.xe4 fS (1 2 ... dxe4 1 3 dxe5
e3!? 14 fxe3 is perhaps a slight advantage for
White; the knight has a freer game than the
bishop on c8) 1 3 ii.g2 ttJg4 1 4 ttJd2 f4 1 5 h3
ttJh6 1 6 ttJf3 fxg3 1 7 fxg3 ttJfS 1 8 ttJe5! and
White is better. V.Mikhaievsky-Rechlis, Israel
1 999 saw White continue with the weaker 1 5
.l:tae 1 ?!, when 1 5 ... fxg3 1 6 hxg3 'ii'e 8 1 7 ii.f3
'ifh5 18 ii.xg4 'ii'xg4 19 ttJf3 'iVh3 20 ttJe5
.l:tfS 21 g4 l:txe5 22 dxe5 'ii'xg4+ led to a
draw. Instead of 9 ... ttJe4 the encounter
A.Petrosian-Bischoff, Gennany 1 999 went
9 ... a5 10 ttJbd2 b4 1 1 e4 ii.a6 12 l:f.el ttJe8 1 3
e 5 ttJc7 1 4 h4 and White had the superior
prospects. There followed 1 4 ...ttJb5 1 5 ii.b2
lte8 1 6 ttJf1 'iib 8 1 7 ttJe3 'ilka7 1 8 ttJg5 ttJfB
1 9 f4 ii.c8 20 ii.f1 h6 21 ttJf3 ii.d7 22 fS
with a menacing attack.
9 .i.b2
9 ttJc3 is premature in view of 9 ... ii.a6,
when the c-pawn is genuinely hanging. After
1 0 ttJd2 b5 1 1 l:f.dl l:tb8 1 2 e3 bxc4 1 3 bxc4
'ii'a 5 14 ttJb3 'ikc7 1 5 c5 e5 1 6 e4 dxe4 1 7
ttJxe4 ttJd5 1 8 dxe5 ttJxe5 1 9 ii.b2 .l:tfe8 20
ii.d4 ii.fB Black had solved his opening
problems in Bernard-Sosonko, France 1 999.
9 .i.a6
Black needs to place the bishop on a6 if
he wants to see .l:tfd 1 . After 9 ... ii.b7 10 ttJc3
l:f.c8 White has two attractive alternatives to
the standard l l lIfd 1 .
1 1 lIadl 'ii'c 7 1 2 e 4 ttJxe4 1 3 ttJxe4 dxe4
1 4 'iVxe4 c5 1 5 d5 ii.f6 (1 5 ... ttJf6 1 6 1Vc2
exd5 1 7 ii.e5! 'ii'd 8 1 8 ttJg5 g6 1 9 h4 gave
White a strong attack in Geller-Ciric, Ober
hausen 1 961) 1 6 'it"c2 exd5 1 7 cxd5 and now
Hausner-Kotan, Prague 2000 went 1 7 .. .'ii d 6
1 8 ii.c1 b5 19 ii.f4 'i!ib6 20 l:f.fe l l:f.ce8 21 d6

l:txe1+ 22 l:txe1 h6 23 h4 l:td8 24 h5 with an


advantage to White thanks to the d-pawn
and the better king. Black's lot was much
worse in Smejkal-Padevski, Smederevska
Palanka 1 9 7 1 , when 1 7 ... ii.xb2 soon got him
into trouble: 1 8 'ii'xb2 l:tcd8 1 9 d6 'iib 8 20
ttJh4! g6?! 21 l:tfel f6 22 ii.xb7 'it'xb7 23 l:te7
'ii'c 6 24 'ii'e 2 ttJe5 25 l:tc7! 'ii'a 8 26 f4 ttJf7 27
'ii'e 7 1 -0.
Vokac-Hrtanek, Karvina 2001 saw White
play the immediate 1 1 e4 dxe4 12 ttJxe4.
Then 12 ... c5 1 3 ttJxf6+ ii.xf6 14 ttJg5 ii.xg5
1 5 ii.xb7 l:tc7 1 6 ii.e4! g6 1 7 d5 exd5 1 8
cxd5 ii.f6 1 9 d6! is a good illustration of the
kind of problems Black can quickly run into,
Black avoiding trouble with 1 2 ... ttJxe4 1 3
1Vxe4 ttJf6 1 4 'ii'c2 c 5 1 5 dxc5 ii.e4
(1 5 ... ii.xc5?? 1 6 ttJg5! and Black can resign)
1 6 'iIfc3 ii.xc5 1 7 I:tfe 1 ii.a8 1 8 ttJe5 ii.xg2
1 9 c;to>xg2 'ii'e 7 20 'ilff3 when White had a
slight plus. Again it is the c6-square that is
Black's main problem here.
1 0 J:!.d 1 J:!.c8

. . .

26

1 1 lLlc3 ? !
The stronger 1 1 ttJbd2 leads t o play along
the lines of Game 1 4.
1 1 . . . "fic7
An alternative is l 1 ...dxc4!? 12 ttJe5 cxb3
1 3 axb3 ttJb8, when Lputian prefers Black.
Perhaps this is a bit optimistic, but Black is
clearly okay.
1 2 e4
It might be time for 12 cxd5 cxd5 1 3 l:f.ac1

C lo s e d C a t a la n : 4 . . e 7 5 g 2 0 - 0
.

'iVb8 with complete equality.


1 2 . . . dxe4 1 3 'ilfe2 b5 1 4 bxe4 b4!

White clearly has some problems here.


1 5 ttJb 1 ? !
Necessary is 1 5 ttJa4 when, after 1 5 ... 'iVa5
1 6 a3!? b3 1 7 ttJc3 .l::t fd8, it is difficult to say
who is better and why.
1 5 . . . ttJb6 1 6 ttJbd2 ttJa4 1 7 .l:!.ab 1 e5!
White's centre collapses. Black's control
over the dark squares affords him the lead.
1 8 J:rde 1 J:rfd8 1 9 dxe5 ttJxb2
19 ... ttJd7 20 .ll. a l ttJdxc5 favours Black.
20 J:rxb2 'ilfxe5 21 .l:!.be2 ttJd7 22 ttJb3
'ilfe7 23 ttJfd4 ttJe5 24 f 1 .l:!.d7 25 ttJb5
'it'b8 26 'ilfe3 J:red8 27 'it>g2 h6
27 ... ttJxc4!? 28 .ixc4 .ll. x b5 29 .ll. x b5
'ii'x b5 30 .l::t c 7 a6 is stronger, when White has
very little compensation for the pawn.
28 ttJ5d4 .l:!.xd4!

Black completely annihilates the enemy's

defence o f the light squares.


29 ttJxd4 ii.e5 30 J:rd 1 'iWd6
The accurate move. After 30 .. :iVb6 White
has 31 ttJxe6!!, escaping with a draw (31
.l::tc d2?! .ll. x c4 leaves White in big trouble),
e.g. 3 1 ....i.xe3 (3 1 ....l::tx dl 32 ttJxc5 is far from
clear) 32 .l::t xd8+ h7 33 ttJf8+ g8 34
ttJe6+! with a draw by repetition.
31 J:red2 'it'b6 32 f4 ttJxe4 33 xe4
ii.xe4
Black has definite compensation for the
exchange, with two strong bishops against a
poorly placed rook and a pinned knight.
34 'it>h3 as 35 e5 ii.a6 36 'iWe4 ii.b7 37
'ilfe3 a4 38 f5?!
White is getting desperate. A better try is
38 g4!? a3 39 f5 with counterplay.
38 . . . exf5 39 e6 ii.e4 40 exf7 + 'it>xf7 4 1
'it'e2 g 5 !
White's king i s i n much more trouble than
its opposite number.
42 g4 ii.xd4 43 'ilfe4+ ii.d5 44 'ilfxd4
fxg4+ 0-1

Game 1 1
Beliavsky-M itkov

Panormo 200 1
1 d4 d5 2 e4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 ii.e7 5
ii.g2 0-0 6 0-0 ttJbd7 7 'iWe2 e6 8 b3 b6
9 J:rd 1 ii.b 7 1 0 ttJe3

1 0 . . .J:re8
Also possible is 1O ... c5!?, e.g. 1 1 cxd5 exd5
27

Th e C a t a la n

1 2 dxc5 xc5 1 3 b2 l:tc8 1 4 e 3 l:te8 1 5


'ii'f5 'it'e 7 1 6 l:!.ac1 tiJ f8 1 7 tiJd4 g6 1 8 it'g5
xd4 1 9 exd4 g7 20 f1 h6 21 'ii'd2
tiJ8h7 and Black was no worse in Salov
Bauer, Enghiens-Ies-Bains 1 999.
1 1 e4 dxe4
Following up ".b7 with 1 1 ...a6 looks
illogical, and after 1 2 f4 dxc4 1 3 tiJd2 c5 1 4
d 5 White i s able to generate an initiative.
Korchnoi-M.Gurevich, Antwerp 1 995 con
tinued 1 4".e5 1 5 g5, when Korchnoi gives
1 5".tiJxd5 1 6 tiJxd5 xg5 1 7 tiJf3! b5 1 8
h3 .ltc6 1 9 xd7 .ltxd7 20 tiJxe5 e6 21
tiJxc4 as a shade preferable for White. In
Odendahl-Tiviakov, Dieren 2001 Black
elected to capture on d5, but 1 4".exd5 1 5 e5
caused problems: 1 5".d4 (1 5".tiJg4 1 6 tiJxd5
tiJgxe5 1 7 tiJxc4 xc4 1 8 bxc4 gives White
good control over the light squares and am
ple compensation) 1 6 exf6 xf6 1 7 tiJce4 c3
1 8 tiJc4 e7 19 tiJxc3! g5 (19".dxc3? 20
h3 b5 21 tiJe5 and White wins) 20 'ii' f5 !
gxf4 2 1 tiJd5 l:te8 22 e4 and Black was
under pressure.
l 1 ...c5 12 exd5 exd5 1 3 b2 dxc4 14 d5!
gives White the advantage. The point is that
1 4".cxb3 1 5 axb3 d6 opens the way for 1 6
l:txa7. Sulava-Ferretti, Verona 1 998 went
1 4".il.. d 6 1 5 bxc4 tiJe5 1 6 tiJe4 l:te8 1 7 tiJxd6
tiJxf3+ 1 8 xf3 'ii'xd6 19 it'd3 Itcd8 20 a4
'iVf8 21 a5 11d6 22 axb6 axb6 23 .l:tel .l:txeH
24 l:he l , although White had all the chances.
1 2 lZJgS
White wants to establish a knight on e4.
Another possibility is 12 tiJxe4, when
1 2".tiJxe4 1 3 'ii'x e4 'ii'c 7 14 f4 d6 1 5
xd6 it'xd6 1 6 c5! c7 1 7 l:tac1 :fd8 1 8
'iVel a6 1 9 a4 b8 20 b4 bxc5 2 1 dxc5
tiJf6 22 'iVe5 llxdH 23 .l:!.xdl it'c8 24 tiJd4
was very nice for White Jo.Horvath
Krizsany, Paks 1 996. A year later Black im
proved in Cvitan-Borgo, Porto San Giorgio
1 997, 1 2".c5 1 3 tiJxf6+ xf6 1 4 tiJg5 xg5
1 5 xb7 llc7 1 6 dxc5 xc1 1 7 J::taxc 1 bxc5
1 8 il..g2 it'e 7 19 l:[d2 tiJf6 20 l:tcd 1 g6 21
'ii'c 3 h5 22 h3 l:!.fc8 23 f4 .l:.d7 24 llxd7
28

tiJxd7 2 5 .lt f3 providing White with a mod


est lead. In this position Black has problems
getting the knight to d4, which is the only
good square available. Nevertheless Black
should be able to hold with accurate play.
1 2 . . . h6
1 2".c5 1 3 dxc5 xc5 1 4 tiJgxe4 tiJxe4 1 5
tiJxe4 favours White.
1 3 lZJgxe4 lZJxe4 1 4 lZJxe4 lZJf6

1 S cS!
A thematic solution. The d5-square is not
so important. Instead White has control over
d6 and Black's queenside is under a bind.
Less troubling for Black is 1 5 e3 l:!.c7 1 6
IId2 lld7 1 7 tiJxf6+ xf6 1 8 :adl it'e7 1 9
c 5 l:tfd8 20 a4 e 5 2 1 dxe5 l:txd2 22 l:txd2
'iVxe5 23 h4 l:[xd2 24 it'xd2 bxc5 25 'ifa5,
Sulava-Inkiov, Nice 200 1 , with the smallest
of edges for White - if anything.
1 S " .lZJdS
1 5".tiJxe4 16 .ltxe4 bxc5 17 dxc5 'ifc7 1 8
b2 .l:!.cd8 1 9 a3 gives White a slight but
enduring advantage in view of the c6-pawn
and, in tum, the bishop on b 7.
1 6 a3 as 1 7 i.f1 1kc7 1 8 i.d2 J:!.fd8 1 9
b4 axb4 20 i.xb4 J:!.a8?!
20".tiJxb4!? is necessary, when 21 axb4
l:ta8 lirnits White's lead.
21 cxb6!
Now White occupies the c5-square and
starts pushing his a-pawn - a perfect reward
for his game-plan.
2 1 " .'ii'x b6 22 i.xe7 lZJxe7 23 lZJcs i.c8

C lo s e d C a t a la n : 4

iL e 7 5 iL g 2 0 - 0

quick central expansion with e2-e4 while


simultaneously monitoring the c4-pawn.
S . . . b6
8 ... bS 9 cS should be to White's advantage,
this version being even better than with 8 b3,
which is quite useless here. Black has tried a
couple of responses.
9 .. :iVc7 to ttJb3 eS?! 1 1 ttJxeS ttJxeS 12
il.. f4 ttJfg4 13 e4! dxe4 14 il.. x e4 f6 (14 ... f5 1 5
il..g2 il.. f6 1 6 1Iaei i s nice for White) 1 5 dxeS
fxeS 1 6 il.. x h7+ \t?h8 1 7 il.. d2 il.. e 6 was the
course of Botvinnik-I.Rabinovich, Leningrad
1 938, when 1 8 f3 ttJf6 1 9 il.. f5 il.. c 4 20 i.d3
il.. e 6 21 il.. a S would have gained White a free
pawn.
In the event of 9 ... aS 1 0 e4 Black should
play to... dxe4 rather than drop back to e8.
For example in Damljanovic-Semkov, Saint
John 1 988 Black was too cramped after
1 0 ... ttJe8 1 1 eS, creating breathing space with
l 1 ...f6 1 2 exf6 gxf6 1 3 lIel ttJg7 failing to
improve his chances: 1 4 a4 b4 1 5 ttJb3 l:te8
1 6 i.h6 ttJrn 1 7 ttJh4 'ii'd7 1 8 l:te3 i.d8 1 9
l:tael 'iV f7 2 0 il.. xg7 it'xg7 21 f4 i.d7 22
il.. h 3 and White was doing very well. Return
ing to 1 0 ... dxe4, Gulko-Campora, Biel 1 987
Game 12
continued 1 1 ttJxe4 ttJxe4 1 2 'iVxe4 l:!.a6 1 3
Comas Fabrego-Nogueiras
l:!. e 1 l:!.e8 1 4 h 4 ttJf6 1 5 'it'c2 ttJdS 1 6 a4 b4
1 7 ttJeS 'iVc7?! 1 8 il.. e 4 g6 1 9 hS i.f6 20 hxg6
Havana 1999
'-------.. hxg6 21 il.. xg6! fxg6 22 'iVxg6+ wrn 23 l:te4
\t?e7?! (23... i.xeS was the last try) 24 i.gS
1 d4 d5 2 e4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 iLe7 5
lIrn 25 l:!.f4! and White won. Gulko gives
iLg2 0-0 6 0-0 ttJbd7 7 fie2 e6 S ttJbd2
1 7 ... i.f6 as the improvement in an anyway
difficult position. He believes that after 1 8
il.. f1 il.. x eS 1 9 l:txeS White has a small but
enduring advantage. It is often the case in the
Catalan that the enduring nature of White's
positive stock is the more significant factor
from a practical point of view.
9 e4 iLb7
This seems wrong here. After 9 ...i.a6 to
eS ttJe8 1 1 l:!.e1 ':c8 1 2 i.f1 ttJc7 1 3 b3 dxc4
1 4 ttJxc4 ttJdS 1 5 'ilVe4! White was better in
Cifuentes-Flear, Polanica Zdroj 1 992, which
continued I S ... bS 1 6 ttJe3 l:!.e8 1 7 h4 ttJrn 1 8
ttJxdS! cxdS 1 9 'iVg4 l:tc6 20 hS f5 21 exf6
I n this game White elects t o execute a

24 a4
White is close to being strategically win
rung.
24 . . .11a5
24 ... ttJdS 25 l:tdbl 'it'c7 26 ttJb3 i.a6 27
i.xa6 l:!.xa6 28 ttJcS l:!.a7 29 as! and the a
pawn makes progress. The main point is that
29 .. .l:has 30 l::tx aS 'ii'x aS 31 ttJb7 'iVc7 32
ttJxd8 'ii'x d8 33 it'xc6 is decisive.
25 ttJb3 l::ta d5 26 a5 fia7 27 a6 iLd7 2S
iLe4
As we can see, Black should still have tried
to get rid of the bishops.
2S . . . l::td 6 29 ttJe5 iLeS 30 fib2 ttJd5
Beliavsky gives 30 ... ttJf5 3 1 ttJb7! il.. x b7
32 axb 7 'it'bs 33 l:taS and White wins.
31 l::td b1 !
This time White should refrain from 3 1
ttJb7? a s 3 1 ...il..x b7 3 2 axb7 'it'b6 3 3 .l:tdbl
'ili'xb2 34 .l:txb2 l:!.b8 is less clear.
31 . . . ttJe7 32 fibS !
The blockade of the pawn is removed,
and with it the last line of defence.
32 . . . fixbS 33 l::t x bS l::tx d4 34 a7 l::tx e4 35
ttJa6! ttJxa6 36 l::t x a6 l::te 1 + 37 'it>g2 1 -0

29

Th e Ca t a l a n

..Il.xf6 2 2 ..Il.d2 'iNd6 2 3 a 3 'it'd7 2 4 ..Il.d3 and


Black's future was getting darker thanks to
the lack of play and White's presence in the
centre and prospects of a kingside offensive.
9 ... dxe4 10 lLlxe4 ..Il.b7 is solid but passive.
Black needs to pay special attention to the
possibility of the clamping c4-c5, as in the
previous main game. Raetsky-Whiteley, Cap
pelle la Grande 1 997 went 1 1 d 1 ttJxe4 1 2
'ii'x e4 ttJf6 1 3 'ii'c2 c8 1 4 ..Il.f4 ..Il.d6 1 5
.i.xd6 'ii'x d6 1 6 c 5 it'c7 1 7 lIac1 fd8 1 8
ttJe5 ttJd7 1 9 cxb6 'it'xb6 20 ttJc4 it'c7 21
a4 and White was on top. In Krasenkow
Azmaiparashvili, Groningen 1 997 White
must have been in the driving seat after
1 1 ...'it'c8 1 2 lLlxf6+ lLlxf6 1 3 c5, but the sub
sequent 1 3. .. lLld5 14 ..Il.g5 f6 1 5 ..Il.d2 bxc5 1 6
dxc5 e 5 1 7 b4 a s 1 8 bxa5 .i.d8 1 9 lLlh4 f5 20
ttJf3 ..Il.f6 21 abl e4 22 ttJg5 .i.a6 23 b6!?
was unclear...
10 eS lLle8 1 1 b3
1 1 cxd5 is an alternative. Then 1 1 ...cxd5 is
a somewhat passive option - where is the
knight going from e8? Sargissian-Rivas,
Ubeda 2001 continued 12 el l:tc8 1 3 it'a4
as 1 4 lLln .i.a6 1 5 h4 .i.d3 16 .i.g5 h6 1 7
..Il.xe7 'iVxe7 1 8 ac1 ttJc7 1 9 e3 ..Il.b5 20
'it'dl lLla6 21 ec3 xc3 22 xc3 ttJdb8 23
g4 g6 24 'iid2 g7 25 'ii'f4 and White had
more territory, chances to break through on
the kingside and control of the only open
fIle. Black does better to follow the example
set in Buhmann-Vaganian, Germany 2000,
when l 1 ...exd5!? 12 e1 ttJc7 1 3 ttJn lLle6
14 lLle3 g6 1 5 h4 c5 generated suffIcient
counterplay, 1 6 ttJg4 cxd4 1 7 ..Il.h6 e8 1 8
'it'd2 lLldc5 1 9 ttJxd4 it'd7 20 ttJxe6 lLlxe6
resulting in a double-edged game.
1 1 . . . lLlc7
After 1 1 ...c8 12 ..Il.b2 c5 13 ac1 cxd4
14 ttJxd4 Black was struggling in Hertneck
Stangl, Austria 1 997. There followed
1 4 ...'it'c7 1 5 :fe 1 'itb8 1 6 l\ib 1 lLlc7 1 7 a3
'Yia8 1 8 b4 dxc4 1 9 ..Il.xb7 'iixb 7 20 lLlxc4
ttJd5 21 'iid 3 fd8 22 ttJb5 and White
dominated proceedings.
30

1 2 ..tb2 c S 1 3 fe 1 'iYb8 1 4 dxcS lLlxcs


14 ... ..Il.xc5 1 5 ttJg5 g6 1 6 .l:tac1 favours
White. Black has no active plan and ... dxc4
exposes both d6 and f6 to the white knights.
1 S lLld4 as! ?
Perhaps 1 5 . . .dxc4!? makes life easier for
Black, e.g. 1 6 ttJc6 e8 1 7 ttJxe7+ 'Yixe7 1 8
..Il.xb7 lLlxb 7 1 9 lLlxc4 and Black stands no
worse.
1 6 a3 c8 1 7 b4 axb4 1 8 axb4 lLld7 1 9
bS xa 1 20 ..txa 1 lLlcs
Also possible is 20 ... ..Il.c5 21 'iib 3 dxc4 22
lLlxc4 .i.xg2 23 xg2 lLld5 24 lLlc6 when the
knights are of equal worth. Black will proba
bly play ...lLld7-b8 very soon in order to ad
dress White's outpost.
21 'i!Vb 1 dxc4 22 ..txb7 'i!Vxb7 23 lLlxc4
lLldS 24 lLlc6

24 . . . a8 2S 'i!Vc2 ..tf8 26 ..td4


White would be worse after 26 ttJd6?!
..Il.xd6 27 exd6 'it'd7 28 ..Il.e5 f6 29 ..Il.d4
'ixd6 because the bishop is not very effec
tive and the knight on c6 is basically out of
play.
26 . . . lLld7 27 a1 xa 1 + 28 ..txa 1 ..tcS
%-%

Game 13
Raetsky-Landenbergue

Scuol 200 1
1 d4 dS 2 c4 e6 3 lLlf3 lLlf6 4 g3 ..te7 S
..tg2 0-0 6 0-0 lLlbd7 7 'ii'c 2 c6 8 lLlbd2

C lo s e d C a t a la n : 4

b6 9 b3 iLb 7 1 0 e4
White needs to get going. After 10 i.b2
c5 l 1 l:1ael l:tc8 12 'iVbl dxc4 1 3 ttJxc4 cxd4
14 ttJxd4 ii.xg2 1 5 'it>xg2 a6 16 ttJe3 l:txel 1 7
l:txel 'ifa8+ 1 8 f3 .l:tc8 Black had solved all
his problems in Chiburdanidze-P.Nicolic,
Linares 1 988.
10 .. J:tc8 1 1 iLb2 "*c7
l 1 ...dxe4 1 2 ttJxe4 transposes to 8 b3 b6 9
i.b2 i.b7 1 0 ttJc3 lIc8 1 1 e4 dxe4 1 2 ttJxe4,
covered in Game 1 0, note to Black's 9th
move.
l 1 ...c5 1 2 exd5 exd5 1 3 dxc5 dxc4 1 4 b4!?
was the interesting course of Lindgren
Rasmussen, Budapest 2000, when Black went
astray with 1 4 ... i.a6?! 1 5 c6! c3 (1 5 ... 1:txc6 1 6
ttJd4 I:!.c7 1 7 b5! i s the problem) 1 6 'ifxc3
ttJb8 17 ttJd4! i.xfl 1 8 ttJxfl and White had
more than enough compensation for the
exchange - 1 8 ...l:te8 1 9 ttJe3 ttJa6? 20 lId I !
i.xb4 2 1 c4 b 5 22 ttJxb5 'iVb6 2 3 i.xf6
gxf6 24 ttJd5 proved decisive. Black should
play 1 4 ... bxc5 1 5 b5 'it'c7 1 6 ttJxc4, although
White has a very pleasant structural advan
tage. The alternative 1 3 ... ttJxc5 1 4 ttJg5 g6 1 5
'i'c3!? h6 1 6 ttJh3 seems to help White. In
deed in Wilhelmi-Lau, Germany 2000 White
emerged from 13 ... i.xc5 14 l:tadl J:te8 1 5
'iffS 'iIi'c7 1 6 ttJd4 a6 1 7 cxd5 g6 1 8 'iVbl
ttJxd5 1 9 ttJe4 ii.f8 20 lHe 1 b5 21 a3 b4 22
ttel with the better game.
Instead of the trade on c5 White has an
interesting idea in 1 3 l:tfdl dxc4 1 4 ttJxc4 b5
1 5 d5!?, when Wojtkiewicz-Shabalov, USA
2000 continued with multiple exchanges:
1 5 ...ttJxd5 1 6 ttJce5 ttJ7f6 1 7 ttJg5 h6 1 8
ttJexf7 l:1xf7 1 9 ttJxf7 xf7 20 ii.xf6 i.xf6
21 l:txd5 ii.xd5 22 l:1dl ii.d4 23 'it'fS+ g8
24 i.xd5+ and a draw was agreed as White
had failed to prove an advantage.
1 2 l::ta d 1 l::tf d8 1 3 l::tfe 1 "*b8 1 4 "*b 1
An interesting alternative was the ambi
tious 14 h4 h6 1 5 e5 ttJe8 1 6 c5!? bxc5 1 7
i.a3 ttJc7 1 8 dxc5 as 1 9 g4 'it'a7 20 g5 ttJb5
21 i.b2 'it'xc5 22 'ti'd3 ..ta6 23 gxh6 ttJc7 24
'iVb 1 gxh6 25 ttJd4 where White has com-

iL e 7 5 iLg2 0 - 0

pensation for the pawn through his active


play, Vaulin-Dobrovolsky, Harkany, 1 994.
1 4 . . . h6 1 5 a3 dxe4 1 6 tL\xe4 c5 1 7 d 5 ! ?
exd5 1 8 tL\c3! ? l::te 8 1 9 tL\xd5 tL\xd5 20
cxd5 l::t c d8

21 l::t x e7 ! ?
Entertaining stuff. The idea i s to enhance
the power of the dark-squared bishop. With
21 'ikfS ..tf6 22 .l:txe8+ .l:txe8 23 i.el White
guarantees a modest plus.
21 . . . l::tx e7 22 tL\h4 l::te 2!
Black has to be very careful here. The fol
lowing variations help demonstrate what
lurks in the shadows. 22 ...l:tee8?! 23 ttJfS f6
(23 ... ttJe5 24 f4 looks dangerous) 24 ttJxh6+!
gxh6 25 1Wg6+ f8 (25 ... h8 26 'it'xh6+
g8 27 'it'g6+ h8 28 ..th3! 'it'd6 29 ii.xd7
and White wins) 26 d6! i.xg2 27 ..tel ! and
Black is savagely mated.
22 .. . f6!? is preferable, when 23 ttJfS .l::[ f7
offers Black solid defensive prospects on the
kingside. An interesting approach is 24 "iVe4!?
ttJf8 25 'ii'g4 h7 26 'ifh5 'ii'c 7 27 i.e4 with
a strong attack, while there is also 24 llel ,
e.g. 24 ...ttJ f8 2 5 ttJe7+ h8 (25 ...l:1xe7? loses
instantly to 26 .l:txe7 i.xd5 27 i.xf6! gxf6 28
'ii' fS and Black is soon mated) 26 ttJg6+
ttJxg6 (after 26 ...g8 White is not obliged to
go for the repetition) 27 'ili'xg6 I:!.e8 (27 ...'it>g8
28 i.e4 looks dangerous, although after
28 ... f8 29 'iih7 .l:!.e7 30 i.xf6 gxf6 3 1
'ifh8+ f7 3 2 'i!Vh7+ White has only a draw)
28 .l:1e6!?
31

Th e C a t a l a n

The surpnsmg point. After 27 ':'xe 1


.l:!.xeH 28 1t.fl 'itd6! the position is less clear,
but now the king can no longer escape via e8.
27 . . . c8
27 .. :iWd6 28 'ii'g4+ 'it>fB 29 'ii'g7 mate (e8
is not available) .
28 'iiVh S 'iiVd 6 29 l:txe 1 l:txe 1 30 'iiVx h6
'iiVx f6 31 'iiVx f6 h3
3 1 ...1t.a6 32 d6 .i.xfl 33 h4 also wins
smoothly for White.
32 'iiVg S + 1 -0

Game 14
28 ... l'.:tfe7 ? ? loses t o 2 9 1t.e4 'it>g8 3 0 l:txf6!
in view of 30 ....:.xe4 31 l:tfB+ 'it>xfB 32 'ii'xg7
mate, which leaves 28 .. .lhe6 (28 ... :ee7!?) 29
dxe6 lIe7 30 1t.xf6! 'iVd6! (30 ...gxf6? 3 1
'ikxf6+ l:tg7 3 2 e 7 and White wins) 3 1 1t.xb7
(31 1t.xe7?? 'ii'd H 32 1t.fl 'itf3 and suddenly
it is Black who wins) 3 1 ...ltxb7 32 e7 'it'dH
33 'it>g2 'iVd5+ 34 f3 'iVd2+ 35 'it>h3 l:he7 36
1t.xe7 11i'd7+ with a drawn ending.
23 lLlfS lLlf6?
This allows a combination that is not too
difficult to find. Consequently Black should
play 23 .. .l::txb 2 24 'iVxb2 'it'e5 25 'ii'x e5 tLlxe5
26 l:el or 23 ... tLle5!? 24 f4 l:Ixg2+! 25 'it>xg2
tLlg6 26 'ii'e 4!? (26 1t.xg7? l:!.xd5 27 llxd5
'ii'd 8! and Black wins) 26 ... 'ii'a 8 27 tLle3, in
both cases with a slightl edge for White.
24 lLlxh6 + ! gxh6 2S xf6 l:tde8 26 'iiVf S
l:re 1 +

27 f 1 ! !
32

Marin-Berescu

Iasi 1999
1 d4 dS 2 c4 e6 3 lLlf3 lLlf6 4 g3 e7 S
g2 0-0 6 0-0 lLlbd7 7 't!Vc2 c6 8 lLlbd2
b6 9 b3 a6 1 0 l:td 1
1 0 e4 .l:!.c8 1 1 l:te1 is a different approach,
against which Black should have sufficient
resources. 1 1 ...c5 1 2 exd5 exd5 1 3 1t.a3 l:te8
1 4 cxd5 tLlxd5 1 5 'iff5 tLl7 f6 1 6 dxc5 1t.xc5
17 1t.xc5 l:txc5 simply equalised in Tosic
Kosic, Trebinje 2001 , but 1 6 ... g6!? 1 7 'ii'h 3
1t.xc5 1 8 1t.xc5 l:txc5 19 .l::tx e8+ 'ii'x e8 20
]:tel 'ii'd 8 21 'ii'h4 tLlc3!? is unclear according
to Kosic. Black seems fme in this position.
Also possible is 14 ... cxd4!? 1 5 1t.xe7 lIxc2 1 6
1t.xd8 I:txd8 1 7 :ec1 l:tdc8 when Black,
again, looks no worse. Perhaps White could
consider 1 8 tLlc4!? .l:txcH 1 9 .l:!.xc 1 b5 20
tLlxd4 bxc4 21 tLlc6 'it>fB 22 bxc4 with a
complex struggle ahead.
1 0 . . . l:tc8
10 ... b5 led to a slight advantage for White
in Filippovliang Chong, Shenjang 1 999
after 1 1 c5 b4 12 e4!? tLlxe4 1 3 tLlxe4 dxe4
1 4 'iVxe4 tLlxc5 1 5 'ii'c 2 tLld7 1 6 tLle5 tLlxe5
1 7 dxe5 'ii'c 7 1 8 'ii'x c6 'ii'x c6 1 9 1t.xc6 .l:!.ac8
20 1t.e4 1t.b5 21 1t.e3.
1O ... c5 1 1 e4 dxc4 12 tLlxc4 cxd4 13 tLlxd4
.l:!.c8 1 4 e5 tLld5 1 5 'ii'b 2! secures White a
small plus. Black, as always, has problems
with the light squares. Poluljahov-Feigin,
Kakhovka 1 997 went 1 5 ... 1t.xc4 1 6 bxc4

C lo s e d C a t a la n : 4

l:!.xc4 1 7 .1i.xd5! exd5 1 8 lbf5 .1i.b4 1 9 l:txd5


.1i.c3 20 'ii'e2 'ii'c 7 21 .1i.b2 .1i.xb2 22 'iVxb2
lbc5 23 lbd6 'ii'c 6 24 J::tadl and White was
firmly in control.
1 1 e4 c5
1 1 ...'ii'c 7 1 2 e5 lbe8 1 3 lbfl 'itb8 1 4 .1i.g5
.1i.xg5 1 5 lbxg5 g6 1 6 f4! is clearly better for
White according to Beliavsky.
1 2 exd5 exd5

iL e 7 5 iL g 2 0 - 0

l:txd8 cxd8 24 .1i.g5 lIb8 25 'ii'd l :1+ 26


'iit h3 .1i.xa 1 27 'iVxa 1 .1i.f1+ 28 'iitg4 .1i.e2+ 29
'iit h4 l:txh2+ 30 .1i.h3 l:tb5! with a balanced
game.
In Delchev-L.B.Hansen, Istanbul, 2000
Black chose the alternative capture: ( 1 3 lbfl)
1 3. .. dxc4 1 4 d5 lbe8 15 bxc4 lbd6 16 lbe3
l:!.e8 1 7 .1i.fl b5 1 8 ltbl bxc4 1 9 'ii'a4 .1i.b7
20 .1i.d2 l:ta8 21 .1i.a5 lbb6 22 'ii'c 2 .1i.c8 23
lbe5 and White was doing well. Stohl prefers
1 4 ... cxb3 1 5 axb3 .1i.xfl 1 6 .1i.xfl 'ii'c 7, al
though he still likes White after 1 7 .1i.f4 .1i.d6
1 8 .1i.xd6 'ii'x d6 1 9 xa7 .I:ta8 (1 9 ... lbxd5? 20
.1i.c4 lb7f6 21 lbg5 g6 22 .1i.xd5 lbxd5 23
lbe4 'itb8 24 .l:!.d7 lbb4 25 'iVc3 and White
wins) 20 l:txa8 .I:txa8 21 lbh4 g6 22 lbg2.
1 3 cxd4
Black's alternatives have had mixed for
tunes.
1 3. .. dxc4 14 d5! cxb3 15 axb3 i.e2 16 .I:tel
.1i.b5 17 lbh4 l:!.e8 18 l:txa7 .1i.d6 19 aal
lbe5 20 lbc4 lbxc4 21 bxc4 .1i.d7 22 lbe left
White slightly better in Cvitan-Godena, Gen
eve 1 996.
After 13 ... b5?! 14 cxd5 c4 White used to
respond with 1 5 bxc4, but stronger is 1 5
lbe5!, when 1 5 ...lbxd5? 1 6 lbxfl! 'ii'a 5 does
not work for Black (as it normally does) be
cause the b5-pawn obstructs the queen. In
stead 16 ... lbb4 17 lbxd8 lbxc2 1 8 lbc6 leads
to a clear advantage for White. This leaves
the lesser evil 1 5 ... lbb6! 1 6 lbc6 'ii'c 7 1 7 bxc4
bxc4 1 8 lbe4 lbfxd5 1 9 lbxe7+ 'ii'x e7 20
lbc5 when White's outlook is the brighter,
with strong knight on c5. Ernst-Aagaard,
Groningen 1 998 continued 1 4 ... .1i.b7 1 5 lbg5
h6 1 6 d6 .1i.xg2 1 7 dxe7 'iVxe7 1 8 'iitxg2 hxg5
1 9 'ii'd 3 c4 20 bxc4 bxc4 21 lbxc4 'ii'b4 22
lIdc1 .I:txc4 23 'ii'x c4 'ii'xb2 24 .l:tabl 'it'd2 25
l:tc2 'iVa5 26 .l:.b5 'iVel 27 'iVe2 'iVaI and a
draw was agreed. However, White has an
improvement in 1 5 'it'd3! c4 1 6 bxc4 bxc4 1 7
lbxc4 .1i.xd5 1 8 lbfd2 with advantage. It
would appear that 13 ... b5 is inadequate.
1 3. .. l:te8 1 4 'iVfS g6 1 5 'it'h3 .1i.fS (1 5 ... b5?!
is poor due to 16 lbg5! with the threat of
. . .

This is an important position for the Cc.


White has more than one option.
1 3 iLb2

1 3 'ii'fS g6 (13. ..l:te8 14 .1i. b2 transposes to


1 3 .1i.b2 lIe8 14 'ii'fS) 14 'ii'h 3 1:[c7 1 5 .1i.b2
.1i.c8 1 6 'it'h6 lbg4 1 7 'ii'f4 lbdf6 1 8 lbe5
cxd4 19 .1i.xd4 .1i.d6 20 cxd5 lbh5 21 'ii'e4
.1i.xe5 22 .1i.xe5 l:te7 was unclear in Beshu
kov-Fomichenko, Krasnodar 1 999.
Particularly interesting is Sulava's 1 3
lbfl !?, when Sulava-Atalik, Cappelle la
Grande 2000 continued 1 3. .. cxd4 1 4 lbxd4
b5 (14 ... .1i.c5?! is too optimistic - 1 5 lbe3
dxc4 1 6 lbc6 sees White generate an initia
tive, Luther offering an example in the line
1 6 ... 'iVc7 1 7 lbxc4 lbg4? 1 8 .1i.f4! lbx1 1 9
'ii'x 1 .1i.x1+ 2 0 'iitx 1 etc.) 1 5 lbe3 bxc4 1 6
lbxd5 lbxd5 1 7 .1i.xd5 cxb3 1 8 'ii'x b3 lbc5?!
19 'ii'e .1i.f6 20 .1i.a3 'iVa5 21 l:tab l ! .1i.xd4 22
Uxd4 .1i.e2 23 'iix e2 'iVxa3 24 'iVe7! 'iit h 8 25
i.xfl with a poor position for Black. Stohl
offers the improvement 1 8 ... .1i.c5!, with the
following instructive line: 1 9 lbe6!? .1i.x1+ 20
'iitg2 fxe6 21 .1i.xe6+ 'iit h 8 22 lhd7 .1i.d4! 23

33

Th e C a t a l a n
I

.Jtxd5, the subsequent 1 6 ... ttJf8 1 7 dxc5 bxc4


1 8 bxc4 .Jtxc5 1 9 cxd5 .Jtxf2+ 20 'it>h 1 .l:!.c2
21 .Jtxf6 'ii'xf6 22 ttJde4 being good for
White) 1 6 cxd5 .te2 1 7 l:te1 ttJxd5 1 8 l:tac1
with a complicated struggle ahead.
1 4 lZJxd4 b5 1 5 f5 bxc4 1 6 bxc4

1 6 . . . g6!
An important move. Black has been
through a lot of suffering in this position.
1 6 ... 'iVb6?! 1 7 .l:!.ab 1 dxc4 1 8 ttJe4! g6 1 9
ttJxf6+ ttJxf6 2 0 'i!t'f3 lUe 8 2 1 ttJc6 'iYxc6 22
'iYxc6 l:txc6 23 .txc6 l:tc8 24 .Jtxf6 .Jtxf6 25
.Jte4 offers White good winning chances.
16 ... .Jtxc4?! 17 ttJxc4 .l:!.xc4 18 .txd5 g6 1 9
'iVg5 ttJxd5 20 'ii'x d5 ttJb6 21 ttJf5! gx f5 22
'it'e5 .Jtf6 23 'ii'xf6 'iVxf6 24 .Jtxf6 was seen
in Nielsen-Danielsen, Randers 1 996, White
eventually converting this favourable ending.
1 6 ... ttJb6?! 1 7 cxd5 ttJa4 (1 7 ... ttJbxd5 is
met with 1 8 ttJe6! fxe6 19 'iVxe6+ 'it>h8 20
'iNxa6 and White is a pawn up for nothing)
1 8 l:Iab1 ttJxb2 1 9 l:txb2 .tc5 20 ttJc6 't'kd6
21 ttJe4 ttJxe4 22 .Jtxe4 g6 23 'ii f3 f5 24
.td3 .txd3 25 l:txd3 f4 26 g4 ::tce8 27 .l:!.e2
and White was on his way to the full point in
Sorokin-Hoffman, Villa Martelli 1 997.
1 7 if'g5?!
TIlls proves to be too risky as Black easily
obtains compensation for the exchange. Su
lava proposes the following line as a possible
improvement: 1 7 'ii'h 3 dxc4 1 8 .Jtc3 ttJc5 1 9
ttJc6 l:txc6! 2 0 1i.xc6 ttJd3 21 ttJe4 'itb6! 22
'iYg2! ttJg4! 23 .l:!.ab 1 'ii'x c6 24 ttJf6+ 'it'xf6 25
34

.Jtxf6 .Jtxf6 with an assessment of 'unclear' as usual, further tests are required.
1 7 . . . dxc4 1 8 lZJc6 l:txc6 1 9 xc6 'iYb6
20 xd7 if'xb2 21 l:tab 1 'ifa3
21 ...'iVd4 is even stronger according to
Marin. After 22 ttJf3 'iVxf2+ 23 'it>xf2 ttJe4+
24 'it>g2 ttJxg5 25 ttJxg5 .txg5 26 l:td6 .tc8
Black has all the chances, while 22 'iVa5 .Jtc5
23 'ii'xa6 'iVxf2+ 24 'it>h 1 ttJe4! leaves White's
king in serious trouble.
22 b5 lZJe4?
A tactical error. Black would have been
fine after 22 ... c3! 23 ttJc4 'iic 5 24 'iWxc5
.txc5 25 l:tdc1 .Jtxb5 26 l:txb5 ttJe4 27 ttJe3
l:td8, retaining the passed pawn and with
excellent compensation for the exchange.
23 lZJxc4 'iYf3 24 'iYe3 ii'xe3 25 lZJxe3
xb5 26 lZJd5! c5 27 l:txb5 xf2+
27 ...ttJxf2 28 l:tc1 .Jtd4 29 l:tc4 and wins.
28 Wg2 f5?
After the more precise 28 ... h5 White still
remains well on top after 29 ::tb7 .Jtc5 30
ttJe7+ Wg7 31 ttJc6.
29 l:tb7 l:tf7 30 lZJe7 + Wg7 31 .l:!.dd7 l:tf8
32 1ZJg8 + ! 1 -0

Game 15
Raetsky-Gattenloehner

Winterthur 2002
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lZJf3 lZJf6 4 g3 e7 5
g2 0-0 6 0-0 lZJbd7 7 if'c2 c6 8 lZJbd2
b6 9 b3 a6 1 0 b2 l:tc8 1 1 e4 c5

Clo s e d C a t a la n : 4

In Kasparov-Huss, Zurich (simul) 1 987,


1 1 ...'iVc7 12 l:tfel 'iYb8 13 l!tac1 l::t fd8 1 4
'iYb 1 h 6 1 5 a 3 .i. b7 1 6 e5 ltJe8 1 7 cxd5! cxd5
18 .tfl earned White an advantage, albeit
nothing spectacular. However, this soon
snowballed, and after 1 8 ...l:txc1 1 9 l:txc1 l:tc8
20 b4 l:txc1 21 .i.xc1 c8 22 b5 c3 23 a4
g5?! 24 h3 ltJfS 25 .i.b2 c8 26 .i.d3 White
was clearly better.
1 2 exd5 exd5 1 3 'ii'f 5!?
1 3 l:!.fd 1 transposes to the previous game.
An alternative is 1 3 .l:!.fe l , when Lobron
Knaak, Germany 1 998 continued 1 3 ... cxd4
14 ltJxd4 b5 1 5 .l:tadl .i.c5 1 6 ltJf5 'iVb6 1 7
ltJe 7+ .txe 7 1 8 l:txe7 bxc4 1 9 bxc4 dxc4 20
ltJe4 c3 21 .i.xc3 ltJxe4 22 .i.xe4 ltJf6 23
.i.f3 'tWc5 24 l:te3 lUe8 25 'iVd2, with a slight
edge for White.
1 3 . . . 96 1 4 'ii'h 3

1 4 . . . cxd4
Black plans a knight manoeuvre. 14 ... h5
15 l:tfe1 cxd4 1 6 ltJxd4 ltJc5 was played in
Raetsky-D.Frolov, Smolensk 2000, but this
looks rather risky for Black. There followed
1 7 ltJf5! gxf5 1 8 .l:!.xe 7! 'fixe 7 1 9 'iVh4! Itc6
(19 ... ltJcd7 20 'fig5+ 'it>h7 21 xf5+ 'it>h6 22
'fif4+ 'it>g6 23 ltJf3 ltJe4 24 l:tel f5 25 .i.h3
and Black is in for a rough ride) 20 g5+
'it>h7 21 'iVxf5+ 'it>g8 22 'i'g5+ 'it>h7 and a
draw was agreed, but 23 cxd5 l:td6 24 b4!
gives White a strong attack.
In Rustemov-Nikolenko, Moscow 1 999
Black followed 14 ... l:tc7 1 5 dxc5 with the

ii.. e 7 5 ii..g2 0 - 0

faulty 1 5 ... bxc5?, finding himself a pawn


down for nothing after 1 6 ltJg5 d4 1 7 ltJe6!
fxe6 18 xe6+ 'it>g7 19 'tWxa6. Gelfand
Sorokin, Sochi 1 986 went 1 5 ...ltJxc5 1 6 'it'h6
lIe8 17 .i.e5 l:td7 1 8 .th3 ltJe6 1 9 l:tfe 1 dxc4
20 .i.xe6 fxe6 21 ltJe4 .i.b7 22 ltJfg5 .i.xe4
23 ltJxe4 cxb3 24 axb3 and White had a
fonnidable attack.
1 5 ltJxd4 ttJc5 1 6 ad 1 ttJd3
Kochiev-Shaposhnikov, St. Petersburg
1 996 is worth a look: 1 6 ... l:Ie8 1 7 ltJ2f3 ltJce4
1 8 ltJe5 'iVc7 1 9 ltJe6! 't\Vd6 (1 9 ... fxe6 20
'iVxe6+ 'it>g7 21 'if7+ 'it>h8 [21 ...h6 22
ltJg4+!] 22 .i.xe4 J:lfS 23 'iVxd5! ltJxd5 24
ltJf7+ g8 25 ltJh6 mate) 20 ltJxf7! 'it>xf7 2 1
.txe4 ltJxe4 2 2 l:!.xd5 'ixd5 2 3 cxd5 and
White was winning.
1 6 ... h5 1 7 ltJ2f3 ltJce4 1 8 ltJe5 e8 1 9
.i.xe4 was the course o f Razuvaev-Lputian,
Frunze 1 979, when 19 ... dxe4?! met with 20
ltJf5! gxf5 21 'iVxf5 lIc5 22 b4 l:!.c7 23 lId6!
.tc8 24 'iVg5+ h7 25 ltJd7! xd7 26 lhd7
.txd7 27 .txf6 .txf6 28 'iVxf6 l:!.xc4 29 'iVe7
1 -0. Razuvaev gives 1 9 ...ltJxe4 20 l:tfe l with
an attack for White.
1 7 ii.. a 1 c5

1 8 ii.. x d5 ! !
A surprising move. Usually White does
not surrender this bishop if he can help it, yet
here he does not even bother to recapture on
d5. In fact this was home preparation. In a
previous game 1 8 f4? was played, but with
little success. After 1 8 ... dxc4! 1 9 ltJc6 l:txc6!
35

Th e C a t a l a n

2 0 i.xc6 it'c7 21 it'g2? (21 i.f3 c3 2 2 tbe4


tbxe4 23 i.xe4 c2 is better) 21 ...i.c5+ 22
'it>hl tbg4 Black was winning in Raetsky
Filippov, Smolensk 2000.
The contrasting 1 8 i.h I !? l:te8 1 9 a3 i.fB
20 b4 ':c7 21 tbb5 also looks nice for White,
but is of less relevance considering the effec
tiveness of the text.
1 8 . . . ttJxdS 1 9 ttJe4!
The key idea. White simply wants to re
gain the knight for free.
1 9 . . . ttJf6
19 ... tb5b4 20 iVh6! l:te5 21 tbfS! gxfS 22
i.xe5 f6 23 tbg5! and Black is mated, while
1 9 ... .l:!.KC4 20 bxc4 i.xc4 21 'ii'h 6! tbe5 22
tbfS! works in the same way.
20 ttJxf6 + ? !
A n inaccuracy. The game could have been
decided with 20 tbxc5! tbxc5 (20 ... bxc5 21
tbc6 it'd6 22 tbxe7+ it'xe7 23 :xd3 and
Black must resign) 21 tbc6 'iNc7 22 tbxe7+
'ii'x e7 23 'ii'h 4!, when White wins as follows:
23 ...'it>g7 24 nfel tbe6 25 .l:!.d7! it'xd7 26
it'xf6+ 'it>h6 27 it'h4 mate.
20 . . ..bf6 2 1 .l:[xd3 'ii'a 8
Black does not have any compensation on
the light squares. After 2 1 ...i.b7 22 l:tfd1
it'e7 23 i.c3 l:th5 24 it'n it'c5 25 tbb5
i.xc3 26 tbxc3 White is a pawn up.
22 ttJe6 ! ?

22 . . .l::t h S
Only move. After 22.. .fxe6 23 'iVxe6+
<j;g7 24 lId7+ White wins.
36

2 3 'ii'g 4
Also strong is 23 tbxfB!? l:[xh3 24 i.xf6
it'c6 25 l:td8 'it'xf6 26 tbe6+ 'iVxd8 27 tbxd8,
with good winning chances in the endgame.
23 . . . .i.c8 24 .i.xf6 fxe6
24... i.xe6 25 it'f3 it'xf3 26 .uxf3 gives
White excellent winning chances in the shape
of a pawn and a powerfully posted bishop.
2S 'ii'd 4 eS

26 'ii'd 6!
Not 26 i.xe5? i.h3, when White is close
to being worse.
26 . . . .i.h3 27 f3! e4 28 l:td4

28 . . . e3?
A blunder. I f 28 ... :f7 Black is struggling,
but while 29 g4 l:lc5 30 lIfd1 exf3 31 "i'e6
1+ 32 'it>x1 .l:!.c8 33 'it>g3 'iVg2+ 34 'iith4
favours White, there remains work to do.
29 'ii'e 7 1 -0

Clo s e d C a t a la n : 4 . . . iL e 7 5 iLg2 0 - 0

Summary
The evaluation of the gambit continuation 6 . ..lbbd7 7 ttJc3 dxc4 8 e4 (Game 3) has changed
during the last decade. Earlier Black defended with 8 ... ttJb6, 8 ... c6 9 a4 as or 9 ... b6, but White
has a strong initiative in the centre in all of these lines. Now Black has discovered 8 ... c6 9 a4
e5!? 1 0 dxe5 ttJg4 1 1 i.f4 'ifa5. Another modern idea is action on the queenside with 8 ... a6 9
a4 l:[b8 1 0 as b5, but this variation needs more practice before a safe conclusion can be made.
After 7 ttJc3 c6 White seldom develops his queen on b3, often being forced to exchange on
d5, when Black usually equalises quite comfortably. It seems to us that 8 'iVd3 has more going
for it than 8 'ifb3. However, after 8 ... b6 White should not hurry with 9 e4 because 9 ... i.a6 1 0
b3 dxc4 1 1 bxc4 e 5 i s nice for Black. O n the other hand, recent victories b y G M Gleizerov
have shown that after 9 .l:!.d1 i.a6 10 b3 1:[c8 1 1 e4 Black has problems.
In the case of the move order 7 ttJc3 c6 8 b3 b6 9 i.b2 i.a6 (Game 6), then 10 ttJd2, with
the standard idea of e2-e4, deserves attention. Indeed White's chances look preferable. An
other interesting idea is 10 a4, although with 10 ... dxc4 1 1 bxc4 i.xc4 12 ttJd2 i.a6 13 i.xc6
Black can equalise with accurate defence.
After 7 'ifc2 c6 8 i.f4 b6 the standard plan 9 ttJbd2 i.b7 10 e4 (Game 8) does not give
White any advantage as the bishop is not well placed on f4 after ... c6-c5. Perhaps White should
play 9 l:td1 i.a6 10 ttJe5, or 9 ... i.b7 1 0 ttJc3 dxc4 1 1 ttJd2 (Game 9) .
In the event of e2-e4 the reply ... d5xe4 is unpopular. If Black is late with the freeing advance
... c6-c5 White can himself push with c4-c5 (Game 1 1), which is in fact quite effective.
The advance e4-e5 is still relevant (Game 1 2). After 7 'iVc2 c6 8 ttJbd2 b6 9 e4 i.a6 this
plan promises White the better chances, although in the case of 9 ... i.b 7 1 0 e5 ttJe8 1 1 b3 ttJc7
12 i.b2 c5 the bishop is well placed on b7 and the position is about equal. After 1 1 cxd5 cxd5
White is slighdy better but instead of 1 1 ... cxd5 the alternative 1 1 ... exd5 looks more promising
for Black, whose intention is to play ...ttJe8-c7-e6 and prepare counterplay involving ... c6-c5.
In the CC the most popular position arises after 7 'ifc2 c6 8 ttJbd2 b6 9 b3 i.a6:
Recent practice has demonstrated that 10 lId1 does not lead to an advantage for White. In
the complex struggle Black has sufficient resources with which to oppose White's activity in
the centre and on the kingside (Game 1 4) . On the other hand, after 10 i.b2 ltc8 1 1 e4 c5 1 2
exd5 exd5 1 3 'iWf5!? White has a genuine initiative, and we d o not see how Black can equalise.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tiJf3 lbf6 4 g3 iLe7 5 iLg2 0-0 6 0-0
6 'ilVc2 c5 - Game 1
6 . . . lbbd7
6 ... c6 7 ttJc3 b6 8 ttJe5 - Game 2
7 'ifc2
7 ttJc3
7 ... dxc4 - Game 3
7 ... c6: 8 'iWb3 - Game 4; 8 'iVd3 - Game 5; 8 b3 - Game 6
7 . . . c6 S lbbd2
8 .l:[d 1 b6 9 a4 - Game 7
8 i.f4 b6: 9 ttJbd2 Game 8; 9 lId1 - Game 9
8 b3 b6: 9 i.b2 i.a6 1 0 l:td1l::tc 8 1 1 ttJc3 Game 10; 9 l:td 1 i.b7 1 0 ttJc3
S . . . b6
9 e4 - Game 12
9 b3 iLa6
9 ... i.b7 - Game 13
1 0 l:td 1 - Game 14
10 i.b2 - Game 15
-

Game 1 1

CHA PTER TWO


4

c6 5 i.,g2 i.,d6

1 d 4 d 5 2 c 4 e 6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g 3 c 6 5
g2 d6
This system resembles the Closed Catalan
(4 ... e7 5 g2 0-0 6 0-0 ltJbd7). However,
in contrast to the positions with ... i.. e 7, Black
can concentrate his efforts on the major plan
of expansion with ... e6-e5. This approach
enjoyed some popularity in the 1 920s, when
Catalan theory was in its infancy. Particularly
noteworthy is the encounter Reti-Bogoljubov
(Game 1 6) when, after transposition, a key
position was reached in which Black at
tempted in vain to steer the game to Dutch
Stonewall territory. After a correct move
order such a transposition is indeed possible,
but the Dutch Defence is outside the scope
of this book.
_After 6 0-0 ltJbd7 Wh.ite occasionally sac
nes the c4-pawn with 7 ltJc3, when his
initi more or less compensates the mod
est inveent. However, most of the time
Wh.ite prefe avoid this possibility, opting
instead to contiritJJ b3, 7 'iVc2 or 7 ltJbd2.
The 'tabia' occur5'a.(ter 6 0-0 ltJbd7 7 'iVc2
0-0 8 ll'lbd2, and sint<:, Bogoljubov-Joss,
.
Zurich 1 934 it has been kndwn that the im
mediate advance 8 ... e5 is premature here.
After 9 cxd5 ltJxd5?! 10 ltJc4 Black h.as seri
ous problems (panov-Makogonov - see the
notes to Game 1 7), while after the stronger
38

9 . . .cxd5 1 0 dxe5 ltJxe5 1 1 ltJxe5 i.. x e5 1 2


ltJf3 the minuses of the isolated pawn are not
quite compensated by Black's freer develop
ment. Therefore Black's best strategy is to
prepare ... e6-e5 with 8 ...'iVe7 or 8 ....l:!.e8 (often
these moves simply transpose) .

Game 1 6
Reti-Bogoljubov

New York 1924


1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 c6 5
g2 d6 6 0-0 ttJbd7

7 b3
The alternative is 7 ltJc3 dxc4 8 'iWc2 (du
bious is 8 e4?! e5 9 dxe5 ltJxe5 10 ltJxe5
.1Lxe5 1 1 'iVxd8+ 'it>xd8 12 .l:!.d H c7 Chet-

verik-Jurcisin, Presov, 1 999. White doesn't


have full compensation for the pawn deficit
in this endgame.) 8 ... 0-0 9 l:!.dl 'fie7 10 i.g5
h6 1 1 .ixf6 ttJxf6 1 2 ttJd2 e5, as in Lputian
Arencibia, Biel 1 993, which continued 1 3
d5!? cxd5 1 4 ttJxd5 ttJxd5 1 5 i.xd5 c 3 1 6
'ifxc3 .ig4 1 7 ttJc4 .l:!.ac8 1 8 'fie3 i.b8 1 9
'ife4 with a slight edge for White (more ac
tive).
7 . . . 0-0
Early play in the centre with 7 ... b6 8 .ib2
c5?! is not to be recommended. In Chetverik
Hajek, Bratislava 2000 White won after 9
cxd5 exd5 1 0 dxc5 bxc5? 1 1 e4! i.e7 1 2 e5
.ia6 13 exf6, so Black should prefer
to ... ttJxc5 1 1 ttJc3 i.b7 12 b4, when White
has a useful lead in development in this iso
lated d-pawn position.
8 il.. b 2

8 . . . .l:!.e8
Black can transpose to the Dutch Defence
with 8 ...ttJe4 9 ttJbd2 fS.
9 ct:Jbd2
White can prevent ... e6-e5 with 9 ttJe5
'iVc7 to f4 b6 1 1 ttJd2 .ib7 12 e4, as in
Euwe-Davidson, Amsterdam 1 924, when
White took action in the centre and was re
warded with a pull after 1 2 ... dxe4 1 3 ttJxe4
ttJxe4 1 4 .ixe4 ttJf6 1 5 i.g2 c5 1 6 d5 exd5
17 cxd5.
9 . . . tUe4? !
Lokvenc-Stolz, Haque 1 928 went 9 ... e5 to
cxd5 cxd5 1 1 dxe5 ttJxe5 1 2 ttJxe5 i.xe5 1 3

c 6 5 il.. g 2 il.. d 6

.ixe5 lhe5 1 4 ttJ O lIe8 1 5 ttJd4 i.e6 1 6


'iVd3 'ii'd7 1 7 l:tac1 l:tac8 1 8 "ifb5 and Black's
isolated pawn left him a little worse. Black
can also try 9 ... b6 to 'iVc2 .ib7 1 1 e4 e5 with
a mix of systems. Samisch-Rellstab, Swine
munde 1 930 continued 1 2 dxe5 ttJxe5 1 3
l:tad l ?! 'iVc7 1 4 exd5 cxd5 1 5 ttJd4 a6 1 6 ttJfS
i.fS 17 ttJO ttJed7 with chances for both
sides. However, 1 3 ttJxe5 i.xe5 1 4 .ixe5
.l:txe5 1 5 f4 .l:te8 1 6 e5 ttJg4 17 'it'd3 im
proves, gaining space and thus putting White
on top.
1 0 tUxe4 dxe4 1 1 tUe5 f5 1 2 f3!
White opens up the position while Black's
queenside remains undeveloped.
1 2 . . . exf3
1 2 ...ttJxe5 has also been tried. Koller
Wiechmann, Germany 1 994 went 1 3 dxe5
.ic5+ 14 hl exO 1 5 .l:!.xO 'fie7 16 .l:td3
(Black cannot liberate the queen's bishop)
1 6 ... i.b6 17 'iVd2 l:[d8 1 8 .l:tdl l:lxd3 1 9
'ii'x d3 with a huge advantage for White.
1 3 il.. x f3 "iic 7 1 4 tUxd 7 ! il.. x d7 1 5 e4 e5
15 ... fxe4 16 i.xe4 g6 17 'fid3 cJi;g7 18 c5!
.ifS 19 d5+ e5 20 d6 'iid 8 21 'fic4 is given
by Tartakover, Black's position being critical.
Black should play 1 5 ... .ifS 1 6 e5 l:tad8 in
order to facilitate development, although
White still has the initiative after the move 1 7
'iVe2.
1 6 c5 il..f 8 1 7 'iWc2 exd4?!
1 7 ... fxe4?! 18 i.xe4 g6 1 9 i.xg6! and
White wins. 1 7 ... f4!? is interesting, keeping
the position closed, 1 8 gxf4 exf4 1 9 'it>h 1
leaving White a little better thanks to his
presence in the centre and more breathing
space for his forces.
1 8 exf5 .l:!.ad8 1 9 il.. h 5! .l:!.e5 20 il..xd4
.l:!.xf5? !
Black can also try 2 0. . .lId5, when 21 'iic4
h8 22 i.g4 sees White retain the extra
material and the initiative, while 2 1 ...i.e6?
loses to 22 fxe6 .l:i.xd4 23 .l:!.xfS+! xfS 24
illIt-! lbd5 il.. x f5 22 "iix f5 .l:!.xd4 23 .l:!.f 1 !
.l:!.d8
Alekhine gives 23 .. .'iVe7 24 .if7+ cJi;h8 25
39

Th e C a t a l a n

.idS! 'iVf6 2 6 'it'c8 and wins.


24 i.f7 + h8 2S i.e8! 1 -0

A famous final move.

Game 1 7
Panov-M . M a kogonov

Kiev 1938
1 d4 dS 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 c6 S
i.g2 -td6 6 0-0 ttJbd7 7 'ii'c 2 0-0 8 ttJbd2
eS?!
Too early. Another try is 8 ... b6 9 e4 (after
the greedy 9 cxd5?! cxd5 1 0 'iVc6 'iVc7 1 1
'ii'x a8 .i.a6 1 2 'iVxfB+ liJxfB White has two
rooks for the queen but is behind in devel
opment) 9 ... dxe4 10 liJxe4 liJxe4 1 1 'iVxe4.
Raetsky-J . Gunnarsson, Hafnarfjordur 1 996
continued 1 1 ....i.b7 12 .i.f4 liJf6 13 'ii'e 3 c5
14 lladl .i.xf4 15 'ii'xf4 'iVe7 16 .l:!.fel cxd4
1 7 1:txd4 lIac8 1 8 liJe5 .i.xg2 1 9 xg2 .l:!.fd8
20 .l:!.edl l:i.xd4 21 'iVxd4, White possessing
the d-flle and a queenside pawn majority.
Black's prospects failed to improve after
2 1 . ..h6 22 a3 'iVb7+ 23 f3 b5 24 c5 liJd5 25
b4 f6 26 liJd3 'ii'a6 27 liJf4.
8 ...'iVe7 presents White with a few choices:
9 !:tel b6 10 e4 liJxe4 1 1 liJxe4 dxe4 1 2
Ihe4 .i.b7?! 1 3 .i.g5 'ii'e 8 1 4 lIael 'iVc8 1 5
l:th4! g6 was seen in A.Petrosian-Skembris,
Dortmund 1 992. Petrosian then recom
mends 1 6 .i.h6! .l:te8 17 liJg5 with a menac
ing attack for White.
Perhaps 9 e4 is premature compared with
40

the previous line. The natural 9 ... dxe4 1 0


liJxe4 liJxe4 1 1 'iVxe4 e 5 1 2 dxe5 liJxe5 1 3
liJg5 liJg6 (1 3 ...g6!? i s an interesting option)
14 'ii'c 2 h6 1 5 liJe4 .i.f5 1 6 .l:tel lUe8 1 7
.i.d2l::tad8 1 8 'iVb3 .i.e5 1 9 .i.b4 'iVc7 earned
Black a decent game in Smyslov-Sehner,
Farum 1 986.
9 b3 is the quiet approach. Indeed in Ra
zuvaev-Skatchkov, St. Petersburg 1 997 this
policy resulted in a steady lead for White
after 9 ... b6 1 0 .i.b2 .i.b7 1 1 e4 dxe4 1 2 liJxe4
liJxe4 1 3 'ii'xe4 l:tad8 1 4 !:tadl liJf6 1 5 'iVc2
thanks to Black's development problems.
These were compounded after the subse
quent 1 5 ... c5? 1 6 dxc5 .i.xf3 ( 1 6 ... .i.xc5? 1 7
liJg5) 1 7 cxd6 .i.xd 1 1 8 'ii'xh 7+! liJxh7 1 9
dxe7 .i.e2 2 0 exfB'ii' + liJxfB 2 1 l:t a l 1:td2 22
.i.c3 l::!c 2 23 .i.e5 liJd7 24 .i.e4 J:td2 25 .i.c3
and White was close to winning.
9 cxdS ttJxdS? !
Or 9 ... cxd5 1 0 dxe5 liJxe5 1 1 liJxe5 .i.xe5
1 2 liJf3 th an edge for White. Rogers
Handoko, Djakarta 1 993 continued 1 2 ... .id6
1 3 .l:!.d 1 .l:!.e8 1 4 .i.g5 .i.e6 1 5 liJd4 .ie5 16
liJxe6 fxe6 17 e4 h6 18 .i.xf6 'iVxf6 19 exd5
.l:!.ac8 20 'iVd3 .i.xb2 21 .l:!.abl exd5 22
.i.xd5+ h8 23 .ixb7 J:!.cd8 24 'iVf3 and,
although White had won a pawn, the oppo\
site coloured bishops offered Black chances
of saving the game.
1 0 ttJc4 'ii'e 7 1 1 e4
Also good is 1 1 liJxd6 'iVxd6 1 2 l:[dl 'i'e7
1 3 e4 liJb4 1 4 'ifb3 liJa6 1 5 .i.g5 when
White has the bishop pair and an active posi
tion. In Bogoljubov-Joss, ZUrich 1 934 this
proved significant after 1 5 ... 'ife8 1 6 dxe5
liJxe5 17 d8 liJxf3+ 1 8 .i.xf3 'iVe5 1 9
lhfB+ xfB 2 0 .i.f4 'iVe6 21 'ii'c 3.
1 1 ttJSb6
Panov gives l 1 .. .liJb4 12 'iib 3! exd4? 1 3
.i.g5! and Black has problems.
1 2 ttJxd6 'ii'x d6 1 3 l:td 1
White had a healthy initiative for the pawn
in Filipovic-J erbic, Pula 1 999 after 1 3 .i.e3
exd4 14 .i.xd4 .l:!.e8 1 5 .l:tadl 'ii'e6 16 b3
'ifxe4 1 7 'ifb2. There followed 1 7 .. .f6 1 8
. . .

.l:!.del 'iVg6 1 9 lbh4 'iVf7 20 lbfS 'ii' f8 21 f4


lbd5 22 'it'f2 g6 23 J::tx eS 'it'xeS 24 .l:!.el 'it'f8
25 i.xd5+ cxd5 26 lbe7+ <t;f7 27 lbxd5 and
White regained rhe material wirh a winning
position.
1 3 . . . exd4 1 4 i.f4 "fie7 1 5 l:txd4 l:te8 1 6
i.d6 'iWe6 1 7 a4 4Jf8
17 ... a5 I S i.c7 f6 1 9 l:.adl does not help
Black.
1 8 a5 4Jbd7 1 9 l:tad 1 f6
19 ... lbf6 20 lbg5 'iVg4 21 f4 also favours
White.
20 i.f 1 ! 'it'f7 21 i.c4 4Je6 22 e5! 'it>h8
22 ... fxe5? is poor in view of 23 lbg5, while
22 ... lbxe5 loses: 23 i.xe5 fxe5 24 lbg5 'iig6
25 'iixg6 hxg6 26 .l:!.dS etc. After 22 ...'iVg6 23
'i'xg6 hxg6 24 i.xe6+ l::tx e6 25 i.a3 Black's
cramped position will soon fall apart.
23 l:tg4! 4Jdf8
Or 23 ... lbxe5 24 lbxe5 fxe5 25 i.xe5 l:tgS
26 l:th4 and wins.
24 exf6 'it'xf6 25 4Je5 b5 26 i.a2 c5 27
i.d5 i.a6 28 l:th4 g5 29 l:th6 'iWg7 30
i.xf8 4Jxf8 31 4Jf7 + 1 -0

Game 1 8
Orsag-Haba

Tumov 1996
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 4Jf3 4Jf6 4 g3 c6 5
i.g2 i.d6 6 0-0 4Jbd7 7 'iWc2 0-0 8 4Jbd2
l:te8

9 b3

c 6 5 i. g 2 i. d 6

9 e4 is good enough only for equaliry. For


example Pirc-Bogoljubov, Bad Harzburg
1 935 went 9 ... dxe4 1 0 lbxe4 lbxe4 1 1 'iVxe4
e5 1 2 i.g5 f6 1 3 i.d2 exd4 14 'iVxd4 lbe5 1 5
i.c3 c5 1 6 'iVd5+ i.e6 1 7 'iVxb7 ttbS l S 'iVe4
lbxc4 1 9 b3 lbb6 20 J::ta el 'iVc7, and Black
had solved his opening problems.
Alternatively 9 J::td l 'iVe7 1 0 e4 lbxe4 1 1
lbxe4 dxe4 1 2 'ii'xe4 e5 1 3 i.g5! f6 1 4 i.d
exd4 1 5 'iVxe 7 i.xe 7 16 i.xd4 i.c5 17 .l:!.e 1
saw White maintain a modest lead in devel
opment in Ricardi-Panno, Florida 2001 . An
ending advantage resulted after 1 7 ...l::tx e 1+ I S
J::txe l i.xd4 1 9 lbxd4 lbe5 20 b3 i.g4 2 1 h3
i.d7 22 f4 lbf7 23 c5 <t;f8 24 <t;f2 in view of
White's extra space.
9 . . . e5
9 ... 'iVe7 10 i.b2 e5 1 1 cxd5 lbxd5 12 e4
lbb4 1 3 'ibl b5?! 14 a3 lba6 1 5 b4 i.b7 1 6
lbb3 ItedS 1 7 'iic 2 J:!abS I S J::tad l favoured
White in Raetsky-Budde, Cappelle la Grande
2001 , Black's forces lacking co-ordination.
1 0 cxd5
Also possible is 10 dxe5 lbxe5 1 1 1i.b2
lbxf3+ 1 2 lbxf3 dxc4 1 3 bxc4 'iVe7 14 e3
1i.g4 1 5 lbd4 'iVd7 1 6 f3 i.h3 1 7 e4 i.c5 I S
J::tad 1 J::tadS 1 9 <t;h 1 , when Black has com
pleted development and is ready to contest
the centre. Note rhat 14 ... lbe4?! is dubious,
as was demonstrated In Greenfeld
Zsu.Polgar, Pardubice 1 994, 1 5 l:labl c5 1 6
J::t fel i.c7 1 7 lbh4 l::tb S l S .i::tb dl b 5 1 9 cxb5
l::tx b5 20 i.al J::tb 6 21 J::td 5 leaving Black
with numerous weaknesses (c5, for instance)
and White the advantage.
1 0 . . . cxd5
1O ...lbxd5?! is best avoided in view of 1 1
lbc4 i.c7 1 2 lbfxe5 lbxe5 1 3 dxe5 i.xe5 1 4
lbxe5 .l:!.xe5 1 5 i.b2 when White has the
bishop pair and central control. His initiative
developed quickly in Nikcevic-Vencl, Arand
jelovac 1 990: 1 5 . .J:teS 1 6 e4 lbf6 1 7 l:.ad 1
'iVe7 I S h3 i.e6 1 9 f4 l:.adS 20 fS i.cs 21 e5
lbd5 22 f6 wirh a huge advantage.
1 1 dxe5 4Jxe5 1 2 i.b2 4Jc6
Also possible is 12 ... i.g4 13 lbxe5 i.xe5
41

Th e C a t a l a n

1 4 xeS xeS 1 S ttJf3 e7. Andersson


Cifuentes, Benidorm 1 994 continued 1 6 ttJd4
.l:!.c8 17 2 J::te c7 1 8 l:tac1 h6 (Cifuentes
gives 1 8 ... hS!?) 19 e3 a6 20 l:tfe 1 'iid7 21 f3
SLe6 22 'it>f2 'iVd6 23 l:txc7 'iVxc7 24 l:le2.
With c2 White trades more pieces in order
to step closer to an endgame that is favour
able due to the isolated d-pawn.
1 3 !:tfe 1 .ltg4 1 4 a3 l:te8 1 5 'ii'd 3 ttJe4 1 6
b4
Interesting is 1 6 'YWxdS ttJxf2!? 1 7 ttJgS
ttJeS 1 8 i..x eS 'iVxgS 1 9 xd6 'iVe3 with a
highly complicated position in which Black
has a strong attack for the piece.
1 6 . . . .ltf8 1 7 e3 'ii'b 6? !
Better is 1 7...'YWd6!? 1 8 ac 1 i.. f5 .
1 8 !:tae 1
White can grab the pawn with 1 8 'iVxdS!?
lIcd8 19 'YWc4! as the g4-bishop is hanging.
1 8 . . !:ted8 1 9 .ltd4 ttJxd4 20 ttJxd4 ttJf6
21 1tJ2b3
.

White is slightly better due to the control


of cS.
21 . . . a6 22 h3 .lth5
Black enters the following complications
as the more normal 22 ... i..e 6 23 ttJcS leads to
a small but enduring advantage for White.
23 f4 h6 24 f5 'ilVd6 ! 25 g4 .ltxg4 26
hxg4 ttJxg4 27 ttJf3 'ii'g 3
Black has attacking possibilities for the
piece, but probably not enough.
28 'ii'd 2 .ltd6 29 !:te2 ttJe5 30 ttJxe5 !:txe5
31 ttJd4 !:tde8
42

Or 3 1 ...e4 32 'it>f1 :g4 33 WiVe1 and


White consolidates .
32 'ii'e 1 'ii'g 4 33 !:td 1 !:te4
Black can win one more pawn but at the
cost of exchanging all the heavy pieces:
33 ... l:!.xe3 34 xe3 l:txe3 3S 'it'xe3 'YWxd1+ 36
'it>f2 and the three pawns are no match for
the minor piece, Black losing his attacking
potential.
34 'ii'f 2? !
34 d3 secures White the better game.
34 . . . 'ilVg5
Or 34... xe3 3S 'ii' f3 !? xf3 36 xe8+
h7 37 ttJxf3 "it'xfS with a complex situa
tion.
35 f6 g6 36 'it>f 1 .ltg3 37 'ii'f 3 l:txe3 38
!:txe3?
Poor. White should go for 38 'iVxdS 'iVg4
39 f3 'YWh3+ with equal chances.
38 . . .!:txe3 39 'ii'x d5 'ii'x f6 + 40 ttJf3
Not 40 SLf3? eS 41 'it>g2 SLxd4 42 l:txd4
l:txf3 and Black wins.
40 . . . 'ii'b 2 4 1 'ii'd 8+ 'it>h7 42 'ii'd 2 'ii'x a3

Black now has more than adequate com


pensation the piece.
43 ttJd4 !:te7 44 .ltd5 .ltd6 45 'ii'f 2 'ilVh3 +
4 6 .lt g 2 'ii'g 4 47 J:rd3?!
47 i.. f3 'it'f4 48 bS offers better prospects
for White than the game continuation.
47 . . . .ltxb4 48 .lth3 'ilVe4 49 l:tf3 'ilVe 1 +
50 'it>g2 'ii'x f2+ 5 1 !:txf2 .lte3 52 !:te2
!:te7 53 !:te2 b5 54 'it>f3 b4 55 .ltf1 a5 56
ttJb5 !:te5 0-1

4 . . . c 6 5 iL g 2 iL d 6

Summary
These examples indicate that in the ... .td6 system it is not necessary for White to hurry with
e2-e4 as this serves only to justify Black's own advance of the e-pawn, which appears to prom
ise excellent equalising chances (for example 6 0-0 tiJbd7 7 'iic 2 0-0 8 tiJbd2 .l:te8 9 e4 dxe4 1 0
tiJxe4 tiJxe4 1 1 'iie 4 e 5 with further simplifications that cancel out any White edge). A more
promising strategy for White is to complete queenside development with b2-b3 and .tb2.
After 9 b3 e5 10 cxd5 cxd5 1 1 dxe5 tiJxe5 1 2 .tb2 we again have a position with an isolated
pawn, albeit an acceptable version for Black, who enjoys the better development and, in prac
tice, tends to achieve equality.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lLIf3 lLIf6 4 g3 c6 5 iLg2 iLd6 (D) 6 0-0 lLIbd7 7 'ifc2
7 b3 (D) - Game 16
7 0-0 8 lLIbd2 (D)
8 ... e5 - Game 1 7; 8 ... .l:te8 - Game 18
...

5 . iLd6
. .

7 b3

8 1L1bd2

43

CHA PTER THREE

4 . . . dxc4 5 'iVa4 +

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lLlf3 lLlf6 4 93 dxc4 5


'iVa4+
After 4 ... dxc4 White can regain the pawn
back immediately. This continuation was
popular during the infancy of the Catalan. In
particular world champions Capablanca,
Alekhine (his two nice victories are shown in
Games 22 & 25), Botvinnik and Smyslov
played this line, but much has happened
since. When White regains the pawn with the
aid of the queen check he is also assisting
Black's development. Moreover, the queen is
subject to attack on c4 (mainly from ... b7b5).
These days 5 'i!Va4 is seen less often than 5
..tg2, and is usually played by those looking
for the kind of edge which brings with it little
chance of losing. Not surprisingly the main
adherent of 5 'iVa4+ is GM Ulf Andersson, a
peace loving man with superb endgame tech
nique.
1 d4 It:if6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 d5 4 ..tg2 dxc4 5
'i!Va4+ is the standard move order for this line
from a theoretical perspective, but in reality
It:if3 is seen more often, and the variations
where White tries to play without It:igl -f3 are
hardly relevant - 5 'i!Va4+ ..td7 6 xc4 ..tc6
7 f3, for example, can never give White an
advantage. After 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 It:if3 It:if6
4 g3 dxc4 5 'it'a4+ Black does have the extra
44

possibility o f 5 . . .d7 6 'i!Vxc4 'i!Vc6, but after


7 It:ibd2 'i!Vxc4 8 It:ixc4 White has a stable
advantage.
In the event of 5 ...lt:ic6 6 'it'xc4 'iWd5 the
position is acceptable for Black, but only in
the line with It:if3, of course, as otherwise the
queen would be hanging. More attention
should be paid to 5 ... c6 6 'i!Vxc4 b5, with a
position that most often arises from the Slav
after 1 d4 d5 2 c4 c6 3 It:if3 It:if6 4 'i!Vc2 dxc4
5 'ii'xc4 e6 6 g3 b5. Now after 7 'i!Vc2 ..tb7 8
.i.g2 It:ibd7 Black is trying to achieve ... c6-c5
as quickly as possible. If White allows this
(Game 1 8) Black is afforded decent chances
of equality, so preference should be for 9
It:ie5, preventing the immediate 9 ... c5 (Game
20) .
After 5 'i!Va4+ it is logical to play 5 ... .i.d7 6
'iVxc4 ..tc6, after which Black develops his
pieces (Game 21) or plays ... ..tc6-d5 (with
tempo), preparing the freeing advance ... c7c5 (Game 22). Nevertheless, the main de
fence against 5 a4+ is 5 ... lt:ibd7. It is im
possible to clearly classify the variations
based on concrete moves as there are so
many transpositions. But what is possible is
to pick out the different strategies. Insuffi
cient for equality is the plan with ... e6-e5
(after 6 ..tg2 c6 7 'iVxc4 ..td6 8 0-0 e5). And
quite passive is 6 ... ..te7.

4 . . . dx c 4 5 'il a 4 +

One idea for White is to hold back the


capture on c4 and instead continue develop
ment with 6 g2 (Game 23), although 6
"i'xc4 is the main continuation. Then 6 ... a6
(Games 24-26) is designed to harass White's
queen with the help of ... b7-b5 and, in so
doing, solve Black's main strategic problem the development of the queen's bishop.
White quickly drops back to c2 in Game 24
to prevent ... b7-b5, while in Games 25 & 26
Black is allowed to complete his main plan
and push the b-pawn.

Black plays 5 . . . c6
r---------------..

Game 19
Mednis-Prie

Cannes 2000
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
'i'a4+ c6
5 ...'iir'd7 6 'ii'x c4 'iVc6 7 lLlbd2 'it'xc4 8 lLlxc4
i..b4+ 9 .id2 .ixd2+ 1 0 lLlfxd2! lLlc6 1 1 e3
lLlb4 12 'It>e2 .id7 13 g2 .ic6 14 f3 lef
White in control of the centre in Botvinnik
Vidmar, Groningen 1 946. There followed
14 ... lLld7 1 5 a3 lLld5 1 6 e4 lLl5b6 1 7 lLla5
i..b5+ 1 8 'It>e3 0-0-0 1 9 l:thc1 lLlb8 20 b3
i..d7 21 .if1 lLlc6 22 lLlxc6 iLxc6 23 a4 iLe8
24 as lLla8 25 a6 b6 26 b4 with a big edge.
After 5 ... lLlc6 White should avoid 6 lLle5?
"i'd5 7 l:tgl b5, when he stands clearly worse.
Meanwhile, 6 iLg2 transposes to 5 g2 lLlc6
6 'ii'a4. This leaves 6 'iWxc4 'iVd5 7 'iWd3, e.g.
7 ... lLlb4 8 'it'dl 'iWe4!? 9 lLla3 iLd7 1 0 .ig2
i..c 6 1 1 0-0 h6 1 2 f4 lLlbd5 1 3 .id2 xa3
14 bxa3 0-0 1 5 e3 l:tfd8 as in Kobalija
Dokuchaev, Majkop 1 998, when White's
weakened queenside pawns and Black's activ
ity contributed to a balanced game. Another
sensible line is 7 ... 'iWfS 8 'iVxfS exfS 9 a3 e6
10 e3 lLla5 1 1 lLlbd2 lLlb3 1 2 lLlxb3 xb3 1 3
i.d3 g6 and Black was doing fine i n Kura
jica-Zvjaginsev, Pula 1 997. This status quo
continued after the subsequent 14 .id2 as 1 5
<t>e2 d6 1 6 %:thc1 d5 1 7 lLle5 c 6 1 8 lLlc4

c 7 1 9 b4 axb4 20 axb4 'It>d7.


6 'ilxc4 b5 7 'ilc2
Abramovic-Maksimenko, Novi Sad 2000
went 7 'iWd3 lLlbd7 8 g2 b7 9 0-0 a6 1 0
a4 c 5 1 1 axb5 e4 1 2 'iWdl axb5 1 3 k[xa8
'it'xa8 1 4 lLla3 b4 1 5 lLlc4 cxd4 1 6 f4 'iWa6
1 7 b3 c5 1 8 lLlxd4 xg2 1 9 'It>xg2 0-0,
Black completing development.
7 . . . iLb7 8 iLg2
Also possible is 8 lLlbd2 lLlbd7 9 e4 iLe7
10 a3 c5!? 1 1 xb5 0-0 with compensation
according to M.Gurevich. In this line White
can try to prevent the thematic ... c6-c5, a
plan adopted in the encounter Gheorghiu
R.Bagirov, Bern 200 1 : 9 lLlb3 'iWb6 1 0 g2
as!? 1 1 .ig5 a 4 1 2 lLlbd2 c5 1 3 xf6 lLlxf6
14 0-0 l:tc8 15 l:tac1 e7 16 dxc5. Now
1 6...xc5! 1 7 'ifb 1 0-0 would have given
Black the better chances due to the bishop
pair and space on the queens ide.
8 . . ttJbd7
.

9 0-0
9 a4 c5!? 10 axb5 cxd4 1 1 0-0 c5 1 2
g5 .l:tc8 1 3 lLlbd2 0-0 1 4 'iWd3 h 6 1 5 .ixf6
'iWxf6 1 6 lLlg5 'iVxg5 1 7 xb7 l:tc7 was
Timman-Lautier, Malmo 1 999, with chances
even after 1 8 lLlf3 lLle5 19 lLlxe5 'it'xe5.
After 9 lLlc3 c5 White must avoid 10
lLlxb5? 'iVa5+ 1 1 lLlc3 cxd4, when Black is
winning. White fared better in Zagorskis
Vaisser, Lyon 1 994: 1 0 0-0 b4 1 1 lLla4 l:tc8
1 2 lLlxc5 lLlxc5 1 3 dxc5 .ixc5 14 'it'a4+ c6
1 5 'it'a6 0-0 1 6 g5 i.d5 1 7 l:tac1 'iVb6 1 8
45

Th e Ca t a l a n

'it'xb6 axb6 1 9 ..Itxf6 gxf6 20 b3 with an


equal endgame.
In Magerramov-Doroshkievich, Podolsk
1 992 White produced an interesting pawn
sacrifice aimed at generating an initiative:
9 ... a6 10 0-0 cS 1 1 ..ItgS l:.c8 1 2 dS!?, al
though after 1 2 ... exdS 1 3 4Jh4 h6 1 4 ..Itxf6
4Jxf6 1 5 l:.ad 1 l:.c7 1 6 4JxdS 4JxdS 1 7 ..ItxdS
..ItxdS 1 8 e4 ..Ite7 19 l:.xdS a8 20 4Jf5 0-0
21 l:.fdl l:.e8 Black was okay.
9 . . . c5 1 0 e3
Another option is 10 a4 b4 1 1 ..ItgS l:.c8
12 dxcS ..Itxcs 13 d3 0-0 14 4Jbd2 with a
balanced game, a situation that is preferable
from White's side of the board than 1 1 as?!
l:.c8 12 dxcS xcS 13 'it'dl 0-0 14 4Jbd2
e7 1 5 4Jb3 l:.fd8 1 6 'ilVel ..Itd6 17 a6 ..ItdS,
when the advance of the a-pawn proved
unsuccessful in A.Kulikov-Najer, St. Peters
burg 2000. Black is better.
1 0 .. Jc8 1 1 dxc5 xc5 1 2 xc5 lLixc5
1 3 lLic3 b4 1 4 lLib5 'i!fb6 1 5 lLibd4 0-0
1 6 a3 a5
Better is 16 ... .u.fd8, e.g. 17 axb4? 4Jce4
with an initiative for Black.
1 7 axb4 axb4 1 8 'i'c4 xf3
1 8 ... .i.dS 19 'iib s 'it'xbS 20 4JxbS 4Jb3 21
l:.a4 l:.c2 yields nothing for Black.
1 9 lLixf3 lLice4 20 'i'b3
20 d4 it'xd4 21 4Jxd4 eS 22 4Jf3 .l:!.c2
23 4JxeS l:.xb2 is equal.
20 . . JUd8 21 e3 h6 22 h3 lLic5 23 'ii'a 2
lLife4 24 l::ta d 1 l::tx d1 25 l::t x d 1

46

25 . . . lLixf2! ?
An interesting piece sacrifice.
26 'it>xf2 lLie4+ 27 'it>g 1 'ii'x e3 + 28 'it>h2
l::t c 2 29 'ii'a 8+ 'it>h7 30 l::tf 1 l::t x g2+
Black forces the draw.
3 1 'it>xg2 'iVe2 + 32 'it>g 1 'iVe3 + 33 'it>g2
'ife2 + Y. - Y2

Came 20
Raetsky-Sveshni kov

Kolontaevo 1994
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lLif3 lLif6 4 g3 dxc4 5
'i'a4+ c6 6 'iVxc4 b5 7 'iVc2 b7 8 g2
lLibd7 9 lLie5

9 . . . 'ii'b 6
Another option is 9 ... 4JxeS 10 dxeS 4JdS!
1 1 0-0 ..Ite7 12 l:.dl 8 13 4Jc3 0-0 14
4JxdS cxdS 1 5 e4 l:.c8 16 'ife2 dxe4 17 ..Itxe4
..Itxe4 1 8 xe4 l:.c4! with a good game for
Black in Volzhin-Ibragimov, Elista 2001,
although 19 f3 e8 20 ..Ite3 .u.c7 was
agreed drawn. Note that it is important for
Black to find (or be prepared with) 1 O ... 4JdS!
as this is superior to 10 ... 4Jd7 1 1 0-0 'ifb6 1 2
a4, which featured i n two Raetsky games.
After 1 2 ... a6 1 3 axbS axbS 14 ..Ite3 'irc7 1 5
l:.xa8+ ..Itxa8 1 6 4Jc3 White had the initiative
in Raetsky-Klingelhoefer, Giessen 1 994, and
the further 1 6 ... 8 1 7 l:.al ..Ite7 1 8 l:.a7
..Itd8? 1 9 4JxbS 0-0 20 l:.xd7 cxbS? 21 iLa7
saw White win . Raetsky-Volzhin, Hastings
1 992/93 also favoured White after 1 2 ... c5 1 3

4 . . . dx c 4 5 'iW a 4 +

.ixb7 'iVxb7 1 4 axb5 ttJxe5 1 5 ttJc3 iJ.. e 7 1 6


.if4 ttJg6 1 7 'iVe4 'iix e4 1 8 ttJxe4 etc.
10 i.e3
10 0-0 'ifxd4 (10 ... c5!? is interesting) 1 1
ttJxd7 'iVxd7 1 2 .l:!.dl 'it'c8 1 3 ttJc3 a6 1 4 iJ..g5
with compensation for the pawn. White is
well developed and ready for action.
10 . . . c5 1 1 Q\xd7 Q\xd7 1 2 i.xb7 'iWxb7
1 3 0-0

1 3 . . . cxd4? !
1 3 ... 1:tc8 has also been played. Raetsky
Rausch, Biel 1 997 continued 14 l:[c1 iJ.. e 7 1 5
dxc5 ttJxc5 1 6 b4 iJ.. f6 1 7 ttJc3 ttJd7 1 8 'iVe4
'i'a6 1 9 i.d4 0-0 with equality, while
17 ... ttJa4 1 8 'it'e4 'ifa8! (1 8 .. .'ika6? 19 ttJxb5!
.l:!.xc1+ 20 .l:!.xc1 'ii'x b5 21 .l:!.c8+ iJ.. d 8 22
.l:!.xd8+!) 19 ttJxb5! leads to a forced draw
after 1 9 .. .'it'xe4 20 l:txc8+ 'it>e7 21 l:tc7+ 'it>ffi.
Here 14 ...c4?! risks giving White a free hand
in the centre. Raetsky-Tregubov, Krasnodar
1 995 went 1 5 a4 a6 1 6 axb5 axb5 1 7 ttJc3
.ib4 1 8 d5 exd5?! (1 8 ... i.xc3 19 dxe6 fxe6
20 'iVxc3 0-0 and White has only a small
advantage) 1 9 .l:ta7 c6 and White now
changed gear and emerged with a clear ad
vantage after 20 .l:!.ca1 ! iJ.. c 5 21 l:t l a6 ttJb6 22
.ixc5 'iix c5 23 1:tb7.
14 i.xd4 .l:!.c8
After 14 ... e5 1 5 iJ.. e 3 i.e7 16 l:tdl 0-0 1 7
'it' fS White has an action position.
1 5 Q\c3! b4
Again the push in the centre with 1 5 ... e5 is
insufficient for equality - 16 i.e3 i.b4 1 7

'i'e4 'iixe4 1 8 ttJxe4 fS 1 9 a3 iJ.. e 7 20 ttJc3


etc.
1 6 'iWe4 'i!fxe4
Avoiding the exchange with 16 ... 'it'a6
gives White the better chances after 17 ttJd5
'tIi'c6 1 8 .l:!.ac1 'it'xc1 19 .l:txc1 l:!.xc1+ 20 'iit>g2.
1 7 Q\xe4 f5
1 7 ... .l:tc4?! runs into 1 8 i.xg 7! .l:tg8 1 9
iJ.. x ffi .l:!.xe4 20 iJ.. d 6 l::t xe2 21 l::t ac1 and
White is well on top.
1 8 Q\g5 e5! 1 9 i.xa7 i.e7 20 i.e3 h6 2 1
Q\f3 Wf7
Completing development is the aim of
Black's pawn sacrifice, resulting in an active
game for Black.
22 .l:!.fc 1 g5 23 b3 f4 24 i.d2 We6 25
.l:!.xc8 .l:!.xc8 26 .l:!.c 1 .l:!.a8 27 .l:!.c2
27 l:!.c6+ 'iit>d 5 28 .l:txh6 g4 29 l:!.h7 'it>e6
and again Black has compensation, winning
back one of the invested pawns with an ag
gressive stance.
27 . . . Q\f6 28 Q\e 1
28 gxf4 gxf4 29 e3 promises White a small
edge.
28 . . . Q\d5 29 e4

29 . . .fxe3 30 i.xe3 e4 3 1 i.d4 i.f6 32


.l:!.c6 + Wd7 33 .l:!.c4
33 l:txf6 ttJxf6 34 .i.xf6 l:txa2 and, with a
rook versus two minor pieces, Black has
definite compensation. His king and rook are
active and 'W'hite's pieces lack co-ordination.
33 . . . .l:!.xa2 34 i.xf6 Q\xf6 35 Q\c2 l:!.b2
36 Q\xb4 Yo - Yo
47

Th e C a t a la n

Black plays 5 . . . iLd7

Game 2!
Vila-Spassky

Castrop-Rauxel !990
1 d4 d5 2 c4 eS 3 ttJf3 ttJfS 4 g3 dxc4 5
a4+ iLd7 S xc4

s . . . iLcs
6 ... c5 7 dxc5 i.c6 transposes to 5 i.g2 c5
6 'ii'a4+ i.d7 7 xc4 i.c6 8 dxc5 (see the
notes to Game 76).
7 iLg2 ttJbd7
Gleizerov-Akhmadeev, Kstovo 1 997 went
7 ... i.e7 8 ttJc3 0-0 9 0-0 a6 1 0 d3 b5 1 1
i.g5 ttJbd7 1 2 a3 i.b7 1 3 b4 h6 1 4 i.xf6
ttJxf6 1 5 ttJe5 i.xg2 1 6 xg2 with the finn
grip on c5 earning White the pleasant pros
pects.
8 ttJc3 ttJbS
Also possible is 8 ... i.e7 9 0-0 0-0 10 'iVd3
ttJd5 1 1 e4 ttJxc3 1 2 bxc3 fS (12 ... ttJc5 1 3
ir"e3 ttJxe4 i s best avoided i n view o f 1 4
ttJe5!, regaining the pawn and keeping a plus)
1 3 exfS exfS 14 ttJel i.xg2 1 5 ttJxg2 ttJb6 1 6
a4 a s 1 7 l:te 1 tt f7 with approximate equality
in Zaichik-Shabalov, Philadelphia 2000.
9 d3 iLb4 1 0 iLg5
Petrov-Alekhine, Buenos Aires 1 939 saw
considerable trading during the next dozen
or so moves: 10 0-0 0-0 1 1 l:tdl h6 12 ttJe5
i.xg2 1 3 xg2 'it'e7 14 ttJe4 l:tad8 1 5 ttJxf6+
'it'xf6 1 6 'it'f3 'it'xf3+ 1 7 ttJxf3 ttJc4 1 8 b3
48

ttJa3 1 9 i.b2 f6 20 ttJe1 ttJb5, and after 2 1


l:tac1 i.xe 1 22 Ihe 1 ttJxd4 23 i.xd4 l:txd4
24 l:txc7 l:tf7 the situation cleared and ended
in an even ending.
1 0 . . . ttJa4
Forcing the exchange of the bishop with
10 ... h6 1 1 i.xf6 'it'xf6 seems okay for Black.
Indeed in Sosonko-Ligterink, Hilversum
1 987 Black had a solid position with possi
bilities of healthy counterplay in the centre
after 1 2 0-0 0-0 1 3 ttJe4 e7 14 l:tac1 ttJd7
1 5 a3 i.d6 1 6 ttJc3 i.xf3 1 7 i.xf3 c6 1 8
ttJe4 i.c7 1 9 b 4 i.b6 20 l:tfdl l:tfd8.
1 1 J:tb 1

1 1 . . . d5?!
1 1 ...h6 is once again a sensible option,
with 1 2 i.xf6 'it'xf6 1 3 0-0 ttJxc3 1 4 bxc3
i.a5 giving White central control, while the
bishop pair helps Black's
. quest for equality.
1 2 iLxfS iLb5
The recapture 1 2 ...gxf6 invites White to
generate an initiative after 1 3 0-0 i.xc3 14
bxc3 ir"a5 15 c4, although this might be pref
erable to the text.
1 3 c2 xa2 1 4 0-0 ttJxc3 1 5 iLxg7
g8
1 5 ... ttJxbl 1 6 'it'xc7! .l:!.g8 1 7 ttJe5! l:txg7
1 8 xb7 a6 1 9 'it'xa8+ e7 20 i.c6 and
White's attack against the bare king is very
dangerous.
1 S J:ta 1 ttJxe2+ 1 7 'it>h 1 d5 1 8 xh7
O-O-O?
1 8 ... l:txg7 19 "iixg7 i.c6 20 h4 is clearly

4 . . . dx c 4 5 "ii a 4 +

better for White, but Black is holding on.


19 J:txa7

White has a decisive lead.


1 9 . . . c6 20 J:tfa 1
20 .i.e5 is clear-cut.
20 . . . "iif 5 21 "iix f5 exf5 22 i.f6 J:tdeS 23
i.e5 f4 24 i.h3 + J:te6 25 J:taS + 1 -0

Game 22
Alekhine-Rabar

Munich 1942
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lLlf3 lLlf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
"iia4+ i.d7 6 "iix c4 i.c6 7 i.g2 i.d5

S "iid 3
Other queen moves have been tried here.
After 8 'fia4+ .i.c6 9 'fidl e5!? 10 0-0 exd4
1 1 'iixd4 'iixd4 12 ttJxd4 .i.xg2 1 3 'it>xg2
.i.c5 the smoke begins to clear and Black
faces no problems, e.g. 14 ttJb3 ttJa6 1 5 ttJc3

.i.b6 1 6 .i.g5 ttJd7 1 7 .l:!adl h6 1 8 .i.f4 0-0-0


with a level game.
8 'it'c2 ttJc6 (8 . . . .i.e4 9 'fid 1 transposes to
8 d3 .i.e4 9 'iWdl) 9 'fia4 .i.b4+ 1 0 ttJc3
ttJe4 1 1 0-0 saw White sacrifice a pawn for
the initiative in S.Larsen-Thesing, Soro 1 982.
There followed 1 1 .. ..i.xc3 12 bxc3 ttJxc3 1 3
'it'c2 ttJe4 1 4 .i.a3 ttJd6 1 5 .i.xd6 'it'xd6 1 6
e4 ttJb4 1 7 e2 .i.c6 1 8 d 5 .i.d7 1 9 a3 ttJa6
20 e5 'it'e7 21 d6 cxd6 22 exd6 'it'xd6 23 ttJe5
and, despite being two pawns down, White's
active play furnished him ample compensa
tion.
S . . . c5
Andersson-Ille scas, Pamplona 1 997/98 is
the way to play this line for Black: 8 ... .i.e4 9
'it'd 1 c5 1 0 ttJc3 .i.c6 1 1 0-0 ttJbd7 1 2 .i.e3
.i.e7 13 dxc5 (typical Andersson) 1 3. .. .i.xc5
14 .i.xc5 ttJxc5 1 5 'fixd8+ llxd8 16 lIac1
'it>e7 1 7 b4 ttJcd7 and the ending was level,
although White was probably happy anyway!
9 lLlc3 i.c6 1 0 0-0 lLlbd7 1 1 J:td 1
The more direct approach with 1 1 e4
promises White an edge, l 1 ...cxd4 1 2 ttJxd4
ttJe5 1 3 'iWd 1 'i!ib6 14 ttJxc6 ttJxc6 1 5 'fia4
giving White the bishop pair and the more
active forces.
1 1 . . . cxd4
With 1 1 ...'iVb6 Black retains the tension in
the centre for a while. Gereben-Szabo, Bu
dapest 1 948 continued 12 e4 cxd4 13 ttJxd4
.i.c5 14 .i.e3 ttJe5 1 5 'fie2 ttJfg4 1 6 ttJxc6
.i.xe3 17 ttJxe5 .i.xf2+ 1 8 'it>h 1 ttJxe5 1 9
ttJa4 'it'a5 2 0 'it'xf2 'it'xa4 2 1 'it'c5 and Black
had a pawn but needed to address develop
ment, White's activity maintaining the bal
ance.
1 2 lLlxd4 i.xg2 1 3 Wxg2 i.e7 1 4 "iif 3!
The queen takes over the bishop's role on
the long diagonal.
1 4 . . . "iib 6?
14 . . .'ir'c8 also favours White after 15 ttJb3
ttJe5 1 6 'fif4 ttJc6 1 7 .i.e3, although this
improves on the game for Black. Now White
sacrifices material to generate an initiative.
1 5 i.e3! 0-0
49

Th e Ca t a l a n

15 .. :iVxb2? 1 6 ltJcb5 highlights White's


strategy. 1 5 ... ltJe5 16 ltJdb5 is also problem
atic for Black.
1 6 lDfS !ii.. c s
The continuation 16 .. :ii'd8 17 ltJxe7+
'iVxe7 1 8 'iVxb7 .l:tfb8 19 'ilc7 .l:txb2 20 ..td4
is given by Alekhine as being better for
White.
1 7 lDa4 'iWaS 1 8 lDxcS lDxcS

6 . . . a6
Not the only possibility. After 6 ... c6 7
'it'xc4 ..td6 8 0-0 e5 the break in the centre is
not entirely satisfying for Black, e.g. 9 ltJc3
0-0 1 0 .l:td1 'ike7 1 1 'ikb3 exd4 1 2 ltJxd4 i.c5
13 h3 ltJe5 14 ..tg5 h6 15 ..txf6 'iIxf6 1 6
ltJe4 'it'e7 1 7 ltJxc5 'iix c5 1 8 .l:tac1 and White
has a small advantage due to his lead in de
velopment. 6 ... ..te7 7 'it'xc4 0-0 8 0-0 a6 9
c2 c5 1 0 .l:td1 .l:ta7 1 1 e4 b6 1 2 ltJc3 .tb7
1 9 lDxg7!
A nice, traditional wrecking of the king
1 3 d5 exd5 1 4 e5 ltJe8 1 5 ltJxd5 saw White
seize the initiative in Lautier-Pinter, France
side from one of histoty's greatest attacking
players.
1 993, when Black had to surrender his light
1 9 . . .'xg7
squared bishop - 1 5 ... ..txd5 1 6 .l:txd5 ltJc7 1 7
.l:td3 ltJe6 1 8 b 3 'ilb8 1 9 i.b 2 .l:td8 2 0 .l:tad 1
19 ... ltJce4 20 b4! 'iie 5 21 ..tf4 'itb5 22 a4
(White really wants his bishop on the a1-h8
b5 21 h4 etc.
7 lDc3 !ii.. e 7
diagonal!) 22 .. .'ihb4 23 i.e5 is nice for
White.
Again Black has other options:
20 !ii.. d 4! lDce4 21 'ilixe4 'tiffS 22 'ilixfS
7 ... c5 8 0-0 .l:tb8 9 i.f4 b5 10 'ild1 .l:tb6 1 1
d5 (Black keeps his pawn but now White
exfS 23 ':!:!'ac 1 ':!:!'fe8 24 .:!:!.c7 ! ':!:!'xe2 2S
attacks in the centre) 1 1 ...exd5 1 2 ltJxd5
':!:!'xb7 'itig6 26 .bf6 'itixf6 27 .:!:!.d6 + ! 1 -0
In view of the continuation 27 ...g7 28
ltJxd5 1 3 xd5 ..tb7 1 4 d2 ii.e7 1 5 a4
with compensation for the pawn in Speel
.l:tdd7 .l:!.f8 29 '>itG .l:tc2 30 .l:tdc7 .l:td2 3 1
'it>e3.
man-Andersson, Hastings 1 980/8 1 . There
followed 1 5 ... ltJf6 1 6 'ilxd8+ i.xd8 1 7 .l:tfd1
ltJd5 1 8 axb5 ltJxf4 1 9 gxf4 .l:txb5 20 ltJe5
Black plays S . . . lDbd7
....-------------.
--. i.xg2 21 '>itxg2 i.c7 (21 ...l1xb2? is poor in
Game 23
view of 22 .uxd8+!) 22 ltJxc4 .txf4 23 .l:txa6
0-0 and Black had finally castled. White won
Andersson -A . Sokolov
the
pawn back but the game was equal. Also
Bar 1997
'-------... possible here is 8 ... cxd4 9 ltJxd4 'iWb6 10
ltJc2 i.e7 1 1 'it'xc4 0-0, when Black ad
1 d4 dS 2 c4 e6 3 lDf3 lDf6 4 g3 dxc4 S
dressed development and achieved a good
'ilia4+ lDbd7 6 !ii.. g 2
50

4 . . . dx c 4 5 'W a 4 +

position after 1 2 b4 ltJe5 1 3 'iVb3 .i.d7 1 4


.i.e3 'it'c 7 1 5 l:Iac1 .i.c6 1 6 .i.xc6 ltJxc6 1 7
.i.f4 'iVb6 i n Lindberg-Jakovenko, Oropesa
2001 .
7 ... .l:Ib8 looks sensible. 8 'iixc4 b5 9 'iYd3
.i.b7 1 0 0-0 c5 1 1 .i.f4 .l:i.c8 1 2 dxc5 .i.xc5 1 3
Itadl 0-0 1 4 ltJe5 and White was trying to
generate an initiative In Andersson
Kasparov, Belgrade (6) 1 985, which went
14 ...1Lxg2 1 5 'It>xg2 ltJxe5 1 6 .i.xe5 .i.e7 1 7
'it'f3 'it'a s 1 8 it'b7 .l:i.fe8 1 9 a3 b 4 (securing a
level game) 20 .i.xf6 gxf6 21 axb4 'it'xb4 22
Wixb4 .i.xb4 23 ltJe4 'It>g7 24 ltJd6 with a
draw. Returning to the 1 2th move, the more
sophisticated 1 2 ... b4 has also been tried. In
Mochalov-Sveshnikov, Minsk 2000 compli
cations soon led to the arrival of the ending
phase after 1 3 ltJa4 'it'a5 1 4 ltJb6 ltJxc5 1 5
ltJc4 it'b5 1 6 ltJd6+ .i.xd6 1 7 xb5+ axb5
1 8 .i.xd6 ltJfe4 1 9 1Lxc5 .l:i.xc5, when Black's
activity was sufficient to maintain the bal
ance: 20 .i:tfc1 'It>e7 21 .l:i.xc5 ltJxc5 22 .l:i.c1
.l:!.c8 23 ltJe5 ltJa4 24 .uxc8 1Lxc8 etc.
8 lLle5

8 . . . 0-0
Another Andersson game went 8 .. J::tb 8 9
ltJxd7 (or 9 'iYxc4 c5 1 0 ltJxd7 'iYxd7 1 1 .i.f4
b5 1 2 'iVd3 c4 1 3 'iYc2 .i:tb6 with counterplay
for Black) 9 ...'iVxd7 10 'iYxc4 b5 1 1 'iVd3
1Lb7 1 2 .i.xb7 ':'xb7 1 3 Wio .l:i.b6 1 4 0-0
'it'c6 1 5 'ii'xc6+ l::txc 6 and Black was well
developed in Andersson-Hubner, Tilburg
1 98 1 , with White getting no chance to ex-

ploit the c-file or the often weakened c5square. Consequently 16 .i.g5 l:Ic4! 17 e3 c5
1 8 1Lxf6 gxf6 19 dxc5 0-0 20 l:tac1 l:!.d8 21
ltJb 1 .l:i.xc5 22 .l:i.xc5 .i.xc5 23 .l:i.c1 .i.b4 left
Black with the superior ending .
9 lLlxd7
9 ltJxc4 has also been played. Black was
never in danger in the opening in Poluljahov
Zakharevich, St. Petersburg 200 1 , which
went 9 ... c5 10 dxc5 1Lxc5 1 1 0-0 .l:i.b8 1 2
'it'dl 'ii'c 7 1 3 1Lf4 e5 1 4 .i.e3 b5 1 5 .i.xc5
ltJxc5 1 6 ltJe3 .i.b7 1 7 1Lxb7 .l:i.xb7 1 8 .l:i.c1
'ii'd 8 etc.
9 . . . .i.xd7 1 0 'Wxc4 b5 1 1 'Wb3 b4 1 2
lLle4 .i.b5 1 3 lLlxf6 + .i.xf6 1 4 .i.e3
Also possible is the greedy 14 .i.xa8 'ifxa8
1 5 0, although in the following lines Black
obtains healthy compensation: 1 5 ... 1Lxd4 1 6
.i.e3 (1 6 'ii'xb4 c 5 1 7 'iVb3 e 5 1 8 a4 .i.d7 is
fine for Black as White still needs to com
plete development) 1 6 ... e5! 1 7 .l:i.c1 (White
must be careful here, e.g. 1 7 .i.xd4 exd4 1 8
'ii'xb4? .l:i.e8 1 9 0-0-0 c5! with the better
chances for Black thanks to his busier pieces
and White's insecure king) 1 7 ... c5 18 .i.xd4
exd4 1 9 .i:txc5 .l:i.e8 20 .l:i.xb5 (White returns
the exchange and secures equality) 20 ... axb5
21 'it'f2 'iVa7! 22 .i:te1 c5 etc. (A.Sokolov)
1 4 . . J:tb8 1 5 l:td 1 c5!

Black temporarily sacrifices a pawn in or


der to activate his forces. Note that White's
king is still in the centre.
1 6 dxc5 'Wa5 1 7 l:td2 .i.a4 1 8 'Wc4 .i.c3!
51

Th e Ca t a l a n

Black continues t o play with purpose.


1 9 O-O! i.b5 20 'tib3
20 'ii'g4? is poor in view of 20 ....i.xd2 21
.i.xd2 'ii'xa2 and White has lost a pawn for
no compensation.
20 . . . i.xd2
20 ... .ta4 21 'it'c4 .i.b5 with a repetition.
2 1 i.xd2 i.xe2 22 l:!.e 1
The passed pawn on the c-ftle gives White
only a little compensation.
22 . . . it'b5
22 ... 'ii'c7 23 c6 as is more accurate, with
an edge for Black.
23 e6 a5 24 i.e3 a4 25 it'e2 i.d3 26
'tid 1 i.e4 27 b3 axb3 28 axb3 i.e2 29
'tie2 l:!.be8 30 h3
Now it is difficult for Black to proceed.
30 . . . e5 31 'tib2 f6 32 ..t>h2 i.h5 33 l:!.e5
%-%

After 3 3... 'it'd3 3 4 'iVxd2 'il'xd2 3 5 .txd2


.i.f7 36 .txb4 .txb3 37 c7 Wf7 38 .tb7 .te6
the position is balanced.

Game 24
H Gbner-Smyslov

TilbufJ!, 1982
1 d4 d 5 2 e4 e6 3 liJf3 liJf6 4 g3 dxe4 5
'tia4+ liJbd7 6 it'xe4

6 . . . a6
The immediate break in the centre with
6 ... c5 is also possible, bringing the game to a
new junction. For example in Karpov52

Korchnoi, Moscow (8) 1 974, Black devel


oped fluidly and had no problems after 7
.i.g2 b6 8 0-0 .i.b7 9 l:tdl a6 1 0 dxc5 .txc5
1 1 b4 .te7 12 .tb2 b5 13 'ii'd4 l:tc8 1 4
lLlbd2 0-0. Also possible here i s 8 lLle5 cxd4
9 lLlxf7! 'it>xf7 10 .txa8 lLlc5 when White
wins the exchange but lags behind in devel
opment, and must face Black's counterplay.
7 dxc5 .txc5 8 .tg2 a6 (8 ...'il'c7 9 lLla3!?
might favour White) 9 'ifb3 l:!.a7 1 0 a4 and
now the direct 1 O ... b5 1 1 axb5 'it'b6 1 2 0-0
'ilVxb5 1 3 'ilVxb5 axb5 1 4 l:txa7 .i.xa7 1 5 lLlc3
keeps White ahead in the development race
and therefore earns him an edge. Chetverik
Vujosevic, Gyongyos 1 997 instead continued
1 0 ... b6 1 1 0-0 .i.b7 1 2 lLlc3 'iVa8, when Black
should be fine in the hedgehog position that
results from 1 3 lLlh4 .i.xg2 14 lLlxg2 0-0 1 5
.i.e3 etc.
7 'ilfe2 e5 8 i.g2 b6
Grivas-Kourkounakis, Athens 1 996 went
8 ... cxd4 9 lLlxd4 .ll.b4+ 10 .ll. d2 'it'e7 1 1 0-0
0-0 12 J:td 1 lLlb6 1 3 .i.xb4 'il'xb4 14 lLlc3
and Black had problems with queenside de
velopment.
9 liJe5
G.Agzamov-Zaid, USSR 1 984 demon
strated an interesting approach to the posi
tion: 9 dxc5 .i.xc5 10 lLlg5!? llb8 1 1 lLlc3
.i.b7 12 0-0 .i.xg2 1 3 Wxg2 'ilVc8 14 l:tdl
'itb 7+ 1 5 f3 0-0 1 6 lLlce4 lLlxe4 17 lLlxe4
.i.e7 1 8 lLld6 (after this exchange White has
the superior minor piece) 1 8 ... .i.xd6 1 9 1Ixd6
l:tbc8 20 'it'dl and White was better.
9 . . . liJd5 1 0 liJe3
The aggressive 10 lLlc6!? 'iVc7 1 1 e4 is in
teresting. Zaitchik-A.Ivanov, Beltsy 1 977
continued 1 1 ...'ii'x c6 1 2 exd5 exd5 1 3 lLlc3
lLlf6 1 4 .i.g5 cxd4 1 5 .i.xf6 dxc3 1 6 1l.xc3
and Black once again experienced develop
ment difficulties. There followed 1 6 ... .i.e6 17
'it'e2 'iWb5 18 'ii'e 5 c8 1 9 a4 'ii'c 4 20 .i.fl
'iie4+ 21 'ii'xe4 dxe4 22 .i.xa6, White win
ning back the pawn with advantage.
1 0 . . . i.b7
1O ...lLlxe5 1 1 lLlxd5 exd5 12 dxe5 .i.e7 13

4 . . . dx c 4 5 'Wi a 4 +

0-0 0-0 1 4 f4 and White has an initiative on


the kingside.
1 1 liJxd5 exd5 1 2 0-0 !il.. e 7 1 3 J:td 1 0-0
1 4 'Wif5
14 f4 l:!.c8 1 5 ..wfS is more precise.
14 . . . liJxe5 1 5 dxe5 J:ta7 !

28 . . . J:txa2 29 J:tac 1 J:t2a4 30 'ii"c 5 'Wixc5


3 1 J:txc5 J:ta 1 32 J:tcc 1
32 l:[xa 1 l:!.xa 1 33 'it>f1 d3 34 l:[d5 e4 35 f3
xb2 36 fxe4 iLc3 is poor for White.
32 . . . J:txc 1 33 J:txc 1 e4! 34 '1t>f 1 J:ta2 35
J:tb 1 '1t>f7 36 !il.. b4 J:ta4 37 !il.. d 2 '1t>e6 38
h4 '1t>d5
Black has control of the centre and supe
rior forces.
39 '1t>e 1 J:ta2 40 h 5 d3 4 1 !il.. c 1 !il.. d 4 42
g4 b4 43 g5
43 .td2 xb2 44 xb4 doesn't work for
White in view of 44 .. d4 45 .td2 .txf2+.
43 . . . 1:.a8
The threat of ... J:Ih8 forces White into a
hopeless rook ending.
44 !il.. e 3 !il.. x e3 45 fxe3 J:th8 46 J:ta 1 J:txh5
47 J:ta7 g6 48 J:ta6 J:th2 49 J:txg6 J:te2+
,?O '1t>d 1 J:txe3 51 J:tg8 J:tg3 52 '1t>d2 '1t>c4
53 b3 + '1t>xb3 54 g6 J:tg2+ 55 '1t>e3 d2
56 J:td8 '1t>c2 57 J:tc8 + '1t>d 1 0-1
.

1 6 e6?!
White goes for the direct attack in the cen
tre. Other tries don't promise an advantage,
e.g. 1 6 'iVd3 'iVc7 1 7 xd5 xd5 1 8 'it'xd5
l:!.d8 1 9 'iib 3 l:txd 1+ 20 'it'xd 1 'iVxe5 with an
equal game, or Smyslov's 1 6 e3 g6 1 7 'iVf4 f6
1 8 e6 'it'c8, when Black frees himself success
fully.
1 6 . . . d4 1 7 !il.. x b7 J:txb7 1 8 e3 !il.. f 6 1 9
exd4 e7 ! 20 !il.. e 3
20 exf7+ l:1fxf7 21 ..wd3 'it'xd4! 22 'iVb3 c4
hands over the initiative to Black.
20 . . .fxe6 21 'Wig4 h5! 22 'Wixh5
This is better than 22 'iVe4 cxd4 23 xd4
l:!.d7 24 'it'xe6+ 'it>h8 25 'ii'xd7 'ii'x d7 26
.i.xf6 'it'e6 27 .td4 when White suffers on
the light squares.
22 . . .cxd4 23 'Wie2 'ii"d 5!
The centralization of the queen and
Black's centre are more important features
here than the a-pawn.
24 'ii"x a6 b5 25 'Wia5 e5 26 !il.. d 2 J:ta8 27
'Wib4 J:tea7 28 !il.. e 1
White should prefer the more adventur
ous 28 l:1ac1 l:txa2 29 l:!.c5 'iWf3 30 l:!.dc1
..wd3! 31 l:!.xb5 h7, although Black retains
the initiative.

Game 25
Alekhine-Junge

Prague 1942
1 d4 d 5 2 c4 e6 3 liJf3 liJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
'ii"a 4+ liJbd7 6 'ii"x c4 a6 7 !il.. g 2

7 . . . b5
Also possible is 7 ... c5 8 dxc5 .txc5 9 'it'd3
b5!?, as played in Nogueiras-Marjanovic,
Sarajevo 1 985, which continued 10 4Je5 4Jd5
1 1 4Jxd7 xd7 12 4Jc3 4Jb4 13 'ii'b l c6
53

Th e Ca t a l a n

1 4 0-0 Jixg2 1 5 xg2 0-0 1 6 a 4 d5 1 7


l:t d 1 xc3! (from here the rest is practically
forced) 1 8 l:txd8 xb 1 1 9 lIxa8 lha8 20
axb5 a3! 21 bxa3 axb5 22 l:tb1 Jixa3 23
Jixa3 l:txa3 and a draw was agreed.
S 'iWc6
8 'ii'c 2?! is less ambitious. 8 ... c5 9 0-0 Jib7
10 c3 l:tc8 1 1 dxc5 Jixc5 12 3 6
looked fine for Black in Skatchkov-Lastin,
Nizhnij Novgorod 1 999. After 1 3 a4 b4 1 4
a 5 Wia7 1 5 a4 i.d5 1 6 'it'd1 'iVb7 1 7 e1
Jia7 18 i.xd5 xd5 19 d3 h5 this unex
pected pawn advance enabled Black to create
an initiative: 20 f4 5f6 21 b6 i.xb6 22
axb6 h4 etc.
White delayed castling in Grabaczyk
Krasenkow, Lubniewice 1 998, so after 9 a4
Jib7 1 0 dxc5 i.xc5 1 1 axb5 axb5 1 2 l:txa8
'ii'x a8 1 3 c3 0-0 Black was the first to
complete development, seizing the initiative
after 1 4 xb5 i.e4 1 5 'it'd1 e5 1 6 0-0 l:td8
1 7 'iVe1 ? xf}+ 1 8 Jixf3 Jixf3 1 9 exf3 'ii'x f3
20 c3 l:td3! 21 Jif4 g4 22 e4 xf2! 23
xf2 l:td1 ! with a decisive lead.
S . . . .l:!.bS
8 ... .l:!.a7 is a bit awkward. 9 'it'c2 Jib7 1 0
0-0 c 5 1 1 a4 a8 1 2 axb5 axb5 1 3 l:txa7
'iVxa7 14 a3 is given as slightly better for
White by Neistadt as Black still needs to ad
dress his development. Pogorelov-Korneev,
Albacete 2000 went instead 9 i.f4 i.b7 1 0
c2 c 5 1 1 dxc5 Jixc5 1 2 0-0 0-0 1 3 bd2
d5 1 4 b3 xf4 1 5 gxf4 Jib6 1 6 l:tfd1
'iVe7 1 7 l:tac1 h6 1 8 bd4 .l:!.e8 1 9 e3 b8
with an unclear position in which Black has
the bishop pair but White the more active
pieces.
9 0-0
9 i.g5 i.b7 10 i.xf6 Jib4+ 1 1 bd2
i.xd2+ 1 2 Wxd2 gxf6 1 3 'it'c3 c5 and White's
king was stuck in the centre in Reschke
Meijers, Germany 2000. After 14 l:thc1 c4 1 5
We1 b6 1 6 'iVd2 0-0 1 7 'iWf4 Wh8 1 8 'iVh4
l:tg8 1 9 Wfl f5 20 'ii'x d8 l:tgxd8 21 e5
l:txd4 22 xf7+ <J;;g7 23 Jixb7 'it>xf7 24 i.f3
l::td2 25 l::t ab 1 l::t b d8 Black entered the ending
54

the happier of the two.


9 . . . ii.b7 1 0 'iWc2 c5

1 1 a4
1 1 c3 I:tc8 transposes to 8 'iWc2 c5 9 0-0
Jib 7 1 0 c3 l:tc8.
1 1 . . . ii.xf3?!
The decision to grab material is risky, lead
ing Keres to suggest 1 1 ...l:tc8 1 2 'ib3 'iVb6
1 3 a3 Jic6 1 4 e5 xe5 1 5 dxe5 4Jd5
with counterplay.
1 2 ii.xf3 cxd4 1 3 axb5 axb5 1 4 .l:!.d 1

1 4 . . . 'iWb6
Other continuations are good for White,
e.g. 1 4 ... Jic5 1 5 i.f4 e5 16 Jixe5 4Jxe5 1 7
'ii'x c5, o r 1 4. . .e 5 1 5 e3! when the opening of
the position is to White's benefit.
1 5 ttJd2 e5
In the event of 1 5 ... 4Je5 1 6 b3 4Jxf3+
1 7 exf3 White is in the driving seat. If Black
tries to hold on to the d4-pawn he can get

4 . . . dx c 4 5 'iVa 4 +

into serious trouble, e.g. 1 7 ... l:td8 1 8 4Jxd4!


.tIxd4 1 9 l:ta8+ <j;; e 7 20 .lte3 and White is
winning. 1 5 ... .ltc5 1 6 4Jb3 presents White
with compensation.
16 ttJb3 ttJc5?!
Better is 16 ... e7 1 7 e3 dxe3 18 xe3
'iVe6, when 19 4Ja5! earns White compensa
tion.
1 7 ttJxc5 Jtxc5?

23 . . Jhc8 24 e4! 'iWb3 25 11a 1 ! b4 26


.!:taS + b5 27 .!:ta5 + cS 28 'iVc5+ d7
29 .!:ta7 + 1 -0
Black is mated.

Game 26
Cu . H ansen-Van Wely

Istanbul 2000

Inviting a brilliant reply. After the more


circumspect 1 7 ...'iNxc5 1 8 .ltc6+ 4Jd7 1 9
'i'xc5 .ltxc5 20 l:ta5 White has only a modest
edge.
1 8 naS ! ! 'iVxa6 1 9 'ii'x c5 'ilVe6 20 Jtc6 +
0Jd7
Alekhine gives 20 ... <j;;d 8 21 d2 b4 22
.tIal ! 4Jd7 23 xd7 'ii'xd7 24 l:ta7 and White
is wmrnng.
21 Jtxd 7 + xd7 22 'iVa7 + cS 23 Jtd2!

Black's king is stranded.

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJfS 4 g3 dxc4 5


'iVa4+ ttJbd7 S 'iWxc4 as 7 Jtg2 b5 8 'iVc6
.!:tb8 9 Jtf4 ttJd5
011- Morozevich, Groningen 1 997 went
9 ... i.b4+!? to 4Jbd2 (to i.d2 i.c5!? is inter
esting, 1 1 dxc5 .ltb7 1 2 4Je5 .ltxc6 1 3 tDxc6
"iVc8 1 4 4Ja7 introducing a draw by repetition) to . . i.b7 1 1 'it'xc7 'iVxc7 12 i.xc7 .tIc8
13 i.f4 l:tc2 when, for the pawn sacrifice,
Black has an active position. After 14 0-0
4Jd5 1 5 tDb3! l:txb2 1 6 i.d2 tDc3 17 i.xc3
i.xc3 1 8 l:tfc 1 b4 Black was doing well as the
game moved into an ending, with the bishop
pair and a dangerous queenside majority.
Morozcvich evaluates 1 4 a3 i.xd2+ 1 5 i.xd2
l:txb2 as unclear.
1 0 Jtg5
.

1 0 . . . Jte7
Again 1O ... i.b4+?! is possible. After 1 1
tDbd2 4Je7 1 2 .ltxe7 .ltxe7 1 3 l:tc1 White
controls the c-file and has the better chances,
but this is a lesser evil for Black than the
eccentric
12 .. .'itxe7?!, when Smyslov
S.Polgar, London 1 996 left White better after
55

Th e C a t a l a n

1 3 'it'c2 iLb7 1 4 a 3 iLxd2+ 1 5 'iixd2 f6 1 6


l:. c 1 nc8 1 7 'iVb4+ c;t> e 8 1 8 0-0.
1 1 i.xe7 'i'xe7 1 2 ttJc3 i.b7
12 ... liJb4?! leads to wild complications: 1 3
'it'xc7! liJc2+ 1 4 c;t>dl ! liJxal 1 5 liJe5! 'iVd8!
1 6 'it'xd8+ c;t>xd8 1 7 liJc6+ (better than 1 7
liJxf7+ c;t>e7 1 8 liJxh8 b4 1 9 liJa4 b 3 and
Black is doing fine) 1 7 ...c;t>c7 1 8 liJxb8 and
now Monin-Vul, Kecskemet 1 992 went
1 8 ... c;t>xb8 1 9 c;t>d2 liJb6 20 l::tx al b4 21 liJdl
l:td8, when Black gets his pawn back after 22
e3 e5 but walks into the clever 23 b3 exd4 24
e4 (Vul) with the better prospects for White,
whose knight will find a good outpost on d3.
Illescas-Onischuk, Wijk aan Zee 1 997 went
1 8 ... liJxb8 1 9 c;t>d2 :d8 20 e3 e5, when Illes
cas proposes 21 :tc1 with advantage to
White, who keeps the extra pawn.
Also interesting is 1 2 ...'iVb4!? 1 3 0-0 liJxc3
1 4 bxc3 'it'd6 1 5 'it'xd6 cxd6, when the end
ing is okay for Black. Atalik-Li Wenliang,
Beijing 1 996 was agreed drawn after 1 6 a4
bxa4 1 7 l:txa4 c;t>e7 1 8 l:1fa 1 l::tb 2 1 9 e3 iLb7
20 liJe 1 iLxg2 21 c;t>xg2 l::t c 8 22 l:txa6 .l:!.xc3
23 .l:!.6a2 .l:!.xa2 24 lha2.
1 3 ttJxd5 i.xc6 1 4 ttJxe7 <tIxe7

1 5 l:tc 1
1 5 0-0 gives Black the opportunity to
launch the c-pawn. Wojtkiewicz-Kaidanov,
New York 1 993 is a good example, when

56

1 5 ... iLxf3 1 6 iLxf3 c 5 1 7 dxc5 liJxc5 1 8 .l:i.fc 1


slightly favours White. The bishop i s better
than the knight, but Black's king is active
near the centre. There followed 1 8 ....l':thc8 1 9
.l:!.c2 liJd7 20 l::t ac1 liJb6 2 1 .l:!.xc8 .l:!.xc8 22
.l:i.xc8 liJxc8 23 iLb7 liJd6 24 iLxa6 c;t>d7 25
b3 c;t>c6 26 a4 c;t>b6 27 iLxb5 liJxb5 28 axb5
c;t>xb5 29 c;t>g2 c;t>b4 30 f3 c;t>xb3 with a
draw.
1 5 " .i.d5 ! ?
Black also has 1 5 .. J:tb6 1 6 0-0 .uc8, e.g. 1 7
liJd2 iLxg2 1 8 c;t>xg2 c5 1 9 dxc5 xc5 20
liJb3 l::t x c1 21 i:txc 1 , when the knight is bet
ter on b3. Thanks to his control of the c-ftle
White has the slightly better prospects. Gle
izerov-Serper, Moscow 1 992 proved less
attractive for White after 1 7 liJg5 iLxg2 1 8
c;t>xg2 .l:i.d6! ' 1 9 e3?! when, i f he had time for
liJe4, he would enjoy a solid advantage.
However, 1 9 ... c5 20 dxc5 l:td5! is enough for
a small lead for Black.
1 6 l:txc7 l:thc8 1 7 l:ta7
1 7 l:txc8 l::tx c8 1 8 c;t>d2 liJf6 and Black
controls the light squares in the centre and
has compensation for the pawn.
1 7 " .11a8
Also possible is 1 7...l::t c 2!? 1 8 0-0 f6, again
with compensation.
1 8 l:txa8 i.xa8 1 9 <tId2 ttJf6 20 ttJe 1
20 l:tgl seems too slow. After 20 .. J::tc4 21
liJe5 lhd4+ 22 c;t>e3 J:td8 23 iLxa8 l:txa8 24
.l:!.c1 the idea is to generate activity but Black
defends successfully with 24 ... liJd5+.
20" .i.xg2 21 ttJxg2 l:td8 22 e3 ttJe4+ 23
<tIe2 l:tc8
Black is very active.
24 ttJe 1 l:tc 1 25 l:tg 1 f5 26 f3 ttJf6 27
l:tg2
Or 27 c;t>d2 l:tal 28 a3 liJd5 with
compensation.
27 " .ttJd5 28 e4 fxe4 29 fxe4 ttJf6 30
ttJd3 l:tc4 31 ttJe5 l:tc2 + 32 <tIf3 l:txg2 33
<tIxg2 ttJxe4 Yz Y2
-

4 . . . dx c 4 5 a 4 +

Summary
After 5 ... c6 6 'it'xc4 b5 7 i*'c2 b7 8 g2 lLibd7 the continuation 9 lLie5 is the most interest
ing available to White, albeit one that offers nothing more than equality. Black has 9 ... lLixe5 1 0
dxe5 lLid5!, closing the dangerous h l -a8 diagonal, but perhaps 9 ...'iVb6 i s even more precise,
attacking the d4-pawn and renewing the threat of ... c6-c5.
There is also another defence that confl11TI s 5 'ifa4+ lacks punch. After 5 ... d7 6 'iVxc4
.ic6 7 g2 the game Andersson-Illescas is perhaps the most exact advertisement: 7 ... d5 8
'l'd3 e4 9 'iVdl c5 1 0 lLic3 c6 etc.
Black can, step by step, equalize in the 5 ... lLibd7 variation. As is demonstrated in Game 24,
Black should not fear 6 'iVxc4 a6 7 'iVc2 c5 8 g2. Actually this is the position from the variation 5 ... c6 6 'it'xc4 b5 7 'iVc2 b7 8 g2 lLibd7 with the extra tempo ... a7-a6 (as Black will
play ... c6-c5 later in that line, but here do it in one go with ... c7-c5), which is therefore a definite improvement on a position considered fine for Black. It is interesting that the same posi
tion can occur after the main continuation 8 'i'c6 :tb8 (after 9 0-0 b7 10 'iVc2 c5) . For Black
it is enough to play ... :b8-c8, which guarantees him an equal game. Therefore White most
often aims to use the position of the queen on c6 for an attack on the weakened c7-square
with 9 f4.
Black can sacrifice a pawn in order to activate his pieces with 9 ... b4 (Morozevich). In
Game 26, Hansen-Van Wely, we see that in the main line after 9 ...lLid5 10 iLg5 e7 1 1 xe7
'i'xe7 the chances are approximately even.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 eS 3 liJf3 liJfS 4 g3 dxc4 5 a4+ liJbd7
5 ... c6 6 'it'xc4 b5 7 'iVc2 b7 8 g2 lLibd7 (DJ
9 0-0 - Game 19; 9 lLie5 - Game 20
5 ... d7 6 'i'xc4
6 ... c5 7 dxc5 c6 8 g2 - see Game 76 (Chapter 7)
6...c6 7 g2 (DJ
7 ... lLibd7 - Game 2 1 ; 7...d5 - Game 22
S xc4
6 g2 a6 7 lLic3 - Game 23
S . . . aS 7 .i.g2
7 'iVc2 - Game 24
7 . . . b5 8 cS b8 (DJ
9 0-0 - Game 25; 9 f4 - Game 26

8. . . liJbd7

7 .i.g2

8. . . b8
57

CHA PTER FOUR

The Semi-Open Catalan :


4 . . . dxc4 5 i.. g 2 i.. e 7 6 0-0 0-0

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tDf3 tDf6 4 g3 dxc4 5


.i.g2 .i.e 7 6 0-0 0-0
In this chapter we consider the lines where
Black simply completes development and
refrains from defending the extra pawn on c4.
This approach is the so-called Semi-Open
Catalan (from now on the sq and is one of
the most popular systems. Here, as a rule, the
game is less sharp than strategic in nature.
The position after 6 0-0 0-0 arises in the
main via the move order 1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3
ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 iLe7 5 iLg2 0-0 6 0-0 dxc4.
But all roads lead to Rome and, once you are
there, you look at the city rather than the
route behind you.
Now 7 ttJbd2 allows Black to defend his
extra pawn with 7".b5, which is not desirable
for White, of course. 7 a4 prevents ".b7-b5
but in itself is not a useful developing move.
The gambit continuation 7 ttJc3 was quite
popular at the end of the eighties and during
the beginning of the nineties, but over the last
few years this interest has cooled down. After
7".ttJc6 8 e3 it is not good for Black to play
8".ttJd7 (Game 27). Black should prefer
8".l:tb8 with the intention of ".b 7 -b5, or
8".iLd6 with ".e6-e5. Practice has proved that
Black has good counter-chances here. Perhaps
White has to pay attention to the sharp 8 e4 if
he wants to keep this gambit line alive.
58

The 7 ttJa3 line i s a very eccentric option


which leads to sharp positions that can fea
ture odd pawn structures. For example after
7".iLxa3 8 bxa3 White's queenside is de
stroyed. As compensation White has the
bishop pair, a strong pawn centre and poten
tial play on the semi-open b- and c-ftles.
Nevertheless Black has different ways to
neutralize White's initiative.
The continuation 7 ttJe5 looks quite natural.
White attacks the c4-pawn and increases the
pressure on the long diagonal. For a long time
this variation was considered to be the most
effective weapon against the Sc. Then GM
Kuzmin discovered an eccentric queen ma
noeuvre that begins with 7...'it'd6. Now after 8
ttJxc4 'ii'a6 the queen both vacates the d-file for
the rook and protects b7. However, White can
reach an advantage in numerous ways.
The old-fashioned 7".c5 has practically
disappeared from modern practice. After 8
dxc5 White easily gets a slight but enduring
edge. In fact in this line White can even gen
erate a kingside offensive, e.g. 8".iLxcs 9
ttJc3 'ifc7 1 0 ttJxc4 iLxf2 1 1 ktxf2 'it'xc4 1 2
ktxf6! gxf6 1 3 iLh6 (Game 30) .
In the game Gheorgiu-Robatsch, Helsinki
1 972 the Austrian GM played the unbeliev
able 7".ttJc6!? - Black returns the pawn and
sees his queenside ruined in return for

Th e S e m i- Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 g 2 e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

slightly better development and pressure


down the b-file. Here White has a major
choice between 8 jLxc6 bxc6 9 4Jxc6 e8
10 4Jxe7 'iVxe7 1 1 'iVa4 (Game 31), 8 4Jxc6
bxc6 9 e3 (Game 32) and the more popular 8
ttJxc6 bxc6 9 4Ja3 (Games 33 & 34).
The main line these days is 7 'tic2, with
the obvious aim of restoring material equity.
If Black tries to protect his extra pawn with
... b7-b5 he can quickly lose material after 8 a4
c6? 9 axb5 cxb5 1 0 4Jg5.
After 7 'iVc2 c5 White has a steady edge
similar to that after 7 4Je5 c5. The most
common reply to 7 'iVc2 is 7 ... a6. Now White
has to decide whether he wants to take on c4
immediately or first prevent ... b7-b5 with 8
a4. The 8 a4 line has, over time, become very
popular. The defences 8 ... b6 and 8 ... 4Jbd7
have disappeared from recent practice, and
even 8 ... 4Jc6 is seldom seen. After 9 'iVxc4
'iVd5 10 4Jbd2 l:td8 1 1 e3 Black rehabilitated
1 1 ...i.d7 in Lahner-Michenka with tactics,
replying to 12 4Je5?! 4Jxe5 13 'iVc7 with
13 ... 4Jc6! etc. However, after the quiet 12 b3
Black's position is passive.
In the case of 8 ... c5 (Game 35) 9 4Jbd2
cxd4 1 0 4Jxc4 4Jc6 1 1 l:tdl 4Jd5 it is interest
ing to play 1 2 4Jd4, but it seems that this is
not enough for an advantage. Instead White
obtains the better prospects after 9 dxc5 i.xc5
10 tLlbd2 4Jc6 1 1 4Jxc4 'ii'e7 12 4Jfe5.
Today, after 8 a4, most players prefer
8 ... jLd7 to try to place the bishop on the long
diagonal. White gets very little from exchang
ing this bishop with 9 4Je5 i.c6 1 0 4Jxc6
tLlxc6 because Black is well developed. After
8 ... i.d7 White should choose between 9 l:tdl
i.c6 10 4Jc3 (Games 36 & 37) and 9 'it'c4
(Games 38-40) .
The immediate 8 'iVxc4 permits Black's
bishop to occupy the long diagonal after
8 ... b5 9 c2 jLb7. The drawback of this
continuation from Black's point of view is
the weakening of the queenside pawns. The
main plan for Black here is the advance ... c7c5. For example after 10 i.g5 Black often

plays ... c7-c5 without any trouble. Such posi


tions tend to be equal. This is why most
players now prefer to develop the dark
squared bishop on f4 (Games 41 & 42) or d2
(Games 43-45) . After 1 0 jLf4 i.d6 or 1 0
i.d2 jLd6 the further 1 1 i.g5 makes more
sense as it is difficult for Black to achieve
... c7-c5 (see the notes to Game 43). After 1 0
i.f4 w e consider 1 O ...4Jc6 i n Game 41 and
1 O ... 4Jd5 in Game 42. We discuss various
possibilities for Black after 1 0 jLd2 in Game
43, and various 1 1 th moves for Black after
1 0 i.d2 i.e4 1 1 c1 in Game 44. The main
answer, the subtle manoeuvre 1 1 ...i.b7, is
considered in Game 45.

Game 27
Wojtkiewicz-Dzhandzhgava

Hastings 1989/90
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 liJf3 liJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
g2 e7 6 0-0
Another move is 6 4Jc3, one sample game
going 6...0-0 7 4Je5 c5 8 dxc5 'tic7 9 4Jxc4
'ii'x c5 1 0 3 4Jc6 1 1 jLe3 4Jd4 1 2 i.xd4
'ii'xd4 1 3 0-0 l:tb8, when White had some
pressure on the queenside in Gelfand
Speelman, linares 1 99 1 , although Black
managed to free himself in the event of 1 4
l:tfd1 c5 1 5 l;Iac1 jLd7 1 6 4Je4 'iib5 1 7
'ii'd 3 l:tfd8 1 8 4Jed6 'iVa6 1 9 4Je3 b 5 20 'iVa3
'ii'b 6, with an equal middlegame position.
6 . . . 0-0

59

Th e C a t a la n

7 tDc3
Also possible is 7 ttJbd2 bs S a4 c6 9 ttJes
ttJds 10 e4 ttJf6 1 1 ds with a typical break in
the centre in Kostic-Cvetkovic, Yugoslavia
1 993. There followed 1 1 ...iVc7! 1 2 ttJxc6
ttJxc6 1 3 dxc6 iVxc6 1 4 axbs iVxbs 1 5 es
ttJds 1 6 iVg4 i.a6 1 7 ttJe4 'it>hS 1 S ttJc3,
when Black sacrificed the exchange and had
a good position after 1 S ... ttJxc3!? 19 i.xaS
l:txaS 20 bxc3 i.b7.
The advance 7 a4 ttJc6 S as looks hann
less and Black shouldn't experience any
problems. S ....l:!.bS 9 'iVc2 ttJxd4 (9 ... bs!? is
interesting, , 1 0 axb6 axb6 1 1 iVxc4 i.b7 1 2
ttJc3 ttJas evaluated as equal b y Kozul) 1 0
ttJxd4 iVxd4 1 1 i.e3 'iVd6! 1 2 i.xa7 .t!.aS 1 3
i.e3 ttJds i s pleasant for Black according to
Kotronias. Nor does 1 2 'iVxc4 promise
White more than equality after 12 ...ttJds 1 3
i.xa7 :taS 1 4 i.d4 c s 1 5 i.c3 bs!? 1 6 iVxbs
i.a6, when the situation is unclear.
7 . . . tDc6
7 ... cs S dxcs ttJc6 9 'iVa4 'iVas 1 0 'iWxc4
es!? (10 ...iVxcs 1 1 'iVxcs i.xcs 1 2 i.gs
slightly favours White) 1 1 i.e3 i.e6 1 2 iVa4
'iVxa4 1 3 ttJxa4 ttJds 1 4 i.d2 f5 was
Scheeren-O.Rodriquez, Eindhoven 1 9S6. It
looks as if Black has compensation for the
pawn, but with active play White managed to
drum up an initiative with 1 5 e4! fxe4 1 6
ttJgs i.xgs 1 7 i.xgs h 6 1 S i.e3 ttJxe3 1 9
fxe3 .u.xf1+ 20 ':xfl i.xa2 2 1 ttJc3 i.c4 22
l:td1 1IdS 23 IIxdS+ ttJxdS 24 ttJxe4, with the
superior ending (his knight is very good).
7 ... ttJbd7 transposes to 4 ... i.e7 5 i.g2 0-0
6 0-0 ttJbd7 7 ttJc3 dxc4.
8 e3
Also possible is S e4 :tbS 9 i.e3 (9 es
ttJds 10 ttJe4 gives White a space advantage
and control of the important cs-square, invit
ing an assessment of unclear) 9 ... bs 1 0 a3
ttJas 1 1 'iVc2 i.b7 1 2 l:!.ad 1 , when White is
well developed and will soon be ready for
action in the centre. Filippov-Kiriakov, Mos
cow 1 995 continued 1 2 ... a6 1 3 ds exds 1 4
exds ttJb3 1 5 ttJes l:!.eS 1 6 ttJc6 i.xc6 1 7
60

dxc6 and the bishop pair compensated for


Black's extra pawn.
8 . . . tDd7 ? !
Black has other options.
After S ... l:tbS 9 'iVa4 ttJb4?! 10 'iVxa7 i.d7
1 1 ttJes White won back the pawn with a
superior position in Gleizerov-Berzinsh,
Berlin 1 995. There followed 1 1 ...ttJfds 1 2
'iVxbS! iVxbS 1 3 ttJxd7 'iVa7 1 4 ttJxffi i.xffi
1 5 ttJxds exds 1 6 i.d2 and the rooks were
stronger than the queen - 1 6 ... c6 1 7 a3 ttJd3
1 S i.c3 bs 1 9 fd1 'iVd7 20 b3 hs 21 bxc4
dxc4 22 h4 i.d6 23 e4 etc. Sorokin-Zarnicki,
Buenos Aires 1 995 went instead 9 ... i.d7 1 0
'iVxc4 ttJas 1 1 'iVe2 cs 1 2 dxcs i.xcs 1 3 ttJes
i.eS 14 .l:!.d1 iVc7 1 5 ttJd3 i.d6 1 6 e4 and
White was in control: 1 6 ... ttJc4 1 7 i.gs i.c6
1 S .l:.ac1 'WaS? (1 S ... ttJd7 1 9 b3 'iVas 20 i.f4
improves, with a plus for White) 1 9 h4? (after
1 9 i.xf6 gxf6 20 ttJe 1 ! bs 21 b3 i.b4 22
'iVg4+ 'it>hS 23 'Wf3 White obtains a winning
position) 1 9 ...ttJes 20 i.d2 'iVa6 21 ttJxe5
with a draw.
S ... i.d6 9 ttJd2 es 1 0 ttJxc4 exd4 1 1 exd4
i.g4 1 2 1ib3 (Kotronias gives 1 2 'iVa4 ttJxd4
1 3 ttJxd6 'Wxd6 1 4 i.f4 'iVcs!? 1 5 i.e3 l::t adS
1 6 i.xb7 1ib6, when Black is doing well
thanks to his well placed knight) 1 2 ... ttJxd4
1 3 'iVxb7 i.f3! and now Lautier-Karpov,
Dos Hermanas 1 995 went 1 4 'Wa6? i.b4 1 5
i.e3 i.xg2 1 6 %:tfd 1 cs 1 7 i.xd4 cxd4 1 8
'it>xg2 Ircs with a n advantage t o Black in
view of the bishop and the somewhat ex
posed position of White's king. Additionally,
the d-pawn is strong rather than weak in this
position. Karpov proposes 1 4 i.xf3! l':.bS 1 5
'iVxa7 ttJxf3+ 1 6 'it>g2 'Wd7! and Black forces
the draw - 1 7 ttJxd6! ttJh4+ 1 8 gxh4 iVg4+
etc.
9 'iVa4 es 10 ds ttJb4 1 1 ttJxes leads to
complications after 1 1 ...a6 12 f4 ttJbxd5 13
ttJxc4 ttJxc3 14 bxc3 i.cs (Korchnoi) with
an unclear position. Not good here is 1 2
ttJf3? i.f5 1 3 ttJd4 i.d3 1 4 : e 1 i.cs 1 5 e4
ttJbxds! and Black won a pawn in Lautier
Korchnoi, Moscow 1 994, when 1 6 ttJf5

Th e S e m i- Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 i. g 2 i. e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

tDxc3 1 7 bxc3 ttJg4 1 8 ttJe3 ttJxf2! was terri


ble for White.
9 'i'e2 4Jb6 1 0 %:td 1 i.d7 1 1 e4 %:teS

1 2 i.e3
12 f4!? is worth a try.
1 2 . . . i.fS 1 3 h4
White uses his space advantage to engi
neer an attack.
1 3 . . . 'i'eS 1 4 i.f4 a6 1 S hS h6 1 6 a3 f6
Black has no time to push the c-pawn
immediately as 1 6 ...ttJa5 1 7 ttJe5! c5 1 8 dxc5
xc5 1 9 g4! (Wojtkiewicz) is very promis
ing for White.
1 7 eS fS 1 S 4Jh4 4Je7 1 9 g4! 4JbdS 20
i.d2 i.e6
After 20 ... ttJxc3 21 bxc3 fxg4 22 'i!Vxg4
White still has a dangerous attack, although
this looks better than what happens in the
game.
21 gxfS exfS 22 'ii'x e4
White has won back the pawn and Black
still hasn't completed development.
22 . . . %:tdS 23 4JxdS! i.xdS
23 ...ttJxd5?! 24 i.h3 loses .the pawn on fS.
24 i.xdS + 4JxdS 2S 'i'd3 f4 26 'iWfS!
In the ending White keeps the advantage.
26 . . . 'ii'x fS 27 4JxfS <l;f7 2S 4Jh4 i.e7
Another line goes 28 ... c5 29 dxc5 xc5 30
J::!ac1 i.b6 31 ttJg6 'iit e 6 32 'it'g2 with advan
tage to White, the f4-pawn being vulnerable.
Nevertheless, Black should go for this break
at some point in order to undermine the
support of the e5-pawn.

29 4Jg6 i.gS 30 <l;g2 <l;e6 3 1 <l;f3 %:td7


Or 3 1 ...'it>fS 32 J::!e 1 ! J::!d 7 33 l:te4 and f4
falls.
32 <l;e4 %:tadS 33 %:tae 1
Now ... c7-c5 is no longer possible.
33 . . . %:tf7 34 l:!.g 1 !
Directed against ... f4-f3.
34 .. J:rtS 3S %:tg4 %:td7 36 b4 e6 37 a4 f3
3S i.xgS hxgS 39 bS!
The final breakthrough.
39 . . . axbS 40 axbS %:te7
40 ... cxb5 loses to 41 .l:!.c8 l::t d f7 42 l1e8+
'iitd7 43 e6+ etc.
41 %:teS %:teS 42 bxe6 bxe6 43 %:tg 1 4Jf4
44 %:tge 1 %:tf7 4S %:txe6 + %:txe6 46 %:txe6 +
1 -0
White plays 7 4Ja3

Game 28
Poluljahov-Nikolaev

Belorechensk 1988
1 d4 dS 2 e4 e6 3 4Jf3 4Jf6 4 g3 dxe4 S
i.g2 i.e7 6 0-0 0-0 7 4Ja3

7 . . . i.xa3
Also possible is 7 ... c3 8 bxc3 c5, although
this seems to help White consolide the cen
tre. Grabuzov-Vavra, Pardubice 1 993 con
tinued 9 ttJe5 ttJbd7 (9 ... ttJd5 10 'iib 3 cxd4
1 1 cxd4 ttJc6 12 ttJxc6 bxc6 1 3 e4 ttJb6 1 4
e3 i s a shade preferable for White) 1 0
ttJac4 ttJxe5 1 1 ttJxe5 'fIc7 1 2 'iVb3 l:td8 1 3
61

Th e C a t a la n

.i.f4 lLlhS 1 4 .i.e3 lLlf6 1 S :fd 1 and White's


central control was enough for an edge.
Black also has 7 ... .i.d7 8 lLlxc4 .i.c6 9 .i.f4
lLlbd7 1 0 11c1 .i.dS 1 1 lLlfeS iLxg2 1 2 'it>xg2
lLlxeS 1 3 iLxeS cS (Krasenkow-Gagarin,
USSR 1 998) 1 4 iLxf6 gxf6 1 S dxcS iLxcs 1 6
e 3 with a minimal advantage to White in
view of Black's damaged structure.
7 ... cS and now 8 lLlxc4 is a transposition
from 7 lLlbd2 cS 8 lLlc4, Shtyrenkov
Mikulchik, Zlin 1 995 continuing 8 ...lLlc6 9
dxcS .i.xcs 1 0 .i.f4 lLldS 1 1 l::. c 1 !? lLlxf4 1 2
gxf4 'iVe7 1 3 lLlceS lLlb4 1 4 a 3 lLldS 1 S e3
iLb6 16 'itb3 .i.d7 17 lLlxd7 'iVxd7 1 8 lLleS
when, due to the Catalan pawn cluster with
2, e3 and f4, White had a firm grip on the
centre. In Kozul-Ivanovic, Yugoslavia 1 989
White took the other c-pawn: 8 dxcS iLxcs 9
lLlxc4 lLlc6 1 0 a3 as 1 1 iLgS h6 1 2 'iVxd8
lIxd8 1 3 iLxf6 gxf6 14 .l:tfd1 .i.d7 1 S lLlfd2!
and (again) Black's weakened pawns tipped
the balance in White's favour, while White's
more active forces are also significant.
8 bxa3 b5
Another possibility is 8 ... lLldS 9 'iYc2 bS
10 i:tb 1 a6 1 1 i:td 1 h6 12 lLleS iLd7 13 a4
lLlc6 14 .i.a3 with compensation for the
pawn
in
Kamsky-Gogoladze,
Ivano
Frankovsk 1 988. The earlier encounter
Sveshnikov-Ubilava, USSR 1 98 1 went
8 ... lLlbd7 9 a4 as 1 0 .i.a3 Ue8 1 1 .l:lc1 .l:ta6!?
(1 1 ...lLlb6 12 lLleS iLd7 13 iLxb7 iLxa4 14
'it'd2 and Black keeps the pawn but at the
cost of damaging his own pawns, and White
also has the bishop pair) 12 .l:txc4 lLlb6 1 3
.l:tcs iLd7 1 4 lLleS lLlxa4 1 S iLxb7 lLlxcs 1 6
iLxcs iLc8 1 7 lLlc6 'iYd7 1 8 lLlb8 'iVbs 1 9
iLxa6 .i.xa6 2 0 lLlxa6 "iVxa6 2 1 'iVc2 and the
bishop and superior formation left White on
top.
9 a4
An interesting plan is 9 lLlgS!? c6 1 0 e4 h6
1 1 eS lLldS 12 lLle4, White's knight exploiting
the weakened dark squares in Black's camp.
Kinsman-Stefansson, Stockholm 1 993 saw
White emerge from 1 2 ... f5 1 3 exf6 lLlxf6 1 4
62

lLlxf6+ 'iVxf6 1 S .i.f4 'ii'e 7 1 6 a4 iLb7 1 7 .l:te1


with definite compensation.
9 a6 1 0 a3 e8 1 1 ttJe5 ttJd5 1 2 e4
. . .

1 2 ttJb6
In the event of 12 . ..ttJ f6 White can sacri
fice a piece with 1 3 lLlxf7!? 'it>xf7 1 4 eS lLldS
1 S 'ii'hS+ 'it>g8 1 6 .i.e4 g6, when Krasenkow
Arbakov, Moscow 1 989 witnessed 1 7 iLxg6!
hxg6 1 8 'iWxg6+ 'it>h8 1 9 i:tfe 1 lLlc3 (White's
threat was l:te4) 20 .l:te3 .i.b 7 (20 ... 'it'd7 21
"iVhS+ 'it>g7 22 :0 lLldS 23 g4! - Krasenkow
- wins for White) 21 I!.xc3 lLld7?! 22 'iYh6+
'it>g8 23 g4 lie7 24 l:th3 with a dangerous
attack. Black can improve with 2 1 ...lLlc6!,
forcing the draw: 22 'iVh6+ 'it>g8 23 "iVg6+
'it>h8 etc. (Mitenkov) . Note that Black must
accept the second sacrifice, e.g. 1 7 ...l:te 7?! 1 8
iLxe7 'ii'x e7 1 9 .i.e4 (also strong i s 1 9
iLxh7+!? "iVxh7 2 0 'iiVe8+ 'it>g7 21 'iVxc8 and
Black's forces lack co-ordination) 1 9 ...lLlc6
20 f4 'iif7 , Kuzmin-Anand, Frunze 1 988.
Then Anand gives 21 .i.xh7+! 'iYxh7 22
'iVe8+ 'it>g7 23 f5! iLb7 24 f6+ 'it>h6 2S f7
with a near decisive lead.
If this is not your style, then there is the
quieter 1 3 l:[b1 iLb7 1 4 :e1 , after which
Black must play precisely to maintain the
balance. Gleizerov-Zhukhovitsky, USSR
1 986 continued 14 ... lLlc6 1 S lLlxc4 'iVxd4 1 6
'it'c2 "iVxc4 (16...'iWa7 1 7 lLld2 i s interesting)
1 7 'it'xc4 bxc4 1 8 .l:txb7 and now instead of
1 8 ... lLleS?! 1 9 .l:tc1 .l:tec8 20 f4 lLlc6 21 .l:tbb1
as 22 l:txc4 lLlb4 23 iLxb4 axb4 24 l:tbxb4,
. . .

Th e S e m i- Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 SL g 2 SL e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

Black should have played 1 8 ...ttJd4 1 9 e5


lDd5 with chances for both sides. White has
the bishop pair to compensate the two
knights and the passed pawn on the c-file.
1 3 a5
An interesting option is 13 'it'h5!? f6 14
lDg4 c6 15 as ttJa4.
1 3 . . . 4J6d7 1 4 f4
But now the same manoeuvre is not to be
recommended for White: 14 'it'h5?! ttJxe5 1 5
dxe5 d3 1 6 Jte7 (1 6 jLc5 and the queen
sacrifice 1 6 ...ttJd7 1 7 lladl ttJxc5!? is good)
16...l:txe7 1 7 llad 1 c5 1 8 l:txd3 cxd3 and
Black has the better chances. The pawn pha
lanx is very strong.
14 . . . SLb7 1 5 'ifh5

1 5 . . . g6
15 ...ttJxe5 16 fxe5 'iVxd4+ 17 'it>hl wins a
pawn for Black but the f-file is opened for
attack.
1 6 'ifh6?
A poor move. White finds himself with
the initiative after 1 6 'it'h3 ttJxe5 1 7 dxe5
'i'd4+ 1 8 'it>hl jLxe4 1 9 .l:tadl 'iVe3 20 l:tfel
'i'xa3 21 jLxe4.
1 6 . . . 4Jf6?
16 ... ttJxe5 1 7 dxe5 'iVd4+ 1 8 'itth l jLxe4
19 lladl jLxg2+ 20 'itt xg2 'iVe4+ 21 'it>h3
ltJc6 wins for Black.
1 7 d5 c3
The capture 17 ... exd5 18 exd5 Jtxd5 1 9
l:tadl c 6 20 Jtb2 simply creates attacking
chances for White.

1 8 SLb4 exd5 1 9 exd5 SLxd5 20 SLxc3


SLxg2 21 4Jg4!
21 'it'xg2 'iVd5+ 22 llf3 is a more quiet
approach, the dark-squared bishop promising
White good chances. Nevertheless, White's
attack in the game looks formidable.
21 . . . 4Jh5 22 l:tad 1 ! SLd5 23 f5! l:te2 24
4Je3 c6 25 fxg6 fxg6 26 4Jxd5 cxd5 27
l:txd5

27 . . . 4Jd7??
The oruy route is 27 ...'iVe8 28 l:txh5 'iVe3+
29 ..wxe3 l:txe3, when White keeps an advan
tage in the endgame due to his more active
forces after 30 l:tc5 ttJd7 31 l:I.c7 ltJe5 32
jLxe5 l:txe5 33 l:tm l:tc8 34 l:txh7 l:txc7 35
l:txc7 b4 36 l:tc6 l:txa5 37 l:txg6+ 'it>f7 38 l:tg4
l:txa2 39 l:txb4 as.
28 l:txh5! 'ife7 29 'iVxg6 + ! 1 -0

Game 29
Khalifman-Portisch

Rqkjavik 199 1
1 d 4 d 5 2 c4 e 6 3 4Jf3 4Jf6 4 g 3 dxc4 5
SLg2 SLe7 6 0-0 0-0 7 4Ja3 SLxa3 8 bxa3
SLd7
After 8 ... ttJc6 9 jLb2 Y.Mikhalevsky
Pigusov, Ubeda 1 997 went 9 ... ttJd5 10 l:I.cl
ttJb6 1 1 e4 i.. d7 1 2 l:te l , when White's cen
tral control served as sufficient compensation
for the pawn. There followed 12 ...ttJe7 1 3
ttJe5 i..b 5 1 4 'iVh5 'iVe8 1 5 Jth3 f5 1 6 'iVg5
h6 1 7 'iNh4 l:tf6 (17 ... ttJg6 1 8 ttJxg6 'iVxg6 1 9
63

Th e Ca t a l a n

dS is well balanced) 1 8 g2 c 6 1 9 d S ! ? cxdS


20 exdS ttJexdS 21 ttJxc4 xc4 22 xf6
ttJxf6 23 l::txc4 ttJxc4 24 'ii'x c4 .u.c8 25 1ib3
cJ;; f7 26 'ii'xb7+ 'ii'd 7, the smoke clearing to
reveal a level ending.
Another path is 9 ...!tb8 1 0 'ii'c 2 bS 1 1
llad1 when Korchnoi-o.Rodriquez, Barce
lona 1 992 continued 1 1 ...ttJe7 (1 1 ...b7?! 1 2
ttJgS! h6 1 3 dS! ttJb4 1 4 axb4 hxgS 1 5 dxe6
'ii'e 7 1 6 exf7+ 1hf7 1 7 xb7 l:hb7 1 8 'ii'g6!
left Black with weak pawns .in Glek-Klovans,
Tashkent 1 987) 1 2 e4 b7 1 3 l:tfe 1 ttJg6 1 4
h4. White's latest thrust i s quite typical. Hav
ing completed development and with control
of the centre, White begins a kingside offen
sive: 1 4 ... .:te8 1 5 ttJh2 'ii'e 7 1 6 'ii'e2 eS 1 7 hS
ttJf8 1 8 dxeS ttJ6d7 1 9 ttJg4 h6 20 f4 with a
menacing initiative.

9 lLle5
Zaichik-Soffer, Rishon Ie Zion 1 998 went
9 'ii'c 2 c6, Black surrendering the c4-pawn
to complete development. This policy
proved successfill after 10 1fxc4 ttJbd7 1 1
gS dS 1 2 'ii'b4 b6 1 3 !tfd1 h6 1 4 xf6
'ii'xf6 1 5 !iac 1 llfc8 1 6 'ii'b 1 b7 1 7 e4 'ilie7
1 8 'iiid3 ttJf8 1 9 dS l:td8 20 'ii'b 3 .l:tac8, when
Black had a solid position.

9 . . . .ltc6 1 0 lLlxc6 lLlxc6 1 1 .ltb2

1 7 xeS for White, whose bishops dominate


in this wide open position.
Another try is 1 1 .. .'ilid6!? 12 ltc1 bS 13 e4
eS! 14 f4 l:tad8! 1 5 dS (1 5 fxeS ttJxeS 16 'ii'c2
'ilVb6 favours Black, whose knight is heading
for d3) 1 S ... exf4 1 6 gxf4 ltfe8. Here White's
centre looks dominating, but Wnite must
keep his eyes peeled, e.g. 1 7 cJ;; h 1 ttJxe4! 1 8
xe4 l:txe4 1 9 dxc6 'ilixc6 2 0 'ii'f3 l:td3 21
'iit'g2 'iit'g6 with the superior ending for Black.
White was more circumspect in Alburt
Geller, New York 1 990, albeit only for a few
moves: 1 7 'ii' c2 ttJe 7 1 8 'ii'f2 0g4 1 9 'iiig3 f5
20 llcd1 'ii'b6+ and now 21 d4? met with
2 1 . . .'ii'g6! 22 f3 hS! and Black assumed
control because White was unable to hold on
to the centre and his king was also suscepti
ble to attack. Geller offers 21 cJ;; h 1 as an
improvement, when 2 1 . . .'ii'e 3!? 22 f3 c3 23
c1 'ilics 24 xg4 fxg4 25 'ii'xg4 ttJg6 is
unclear.

1 2 l:1.b 1
Glek-Klovans, Frunze 1 988 went 1 2 l::tc 1
ttJb6 13 e3 'ilid7 14 1fc2 ltab8 1 S l:tfd1 l:iJe7
16 f1 'ii'a4 17 'iit'b 1 , White uninterested in
the exchange of queens as this would relieve
some of the pressure. After 1 7 .. .l::tfd 8 1 8 e4
lld6 1 9 'ii'a 1 f6 20 J:te1 ttJc6 21 h3 .l:!.f8 22
eS!? fxeS 23 dxeS %:td2 24 xe6+ 'It>h8 25
f1 'ii'b s 26 c3 l:td3 the situation remained
unclear.

1 2 . . . lLlb6

1 1 . . .lLld5
1 1 . ..'ilid7?!
looks
wrong.
KozulKir.Georgiev, Sarajevo 2002 went 1 2 'ilVa4
ttJxd4 1 3 'ilixc4 l:.ad8, when Georgiev pro
poses 14 l:tfd 1 eS 1 5 e3 'iiie6 1 6 'ii' xe6 ttJxe6
64

1 2 ... bS?! 1 3 e4 ttJb6, as in Krasenkow


Timoscenko, Tashkent 1 987, appears dubi
ous. Krasenkow analyses the following: 1 4
d S ! ttJe7 1 5 'ii'g4 ttJg6 1 6 dxe6 with the more
pleasant game for White, or 1 4 ... exdS 1 5
exdS ttJe7 1 6 d 6 'ii'xd6 1 7 'ilixd6 cxd6 1 8
xa8 ttJxa8 1 9 lHd 1 when Black has two
pawns for the exchange but White's activity
and Black's vulnerable pawns combine to
favour the first player.

1 3 e3 'iid 6 1 4 'iic 2 .l:!.fd8 1 5 J:!.fd 1 J:!.ab8


1 6 e4 e5! 1 7 d5
This is better than 1 7 dxeS?! 'it'cs 1 8 e6
fxe6 1 9 l:txd8+ l::tx d8 20 eS ttJd4 21 i.xd4

Th e S e m i- Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 iL e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

.l:!.xd4 with an aggressive stance for Black.

17 . . . ttJd4! 1 8 iLxd4 exd4 1 9 J:txd4 c6


The greedy looking 19 ......xa3 20 e5 'iVc5
is an option.

20 a4 'ii'c 5
20... cxd5 2 1 exd5 g6 22 as ifc5 23 'iWc3
tZlxd5 24 ifxc4 ifxc4 25 l:txc4 was seen in
Krasenkow-Flear, Paris 1 990, the Catalan
bishop affording White the lead.

retained excellent winning chances: 33 Wg4!


'iVg6+ 34 Wf3 f6+ 35 We4 g6 36 .ltd3
iff5+ 37 Wd4 iff6+ 38 Wc5 "'e5+ 39 <>t>c6
"'f6+ 40 Wc7 ife7+ 41 Wb8 "'d8+ 42 <>t>xa7
"'xa5+ 43 "'a6 ifc5+ 44 Was etc.

White plays 7 ttJe5

Came 30
Psa khis-Stefansson

21 'ii'c 3 cxd5
2 1 . . .ttJxa4 22 'iVxc4 'iVxc4 23 l:Ixc4 ttJb6
24 dxc6 ttJxc4 25 c7 .l:!.dc8 26 cxb8'ii l:txb8
(Korpics-Gyimesi, Balatonbereny 1 992) leads
to a similar minor piece endgame, with the
better prospects for White.

Winnipeg 1997
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
iLg2 iLe7 6 0-0 0-0 7 ttJe5

22 exd5 J:tbc8 23 J:tb5

7 . . . c5
23 . . . 'ii'e 7? !
23. . .ttJxa4 2 4 l:Ixc5 ttJxc3 2 5 lldxc4 nxc5
26 l:txc5 ttJxa2 and a draw was agreed in
Nesis-Andonov, Correspondence 1 997.

24 a5 ttJa4 25 'ii'c 2 'ii'e 1 + 26 iLf 1 ttJc3


27 J:txb7 ttJxd5 28 J:txc4
With 28 l:Id1 ! 'ili'e5 (28 .. .'iVxa5? loses to 29
'i'f5!) 29 .ltxc4 White keeps an advantage.

2B . . . ttJe3 ! ?
Black has to try something. The straight
forward 28 . . .l:Ixc4 29 xc4 'ili'xa5 30 a6
leads to a very difficult ending.

29 fxe3 J:txc4 30 'ii'xc4 'ii'x e3 + 3 1 'itg2


J:td2+ 32 'ith3 'ii'h 6+ 33 'ii'h 4? % - %
Inviting Black to force perpetual check.
However, with the following amazing king
march White could have kept the piece and

Another option is the rather unorthodox


7 .. .'iWd6 8 ttJxc4 a6. Tukmakov-G.Kuzmin,
Tallinn 1 998 continued 9 3 d8 10 ttJc3
ttJc6 (1 O .. .l::txd4? 1 1 ttJb5 l:Id7 12 ttJe5 and
Black loses the exchange) 1 1 e3 ttJa5 1 2
ttJxa5 'iix a5 1 3 .ltd2 'iWb6 1 4 'iVc2 .ltd7 1 5
b4 .ltc6 1 6 ttJa4 .ltxa4 1 7 xa4 e 5 1 8 .ltc3
e4 19 J:tfc 1 e6 20 c2 .ltd6 21 b5 l:te8 22
.ltd2 h5 23 h3 a6 24 a4 and White had the
initiative.

8 dxc5 iLxc5
It appears that Black's queen is awk-wardly
placed after 8 . . .c7 9 ttJxc4 ifxc5, as was
demonstrated in Pinter-Kallai, Hungary 1 988:
10 b3 l:td8 1 1 ttJbd2 ttJc6 12 .ltb2 l:Ib8 1 3
l:tc1 with a definite lead for White. This in
creased after 13 . . .ifb5 14 a3 .ltd7 1 5 b4 .lte8
16 e4 h5?! 17 h3 ifg5 1 8 e5 ttJh7 19 'iVe2 h4
65

Th e C a t a la n

20 liJe4 6 2 1 liJcd6 f5 22 liJc5, when


White's forces occupied influential posts.

9 lLle3 'fIe7
Vaulin-Feoktistov, Moscow 1 998 took a
more sober course after 9 ... 'iVd4 to 'iWxd4
.i.xd4 1 1 liJxc4 liJc6 1 2 liJb5 e5 1 3 e3 i.c5
14 b3 liJe8 (14 ... i.e6 allows White to put a
knight on d6: 1 5 liJbd6 l:tab8 1 6 i.b2 etc.)
1 5 .i.a3 .i.xa3 1 6 liJbxa3 f6 17 .i.d5+ h8
1 8 .i.xc6 bxc6 and White 'sacrificed' the
Catalan bishop in order to inflict upon his
opponent a weakened queenside. This pro
vided a target in the corning ending after 1 9
liJa5 i.d7 2 0 l:tfdl l:t f7 2 1 l:tac 1 l:.c8 22 g2
etc.
9 ... 'iVe7 allows the pin on the knight with
to i.g5, when Ribli-Gopal, Calcutta 1 992
continued 10 ... h6 1 1 .ixf6 'iVxf6 12 liJxc4
liJc6 1 3 .ixc6! bxc6 1 4 liJe4 'iie 7?! 1 5 liJe5
'iic7 1 6 liJxc5 'iVxe5 1 7 'iVc2 l:tb8 1 8 b3 'iVh5
1 9 l:tfdl Itb5 20 .l:i.ac 1 as 21 ':'d6 and Black's
weaknesses on the queenside were more
important features in the position than the
weakened light squares around White's king.
Black can restrict his opponent to a slight
edge with 1 4 ...'iVf5 1 5 liJxc5 'iWxc5 1 6 'iWa4.

(we are familiar with this manoeuvre by now;


White is slightly better) 14 ... .id4 1 5 liJe4
.i.a6 1 6 e3 .ixc4 17 'iVxc4 .ixb2 1 8 nab 1
'iVa3, which was seen in Vaulin-Stanojevic,
Nis 1 996. There followed 1 9 .ixf6 gxf6
(1 9 ... .i.xf6 20 liJxf6+ gxf6 21 'iVg4+ fS 22
'ir'h5 g7 23 .l:i.b7 .l:i.fS 24 J::td l gives White a
dangerous initiative) 20 'iWxc6 f5?! (20 .. J:tac8
21 7 l:tb8 22 'iVc7 and White shifts the
queen to the kingside) 21 liJg5 .if6
(2 1 . ..l:tac8 22 'ib7 with double threats on b2
and f7) 22 liJxe6! J::ta c8 23 liJxd8 l:txc6 24
liJxc6 with a very nice ending for White, his
two rooks being more than a match for the
queen and Black's pawns being weak.

1 1 J:!.xf2 'ifxe4 1 2 J:txf6 ! gxf6 1 3 h6


lLld7 !
The natural looking 1 3. . .liJc6? i s in fact
poor in view of 1 4 e3 .l:!.d8 1 5 'it'h5 e5 1 6
liJe4 'iVe6 1 7 'iVh4 h8 1 8 liJxf6 liJe7 (Thin
ius-Comp 'Mephisto', Berlin 1 992) 1 9 .i.fS!,
when White wins at least a piece.

1 4 lLle4

1 0 lLlxe4

1 0 . . . xf2 +
Black should avoid following to . . . l:td8 1 1
.if4 with l 1 . . .e5? 1 2 .i.xe5! .i.xf2+ 1 3 l:txf2
.uxd1 + 14 .l:!.xdl 'iVe7 1 5 .ixf6 gxf6 16 liJd5
with a decisive lead for White. This leaves
1 1 . ..e7 1 2 'iVc2 liJc6 1 3 .i.xc6 bxc6 14 i.g5
66

Maintaining the tension poses the most


problems for Black. The straightforward 14
.i.xfS 'iitx fS 15 'it'd6+ e8 16 .l:i.d 1 'iWc5+ 1 7
'ii'x c5 liJxc5 1 8 liJb5 'iit e 7 1 9 l:tc1 liJd7 is
unclear as White is active but Black can hold
on to his pawn for a while .

1 4 . . . 'fIb4!
1 4. . .l:td8? runs into 1 5 liJxf6+ 'iit h8 1 6 e3
and Black loses the f6-pawn for nothing:
1 6 . . . e5 1 7 h5! 'iie6 ( 1 7 ... liJxf6? 1 8 'i'g5

Th e S e m i- Op e n Ca t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 g 2 e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

ttJe8 1 9 'ii'x d8 wins for White) 1 8 ttJxh7!


'it'g6 1 9 'ii'h4 l:f.e8 20 l:If1 ! 'ii'x h7 2 1 e4
(psakhis) and White has a menacing attack.

'It>d8 28 'iVfS+ 'litc7 29 'iid6+ xc8 30 'ti'd7


mate!

26 'iVdS + 'it>g7 27 'iVg5 +

1 5 c 1 f5
Black defends well. Again 1 5 . . . .l:!.d8? is
punished after 16 ttJxf6+ 'It>h8 17 'it'd3!
'iVb6+ 1 8 e3 ttJxf6 19 'ti'c3! 'i&'d6 20 'iix f6+
'it>g8 21 l:Ifl ! l:Id7 22 l:tf4 'It>fS 23 J:f.g4 and
White wins.

1 6 ltJd6
White should force matters with 1 6 .lrLxfS!,
e.g. 16 ... ttJxfS (1 6 ... 'litxfS?! 17 'iVd6+ 'iVxd6 1 8
ttJxd6 ttJb6 1 9 J::t c 7 .lrLd7 20 lhb7 clearly
favours White, while 1 6 . . .'iVxfS 1 7 ttJd6 'ikd8
18 e4 is also nice) 17 ttJf6+ 'litg7 (1 7 . . . 'lith8 1 8
'iVd8 is worse) 1 8 'iVd8 'iib6+ 1 9 'iixb6 axb6
20 ttJe8+ 'it>g6 21 ttJd6 1i.d7 22 a3 and White
wins back the pawn with interest in this end
game thanks to the queenside majority and
active pieces.

Yo - Yo

Game 3 1
G elfand-Aseev

Kla;peda 1988
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ltJf3 ltJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
g2 e7 6 0-0 0-0 7 ltJe5 ltJc6 S xc6
bxc6

16 . . . ltJe5! 1 7 xfS 't'ib6 + 1 S e3 ! ?


O r 1 8 'lit h 1 ttJg4 1 9 ttJxc8 ttJf2+ 2 0 'litg 1
ttJh3+ and Black can force the draw.

1 S . . . 't'ixe3+ 1 9 'it>h 1 ltJg4 20 c2 'it>xfS


9 ltJxc6
9 ttJc3?! c5 10 dxc5 .lrLxc5 1 1 a4 ttJd5!
12 ttJe4 ttJb6 13 'iic 2 was the dubious (for
White) course of Korchnoi-Petrosian, Can
didates '/dinal Match (game 1), Ciocco 1 977.
Now 1 3. . .'ilVd5!? 1 4 ttJg5 f5 15 1l.f4 .lrLd6!
(Kotronias) allows Black to keep both his
pawn and the light-squared bishop. His
chances are better.

9 . . . eS 1 0 ltJxe 7 +

Black has left the worst of his problems


behind him.

21 ltJxcS ltJf2 + 22 xf2 xf2 23 xb7


bS
White has two minor pieces for the rook
but the exposed position of his king forces
him to take a perpetual.

24 dS + 'it>g7 25 'iVg5 + 'it>hS


Not 25 ... 'litfS?? 26 'i&'h6+ 'lite8 27 1l.c6+

1 0 'iVa4?! has been tried. Pigusov


Naumkin, Belgrade 1 988 continued 1O . . . 1l.d6
1 1 'iix c4 a5 1 2 ttJe5 c5 1 3 ttJf3 1i.a6 14 'iVc2
.l:!.c8 and Black had the initiative: 1 5 ttJc3
cxd4 16 ttJxd4 1l.e5 17 .l:!.d 1 and now
17 . . . ttJd5 (pigusov) leaves Black on top.

1 0 . . . 't'ixe7 1 1 't'ia4
Also possible is 1 1 b3 cxb3 1 2 1i.a3 b2 1 3
xb2 l:Id8 1 4 'ilVc2 l:tb8 with an equal posi
tion. White has the better pawn structure but
Black is active.

1 1 . . . c5
67

Th e C a t a l a n

Black has several other options.


The queen manoeuvre 1 1 ...'iVd6 12 lidl
1Va6 isn't quite satisfactory in this position,
either. White had the better prospects after
1 3 'iVxa6 .Jtxa6 1 4 ltJc3 .:tab8 1 5 e4 h6 1 6 f3
:fd8 1 7 :b 1 ltJd7 1 8 .Jte3 ltJb6 1 9 .:tbel in
Malakhov-Dervishi,
Montecatini
Terme
1 998. Black's pawns on the c-me are weak
but b2 is also an object of attack, while White
enjoys more space.
Stohl-Polak, Czechoslovakia 1 990 saw
1 1 ...a5 12 1Vxc4 .Jta6 13 'it'c2 .ufd8 14 ltdl
c5! (this freeing pawn break secures Black
equal chances) 1 5 dxc5 .uxd 1+ 1 6 'it'xdl
'iVxc5 17 ltJc3 ltJg4 18 'it'fl and now
Kotronias gives 1 8 ...!lc8!? 1 9 .Jtd2 'iVh5 20
h3 ltJe5 21 1Vg2 ltJc4 22 .Jtel 'iVfS 23 e4
'ii'f6, when Black's activity fully compensates
the missing pawn.
1 1 .. .e5 1 2 dxe5 1Vxe5 is also possible, and
leads to complex play. Korchnoi-Kotronias,
Haifa 1 989 went 1 3 ltJc3 ltJe4 14 'iVxc4
ltJxc3 1 5 'iVxc3 1Vxe2 1 6 nel 'iVb5 1 7 J:te5
'iVd7 1 8 .Jtf4 .Jtb7 1 9 llc5 !lfd8 20 f3 'iVd3
21 .Jtxc7 l:td7 when the opposite coloured
bishops offered Black adequate counterplay.
The other option is 1 3 'iVxc4, when
1 3 ... .Jte6 leads to a further branch. Black has
compensation after 14 1Vc2 .JtfS 1 5 'iVd2
:fe8 1 6 ltJc3 ltJe4 17 ltJxe4 1Vxe4 due
(again) to the presence of opposite coloured
bishops. This leaves 1 4 1Vd3 !lad8 1 5 'iVe3
'iih 5 1 6 f3, e.g. 1 6 ... .Jtc4! 1 7 ltJc3 ltfe8 1 8
'iVg5 'iih 3 1 9 It 1 (1 9 .Jte3 .Jtxe2!? 20 ltJxe2
l:td5 21 'iVf4 ttde5 22 .Jtxa7 Ihe2 23 .Jt1
l:hb2 24 a4 and this pawn looks like a killer
but Black generates counterplay on the op
posite flank with 24 ... h5 - Kotronias)
1 9 ... .Jtxe2!? and now 20 .Jte3?! was Kachiani
Gersinska-Bojkovic, Belgrade 1 990, when
Black could have secured the advantage with
20 ... .Jtxf3! 21 ltxf3 ltJg4, forcing White to
part with material due to the threat against
h2. However, 20 .Jtf4 .Jtd l !? 2 1 .Jte5 h6 22
'iVf4 ltJd5 23 'it'c4 is unclear. 1 6 ... 1tfe8 has
also been played, although the lines seem to
68

favour White. 1 7 'iVg5 i s too slow but went


unpunished in Gelfand-Timoscenko, Sverd
lovsk 1 987, when after 1 7 ...1Vh3?! 1 8 'iVc5!
.Jtd5 19 e4 the only way to break the domi
nation of the light squares was to sacrifice,
but this did not prove correct after
1 9 ... .uxe4?! 20 fxe4 ltJg4 21 1:t1 ltJxh2 22
'iVxc7 .uc8 23 .l:txh2 .l:txc7 24 ltxh3 11xc1+ 25
'it>1 .Jtxe4 26 g4, when White was winning.
Black should follow the example of Pigusov
Raetsky, Voronezh 1 988, 1 7 ... .Jtc4 1 8 'iVxh5
ltJxh5 1 9 lte 1 .uxe2 20 ltxe2 .Jtxe2 21 'it>1
.Jtc4 22 ltJc3 ltJf6 23 .Jte3 leading to a nice
ending for White in view of the better pawn
structure and the presence of knights on the
board.

1 2 'ii'x c4
1 2 'it'a3 .Jtb7 1 3 ltJc3 ltfc8 is equal.

1 2 . . . cxd4 1 3 'ii'x d4 e5
After 1 3 ... ,Ud8!? 1 4 'iVh4 J::tb 8 1 5 b3 .Jta6
1 6 ltJc3 'iVc5 1 7 ltJe4 ltJxe4 1 8 'iixe4 the
exchange of knights should guarantee Black
good counterplay due to the presence of
opposite coloured bishops. The subsequent
1 8.J:tb4 1 9 1Ve3 1Vc2 20 .Jta3 l:te4 21 ltfel
ii'xe2 resulted in a draw in Krasenkow-Ribli,
Germany 1 998.

1 4 'ii'h 4

1 4 . . . 'ii'e 6
Hiibner-Handke, Germany 2001 contin
ued 14 ...ltb8 1 5 b3 ltd8 16 .Jtb2 h6 17 ltJa3
.Jtg4 1 8 ltJc4 .Jtxe2 1 9 1tfe 1 .Jtxc4 20 'it'xc4
ltd5 21 J:tad l and White's forces had finally

Th e S e m i- Op e n Ca t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 iL e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

joined the battle. After 2 1 . . .Ita5 22 .ic3 l:k5


23 'iVd3 White's bishop and queenside ma
jority afforded him the better prospects.
White can try to repair the light squares with
15 ttJc3 .l:tb4 16 e4 .ib 7 1 7 f3 (1 7 .ig5 ':xb2
18 i.xf6 'iVxf6 1 9 'iVxf6 gxf6 20 l:tab 1 leads
to an equal ending) 1 7 ...'iVc5+ 1 8 g2 l:td8
19 l:t1 lld3, when Black is active but White
seems solid. Shipov gives 20 .ig5 .l:txc3!? 2 1
bxc3 ttJxe4!, breaking the light-squared
domination and forcing White to find 22
.te3, when 22 ... 'ii'd 5 23 'iie 7 h5 24 .l:td 1 !?
'iVxd1 25 'iixb4 ttJx1 26 'iVxb7 ttJd3 27
'iVc8+ forces the draw.

Itxg3 ttJe6, again with compensation.

1 5 ttJe3 iLb7 1 6 e4 l:tfe8

Necessary is 37 e5 'iVd3! 38 'iVxf4 l:t1 39


ttJe4 lhf3 40 ttJf6+ g7 41 ttJh5+ h7 with
equality.

Worth considering is the plan to transfer


the knight to d3 with 1 6 ...ttJd7!? 1 7 g4 ttJc5
18 f3 ttJd3 (Aseev) with compensation.

28 ':'xg2 ttJg6 29 'iiVg 4 'iiVa 6 30 'iiVg 3 iLe8


3 1 nf2
31 .tg5 allows the nice trick 3 1 ....ih3!? 32
'iVxh3 ::'xc3! etc.

31 . . . 'iiVd 6 32 iLg5?!
Preferable is 32 l:tf1 .ia6.

32 . . . ttJf4 33 iLxf4 exf4 34 'ilfh4 iLe6 35


l:tf 1 l:td2! 36 l:tg 1 g6?
Black misses a great opportunity in
36 . . J::tx b2 37 'ii f6? .ig4!! 38 'iix d6 .ixf3+ 39
l:tg2 l:!.xg2 40 'iVd8+ h7 41 'iVh4+ g6 and
wins.

37 'iiVf 6??

37 . . . .i.g4! 0-1

1 7 f3 'iiVb 6 + 1 8 l:tf2
The continuation 1 8 'it>g2 h6 19 g4 .ta6
20 l:td1 l:td8 21 'iV1 gives White a small
advantage.

1 8 . . . h6 1 9 'it'g2 l:td8 20 g4 l:td3 2 1 g 5


hxg5 22 iLxg5 ttJ h 7 23 l:tg 1

See the lines In the note to Black's 36th


move.

Game 32
Pi ket-Adams

23 . . . l:te8

Wyk aan Zee 2000

23 ... ttJxg5 24 'iVxg5 lld6 25 h 1 1lg6 26


'iVd2 (Gelfand, Kapengut) is also a little bet
ter for White.

1 d4 d5 2 e4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxe4 5


iLg2 iLe7 6 0-0 0-0 7 ttJe5 ttJe6 8 ttJxe6
bxe6 9 e3

24 'it'h 1 l:te6 25 iLe1 ttJf8 26 l:tfg2 l:tg6

9 'iia4 'iixd4 10 ttJc3 .id7 1 1 i.e3 'iVg4


1 2 .if3 'iVh3 1 3 'irVxc4 e5 is quite different,
Khurtsidze-Moiseenko, Ukraine 1 999 con
tinuing 14 l:tfd1 ttJg4 1 5 .ixg4 'iVxg4 1 6
'ii'xg4 .txg4 1 7 f3 .te6 1 8 b3 as, when the

Black enjoys some activity and therefore


has compensation for the pawn.

27 'iiVh 5 l:txg2
Less forcing is 27 ... 'iVf6 28 l:tg3 .l:txg3 29

69

Th e C a t a l a n

bishop pair and possibilities o n the queenside


left Black in charge. 9 SLxc6 l:tb8 10 tiJc3
SLb7 1 1 SLxb7 l:txb7 12 l:tb l 'iWd7! 1 3 e4
l:tfb8 is equal according to Gulko.

9 . . . ttJd5
9 ...SLa6 1 0 SLxc6 c3 (1 O ...l:tb8 1 1 'ii'a4
.l:tb6 1 2 Itdl favours White) 1 1 SLxa8 cxb2
12 SLxb2 SLxfl 1 3 SLf3 and White's superior
pawn structure is the main difference.

1 0 'ilVa4

1 1 . . .J:f.b8
After 1 1 ...'iVd7 12 tiJd2 i.a6 1 3 .l:td1 l:tfd8
1 4 b3 Black should prefer the lesser evil
1 4... 11ab8 1 5 tiJxc4 tiJxc4 1 6 bxc4 c5 1 7 SLa3
cxd4 1 8 :xd4 'iWe8 (Ribli) 1 9 SLxe7 'iNxe7 20
'ia4, when White has something to bite on
on the queenside, to 14 ... cxb3 1 5 'iVxc6
'ii'xc6 16 SLxc6 I1ab8 17 axb3 SL b 7 1 8 SLxb7
l:txb 7 1 9 SLa3 SLxa3 20 l:txa3 e5!?, when a
draw was agreed in Cs.Horvath-Yu Shaoteng,
Gyula 2000, but where White could have had
the slightly better prospects with 21 tiJf3
exd4 22 lhd4 l:txd4 23 tiJxd4 (due to the
weaknesses on a7 and c7) .

1 2 J:f.d 1

1 0 . . . ttJb6
10 ... a5 1 1 l:td l 'ii'd 6 12 'it'xc4 SLa6 1 3
'iNc2 tiJb4 1 4 'it'd2 e 5 1 5 a3 tiJd3 1 6 SLe4
tiJxc1 1 7 l:txc 1 exd4 1 8 exd4 SLf6 1 9 l:txc6
'iNxd4 20 'it'xd4 SLxd4 21 tiJc3 and here a
draw was agreed in Ippolito-Gormally, Lon
don 1 999. The ending is equal; Black has the
bishop pair while White has the better pawn
structure.

1 1 'ilVc2
1 1 xc6 l:tb8 1 2 'iib 5 SLb7 1 3 SLxb7
i:txb 7 with play for both sides. Meins
Chandler, Germany 2000 saw the alternative
1 1 'ifa5 SLd7 1 2 tiJa3 SLd6 1 3 SLd2 'ife7 1 4
.u.fc1 l:[fb8 1 5 l:tab 1 e 5 1 6 tiJxc4 exd4 1 7
exd4 tiJd5!? 1 8 tiJe3 (1 8 SLxd5 cxd5 1 9 'iWxd5
SLe6 20 'iVc6 SLf5 21 nel 'ii'f6 is unclear)
1 8 ... l:tb5 1 9 'iWa4 h6 20 'ii'c 2?! tiJxe3 21 SLxe3
SLf5 22 'iVxc6 l:!.ab8 23 l:tal l:!.xb2 with ad
vantage to Black. Also possible is 1 1 ...i:tb8 1 2
tiJa3 SLd7 1 3 SLd2 i.d6 1 4 l:tfc 1 'iVe7 1 5
ab 1 c5 1 6 dxc5 SLxc5 1 7 b4 SLd6 with
equality in Wells-Arlandi, Escaldes 1 998.
70

1 2 SLxc6 SLb7 1 3 i.xb7 l:txb7 is equal.

1 2 . . :iVe8
Markowski-J aracz, Warsaw 2001 went
1 2 ... a5?! 1 3 tiJd2 SLa6 1 4 b3 cxb3 1 5 tiJxb3
SLb5 1 6 a4! SLxa4 1 7 xa4 tiJxa4 1 8 tiJxa5
tiJb6 1 9 tiJxc6 'ii'd7 20 tiJxb8 l:txb8 21 i.d2
SLd6 22 l:[al h5 23 h4 'iNe7 24 'iVc6, White's
bishop pair and pawn structure contributing
to his lead .

1 3 ttJd2 c5
Kotronias gives 13 ...SLa6 14 b3 c5 1 5 i.b2
cxd4 1 6 SLxd4 f6!?, planning ... e6-e5.

14 dxc5
14 tiJxc4 leads only to a level game after
1 4 ... cxd4 1 5 exd4 (1 5 llxd4 SLf6 is also
equal) 1 5 ... tiJxc4 1 6 'ifxc4 i.d6.

1 4 . . . iLxc5 1 5 ttJxc4 ttJxc4 1 6 'ii'xc4 'i'b5


1 7 'ilVxb5 J:f.xb5 1 8 b3 iLb7 1 9 iLxb7

Th e S e m i - Op e n Ca t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 ii g 2 ii e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

l:.xb 7 20 iib2 iid6 2 1 l:.ac 1


21

lbf6 1 9 e3 as 20 .i.f3 h6 21 a4 etc.

White has the superior pawns.

1 0 bxa3 iia6

. . . .l::. b 6 22 e4 f6

An interesting line is 10 ... l:tb8 1 1 'iia4


'iVxd4 1 2 lLe3 'iie 5 1 3 'iixa7!?, e.g. 1 3. .. l:tb7
(13. .. lLd7 1 4 lLd4 'it'xe2 1 5 l:tae l 'iVxa2 1 6
lLxf6 gxf6 1 7 'iVd4 .i.c8 1 8 'iixf6 l:tb5 1 9
l:te4 h 5 20 g4 saw White step up the pace in
Istrate-Livner, Rimavska Sobota 1 996) 1 4
'it'd4 'iih 5 1 5 lLf3 e5 1 6 'iNxc4 lbg4 1 7 .i.xg4
'it'xg4 1 8 l:tac1 with chances for both sides.
In Raetsky-Namyslo, Biel 1 994 White ig
nored the a7-pawn, settling for equality after
1 3 li'xc4 lbd5 1 4 lLd4 .i.a6! 1 5 .i.xe5 lLxc4
1 6 l:tfel f6 17 lLd4 l:tfd8, when White had
the bishop pair but Black's forces were well
placed.

22 ... e5 23 l:td5 f6 24 l:tc4 slightly favours


White.

23 iid4
23 f4!? is an interesting try.
23 .. J;:ta6 24 l:.c2 .l:!.b8 25 Wf 1 .l:!.b5 26
'it'e2 Wf7 27 .l:!.d3 We8 28 a4 .l:!.b7 29 .l:!.c4
iie7
29 ...'it>d7 30 e5 fxe5 31 lLxe5 g6 32 .l:.h4
h5 33 .l:.f4 We7 34 .i.f6+ 'it>e8 35 l:te4 helps
White a little as it results in the further weak
ening of Black's pawns.

30 e5

%-%

White is still slightly better, but the players


agreed to call it a day.

Game 33
Ribli-Bonsch

Thessaloniki 1988
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
iig2 iie7 6 0-0 0-0 7 ttJe5 ttJc6 8 ttJxc6
bxc6 9 ttJa3

11

iixc6

Black is better after 1 1 'iia 4?! lLb5 1 2


'iia 5 'iVxd4! 1 3 lLe3 'iid 6 1 4 a4 'iNa3, but a
more viable, albeit rather tame option is 1 1
lLg5 h6 1 2 lLxf6 'iVxf6 1 3 'iVa4 (1 3 lLxc6
l:tab8 14 'iVa4 l'1b6 1 5 11fdl lId8 16 .i.f3 c6!
led to a plus for Black after the further
moves 1 7 Wg2 li'e7 1 8 e3 l:tc8 1 9 h4 .i.b5
20 'ifb4 c5 in Antunes-Karpov, Tilburg 1 994,
Black with a passed pawn and White's dou
bled a-pawns of no use) 1 3 . . . lLb5 14 'iia 5 c3
with equality according to Karpov.
11

. . . .l:!.b8 1 2 'iWa4 .l:!.b6

9 . iixa3
. .

After this exchange the pawn structures of


both sides are totally ruined. Another move
is 9 ... lbd5?!, when 1 0 lbxc4 c5 1 1 dxc5 lLxc5
12 b3 should favour White. Ths was borne
out in Ribli-Wolf, Germany 1 989 after
12 .. :iVe7 1 3 lLb2 l:tb8 1 4 'iVc2 l:td8 1 5 l:tfd l
.i.a6 1 6 a 3 .i.b6 1 7 I1ac 1 .i.xc4 1 8 'it'xc4

1 3 iig2
13 lLf3 is a Raetsky speciality. Then
13 ... lbd5 14 'iVa5 brings us to a crossroads:
14 . . .'f6?! . 1 5 a4 .i.b7 (1 5 ... 'it'xd4 16 .i.a3
71

Th e C a t a l a n

l:.a8 1 7 c 5 and White wins the exchange)


1 6 a3 l:tb8 1 7 c5 nb2 1 8 nab 1 c3 1 9
Ihb2 cxb2 20 l:tb1 'figS 2 1 a3! c6 22
'iVc5 xa4 23 e4 was excellent for White in
Raetsky-Sammalvuo, HafnarfJordur 1 998.
White has control of the centre and Black
cannot hold on to b2 forever.
14 ... f5 fights for e4. Raetsky-Schoenthier,
Mannheim 1 998 was unclear after 1 5 d2
'iVd7 16 lIab 1 l:tfb8 17 lIxb6 .l:txb6 1 8 a4
'iVd6 19 l::t c 1 , when White's bishop pair and
piece play compensated for the passed pawn.
14 ... c3! is the best move. Black sacrifices
the pawn in order to activate his the pieces.
In Raetsky-AI.Schneider, Cappelle la Grande
1 999 there followed 1 5 l:te 1 f5 1 6 xd5
'fixd5 1 7 'fixc3 l:tc6 1 8 'iib 2 11b6 1 9 'iVc3
and a draw was agreed.

.l:!.d 1 h 6 2 6 'ii'b 3 ttJxc5


Another good option is 26 ... ttJb6.

27 dxc5 'i'e7 28 .l:!.d6 'ii'f 6


Black has to play precisely to avoid an in
ferior position. 28 ...l:ta4!? 29 l:tbd 1 l:tc4 30
'iVe3 'fif6 looks well balanced.

29 .l:!.bd 1 .l:!.a4 30 xc6 ! ?

1 3 . . :c8 1 4 d2 .l:!.d8 1 5 b4
1 5 1Ifc1 lIxd4 1 6 e3 c5 1 7 xd4 cxd4 is
given by Ribli. Black has clear compensation
for the exchange due to the strong centre
pawns.

1 5 . . . c3!

A temporary piece sacrifice that should


lead to equality with accurate defence from
Black.

30 . . . xc6 3 1 .l:!.xc6 .l:!.xc6 32 'i'xa4 .l:!.xc5


33 'ii'x a7
White has the easier game thanks to the a
pawn.

33 . . J:tc2 34 a4 'i'f3
34 . . . .:.xa2?? loses to 35 'iVb8+ 'it>h7 36
'iib 1+.

35 .l:!.f 1 g6 36 'ii'b8 + 'iii> h 7 37 'i'b3 :c3


Black manages to avoid 37 ... 'iVxb3? 38
axb3 l1b2 39 Ita1 11xb3, when 40 a5 l:tb7 41
a6 lla7 42 'it>f1 'it>g7 43 'it>e2 'it>f6 44 'it>d3
'it>e 7 45 'it>c4 'it>d6 46 'it>b5 is close to win
ning for White.

38 'i'b2 e5
16 .l:!.fc 1 xe2 1 7 c5 .l:!.a6 1 8 'i'c2 b5
The redeployment of the bishop with
1 8 ... c4 1 9 'iVxc3 d5, with equality, is a
good idea.

1 9 'ii'x c3 ttJd5 20 'i'd2


20 'iVe 1 !? is interesting.

20 . . . 'ii'd 7 2 1 .l:!.ab 1 c6 22 h4
White seizes space on the kingside.

22 . . . ttJb6 23 'ii'e 1 .l:!.c8 24 'ii'b4 ttJa4 25


72

Missing the best defence in 38 . . .l::t a3 39


lIc1 llxa4 40 l:tc8 'iVd1+ 41 'it>h2 'fid4 with
equality.

39 .l:!.e 1 'ii'c 6? !
A clear path t o equality i s 3 9 . . . e4 40 'iVe2
(40 l:he4?? 'fid1+ 41 'it>g2 l:tc1 and Black has
a decisive attack) 40 ... 'ilfxe2 41 l:txe2 11c4,
when the rook ending is completely drawn.

40 'ii'b 5! 'i'c7?

Th e S e m i- Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 ii.. g 2 ii.. e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

After the inaccuracy o n the 39th move


Black could still play 40 .. .'ii'c 5 41 'it>g2 l:tc2
42 'iix c5 l:txc5 43 .l:!.b1 and, despite the fact
that White is better here, Black has good
chances of saving the game. After the text
the struggle is probably over.

the opposite coloured bishops ensured that


Black was okay. Browne gives 12 'iVxc4 .ia6
1 3 'iVc2, when White has the upper hand he has the bishop pair and the black pawns
are very weak.

41 l:txe5 l:tc1 + 42 'It>g2 .l:I.d 1 ?

12 ... .ia6 13 'it'c5 c6 14 .ig5 f6 15 .id2


and White is better.

42 ...l:tc2 43 h5 is a slight improvement for


Black.

43 l:td5 l:te 1

44

l:td7 c 1 45 d5 1 -0

Game 34
Manor-Anand

London 1987
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
.1g2 ii.. e 7 6 0-0 0-0 7 ttJe5 ttJc6 8 ttJxc6
bxc6 9 ttJa3 ii.. x a3 1 0 bxa3 ttJd5 1 1 a4

1 2 xc6 l:tb8

1 3 c5 ii.. b 7
Posting the bishop more actively with
1 3 . . . .ia6 seems to work out well for Black
here, e.g. 14 e4!? c3!? (14 .. .'it'd7?! 1 5 .if4
l:tfc8 1 6 :fd1 4Ja4 1 7 'iVg5 l:tb2 1 8 d5 h6 1 9
'iVg4 h 5 20 'iVxh5 4Jc3 2 1 .ie5 4Jxd1 22
.uxd 1 was difficult for Black in Sorg-Oettel,
Schwabisch Gmuend 1 996, but 17 ... 4Jb2 1 8
l:td2 c 3 1 9 .l:tc2 .l:tb5 20 d5!? i s interesting) 1 5
.l:!.e1 4Ja4 1 6 'WaS .ib5 1 7 l:tb1 c 6 and Black
is very solid. Also possible is 14 .if4 4Jd5 1 5
.ixd5 'iVxd5 1 6 'Wxa7 l:tb6 1 7 .ixc7 .ib7 1 8
f3 a6 (1 8 ... l:tb2? 1 9 :tab 1 lIa8 20 e4 'iVb5
21 'iVb6 'iVxb6 22 .ixb6 l:!.xb1 23 l:txb1 f5 24
.ic5 and White had good chances thanks to
his two extra pawns in Palatnik-Razuvaev,
Thilisi 1 973) 1 9 'iVc5 1:[c8 20 'iVxd5 .ixd5 21
.if4 when a draw was agreed in Ftacnik
Kurajica, Dortmund 1 98 1 . However, the
following line is slightly better for White:
21 .. .c3! 22 e4 .ic4 23 l:tf2 1:txa3 24 .id6 :ta6
25 .ic5 e5 26 l:tc1 exd4 27 .ixd4 .l:txa2 etc.

1 4 e4
1 1 . . . ttJb6
Preferable to 1 1 ...4Jc3?! 1 2 'iVc2 (1 2
'iVxc4? 'iVxd4! and Black wins material)
12 ... 4Jb5 1 3 e3 4Jd6 1 4 a4 as 1 5 .ia3 'iVd7
16 .ixd6 cxd6 1 7 'iVxc4 .ib7 1 8 l:1fc1 lUc8
19 :tab 1 l:ta7 20 l:tb3, when Black's extra
pawn was less important than his develop
ment problems in Vera-Moran, Alcobendas
1994. In fact he was under considerable pres
sure after 20 ... c5 21 'iVb5 .ixg2 22 'it>xg2 g6
23 dxc5 dxc5 24 Ihc5 etc.
1 1 ...a5 12 'iVxc6 .ia6 13 'iVc5 was played
in Alburt-Browne, Philadelphia 1 989. After
1 3. .. 'iVd6 1 4 'iVxa5 c3 1 5 .ixd5 'ii'x d5 1 6
'i'xc3 .ixe2 chances were even - once again

1 4 . . . d6
Another option is 14 ... f5 15 f3 fxe4 1 6
73

Th e C a t a l a n

fxe4 .l:txf1+ 1 7 'it>xfl tDa4 (17...'it'f6+?! 1 8


'it>g 1 l:t fS 1 9 i.f4 was seen in Raetsky
AI. Schneider, Megeve 1 994, when White
would have been better after 1 9 ...'it'g6 20
:te l) 1 8 'iVe5 'it'd6 and White is slightly bet
ter due to the bishop pair. An improvement
is 1 4".'iVd7, an unclear situation resulting
after 1 5 i.f4 l:tbc8 1 6 l:tfd 1 h6 1 7 l:td2 l:tfd8
1 8 l:tc1 i.a6 1 9 d5 exd5 20 exd5 i.b7 in
G.Agzamov-Sveshnikov, Tashkent 1 980.

White plays 7 'ilfc2 a 6 8 a4

Game 35
Filippov-Sulskis

Poland 1999
1 d4 d 5 2 c4 e6 3 ltJf3 ltJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
i.g2 i.e7 6 0-0 0-0 7 'ii'c 2

1 5 i.f4 'ii'x c5 1 6 dxc5 ltJa4 1 7 .l:!.fc 1 i.a6


1 8 i.f 1 ltJxc5 1 9 i.xc4 .l:!.b1?
Much better is 1 9" .i.xc4 20 l:txc4 tDa6 2 1
l:tac 1 1:tfd8 22 l:ta4 l:tb6 2 3 i.xc 7 tDxc7 24
l:txc7 a6 25 l:tb4 l:tbb8!, as in Raetsky
Ulfarsson, Reykjavik 1 996. White is better
here, but Black can fight for the draw.
1 9 "J1fc8 has also been played. Raetsky
Naumkin, Budapest 1 99 1 continued 20 i.xa6
tDxa6 21 l:tc6 l:tb6 22 l:tac 1 'it>fS 23 i.e3
l:txc6 24 .l:txc6 tDb8 25 l:tc4. Again White's
rook and bishop are stronger and more ac
tive than Black's forces. There followed
25".a6 26 i.f4 'it>e7 27 l:txc7+ l:txc7 28 i.xc7
tDc6 29 f3 d7 30 i.b6 tDe5 31 'it>f2 tDc4
32 i.c5 when the endgame with an extra a
pawn was clearly better for White, thanks in
no small part to the bishop. Hjartarson
Schussler, Gausdal 1 985 saw instead 26".c6!
27 i.xb8 l:txb8 28 l:txc6 l:td8! 29 l:txa6 lId4
30 l:ta8+ 'it>e7 31 e5 g5!, this time with an
edge for White, but fighting chances for
Black. Returning to 1 9 " .l:tfc8, another option
is 20 i.e3 i.xc4 21 .l:txc4 tDd7 22 l:tac 1 , e.g.
22".c5!? 23 i.xc5 tDxc5 24 l:txc5 l:txc5 25
l:txc5 when White is in the lead but will have
a hard time trying to win the race, or
22" .l:tb7, when 23 .l:tb4! l:txb4 24 axb4 tDb6
25 l:tc5 'it>fS 26 i.f4 c6 27 .l:ta5 l:ta8 28 l:ta6
was very pleasant for White in Chekhov
Baikov, Moscow 1 979.

Kochiev-V.Orlov, St. Petersburg 1 999


went 7".b5 8 a4 i.a6 (8".c6? 9 axb5 cxb5? 1 0
tDg5 and White i s winning due t o the threats
against a8 and h7) 9 axb5 i.xb5 1 0 tDe5
tDd5 1 1 tDa3 i.xa3 1 2 bxa3 c3 1 3 a4 i.a6 1 4
i.a3 l:te8 1 5 l:tfc1 f6 1 6 tDd3 tDc6 1 7 e 3 with
an edge for White as Black will find it diffi
cult to hold on to the c3-pawn.
After 7" .c5 8 'iVxc4 cxd4 9 tDxd4 e5 1 0
tDb3 tDc6 1 1 i.e3 i.e6 1 2 'iib 5 White has
some pressure on the queenside but Black is
well developed. White still needs to get the
rest of this forces into play. White was more
successful in Kengis-Meijers, Riga 1 984: 8
dxc5 i.xc5 9 'iVxc4 e7 1 0 .i.g5 tDbd7 1 1
tDbd2 h6 1 2 i.h4!? g5 1 3 tDxg5 hxg5 1 4
.i.xg5 'iWd6 1 5 'iWh4! 'iVd4 1 6 i.f4 .i.e7 1 7
'iVg5+ h8 1 8 l:tac 1 ! and White had created a
strong attack for the sacrificed piece.

20 i.e3!

8 a4

White wins the exchange.

20 . . . i.xc4 21 i.xc5 i.d3 22 i.xf8 'it'xf8


23 f3 'it'e7 24 .l:!.c3 i.a6 25 .l:!.ac 1 'it'd7 26
a4 'it'd6 1 -0
74

7 . . . a6

Also possible is the complex 8 i.g5 b5 9


i.xf6 i.xf6 1 0 tDg5 i.xg5 1 1 i.xa8 'iVxd4 1 2
i.g2 tDd7 1 3 tDc3 f5! 1 4 b 3 ! cxb3 1 5 axb3
'YtVc5 1 6 l:ta2 i.e 7 1 7 e3 .i.d6 as in Korchnoi-

Th e S e m i- Op e n Ca t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 g 2 e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

Vaganian, Montpellier 1 985. For the ex


change Black has two pawns and decent
pieces, inviting an evaluation of unclear.
Shabalov-Ivanchuk, Novosibirsk 1 986
went 8 ltJbd2 b5 9 ltJg5 l:ta7 10 b3 cxb3 1 1
ltJxb3 ..tb7 1 2 ..txb7 l:txb7 1 3 e4 ltJfd7! 1 4
ltJ f3 c 5 1 5 dxc5 ltJxc5 1 6 ltJxc5, when Sha
balov gives 1 6 ...l:!.c7 1 7 ltJxe6 l:!.xc2 1 8 ltJxd8
.l:!.xd8 as equal.

S c5
. . .

Quite different is 8 ...ltJc6 9 'it'xc4 'ii'd 5 10


tLlbd2 (1 0 'it'd3 l:!.d8 1 1 ltJc3 'iih 5 12 'iVc4
..td7 1 3 i.f4 i.d6 1 4 i.g5! is an attractive
alternative for White, who has more room
for manoeuvre) 1 O ....:td8 1 1 e3, e.g. 1 1 ...i.d7
(1 1 ...'ii'h 5 1 2 e4 ..td7 1 3 b3 b5 14 'it'c3 i.e8
15 axb5 axb5 1 6 1ha8 l:!.xa8 17 i.b2 l:!.a2 1 8
'it'c 1 ! 'ii'h 6 1 9 h3 g6 20 l:tel 'ii' rn 2 1 'fibl
tDb4 22 ltJe5 ltJd7 23 i.c3 favoured White
in Kramnik-Piket, Dortmund 1 995) 1 2 ltJe5
(12 b3 is also good) 12 ... ltJxe5, when White
should prefer 1 3 'ii't 3 ltJf3+ 14 i.xf3 'it'fS 1 5
'iVxc7, with insufficient compensation for
Black, to the continuation in Lahner
Michenka, Karvina 2001 , where 1 3 'it'xc7?
tLlc6! 14 ..txd5 ltJxd5 1 5 'iWxb7 ltJa5 1 6
'iVxa8 Iha8 left Black better because the
rook and two pawns were no match for the
bishop and knight. After 9 'ii'xc4 Black has
also tried 9 ...ltJb4. For example Filippov
A.Rodriguez, unares 1 997 continued 1 0
tLlc3 b 5 1 1 'ii'b 3 bxa4 1 2 ltJxa4 l:tb8 1 3 l:td 1
..tb7 1 4 ltJc3 'it'c8 1 5 ..tf4 ltJd3 1 6 l:txd3
..txf3, when Rodriguez gives 17 'it'a2!? i.xg2
18 'it>xg2 'ii'b7+ 1 9 gl 'it'xb2 20 'it'xa6 as
somewhat better for White in view of the
superior structure.

9 ltJbd2
After 9 dxc5 ..txc5 10 ltJbd2 ltJc6 1 1
tDxc4 'iJle7 it seems that 1 2 ..tg5 is good
enough only for equality, e.g. 1 2 ... h6 1 3 ..txf6
'i'xf6 1 4 l:!.fdl e5 1 5 e3 ..tfS 1 6 iVb3 e4 1 7
tDfd2 'ii'e 7 1 8 ltJb6 l:!.ad8 1 9 ltJd5 'ife6 20
tLlf4 'iVxb3 21 ltJxb3 and the game is level, or
18 'ifc2?! ltJb4 1 9 'iVc3 l:!.ac8, when Black
enjoyed more space in Anastasian-Asrian,

Yerevan 2000. In fact 20 'ife5? 'it'xe5 2 1


ltJxe5 ltJc2 2 2 l:!.abl ltJxe3! 2 3 fxe3 ..txe3+
24 'it>f1 ..txd2 25 l:!.xd2 e3 saw Black win
material.
Another option is 1 2 b3 ltJd5 1 3 ..tb2
l:!.d8 14 1:tac 1 ltJdb4 1 5 lic3 ltJd4 16 ltJxd4
..txd4 1 7 'it'xd4!? .uxd4 1 8 i.xd4 and White
had a rook and bishop for the queen in Aro
nian-Bick, Ubeda 2000. This seems okay here
as Black is weak on the dark squares and lags
behind on the queenside. The situation re
mained unclear after 1 8 ...ltJc6 1 9 i.e3 e5 20
ltJb6 l:!.b8 21 i.c5 'ii'f6 22 ltJd5 etc.
The natural 12 ltJfe5 is White's most
prorrusmg try for advantage. Gulko
I vanchuk, unares 1 990 was a shade better
for White after 1 2 ... ltJxe5 1 3 ltJxe5 ltJd5 1 4
ltJd3 ..td6 1 5 ..td2 ltJf6 1 6 :tac 1 , while
1 2 ... ltJd4 1 3 'it'd l l:!.d8 1 4 e3 ltJfS 1 5 'it'c2
receives a similar assessment.

. . .

cxd4 1 0 ltJxc4 ltJc6 1 1 l:!.d 1 ltJd5

1 2 ltJxd4 ! ? ltJdb4 1 3 ltJxc6 ltJxc2 1 4


ltJxdS ltJxa 1 1 5 ltJxb 7 xb 7
Interesting is 1 5 ... ltJb3 1 6 ltJba5 ltJxa5 1 7
ltJxa5 l:!.b8 1 8 ltJc6 l:!. b7 1 9 b 4 and White has
some compensation for the exchange. Also
good enough for Black is 1 5 . . ..l:!.b8 16 ..tf4
..txb7 1 7 i.xb8 l:!.xb8 1 8 ..txb7 l:!.xb7 1 9
11xal 11b4 20 l:!.c1 l:!.xa4 21 ltJb6 l:!.d4 when
the ending is even.

1 6 xb7 tradS 1 7 l:!.f 1


Or 1 7 .l:.xd8 Ihd8 1 8 i.f4 with compen
sation. The a6-pawn is difficult to protect.
75

Th e Ca t a l a n

17 ... ttJb3 18 iLxa6 J:ta8 1 9 iLb 5 ttJd4 20


iLe3

3 1 . . .J:tb 7 32 J:td3 'iit h 6 33 f4 f6 34 J:te3


iLe5 35 J:txe6 J:txb3 36 J:te6 J:tb5 37 J:te 7
iLb4 3 8 e4 J:te5!
N o t 38 ... l:txhS? 3 9 ttJe3 f8 4 0 l:t f7 , and
White wins the g7 -pawn and with it the
game.

39 J:txe5 iLxe5 40 'iitf 3 'iit x h5


White has only a modest advantage.

41 ttJe3 'iit g 6 42 ttJf5 'iitf 7 43 'iit g4 iLg 1


44 h3 iLe5 45 ttJh4 iLf2 46 ttJf3 iLe5 47
ttJe 1 iLf2 48 ttJd3 iLe3 49 f5
From here White tries hard to win the
game but his efforts are met with some im
pressive defence. . .

20 . . . ttJxb5
20 ... ttJxe2+?! takes the wrong pawn.
Black's majority on the kingside will not be
very dangerous compared to White's a- and
b-pawns. After 21 'iitg2 l:!.ad8 22 .Jtb6 White
has the better chances.

21 axb5 J:tfb8 22 b6 J:tb7 23 J:tb1 iLb4


24 iLf4 h5 25 iLe7 h4? !
Too ambitious. After 2S ...g6 the situation
is about equal; Black returns the exchange at
the right moment.

26 gxh4 J:te8 27 l:I.d 1 'iit h 7 28 'iit g 2 iLe7


29 h5?!
Simple and good is 29 l:td7.

29 . . . J:texe 7 30 bxe 7 J:txe 7 31 b3

49 ... iLb6 50 ttJf4 iLe7 5 1 'iitf 3 iLd6


'iite 3 iLe5 53 ttJg6 iLe7 54 'iitd 4 iLb8
'iit e 5 iLg3 56 'iitd 5 iLh2 57 'iit e 6 'iite 8
ttJh4 'iite 7 59 ttJf3 iLf4 60 ttJd4 iLe3
ttJe6 g6 62 ttJe7 'iitf 7 63 'iitd 7 gxf5
exf5 iLd4 65 ttJb5 iLb2 66 ttJd6 + 'iitf8
'iit e 6 iLd4 68 ttJb5 iLb2 69 ttJe7 iLe5
ttJd5 'iit g 7 71 ttJe3 iLe3 72 ttJg4 iLd4
h4 iLe3 74 h5 iLb2 75 ttJxf6 'iit h 6
ttJg4+ 'iit x h5 77 ttJe5 'iit h 6 78 f6 'iit h 7
f7 'iit g 7 Yo - Yo

52
55
58
61
64
67
70
73
76
79

Game 36
Ftacnik -Dutreeuw

Batumi 1999
1 d4 d5 2 e4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxe4 5
iLg2 iLe7 6 0-0 0-0 7 'ilVe2 a6 8 a4 iLd7
9 J:td 1

White is tw o pawns up and has genuine


winning chances, although the win will not
come easily.
76

In Urban-Rozentalis, Lubniewice 1 998


White unleashed the bishop with 9 ttJeS,
when there followed 9 ... c6 10 ttJxc6 ttJxc6.
Then 1 1 xc6 bxc6 12 l:!.d1 'iVdS 13 ttJa3
iVhS! is nice for Black, so Urban chose 1 1 e3
ttJaS 1 2 ttJd2 cS 1 3 dxcS 'iVc7 1 4 ttJxc4 'iVxcs
1 5 b3 .l:'tac8 1 6 iVb 1 ttJxc4 1 7 bxc4 ':c7 1 8
b2 ttJd7 1 9 a s l:!.fc8 2 0 a3 'iYgs 21 h4
'iYf6 22 b2 'iYh6 and the game was still well
balanced. The b 7 -pawn is a bit weak, but so
is c4 and, while Black's knight will find a
good outpost on cS, White has the bishop
pair. 1 3 ...l:tc8 has also been tried here. After

Th e S e m i- Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 iL e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

14 b4 cxb3 I S lbxb3 lbxb3 1 6 'iWxb3 lbd7


17 c6 bxc6 I S l:tdl White emerged with
compensation in the form of the bishop pair
and activity in Anastasian-Lutz, Batumi 1 999,
the subsequent I S ... 'iVc7 19 .i.d2 lHdS 20 as
liJcs 21 'ilVc2 .t:!.bS 22 i.c3 adding to the mix.
9 . . . iLe6

1 2 d5 exd5 1 3 e5 ttJe4 1 4 ttJxd5 iLxd5


1 5 J:txd5 ttJee5 1 6 axb5 'ilfeS 1 7 J:td 1
ttJd3 1 S e6!
White crashes through.
1 S . . . ttJb6
Dubious is IS ... fxe6?! 19 'iVxc4 liJ3cS 20
bxa6 and White has a winning position.
1 9 exf7 + J:txf7 20 iLe3 axb5 21 J:txaS
ttJxaS 22 ttJd4 ttJb6 23 ttJxb5
Black's pawns are simply too weak.
23 . . . 'ilfd7 24 ttJe3 e5 25 b3 'ii'e 6 26 bxe4
ttJb4 27 e4! xe4
The lesser evil is 27 ... 'iVxe4 2S liJxe4 liJxc4
29 i.xcs, although this is anyway poor for
Black.
2S iLh3! xe3 29 J:tdS + !
2 9 . . . iLfS 3 0 iLe6 'ilfa 1 + 3 1 g2 1 -0
White has too many threats.

10 ttJe3
10 'iWxc4 i.dS 1 1 'iVc2 lbc6 12 lbbd2 lbb4
13 'itOl cS 14 e4 i.c6 I S eS lbd7! 1 6 lbe4 h6
17 dxcS .i.xe4 IS 'ii'x e4 lbxcs 19 l:txdS
liJxe4 20 l:txaS l:txaS is level according to
Ribli. White's Catalan bishop is good but
Black's knights are well posted and White's
queenside might prove vulnerable. However,
Black would prefer to see 17 b3?! .i.dS I S
liJc3 .i.xf3 1 9 .i.xf3 cxd4 20 l1xd4 'iWc7 a s in
Donguines-Villamayor, Calcutta 2001 , when
the weakness on eS tipped the scales in
Black's favour. Indeed after 21 l::t c 4 'ilVaS! 22
i.xb 7 l:tabS 23 .i.g2 lbxeS 24 .i.f4 liJxc4 2S
i.xbS liJd2! Black collected a pawn.
1 0 . . . ttJbd7
1O ... .i.xf3 is dealt with in the next main
game. Another possibility is 1O ...liJdS 1 1 e4
liJxc3 1 2 bxc3 bS 1 3 lbeS i.b7 14 irb l - a
typical manoeuvre for White. After 1 4 ... lbc6
IS liJxc4 eS 16 .i.e3 exd4 17 cxd4 bxc4 1 8
'iWxb7 lbaS 1 9 'iYb2 ltbS 20 'iVc2 .l:tb3 21
i.f1 i.b4 22 ltac1 ltc3 Black does have
some compensation for his weaknesses, but
perhaps not enough.
1 1 e4 b5

Dizdar-Sadler

Game 37
Pula 1997
1 d4 d5 2 e4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxe4 5
iLg2 iLe7 6 0-0 0-0 7 'ii'e 2 a6 S a4 iLd7
9 J:td 1 iLe6 1 0 ttJe3

1 0 . . . iLxf3 1 1 iLxf3 ttJe6 1 2 iLxe6 bxe6


1 3 iLg5
13 as 'iVbs 14 'iVa4 (14 lta4 'iVb3! I S
'iVxb3 cxb3 1 6 ltc4 c S 1 7 dxcS ltfdS 1 8
ltxdS+ ltxdS saw Black generate sufficient
activity in N.Pert-Asrian, Yerevan 1 999, the
ending being equal after 19 i.f4 liJdS 20
77

Th e Ca t a l a n

tLJxd5 :xd5 21 l:tc3 e5 22 .i.e3 f8) 1 4 ... c5


15 xc4 cxd4 1 6 l:txd4 c5 1 7 lld3 'iib4 1 8
:a4 'iWb7 1 9 l:!.a3 "iib4 20 a2 l::ta b8 was
seen in Beliavsky-Stohl, Portoroz 1 999, the
bacl...-ward b-pawn affording Black equal
chances.
Black has also used the b8-square for his
rook: 1 3. .. l::tb 8 14 'iVa4 :b4! (it is important
to keep the c4-pawn rather than its less
important partner on c6) 1 5 'iYxc6 d6 1 6
f3
and
now
Romanishin-Brunner,
Altensteig 1 992 went 16 ... :fb8?! 1 7 e4 'it'c6
1 8 d5 with an excellent game for White,
whose fortunes quickly improved after the
faulty 1 8 ... exd5?, when the punishment came
in the form of 1 9 e5 lbe8 20 lbxd5 'it'f8 21
'iVh5 l:t4b5 22 'ilVxh7 f6 23 g8+! - a nice
little trick that wins a piece. However,
Kotronias gives 1 6 ...l:'td8 1 7 e4 'ilVc6 1 8 'iVe2
7 1 9 l::ta2 c5!? 20 d5 exd5 21 exd5 h6!
with an acceptable position for Black.
1 3 . . . l:tb8
1 3 . .. tLJd5 14 .i.xe7 'ilVxe7 1 5 tLJe4 l::t fb 8 1 6
'ilVxc4 l::txb2 1 7 lIab 1 'iib4 1 8 it'xc6 l::txb 1 1 9
'iYxa8+ 'iWb8 2 0 'iixb8+ l::tx b8 21 tLJc5 tLJc3
22 l::td2 as led to a level ending in Ti
moshenko-Asrian, Ubeda 1 998.
14 e3

White's b-pawn can also b e attacked, while


Black has an extra pawn. At some point he
might play ... c6-c5.
1 4 . . . 4:Jd7 ? !
Black had a slight edge i n Ftacnik
P.Nielsen, Germany 1 999 after the interest
ing 1 4 ... h6!? 1 5 .i.xf6 .i.xf6 1 6 lbe4 .llb4 1 7
lbcs 'iVc8 1 8 .l:!.ac1 .i.e7 1 9 lbe4 'ilVb7. Here
c4 is no weaker than b2, and Black has a
good bishop and decent piece play.
1 5 xe 7 'it'xe 7 1 6 4:Je4 l:tb4 1 7 4:Jd2 e5
1 8 4:Jxe4 l:tfb8 1 9 l:tae 1 h6 20 dxe5
20 d5 exd5 21 J:hd5 is playable, when
21 ...lbb6 22 lbxb6 cxb6 23 l::tc dl 'iVe4 is
roughly level but 2 1 ...11xc4? 22 'ilVxc4 tLJb6
23 iVb3! c4 24 l::tx c4 l:ta8 25 l::tc 6 lbxd5 26
'ii'x d5 simply leads to the loss of a pawn.
20 . . . 4:Jf6
20 ... lbxc5? 21 lbaS and lbc6 is coming.
21 4:Je5 l:txb2 22 'ife4
22 lbc6? runs into 22 ... e8 23 xb2
l::txb2 24 l::td 8 'ilVxd8 25 lbxd8 lbe4 and
White loses a pawn. Both players should be
careful in this seemingly quiet position.
22 . . . 4:Jd5 23 e4?
A mistake. After 23 lbd3!? White enjoys a
smal1 but solid edge.
23 . . . 4:Je3!

Illescas-Beliavsky, Madrid 1 998 continued


14 .i.xf6 .i.xf6 1 5 lbe4 l::tb4 1 6 e3 'iVd5! and
after the further 1 7 lbxf6+ (1 7 as is interest
ing) 1 7...t,1Xf6 1 8 e4 'ilVhS!? the position is
unclear. Black has vulnerable pawns but

Now Black is in charge!


24 fxe3 'ifg5 !
N o t 2 4... 'ilVf6? 25 lbd3 'ik f3 2 6 lbxb2
l:!.xb2 27 'tin 'it'xe3+ 28 hl 'iixe4+ and
White escapes with a draw.

78

Th e S e m i- Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 ii.. g 2 ii.. e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

2 5 'iWc3 'iWh5 2 6 nd8 + Wh7 2 7 nd2


nxd2 28 'iWxd2 'iWxe5
White's king is exposed and his centre
pawns are weak. Black has a decisive advan
tage.
29 'iWd4 'ilVg5!

No exchange of queens!
30 nf 1 e5 31 'iWc3 f6 32 Wg2 'iWg4 33
'i'c4 a5 34 h3 'iWd7 35 'iWc2 'ilVc6 36 nd 1 .
J:!.b4 37 nd8 nxa4 38 nc8 nb4! 0- 1

Game 38
Lputian-J . Polgar

WiJk aan Zee 2000


1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 liJf3 liJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
ii..g 2 ii.. e 7 6 0-0 0-0 7 'iWc2 a6 8 a4 ii.. d 7
9 'ilVxc4 ii.. c 6

10 ii.. g 5
In the event of 1 0 lZ'lc3?! b 5 ! 1 1 'iVd3 b4

1 2 lZ'lbl .i.e4 1 3 'lidl c5 1 4 lZ'lbd2 .i.d5 1 5


dxc5 lZ'lbd7 1 6 lZ'lb3 lZ'lxc5 1 7 lZ'lxc5 .i.xc5
Black had a fine position in Ara.Minasian
Yegiazarian, Yerevan 200 1 . There followed
1 8 lZ'le5 .i.xg2 1 9 'iVxd8 .l:.fxd8 20 xg2
l:tac8 21 lZ'ld3 .i.rn 22 .i.g5 .l:tc2 23 l:tac1
l:tdc8 24 l:txc2 l:txc2 25 .l:tc 1 with an equal
ending, but 20 ...l:td5!? 21 lZ'ld3 .i.d6 22 l:tdl
l:td8 offers Black chances of finding more.
Also possible is 10 .i.f4 as 1 1 lZ'lc3 lZ'la6,
when Hjartarsson gives 12 l:tad .i.d5 1 3
lZ'lxd5 exd5 1 4 5 c8 with a balanced
game. Delchev-Flear, Creon 2001 continued
instead 1 2 .:tac1 lZ'lb4 1 3 .l:tfe l lZ'lfd5 1 4
lZ'lxd5 'iVxd5 1 5 1Wxd5 (1 5 .i.xc7 xc4 1 6
l:txc4 .i.xa4 1 7 lZ'le5 f6 with approximate
equality, White's control of the centre being
weighed against Black's queenside majority)
1 5 ... lZ'lxd5 1 6 lZ'le5 lZ'lxf4 1 7 lZ'lxc6 (better
than 1 7 .i.xc6 .i.b4! 1 8 gxf4 .i.xel 1 9 .i.xb7
l:ta7 20 l:txc7 l:tb8 21 l:tc8+ l:txc8 22 .i.xc8
l:tc7 with an edge for Black as White's pawns
are not quite enough for the exchange)
1 7 ...lZ'lxe2+ ( 1 7 ... bxc6 1 8 gxf4 l:tab8 1 9 l:txc6
l::t xb2 20 l::t x c7 .i.b4 looks drawn) 1 8 l:txe2
bxc6 19 .i.xc6 l:tad8 20 d5 .i.f6 21 dxe6 fxe6
22 .i.b5 and White had a minimal advantage
in the shape of Black's pawn weaknesses.
Black opted for the Catalan trade of
knight for dark-squared bishop in Hulak
Psakhis, Zagreb 1 993, emerging from
1 O ... lZ'ld5 1 1 lZ'lc3 lZ'lxf4 1 2 gxf4 as!? with
control of b4. There followed 1 3 l:!.fdl .i.d5
14 5 lZ'la6 1 5 e4 .i.c6 16 "iVc4 lZ'lb4 1 7
lZ'le5 .i.e8 with more space for White but a
solid set-up for Black, the try 1 8 d5 exd5 1 9
lZ'lxd5 lZ'lxd5 20 Itxd5 .i.d6 21 lZ'l f3 .i.c6 22
l:td3 'iVc8 23 e5 .i.e7 producing unclear play.
1 0 . . . a5
The more modest 1 0 ... lZ'lbd7 has also
been played, e.g. 1 1 lZ'lc3 l:tc8 12 'ii'd3 lZ'ld5
13 .i.xe7 'ii'xe7 14 e4 lZ'lxc3 1 5 bxc3 l:!.fd8 1 6
l:tfe l lZ'lb6 1 7 'iVc2 .i.e8 1 8 l:teb l l:!.b8 1 9 c4
e5 20 d5 lZ'ld7 21 'iVc3 f6 22 lZ'ld2 b6 23 as
with an easier game for White (space) In
Wojtkiewicz-Watanabe, Merida 2000.
79

Th e C a t a l a n

11 ... h6 is the other means of dealing with


the bishop. In Filippov-Kiriakov, St. Peters
burg 2000 White dropped back to f4, and
after 1 2 .1f4 .1d6 1 3 .l:!.fdl as 1 4 ttJe5 .1xg2
1 5 xg2 ttJb6 1 6 'ifb3 ttJfd5 1 7 ttJe4 .1b4
1 8 ttJc5 ttJxf4+ 1 9 gxf4 'it'd5+ 20 'it'xd5
ttJxd5 21 f3 .1xc5 22 dxc5 l:[fd8 23 l:i.d2 f5
chances remained even as both players had a
knight in the centre. White can also use the
tempo to turn his attentions to the queenside
with 12 i.xf6 ttJxf6 1 3 b4 .1d5 14 ttJxd5
exd5 1 5 'ifb3 c6 1 6 e3 ttJe4 1 7 It.fc1 'it'd6 1 8
nabl (Beliavsky-Karpov, Yugoslavia 1 996),
when Beliavsky gives the continuation
1 8 ... .1f6 1 9 ':c2 'it'e6 20 b5 cxb5 21 axb5 as
as unclear, or 1 3 as 'it'd6 14 .l:!.fc1 .l:!.fd8 1 5 e3
I:tac8 16 'ifb3 llb8 17 'it'c2 .1xf3 1 8 .1xf3 c5
19 ttJe2 cxd4 20 ttJxd4 ttJd5 21 'iib 3 ttJb4 22
1:[c4 b6 23 axb6 'it'xb6 24 :xb4 .1xb4 25
ttJc6 as 26 ttJxb8 'it'xb8, which was equal in
Romanishin-Ivanovic, Belgrade 2000.
1 1 ltJc3 ltJa6 1 2 ii.xf6
Of course White is not obliged to make
this capture immediately. 12 l:tac1 .1d5
(1 2 ... 'it'd6 13 ttJe5 .1xg2 14 xg2 c6 1 5
.1xf6 gxf6 1 6 ttJ f3 gave White a small edge
in Kasparov-Karpov, World Championship
(game 22), Moscow 1 984) 1 3 'it'd3 ttJb4 1 4
'ifbl c 6 1 5 e 4 .1c4 1 6 l:tfdl i.b3 1 7 :el
.1c4!? is a line given by Chernin. Black is
solid, although the position is unclear.
The alternative rook development is 1 2
fd 1 . Then 1 2 .. :iVd6 1 3 e 3 h 6 1 4 .1xf6
.1xf6 1 5 ttJd2 .1xg2 1 6 xg2 'ii'b4 1 7 'ii'e2
c6 1 8 ttJc4 is Tukmakov-Kir.Georgiev, Szirak
1 995, when 1 8 ... .1d8 1 9 e4 .1c7 20 d5 exd5
21 exd5 Ilfe8 22 'if1 nad8 could have
earned
Black
equality according to
Kir.Georgiev. This leaves 1 2 ... .1d5 1 3 'ib5
ttJb4 1 4 .1xf6 .1xf6 1 5 e4 .1c6 1 6 'it'c4 g6
1 7 .l:Iac1 I:te8 1 8 d5 exd5 1 9 exd5 .1d7 20
ttJd4 .1e5 21 b3 'it'e7 22 liel 'iVf6 23 ttJe4
'it'g7 24 ttJc5 with an edge for White in Ftac
nik-Beliavsky, Germany 2000. White's pieces
stand well but Black has his chances, too.
1 2 . . . ii.xf6 1 3 e4 ltJb4 1 4 l:tfd 1 g6
80

I n Delchev-Lputian, Ohrid 2001 the con


tinuation 14 ... b6 1 5 ttJel 'it'd7!? 1 6 ttJb5 :fc8
1 7 ttJc2 ttJxc2 1 8 'it'xc2 .1e7 1 9 .1h3 .1xb5
20 axb5 c6 21 'iVe2 .l:IfS 22 d5 cxd5 23 exd5
.1c5 24 dxe6 'it'e8 left Black with compensa
tion for the pawn due to the presence of
opposite coloured bishops, while there is also
pressure against 1.
With 1 5 .l:!.d2 .1b7 1 6 'it'e2 g6 17 'iVe3
'iVe7 1 8 h4 White starts an attack on the
kingside, but Black can defend. Romanishin
Kir.Georgiev, Ohrid 2001 went 1 8 ...l:tad8 1 9
lladl c 5 20 e 5 .1g7 2 1 dxc5 .1xf3 22 nxd8
.l:!.xd8 23 llxd8+ 'it'xd8 24 .1xf3 bxc5 25
'it'xc5 ttJd3 26 'iVd6 .1f6!, the latest clever
move maintaining the balance.
1 5 h4
15 .:tac1 .l:!.e8 16 d5 exd5 17 exd5 .1d7 1 8
ttJd4 was seen i n Gelfand-Anand, Shenyang
2000, when 1 8 ... .1e5! 1 9 ttJcb5 .l:!.c8 20 ttJc6
bxc6 21 dxc6 i.e6 22 hd8 Ilcxd8 23 'iVe2
.1b3 would have given Black compensation
for the material. Although there is only a
rook and bishop for queen and pawn at the
moment, Black's forces look menacing .
1 5 . . . l:tc8 1 6 nd2 ii.g7 1 7 .l::ta d 1
White is slightly better due to his presence
in the centre.
1 7 . . . 'ii'e 7 1 8 ltJg5 h6 1 9 ltJf3 b6 20 d5
ii.d7 2 1 ltJd4 exd5 22 exd5 ii.g4

23 ltJc6!
With this move White gets rid of Black's
light-squared bishop and thus strengthens his

Th e S e m i- Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 !il.. g 2 !il.. e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

control o f these squares.


23 .. )t:Jxe6 24 'ii'x g4 tLle5 25 'ii'e 2 h5 26
tLlb5 'i'b4 27 lId4 'i'e5 28 lIe4 lIee8 29
'ii'e 3 'i'xe3 30 lIxe3 tLle4!
Better than the passive 30 ... l::re7 31 l::r e l .
3 1 lIxe8 lIxe8 32 tLlxe7 lIe8 33 d6 1Id8
33 ... llJxd6 34 nxd6 l:txc7 35 d5 and, if
anyone, White has only a minimal advantage
in this endgame.
34 tLlb5 tLlxb2 35 lIe 1 tLlxa4 36 lIe7 !il..f 8
37 !il.. d 5 !il.. x d6 38 lIxf7 'it>h8
White is a pawn down but his initiative is
strong. The knight on a4 is far from the bat
tlefield on the kingside.
39 !il.. e4 !il.. e 5
Another option is 39 ....ic5 40 xg6 llJb2
with unclear play. Black has a dangerous a
pawn.
40 !il.. x g6 1Id5 41 tLla7
Or 41 .l:th7+ 'It>g8 42 .if7+ 'It>xh7 43
.ixd5 llJc3 and the resulting opposite col
oured bishop ending is drawn.
41 . . . lIe5 42 lIb7 !il.. d 4 43 !il.. e 8 lIe 1 + 44
'it>g2 tLle3 45 tLle6 !il.. e 5 46 tLle5 a4 47
94! lIe 1 48 tLlg6 + 'it>g8

49 !il..f 7+
49 gxh5!? Ihe8 50 h6 .ie7 (forced) 5 1
tL\xe7+ l::r x e7 5 2 l:!.xe7 a 3 and Black's ad
vanced pawns give her adequate counterplay.
After 53 l:ta7 a2 54 'It>f3 b5 55 'It>f4 llJa4 56
.l:tg7+ Wh8 57 .l:tgl b4 58 'itg5 b3 59 nel b2
White has to force the draw: 60 l:te8+ 'It>h7
61 l::re 7+ 'It>h8 etc.

49 . . . 'it>g7 50 gxh5 tLle4?


The situation is unclear after 50 ... 'lt>h6.
51 !il.. e 8+ 'it>h6
Or 5 1 ...'lt>f6 52 l:!.f7+ 'It>e6 53 llJf4+ 'It>d6
54 lld7+ 'It>e5 55 llJd3+ and White is win
rung.
52 tLle7 'it>h7 53 !il.. g 6+ 'it>g7 54 tLld5 +
'it>f8 55 h6 tLl d 6 56 lIb8 + tLle8 57 tLlf6
!il.. d 4 58 tLlxe8 'it>e7 59 tLlg7 'it>f6 60 h7
1 -0

Game 39
Karpov-Milos

Buenos Aires 2000


1 d4 d5 2 e4 e6 3 tLlf3 tLlf6 4 g3 dxe4 5
!il.. g 2 !il.. e 7 6 0-0 0-0 7 'i'e2 a6 8 a4 !il.. d 7
9 'i'xe4 !il.. e 6 10 !il.. g 5

1 0 . . . !il.. d 5 1 1 'i'd3 e5
1 1 ...e4 1 2 'iVe3 llJbd7 13 llJc3 c6 1 4
'iVd3 .ib4 1 5 .l:tfe1 xf3!? 1 6 xf3 c 6 1 7
.l:tedl 'iiVa 5 1 8 h 4 h6 1 9 d2 e 5 2 0 el .l:tfe8
21 e3 .l:tad8 was equal in Beliavsky-Z.Almasi,
Ubeda 1 997, Black being ultra-solid. This
worked out better for Black than 1 4 ....l:tb8 1 5
'it'c2 b 5 1 6 axb5 axb5, which was the course
of Akopian-Ghaem Maghami, Yerevan 200 1 .
After 1 7 llJe5 xg2 1 8 'It>xg2 llJxe5 1 9 dxe5
llJd5 20 xe7 't!Vxe7 21 llJe4 b4 22 l::r fel b3
23 'iic 5 iYd7 24 'iic 6 'ilie7 25 h4 h6 26 .l:ta7
White's activity gave him the better chances.
1 2 dxe5
12 llJc3 .ic6 13 l::r fd 1 cxd4 14 llJxd4
81

Th e C a t a la n

i.xg2 1 5 'it;>xg2 'ii'a s 1 6 i.xf6 i.xf6 1 7 lLle4


.ixd4 1 8 'iVxd4 lLlc6 1 9 'ii'c 5 was level in
Tukrnakov-Beliavsky, Portoroz 1 996, while
Black also has the immediate 1 2 ... cxd4. Then
Karpov-Beliavsky, linares 1 994 continued
1 3 lLlxd5 'it'xd5?! 14 h4! lLlbd7?! (1 4 ... lLlc6 1 5
i.xf6 i.xf6 1 6 lLlg5 'ti'fS 1 7 i.e4 'iVe5 1 8
i.xc6 i.xg5 1 9 i.xb7 l:.a7 20 .ixa6 i.e7 21
l:.fdl is a shade favourable for White thanks
to the passed queenside pawns) 1 5 lLlxd4
'ii'd 6 1 6 l:.fdl lLlc5 1 7 iVc4 I:.fd8 1 8 b4! with
a clear lead for White, who won after
1 8 ... lLlxa4? 1 9 'iib 3! 'ii'b 6 20 e3 etc. Black is
only slightly worse after the correct
1 3. .. lLlxd5 14 i.xe7 'ii'x e7 1 5 lLlxd4, when
the Catalan bishop comes into play.
1 2 . . . tDbd7
1 2 ... i.xc5 1 3 lLlc3 i.c6 is sensible. In On
ischuk-Zvjaginzev, Poikovsky 2002 a draw
was agreed after 1 4 'iVc4 lLlbd7 1 5 b4 .ie7
16 b5 i.xf3 1 7 i.xf3 lLle5 1 8 'ii'f4 lLlxf3+ 1 9
'iix f3 axb5 2 0 axb5 'iVb6 21 i.e3 'iVc7 22
i.f4 'iVb6 23 i.e3. White can try 1 4 lLle5
xd3 1 5 lLlxd3 i.d4 16 .ixf6 .ixf6 1 7 lLle4
but 1 7 ... i.e7 is acceptable for Black, who was
able to neutralise White's attempted initiative
in Papaioannou-Beliavsky, Istanbul 2000
after 1 8 l:.fc 1 lLld7 1 9 lLlec5 lLlxc5 20 lLlxc5
i.xg2 21 'it;>xg2 l:tfd8 22 lLld3 'it>f8 23 l:.c7
l:.ab8 24 l:.ac1 e8 25 I:t7c4 f6 26 f4 :d7 27
l:.c8+ l:.xc8 28 l:!xc8+ l:.d8 29 :c7 l:!.d7 etc.
1 3 tDc3 tDxc5 1 4 e3

1 4 . . . a5
82

Another possibility is 1 4. . ..::.c 8 1 5 l:.fd 1


:e8 1 6 lLle5 'iWb6 1 7 i.h3! l1cd8 1 8 as 'ii'b 3
19 i.xf6 i.xf6 20 lLlxf7!, White's brilliant
sacrifice securing an advantage in Smyslov
Nogueiras, Graz 1 984 after 20 ... 'it>xf7 21
'iVxc5 .uc8 22 'it'e3 i.xc3 23 bxc3 'ifxc3 24
'ii'f4+.
1 5 .ixfS
1 5 :fdl .ic6 1 6 'iWf4 lLlb3 17 :abl h6 1 8
i.xf6 i.xf6 1 9 lLle4 i.xe4 20 'ii'x e4 lLlc5 2 1
'ii'e 3 'ii'b4 22 lLle5 :ad8 2 3 lLld3 lLlxd3 24
l:txd3 'ii'xa4 25 l:.xd8 I:.xd8 26 i.xb 7 was
agreed drawn in Adianto-Short, Beijing 2000.
However, an interesting suggestion is Pigu
'
SOy S 1 5 lLlxd5!? lLlxd5 1 6 a3 i.xg5 1 7
lLlxg5 h 6 1 8 :fc1 lLld7 1 9 lLle4 b 5 20 axb5
'iVxb5 21 lLlc3 lLlxc3 22 bxc3, when the
combination of the unbalanced pawn struc
ture and bishop versus knight looks nice for
White.
1 5 . . . .ixfS 1 S tDxd5 exd5 1 7 a3 bS
1 7 ... lLle4!? is worth a try. 1 8 l::tadl l:.fd8 1 9
e3 l:.ac8 2 0 lLld4 11c4 2 1 b 3 l:tcc8 2 2 b 4 'ii'b6
23 as 'ii'd 6 24 :c1 g6 25 'iVb2 'ii'd 7 26 b5
i.xd4 27 'ifxd4 'it'xb5 28 i.xe4 dxe4 and a
draw was agreed in Karpov-Gelfand,
Monaco (rapid) 200 1 . This is a bit premature
as there is still a lot to play for in this posi
tion.
1 8 .l:tab 1 tDb3 1 9 .l:tfd 1 l:!.fe8 20 e3 .l:tac8

21 tDd2!
After the knight exchange it might seem
difficult for White to generate an initiative

Th e S e m i- Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 iL e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

with opposite coloured bishops on the


board, but this is not the case. 21 l:lxdS?!
offers White nothing after 21 .. . .ie7 22 as
'i'g6 23 'iWa2 lbc1 24 'iVa1 lbb3 2S lbeS 'iWc2
26 'iVa2 lbc1 .
2 1 . . . tt'lxd2 2 2 l1xd2
Black's light-squared pawns are easier to
attack.
22 . . . d4 23 exd4 iLxd4 24 a5 g6 25
l1bd 1 iLe5 26 b4 iLf8 27 iLxb7
White has a big advantage.
27 . . . l1e2 28 l1d4!

As long as White protects the cS-square f2


be quite safe.
28 . . . l1ee2 29 'iWf3 :e 1 + 30 'it>g2 l1xd 1
31 'iWxd 1 l1b8 32 'iWf3 iLe7 33 b5! axb5
34 a6 iLe5 3 5 l1d5 'iWe2
Or 3S ....ia7 36 lld7 'iVe6 37 1:[xf7! and
White is winning.
36 :d7 'it>h8 37 iLe4 'iWa2 38 'iWf5 1 -0

will

Game 40
Kramnik -Gelfand

Astana 200 1
1 d4 d5 2 e4 e6 3 tt'lf3 tt'lf6 4 g3 dxe4 5
.ig2 iLe7 6 0-0 0-0 7 'iWe2 a6 8 a4 iLd7
9 xe4 iLe6 1 0 iLg5 .id5 1 1 e2 .ie4
1 2 d 1
The alternative is 1 2 'iYc1 with a wide
range of possibilities.
12 ... lbbd7 13 lbc3 .ic6 14 'iVc2 .i.b4 1 5
fe1 .ixf3 1 6 .ixf3 c6 and Black had a solid

Slav-like position in Tkachiev-Z.Almasi, Se


nec 1 998. Indeed after 1 7 1:[ed1 'i'aS 1 8 lba2
.id6 1 9 .i.d2 'i'c7 20 .i.g2 as 21 1:[ac1 l:tfd8
22 h3 .i.f8 23 e4 eS 24 .i.e3 the point was
shared.
Black also had nothing to fear after 12 ... cS
13 dxcs lbbd7 14 .ixf6 .ixf6 1 s lbbd2 .idS
16 e4 .ic6 17 'iNc2 'iWaS 18 1:[fc 1 l:tac8 1 9
lbb3 ifb4 20 'iWc4 'iWxc4 2 1 l:txc4 .ixb2 22
l:tb1 .ia3 23 .l:ta1 .ib2 in Kir.Georgiev
Bruzon, Moscow 200 1 .
The proceedings during the series
1 2 ... lbc6 1 3 lbbd2 lbxd4 1 4 lbxd4 .ixg2 1 5
lbxe6! fxe6 1 6 'it>xg2 'iWdS+ 1 7 lb f3 c S 1 8 as
h6 19 .ixf6 .ixf6 20 'iWc2 c4 21 1:[fd1 'iWbs
22 lbd4 .ixd4 23 .l:txd4 1:[ac8 24 'ij'd2 l:lcs
25 e4 'i'c6 proved interesting but still led to
equality in Kir.Georgiev-Beliavsky, Germany
2001 , while 1 7 ... .id6 1 8 'it'c2 'it'e4 1 9 l:tfc1
'it'xc2 20 .l:txc2 lbdS 21 .id2 eS! left Black
with an isolated pawn in the centre but com
pensation for this weakness in the form of
active pieces in Kir.Georgiev-Brenjo, Yugo
slavia 200 1 . After the further 22 lbgs lbf6 23
lbe6 1:[f7 24 .:tac1 c6 25 1:[d1 l:.e7 26 lbgs e4
27 .iaS lbdS 28 l:.c4 1:[ae8 the situation re
mained unclear.
Also possible is 1 3. .. .ig6 14 lbb3 h6 1 5
.ixf6 .ixf6 1 6 1:[d1 lbb4 1 7 lbe1 c6 1 8 as
SLhS 19 'it'd2 lbdS 20 lbd3 when White had
a firm grip on the dark squares in Ivanisevic
Beliavsky, Belgrade 2000.
12 ... h6 is sufficient for equality, e.g. 1 3
.ixf6 SLxf6 1 4 lbc3 SLxf3 1 5 .ixf3 c 6 with
the same type of solid position for Black in
Beliavsky-Lutz, Leon 200 1 , which continued
1 6 e3 as 1 7 l:.d1 lba6 1 8 'i'c2 lbb4 1 9 'iVe4
'i'e7 20 1:[d2 1:[ad8 21 l:tad1 1:[d7 22 "ii'g4
1:[fd8 23 lbe4 b6 24 .ie2 g6 25 .ic4 .ig7 26
'iVe2 lbdS 27 lbc3 'iWb4 with a good game
for Black. Dropping back led to equality in
Khalifman-Bologan, Panormo 2001 : 1 3 .i.f4
lbdS 1 4 lbc3 lbxf4 1 5 'iYxf4 .ixf3 1 6 .ixf3
c6 17 .l:tfd 1 as! 18 h4 lbd7 19 'it'e4 etc.
1 2 . . . e5
12 ... h6 13 .i.xf6 .ixf6 14 lbc3 .ixf3 1 5
83

Th e C a t a l a n

i. x f3 c 6 1 6 'iVb3 l:ta7 1 7 a s ! and White can


hope for an edge. Then 1 7 ... i.xd4 1 8 l:.fd 1
'i'f6 1 9 l:ta4 e5 20 lZ'le4 is good for White, so
Azmaiparashvili-Gelfand, Moscow 2001
went 1 7 ... lZ'ld7 1 8 l:tfdl 'i'c7 1 9 lZ'le4 i.e7 20
lZ'ld2 .l:.aa8 21 lZ'lc4 :ad8 22 :ac1 lZ'lf6 23 e4,
although White's space advantage meant
something.
1 3 dxc5 i.xc5
Again Black is not without alternatives.
1 3 ...'i'xd l ?! is not the best option. Pigu
sov-Kruppa, Panormo 2001 continued 1 4
l:txd 1 i.xc5 1 5 lZ'lc3 .i.c6 1 6 lZ'le5 .i.xg2 1 7
'it>xg2 b 6 1 8 i.xf6 gxf6, and now White
could have obtained the chances after 1 9
lZ'lc4 lla7 2 0 lZ'le4 f5 21 lZ'lxc5 bxc5 22 l:td6
with considerable play and the superior struc
rure.
Black was okay in Kozul-Ribli, Solin/Split
2001 after 1 3 ... lZ'lbd7 1 4 lZ'lc3 i.c6 1 5 b4 as
16 b5 i.xf3 17 i.xf3 lZ'lxc5 1 8 .i.e3 l:Ic8 1 9
'iVbl i.d6 2 0 lZ'le4 lZ'lcxe4 21 i.xe4 'i'e7 22
i.g2 i.c5 23 .i.d2 b6 24 'iWb3 .l:tfd8 etc.
1 3 ... h6 14 i.e3 lZ'ld5 1 5 'i'c1 'i'a5 1 6
lZ'lbd2 lZ'lxe3 1 7 lZ'lb3 'iVb4 1 8 'i'xe3 lZ'ld7
sees Black develop and thus earn a level
game. However, in Romanishin-Beliavsky,
Belgrade 2000 White's less precise play saw
Black emerge from 1 6 lZ'la3?! lZ'ld7 1 7 lZ'lc4
'i'b4 1 8 lZ'le 1 lZ'lxe3 1 9 lZ'lxe3 lZ'lxc5 20 lZ'l1 c2
'iVb6 21 as 'ii'c7 22 i.xe4 lZ'lxe4 23 l:ta4 lZ'ld6
24 lZ'la3 l:tac8 25 'i'xc7 l:!xc7 with a slight
lead, the knight rather misplaced on a3.
14 'ili'xdS J:txdS 1 5 4Jbd2 i.c6 1 6 4Jb3
4Jbd7
16 ... i.b4!? 17 nfc 1 lZ'lbd7 1 8 i.d2 i.xd2
19 lZ'lfxd2 i.xg2 20 'it>xg2 l:tdc8 21 lZ'lc4
l:tab8 22 lZ'lca5 g5 23 'it>f1 'it>f8 24 'it>e 1 led to
a draw in Savchenko-Pigusov, Ohrid 200 1 .
1 7 J:tfc 1 i.b6 1 S 4Jfd2 i.xg2 1 9 'it'xg2
J:tdcS 20 i.xf6 4Jxf6 21 4Jc4 i.c 7 22
4Jc5 J:tabS?!
22...b6? is poor because after 23 lZ'lxa6!
l:txa6 24 lZ'ld6 i.xd6 25 Ihc8+ .i.f8 26 :d 1
h5 27 l:tdd8 lZ'lh7 28 l:ta8 the rook and
passed a-pawn are clearly superior to the two
84

minor pieces o n the other flank. However, an


improvement on the game is 22 ... b5! 23 lZ'ld2
i.d6 24 lZ'ldb3 'it>f8 with equality.
23 b4 'it'fS 24 J:tab 1 'it'e 7
In reply to 24 ... b5 White sacrifices once
again: 25 lZ'lxa6!? bxc4 26 lZ'lxb8 .i.xb8 27 b5
and his pawns are dangerous.
25 b5 axb5 26 J:txb5 b6 27 4Jd3 i.dS 2S
4Jde5

2S . . . 'it'fS?
28 ... lZ'le4 29 l:tdl f6 is better, when 30
d7+ 'it>e8 31 l:.d4 lZ'lc3 32 lZ'ld6+ 'it>e 7! 33
lZ'lxc8+ l:txc8 34 l:tc4 .l:l.xc4 35 lZ'lxc4 lZ'lxb5
36 axb5 slightly favours White as the b6pawn needs protection. The bishop is passive
and it is not easy to drive the knight away
from c4. Nevertheless, Black has good
chances of saving the game.
29 4Jxb6 ! J:txc 1
Or 29 ... .i.xb6 30 l:txb6 .l:txb6 31 l:txc8+
'it>e7 32 l:!a8 when, with accurate play, White
should win.
30 4Jbd 7 + 4Jxd7 3 1 4Jxd 7 + 'it'eS 32
4JxbS J:tcS 33 4Ja6 l:!.c2 34 e3 J:ta2 35
4Jc5 i.c7 36 J:!.b7 'it'dS 37 l:!.b4 'it'e7
37 ... .i.d6 is another option. After 38
lZ'lb7+ 'it>c7 39 lZ'lxd6 'it>xd6 40 l:tb7 l:ha4 41
l:txf7 J:tg4 42 f4 White has a decisive advan
tage.
3S 4Je4 f5 39 J:tb7 J:tc2
39 ... fxe4 40 l:hc7+ 'it>f6 41 l:tc4 'it>f5 42 h3
and Black's pawns are very weak.
40 4Jg5 h6 41 4Jf3 'it'f6 42 4Jd4 J:tc4 43

Th e S e m i- Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 ii.. g 2 ii.. e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

ttJb5 ii..e 5 44 f4 ii.. c 3 4 5 f7 + !


The minor piece ending is winning for
White.
45 . . .'it'xf7 46 ttJd6 + We7 47 ttJxc4 Wd7
48 Wf3 Wc6 49 e4 Wc5 50 ttJe5 fxe4+
51 Wxe4 Wb4 52 ttJc6 + Wxa4 53 ttJd4
Wb4 54 ttJxe6 Wc4 55 g4 ii.. f 6 56 h3
ii.. b 2 57 h4 ii.. c 3 58 f5 ii.. b 2 59 ttJxg7
ii.. x g7 60 g5 1 -0
White plays 7 'i'c2 a6 8 'i'xc4

Game 4 1
Jo . H orvath-Welis

Odorheiu 5ecuiesc 1993


1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
ii..g 2 ii.. e 7 6 0-0 0-0 7 'i'c2 a6 8 'i'xc4 b5
9 'i'c2 ii.. b 7

10 ii..f4
1 0 i.g5 ttJbd7 1 1 ttJbd2 l:tc8 (1 1 ...c5!? 1 2
i.xf6 gxf6! i s interesting) and White must
address Black's desire to push the c-pawn. 1 2
ttJb3!? i.e4 1 3 'it'c1 c 5 1 4 ttJxc5! ttJxc5 1 5
dxc5 l:!.xc5 1 6 'iWe3 'it'a8 1 7 i.xf6 gxf6 was
seen in Larsen-Ribli, Amsterdam 1 980, when
1 8 .l:tad1 should secure a slight edge. White
can also throw in 1 2 i.xf6 ttJxf6 in order to
reduce his opponent's influence on c5. Kas
parov-Karpov, World Championship (game
20), Leningrad 1 986 went 1 3 ttJb3 c5 14 dxc5
i.d5 (1 4 ... i.e4 1 5 'iic 3 i.d5 16 lIac1 i.xb3
17 'iix b3 i.xc5 1 8 e3 'iib 6 19 l:tc2 .l:tc7 20

ttJe5 l:tfc8 21 l:td1 h6 22 .l:tcd2 was drawn in


Schandorff-Nielsen, Esbjerg 2001) 1 5 :tfd1
(1 5 ttJe1 i.xg2! 1 6 ttJxg2 ttJd7 1 7 .l:!.fd1 'it'c7
1 8 c6 ttJb8 1 9 .l:tac1 'it'xc6 20 'iix c6 Itxc6 21
ttJf4 led to a draw in Khalifman-Yusupov,
Moscow 1 988) 1 5 ... i.xb3 1 6 'iix b3 'iic 7 1 7
a4 'it'xc5 1 8 axb5 axb5 1 9 ttJd4 b 4 20 e3
.l:tfd8 21 l::t d2 'iib 6 and the position was
symmetrical, equal and, consequently, drawn.
Also possible is 1 3. .. i.e4 1 4 'it'c3 (14 'it'c 1
c5 1 5 dxc5 as! 1 6 a4 'iid 5! 1 7 'tie3! is un
clear) 1 4 ... ttJd5 1 5 'it'd2 i.b4! 1 6 'it'd1 c5, the
thematic break equalising for Black in Spiri
donov-Kotronias, Corfu 1 989 after 1 7 a3 c4!
1 8 axb4 cxb3 19 ii'xb3 'it'd6 20 ttJe5 i.xg2
21 xg2, when 21 ...'iix b4 is even slightly
better for Black according to Kotronias.
1 0 . . . ttJc6
10 ... i.d6 1 1 i.g5 transposes to 10 i.d2
..id6 1 1 i.g5.
1 1 d 1
In the event of 1 1 ttJbd2, worth consider
ing is 1 1 ...ttJxd4 1 2 ttJxd4 i.xg2 1 3 ttJxe6
fxe6 14 xg2 c5 1 5 ttJf3 with unclear play.
Black's queenside majority compensates for
the slight weakness on e6. In Piket-Lautier,
Wijk aan Zee 1 997 Black opted for 1 1 ...l::t c 8
12 l:!.ad1 ttJb4 13 1 ttJbd5 14 i.e5 ttJd7
15 ttJb3 'it'e8! 16 e4 ttJ5b6 17 .l:tfe 1 , when
1 7 ...ttJc4 would have guaranteed equality
according to Lautier. Kotronias gives 1 2
ttJb3 ttJb4 1 3 'it'c1 i.d5 1 4 ttJfd2 i.xg2 1 5
xg2 c5! 1 6 dxc5 as! 1 7 a4 'iVd5+ 1 8 f3
i.xc5! 1 9 e4 'it'h5 20 g4 ttJxg4 21 fxg4
'it'xg4+ 22 ..ig3 i.b6 with an initiative for
Black thanks to White's exposed king.
Also possible is 1 1 ttJc3 ttJb4 (1 1 ...ttJxd4
1 2 ttJxd4 i.xg2 1 3 ttJxe6 fxe6 14 'i.t>xg2 c5 1 5
.l:tad1 'it'e8 and the queen i s heading for c6,
giving Black a good game) 12 1 c5 1 3
dxc5 i.xc5, when the most narural course is
14 ttJg5 ..ixg2 1 5 xg2 ttJbd5 etc. Instead
after 1 4 i.e5?! ttJg4 1 5 ttJe4 i.xe4! 1 6 'iix e4
f5 Kirov-Vera, Timisoara 1 987 went 17 'iib 1 ,
White being punished for his passivity after
1 7 ... 'iib 6 1 8 e3 ..ixe3! 1 9 fxe3 ttJxe5 20
85

Th e C a t a l a n

ttJxe5 'iVxd+ 21 l::t f2 xe5 2 2 xa8 l:txa8,


when the knight and two pawns fully com
pensated the rook, the secure outpost on d5
and the exposed white king adding to the
mix to leave Black better. Kotronias gives 1 7
'it' f4 ttJc2! 1 8 l::t ab 1 (1 8 l::t ac1 ? ttJxf2! 1 9 .l:!.xf2
e3 and Black wins) 1 8 ... 'iVb6 and Black
enjoys the initiative.
1 1 . . . 4:Jb4

1 2 ff'c 1
1 2 xc7? xc7 1 3 xc7 ttJc2 1 4 ttJe1
ttJxa1 15 xb7 l::t a7 and Black emerges the
exchange up.
1 2 . . .l1c8
Also possible is 12 ... 'it'c8 13 g5 c5 1 4
xf6 xf6 1 5 dxc5 a s with play for the
pawn in Sploshnov-Berzins, Trinec 1 998.
There followed 16 ttJa3 1l.c6 17 ttJc2 l:!.a7! 1 8
ttJcd4 l::t c7 1 9 a3 ttJa6 20 'ife3 xf3 2 1 i.xf3
l::t x c5 when Black won back the pawn with
equal chances after 22 ttJb3 l::t c2 23 ttJxa5
'ii'c 7.
1 3 4:Jc3 4:JbdS 1 4 .lteS ! ?
After 1 4 ttJxd5 i.xd5 1 5 e3 c 6 1 6 ttJ e 1
'ib6! 1 7 ttJd3 xg2 1 8 xg2 ttJd5 1 9 f3 c5
the thrust helped free Black in Khalifman
Lutz, Wijk aan Zee 1 995, 20 dxc5 ttJxe3+ 21
'it'xe3 xc5 22 ttJxc5 'ii'x c5 23 'iVxc5 .l:!.xc5
24 l::t a c1 l:tcc8 25 b4 g6 steering the game to
an equal ending. This is certainly preferable
(for Black) to 1 4 ... ttJxd5 1 5 e4 ttJf6 1 6 e5
ttJd5 1 7 g5. Black should keep an eye on
e4.
86

1 4 . . . c S 1 S dxcS .ltxcs 1 6 .ltxf6 ifxf6 1 7


4:Je4 'fie7 1 8 4:JxcS l:txcS 1 9 ifd2
White is better due to the slight weakness
of Black's queenside. These pawns are more
advanced and therefore more exposed.
1 9 . . . tDf6
19 ... .l:!.fc8 20 ttJe1 h6 21 l::t a c1 l::t x c1 22
l::tx c1 l::t x c1 23 'iVxc1 ttJf6 24 ttJd3 is Anders
son-Kir.Georgiev, Sarajevo 1 985, again with
the better prospects for White.
20 it'd6 !
2 0 l::t ac 1 led only t o equality after 2 0... h6
21 l::tx c5 'iVxc5 22 l::t c 1 'iVb6 23 ttJe5 xg2
24 'it>xg2 in Andersson-Beliavsky, Debreceen
1 992.
20 .. :ii'x d6 21 l:txd6 l:tfc8 22 4:Je 1 .ltxg2
23 Wxg2 as 24 l:ta6 a4 2S b3 axb3 26
axb3 gS 27 4:Jd3 l:tc2 28 l:ta8 xa8 29
l:txa8 + Wg7 30 Wf 1 4:Je4 3 1 b4 4:Jd2+
32 We 1 4:Jb3 33 .l:ta7 Wf6
If Black tries to get rid of the well placed
knight on d3 with 33 ... ttJc1 ? he is punished
after 34 d1 l::t a2 35 l::txa2 ttJxa2 36 'it>c2,
when the knight is caught.
34 l:td7 l:ta2?!
Dubious. 34...g4 is more appropriate,
when 35 e3 l::t d2 36 ttJc5 l::t xd7 37 ttJxd7+
e7! 38 ttJe5 f6! 39 ttJxg4 ttJc1 40 d2 ttJa2
sees Black regain the pawn with immediate
equality.
3S f3 hS 36 Wf2 g4? !
After the more stubborn 36 ...l::t c2 37 f4
gxf4 38 gxf4 ttJc1 39 ttJe5 'itfS 40 f3 l::t c3+
41 e3 f6 42 l::t c 7! Black anyway finds his king
in trouble.
37 f4 l:td2 38 .l:!.b7 4:Jd4?
38 ... l::tc2 39 ttJe5 is also good for White,
although the text loses.
39 We3 4:Jb3 40 4:JeS 1 -0
White wins at least one pawn.

Game 42
Kramnik -Svidler

Linares 1998
1 d4 dS 2 c4 e6 3 tDf3 tDf6 4 g3 dxc4 S

Th e S e m i - Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 JL g 2 JL e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

JLg2 JLe7 6 0-0 0-0 7 'W!Vc2 a 6 8 'ii'x c4 b5


9 'ii'c 2 JLb7 10 JLf4 ttJd5 1 1 ttJc3
Another option for White is 1 1 ttJbd2
ttJd7 1 2 ttJb3 c5 1 3 dxc5 lIcs 1 4 l:tadl ttJxc5
15 e4 ttJd7 1 6 'iWd3 ttJ5f6 (1 6 ...ttJxf4 1 7
it'xd7 ttJe2+ I S 'lithl xe4 1 9 'iVa7 gives
White too much play) 1 7 e5 ttJd5, when
Black equalized in Beliavsky-I.Ivanov, Minsk
1 976. After I S l:tfel ttJxf4 19 'iVxd7 ttJxg2 20
'iYxb7 ttJxel 21 l'lxdS ttJxf3+ 22 'litg2 l:tfxdS
23 'litxf3 .ifS 24 'iVxa6 1:[c2 White had a
pawn and prospects of a passed pawn on the
queenside, while Black had more active
pieces.
1 1 . . .ttJxf4 1 2 gxf4

1 2 . . . ttJd7
Stangl-Ruf,
Kecskemet
1 990
went
12 ...ttJc6 1 3 l:tfdl ttJb4 14 'iWc1 'ifbs 1 5 a3
ttJd5 1 6 ttJe5 ttJxc3 1 7 'i'xc3 xg2 I S 'litxg2
and White had a finn grip on the dark
squares which soon translated to an advan
tage after I S ... d6 1 9 l:tac1 'i'b7+ 20 ttJc6
hS (20 ... .ixf4? 21 'i!Vf3) 21 'i!Vf3. The
knight on c6 is very annoying for Black.
1 3 l:!.fd 1
1 3 ttJg5?! is best avoided, as demonstrated
in Gutman-Kochiev, Ashkhabad 1 975:
13 ... xg5 14 .ixb7 .i.xf4! 15 xaS 'iVh4 1 6
l:tfd 1 l:txaS and Black had a pawn and an
attack brewing. The further 1 7 'i!Ve4 'i!Vxh2+
I S 'litft l:teS 1 9 it'f3 .i.d6 20 e3 f5 left both
sides with something to bite on. Stangl
Blauert, Dortmund 1 992 continued 1 3 ttJe4

l:tcS 1 4 ttJc5?! (too ambitious - 1 4 l:tfdl c5 is


equal) 1 4 ... ttJxc5 1 5 dxc5 xf3 1 6 xf3
'iVd4 17 e3 'i!Vxc5 I S 'iVxc5 .ixc5 19 l:tfc1
.i.d6 20 lIc6 lIaS 21 l:tc2 l:tabS 22 :c6 and
Black was slightly better due to his extra
pawn, but the game was drawn.
1 3 . . . JLxf3? !
1 3. .. 'i'cS 1 4 ttJe4 c5 1 5 dxc5 ttJxc5 1 6
ttJxc5 'i'xc5 1 7 'iVxc5 xc5 I S l:tac1 l::t fcS
1 9 ttJe5 xg2 20 'litxg2 f6 21 ttJf3 .ifS 22 e3
was the course of Ribli-Karpov, Amsterdam,
1 9S0. White has a small advantage here and
he eventually won the game.
In Sosonko-Dutreeuw, Brussels 1 993
White threw in 14 a4 b4 before 15 ttJe4. Af
ter the dubious 1 5 ... .id5?! 1 6 l:Iac1 l::t a7 1 7
ttJe5 ttJxe5 I S fxe5 'iVaS 1 9 'iVd3! f5 20 exf6
gxf6 21 .if3 l:tdS 22 'iVe3 'lithS 23 'lithl l:tgS
24 l:tgl c6 25 ttJd2 Black had numerous
weaknesses in this semi-closed position. Sos
onko offers 1 5 ... c5 16 dxc5 ttJxc5 17 ttJd6
.ixd6 IS .l!txd6.
1 4 JLxf3 l:!.b8 1 5 e3
1 5 ttJe4 .id6 16 e3 'iVh4 17 'lith 1 ttJf6 I S
ttJxf6+ 'iVxf6 1 9 l:tgl 'iVe7 20 .ic6 with the
better prospects for White in Smyslov
Barczay, Kapfenberg 1 970. The pawn pha
lanx dominates the enemy bishop, while
White is able to attack Black's queenside
pawns.
1 5 . . . ttJf6
1 5 ... 'i'cS leaves White in charge after 1 6
l:tac1 c 5 1 7 d5 exd5 I S ttJxd5 .id6 1 9 .ig4
'i!VdS (19 ... 'i'c6?! 20 'iVe4 'lithS? 21 ttJf6! and
White wins a piece) 20 e4 (Sosonko). Black
has problems on the d-ftle.
1 6 l:!.ac 1 'ii'd 6 1 7 ttJe2 l:!.fc8 1 8 e4 'ii'd 7
1 9 d5!
White breaks through in the centre and
obtains an advantage.
1 9 . . . exd5
Or 19 ... .ifS 20 ttJd4! exd5 21 ttJc6 l:tb6
22 e5 ttJeS 23 l:txd5 'iVh3 24 'i'e4. Notice
how well White's pieces are posted compared
to Black's uncoordinated forces.
20 e5 ttJe8 21 l:!.xd5 'ii'h 3 22 JLg2 'ii'h 4
87

Th e Ca t a la n

23 lLld4!
White wins material.
23 . . :ii'xf4 24 lLlc6

1 0 . . . lLlc6
1O ... i.d6 1 1 i.g5 tbbd7 is a different set
up. Ricardi-Soppe, San Fernando 1 993 went
1 2 tbbd2 h6 1 3 i.xf6 tbxf6 1 4 l:Hdl l:tc8 1 5
tbb3 i.e4 1 6 'iVc3 'ii'e 7 1 7 J::tac1 and White
had a finn grip on c5, securing an advantage
after 1 7 ... i.d5 1 8 tbe5 i.xg2 1 9 'it'xg2 i.xe5
20 dxe5 tbd5 21 'iic 5 'iVg5 22 'iVd4 tbb6 23
tbc5. Nor did Black have any joy in Hlibner
Eng, Gennany 1 985 after 1 2 ... c5 1 3 i.xf6
'ii'xf6?! 1 4 tbe5! i.xg2 1 5 tbxd7 'ii'd 8 1 6
tbxfB i.xfl 1 7 'iix h7+ 'it>xfB 1 8 l:!.xfl cxd4
1 9 'iib 8+ 'it'e7 20 'ii'xg7, when White won a
pawn, 20 ... 1i'h8 21 'iig5+ 'ii'f6 22 'ii'xf6+
'it'xf6 23 l:!.c1 adding the only open file to his
collection. Black has an improvement in
24 . . . .lth4
1 3 ... gxf6 1 4 tbe4, although White is still bet
After 24 ... i.g5 25 IIcd 1 b6 26 l:t5d4 the
ter.
queen is in trouble - 26 ... J::tx c6 27 'ii'x c6 'irfS
After 10 ... tbbd7 White sends his bishop
28 J::td 8! and White wins (Marciano) .
elsewhere - 1 1 i.a5. Chetverik-Ortmann,
Gyula 2000 continued l 1 ...tbb6 1 2 tbbd2
25 l:tcd 1 l:tb6 26 l:t5d4 l:txc6
Both 26 ... 'ii'h 6 27 'ii' f5 and 26 ...'iVg5 27
l::t c 8 1 3 i.xb6 cxb6 14 'ii'd 3 'ii'c 7 1 5 l:tfdl
'it'e4 win for White.
.l:f.fd8, White's majority in the centre counting
27 .ltxc6 xe5 28 .ltd7 l:td8 29 l:txh4
for more than Black's on the queenside. With
1 -0
1 6 a3 'ii'c2 1 7 'iVxc2 k[xc2 1 8 tbel ttc7 1 9
i.xb7 l:!.xb7 2 0 e 3 White's chances would
Game 43
have been better.
Kobalija-Kiriakov
1 1 ...l:tc8 12 tbbd2 l2Jb8 13 a3 l2Jc6 14
i.c3
b4?! 15 axb4 l2Jxb4 1 6 'iib 3 i.d5 1 7
Dubai 2002
'--------------... 'ii'a4 i.c6 1 8 'iVa5 i:tb8 1 9 l2Je5 i.xg2 20
'it>xg2 l:tb5 21 'iVa4 c 5 2 2 dxc5 i.xc5 23
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lLlf3 lLlf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
l2Jdf3 saw Black's attempt to steal the advan
.ltg2 .lte7 6 0-0 0-0 7 c2 a6 8 xc4 b5
tage leave him only with a weak a-pawn in
9 c2 .ltb 7 1 0 .ltd2
I.Almasi-Lauber, Gyula 1 997. I.Almasi gives
1 4 ... l2Jd5 1 5 b4 l2Jxc3 1 6 'iVxc3 l:ta8 1 7 l2Jb3
when White is better, again due to control of
c5 and the c-ftle.
1 1 ...l:!.a7 looks artificial, e.g. 1 2 l2Jbd2 'ii'a8
1 3 b4 l2Jb8 1 4 a3 l2Jc6 1 5 l2Jb3 l2Jxa5 1 6
l2Jxa5, Chetverik-B.Funnan, Karvina 1 998. I f
Black cannot move the c-pawn then the rook
looks a bit silly on a7. There followed
1 6 ... i.e4 1 7 l2Jel ! (White goes for an advan
tage in the ending) 1 7 ... i.xc2 1 8 i.xa8 l:taxa8
1 9 l2Jxc2 i.d6 20 f4 with total control of the
dark squares. After 1 3 ... e5 1 4 dxe5 l2Jxe5 1 5
88

Th e S e m i - Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 g 2 e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

a3 ttJc6 1 6 i.xc7 ttJd4 1 7 'iWd3 i.xf3 1 8


ttJxf3 ttJxe2+ 1 9 'iWxe2 !:txc 7 20 ttJd4 Black is
under pressure on the queenside.
1 1 e3
Preferable to 1 1 l:[d I ?! ttJxd4 12 ttJxd4
.txg2 1 3 i.a5 (1 3 ttJxe6?! i.e4! 1 4 'iWxe4
lLlxe4 1 5 ttJxd8 l:1fxd8 and the pin on the d
ftle is annoying for White) 1 3 ... i.e4 14 'iVxc7
'i'xc7 1 5 i.xc7 l:tac8, when Black was hap
pier in Plaskett-Adams, Great Britain 1 997.
White's queenside needs help and Black en
joys a pull .
1 1 . . :i'b8
The mysterious 1 1 ....l::!.a7 has been played
here. Salov-A.Rotstein, France 1 993 contin
ued 12 i::t c 1 'iWa8 1 3 ttJel ttJb8 14 i.xb7
'i'xb7 1 5 i.a5! c5 (it is difficult to suggest an
improvement for Black) 1 6 dxc5 l:tc8
(1 6 ... ttJc6 17 i.b6 l:ha8 1 8 a4 ttJd7 19 as!?
l:tac8 20 ttJd2 favours White) 17 ttJd3 ttJc6
18 i.b6 .l:!.aa8 19 a4 bxa4 20 ttJc3 ttJd7 2 1
ttJxa4 and White kept the extra pawn.
Also possible is 1 1 ...ttJb4 1 2 i.xb4 i.xb4
13 a3 i.d6 1 4 ttJbd2, when Beliavsky
Karpov, Brussels 1 988 went 1 4...l:tc8 1 5 b4
as! 1 6 e4 i.e7 1 7 !:tab 1 axb4 1 8 axb4 .l:!.a8 1 9
l:!.fel l:ta4 2 0 'iWc3 'ilVa8 2 1 ttJe5 l:td8 22
'i'xc7 '>t>f8, White winning the weak c7-pawn
but Black having counterplay against the
pawns on b4, d4 and e4. After 23 d5 Be
liavsky gives 23 ... exd5 24 exd5 .txd5 25
ttJg6+ fxg6 26 'i'xe7+ '>t>g8 as equal. Pigusov
Rozentalis, Sevastopol 1 986 saw more action
on the other flank: 1 4...'ii'e 7 1 5 e4 e5 1 6
ttJh4! g6 1 7 f4 exd4 1 8 e 5 d3 1 9 'ii'x d3 i.c5+
20 '>t>hl nfd8 21 'ii'c 2 ttJd5 22 l:tael and
White's initiative in the centre and on the
kingside looked dangerous.
1 2 a3 J:tc8 1 3 lLlc3
Timman-Hjartarson, Amsterdam 1 989
went 1 3 l:tel !? as 14 ttJc3 ttJd8 1 5 e4 b4 1 6
ttJa4 ttJd7 1 7 i.f4 i.d6 1 8 i.e3 i.c6 1 9 d5
b3 20 'ilVc4 'iWb5 21 'ilVxb5 i.xb5 22 ttJc3
.td3 23 ttJd4 with an advantage to White
thanks to his better placed pieces.
1 3 . . . lLld8

1 4 b4
14 e4!? invites the liberating 14 ... c5 1 5 i.f4
'i'a7 1 6 dxc5 i.xc5 1 7 e5 ttJd7 1 8 l:tadl
(Short), with only an edge for White.
1 4 . . . a5 1 5 bxa 5 ! ?
1 5 .l:!.abl axb4 1 6 axb4 ttJc6 1 7 ttJa2 lIa6
1 8 ttJc1 a8 1 9 'i'dl .u.a3 20 ttJel e5! saw
Black free himself and equalize in Karpov
Short, Tilburg 1 988, but 1 5 'iWb2!? axb4 1 6
axb4 ttJe4 1 7 ttJe5! i s interesting. Black can
then sacrifice the queen with 17 ...ttJxd2 1 8
ttJd7 ttJxfl 1 9 ttJxb8 i.xg2 20 '>t>xg2 ttJxe3+
21 fxe3 .l:taxb8 22 .l:ta6 but White emerges in
front as the rook and bishop are no match
for the queen in this position, where Black is
quite passive. In Chetverik-M.Ponomariov,
Briansk 1 995 Black chose 1 7 ... ttJxc3 1 8 'i'xc3
i.xg2 19 '>t>xg2 i.d6 20 ttJd3 but after
20 ...'it'b7+ 21 f3 lIxal 22 l:hal :ta8 23 e4
.l:!.xal 24 'it'xal 'it'c6 25 '>t>f2 f5 26 '>t>e3 White
again stood better.
1 5 . . . J:txa5
15 ... c5 16 dxc5 l:!.xc5 17 'iWbl favours
White, Kobalija offering the subsequent
1 7 ... l:!.xa5? 1 8 ttJd5! etc.
1 6 J:tfb 1 !
1 6 ttJd5? runs into 1 6 ... i.xd5 1 7 .ltxa5
'it'a8 1 8 e4 i.xe4 19 'i'c3 ttJd5 20 'iWd2 ttJc6
21 i.b4 ttJcxb4 22 axb4 'iWb7 when White
loses the b-pawn. Black has obvious com
pensation for the exchange and the semi
closed nature of the position is to his benefit.
1 6 . . :i'a8 1 7 'it'd 1 c6
89

Th e Ca t a l a n

Or 1 7 ....tc6 18 d5! exd5 1 9 ttJd4 lIxa3 20


l:!.xa3 .txa3 21 ttJxc6 'iVxc6 22 ttJxb5 when
White's activity outweighs the pawn.
1 8 a4 b4 1 9 tDa2 J:!.xa4 20 tDxb4 l:ba 1
2 1 J:!.xa 1 'iWb8 22 tDaS i.xaS 23 J:!.xaS c5

24 'iWa 1 !
24 ttJe5 offers no advantage for White af
ter 24 ... cxd4 25 exd4 'iVb5 26 l:!.a7 .td6 27
'fWal ttJd5 and the position is equal.
24 . . . cxd4
Better is 24 ... ttJc6 25 dxc5 .txc5 26 .tc3
ttJb4 27 .l:!.a4.
25 tDxd4 '<t>f8?!
A strange decision. The lesser evil is
25 ...fNc7 26 .tf3 with the more pleasant po
sition for White.
2S i.f3
26 .ta5! ttJd5 27 .txd8 .txd8 28 .txd5
exd5 29 ttJf5 secures a definite edge.
2s . . :i'c7 27 '<t>g2 'ikc5 28 i.a5 'ikc4 29
i.xd8! i.xd8 30 .!:!.cS .l:!.xcS 31 tDxcS
'<t>e8? 32 'i'a8 'ikd3 33 tDd4 'ikc4
Or 33 ... fNc3 34 .tc6+ We7 35 .ta4 .tb6
36 ttJc6+ and White wins.
34 i.cS + 1 -0

Game 44
Gelfand-Lutz

Dortmund 2002
1 d4 d5 2 c4 eS 3 tDf3 tDfS 4 g3 dxc4 5
i.g2 i.e7 S 0-0 0-0 7 'ikc2 as 8 'ikxc4 b5
9 'ikc2 i.b7 10 i.d2 i.e4
90

1 1 'ii'c 1 tDbd7
Black has a range of options.
1 1 ....l:!.a7 (again!) was played in Nielsen
Krivonosov, Panormo 200 1 . After 1 2 iLe3
ttJd5 1 3 ttJc3 ttJxc3 1 4 'i*'xc3 .l:!.b 7 1 5 .l:!.fd 1
c6 1 6 ttJe5 iLxg2 1 7 c,t>xg2 d5+ 1 8 f3 b4 1 9
'iib 3 ttJd7 2 0 ttJd3 'iib 5 21 :ac 1 Black was a
little worse.
l 1 ...c6 12 ttJc3!? .txf3 13 .txf3 'ii'xd4 14
.te3 'iVd8 15 a4 and Black had won a pawn
but White had sufficient play in Nielsen
Rozentalis, Esbjerg 200 1 . There followed
1 5 ... b4 1 6 ttJe4 ttJd5 1 7 .td4 'iVc7 1 8 ttJc5
.l:!.d8 19 ir'c4 ttJd7 20 ttJxd7 lIxd7 21 .tc5 as
22 .l:!.ac1 .txc5 23 'i*'xc5 .l:!.d6 24 .l:!.c2 .l:!.ad8
25 .l:!.fc1 and White had compensation for the
pawn.
Chetverik-Namyslo, Budapest 2002 con
tinued 1 1 ...b4 1 2 .tg5 ttJbd7 1 3 ttJbd2 .tb7?!
14 ttJb3 c5? 1 5 .txf6 gxf6 1 6 dxc5 .l:!.c8 17
.l:!.dl fNc7 18 'i*'h6! and the weakness of
Black's kingside was cause for concern, the
further 1 8 ... ttJxc5 1 9 ttJxc5 'i*'xc5? 20 lId4!
increasing White's lead to decisive propor
tions: 20 ... iLxf3 21 lIh4 .th5 22 l:.xh5 'fWc2
23 e4 etc. Black is advised to follow the ex
ample set in Sigurjonsson-Gruenfeld, Rand
ers 1 982 after 1 3 ... .td5, although 1 4 'iVc2 c5
1 5 e4 .tb7 16 e5 ttJd5 17 iLxe7 xe7 1 8
ttJe4 cxd4 1 9 .l:!.ad 1 .l:!.fc8 2 0 'iVb 1 proved
good for 'hite thanks to the great outpost
on d6.
Finally, Black has tried 1 1 ...ttJc6, e.g. 1 2

Th e S e m i- Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 iL e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

.ie3 lbb4 1 3 lbbd2 .i.b7 1 4 1LgS l:!.c8 1 5 a3


lLlbdS 1 6 b4!? (White clamps down on cS
and thus maintains a pull) 1 6 ... aS 1 7 e4 lbb6
18 bxaS lba4 and now Sosonko-Zuckerman,
New York 1 984 continued 1 9 eS lbd7?! 20
.ixe7 'iix e7 21 iVbl .i.a6 22 lbe4 h6 23
'1'b4 cS 24 dxcs lbdxcS 2S l:!.fdl with serious
problems for Black, who should have gone
with 19 ...lbdS 20 lbe4 (although this still
favours White) . After 1 2 ...l:!.c8 1 3 lbbd2 .i.dS
Van der Wiel gives 14 .i.gS!? lbd7?! 1 5 e4
.ixgS 1 6 exdS .i.xd2 1 7 'ii'x c6, when White
wins material. Mishuchkov-Raetsky, Gorki
1988 went 1 4 lbb3 lbb4 1 5 dl .i.e4 1 6
lLlel c 6 1 7 .i.d2 1Lxg2 1 8 lbxg2 6 1 9
.ixb4 .i.xb4 2 0 lbf4 .i.d6 2 1 lbd3 lbd7 22
Itc1 l:!.fd8 23 'ii'c 2 eS 24 dxeS lbxeS 2S lbxeS
.ixeS 26 lbcs with the more pleasant pros
pects for White.
1 2 iLa5 l:lcS 1 3 ttJbd2
In Beliavsky-Speelman, Amsterdam 1 989
13 lbc3 1Lb7 14 a4 b4 l S lba2 'iWe8 16 .i.xb4
c5 17 dxcS lbxcs 1 8 'iVd 1 l:!.d8 19 'iiic2 1Le4
20 'iic 4 .i.dS 21 'ilif4 .i.d6 22 'ii'e 3 lbb3 gave
Black compensation for the missing pawn.
16 ... 1Lxb4!? 1 7 lbxb4 cS is given by Kotromas.
13 . . . iLaS 1 4 'iiVc 2
Also possible is 14 l:tel e8 15 b4 lbe4
16 a4 f5 17 axbS axbS 1 8 e3 .i.d6 19 l:!.a2
.idS 20 l:!.c2 c6 21 lbxe4 .i.xe4 22 l:!.b2 'ii'e 7
with equality in Kasimdzhanov-Lutz, Essen
2002. In Chetverik-Harasta, Slovakia 1 997
White emerged with advantage after 14 .I:tdl
'l'e8 15 b4 lbb8 (l s ...lbdS 16 a3 f5 1 7 lbb3
'i'hs 1 8 lbcs is good for White) 1 6 lbb3
lLlc6 17 a3 lbxaS 1 8 lbxaS 1LdS 19 lbeS
.ixg2 20 'it'xg2 lbdS 21 e4 lbb6 22 'i'c6.
14 . . . 'iiVe S 1 5 b4 ttJd5
ls ... lbb8 16 a3 lbc6 17 lbb3 .i.d6 1 8
l:i.ac1 e S gave Black some freedom in Harik
rishna-Beliavsky, Moscow 200 1 , although 1 9
e3 lbxaS 20 lbxaS e 4 21 lbd2 .i.dS 22 lbbl
c6 23 .i.h3 l:!.c7 24 lbc3 'ilie7 25 lbxdS cxdS
26 'i'a2 hS 27 l:!.c2 was a shade better for
White.

1 6 a3 f5 1 7 l:lae 1 ! ?
1 7 l:!.ac1 'ii'h S 1 8 lUe 1 lbSf6 1 9 lbeS
lbxeS 20 dxeS lbg4 21 h3 .i.xg2 22 'li;>xg2
lbxeS 23 'it'a2 'ii' f7 was equal in Andersson
Lutz, Pamplona 1 998. Black has chances on
the kingside to make up for the weaknesses
on the other flank.
1 7 . . :ii'g 6
Another possibility is 17 ...'i'hS 18 e4 fxe4
19 l:!.xe4 'iVf5 20 'iVb3 and White is slightly
better.
1 S e4 fxe4 1 9 'iiVx e4 l:lf6 20 'iiVx g6 l:lxg6
21 ttJe4
This queenless middlegame favours
White. Black has many weaknesses .
2 1 . . . l:lfS
Black can put a knight on c4 with
2 1 ...lbSb6 22 lbcs lbxcs 23 dxcS lbc4 24
lbeS lbxeS 25 l:txeS .i.xg2 26 'it'xg2 but this
ending also favours White.
22 h4 iLd6? !
22 ...lbsb6 23 lbfd2 doesn't allow ... lbc4.
23 h 5 ! l:lh6 24 ttJc5 ttJ5b6 25 ttJg5
Now e6 is doomed.
25 . . . iLxg2 26 'iit x g2 l:lxh5 27 ttJgxe6 l:lcS
2S ttJxd7 ttJxd7 29 l:lc 1 c6 30 l:lfe 1 l:ld5
31 ttJdS!

Highlighting the weakness of c6.


31 . . . l:lxd4?
Or 3 1 ...lbb8 32 l:e6! lhd4? 33 l:!.e8+ .i.f8
34 l:!.xf8+ and White wins a piece.
32 J:ted 1
Black has problems on the d-ftJ.e.
91

Th e C a t a la n

3 2 . . . i.e5 3 3 1:txd4 i.xd4 3 4 1:td 1 e5 3 5


bxe5 tUxe5 36 1:txd4 tUb3

Perhaps Black relied on this fork, but...


37 1:te4! 1 -0
White keeps the extra piece due to the
mate threat on e8.

Game 45
Pigusov-Aseev

Sevastopol 1986
1 d4 d5 2 e4 e6 3 tUf3 tUf6 4 g3 dxe4 5
i.g2 i.e7 6 0-0 0-0 7 'We2 a6 8 'Wxe4 b5
9 'We2 i.b7 1 0 i.d2 i.e4 1 1 'We 1 i.b7

1 2 1:td 1
1 2 f4 d6 1 3 ttJbd2 ttJbd7 1 4 ttJb3 and
now Kasparov-Kramnik, World Champion
ship (game 1 5), London 2000 went 14 ... d5
1 5 i:tdl 'ii'e 7 (1 5 ... 'ito8 1 6 ttJe5 xg2 1 7
<t>xg2 xe5 1 8 dxe5 'ito7+ 1 9 f3 ttJd5 20 e4
92

favours White) 1 6 ttJe5 xg2 1 7 xg2 ttJd5


18 ttJc6 ttJxf4+ 19 'it'xf4 'iNe8 20 'iNf3 with a
pull for White, whose knight on c6 will prove
annoying. The later game Nielsen-Goldin,
Moscow 200 1 , continued instead 14 ...:c8 1 5
i:td1 d5, Black preparing to push the c
pawn. There followed 1 6 ttJc5 ttJxc5 17 dxc5
xf4 1 8 'ii'x f4 'ii'e 7 19 ttJe5! (a strong pawn
sacrifice) 1 9 ... 'ihc5 20 l:tac1 'ii'e 7 21 ttJc6
xc6 22 J:txc6 l:tfd8 23 I:!.dc1 h6 24 a3 with
an advantage to White, who should be in no
hurry to win back the pawn.
1 3 ttJc3 ttJbd7 1 4 :dl 'iNb8 1 5 ttJe5 xg2
1 6 ttJxd7 ttJxd7 1 7 xg2 c5 1 8 dxc5 'irb7+
1 9 f3 xc5 20 ttJe4 e7 21 c7 xc7 22
xc7 ttJf6 23 d6 xd6 24 ttJxd6, Tukma
kov-Lalic, Palma de Mallorca 1 989 resulted in
an ending that was favourable for White.
Black has another option in 1 2 ... ttJd5 1 3
ttJc3 ttJxf4 1 4 'iixf4, e.g. 1 4. . .'iid 6 1 5 lUd l
ttJd7 1 6 l:tac1 i:tac8 1 7 d 5 exd5 1 8 'it'xd6
xd6 1 9 ttJxd5 xd5 20 l:txd5 ttJb6 21
i:tdd 1 b4 22 i:tc6 ttJa4 23 .l:td2 as 24 l:ta6 !la8
which led to an edge for White in Fominyh
Pihlajasalo, Elista 1 998. Black's pawn struc
ture on the queenside is a bit exposed but, on
the other hand, he has active pieces. In Piket
Karpov, Dortmund 1 995 Black took the
opportunity to push with 14 ... c5 1 5 dxc5
xc5 1 6 %:tac1 'ii'e 7 1 7 l::tfd l .l:ta7, when
Piket proposes 1 8 a4! b4 1 9 ttJe4 xe4 20
'iVxe4 as 21 ttJe5 with advantage to White.
His co-ordination is better and (again)
Black's queenside pawns are the more vul
nerable.
1 2 . . . 'We8 1 3 i.a5
13 a4!? is interesting. 1 3. .. c5 14 dxc5 xc5
1 5 axb5 axb5 16 %:txa8 xa8 17 e3 e7 1 8
'it'xc8 l::tx c8 1 9 ttJd4 xg2 20 xg2 b4 21
:c1 l:hc1 22 xc1 gave White something in
Bareev-Aseev, Irkutsk 1 986, an important
factor being the king's quick access to the
centre. In Pigusov-Fokin, Kemerovo 1 985
Black pushed with 13 ... b4, but after 14 g5
ttJbd7 1 5 ttJbd2 c5 1 6 ttJb3 d5 1 7 ttJxc5
i.xc5?! 1 8 xf6 gxf6 19 dxc5 ttJxc5 20 'iVh6

Th e S e m i- Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 i. g 2 i. e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

(Black should always be aware o f this ma


noeuvre) White had generated a strong of
fensive: 20 ... ttJb3 21 .l:!.xd5! exd5 22 h3
'i'c2 23 ttJh4 ttJd4 24 e3 'ii'd2 25 f5 and
White won. An improvement is 1 7 ... ttJxc5 1 8
dxc5 'ii'x c5 1 9 'it'xc5 xc5 20 xf6 gxf6 21
lLld2!, although after the exchange of light
squared bishops Black will have some prob
lems on this colour complex on the queen
side.
1 3 . . . i.d6
13 ... c5 1 4 dxc5 'it'xc5 1 5 ttJbd2 ttJbd7 1 6
lLlb3 'it'xc1 1 7 .l:!.axc1 .l:!.fc8 1 8 c7 'it' f8 was
Chernin-M.Gurevich, Vilnius 1 985. Black's
king is approaching the centre so this end
game is equal.
14 ltJbd2 ltJc6 1 5 ltJb3 ltJxa5 1 6 ltJxa5
.id5 1 7 ltJc6 a5 1 8 ltJfe5 na6
18 ... xg2 19 'it'xg2 lla6 20 'it'c2 with a
slight advantage for White.
19 i.xd5 exd5
1 9 .. .'Jxd5, to exchange one knight, is a
dubious idea as Black loses control of e4: 20
e4 ttJb4 21 a3 ttJxc6 22 ttJxc6 7 23 d5
exd5 24 exd5 is given by Aseev. White is
better.
20 'ii'c 2
20 'it'g2!? is worth a try
after 20 ...l!e8
the position is unclear.
20 . . . 'ilh3

Not 21 llac 1 ? in view of 21 ....l:!.xc6! 22


'iVxc6 xe5 23 dxe5? ttJg4 and Black wins.
With 21 f3 White protects g4. After
2 1 ...ttJh5!? 22 'iib 3?! xe5 23 ttJxe5 ttJxg3
24 hxg3? 'i*'xg3+ 25 'it'f1 .ll h 6! Black is win
ning, so 22 e4 is better, with an unclear situa
tion.
21 . . . a4 22 'ilf3 ltJe4 23 nac 1 a3 24 b3
b4 25 ltJd3 ltJc3 26 nxc3!
White has to be careful here: 26 ttJdxb4?!
xb4 27 ttJxb4 .l:!.h6 28 .l:!.xc3 (28 .l:!.e 1 ?
ttJxe2+!) 28...'it'xh2+ 2 9 'it'f1 'it'h 1 + 3 0 'it'xh 1
l:txh1+ 31 'it'g2 .l:!.xd1 when Black is the ex
change up but many pawns are being ex
changed, promising White hopes of a draw.
26 . . . bxc3 27 'ilxd5 'ile6 28 'ilf3 ne8 29
e3 c2 30 nc 1 'ilg6
This is better than 30 ... xg3?! 31 ttJdb4
llxc6 32 ttJxc6 d6 33 'it'f1 , which nets
White the c2-pawn and with it the slightly
superior ending.
3 1 ltJde5 i.xe5 32 ltJxe5 nxe5 33 dxe5
'ii'd 3 34 'ilb7 g5

35 nxc2
White forces an equal queen ending. More
ambitious is 35 'it'g2 l:te6 36 'it'xc7 'it'd5+ 37
e4! 'i*'xe4+ 38 'it'gl l:tc6 39 'ii'd8+ cJ;;g7 40
'it'xg5+ 'it'f8, although the c2-pawn remains
dangerous.
35 . . . 'ilxc2 36 'ilc8 + ! % - %
21 'ilb3

93

Th e C a t a l a n

Summary
One of the main positions in the 7 ttJa3 line arises after the natural moves 7 ... xa3 8 bxa3 bS
9 a4 a6 10 a3 l:te8 1 1 ttJeS ttJdS 12 e4. White has the very interesting sacrifice 13 ttJxt7!?
after 12 ... ttJf6, and to us it seems that this is enough only for a draw. The jump to the other
wing, 12 ... ttJb6 (Game 28) leads to very complex play too, and requires more practical tests.
Another popular system in this line is 8 ... d7, when after 9 ttJeS c6 10 ttJxc6 ttJxc6 1 1 iLb2
White prepares e2-e4 and has genuine compensation for the pawn (Game 29) .
Practice has shown that against 7 ttJeS the best continuation is Robatsch's surgical decision
7 ... ttJc6!? In the case of 8 xc6 bxc6 9 ttJxc6 'iVe8 10 ttJxe7+ 'iVxe7 1 1 'iVa4 Black can
achieve a good game in more than one fashion.
For instance Black can choose to exchange queens with 1 1 ...'iVd6 12 lIdl 'iVa6 or prepare
the development of the bishop to a6 with l 1 ...aS. Black also has good prospects if he chal
lenges the d4-pawn with 1 1 ... cS or 1 1 ... eS, thereby facilitating development. In the variation
l 1 ...cS 1 2 'iVxc4 cxd4 1 3 'ifxd4 Black has two reliable possibilities, 1 3 ... :d8 and 1 3 ... eS 1 4 'iVh4
'iVe6 I S ttJc3 b7 (Game 3 1 ) . In the complicated variation l 1 ...eS 1 2 dxeS 'iVxeS 1 3 'iVxc4
e6 1 4 'ir'd3 l:[ad8 I S 'iVe3 'iVhS 1 6 f3 c4 (Kotronias) looks quite convincing.
After 8 ttJxc6 bxc6 9 ttJa3!? (Kuzmin) 9 ... xa3 1 0 bxa3 White accepts the doubled a
pawns, the resulting situation appearing rather exotic. Then 1O .. JIb8 1 1 'iVa4 'iVxd4 1 2 e3
'iVeS 1 3 'iVxa7 deserves more practice, while in the case of 1 0 ... a6!? 1 1 xc6 nb8 1 2 'iVa4
lIb6 there is not much difference between 1 3 g2 and 1 3 f3. In both cases Black tends to
equalize by playing ... c4-c3 at the right moment. In order to assess the variations with 1 O ...ttJdS
it is important to evaluate the endgame after 1 1 'iVa4 ttJb6 12 'iVxc6 Itb8 1 3 'iVcs b7 14 e4
'iVd6 1 S f4 'iYxcs 1 6 dxcS ttJa4 1 7 .l:tfc 1 a6 1 8 f1 ttJxcS 1 9 xc4 (Game 34) . Black must
strive for a rook ending similar to Hjartarsson-Schussler. It does not seem likely that anything
can be made of the extra, doubled pawn.
As Black very often reaches a good position in the 9 ttJa3 line, White has tried the solid 9 e3
during recent years (Game 32). White has a normal queenside structure but also an obvious
problem with the development of the dark-squared bishop. Black has counter-chances after
something like 9 ...ttJdS 1 0 'iVa4 ttJb6 1 1 'iVc2 .l:Ib8 1 2 l:tdl 'iVe8 followed by... c6-cS.
In the modern line with 7 'iVc2 a6 8 a4 iLd7 Black solves his opening problems quite suc
cessfully. After 9 lIdl iLc6 10 ttJc3 ttJbd7 1 1 e4 bS 12 dS exdS 1 3 eS White has a dangerous
initiative, although in the event of 1 O ... xf3 1 1 xf3 ttJc6 1 2 xc6 bxc6 the b-ftle means that
Black's chances are not worse. After 9 'iYxc4 c6 the natural 1 0 ttJc3 allows Black to play
1 O ... bS with a good game, while in reply to 1 0 iLf4 Black attains equal prospects with 1 0 ... aS 1 1
ttJc3 ttJa6. Black should not develop in the same way against 1 0 gS, where White can grab
the centre with 1 1 xf6 xf6 1 2 e4. Instead of 1 0 ... aS it is better to continue 1 O ... ttJbd7 1 1
ttJc3 h6 or to follow the main line with 1 O ... dS. After 1 1 'iVd3 Black can continue to chase
the enemy queen with 1 1 ...e4 or immediately play l 1 ...cS with equality. The advance ... c7-cS
is also strong in the case of 1 1 'it'c2 e4 12 'iVdl and deserves further testing after 1 1 'iVc2
iLe4 12 'iVc1 . Also quite acceptable for Black here are 1 2 ... ttJbd7 and 12 ... h6, and a later
... xf3 and ... c7-c6 with a solid set-up.
Black obtains the bishop pair and destroys White's pawn chain after 8 'iVxc4 bS 9 'iVc2 b7
10 f4 with 1 0 ... ttJdS 1 1 ttJc3 ttJxf4 12 gxf4. However, the pawn formation is quite typical for
the Catalan. The pawns on d4, e3, f4 and f2 provide White with something to bite on because
they offer good control over key squares in the centre.
But we believe that White does not have an advantage after 10 ... ttJc6 1 1 tIdl ttJb4 1 2
94

Th e S e m i - Op e n C a t a la n : 4 . . . dx c 4 5 il. g 2 il. e 7 6 0 - 0 0 - 0

'it'c 1 'ii'c 8!? 1 3 gS cS!? etc. Note, however, that . . .c7-cS does not promise full equality in
the case of 1 2 . . . l::t c 8 1 3 ttJc3 ttJbdS 14 eS. The deeper idea behind the quite passive look
ing 10 i.. d2 is to pin the c7-pawn with i.. d 2-aS, and this comes into play after 1 0 ... ttJbd7.
Another central idea in this line is to address the queenside with b2-b4.
It is probably better for Black to continue 10 ... ttJc6 1 1 e3 ttJb4 12 xb4 i.. xb4 1 3 a3 i..d 6
14 ttJbd2 l::t c 8 1 5 b4 as! with good prospects of equality, as in the other lines White has a mini
mal edge, for example 1 0 ... e4 1 1 'ii'c 1 b4 1 2 i..gS!? followed by ttJbd2. The problem with the
subtle manoeuvre 1 O ... e4 1 1 c1 b7 is the possibility of 1 2 'ii'c2 with a repetition, which
might occasionally be an attractive option for White. Moreover White has something after 1 2
.tf4 ttJdS 1 3 ttJc3 ttJxf4 1 4 'it'xf4 o r after 1 2 l::t d l 'ikc8 1 3 a4!?

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5 il.g2 i.e7 6 0-0 0-0 7 'it'c2


7 ttJc3
7 ...ttJbd7 Game 3 (Chapter 1); 7 ...ttJc6 - Game 27
7 ttJa3 xa3 8 bxa3: 8 ... bS Game 28; 8 ... d7 Game 29
7 ttJeS
7 ... cS Game 30
7 ... ttJc6
8 xc6 Game 3 1
8 ttJxc6 bxc6 (D)
9 e3 - Game 32
9 ttJa3 i.. x a3 1 0 bxa3: 1 O ... .ta6 - Game 33; 1 O ... ttJdS - Game 34
7 a6 8 ii'xc4
8 a4
8 ... cS Game 35
8 ... d7 (D)
9 .l:tdl c6 1 0 ttJc3: 9 ... ttJbd7 Game 36; 1 O ... xf3 Game 37
9 'ikxc4 c6 10 gS
1 0 ... aS Game 38
10 ... i..d S: 1 1 'iVd3 - Game 39; 1 1 'ii'c2 Game 40
8 b5 9 ii'c2 i.b7
10 i.. f4: 1O ... ttJc6 Game 4 1; 10 ... ttJdS Game 42
10 il.d2 i.e4
1 0 ...ttJc6 Game 43
1 1 'it'c 1 (D): l 1 ...ttJbd7 - Game 44; l 1 ...i.b 7 Game 45
-

. . .

. . .

8 . bxc6
. .

. . .

i.d7

1 1 ii'c 1
95

CHA PTER FIVE

4 . . . dxc4 5 jLg2 a 6

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 ... a7 -a6 benefits Black
as bS is unavailable to the knight and a4 to
96

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'x eS 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'a 4+ !? (Game
49), when Black's 'centralized' queen will not

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

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 5 1 ) 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::t b 8, 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:[d l (Game 53) .
After 7 ttJc3 l:tb8 8 e 4 (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

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
.tb7, 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 'iie 7
14 'iix h8 but Black should receive more than
sufficient counterplay.
97

Th e Ca t a l a n

Therefore after 5 ...a 6 6 0-0 b5 the main


line is 7 ltJe5 ltJd5 8 a4 .ib7, when White
has two quite different paths. One idea is to
play for positional compensation against
Black's pawns and weakened squares with 9
b3 (Game 59) . The second possibility is to
play in the centre with 9 e4 ltJf6 10 axb5
axb5 1 1 l:!.xa8 .ixa8 1 2 ltJc3 (Game 60) .

Game 46
Rashkovsky-K . G rigorian

Kishinev 1975
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
i.. g 2 a6 6 a4

6 . . . c5
6 ... ltJc6 7 0-0 ltJa5 (7 .. J::tb 8 transposes to
6 0-0 ltJc6 7 a4 l:!.b8) 8 ltJbd2 c5 9 dxc5
.ixc5 10 ltJe5 c3! was Gulko-Bronstein, Vil
nus 1 975, Black inducing a weakness in the
enemy structure and in so doing obtaining
equal chances. After 1 1 bxc3 0-0 1 2 ltJec4
.ie7 1 3 ltJxa5 'iVxa5 14 '3 e5 1 5 ltJc4 'iVc7
1 6 ltJb6 l:!.b8 1 7 c4 .ig4 Black solved his
queenside problems.
7 0-0 ttJc6
7 ... cxd4!? 8 'iVxd4 (White can try 8 ltJxd4
e5 9 ltJc2 'iVxd l 10 l:!.xd l but should expect
no more than equality after 1 0 ... ltJc6)
8 ... 'iVxd4 9 ltJxd4 e5 10 ltJc2 ltJc6 1 1 .1i.xc6+
bxc6 12 ltJe3 .ie6 13 ltJd2 and now in
Rashkovsky-Sveshnikov,
Moscow
1 976
Black employed the same idea as in Gulko98

Bronstein, above: 1 3 ... c3! 1 4 bxc3 ltJd5 1 5


ltJe4 h 6 1 6 .ia3 .ixa3 1 7 ':xa3 ltJxe3 1 8
fxe3 e7 1 9 l:!.aa 1 l:!.ab8 2 0 ltJ c 5 .1i.c4 21
l:!.fd 1 l:!.hd8 with an edge. White can improve
with 1 0 ltJf3 ltJc6 1 1 ltJbd2 .ie6 1 2 ltJg5
.ib4 1 3 ltJxe6 fxe6 1 4 .ih3 when Black's
pawns are weak and his extra material lacks
relevance, leaving White on top.
8 dxc5
8 ltJe5 ltJa5 9 dxc5 xdl 10 l:[xdl trans
poses to 8 dxc5 'ii'x dl 9 l:!.xdl ltJa5 1 0 ltJe5,
while 8 ... .td7 9 ltJa3 cxd4 10 ltJaxc4 is better
for White because of the weakness on b6.
This leaves 8 ... ltJxd4 9 e3 ltJb3 1 0 xd8+
'.t>xd8 1 1 l:!.a3! (1 1 ltJxt7+ e8 1 2 ltJxh8
ltJxa 1 1 3 ltJa3 l:!.a7 1 4 ltJxc4 b5 1 5 ltJe5 .ib7
favours Black) 1 1 ...'.t>e8 1 2 ltJxc4 ltJxc1 13
Ihc1 ltJd7 1 4 l:!.b3 J:tb8 15 as, as in
Gavrilov-Zhukhovitsky, Dubna 1 97 1 . Black
has a pawn but problems with queenside
development. The position is unclear.
8 . . . 'i!Vxd 1 9 xd 1 ttJa5
Karpov-Sveshnikov, Moscow 1 976 con
tinued 9 ... .txc5 10 ltJbd2 ltJg4 1 1 e3 ltJge5
1 2 ltJxe5 ltJxe5 1 3 ltJe4 .ib4 1 4 .id2 .ixd2
1 5 l:!.xd2 e7 1 6 ltJd6 l:[b8 1 7 f4 ltJg4 18
ltJxc4 .1i.d7 and White won the pawn back
with better prospects.
1 0 ttJe5

1 0 . . . ttJd5
Black can also play 1O ... ltJd7 1 1 ltJxd7
.ixd7 1 2 .id2 ltJb3 1 3 .ixb 7 .ixc5!
(1 3 ... l:!.d8?! 14 c6!) 14 .txa8 ltJxa 1 1 5 ltJc3

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

tLlb3 1 6 b 7 when 'hite keeps a small edge


due to the vulnerable black pawns.
1O .. .'jb3!? 1 1 c6 ttJd5 12 l:ta2 bxc6 is
worth a try.
1 1 e4
te can also try the exchange 1 1 i.xd5
exd5 12 ttJc3, but 12 ... i.e6 13 ttJxd5 l:tc8
equalizes. Note that continuing development
with 12 ... xc5 1 3 ttJxd5 O-O? is unsound in
view of 14 e3 d6 (1 4 ... .l1.xe3? 1 5 ttJe7+
Wh8 16 ttJxt7+! and Black is mated!) 1 5
tLlxt7! 'it>xt7 1 6 ttJb6 etc.
1 1 . . . ttJb4 1 2 ttJd2 iLxc5
1 2 ...ttJb3 13 ttJxb3 cxb3 invites 14 l:!.a3
i.xc5 15 l:txb3 f6 16 ttJc4 with an edge for
White. Again Black is a little uncomfortable
on the queenside.
1 3 ttJdxc4 ttJc2?
1 3. .. ttJxc4 14 ttJxc4 d7 1 5 ttJe5 i.c6 1 6
i.f4 and te i s slightly better, a s i s the case
after 13 ... ttJb3 1 4 l:tbl 0-0 1 5 i.e3 .l1.xe3 1 6
tLlxe3.
14 l:tb1 ttJxc4 1 5 ttJxc4 iLd7
15 ... b5 is premature due to 16 e5 l:ta7 1 7
tLld6+ xd6 1 8 l:txd6, when the bishop pair
and Black's vulnerability on the dark squares
combine to favour te.
16 b3 iLc6 1 7 iLb2 0-0 1 S l:tbc 1 ttJb4

1 9 ttJa5
1 9 ttJe5!? is an interesting option.
1 9 . . . iLb6
19 ... i.e7 20 ttJxb7! helps te.
20 ttJxc6 ttJxc6 21 l:td7 l:tabS 22 e5 l:tfeS

The lesser evil is 22 ...l:tfdS.


23 iLe4?!
Not the best. 23 i.xc6 bxc6 24 l:txc6 i.a5
25 l:txa6 .uxb3 26 l:txa5 l:txb2 27 l:!.aa7 gives
'hite a winning rook endgame. He is active
on the seventh rank and has a dangerous a
pawn.
23 . . . g6 24 Wg2 .l:!.edS 25 iLxc6 bxc6 26
l:txdS+ l:txdS?
Now Black loses, but 26 ... xd8 27 ILxc6
l:txb3 28 c1 'it>g7 29 l:txa6 is scarcely an
improvement.
27 l:txc6 iLxf2 2S iLa3 iLd4 29 J:!.d6!
litxd6 30 exd6 iLb6 31 d7 iLdS 32 b4 f6
33 a5! Wf7 34 b5 1 -0

White plays 6 ttJe5

Game 47
Fominyh -Sveshnikov

Elista 1995
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
iLg2 a6 6 ttJe5

6 . . . iLb4+
Also possible is 6 ...l:ta7 7 0-0 b6 (7 ... b5?! is
dubious in view of 8 a4) 8 ttJc3 i.b 7 (Be
liavsky gives 8 ... b5 9 a4 b4 10 ttJa2 c5 1 1
ttJxc4 cxd4 1 2 as with compensation for the
pawn) 9 'iVa4+ ttJfd7 and now Beliavsky
Portish, Hungary 1 999 went 1 0 i.xb 7?!
l:txb7 1 1 ttJc6 'iVc8! 12 ttJxb8 b5! with good
counterplay for Black. Instead after 1 0 l:tdl
99

Th e C a t a la n

iLxg2 1 1 'it>xg2 c 5 1 2 iLe3 White i s better,


suggesting that Black's litde queenside adven
ture is dubious.
7 ltJc3 ltJd5 8 ..td2 b5
Protecting the c4-pawn with the knight
has also been tried, 8 .. .'!iJb6 9 e3 lb8d7 1 0
lbxd7 xd7 I 1 lbe4 iLxd2+ 1 2 lbxd2 0-0 1 3
'it'c2 the course o f Bandza-Kaidanov, Torcy
1 99 1 . After 1 3 ... e5!? 1 4 dxe5 .l:[d8 1 5 0-0-0
'it'e8 1 6 lbxc4 iLf5 1 7 xf5 lbxc4 1 8 'it'c2
lbxe5 1 9 'it>b 1 c5 20 .l:td5 .l:.xd5 21 iLxd5 g6
22 'it'c3 the game was agreed drawn, al
though White stands better here, primarily
because the bishop is superior to the knight.
9 0-0
White should avoid 9 a4 iLb7 10 e4?! lbf6
1 1 iLg5 h6 1 2 iLxf6 gxf6 1 3 lbg4 f5 when
Black has a huge advantage. Neistadt gives 1 0
lbxd5 iLxd2+ 1 1 'it'xd2 iLxd5 1 2 e 4 iLb7 1 3
axb5 axb5 1 4 l:txa8 iLxa8 1 5 'iVa5 'it'xd4! 1 6
'it'xa8 0-0, Black's pawns and the activity of
his queen affording him good compensation
for the piece.
In the event of 9 ... iLxc3 10 bxc3 f6 1 1 e4
lbe7 1 2 lbg4 iLb7 1 3 'iib l c6 14 lbe3 c8
1 5 0-0 0-0 Black runs the risk of coming
under fire on the dark squares, as was dem
onstrated in Tukmakov-Lputian, Rostov-on
Don 1 993: 1 6 iLc1 :e8 17 iLa3 lbd7 1 8
iLh3 lb ffi 1 9 iLc5 c7 20 'iib4 Uad8 2 1
l:tfd 1 and these weak dark squares provided
White with good play for the pawn.
9 . . . ..txc3 1 0 bxc3

1 00

1 0 . . . f6
Black has also resisted the urge to hit the
knight. 1 0 ... 0-0 1 1 a4 c6 1 2 e4 lbe7 1 3 iLc1
lbd7 14 lbxd7 (14 f4!? is worth a try)
1 4 ... iLxd7 1 5 iLa3 l:1e8 1 6 l:tel lbc8 1 7 'ili'h5
lbb6 1 8 as lba4 1 9 l:te3 favoured White in
Razuvaev-Sveshnikov, Tbilisi 1 978. Black's
queenside pawn majority lacks mobility.
White, on the other hand, has a good dark
squared bishop and possibilities of a kingside
attack.
In Sulava-Sveshnikov, Pula 2000 Black
chose 1 2 ... lbb6 1 3 as lb6d7. Then 1 4 lbxd7
lbxd7 1 5 e5 (with compensation) is playable,
while the game continued 1 4 lbg4 f5 1 5 lbe5
lbf6 1 6 iLg5 h6 1 7 i.xf6 'iixf6 1 8 ':e 1 1:ta7
1 9 l:ta2 with compensation for the pawn due
to the presence in the centre. However,
White can win back the pawn with 1 6 exfS
exfS 1 7 iLxc6 and emerge with an advantage.
1 1 e4 ltJe7
l 1 ...fxe5 12 exd5 0-0 13 dxe5 favours
White. Black shouldn't open up the centre
too early.
1 2 ltJg4 c6
Another possibility is 1 2 ... e5 1 3 dxe5!
iLxg4 14 'iVxg4 xd2 1 5 exf6 gxf6 16 e5,
when Black wins a piece but White's attack
looks rather menacing. 1 2 ... iLb7 1 3 a4 0-0 14
'iWe2 is sensible as Black's bishop is not ob
structed.
1 3 a4 0-0
Also interesting is 1 3 ... e5!? with variations
similar to those in the previous note. After 14
dxe5 iLxg4 15 xg4 xd2 16 exf6 gxf6 17
axb5 xc3 18 e5! there is compensation for
the piece.
1 4 axb5 cxb5 1 5 e5 ltJd5 1 6 exf6 gxf6
1 7 ltJe3 ltJc6
17 ... i.b7 18 g4+ 'it>f7 19 i.e4 leaves
White with a promising attacking stance,
while 1 7 ... lbxe3 1 8 iLxe3 .l:i.a7 1 9 .l:i.e 1 also
looks dangerous.
1 8 ltJxd5 exd5 1 9 .l:l.e 1 .l:l.f7
Another try is 1 9 ... i.fS 20 f3 i.e4, but
White sacrifices and gets the better chances

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL. g 2 8 6

after 21 1he4! dxe4 22 'iYxe4.


20 'i'hS fS?
20...ltJe7 doesn't save Black: 21 l:he7!
'i'xe7 22 .l:!.e1 'ii'd 8 23 i.xd5 l:taa7 24 i.h6.
21 iL.xdS! 'i'xdS 22 .l:teS + .l:tfS 23 iL.hS!
iL.b7 24 .l:txfS +
Or simply 24 'iYg5+ <j;f7 25 J:.ae1 and
wins.
24 . . . .l:txfS 2S 'i'gS + f7 2S 'i'g7 + eS
27 .l:te 1 + dS 2S 'i'xb7
It is interesting to note that material is
level now! Black quickly collapses.
2S . . . .l:tgS 29 iL.f4! "i'd7 30 'i'bS + cS 3 1
d5 1 -0

Game 48
Ivanchuk - K uporosov

Tallinn 1986
1 d4 dS 2 c4 eS 3 ttJf3 ttJfS 4 g3 dxc4 S
iL.g2 as S ttJeS cS

This logical central thrust addresses the


slight, voluntary weakening of d4 caused by 6
ttJe5.
7 iL.e3
One of the two possible ways to guard the
d-pawn, and clearly better than 7 e3, if not
enough for an advantage. After 7 e3 Black
can go for immediate equaliry with 7 ... cxd4 8
exd4 i.e7 9 0-0 0-0 1 0 ltJxc4 ltJc6 or choose
the more interesting 7 ... .l:!.a7!, which had an
outing in Konopka-Kucera, Decin 1 995
when 8 ltJxc4 b5 9 ltJe5 i.b7 10 i.xb 7 .l:!.xb 7

1 1 dxc5 xd 1+ 1 2 <j;xd1 i.xc5 1 3 ltJc3


ltJbd7 14 ltJd3 i.d6 1 5 <j;e2 <j;e7 16 i.d2
l:tc8 17 Ilhc1 l::t b c7 perhaps left Black with
something. 7 ltJa3 is considered in the next
two games.
7 . . . ttJdS!
This is the downside to \X'hite's previous
move. After 7 ... cxd4?! 8 i.xd4 i.c5 9 i.xc5
'iYa5+ 10 ltJd2 'iix c5 1 1 ltJdxc4 \X'hite had a
useful lead in development in Stean
Rodriguez, Las Palmas 1 978.
S dxcS
This is the serious move here. 8 0-0 ltJd7
9 ltJxc4 b5 10 ltJcd2 ltJxe3 1 1 fxe3 cannot be
right. In Hort-Portisch, Nice 1 974, 1 1 ....l:tb8
12 ltJe4 f5 13 ltJf2 i.e 7 14 e4 0-0 1 5 e3 i.g5
16 "iVd3 ltJb6 favoured Black. 8 ltJc3 ltJxe3 9
fxe3 ltJd7 also looks harmless, 1 0 ltJxc4 i.e7
1 1 0-0 0-0 12 ltJe4 .l:!.b8 13 a4 'iic 7 being
equal in Verat- Rotstein, Cannes 1 992.
S . . . ttJd7 !
Experience has shown that this is the
most natural move, after which Black is
genuinely threatening to take on e3. The
immediate 8 ... ltJxe3?! is very risky, e.g. 9
'iixd8+ <j;xd8 1 0 fxe3 <j;e8 1 1 c6 bxc6 1 2
ltJxc4 l:ta7 1 3 ltJc3 l:td7 1 4 0-0, Birnboim
Rapoport, Jerusalem 1 996, when Black
lagged behind in development and \X'hite's
knights were productively posted.
However, 8 ... f6 is playable. After 9 ltJxc4
ltJxe3 10 'iixd8+ <j;xd8 1 1 fxe3 .ltxc5 1 2
ltJc3 l:!. a7 Black i s still playing catch-up but it
looks less serious here, as was demonstrated
in Beliavsky-Csom, Vilnius 1 978, when 1 3
ltJe4 .ltb4+ 1 4 'it> f2 b 5 1 5 a 3 bxc4 1 6 axb4
ltJc6 1 7 b5 axb5 1 8 ltJd6 <j;e 7 1 9 ltJxb5 .l:!.xa 1
20 lIxa1 ltJe5 21 .l:!.a7+ i.d7 was even.
9 iL.d4
Practically forced. In reply to 9 ltJxd7
Black has 9 ... ltJxe3! 10 fxe3 .ltxd7, when 1 1
i.xb7 is too riskY in view of 1 1 ....ltxc5 1 2
i.xa8 xa8 1 3 .l:!.g1 i.xe3 1 4 1:1. f1 g2 1 5
d6 "iVb7 and Black has a strong attack for
the exchange. Dokhoian-Ftacnik, Germany
1 993 continued instead 1 1 d4 "iVa5+ 1 2
..

101

Th e C a t a l a n

lbc3 'iix c5 1 3 i.xb7 (1 3 O-O!? is a possible


improvement, but Black should be fine)
1 3. .. xd4 1 4 exd4 .l:!.b8 1 5 i.xa6 .l:!.xb2 with
an edge for Black.
9 . . . ttJxe5 1 0 xe5

lbe4 c7 1 8 b4! in Ivanchuk-Novikov, Tal


lin 1 986, White securing the c5-square for the
knight. After 1 8 ... 11d8 1 9 'ifb3 'it'f7 20 lbc5
.Jl.c8 21 l:tfdl White was doing well. An al
ternative is 1 6 .. J:td8 1 7 bxc4 tt:ie3!?, when
play might develop 1 8 cxb5! 'iVb6 1 9 fxe3
'iVxe3+ 20 .l:!.f2 with a mess.
1 7 fxe3 'ii'x e3 + 1 8 f2 xg2 19 'it>xg2
d8 20 c2 c3 21 f3 xd2 22 xe3
xd 1 23 exc3 'it>e7 ! 24 c6 J:!.d6 25
c7 + d7 26 7c6 d6
26 . . . .l:.a8 27 .l:.b6 and White's activity as
sures him of the draw.
27 c7 + Y> - Y>

Game 49
Raetsky-Naiditsch

1 0 . . . f6
10 ... i.xc5!? is a sharp but apparently per
fectly sound opportunity. White will get no
where unless he accepts the challenge: 1 1
i.xg7 .l:Ig8:
1 2 i.d4?? lbf4! 1 3 'iHa4+ i..d 7 1 4 xc4
lbxg2+ 0- 1 is the miniature Verat-Antunes,
Royan 1 989, while 12 i.. e 5 "iVg5 13 f4 'iid 8
14 i.xd5 "iVxd5 15 'iit'x d5 exd5 was also very
short but agreed drawn In Tratar
A.Petrosian, Ljubljana 1 995, where White
could have tried 1 4 lbc3!?, e.g. 1 4 ... lbe3 1 5
'iixd8+ 'it'xd8 1 6 i.. f6+ 'lite8 1 7 i.e4 with a
murky situation.
Salov-Portish, Brussels 1 988 continued 1 2
i.c3 b 5 1 3 i.d4 'iVb6 1 4 i.. x c5 'iVxc5 1 5
lbc3 i..b 7 1 6 lbxd5 i.xd5 1 7 .Jl.xd5 l:.d8 1 8
0-0 .l:!.xd5 1 9 c2 h 5 with sufficient counter
play.
1 1 d4 xc5
A common trick in these positions.
1 2 xc5 'ii'a 5 + 1 3 ttJd2
13 lbc3 lbxc3 14 "iVd6 lbd5+ 1 5 'it'f1 'iVd8
is unclear according to Ruban.
1 3 . . . 'ii'x c5 1 4 c 1 b5 1 5 b3 b7 1 6 0-0
ttJe3 !
An important improvement. Earlier in the
same tournament Black played 1 6 ... c3?! 1 7
1 02

Dortmund 2000
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
g2 a6 6 ttJe5 c5 7 ttJa3

7 . . . 'ii'x d4? !
Black has problems with his queen after
this capture. More natural is 7 ... cxd4, as in
the next main game. After 7 ... .l:.a7 8 dxc5
'iixd 1+ 9 'it>xd 1 .Jl.xc5 10 tt:iaxc4 b5 1 1 lbd3!
White has the advantage. In Rashkovsky
Beliavsky, Baku 1 977 the subsequent
1 1 ....l:!.d7 1 2 lbce5 .l:!.d8 1 3 i.d2 i.b6 1 4 a4
left Black's queenside under terrible pressure.
8 'ii'a4+ ! ?
Although this check i s not necessarily the
strongest move, in practical terms it is the

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

most unpleasant to face. After 8 'iYxd4 cxd4


9 lbaxc4 lbbd7 10 lbxd7 lbxd7 1 1 0-0 .i.c5
12 e3 0-0 13 exd4 .i.xd4 1 4 l:!.d 1 e5 1 5 .i.e3
.ixe3 1 6 fxe3 White was a little better in
Agzamov-Azmaiparashvili, Yerevan 1 98 1 .
There is no doubt that he will regain his
pawn, and without losing his lead in devel
opment.
8 . . . lLlfd7?!
Not best. The outcome of 8 ...lbbd7 9
tt'laxc4 b5 has also proved unsuccessful.
Note that the following line is not forced: 1 0
'iVa5 lbxe5 1 1 lbxe5 lbd5 1 2 lbc6 'iYf6 1 3
a4! b4 (1 3. . .bxa4! i s better, but White has the
initiative) 14 e4 .i.b7? (14 ... .i.d7! is far from
ideal but not decisive) 1 5 exd5 exd5 1 6 .i.g5!!
'i'xc6 (1 6 .. .'iVxg5? 1 7 'iVc7 .i.c8 1 8 lbe5 'iVf6
19 .i.xd5 and White wins) 1 7 0-0-0 f6 1 8
.!:the 1 + with a strong attack, e.g. 1 8 ... f7 1 9
.ixd5+ 'iVxd5 20 l:!.xd5 .i.xd5 2 1 'ii'c7+ g6
22 'it'd7! .i.g2 23 .i.e3 and White has a fierce
offensive against the enemy king, as well as a
nice material situation. Meanwhile, there is
also to c2!? lbxe5 1 1 lbxe5 lbd5 1 2 lbc6
"i'f6 1 3 e4 lbb6 14 e5 'it'g6 1 5 .i.e4 5 1 6
.ie3 with a potent initiative.
8 ... .i.d7 is probably safest. After 9 lbxd7
lbbxd7! (9 ... 'iVxd7 to 'iVxd7+ lbbxd7 1 1
.ixb7 'ua7 1 2 .i.g2 is somewhat better for
White) to .i.xb7 l:!.b8 1 1 .i.xa6 c3 1 2 b3
'iVxa4 1 3 bxa4 .i.d6 it is not clear that White
is better. Black has good development.
9 lLlaxc4 b5 1 0 'iYa5

1 0 . . . bxc4
Black has a difficult choice, one pitfall be
ing 1O ... .l:la7? 1 1 e3! and the queen is trapped.
After to ... lbxe5 1 1 lbxe5 .ll a7 1 2 'iVb6 lbd7
1 3 'i'xa7 'iVxe5 1 4 .i.f4 'iVxb2 1 5 t[dl Black
will not survive for long, but perhaps
1 2 ... .i.d6!? is worth a look.
1 1 lLlxd7 'iYxd7 1 2 i.. x a8 lLlc6 1 3 'iYb6
lLld4 1 4 i.. e 3!
White exploits his lead in development. 14
0-0 'it'd6 15 a5 lbxe2+ 16 hl is only
slighdy favourable.
1 4 . . . 'iYb5
Black gains litde from 1 4 ... lbc2+ 1 5 'it'f1
lbxe3+ 1 6 fxe3 iVd6 1 7 .i.c6+ e7 1 8 'iVa7+
f6 1 9 .i.f3, when his chances for survival
are slim.
1 5 'iYc7 'iYd7
After 1 5 ... .i.d7 White wins with 16 0-0
lbxe2+ 17 'it'g2 lbd4 1 8 a4 iVb4 19 l:!.fd 1 ,
leaving Black's kind with inadequate defence.
1 6 'iYxd 7 + i.. x d7 1 7 J:tc 1 i.. d 6 1 8 i.. b 7?!
18 .i.xd4 cxd4 1 9 l:!.xc4 e5 20 .i.c6 is sim
pler because Black has no counterplay. White
WIns .
1 8 . . . <;t>e7 1 9 i.. x a6 l:tb8 20 i.. xc4 l:txb2
21 i.. x d4 cxd4 22 0-0

White is still close to winning but now


there are additional technical challenges.
22 . . . i.. a4 23 l:tb 1 l:td2 24 l:tb7 + <;t>f6 25
l:ta7 i.. d 1 26 a4 i.. x e2 27 i.. x e2 l:txe2 28
J:td7 i.. c 5 29 J:tc 1 i.. a 3
After 29 ... .i.b6 30 l:!.bl .i.c5 3 1 as d3 32
1 03

Th e C a t a l a n

l::t xd3 l:txf2 33 l:tfl White is easily winning


the ending.
30 cc7 We5
30 ... e5 3 1 l:tc6+ 'ltf5 32 as and the a-pawn
is a runner!
3 1 a5 a2 32 a6 .i.b2 33 a7 d3 34 xd3
.i.d4 35 xd4 Wxd4 36 .l:txf7 g5 37 .l:!.xh7
e5 38 d7 + We4 39 Wg2 g4 40 h3
gxh3+ 4 1 Wxh3 Wf5 42 f3 a4 43 g4+
Wg5 44 Wg3 .l:ta3 45 Wf2 Wf6 46 We2
We6 47 b7 Wf6 48 Wd2 1 -0

Came 50
G irnza-Linder

Cerma'!Y 1998
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tLlf3 tLlf6 4 g3 dxc4 5

ii g2 a6 6 tLle5 c5 7 tLla3 cxd4 8 tLlaxc4

8 . . . a7
lbis developing move has been consid
ered the most natural for some time, Black in
danger of running into trouble if he is not
sufficiently acquainted with certain factors.
For example the ostensibly natural 8 ... e7 is
typical of what might happen if Black be
lieves the position is harmless. I.Almasi
Vadasz, Budapest 1 997 went 9 d2 as 1 0
'iVb3 tLlbd7 1 1 xb7 a4! (1 1 ...l:tb8? 1 2 xa5
xb7 1 3 xd8 xhl 14 b6 and Black
doesn't have enough for the queen - the a
pawn is strong and f2-f3 is coming) 1 2 'it'f3
xb7 13 'it'xb7 tLlxe5 14 tLlxe5 'it'd5 1 5
'iVc6+ 'it'xc6 1 6 tLlxc6 with a more pleasant
1 04

endgame for White.


In reply to 8 ... c5 9 d2 is less effective
now as Black has control over the b6-square.
Consequently in Alburt-I.Ivanov, New York
1 983 the subsequent 9 ...tLld5 1 0 tLld3 i.a7
1 1 a5 'it'd7 (1 1 ...'it'e7? 1 2 xd5! exd5 1 3
b4 and Black is i n trouble) 1 2 tLlde5 'iVe7
1 3 'iVb3 tLlc6 1 4 0-0 0-0 1 5 l:tac1 I:tb8 1 6
tLlxc6 bxc6 1 7 'iVc2 c5 1 8 l::t fd 1 left the onus
on White to demonstrate compensation. lbis
leaves 9 0-0 0-0 1 0 b4!? (White needs to act
energetically) 1 O ... xb4 1 1 lIbl c5 1 2 tLld3
e7 1 3 tLlb6 l::t a7 1 4 fib3 tLlc6 1 5 b2,
Russo-Haro, Guarapuava 1 992. An accurate
evaluation of the position is difficult as only
one game has been played, but White has
compensation here. After 1 5 ... e5 he found 1 6
tLlxc8 'it'xc8 1 7 tLlxe5! tLlxe5 1 8 xd4 c5
19 i.xe5 with the advantage of the two bish
ops in an open position.
9 .i.d2
9 a4 b6 1 0 'iib 3 b 7! should be okay for
Black. Berezin-Novikov, Donetsk 1 998 went
1 1 0-0 xg2 1 2 'ltxg2 'iVd5+ 1 3 f3 c5 1 4
e 4 'iib 7 1 5 tLld3 0-0 1 6 a s with play for both
sides.
9 . . . b6 10 iVb3 .i.b7 1 1 .i.xb7 xb7 1 2
tLla5 e7 ! ?
A provocative move, and also one that
looks very strange when we consider the
plight of the ffi-bishop. Av.Bykhovsky
Kaidanov, Irkutsk 1 983 continued 12 ...l:tc7
1 3 'it'xb6 c5 (1 3 ... Itc 1+?? 14 l:[xc1 'it'xb6
1 5 l:tc8+ 'lte7 1 6 l:hb8! and the threat of
b4+ decides the game) 1 4 'iVb3 0-0 1 5 0-0
'it'd5 1 6 'iVxd5 tLlxd5 1 7 fc1 lIfc8 1 8 tLld3
b6 1 9 l::t xc7 l:txc7 20 l:tc1 with the stan
dard Catalan ending advantage.
1 2 ... 11a7 1 3 0-0 (1 3 tLlac6?! tLlxc6 1 4 tLlxc6
'iVa8 1 5 'it'xb6? l:lb 7 1 6 'it'xd4 .l:!.c7 cannot be
recommended) 1 3 ... tLle4 1 4 'iVa4+ b5 1 5 'iVc2
tLlxd2 1 6 'iixd2 'iid 5 1 7 tLlf3 c5 1 8 tLlb3
0-0 1 9 tLlxc5 'iix c5 20 l:tfc1 'iVd5 21 'it'xd4
'iixd4 22 tLlxd4 l:td7 23 tLlb3 l:tfd8 with a
draw to come in Dizdar-Novikov, Lucerne
1 997.

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

1 3 0-0
White achieves nothing from 1 3 ttJac6.
Kopylov-Yakovich, Hamburg 1 999 contin
ued 1 3. .. ttJxc6 1 4 ttJxc6 'Was! 1 5 Itel c7 1 6
'i'xb6 ttJd5 1 7 'iib8+ 'Wxb8 1 8 ttJxb8 l:!.xc1+
19 i.xel i.d6 20 ttJc6 e5 21 ttJa5 'i;e 7 and
Black was better thanks to his development
lead.
1 3 . . . tLle4
13 ... bxa5? does not work in view of 1 4
'i'a4+ ttJbd7 1 5 i.xa5 'iib 8 1 6 l:tae l , when
White's attack is decisive.
14 'i'a4+ b5 1 5 'i'c2 tLlxd2 1 6 'i'xd2

ttJxd4 ':'xd4 27 l::t c8+ 'i;g7 28 tIxb8 tId 1+ 29


'i;g2 l:!.d2 Black wins a pawn and maybe the
game.
24 . . . tLlxc6 25 J::tx c6 'i'b4 26 J::t x a6 it'xb2
27 J::ta 7 b4 28 'itg2
Perhaps Black is a shade better here, but
White has sufficient play to hold. However,
this is a road down which it might be dan
gerous to travel. Who knows where Black
had improvements?
28 . . . b3 % - %
Now he settles for a draw.

Black meets 6 0-0 with 6 . . . tLlc6

Game 5 1
G leizerov-S . Ivanov

Poland 1992
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tLlf3 tLlf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
iLg2 a6 6 0-0
This simple move is more dangerous for
Black.
6 . . . tLlc6

1 6 . . J:tc7
16 ... 'Wd5?! 17 'iYel ! exposes Black's vul
nerable back rank.
1 7 J::ta c 1 i.c5 1 8 'i'f4
Perhaps White should put the brakes on
here. 1 8 .l:f.xc5 leads to equality after
1 8 . ..l:txc5 1 9 ttJb7 'ifc7 20 ttJxc5 xe5 21
ttJb3 0-0 22 ttJxd4 tId8 23 tIel , when a draw
is on the cards.
1 8 . . . 0-0
Also possible is 18 ... f6 19 ttJec6 ttJxc6 20
l:txc5 ttJe5 21 l:txc7 xc7 22 ttJb3 and Black
IS no worse.
19 llxc5 J::t x c5 20 tLlb7 'i'c7 21 tLlxc5
it'xc5 22 J::t c 1 'i'd6 23 'i'e4? !
White could also try 23 ttJc6 xf4 24
ttJe7+ 'i;h8 25 gxf4 g6 26 'i;g2 with play for
the pawn, although Black still looks better.
23 . . . g6 24 tLlc6
After 24 ttJf3?! tIdR 25 "it'xd4 'iYxd4 26

7 a4
Relatively harmless. 7 e3 and 7 ttJc3 are
considered below. Also lacking punch is 7
ttJa3 .i.xa3 8 bxa3, e.g. R ... O-O 9 i.b2 tIbR 1 0
c2 b 5 1 1 tIad l , when Shipov-S.Ivanov, St.
Petersburg 1 996 went l 1 ...tIb6!? 12 e4 .i.b7
13 ttJg5, the main idea behind this question
able knight manoeuvre perhaps being 13 ... a6
1 4 d5!? Instead there followed 1 3 ... ttJd7 1 4
1 05

Th e C a t a l a n

h 4 h 6 1 5 tt:Jh3 l:e8 1 6 tt:Jf4 e S ! (the downside


to the long knight journey) 1 7 dxeS tt:JcxeS
and Black was slightly better. There is some
compensation for the pawn, but not really
enough to recommend trying this position
again. In Khalifman-Akopian, Manila 1 992
the situation was a complete mess after
1 1 ...tt:Je7 1 2 e4 .i.b7 1 3 lIfel tt:Jg6 1 4 .i.c3
'iWd7 1 5 h4 fd8 16 dS.
7 . . . l:tb8
Also interesting is 7 ... .i.e 7!? 8 tt:Ja3 tt:JaS.
8 a5
White is trying to prevent ... b7-bS. Black
also has a good game after the alternatives. 8
.i.gS .i.e7 9 tt:Jc3 bS to axbS axbS 1 1 tt:JxbS!?
l:xbS 12 'iVa4 l:b4 13 xc6+ .i.d7 14 a6
l:xb2 1 5 'it'xc4 0-0, with chances for both
sides, needs practical testing, while 8 tt:Ja3
.i.xa3 9 .l:!.xa3 bS to axbS axbS 1 1 tt:JeS tt:JxeS
12 dxeS tt:JdS 13 'iVd4 0-0 14 'iVcs e7 1 5
.i.e3 xcS 1 6 .i.xcs i:td8 1 7 .l:[dl left White
with good play for the exchange but hardly
an advantage in Prokopchuk-Daschian, Mos
cow 1 999. 8 tt:Jc3 .i.b4 9 l:el tt:JdS 10 c2
.i.e7 1 1 l:dl 0-0 12 e4 tt:Jcb4 13 1 tt:Jxc3
14 bxc3 tt:Jd3 1 5 tt:Jd2 tt:Jxc1 16 l:xc1 eS saw
Black generate excellent counterplay in Bu
Xiangzhi-Drei, Reykjavik 2000.
8 . . . b4
The most logical move now the a-pawn is
exposed. After 8 ... bS 9 axb6 cxb6 White has
a chance to create an initiative, e.g. 10 .i.f4
.i.d6 1 1 tt:JeS tt:Je 7 1 2 e4 .i.b 7 1 3 tt:Jc3 0-0 1 4
.i.gS! b S 1 5 .i.xf6 gxf6 1 6 tt:Jg4 tt:Jg6 1 7 h4
with a good attack for the pawn in Peturs
son-Oil, Groningen 1 997. 12 tt:Jxc4 .i.xf4 1 3
gxf4 0-0 was more peaceful in Timoshenko
Novikov, Nova Gorica 1 997, when 14 e3
tt:JfdS 1 5 tt:JeS .i.b 7 16 tt:Jd2 tt:Jg6 17 tt:Jxg6
hxg6 1 8 tt:Jf3 e7 1 9 tt:JeS tt:Jb4 was no
worse for Black.
9 'iWc2
There is no route to an advantage here.
After 9 'it'a4 0-0 to tt:JeS .i.d7! 1 1 tt:Jxc4 'iYe7
12 'iVdl l:fd8 Black is fIne according to
S.Ivanov and Yuneev. Also harmless is 9
1 06

.i.d2 .i.xd2 1 0 'iWxd2 0-0 1 1 'iYc3 bS 1 2 axb6


cxb6 1 3 'iVxc4 .i.b7 14 e3 as 1 5 tt:Jc3 tt:Jb4 1 6
.t!.ad1 .i.a6 1 7 'iVb3 l:tc8 with equality In
Maiwald-S.Ivanov, Katowice 1 993.
9 . . 4Jxa5
.

The safest option. Black can also consider


taking with the bishop: 9 ... .i.xaS!? to tt:JeS (it
is diffIcult to evaluate the compensation after
to 'iVxc4 .i.b6 1 1 l:td1 - enough for a pawn,
but does it result in an advantage?)
to .. tt:Jxd4!? 1 1 'iVa4+ bS 1 2 xaS 'iVd6! 1 3
tt:Jf3 tt:Jxe2+ 1 4 hl tt:Jxc1 1 S l:txc1 0-0 with
an unclear game (S.Ivanov and Yuneev) .
1 0 'ii'a 4+ 4Jc6 1 1 4Je5 4Jd5
After 1 1 ...0-0 White gets an advantage
with 1 2 .i.xc6! bxc6 1 3 tt:Jxc6 .i.d7 1 4 tt:Jxd8
.i.xa4 1 5 tt:Jxe6 fxe6 1 6 .l:txa4, when his supe
rior pawn structure will help in the ending.
1 2 4Jxc6 bxc6 1 3 'ii'x c6 + d7 1 4 'ii'xc4
0-0
.

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

1 S l:!.d 1
Accepting the pawn with 1 5 xd5 exd5
16 'i'xd5 leads to equality after 1 6...b5 1 7
'i'xds IibxdS I S lbc3.
1S . . . cS!? 1 6 e4
Or 16 dxc5 i.b5 17 c2 e7 and Black
is doing fine - Gleizerov.
16 . . . lLlb6 1 7 'ii'b 3 'Wie7
The pawn sacrifice 17 ... a5 I S dxc5 i.xc5
19 .l:Ixa5 lbd5! is interesting, 20 'ifa2 lbb4 21
'i'a3 producing a messy position.
1S ii.f4 J:!.aS 1 9 dS

2S 'litg2? .l:Ixfl ! 29 c;t>xfl l:!.a 1 30 'it>g2


.l:lxb 1 and Black makes a draw.
2S . . .l::t a a 1 29 'iit g 2 J:!.d 1 30 lLlxb3
White wins easily with 30 'iVdS .l:Iabl 31
d4 e5 32 e3 .l:Ixb2 33 lbxb3 etc.
30 . . . J:!.xf 1 31 lLlxa 1 J:!.xa 1 32 b4 J:!.b 1 33
bS f6 34 'Wic6 'iitf 7 3 S 'Wic7 + 'iite S 36
it'c2! l:!.a 1 37 b6 lLld7 3S b7 'iite 7 39
it'b2 nd 1 40 bait' lLlxbS 41 'WixbS J:!.dS
42 'Wic7 + nd7 43 'WicS + 'iitf 7 44 it'hS+
1 -0

Game 52
Wells-Barsov

York 2000
1 d4 dS 2 c4 e6 3 lLlf3 lLlf6 4 g3 dxc4 S
ii.g2 a6 6 0-0 lLlc6 7 e3

19 . . . c4?
A horrible blunder, after which White
wins by force. 19 ... exd5 is necessary, when 20
exd5 g4 21 d6 (21 Iiel !?) 21 ...xdl 22
'i'xdl .l:IadS 23 Iixa6 .l:IfeS is balanced.
20 d6!
Perhaps Black forgot about this move.
20 . . . cxb3
20 ... xd6 21 xd6 'iVxd6 22 .l:Ixd6 cxb3
does not work in view of 23 .l:Ixb6, when
White emerges with an extra piece.
21 dxe7 l:rfcS
21 ...i.xe7 22 e3.
22 ii.e3 ii.cs 23 ii.xcs l:!.xcS
White is less well developed but has the
significant advantage of a pawn on the 7th
rank, so now he decides the game.
24 J:!.xa6! J:!.xa6
24 ....l:IbS 25 .l:Ixb6! is no improvement.
2S J:!.xd7 J:!.c 1 + 26 ii.f 1 lLlxd7 27 eS'Wi +
lLlfS 2S lLld2

7 . . . ii.d7
The logical, calm approach. Black has no
problem parting with the exchange on as as can be seen in the notes to White's 9th
move in the next main game. 7 ... l:!.bS is less
accurate, White achieving a slight advantage
after S lbfd2!, e.g. S ... e5 9 xc6+ bxc6 1 0
dxe5 lbg4 1 1 lbxc4 i.e6 1 2 c2 h5! 1 3 .l:Idl
c8 14 e4! d5 15 .l:Ixd5 cxd5 16 'it'xd5
iLe7, Tukmakov-V.Mikhalevski, Biel 1 998.
Now after 17 e6! xe6 IS xe6 fxe6 19 h3
White is a little better according to Tukma
kov. White's knights got busy in Lputian
Y.Milov, Istanbul 2000: S ... d7 9 lbxc4 b5
10 lbcd2 b7 1 1 lbc3 lbdS 1 2 lbf3 c5 1 3 e4
107

Th e Ca t a l a n

cxd4 1 4 ttJxd4 ttJc6 15 f4 l:tc8 1 6 ttJb3


b4 1 7 e5 'iVxd1 1 8 .l:i.fxd1 ttJd7 19 ttJe4
ttJdxe5 20 ttJec5 xc5 21 xe5 b6 22
xg7 J:tg8 23 f6 and Black still had some
problems to solve.
8 ttJc3
8 'iVe2 is considered in the next game.
8 . . . ttJd5
One of a number of options open to
Black:
8 ... b5 9 ttJe5 ttJd5 10 ttJxd5 exd5 1 1 xd5
ttJxe5 12 dxe5 c6 1 3 i.e4 and White has the
better prospects. 8 ....l:!.b8 looks dangerous for
Black. Cs.Horvath-Marciano, Austria 1 998
continued 9 ttJe5 ttJa5 10 e4 b5 1 1 g4! h6?!
(risky) 12 f4 c5 13 d5 b4 (1 3 ... exd5 14 ttJxd7
ttJxd7 1 5 ttJxd5 gives White a promising
initiative) 14 dxe6 xe6 1 5 'iVa4+ ttJd7? (the
decisive mistake, but after 1 5 ... d7 1 6 ttJxd7
'iVxd7 1 7 'iVxa5 bxc3 1 8 bxc3 White never
theless has a terrifying attack) 1 6 f5! 'i;; e 7 1 7
l:t d 1 ! bxc3 1 8 fxe6 'i;;x e6 1 9 ttJxd7 cxb2 20
ttJxffi+ lIxffi 21 :xd8 bxa1'iV 22 iVd7+ 1 -0.
Black has to play 1 1 ...b4 12 g5 bxc3 1 3 bxc3!
l:tb5! (13. .. ttJg8? is dangerous - after 14 'iVf3
"iie 7? 1 5 a3 White wins) 14 gxf6 gxf6 1 5
ttJxd7 'iVxd7 1 6 'iVf3 J:tg8 1 7 'i;; h 1 when a
draw was agreed in Sosonko-Piket, Rotter
dam 1 997. However, White would be quite
justified in trying for more in this fmal posi
tion.
8 ... d6 is a reasonable alternative. White
might need to improve on 9 ttJe5 i.xe5 1 0
dxe5 ttJxe5 1 1 xb 7 l:tb8, when Black is
fine. Then 12 'ikd4 .l:!.xb7 13 'ikxe5 0-0 1 4
l:td1 "iie 7 1 5 e 4 c6 1 6 'iVd4 'iVb4 1 7 e3
ttJd7! proved unreliable and left White worse
in Karpov-Anand, Leon 1 999. The later
game Franco-Korneev, Madrid 2000 went
instead 1 2 g2 'iVe7 1 3 'iVd4 'iVd6 14 l:td1
'iVxd4 1 5 l:Ixd4 l:tb6 1 6 ttJe4 c6 1 7 f4
xe4 1 8 xe4 ttJxe4 1 9 ':xe4 ttJf3+ 20 'i;; f2
ttJxh2 21 l:txc4 0-0 and, this time, chances
were even.
9 ttJd2
9 "iVe2 ttJxc3 10 bxc3 d6 1 1 .l:!.d1 b5 1 2
1 08

ttJe5! was the course of Khalifman


A.Petrosian, Moscow 1 987. Then 1 2 ...ttJxe5
1 3 dxe5 xe5 14 a3! l:tb8 1 5 f4 d6 1 6
xd6 cxd6 1 7 l:txd6 gives White good play
for the pawn, so Black chose 1 2 ... xe5 1 3
dxe5 ttJxe5, when 1 4 ifh5! ttJd3 1 5 a3
.l:!.b8 1 6 e4 favoured White.
9 ttJxc3 1 0 bxc3 b5 1 1 a4
. . .

1 1 . . . l:!.b8 1 2 e4
White can also try 1 2 iVg4 g6 1 3 axb5
axb5 14 'iVe2 ttJe7 1 5 e4 g7 1 6 e5 ttJd5 1 7
ttJe4 with good play for the pawn. The weak
ness of the dark squares in Black's camp is
significant.
1 2 . . . e5
The open position after 1 2 ... b4 1 3 ttJxc4
bxc3 14 d5 is not in Black's interest.
1 3 axb5 axb5 1 4 d5 ttJe 7 1 5 a3 ttJg6
1 6 xf8 ttJxf8

1 7 f4

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

White begins his kingside attack, exploit


ing the development lead. Also strong is 1 7
'i'h5 tL'lg6 1 8 na7 0-0 1 9 l:tfal 'iVc8 20 h3,
when Black is under pressure.
1 7 . . . tUgS 1 8 f5 tUe 7 1 9 fS gxfS 20 J:taS
lbg8
This seems to be very passive, and that in
itself is a risk. 20 ... c6!? is less clear.
21 h5 iLe8 22 J:teS iLd7 23 tUf3 ! e7?
Black cracks under pressure, missing
23 ... .i.xc6 24 tL'lxe5! iLxd5! 25 exd5 'iWe7 26
tL'lc6 'iVe3+ 27 hl .l:Ib6, which is still very
difficult but at least forces White to work.
24 J:txe7 dS 25 tUg5 !
White comes crashing through.
25 . . . tUhS
25 ... fxg5 26 'iVxf7+ d8 27 l:txd7+ 'iVxd7
28 'iWf8+ c7 29 'iVc5+ b7 30 .l:tb l ! and
Black cannot defend himself.
2S J:txd 7 ! bS +
There is no defence, e.g. 26 ... 'iVxd7 27
l:!.xf6 'iVa7+ 28 hl and White's attack de
cides.
27 'ith 1 fxg5 28 J:tfxf7 gS 29 J:tfe7 +
'itf8 30 'ti'f3 + 'itg8 3 1 J:teS 1 -0

Game 53
H a ba-Gorin

Pardubice 1999
1 d4 d5 2 e4 eS 3 tUf3 tUfS 4 g3 dxe4 5
iLg2 as S 0-0 tUeS 7 e3 iLd7 8 e2 b5

9 J:td 1

Another natural move for White is 9 tL'lc3,


when 9 ... iLd6 invites 10 e4 e5 1 1 dxe5 tL'lxe5
12 tL'lxe5 .i.xe5 13 f4 with a fluent initiative
for White, who generated an offensive in
Tkachiev-Beliavsky, Enghien 1 999 after the
subsequent 1 3 ... .i.xc3 1 4 bxc3 c6 1 5 f5! 0-0
1 6 iLg5 h6 1 7 .i.h4 'iib6+ 1 8 'iit h l tL'lh7 1 9
l:tadl 'iVc7 2 0 e 5 etc. Beliavsky-Goldin, Nik
sic 1 997 went 9 ... .i.e 7 10 tL'le5 tL'lxe5 1 1 dxe5
tL'ld5 12 tL'lxd5 exd5 1 3 .i.xd5 c6 14 iLe4 0-0
1 5 b3 iLe6 1 6 1lVc2 h6 with an unclear game.
9 tL'le5 wins the exchange but is not the
strongest opportunity available. 9 ...tL'ld5 is
the weak response, Tratar-A.Petrosian, Ptuj
1 998 turning out advantageous for White
atter 1 0 tL'lxd7 'i'xd7 1 1 b3 cxb3 1 2 axb3
.i.e7 13 iLb2 0-0 14 ttdl tL'lcb4 1 5 e4 tL'lb6
1 6 tL'lc3 l:tad8 17 tL'la2 as 1 8 tL'lc3. The cor
rect approach is 9 ... tL'lxe5! 1 0 .i.xa8 'iVxa8 1 1
dxe5 tL'le4 1 2 a4 (12 b3! is better) 1 2... 'iVb7 1 3
axb5 axb5 1 4 f3 tL'lc5 1 5 e 4 tL'lb3 1 6 l:ta2
tL'lxc1 1 7 .l:txc1 .i.c5+ 1 8 g2 iLd4 1 9 'ifd2
c5 and the two bishops and queenside major
ity gave Black an excellent game in Janssen
Piket, Rotterdam 1 999.
9 . . . iLe7
Also possible is 9 ... .i.d6 10 e4 e5 1 1 dxe5
.i.xe5 (not 1 1 ...tL'lxe5? 12 tL'lxe5 .i.xe5 13 f4
.i.d6 1 4 e5 .i.c5+ 1 5 f1 tL'lg4 1 6 e6 and
White wins) 1 2 tL'lc3 (1 2 tL'lxe5 tL'lxe5 1 3 h3
c6 1 4 iLe3 is unclear) 1 2 ... 0-0 1 3 .i.g5 iLxc3
14 bxc3 'ife8 1 5 eS .i.g4 16 h3 iLxf3 1 7
iLxf3 'iVxe5 1 8 'iVxe5 tL'lxe5 1 9 .i.xa8 l:txa8
with enough compensation for the exchange
according to Kaidanov.
1 0 tUe3
An interesting line is 10 e4 0-0 1 1 tL'lc3
l:re8 12 tL'le5 l:tb8 1 3 iLe3 h6, when White
came up with the complicated 1 4 tL'lxf7!?
xf7 15 e5 in Cvitan-Dautov, Dresden 1 998.
Then 15 ... tL'lg8 16 'ii' f3+ g6 17 'iVg4+ f7
18 .i.xc6! .i.xc6 19 d5 gives White a winning
attack, the main point being 1 9 ... iLxd5 20
tL'lxd5 exd5 21 e6+ f8 22 'ifg6, when mate
cannot be avoided. Dautov played 1 5 ... tL'lb4
1 6 exf6 iLxf6 1 7 tL'le4 'iVe7 1 8 tL'lc5 and both
1 09

Th e Ca t a l a n

sides had decent chances. Notice that in


many of these positions a pawn is only a
positional factor alongside many others.
1 0 . . . ttJb4
A very standard manoeuvre to trade off
White's bishop, but this is also rather time
consuming. Beliavsky gives 1O .. .'Jd5 1 1 e4
tiJxc3 1 2 bxc3 0-0 1 3 h4 with compensation
for White. Who this exchange benefits is not
clear.
1 1 e4 ttJd3 1 2 ttJe5 ttJxc 1
1 2 ... b4 1 3 tiJxd7 'iNxd7 1 4 e5 tiJd5 1 5 tiJe4
0-0 1 6 'iNc2 seems to offer White good
chances of creating an initiative. Without his
bishop Black is unable to maintain sufficient
influence on the light squares.
1 3 axc 1 0-0 14 g4
White has addressed development and
needs to set in motion some kind of aggres
sive action in order to justify the pawn sacri
fice.
1 4 . . .'i!t'c8
The potency of W'hite's attack becomes
evident in the following line: 14 ... c6 1 5 g5
tiJe8 16 d5! d6 17 tiJxd7 xd7 1 8 e5 cxd5!
(the bishop is going, and this way is best) 1 9
exd6 tiJxd6 20 'iVe5 and White's prospects
are slightly preferable. Note that 20 ... b4? 21
tiJxd5! wins for White.
1 5 g5 ttJe8 1 6 ttJxd7 'llVx d7

1 7 e5?
An unsound pawn sacrifice which Black
should exploit. 17 h4 f6 1 8 e5 is complex.
1 10

1 7 . . . c6? !
Black should accept the invitation and
play 1 7 ... .ll xg5! ! 1 8 .ll x a8 .ll x c1 1 9 kIxc1 c6!,
trapping the bishop. Then 20 tiJe4 (20 'iVe4
d8! and ... g5+) 20 ... c8 21 .ll x c6?! (21
b3!? and White is not so much worse)
21 ...'iNxc6 22 b3 d5! favours Black.
1 8 ttJe4 f5
1 8 ... tiJc7 19 tiJf6+ .ll xf6 20 gxf6 looks
very dangerous.
1 9 exf6 gxf6 20 ttJc5 xc5 21 dxc5
'ilie7 ? !
The queen is i n the way o n this rank, and
the c-pawn is hanging. After the superior
21 ...c8 22 gxf6 kIxf6 23 kIc3 kIa7! the bat
tle rolls on.
22 xc6 c8 23 d7 'llVx c5 24 'llVx e6 +
'it>h8 25 d5 ttJg7

26 g6 ! !
A fantastic move that opens up the king
side.
26 . . . fd8? !
26 ... tiJxe6 is better. After 27 kIxh7+ g8
28 .ll xe6+ kIf7 29 kIc3! White wins. One line
goes 29 ... .l:i.cc7 30 kIxf7 kIxf7 31 gxf7+ 'it>fB
32 kIg3 and it is all over. 26 ... .l:Ic7 was the
best try. Now after 27 h3 h5 28 kIxc7
xc7 29 'iNe3 tiJf5 30 f3 tiJg7 31 kIel
White has a fantastic position, probably win
ning, but there is still some work to do.
27 'llVh 3 1 -0
Black resii-,'11ed because 27 ... h5 is met by
28 'iNxh5+ tiJxh5 29 kIh7 mate.

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

Game 54
Raetsky-Ekstrom

Ziirich 1998
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
iLg2 a6 6 0-0 ttJc6 7 ttJc3

7 J:!.bS
Experience has made this the main line.
7 ... fi.e7 allows S 'ilVa4 0-0 9 'iYxc4 when
Black has no natural plan of development.
7 ... fi.b4 also looks too optimistic. S 'ikc2 0-0
9 J::!.d l 'ii'e 7 10 i.g5 h6 1 1 i.xf6 'it'xf6 12 e4
nbS 1 3 e5 'it'e7 14 d5 tZJa5 1 5 tZJd4 i.d7 1 6
f4 J::!. fdS 1 7 'it>h 1 i.eS I S rs saw White gener
ate a promising kingside attack in Shipov
Bashkov, Cheliabinsk 1 9 9 1 . Note that the
two bishops are of little importance here as
the position is still somewhat closed. Another
strong option is S i.g5 0-0 9 J::!.c 1 i.e7 10 e3,
when Bronstein-Kholmov, Moscow 1 957
continued 1O ... tZJd5 1 1 i.xe7 tZJcxe7 12 tZJe4
b5 13 b3 cxb3 14 xb3 as 15 tZJe5 b4 1 6
tZJc5 and White had good play o n the c-file
and in the centre.
S e4 iLe7
S ... b5 is considered in the next game.
S ... i.b4 can be met with 9 d5!? i.xc3 1 0
bxc3 tZJe7 (1 0. . . exd5 1 1 exd5 tZJxd5 1 2 tZJg5
i.e6 looks risky but is not necessarily un
sound) 1 1 l:te1 0-0 12 i.a3, when Petursson
Lechtynsky, Smederevska Palanka 1 9S4 was
rather unpleasant for Black after 12 ... exd5?

1 3 exd5 J::!. e S 1 4 d6 tZJrs. Now White wins


with 1 5 dxc7 'it'xc7 1 6 g4! J::!. d 8 1 7 'it'e2 tZJd6
1 8 i..x d6 xd6 19 J::!. ad1 'iVf8 20 l:!.xd8
'iVxdS 21 g5 tZJd7 22 'it'e8+ and Black loses
material. An improvement is 12 ... l:teS 1 3 d6
cxd6 14 i.xd6 J::!. a S, when White has clear
compensation for the pawn but Black is not
necessarily so much worse.
9 'ilVe2 ! ?
White needs t o develop his initiative pa
tiently. After 9 i.g5 0-0 1 0 e5 tZJd5 1 1 h4
tZJxc3 12 bxc3 b5 there is not enough for the
pawn, 1 3 tZJd2 i.b7 14 tZJe4 i.xg5 1 5 hxg5
tZJe 7 1 6 'ii'h 5 tZJf5 leaving Black slightly bet
ter in Franco-Korneev, San Sebastian 2000.
A famous main line is 9 d5, which steers
play by force to a position where White has a
little extra space and Black has the two bish
ops: 9 ... exd5 10 exd5 tZJb4 1 1 tZJe5 i.rs 1 2
a 3 tZJd3 1 3 tZJxc4 tZJxc1 1 4 J::!. xc 1 0-0

. . .

This position has appeared many times in


practical play. Some commentators believe
the situation to be equal while others prefer
'hite. Perhaps an assessment somewhere
between the two is fair, which means that
Black should be able to equalise in the next
ten or so moves with accurate play, but will
suffer more from inaccuracies. Kaidanov
Shabalov, Seattle 2000 went 1 5 d4 tZJeS 1 6
tZJe3 i.d7 1 7 tZJe4 tZJd6 I S tZJc5 i.b5 1 9
l:tfdl i.f6 2 0 d2 b 6 21 tZJb3 d7 22 tZJd4
ItbeS 23 b3 as 24 tZJxb5 and a draw was
agreed. Another line goes 1 5 b4 l:te8 16 'iVd4
1 1 1

Th e C a t a la n

liJd7 1 7 d 6 cxd6 1 8 liJxd6 .txd6 1 9 'fixd6


liJe5 with complete equality according to
Haba.
9 . . . b5
It is dangerous to grab the pawn with
9 ... liJxd4 1 0 liJxd4 'fixd4, e.g. 1 1 l::.d 1 'fic5
1 2 .te3!? (this packs more punch than 1 2 e5
liJd7 1 3 liJe4 'fixeS 1 4 .tf4 'fia5 1 5 'ii'x c4 e5
1 6 .td2 'iVb6 1 7 .te3 c5 1 8 liJc3 liJf6 which
was unclear in Klinger-Bonsch, Lugano
1 989) 1 2 .. :iVa5 1 3 'ii'x c4 0-0 1 4 a3 and White
has good compensation for the pawn as
Black's queen is in need of a safe haven.
1 0 d 1 0-0
10 ... liJb4 1 1 liJe5 liJd7! 12 b3?! (1 2 'ii'g4
g6 1 3 .th6 liJxe5 1 4 dxe5 liJd3 gives White a
slight edge) 1 2 ... liJxe5 1 3 dxe5 liJd3 1 4 .te3
0-0 1 5 f4 ..tb4 16 'fic2 'fie7 17 liJe2 as! 1 8
h4 ..ta6 and Black was clearly better in Lalic
Chandler, Hastings 1 999/2000.
1 1 d5 exd5 1 2 e5!

1 2 . . . d4! ?
Black has to give up the knight one way or
the other. 1 2 ...liJd7?! 1 3 e6?! liJb6! benefits
only Black, so White should play 13 liJxd5.
Then 1 3. ..liJb4 14 e6 liJxd5 15 exd7 ..tb7 1 6
liJe5 c 6 1 7 liJxc6?! (1 7 .tf4, with a mess, is
better) 17 ...i.xc6 18 ..txd5 .txd7 19 ..tc6
..txc6 20 l:txd8 tIbxd8 gives Black all the
chances, which leaves 14 liJd4! liJxd5
(14 ... i.b 7?! 1 5 liJxb4! ..txg2 1 6 xg2 .txb4
17 liJc6 and White wins a piece) 1 5 liJc6 'it'e8
16 .ll. x d5 liJb6 1 7 i.e4! tIa8 18 'iVh5 g6 19
1 12

'ii'h 6 .tg4 20 .l:.e1 with a clear advantage to


White according to Haba.
An interesting alternative is 12 ... liJb4!? 1 3
exf6 .txf6 1 4 liJe5 when Black has three
possibilities.
1 4 ... .l:te8?! 15 liJxd5 liJxd5 (1 5 .. J::tx e5? 16
liJxf6+ 'ifxf6 1 7 'ii'x e5! etc.) 16 l:Ixd5 'fie7 1 7
f4 and White i s well ahead. 1 4. . ..t b7?! 1 5 a3!
tIe8 1 6 axb4 J:Ixe5 1 7 'iVc2 c6 1 8 liJe4! was
clearly better for White in Raetsky-Astrom,
HafnarfJordur 1 997, Black without counter
play on the dark squares. The sound option
is 14 ... d4!, e.g. 1 5 a3 l:te8 1 6 axb4 d3 1 7 .tf4
dxe2 1 8 .l:txd8 tIxd8 1 9 liJxe2 with chances
for both sides, although White's task is
probably the easier.
1 3 exf6 i.xf6 1 4 it'e4
After 1 4 liJe4 .te7 1 5 a4 d3 1 6 'iVd2 liJb4
Black has good counterplay for the piece.
1 4 . . . i.b 7 1 5 ttJd5 d3
1 5 ... liJb4 16 liJxf6+ 'ii'xf6 17 'ii'f4 c5 1 8
'fixf6 gxf6 1 9 .tf4 and Black needs to be
careful.
1 6 'li'f5? !
White chooses the wrong strategy i n try
ing to deliver mate. Preferable is 1 6 liJxf6+
'ii'xf6 1 7 'ii' f4! when White has some advan
tage in the endgame due to his control over
the dark squares.
1 6 . . . i.d4 1 7 ttJg5 g6 1 8 it'h3 h 5 1 9 it'h4
i.g7

20 ttJf4?!
White continues down the wrong path.

4 . . . dx c 4 5 it.. g 2 8 6

After 20 i.f4 tLJe5 21 tLJc3 i.xg2 22 xg2


J:1eS he is worse but can at least fight.
20 . . . t"t::le S?
A big mistake that justifies White's ap
proach. Much stronger is 20 ... tLJd4! 21 tLJe4
(21 i.xb7 .l:!.xb7 22 tLJxh5 f6! 23 tLJxg7 fxg5
and Black wins, as is the case after 21 tLJxh5
ttJe2+ 22 h1 i.xg2+ 23 xg2 'ii'd5+ 24 f3
gxh5 25 'iVxh5 'iVf5 etc.) 21 ..."ifxh4 22 gxh4
!:tfeS and White will not last long.
21 it.. x b7?
No doubt overlooking Black's 22nd
move. 21 tLJxh5! is correct, when Black needs
to play 21 ...f6! (21 ...gxh5? 22 i.xb7 J::.x b7 23
'i'e4! and White wins) 22 tLJxg7 fxg5 23
i.xg5 'it'd7 24 i.f6 with a complex position.
A possible continuation is 24 ... i.xg2 25
i.xe5 i.b 7 26 tLJe6!! 'iVxe6 27 'iYhS+ f7 2S
'i'h7+ eS 29 'iYxc7 'it'd5 30 "iixbS+ f7 3 1
'ifc7+ e6 3 2 f3 l:txf3 33 'iVb6+ i.c6 34 .l:!.d2
xe5 and Black is a little better. Both sides
have alternatives along the way, of course,
but this variation illu strates the nature of
these positions.
21 .. ..l::!.x b 7 22 t"t::lx hS?

22 tLJfh3 c5 23 i.e3 .l:!.c7 with a clear ad


vantage to Black. White no longer has an
attack.
22 . . . 'ii'x gS ! !
This simplification completely destroys
White's offensive.
23 xgS t"t::lf 3+ 24 Wg2 t"t::l x gS 2S t"t::l x g7
t"t::le4 26 .l:!.e 1 t"t::lf 6 27 it.. h 6 .l:!.d8 28 .l:!.e7

b4 29 h3 c3 30 bxc3 bxc3 3 1 t"t::le 6 fxe6


32 .l:!.g7 + Wh8 33 .l:!.e7 t"t::l g 8 0 - 1

Game 55
K halifman-Ivanchuk

Minsk 1986
1 d4 dS 2 c4 e6 3 t"t::lf 3 t"t::lf 6 4 g3 dxc4 S
it.. g 2 a6 6 0-0 t"t::l c 6 7 t"t::l c 3 .l:!.b8 8 e4 bS!?

Black wants to keep his pawn and emerge


with the better chances.
9 'ii'e 2
9 e5?! is unnatural. After 9 ...tLJd5 1 0 tLJg5
i.e7 1 1 h4 h6 1 2 tLJh3 tLJcb4 Black is already
on top.
9 . . . t"t::l x d4 1 0 t"t::l x d4 'ii'x d4 1 1 it.. g S
White achieves nothing from 11 i.e3?!
'it'd3! 12 'it'el (1 2 'it'xd3 cxd3 13 e5 tLJd7 1 4
i.a7 .l:!.b7 1 5 i.xb7 i.xb7 1 6 f4 c 5 1 7 b 3 g5!
and White is in trouble according to Milov)
1 2 ... 'iVdS! 1 3 .l:!.d1 tLJd7 with a better game
for Black (Khalifman) . A reasonable alterna
tive is 1 1 .l:!.d 1 'iVb6 1 2 e5 tLJd7 1 3 tLJe4 tLJxe5
( 1 3 ... i.b7!? 14 i.e3 'ii'a 5 is unclear) 14 i.e3
c5 1 5 .i.f4 tLJd3 (1 5 ... tLJd7!? 16 i.xbS "iVxbS
- unclear - is also sound) 1 6 i.xbS 'it'xbS 1 7
b 3 i.e7 1 S bxc4 bxc4 1 9 'i'c2 0-0 20 'ifxc4
tLJe5 21 'ilVc3 'iYc7 22 l1ac1 and White had a
pull in Miton-J akovenko, Yerevan 2000.
1 1 . . . 'ifb6
The messy 1 1 ...i.b7!? 12 .l:!.fd1 'ii'e 5 1 3
i.e3 b4 1 4 f4 "ifa5 1 5 e 5 needs investigating.
1 2 eS
1 13

Th e C a t a l a n

1 2 .txf6?! gxf6 1 3 e5 runs into 1 3. .. fS! and


White does not get to the e4-square, while 1 2
l:tad 1 ?! meets with 1 2. . .e5! 1 3 .txf6 'iixf6 1 4
ttJd5 'ii'd 6, nullifying White's development
lead.
1 2 . . . ttJd5
Khalifman gives the following line as win
ning for White: 1 2 ...ttJd7!? 1 3 l:tadl .tc5 1 4
ttJe4 0-0 1 5 l:txd7!? .txd7 1 6 ttJf6+ gxf6 1 7
.txf6. However, Black can play 1 7 ... l:tfd8 1 8
'iih 5 WfS 1 9 'iVxh7 We8 2 0 'iVg8+ .tfS 21
.tg7 'iVc5 and we see no win - after 22 .tf3
.tc8 23 .tc6+ .td7 24 .tf3 a draw is all there

Forced. 1 7 ... l:tc8 1 8 ttJxc 7+! and Black is


mated on d8.
1 8 'i'xg7 d7 1 9 ttJf6 + c6 20 ttJe4!
White has a strong attack, against which
defence is very aw1.-ward.
20 . . . c8? !
2 0... l:thg8 21 ii'f6 l:tg6 2 2 'ir f3 i s neces
sary, although Black's chances of survival are
slim .
2 1 'i'd4 d7 22 ttJf6 ! c8 23 i.e3 b4
24 a4
24 'iVe4+ 'lii>b 5 25 l:td5+! was simpler.
24 . . . bxa3 25 bxa3 J::r b 3 26 e4+ b5

IS.

1 3 i.xd5! exd5 14 ttJxd5 b7


14 .. :c6 15 l:tadl .te6 (1 5 ... .tb7 1 6
ttJf6+! gxf6 1 7 exf6+ e6 1 8 'ii'd2 .td6 1 9
l:tfel ii.e4 2 0 ii'd4 puts Black under pres
sure) 16 'i'f3! .txd5 17 lhd5 'i'e6 1 8 lHdl
.te7 1 9 .txe7 iYxe7 20 l:td7 'i'e6 21 l:txc7
and White is better.
1 5 J::rad 1 i.h3? !
Black must play 1 5 ... h6!?, when White can
try 1 6 ttJxc 7+ iYxc7 1 7 .l:.d8+ 'i!Vxd8 1 8 .txd8
Wxd8 19 f3 We8 and the position is rather
unclear.
1 6 e6!

27 J::rd 5 + ! i.xd5 28 xd5 + c5 29 a4+


b6 30 xd6+ b7 31 'i'd5 + c6 32
xc4 1 -0

Game 56
Tukmakov-Hulak

Croatia 1999

Prising open the enemy defences with de


cisive effect.
1 6 . . . i.xe6
16 ... ii.xfl loses to 17 'ii'e 5! .td6 1 8 xg7
l:lfS 1 9 e7! etc.
1 7 e5! i.d6
1 14

1 d4 d 5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5


i.g2 a6 6 0-0 ttJc6 7 ttJc3 J::r b8 8 e4 b5 9
d5!?
White does not waste a second, immedi
ately pushing forward. The reasoning behind
this thrust is that Black has spent time with
... b7-b5.
9 . . . ttJb4
Black does not benefit from opening the
centre: 9 ... exd5 10 exd5 ttJb4 1 1 b3 cxb3
(l 1 .. .ttJfxd5 1 2 ttJxd5 'ii'x d5 1 3 ttJd4 places
Black under heavy attack) 12 "i:Vxb3 ttJd3 1 3

4 . . . dx c 4 5 i. g 2 8 6

.JigS iLe7 1 4 ttJd4 iLd7 1 5 l:!.ad1 ttJc5 1 6


'i'c2 and Black was under pressure in Gore
lov-Abramov, USSR 1 99 1 .
1 0 b3! ?
White wants to blow the position open as
he has completed kings ide development.
There is also 10 ttJe5 iLd6 1 1 f4 exd5 12 a3
ttJd3 1 3 ttJxd3 cxd3, when Miton-Jakovenko,
Oropesa 1 999 went 14 exd5?! iLc5+ 1 5 Wh 1
.Jif5 1 6 1't'e1+ 'iie 7 1 7 1't'e5 g6 1 8 h3 h5 1 9
l:!.e1 Wd7 20 'ii'xe7+ iLxe7 with advantage to
Black. Neistadt suggests 1 4 ttJxd5 ttJxd5 1 5
exd5 0-0 1 6 'ii'x d3 c6 with equality.
1 0 . . . cxb3

1 1 'iWxb3
White also has a very interesting option in
the sharp 1 1 ttJd4!?, e.g. 1 1 ...c5 (1 1 ...e5 1 2
ttJxb3 c 5 1 3 a 3 ttJd3 1 4 1't'xd3 c4 1 5 1't'd1
cxb3 1 6 'iVxb3 and White has a structural
advantage) 1 2 dxc6 e5 1 3 ttJd5. In Cvitan
Luther, Germany 1 998 White emerged from
13 ... iLd6 14 c7 iLxc7 1 5 ttJxb4 'iVxd4 1 6
'i'xd4 exd4 1 7 axb3 in front. 1 3. . .ttJbxd5!? is
an interesting alternative, e.g. 14 exd5 exd4
1 5 l:!.e1+ iLe7 16 d6! (1 6 iLf4? ttJxd5! 1 7
i.xd5 1't'xd5 1 8 iLxb8 b2 1 9 .l:1b 1 'iVxc6 and
Black has healthy counterplay) 1 6 .. .'iVxd6 1 7
iLf4 'iVb4! 1 8 a 3 'i'a4 1 9 iLxb8 iLe6 2 0 iLe5
and White stands better, albeit in a tricky
position.
1 1 c5
Greed is dangerous - 1 1 ...exd5 12 exd5
ttJbxd5 13 l:!.e1+ iLe7 14 ttJd4 iLb7 1 5 tt'lrs
. . .

and White has a very dangerous attack ac


cording to S.Ivanov. Black is forced to play
1 5 ... 'it>fB, when White has 1 6 iLg5 tt'lxc3 1 7
iLxb 7 l:!.xb 7 1 8 'ixc3 iLd6 1 9 iLxf6 gxf6 20
'iVf3 l:!.b6 21 1't'g4 .J:tg8 22 'iWh4 with a deci
sive attack. The problem for Black in this line
is where improvements might be found.
1 2 dxc6 tDxc6 1 3 nd 1

1 3 . . . 'iWb6
Black is in a difficult situation here. For
example 1 3 ... 'ii'c 7 14 iLf4 e5 1 5 tt'ld5 tt'lxd5
1 6 exd5 exf4 1 7 'i'c3! is excellent for White
according
to
Tukmakov.
However,
1 3 ...tt'ld7!? might be an improvement. After
1 4 i.f4 l:!.b 7 1 5 l:!.ac1 tt'la5 1 6 'iVc2 iLa3
White went for it in Raetsky-Barsov, Abu
Dhabi 2001 with 1 7 tt'lxb5!? axb5 1 8 'ii'x c8
iLxc1 19 "it'xc 1 0-0 20 iLd6 lle8 21 e5 tt'lb6
22 tt'lg5 (22 tt'ld4!? tt'ld5 23 iLxd5 exd5 24
tt'lf5 looks very dangerous for Black)
22 ... tt'ld5 23 l:!.xd5!? exd5 24 iLxd5 h6 25
tt'le4 with compensation for the two ex
changes. If Black survives he is doing well,
but it is not clear that he will.
1 4 i.f4 nb7 1 5 e5 tDd7
After 15 ... tt'lg4 16 tt'le4 White has a very
promising position, a sample line being
1 6 ...tt'la5 1 7 'iYc2 .:!.c7 1 8 'iYe2 tt'lc4 (1 8 ... i.b7
19 tt'lfg5! h5 20 h3 iLxe4 21 tt'lxe4 tt'lh6 22
tt'ld6+ and White wins) 1 9 h3 tt'lh6 20 iLxh6
gxh6 21 tt'lf6+ We7 22 'iVe4 and there is no
adequate defence against 23 'iih 4.
1 6 tDe4 tDc5 1 7 'iWe3 ! tDxe4 1 8 'iWxe4
1 15

Th e Ca t a l a n

l:tc7
1 8 ... i.c5 19 :ac 1 !? offers White good
compensation.
1 9 l:tac 1 ..tb7 ? !
1 9 ....Jl. c 5 2 0 .Jl.e3! .Jl.xe3 21 'iWxe3 'it'xe3
22 fxe3 :d7 (directed against lbd4) 23 lld6
lbe7 24 lbd4 and White seems to have more
than enough compensation for the missing
exchange.
20 ..te3 if'aS 21 ltJd4 ltJdS
21 ...lbe7 walks into 22 'iVxb7!! lhb7 23
.Jl.xb7 when White is winning, e.g. 23 ...'tia4
24 lId2 f6 25 lbxe6 rt;; f7 26 lbd8+ rt;;g8 27
.Jl.c5 and Black's king will never be safe.
22 if'd3 l:txc 1
22 ... .Jl.xg2 23 lbb3 and Black must resign.
23 ..txc 1 ..tdS 24 ..tgS!

24 . . . h6
In reply to 24 ... i.e7 White wins with 25
i.xe7 rt;;x e7 26 i.xd5 exd5 27 lbf5+ and
Black is about to be destroyed.
2S ltJxe6! fxe6 26 if'g6 + ltJf7 27 ..txdS
27 'iVxe6+! i.xe6 28 i.c6+ .Jl.d7 29 i.xd7
mate.
27 . . . ..te7 2S ..tc6 + 'ilo>fS 29 ..txe 7 + 1 -0
Black meets 6 0-0 with 6 . . . bS

Game 57
llincic-Djuric

Vmjacka Ba'!Ja 1999


1 d4 dS 2 c4 e6 3 ltJf3 ltJf6 4 g3 dxc4 S
1 16

..tg2 a6 6 0-0 bS 7 ltJeS c6

S ltJxc6
Razuvaev's brilliant idea was 8 b3! cxb3 9
lbxc6 'it'b6 l O lba5 l:ta7 (lO ... bxa2 1 1 'ii'c2
axbl 'ili' 1 2 'ili'xc8+ 'iVd8 1 3 'iVxd8+ rt;;x d8 1 4
.l:!.xb 1 lbd5 1 5 1i.d2 with compensation for
the pawn) 1 1 lbxb3, when Razuvaev
M.Gurevich, Riga 1 985 continued 1 1 ....i.e 7
1 2 e4 0-0 1 3 i.e3 J::.d7 1 4 lb l d2 'iVd8 1 5 a4!
bxa4 1 6 ':xa4 1i.b7 1 7 lba5! .Jl.c6 1 8 lbxc6
lbxc6 19 lbb3 6 20 l:tal ! 5 21 lIbl
with an advantage to White thanks to the
bishop pair and the centre. Another possibil
ity is l 1 ...lId7 1 2 e4! i.b7 1 3 llel ! i.e7 1 4 e5
tbd5 1 5 'ii'g4 rt;; f8 16 .Jl.g5 h5 17 'iWh4 when
the plight of Black's king promises White the
more pleasant prospects, although this is an
improvement for Black on the dubious
1 5 ...g6?!, when Krasenkow-Kohlweyer, Os
tend 1 990 continued 16 i.h6 lbb4 17 i.xb7
'iVxb7 1 8 'iVe2 lb8c6 1 9 lbc3 and, once
again, Black's poor king was a significant
factor.
S . . . if'b6 9 ltJeS
9 lbxb8 lIxb8 lO b3 cxb3 1 1 axb3 .Jl.b7
1 2 i.xb7 xb7 1 3 i.f4 l:tc8 with equality.
9 . . . ..tb7 1 0 ..txb7
White can also try lO e4?! lbxe4 1 1 "iVh5
lbd6 1 2 d5 g6 (the immediate capture
1 2 ... .Jl.xd5 1 3 .Jl.xd5 exd5 1 4 lbc3 'iib7 1 5
lIdl i.e7 1 6 lbxd5 i s nice for White) 1 3 e2
i.g7 and now 1 4 i.e3?! was tried in Aseev
Novikov, Lvov 1 984, which went 14 .. .'ikc7

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

1 5 ii.f4 0-0 1 6 ttJc3 .l:!.e8 and Black was on


top. There is no reason to lose a tempo with
the bishop, which brings us to 14 dxe6 O-O!
15 e3 c7 16 ii.xb7 'iVxb7 17 c5 'iVd5
18 xd6 1Vxd6 19 ttJxf7 'it'e7, when White
keeps the extra pawn but the situation re
mains unclear due to Black's strong bishop.
Returning to 1 1 'iib 5, we should consider
1 1 ...g6!?, when 12 ttJxg6?! fxg6 1 3 'ii'e 5 J:!.g8
14 .Jixe4 .Jig7 1 5 1V f4 .tIf8 1 6 't't'g4 .Jixd4
favours Black.
1 0 . . . 'iWxb7 1 1 a4 ttJc6
Also possible is l 1 ...ttJbd7 12 axb5 axb5
1 3 l:'txa8+ 'ii'x a8 14 ttJc3 b4 1 5 'iVa4 1Vxa4 1 6
ttJxa4 ttJxe5 1 7 dxe5 ttJd7 1 8 .Jif4 e7 1 9
.tIel , given by Cebalo. White picks up a pawn
on the queenside and has excellent winning
chances.
1 2 axb5 axb5 1 3 J:ba8 + 'iWxa8 14 ttJc3

1 4 . . .b7
Another try is 14 ... b4 15 ttJxc6 'tWxc6 1 6
a4 1Vxa4 1 7 ttJxa4 .Jid6 1 8 .Jie3 <j;e7 1 9
.l:!.el c 3 2 0 bxc3 b 3 21 ttbl .l:!.b8 2 2 g5 h6
23 xf6+ <j;xf6 24 <j;f1 and White is slightly
better in the ending. His pawns are on dark
squares and thus dominate the bishop, while
the far advanced b3-pawn might prove vul
nerable.
1 5 ttJxc6 xc6 1 6 e4! b4
Or 1 6 ... ttJxe4 1 7 'it'D f5 1 8 .l:!.dl ! .Jie7 1 9
d 5 exd5 2 0 ttJxd5 and White's activity i s suf
ficient to keep the fire burning.
1 7 d5 'iWa6

Also possible is 1 7...d7 1 8 ttJa4 e7 1 9


ttJb6 5 20 ttJc8 exd5 21 ii.g5 dxe4 22
xf6 gxf6 23 ttJd6+ .Jixd6 24 'it'xd6 when,
despite being two pawns down, White has
compensation due to his opponent's poor
co-ordination.
1 8 dxe6 fxe6
1 8 ... bxc3 gives White a strong initiative af
ter 1 9 e5! c2 20 'it'd4 xe6 21 exf6 etc.
1 9 e5! ttJd7 20 ttJe4 ttJxe5 21 'iWh 5+
ttJg6?!
Correct is 21 ...ttJf7, when after 22 ttJg5 g6
23 it'D ttJxg5 24 xg5 e7 25 xe7 'i;;x e7
26 1Ve4 White still has compensation due to
Black's insecure king.
22 l:te 1 e7 23 g5 a5
23 ... 0-0 does not help Black in view of 24
.Jixe7 ttJxe7 25 ttJg5 h6 26 ttJxe6 .l:!.f7 27
ttJd8 and White wins material.
24 g4 'iWd5
24 ... iff5? 25 ttJd6+ 24...iVb6 25 ii.xe7
<j;xe7 26 ttJc5! wins for White.
25 xe7 ct;xe7 26 ttJg5 e5 27 h4!

27 . . . h6
No better is 27 ... h5 28 it'f5 .l:!.h6 29 .l:!.al .
28 ttJf3 e6 29 e4 l:td8 30 h5 ttJf8 3 1
ttJxe5 l:td5 3 2 'it'h4+ 1 -0

Game 58
Vajnerman-Novikov

Lvov 1984
1 d4 d 5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
1 1 7

Th e Ca t a l a n

g2 a6 6 0-0 b5 7 lLle5 lLld5

8 lLlc3 b7
Black can also play 8 ... c6 but, after 9
lLlxd5 should avoid 9 ... cxd5 1 0 e4, when
disaster can soon strike, e.g. 1O ... i.e7? 1 1
exd5 exd5 1 2 lLlxf7! 'it>xf7 1 3 'iVh5+ g6 1 4
i.xd5+ etc. Best i s 9 . . .exd5 1 0 e 4 iLe6 1 1 a4,
when an interesting option is 1 1 ...1:.a7!? 1 2
axb5 cxb5 1 3 exd5 i.xd5 with unclear play.
Sosonko-Hiibner, Tilburg
1 979
went
l 1 ...b4?! 12 exd5 i.xd5?! 1 3 'iVg4! h5 (or
1 3 ... iLxg2 1 4 l:tel !) 14 iLxd5! cxd5 1 5 'iVrs
Ita7 16 l:tel Ite7 17 i.g5 g6 1 8 iLxe7! and
White won.
9 lLlxd5
After 9 e4 lLlf6 10 d5 lLlbd7 the sacrifice
1 1 lLlxf7 'it>xf7 12 dxe6+ 'it>xe6 1 3 e5 is not
good enough in view of 1 3 ... i.xg2 14 exf6
lLle5 with an advantage to Black. Speelman
Van Der Sterren, Baku 1 983 continued 1 1
lLlc6 iLxc6 1 2 dxc6 lLle5 1 3 iLf4, when Black
could have secured an edge after 1 3 ... lLld3 1 4
e 5 lLld5 according to Speelman.
9 . . . exd5
Not 9 ... iLxd5? 10 e4 i.b7 1 1 h5! g6 1 2
lLlxg6! fxg6 1 3 1Ve5 lLld7 1 4 'iVxh8 'ii'e7 1 5
h4! 0-0-0 1 6 iLg5 'iVf7 1 7 d5! 1:.e8 1 8 dxe6
Itxe6 19 Itadl i.c6 20 iLh6 'it'b7 21 Itxd7
and Black resigned in Sosonko-Scheider,
Buenos Aires 1 978.
1 0 b3
10 e4 dxe4 1 1 'iVh5 g6 12 lLlxg6 fxg6 1 3
e5+ 'iVe7 1 4 'ii'x h8 lLld7 needs investigat1 18

ing. Beliavsky-Sveshnikov, Frunze 1 98 1 went


1 5 iLh3 lLlf6 1 6 iLg5 'it'f7 1 7 iLxf6 'iVxf6 1 8
xf6+ 'it>xf6 1 9 a4 W e7 20 axb5 axb5 21
1:.xa8 i.xa8 with compensation in the form
of the active king: 22 1:.al iLc6 23 1:.a6 Wd6.
Moiseev-Brilla Banfalvi, Correspondence
1 984 took the following course: 1 5 h4 0-0-0
1 6 iLg5 f7 1 7 iLh3 (1 7 iLxd8 i.g7 1 8
'iVxh7 lLl fS 1 9 'ii'xg7 'ii'xg7 2 0 iLg5 lLl h7 21
i.e3 g5 is unclear) 17 ....l:!.e8 18 f6 'iVd5 19
i.e3 'it'b8 20 'ii'g5 lLlb6 and, in this semi
closed position, Black had enough for the
exchange, the players agreeing a draw after
21 iLg4 'iVg8 22 h5 iLe7 23 'iVh6 iLfS.
Black's approach in H.Olafsson-Van
Beek, Antwerp 1 998 is worth repeating:
1 O ... iLe7!? 1 1 exd5 iLxd5 1 2 lLlxf7 iLxf7 1 3
iLxa8 c 6 1 4 iLf4 iLd5 1 5 nel 0-0 1 6 i.xb8
and White was left to contemplate the fate of
his trapped bishop. Chances were even after
1 6 ... i.b4 1 7 'YWg4 iLxel 1 8 .l:!.xel 1:.f7 1 9 Ite5
'ii'x b8 20 1:.xd5 xa8 21 Ite5 d8.
1 0 . . . c3
In the event of 10 .. .f6 1 1 e4! Huzman and
Schneider give l 1 ...fxe5 1 2 'i!Vh5+ 'it>d7 1 3
exd5 'it>c8 1 4 dxe5 lLld7 1 5 bxc4 bxc4 1 6
i.e3 lLlb6 1 7 iLxb6 cxb6 1 8 d 6 iLxg2 1 9
\t>xg2 d7 2 0 .l::t.fc1 b5 21 a 4 with a n unclear
position. White has good play in return for
the material deficit, and Black still needs to
complete his kingside development.
Instead of the capture on e5, 1 1 . ..g6 leads
to the following position:

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

Gulko-I.Novikov, Volgodonsk 1 983 con


tinued 12 exd5!! fxe5 13 dxe5 iLg7 14 iLa3!,
White sacrificing another pawn to keep
Black's king in the centre of the board. After
14 ... c3 1 5 'iVg4 'iVc8 1 6 e6 c5 there followed
17 d6 0-0 1 8 d7 4Jxd7 1 9 exd7 'iVc7 20
i.xb7 'it'xb7 21 'iVe6+ .l:!.f7 22 l':.ad l .l:!.d8 23
i.xc5 iLf6 with a slight advantage to White,
but even better is 1 7 'iWf4! .l:!.f8 1 8 'iih 4 when
Black is deprived of the right to castle and
White's attack continues.
1 1 e4 dxe4 1 2 'iWh5 g6 1 3 ltJxg6 fxg6 1 4
'iWe5+ flie7 1 5 flixh8 ltJd7 1 6 d5! flig7 !
Black shouldn't give u p the c3-pawn.
16 ... 0-0-0?! 17 xc3 iLg7 1 8 iLg5! favours
White.
1 7 flixg7 Ji.. x g7 1 8 Ji.. xe4
1 8 l':.e 1 c2 1 9 l':.xe4+ f7 20 iLg5 iLxa 1
21 l':.e7+ '.tg8 22 l':.xd7 iLf6! 23 iLd2 iLc3
and the strong c-pawn secures Black equal
play.
1 8 . . . ltJc5 1 9 e 1 ? !
1 9 iLg2 c2 20 iLa3 iLxa 1 21 l':.xa 1 4Jd3
22 i.e4 b4 23 iLxd3 bxa3 24 iLxc2 0-0-0 25
l:td 1 l':.xd5 26 l:txd5 iLxd5 results in a level
endgame, while 1 9 f3!? is interesting.
1 9 . . .'.t>f7

20 Ji.. g 5?!
Again White has a better move at his dis
posal in 20 iLa3, although 20 ... 4Jxe4 21 .l:!.xe4
i.f6 still leaves Black holding his own thanks
to the far advanced c-pawn.
20 . . . h6 21 Ji.. f4 ltJxe4 22 xe4 Ji.. x d5 23

ee 1 c5
Black's dangerous queenside pawns tip tlle
scales in his favour.
24 Ji.. e 5 Ji.. x e5 25 xe5 d8 26 f4 b4! 27
<.t>f2
After 27 l':.d 1 c2 28 l':.c1 Black has
28 ... iLxb3!! (very nice!) 29 axb3 .l:!.d1+ 30 lIel
':xe1+ 31 .l:!.xel c4 and wins.
27 ... c4 28 bxc4 Ji.. x c4 29 b 1 d2 + 30
<.t>e3
30 el l':.b2 31 l':.dl iLb5 doesn't help
White.
30 . . . b2 31 e 1 Ji.. x a2 32 <.t>d4 d2 + 33
<.t>c5 c2! 34 e7 + <.t>f6 0 - 1

Game 59
Rogers-Chandler

Wellington 1986
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ltJf3 ltJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
Ji.. g 2 a6 6 0-0 b5 7 ltJe5 ltJd5 8 a4

8 . . . Ji.. b 7
Another form of support is offered by
8 ... c6. Then White can try 9 axb5 cxb5 1 0
4Jc3 iLb7 (l 0. . .4Jxc3?! 1 1 bxc3 l':.a7 1 2 iLc6+
and 'W'hite picks up the b5-pawn with a supe
riour position) 1 1 4Jxd5 exd5 12 e4, when
12 ... dxe4 1 3 'iVh5 'iVf6 14 iLg5 'iVe6 remains
complicated. Black fared worse in Heck
Zude, Hessen 1 994, which continued
12 ... iLd6?! 1 3 exd5 0-0 14 i.d2 f6 1 5 4Jc6
c7 1 6 f3 'iVf7 17 l':.ae 1 . White's doubled
pawns in the centre are vulnerable but this
7 79

Th e Ca t a l a n

factor i s outweighed b y his aggressive stance.


The immediate 9 e4 puts the question to
Black's knight, e.g. 9 ... ttJb6 1 0 d5!? 'i*'c7 1 1
Sl.. f4, when White is doing well. This brings
us to 9 ... ttJf6, with a further branch. Zaichik
A.Ivanov, Beltsy 1 979 continued 10 d5!?
cxd5 1 1 exd5 exd5 12 axb5 Sl.. e7 13 ttJc3
Sl..b 7 14 bxa6, when Black could have limited
his opponent to a slight edge with 1 4 ... ttJxa6
1 5 ttJxc4 ttJb4 16 lha8 Sl.. x a8 1 7 Sl..e 3. White
delayed d4-d5 for a move in Sosonko
Bouwrnester, Netherlands 1 973, 1 0 ttJc3
Sl..b 7 1 1 d5!? cxd5 12 exd5 exd5 1 3 axb5
axb5 1 4 l:txa8 Sl.. x a8 1 5 ttJxb5 'i*'a5 1 6 ttJd4
Sl..b4 17 Sl..g5 seeing the active blockading
strategy providing good play for the pawn.
9 b3 c3
9 ... cxb3 10 axb5 axb5 1 1 l:txa8 Sl.. x a8 1 2
'it'xb3 c 6 1 3 ttJc3 has also been tried. After
1 3 ... ttJd7 1 4 ttJxd5 exd5 1 5 'i*'e3 Sl.. e 7 1 6
Sl.. a3 White's pressure outweighs the pawn
deficit, while Romanishin-Marjanovic, Yere
van 1 989 went 1 3 ... Sl.. e 7 1 4 ttJxd5 exd5 1 5
'iVa2! Sl..b 7 1 6 'i*'a7 'i*'c7 1 7 Sl.. f4 Sl.. d 6 1 8 :c1
'ii'e7 19 .l:.a1 with a big edge for White in
view of Black's problems on the queenside.
Meanwhile, White also has 10 'i*'xb3,
when 10 ... c6 transposes to 5 ... b5 6 a4 c6 7
0-0 Sl.. b 7 8 ttJe5 ttJd5 9 b3 cxb3 1 0 'it'xb3 a6
(Game 85 in Chapter 8), and 1 0 ...ttJc6 1 1
ttJxc6 Sl.. x c6 1 2 e4 ttJb6 1 3 'i*'c3 Sl.. b 7 1 4
axb5 axb5 1 5 llxa8 Sl..x a8 1 6 Sl.. a3 provides
enough for the pawn.
1 0 axb5
10 e4 b4!? is an interesting piece sacrifice,
trapping the b l -knight. Oil-Hoelzl, Pula 1 997
continued 1 1 exd5 Sl.. x d5 12 'tWh5 g6 1 3 'it'h3
Sl..g7?! (Sosonko suggests 1 3 ... c6!?) 14 ttJxc3!
bxc3 1 5 Sl.. a3 .l:ta7 16 l:!.fel l:!.b7 1 7 Sl..x d5
'iVxd5 1 8 'iVh4 c6 19 'i*'f4 Sl.. x e5 20 dxe5 c2
21 Sl..d 6 c5 22 J:tac1 with the better game for
White due to his influence on the dark
squares.
1 0 " .axb5 1 1 l:txa8 iLxa8 1 2 e4 b4! ?
Lputian gives 1 2. . .ttJf6 1 3 ttJxc3 b 4 1 4
ttJb5!? c 6 (not 1 4. . .Sl.. xe4? 1 5 Sl.. x e4 ttJxe4 1 6
1 20

'it'f3 ttJf6 1 7 ttJc6 with a clear advantage to


White according to E.Vladimirov) 1 5 d5!
cxb5 16 dxe6 (E. Vladimirov-Torhallsson,
Gausdal 1 991) 1 6 .. .'ii'x dl 1 7 exf7+ We7 1 8
l:txd1 when White has sacrificed a piece for
two pawns but the superior development and
Black's poor co-ordination provide adequate
compensation.
1 3 exd5 iLxd5 1 4 iLe3
Novikov suggests 14 Sl.. x d5 'it'xd5 1 5 'i*'g4
(more active than 1 5 Sl.. e 3 Sl..d 6 1 6 'i*'g4 0-0
1 7 l:!.c1 Sl.. x e5 1 8 dxe5 ttJc6!, after which
Black seized the initiative in G.Kuzmin
Novikov, Kharkov 1 985) 1 5 ... ttJc6 1 6 ttJxc6
'iix c6 as unclear. The knight is caught again
and Black has strong pawns on b4 and c3,
but he also has some development problems.
1 4 . . . iLe7
14 ... Sl.. xg2 15 Wxg2 'i*'d5+ 16 Wgl with
play along the lines of 1 4 Sl.. xd5.
1 5 iLxd5 'ii'x d5

1 6 'ii'c 2
16 'i*'d3 f6 17 ttJc4 0-0 favours Black.
White's knight should retreat to d3.
1 6 " .iLf6 1 7 4Jxc3
17 ttJd3 ttJc6 18 ttJf4 'i*'d7! is not to be
recommended for White (Rogers believes
Black is clearly better) . The knight is not
better on f4.
1 7 . . . bxc3 1 8 'ii'x c3 iLxe5
Or 1 8 ... c5 19 J:tc1 0-0 20 'iix c5 'iixb3
with equality.
1 9 dxe5 4Jc6 20 f4 0-0 21 l:tc 1 4Je 7

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

22 ii.. c 5
White should be careful here. 22 'it'xc7
'it'xb3 23 i.c5 liJd5 24 'it'a7 and, due to his
exposed king, White cannot take on 8. Black
keeps his knight on the board and White's
king is more insecure - Black is better.
22 . . . .l:.eS 23 ii.. x e7 .l:!.xe7 24 'ii'c 5 'ii'd S 25
.l:!.a 1
Black gets no opportunity to exploit the
enemy king position.
25 . . . h5 2S .l:!.aS 'ii'x aS 27 'ii'x e7 'ii'c s 2S
'ii'd S+ 'iit h 7 29 'ii'd 3+ gS 30 h4 % - %

Game 60
Romero-Antu nes

Havana 199 1
1 d4 d 5 2 c4 eS 3 4Jf3 4JfS 4 g 3 dxc4 5
ii..g 2 as S 0-0 b5 7 4Je5 4Jd5 S a4 ii.. b 7 9
e4

9 . . . 4JfS
Khalifman-Ruban, USSR 1 985 went
9 ... liJb6? 10 axb5 axb5 1 1 Iha8 i.xa8 1 2
'iVh5 g6 1 3 liJxg6! fxg6 1 4 'it'e5 with a deci
sive lead for White.
1 0 axb5 axb5 1 1 .l:!.xaS ii.. x aS 1 2 4Jc3 cS
White is well on top after 12 ... b4 13 'it'a4+
liJbd7 1 4 liJb5!, e.g. 1 4 ... i.xe4? 1 5 i.xe4
liJxe4 1 6 liJc6 'it'c8 17 iVa8! etc.
1 3 d5
Also possible is 1 3 i.g5 i.b7. Then a pa
tient continuation is 14 d5 i.e7 1 5 dxe6 fxe6
16 iVe2 0-0 17 h4 'it'e8 1 8 h5 liJbd7 1 9
liJxd7 liJxd7 2 0 i.xe7 'it'xe7 21 e5 liJc5 a s in
Smejkal-Chandler, Germany 1 985, when 22
f4 would have provided compensation for
the pawn. More adventurous is 1 4 liJx7!?
'it'x7 15 e5 h6, with a choice for the bishop.
The faulty 1 6 i.h4?! was seen in Khalifman
Novikov, Lvov 1 985, when Black should
have continued 1 6 ...g5! 1 7 exf6 'it'xf6 1 8 liJe4
iVg6 19 iVaI liJa6. Later, in Nesis-Block,
Correspondence 1 987, White sacrificed a
piece for an initiative after 1 6 .ixf6 gxf6 1 7
'iVh5+ 'it'g7 1 8 l:tal , the subsequent 1 8 .. .f5!
1 9 liJe2 l:tg8 20 liJf4 'it'd7 21 oUa7 'it'h8 22
liJxe6 'it'xe6 23 l:txb7 maintaining the dy
namic balance.
Black can play the immediate 13 ... i.e7,
when after 14 'iVaI i.b7 15 iVa7 'iVc8 Flear
gives 1 6 liJf3 h6 1 7 i.xf6 i.xf6 1 8 e5 i.e 7
1 9 liJd2 0-0 20 liJxb5 cxb5 21 iVxb 7 i.b4! as
equal. Stajcic-Hoelzl, Austria 1 997 went 1 6
d 5 0-0 1 7 dxe6 fxe6 1 8 i.h3 liJa6 1 9 i.e3
i.d6 20 liJf3 .l:.e8 21 e5 i.b8 22 'iVd4 liJd7
23 l:1dl liJ8 with chances for both sides Black has a pawn, but White is active.
1 3 . . . ii.. d S
Another option is 13 ...cxd5 14 exd5 i.xd5
15 liJxd5 exd5 16 liJg4 i.e 7 17 liJxf6+ i.xf6
1 8 l:1e 1+ 'it'8 1 9 i.xd5 h5 20 'iVf3 g6 21 b3
'it'g7 22 bxc4 bxc4 23 i.xc4 'iVc7 24 i.d5
with the more harmonious force for White in
Cvitan-Ekstroem, Dresden 1 998. 1 3 ... i.e7 1 4
dxe6 fxe6 1 5 'iVe2 0-0 1 6 i.h3 'iVc8 1 7 liJf3
liJa6 18 liJg5 liJc7 19 i.f4 was the course of
12 1

Th e Ca t a la n

Zilberstein-Novikov, Blagoveschensk 1 988,


19 ... h6 20 .1Lxc7 hxg5 21 1l.e5 offering White
sufficient play, with Black's damaged pawn
structure to aim at.
1 4 ttJg4!?
1 4 .1Lf4 c7! 15 al is unclear, rather
than 1 4 ... exd5?! 1 5 exd5 cxd5 1 6 iVaI ! ..txe5
17 .1Lxe5 ttJc6 18 .i.c7! xc7 19 'it'xa8+ with
a big advantage to White in Ulibin-Antunes,
Bayamo 1 99 1 .
1 4 . . . b4
Black can avoid spoiling the queenside
pawns and instead play 14 ...ttJxg4 1 5 'it'xg4
iVf6 1 6 dxe6 fxe6 1 7 l:tdl (1 7 .i.h3!? is an
interesting option) 1 7 ... 0-0 1 8 .i.e3 with an
unclear position. White has the usual com
pensation in his more threatening forces.
1 5 ttJxf6 + gxf6
15 ...'it'xf6 16 dxc6 .i.c7 17 ttJb5 favours
White.
1 6 'if'a4
1 6 ttJb 1 cxd5 1 7 exd5 '!ie 7 1 8 dxe6 .1Lxg2 1 9
'!ixg2 fxe6 20 g4 sees White both win back
the pawn and maintain the initiative.
1 6 . . . i.b7 ? !
Preferable is 1 6 ... bxc3 1 7 xa8 cxb2 1 8
.i.xb2 cxd5 1 9 exd5 when White can claim
compensation for the pawn. In the game he
is just better.
1 7 e5!

1 7 . . . bxc3
Or 17 ... .i.xe5 18 dxc6 0-0 19 cxb 7 bxc3
20 .i.h6 and the bishop pair and passed pawn
1 22

on b 7 give White a clear advantage.


1 8 exd6
1 8 dxc6!? looks pronusmg. After
1 8 ... .i.xe5 1 9 c7+! 'iVd7 20 cxb8'iV+ ..txb8 21
'it'xd7+ '!ixd7 22 .i.xb7 cxb2 23 .i.xb2 1l.e5
24 .i.xe5 fxe5 25 ..ta6 White is close to win
ning the ending.
1 8 . . . 'iVxd6 1 9 dxe6 fxe6 20 bxc3 <i;f7 2 1
l:t d 1 'fi e7 22 'iVxc4 l:td8 23 l:t e 1 !

No exchange of rooks! Black's king is ex


posed so White makes sure to keep as many
pieces as possible on the board.
23 . . . ttJd7 24 i.e3 ttJe5?
The lesser evil here is 24 ... 'it-g7 25 4
xb4 26 cxb4 with a problematic ending for
Black.
25 'iVh4 <i;g7 26 i.h6 + <i;h8 27 l:txe5
l:td 1 + 28 i.f 1 i.a6

29 l:ta5 i.xf 1 30 l:ta8 + l:td8 31 'iVb4 'iVd7


32 'iVf8 + ! 1 -0

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

Summary
Let us compare the two S ... a6 main lines after 6 ttJeS and 6 0-0.
If 6 ttJeS practice has demonstrated that after 6 ... cS 7 ttJa3 cxd4 8 ttJaxc4 J:Ia7 White has
difficulties achieving an advantage.
The variation with 6 0-0 features more variations and promises much more interesting play.
After 6 ... ttJc6 White can choose between 7 e3 and 7 ttJc3 and, in the case of the former, with 7
e3 i.d7 8 'iVe2 bS 9 l:!.d1 , there is no reason to write off the older continuation 9 ... i.d6. Cer
tainly after 10 e4 the departure 1O ... i.e7?! is simply a loss of time, but the break in the centre
with 10 ... eS seems to be reasonable. Meanwhile, after 9 ... i.e7 10 ttJc3 a useful manoeuvre was
seen in the game Haba-Gorin, where Black found ...ttJb4-d3, exploiting the weakness of d3.
The position arising after 7 ttJc3 l:tb8 8 e4 i.e7 9 'iVe2 bS 10 J:f.d1 is critical. The impression
today is that after 10 ... 0-0 1 1 dS exdS 12 eS a sharp, open struggle occurs where White's
chances are preferable. As for Black, he should be looking out for the aforementioned ma
noeuvre ...ttJb4-d3. After 8 ... bS 9 'iVe2 ttJxd4 White's initiative and Black's material superiority
more or less cancel each other out, while 8 ... bS 9 dS ttJb4 1 0 b3!? seems to give White the bet
ter chances. Black should be cautious, perhaps avoiding this line altogether.
After S ... a6 6 0-0 bS 7 ttJeS ttJdS 8 a4 i.b 7 the challenge with 9 b3 allows Black to try a very
interesting piece sacrifice in 9 ... c3!? 1 0 e4 b4 or 10 axbS axbS 1 1 l:txa8 i.xa8 1 2 e4 b4!?, for
ever leaving the knight entombed on b 1 . Of course White can always return the piece with
tiJxc3, but it seems that he can expect little in terms of an advantage.
A kind of tabia occurs after 9 e4 ttJf6 1 0 axbS axbS 1 1 l:ha8 i.xa8 1 2 ttJc3 c6. Previously
13 i.gS was often played here, but it is not clear whether the bishop belongs here. Perhaps this
decision should be delayed. After 13 dS i.d6 14 ttJg4!? White has a strong initiative, and al
though this is not cut and dried, Black should probably resort to 13 ... i.e7, after which a degree
of accuracy is required to hold the balance.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lZlf3 lZlf6 4 g3 dxc4 5 i.. g 2 a6 6 0-0
6 a4: 6 ... cS Game 46; 6 ...ttJc6 7 0-0 l:tb8 - 6 0-0
6 ttJeS
6 ... i.b4+ - Game 47
6 ... cS (D)
7 i.e3 Game 48
7 ttJa3: 7 ... 'ifxd4 - Game 49; 7 ... cxd4 - Game 50
6 lZlc6
6 ... bS 7 ttJeS
7 ... c6 - Game 57
7 ... ttJdS
8 ttJc3 Game 58
8 a4 i.b7 (D)
9 e4 - Game 60
9 b3: 9 ... c3 Game 59; 9 ... cxb3 1 0 'iVxb3 c6 Game 85 (Chapter 8)
7 lZlc3
7 a4 - Game 5 1
7 e 3 i.d7: 8 ttJc3 Game 52; 8 'iVc2 Game 53
7 ..l:lbS S e4
8 ... i.e 7 - Game 54
S b5 (D)
9 'iVe2 Game 55; 9 dS - Game 56
-

. . .

. .

. . .

CHA PTER SIX

4 . . . dxc4 5 i.,g2 CDc6

1 d 4 d5 2 c 4 e 6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5


g2 ttJc6
5 ... lbc6 is a modern treatment of the Cata
lan Opening, becoming popular in the 1 980s.
There is considerable reasoning behind this
development. The Catalan arises mainly from
the Orthodox Defence of the Queen's Gam
bit Declined and from the neo-classical
Nimzo Indian Defence. In the Queen's
Gambit the move ... lbc6 occurs very rarely at
higher levels as it obstructs the c-pawn and
therefore hinders the freeing advance ... c7-c5
as well as the often helpful support of d5
offered by ... c 7 -c6. (Only in the 1 990s did the
Chigorin Defence establish itself as a serious
defence for Black, due to the creative input
from Grandmaster Alexander Morozevich) .
However, in the Catalan ... lbc6 supports
the thrust ... e6-e5, an alternative to ... c7-c5 in
the fight for space in the centre. Additionally
the knight attacks the d4-pawn, for which the
natural defence is e2-e3, which causes a slight
weakening of White's light squares. Finally,
the knight is prepared to go to as and defend
the c4-pawn and, if the occasion presents
itself, begin an offensive with ...lbb4.
In reply to 5 ... lbc6 White usually plays ei
ther 6 0-0 or 6 it'a4. After 6 0-0 l:tb8 with
the follow-up ... b7-b5 the lines are very simi
lar to those of Chapter 8. Moreover, ... a7 -a6
1 24

often transposes to the line 5 ... a6 6 0-0 lbc6


(Chapter 5) and these two chapters are suit
able for a parallel study in connection with
this set-up. Here we shall treat only those
cases where Black manages without an early
... a7-a6.
White has several continuations at his dis
posal after 6 0-0 J:tb8, although these options
are not of equal value. The aggressive 7 lbe5
is not dangerous here, for after 7 ... lbxe5 8
dxe5 xd1 9 l:txd1 lbd5! the game is simpli
fied at White's cost. 7 g5 enjoys litde popu
larity as White can wait for this posting.
Much more popular is 7 e3 (Game 61).
White defends the d4-pawn with the inten
tion of following up with lbd2xc4, but with
the knight going to d2 his control over the
centre is reduced and Black will find it easier
to execute ... e6-e5, often with the assistance
of 7 ... d6. But here it is perhaps even better
to simply protect the c4-pawn with 7 ... b5,
which offers sufficient counter-chances.
7 a4 (Game 62), the most natural way to
prevent ... b7-b5, weakens both b3 and b4.
Then 7 ... a6 is considered in Game 51 in
Chapter 5 (after the move order 5 ... a6 6 0-0
lbc6 7 a4 l:tb8), and 7...b4 and 7 ... lba5 are
quite reasonable, but perhaps the most exact
is the simple 7 ... b6, when Black appears to
have an edge.

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

White's most popular selection is 7 4Jc3.


If Black prefers not to transpose to 5 ... a6
with 7 ... a6 he can choose between 7 ... b4
(Games 63 & 64) and 7 ... b5 (Games 65 &
66) . 7 ... b4 prevents White's planned ex
pansion with e2-e4 and simultaneously pre
pares kingside castling. Here (unexpectedly) a
transposition to the Nimzo-Indian Defence
is possible, e.g. 1 d4 4Jf6 2 c4 e6 3 4Jc3 b4
4 g3 d5 5 g2 0-0 6 4Jf3 dc4 7 0-0 4Jc6 8 e3
l:tb8.
All things considered, the logical follow
up to playing 6 . ..ll b 8 must be the consistent
7 ... b5. Subsequently, in the case of the natural
8 e4 Black has won a tempo compared to the
lines with 5 ... a6, and as a bonus the a6-square
remains vacant for the bishop. Not surpris
ingly the battlefield of the variation starting
with 5 ...4Jc6 6 0-0 has not been after 8 e4
(which still earned a place in Game 65) in
recent years, but rather the more ambitious 8
lLle5!? (Game 66) .
With 6 'ia4 White attacks the c4-pawn at
once and generates pressure on the a4-e8
diagonal, but Black will also be able to use
the early development of the queen to create
counterplay. Black has tried many moves in
practice - 6 ... d7 (Game 67), 6 ... 4Jd7
(Games 68 & 69) and 6...d6 (Game 70) but 6 ... b4+ (Games 7 1 -75) is seen most
often.
The position after 6 ... d7 7 'it'xc4 can
also arise after 5 'ia4+ d7 6 'iix c4 4Jc6 7
lLlf3. Black concentrates mainly on queenside
development, so 7 ... d6?! (aimed at ... e6-e5)
is insufficient and does not promise equality.
More common is 7 ... 4Ja5, which at once
attacks the queen and prepares the advance
of the c-pawn. Now 8 'iic2 is not the strong
est because after 8.J::tc 8 and ... c7-c5 the
queen feels the pressure down the c-ftle. The
main line is 6 ... d7 7 'ii'xc4 4Ja5 8 'iVd3 c5.
The eccentric manoeuvre ... 4Jd7-b6 (as seen
in Games 68 & 69) does not impress, the
knight being no better on b6 than it was on
f6. Nevertheless, 6 ... 4Jd7 7 'iix c4 4Jb6 has

become popular in Grandmaster practice.


Black gets rid of the irritating pin and frees
his position with the help of ... e6-e5. Let us
consider the situation after 8 'it'd3 e5
(8 ...lLlb4, with further selection between ... e6e5 and ... c7-c5, is seen less often). The con
tinuations 9 dxe5 and 9 0-0 are both harm
less, but Alexander Raetsky's 9 e3, consoli
dating the d4-pawn, introduces interesting
challenges. Notice that it is not clear whether
White profits from the inclusion of 9 g5 f6
and then 1 0 e3. Furthermore, it is reason
able for Black to play 9 ... e7. Nevertheless
the continuation we see most often is 9
4Jxe5 4Jb4, when White has tried 1 0 'iVd1 ,
1 0 iVb3 (so that after 1 O ... e6 1 1 'iVd1 the
b7-pawn has been weakened - an idea meant
to discourage 1 1 ...'ii'xd4) and 1 0 'iVc3, which
often leads to the exchange of queens after
1 0 ...'ii'xd4 1 1 0-0 'iix c3 1 2 4Jxc3.
The main reply to 6 'ii'a4 is 6 ... b4+.
Black prevents 'ii'xc4 and after 7 d2 4Jd5
(7 ... xd2?! 8 4Jbxd2 gives White a stable
Catalan advantage after winning back the c4pawn) takes the game into wild complica
tions. Since 1 998 7 .. d6 has been seen in
tournament play (including super-GM
events) . Black switches strategies and plays
for the realisation of ... e6-e5, providing the
Catalan prisoner on c8 with some air. This
variation should, of course, be compared to
the line with an immediate ... d6. 6 ... d6
(Game 64) is seen much less frequently. Here
White has the manoeuvre 4Jb 1 -d2xc4, and
after 7 0-0 0-0 there is 8 l::!d 1 , which can
hinder ... e6-e5.
After 6...b4+ 7 d2 d6 White has
several possible continuations, the main fea
ture being whether or not to allow ... e6-e5. I f
h e wishes t o take the prophylactic approach,
then after 8 c3 and 8 4Je5 tactics will
dominate. But after 8 'iVxc4 e5 and 8 0-0 0-0
9 'iix c4 e5 the game goes down a strategic
path, and one that has clear reference points.
Although subtle, the bishop manoeuvre
has not been able to take its place as the main
1 25

Th e C a t a l a n

continuation, which is still 6 'iVa4 .ib4+ 7


.id2 lbd5. Here, apart from 8 .ixb4, White
occasionally essays a strange queen manoeu
vre with 8 'ifb5 in order to collect the c4pawn. Black can keep the extra pawn by an
almost forced sequence: 8 ... .ixd2 9 lbbxd2
c3 1 0 bxc3 lbxc3 1 1 'iVd3 lbd5 1 2 0-0 0-0
when, after having lost a pawn, White relies
on his completed development with e2-e4,
establishing a strong pawn centre, when
Black should try to avoid weaknesses and,
with accurate manoeuvring, endeavour to
hang on to the pawn by sitting out White's
initiative. To play such a position as Black
can be rather unpleasant, especially for those
players whose style is on the aggressive side.
Instead of 8 ... .ixd2 9 lbbxd2 c3 Black often
prefers 8 ... .ie7 or 8 ... 0-0 (Game 72).
The main position of the 6 'iVa4 complex
arises after 6 ... .ib4 7 .id2 lbd5 8 .ixb4
lbxb4. The fascinating complications that
develop here have been tested for more than
half a century (since Aisenstadt-Taimanov,
Leningrad 1 949, in fact) . 9 a3 (Game 73)
leads to fireworks after 9 ... b5 1 0 xb5 lbc2,
when Black picks up the rook but loses the
c6-knight and, subsequently, the cornered
knight. However, the conventional 'advan
tage' of having two knights against a rook is
nullified by the unhappy lot of White's king,
which is stripped of the right to castle. The
practical results at the end of the last century
were so poor for White that the authors of
this book produced an article in Chess in Rus
sia in 1 997 that was dedicated exclusively to 9
a3 and went under the title The Dying Con
tinuation'. Then in 2001 in Wijk aan Zee
Kasparov himself played it! The truth was
that he was content with a draw in that game,
but of course 9 a3 took a step forward in its
development.
9 lbe5 (Game 74), which immediately ex
ploits the pin on the a4-e8 diagonal, has not
received widespread attention. The reason is
obvious - Black does not have any problems
here. However, simple development of the
126

kingside with 9 0-0 (Game 75) does pose


problems for Black. The games played from
this position have often continued 9 ... l:tb8 1 0
lbc3 a 6 1 1 lbe5 0-0 1 2 .ixc6 lbxc6 1 3 lbxc6
iLxc6 14 'iVxc4 l:txb2 1 5 l:tabl l:tb6 1 6 c5,
which is an important tabia for the evaluation
of the whole variation. For Black, despite the
extra pawn, it is necessary to fight for equal
ity. White has more space and the knight is
obviously stronger than the bishop on c8.
Black is in the unenviable situation of having
to defend with some precision, and it is no
wonder that in recent practice Black has
avoided this critical position.

White plays 6 0-0

Game 6 1
Rustemov-Sax

Germatry 2000
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tZJf3 tZJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
g2 tZJc6 6 0-0 l:tb8

7 e3
A major alternative is 7 .ig5 .ie7 8 e3 0-0
9 lbfd2 (9 lbbd2 b5 and Black holds on to
the pawn) 9 ... e5! 10 iLxf6 (10 iLxc6 bxc6 1 1
dxe5 lbg4 1 2 .ixe7 'iVxe7 1 3 lbxc4 lbxe5
and White's weak squares leave him worse)
1 0 ... iLxf6 1 1 d5 e4!, which was the course of
D.Gurevich-Adams, Biel 1 993. There fol
lowed 1 2 lbxc4 b5 1 3 lbc3 bxc4 1 4 dxc6
l:lxb2 1 5 'iVc1 l:tb8, when Black had the

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL. g 2 ljj c 6

bishop pair and White's pieces lacked co


ordination. Adams offers 12 'it'c1 'ii'x d5 1 3
lLlxe4 lIVeS, when White regains the pawn
and mass exchanges will follow, leading to a
level rniddlegame.
7 . . . b5
7 ... d6 8 4Jfd2 e5!? is interesting. Then
after 9 xc6+ bxc6 1 0 dxe5 1I.. x e5 1 1 4Jxc4
1I..d6 1 2 it'c2 the vital light-squared bishop
leaves the arena but White has play against
Black's damaged queenside. Kozul-Plachetka,
Charleville 2000 took a much different
course - after 9 d5 4Je 7 10 4Jxc4 0-0 1 1 e4
1I.. d7 12 a4 4Jg6 1 3 4Jxd6 cxd6 14 4Ja3 4Je8
15 e3 b6 16 lib3 White stood better in this
King's Indian structure, with the bishop pair
and easy play on the queenside. Note that
Black's counterplay on the kingside seems
rather slow.
8 b3
8 a4 a6 9 axb5 axb5 10 b3 cxb3 1 1 4Jbd2
1I..e 7 1 2 4Jxb3 0-0 1 3 a3 xa3 1 4 Iha3
lIVd6 1 5 'it'a I ! b4 1 6 l::ta2 4Je4! 17 4Jfd2
li'ixd2 1 8 .u.xd2 4Je 7 was instructive in
Steckner-Ionov, Dortmund 1 99 1 . Again
White is happy to play a pawn down, with
pressure on the c-ftle and control of the key
c5-square. Black, typically, is not without
chances of his own.
8 'ii'e2 e7 9 lIdl 0-0 1 0 e4 b7 1 1 4Jc3
b4 12 d5 exd5 1 3 4Jxd5 4Jxd5 1 4 l::tx d5!?
1I..d 6 15 'iVxc4 is interesting, while Kachiani
Gersinska-Rabiega, Germany 1 995 continued
14 exd5 4Ja5 1 5 i.e3 i.f6 1 6 1I.. xa7 I.Ie8 1 7
'iVc2 lIa8 1 8 1I.. d4 i.xd4 1 9 4Jxd4 'it'f6 20
li'ic6 4Jxc6 21 dxc6 a6, Black's pieces tak
ing up influential posts.
8 . . . cxb3 9 axb3 as 1 0 'ii'e 2 iL.e7 1 1 .l:!.d 1
0-0 1 2 iL.b2 lDb4 1 3 lDbd2
White played the immediate 13 e4 in
Tratar-Tukmakov, Bled 1 996, which contin
ued 1 3 ... b7 14 4Jc3 e8 1 5 .:tac1 l:td8 1 6
'Yi'e3 (1 6 e 5 4Jfd5 1 7 4Je4 and White con
trols the c5-square and therefore has full
compensation for the pawn) 1 6 ... h6 1 7 h4
4Jg4 1 8 'ii'f4 fS 19 exfS exf5 (1 9 .. J::tx fS!?

leads to exchanges and a level endgame after


20 'ii'xg4 h5 21 'ii'h 3 i.xf3 22 xf3 I:txf3 23
'iixe6+ 'it'f7) 20 iVxc7 l::t d7 2-1 'ilib6 l::t f6 22
iVa5 'ii'a 8 with a complex struggle ahead.
1 3 . . . iL.b7 1 4 e4 c5 1 5 e5 lDfd5
Another option is to protect c5 and in
stead put the bishop on d5, 1 5 ...4Jd7!? 1 6
4Je4 d5 giving chances for both sides.
1 S dxc5 iL.xc5 1 7 lDe4 iL.e 7
More straightforward is 1 7 ... J:tc8 1 8 4Jxc5
lIxc5 1 9 l:1ac1 ttxc1 20 l::t xc1 with compen
sation, although it makes a lot of sense to
keep the dark-squared bishop.
1 8 h4! ? 'it'e8?
Better and more natural is 1 8 ... l::t c 8 1 9
4Je1 'ilib6 20 'it'g4 l::t fd8 21 I.Id2 with com
pensation.
1 9 lDfg5
1 9 4Jd6 xd6 20 exd6 'iVd7 21 4Jg5 is
another means of attack.
1 9 . . . hS

20 'it'g4! ! f5
20 ... hxg5 21 hxg5 lIVc6 (21 ...g6 22 4Jf6+
1I.. xf6 23 gxf6 4Jc2 24 iVh4 and Black is
about to be mated) 22 l::t ac1 (22 4Jf6+? 4Jxf6
leaves Black a piece up) 22 ... lib6 23 4Jf6+
i.xf6 24 gxf6 g6 25 'it'g5 and (again) the
weak dark squares around Black's king will
prove decisive. Nor does 20 ...iVc6 21 l::t ac1
'iVb6 22 4Jf6+ xf6 23 exf6 g6 24 i.d4 help
Black - a knight sacrifice on e6 is corning
next.
21 exfS lDxfS 22 iL.xfS iL.xfS 23 lDxfS +
127

Th e Ca t a la n

l:txf6 24 xb 7 l:txb 7
24 ... hxg5 25 hxg5 l:tf8 26 g6 Will S for
White.
25 ttJe4
Or 25 'iVe4 hxg5 26 'ii'xb7 gxh4 27 'iVe4
with a huge advantage.
25 . . . l:tg6 26 'i'e2

The party is almost over for Black.


26 . . . l:tc7 27 h5 l:tc2 28 'i'f3 1 -0
The rook is trapped.

Game 62
Sandner-Luther

Bad Zwesten 1999


1 d4 d 5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
g2 ttJc6 6 0-0 l:tb8 7 a4

7 . . . b6
7 ... a6 transposes to 5 ... a6 6 0-0 ttJc6 7 a4
l:lb8 (Game 5 1 in Chapter 5) . After 7 ... i.b4
1 28

the modest 8 e3 is too slow: 8 ... ttJa5 9 .ltd2


'iVe7 1 0 ttJa3 ttJe4 1 1 i.xb4 'iVxb4 1 2 'iVe1
'iVxe 1 1 3 .l:!.fxe1 ttJd6 and Black holds on to
the pawn. Maslov-S.Ivanov, St. Petersburg
1 992 saw the more fluid 8 'iVc2 ttJxd4 9
ttJxd4 'iYxd4 1 0 .lte3 'iNd6 1 1 'iNxc4 0-0 1 2
ttJc3 'iNe7 1 3 .ltxa7 l:ta8 1 4 .ltd4 l:ta5, and
now 1 5 .ltxf6 gxf6 1 6 l:tfd1 secures White an
edge in view of his superior pawns and de
velopment.
7 ... ttJa5 looks promising. Then 8 ttJbd2 c5
9 dxc5 .ltxc5 10 'iVc2 c7 1 1 e4 e5 1 2
ttJxe5? soon led to disaster for White in
Gorodilov-Raetsky, Vladimir 1 987 (although
Black was already slightly better) after
1 2 ... 'iVxe5 1 3 ttJxc4 ttJxc4 1 4 .ltf4 'iYh5 1 5
.ltxb8 ttJg4 1 6 h 3 ttJge3! etc. Instead the
continuation 10 ttJe5 c3 1 1 bxc3 0-0 1 2 'iNc2
b6 steers the game to equality after 1 3 ttJb3
ttJxb3 14 'iVxb3 i.b 7 1 5 ttJc6 .ltxc6 1 6 .ltxc6
'iYc7, when White has the bishop pair but
weak pawns on the queenside. Black also has
12 ... 'iVc7 here, Chashev-Raetsky, Makhach
kala 1 987 producing another equal position
after the subsequent 1 3 ttJd3 .ltd6 1 4 c4 e5
1 5 c5 b6 16 .lta3 bxc5 17 ttJxc5 .ltb7 1 8
llfc 1 .ltxg2 1 9 'iitxg2 nfc8. The possession
of the c5-square is not so relevant here.
8 ttJa3
Again White can try 8 e3, and again it
seems a bit slow. Alburt-I.Ivanov, Long
Beach 1 989 is a good example: 8 ... .ltb 7 9
ttJbd2 ttJa5 1 0 'iVc2 ttJd5!? 1 1 ttJe5 (1 1
ttJxc4? ttJb4 1 2 'iVc3 ttJxc4 1 3 'iVxc4 .lta6
and Black is winning) 1 1 ...ttJb4 1 2 'iVd1 ?
(White has to b e satisfied with a repetition
with 1 2 'iVc3 ttJd5) 1 2 ... .ltxg2 1 3 'iitxg2 'iVd5+
1 4 'iYf3 f5! (closely monitoring e4) 1 5 e4?!
'iYxd4 1 6 'iVh5+ g6 17 ttJxg6 hxg6 1 8 'iVxg6+
d7 1 9 ttJf3 'iNxe4 20 l:te1 'iVd5 21 'iNf7+
.lte7 22 .ltg5 nbe8 23 l:le5 'ii'c 6 24 l:tae1
l:lhf8 25 'iNh7 ttJd3 and Black won. White's
attack was simply too optimistic.
8 . . . xa3 9 bxa3
Preferable to 9 l:lxa3 .ltb7 10 .l:!.e1 ?! (10
'iiVc2 ttJxd4 1 1 'iYxc4 offers White some

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 tD c 6

compensation for the pawn) 1 O ... ttJe4 1 1 l:te3


f5 12 b3 cxb3 13 .l::!.x b3 0-0 14 'id3 .l:.f7 1 5
J:tbl .l::!.d 7, when Black was in control o f the
light squares in the centre in Chetverik
Siklosi, Kecskemet 1 995.
9 ... iLb7 1 0 iLb2 0-0 1 1 'ilt'c2 tDa5 1 2
ltJe5 iLxg2 1 3 ..t>xg2

1 3 . . . tDe8
The direct approach 13 ... c5!? 14 dxc5
'i'd5+ 1 5 Wgl 'ixc5 gives Black more
breathing space and better chances due to
the extra pawn.
14 e4 tDd6 1 5 iLc3 tDb3
Also possible is the more forcing 15 ... f6
16 xa5 fxe5 1 7 dxe5 bxa5 1 8 exd6 cxd6 1 9
'i'xc4 with chances for both sides.
16 l:tab 1 'ii'e 8 1 7 tDxc4 tDxc4 1 8 'ii'x b3
ltJd6 1 9 f3 'ilt'd7 20 l:tfd 1 c6

White has the superior minor piece and


more space, but Black is solid.

2 1 l:tbc 1 l:tfd8 22 iLb4 tDe8 23 iLd2


l:tbc8 24 as b5 25 iLg5 f6 26 iLe3 tDd6
27 a6 tDc4 28 a4 f5 29 axb5 cxb5 30
exf5 exf5 31 iLf4
Black has secured himself an outpost on
c4, while White has a passed pawn in the
centre.
3 1 . . . 'ii'd 5 32 l:tb 1 l:te8 33 l:te 1 l:txe 1 34
l:txe 1 h6?!
34 ...ttJb6 35 l:tb 1 b4 36 .1i.d6 'iix b3 37
l:txb3 ttJd5 is equal.
35 l:te5
35 l:te 7!? is interesting.
35 . . . 'iIt'xd4 36 l:txb5 ..t>h7 37 'ilt'b 1 l:tc5 38
l:txc5 'ilt'xc5 39 g4 ..t>g6 40 'ilt'xf5+ 'ilt'xf5
41 gxf5+ ..t>xf5 42 ..t>g3
42 .1i.b8 ttJe3+ 43 g3 ttJd5 44 .1i.xa7
ttJc7 45 .1i.d4 ttJxa6 46 i.xg7 g6 presents
White with more chances to play for a win,
although a draw is the most likely result.
42 . . . tDe5 43 iLe3 % - %

Game 63
Ricardi-Smyslov

Buenos Aires 1990


1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tDf3 tDf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
iLg2 tDc6 6 0-0 l:tb8 7 tDc3 iLb4

8 e3
Three other important continuations have
been tried here. 8 ttJe5 simplifies too much:
R ... ttJxe5 9 dxe5 'it'xd l 10 l:!.xd l .1i.xc3 1 1
bxc3 ttJd5 with equal chances. 8 l:tel ttJd5 9
1 29

Th e Ca ta la n

'iic2 .i.e7 1 0 a3 tUa5 1 1 lIbl 0-0 1 2 e4 i s a


bit more ambitious, White turning his atten
tion to the centre after some preparatory
work. However, Black is ready to meet this
expansion, e.g. 1 2 ... tUxc3 13 'ii'x c3 b6 1 4
.i.f4 .i.d6 1 5 .i.g5, Poluljahov-Raetsky, Sim
feropol 1 989 with equality after 1 5 ... i.e 7. If
Black is not satisfied with a draw, then
14 ... i.b7!? is an interesting alternative here.
Moiseenko-C.Horvath, Pula 1 999 contin
ued 8 .i.g5 0-0 9 lIc1 h6 10 .i.xf6 'it'xf6 1 1
tUe4 'iWrs 1 2 tUed2 'iVa5 1 3 a3 i.xd2 1 4
tUxd2 'iVb6 1 5 i.xc6 xc6 1 6 l:'txc4 'i!Vd6 1 7
c2 b6 1 8 lIxc7 .i.b7 1 9 tUf3 .i.xf3 20 exf3
'ii'xd4 21 lIdl 'it'f6 22 'it>g2, when White's
activity (rook on the seventh rank) is enough
for the better game. Black has a possible
improvement in 17 ... i.d7!?, which has the
advantage of not comrniting the queenside
structure.
S . . . 0-0 9 'ife2
9 'ii'c2 is another reasonable move, when
9 ... b5 10 lIdl 'it'e8 1 1 e4 e5 12 dxe5 tUxe5 1 3
tUxeS xe5 was the course o f Bezold
Romanishin, Balatonbereny 1 995. After 1 4
.i.f4 'it'e7 1 5 e 5 i.xc3 1 6 xc3 the bishop
pair and activity provide compensation.
9 . . . b5 1 0 a4 a6 1 1 axb5 axb5 1 2 .l:.d 1
'VC'hite controls the a-file.
1 2 . . . ttJa5
As in other lines after a2-a4, the b3-square
has become a target.
1 3 ttJe5 i.b7 1 4 i.xb7 xb7 1 5 e4
1 5 'it' f3 tUd5 1 6 .i.d2 .i.xc3 17 .i.xc3
tUxc3 1 8 l:i.xa5 leads to complicated play
where White shouldn't be worse.
1 5 . . .'ifeS 1 6 i.g5 ttJd7 1 7 'i'g4 'it>hS
17 ... rs!? deserves attention.
1 S ttJxd7 'ifxd7 1 9 i.f6! ?
Tough play! 1 9 d 5 tUb3 2 0 .l:ta6 'iWc8 21
dxe6 c6 is complex, although Black still has
an extra pawn.
1 9 . . . gxf6 20 ttJd5 i.e7
20 ... tUb3? loses after 21 tUxf6 'iVd8 22
h4 g7 23 g5+ h8 24 h6 etc.
21 ttJxe7 'i'xe7
1 30

21 ...tUb3!? should be considered, e.g. 22


tUd5! rs (22 ...d8 sees a forced draw after
23 iVh4! exd5 24 lIa8! 'ii'd 6 25 lIxffi+ xf8
26 xf6+) 23 h4 (23 tUf6?! fxg4 24 tUxd7
tUxa 1 25 tUxffi tUc2 and the extra pawn be
gins to tell) 23 ... f6 24 tUf4 with a struggle
ahead in view of Black's exposed king.
22 .l:.xa5

In this maJor pIece ending White has


compensation for the pawn in his active
forces and the a-file, while Black also has
vulnerable pawns .
22 . . . .l:.dS 23 'ifh5 c6 24 .l:.a6 .l:.c7 25
'it>g2 .l:.ccS 26 'iVh4 .l:.d7 27 .l:.da 1 f5 2S
'i'f4 fxe4
28 ...f6 29 lIa8 l:'tcd8 30 e5 e7 31 h6
demonstrates White's potential.
29 .l:.aS .l:.cdS

30 'i'xe4?
White can force a draw with 30 lI l a7!

4 . . . dx c 4 5 $i.. g 2 Ci'J c 6

l:txa7 3 1 l::!. xa7 't!Vxa7 32 "iff6+.


30 . . .'ii'd 6
Bringing the queen into play with advan
tage.
31 iVf3 iVd5! 32 l:txdS+ xdS 33 a7
'it'gS! 34 xf7 "xf3+ 35 xf3 xd4
Converting this rook endgame should be
fairly automatic for a virtuoso such as Smys
lov.
36 f6 e4 37 f 1 g7 3S l:rf3 b4 0-1

Game 64
G leizerov-Raetsky

Riazan 199 1
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e 6 3 Ci'Jf3 Ci'Jf6 4 g 3 dxc4 5
i.g2 Ci'Jc6 6 0-0 bS 7 Ci'Jc3 i.b4 S "c2
0-0 9 d 1

9 . . :!Ve7
In the event of 9 ... .i.e7 10 e4 b5 1 1 e2
l:te8 1 2 .i.e3 .i.d7 the course of Summermat
ter-Sosonko, San Bernardino 1 99 1 is not to
be recommended for White because after 1 3
ttJg5?! e 5 1 4 dxe5 ttJxe5 1 5 .i.xa7 l::!. a8 1 6
d4 ttJd3 White had won back the pawn but
the outpost on d3 gave Black the advantage.
After 1 3 ttJe5!? b4 1 4 ttJa4 ttJa5 1 5 ttJc5, on
the other hand, White is very active.
Also possible is 9 ... b5 10 d5!? exd5 1 1
ttJxd5 h6 as in Sorokin-Kacheishvili, New
York 1 999, when 1 2 ttJe5!? ttJxe5 1 3 ttJxb4
'iVe7 1 4 .i.f4 would leave White well devel
oped and ready for action, although Black is

not without chances.


1 0 e4
Another option is lO .i.g5 h6 1 1 .i.xf6
'it'xf6 1 2 ttJe4 f5 1 3 ttJh4 't!Vb5 1 4 l::!. a c1
with fluid development for White.
1 0 . . . $i.. x c3
Black might consider lO ... e5!? 1 1 dxe5
ttJxe5 12 ttJxe5 xe5 1 3 .i.f4 "iile7 14 ttJb5
.i.g4 with unclear play.
1 1 bxc3 e5
l 1 ...b5 12 e5 ttJd5 1 3 ttJg5 f5 14 exf6 gxf6
1 5 ttJe4 is quite typical, Black's weakened
pawns and the inviting c5-square affording
White compensation.
1 2 d5!
White wins the exchange.
1 2 . . . Ci'Ja5 1 3 'iVa4
Yusupov gives 1 3 ttJxe5!? xe5 14 .i.f4
'iVe7 1 5 d6 'iVe6 1 6 dxc7 l::!. a 8 1 7 .i.d6 l::!. e 8 1 8
e 5 ttJg4 with an assessment o f unclear White has only one pawn for the piece but
Black lacks co-ordination and is behind In
development.
1 3 . . . b6 1 4 $i.. a 3 "eS 1 5 "c2 $i.. g 4
15 ... .i.d7 16 l:te1 c5 17 dxc6 .i.xc6 1 8
..ItxfB 'it>xfB favours White, for whom the d
file will be a more significant factor than
Black's extra pawn on the queenside (as
compensation for the exchange) .
1 5 ... ttJb 7 1 6 .txfB 'it>xfS 1 7 ttJd2 ttJd6 1 8
l::!. ab l and now Yusupov-Agdestein, Belgrade
1 989 saw 1 8 ... .id7?! 1 9 l::!. e 1 .ia4 20 'iVc1
'it'g8 21 .i.fl , when White won the pawn
back with interest. The bishop is needed on
a6. An improvement is 1 8 .. .'Jd7!?, e.g. 1 9
.ifl .ta6 20 l::!.b4 tbc5 and White collects
the pawn but the closed flavour of the posi
tion leaves the situation unclear, or 1 9 "iVa4
tbc5 20 xa7 .ib7 21 "ilVa3 l::!. a8 22 'iVb2
'ilVa4, again returning the pawn but at the cost
of sufficient time to permit Black activity (the
closed structure and Black's pressure on the
a-file offer adequate compensation for the
exchange).
1 6 $i.. xfS 'it'xfS
16 ... 'ilVxfB 17 ttJxe5 .i.xd l 1 8 l:!.xdl (White
13 1

Th e C a t a la n

invests hi s exchange to achieve a superior


position - the centre, dominating bishop and
superior piece placement) 1 6 ... .i.xG!? 1 7
.i.xG 'it'xffi 1 8 .i.e2 i s given by Gleizerov.
Black transfers his f6-knight to d6 but, de
spite the closed position, White's prospects
are slightly preferable.
1 7 d6 c5?!
More promising is 1 7 ... cxd6 18 l:!xd6 ttJb7
1 9 i::td2 .i.xG (1 9 ... ttJcS 20 ttJe1 .i.d7 21 G is
an edge for White) 20 .i.xG ttJcS. Again the
d-flie is open, but this time Black is quite
active. The subsequent 21 .i.g2 ttJd3 22 .i.f1
ttJxe4 23 .i.xd3 ttJxd2 24 iLe2 :d8 25 i::t d 1
'iVd7 26 'it'xh7 f6 leads to complex play.
1 8 l:td2 l:td8 1 9 4:)h4 g6 20 f4! d7 2 1
e 1 c6
21 ...exf4 22 gxf4 ttJhS 23 l:!.f2 'iiVe 6 24 f5
'it'xd6 25 fxg6 hxg6 26 eS and White has
succeeded in opening up the position with a
dangerous initiative.
22 4:)f3

27 . . . xe4 28 fxe5 f5

29 xf5!
White crashes through!
29 . . . gxf5 30 4:)xf5+ xf5 3 1 l:txf5 4:)c6
No better is 3 1 ...ttJe6 32 i::t f7+! 'iVxf7 33
i::tx f7+ Wxf7 34 'it'xh6 and White is winning.
32 l:txf8 1 -0

Game 65
Yevseev-Goldin

St. Petersburg 1998

22 . . . 4:)d7
22 ... exf4 23 eS ttJdS 24 'iVc1 puts h6 in
White's sights and is awk-ward for Black.
23 h3 f6 24 l:tf2 <tJg7 25 'ilVd2 h6
Black has no time to return the knight to
the fold: 2S ... ttJb7 26 .ltxd7 Itxd7 27 fxeS
fxeS 28 'iigs with a superior position for
White.
26 4:)h4 4:)f8 27 l:tef 1 !
W'hite is now ready to change gear . . . the
knight is still on as!
1 32

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 4:)f3 4:)f6 4 g3 dxc4 5


g2 4:)c6 6 0-0 l:tb8 7 4:)c3 b5 8 e4
8 ttJgS ttJb4 (8 ... .i.d7 9 dS! exdS 10 iLxdS
ttJeS 1 1 .i.f4 is dangerous for Black) 9 a4 a6
1 0 axbS axbS 1 1 e4 h6 1 2 eS ttJfdS 1 3 liJge4
iLe7 1 4 it'g4 g6 was seen in Ulibin
Krasenkow, Las Palmas 1 993. W'hite's com
pensation consists of control of key dark
squares - such as cS - and better develop
ment.
8 . . . b4
The quiet 8 ... iLe7 has proved a good al
ternative. Then 9 dS seemed too early in
Yevseev-Brodsky, Nizhnij Novgorod 1998,
which continued 9 ... exdS 10 exdS liJb4 11
ttJd4 ii.g4 1 2 it'd2 ii.d7 1 3 b3 0-0 1 4 a4 a6
1 5 axbS axbS 1 6 bxc4 bxc4, when Black had
doubled c-pawns but a useful outpost on d3.
Nor was White in a healthy state in Ulibin
Kogan, Cappelle la Grande 1 995: 9 'iNe2 b4
(9 ... ttJxd4 1 0 liJxd4 it'xd4 1 1 iLe3 'it'd3 12

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 CO c 6

iVxd3 cxd3 1 3 e5 4Jd5 1 4 4Jxd5 exd5 1 5


.ixd5 and both a7 and d3 are easy to attack)
10 4Ja4 i.a6 1 1 e5 4Jd5 1 2 'iVe4 c3 and
Black seized the initiative.
9 tLie2 b6
9 ... 4Jxe4?! runs into 10 4Jd2 fS 1 1 4Jxe4
fxe4 12 i.xe4 i.b7, when Black has many
weaknesses and White steers the game to his
advantage after 1 3 i.e3 i.d6 14 'iWc2.
1 0 d5!?
The alternative i s 1 0 e5 4Jd5 1 1 i.g5 i. e7
12 i.xe7 'it'xe7 1 3 4Jd2 i.a6. Before White
gets his knight to the desired e4-square Black
completes development with this active
bishop move, threatening a timely ... c4-c3.
Black is slightly better.
1 0 . . . exd5 1 1 exd5 'ii'x d5
The recapture with the knight is risky:
1 1 ...4Jxd5 12 4Jf4 (1 2 l:te l I?) 12 ... 4Jxf4 1 3
.ixf4 i.d6 1 4 l:te1+ i.e6 1 5 3Le3 and the
initiative is in White's hands.
1 2 tLifd4 'ii'd 7 1 3 tLixc6 xc6 14 xd7 +
The alternative is to keep the queens on
the board, 1 4 i.xc6!? 'iVxc6 1 5 4Jd4 offering
White a pull.
1 4 . . .'it>xd7
The king is well placed on c6, making the
text preferable to 14 ... i.xd7 15 i.xc6 i.xc6
16 3Lf4 3Lc5 17 l:tac1 i.b5 18 i.e5, which is
difficult for Black.
1 5 iLxc6+ Wxc6

Black has clear compensation in the form


of his active king, the bishop pair and two

pawns for the exchange. Nevertheless a de


gree of caution is called for here as White
enjoys better development.
1 6 iLe3 iLc5 1 7 b3
The less radical 17 J:tac1 i.xe3 18 fxe3
3La6 19 4Jd4+ <;t>b6 is probably better, al
though Black should be okay.
1 7 . . . tLid5
1 7 ... i.h3!? 1 8 l::r. fcl i.xe3 1 9 fxe3 c3 20 a3
as 21 axb4 axb4 seems like a good line for
Black.
1 8 iLxc5 Wxc5 1 9 bxc4 tLic3 20 tLixc3
bxc3 21 ac 1 Wxc4 22 fe 1 d8 23
e7 d7
The more ambitious 23 ... c5!? 24 l:txf7 g5
25 l:txa7 i.fS is worth a try.
24 e8 iLb7 25 e3 d3 26 e7
White has infiltrated on the seventh rank
but the c3-pawn is very dangerous .
26 . . . iLd5 27 xc7 + Wd4 28 a4
28 l:txa7? c2! and White can do nothing
about ... J:Id 1 .
28 . . . a 5 29 Wf 1 iLb3 30 d7 + Wc4 3 1
c7 + Wd4 3 2 d7 + Wc4 3 3 c7 + % - %

Game 66
Raetsky-Kelecevic

Silvaplana 1997
1 d4 d 5 2 c4 e6 3 tLif3 tLif6 4 g3 dxc4 5
iLg2 tLic6 6 0-0 b8 7 tLic3 b5 8 tLie5
tLixe5 9 dxe5

9 . . . tLid7
1 33

Th e C a t a l a n

9 ...xd 1 ?! 1 0 .l:!.xd 1 lbd5 11 a4! sees


White open the queenside and in doing so
seize the initiative, while after 9 ... lbd5 1 0
lbxd5 exd5 1 1 1Lxd5 1Le6 1 2 1Lc6+ 1Ld7 1 3
d5 White stands better. Delchev-Genov,
Pazardzik 1 99 1 continued 1 3 ... 1i.xc6 1 4
xc6+ "iNd7 1 5 "it'e4 1i.c5 1 6 .i.g5 0-0 1 7
.l:!.ad1 "iNe6 1 8 .l:!.d5 1i.e7 1 9 1Lxe7 "iNxe7 20 f4
l:tfd8 21 .l:!.fd1 and White was still in the driv
ing seat.
1 0 'iVd4 ! ?
1 0 1Lc6 has also been played. Kaidanov
Serper, Gausdal 1 99 1 went 1O ... a6 1 1 'ikd4
.l:!.b6?! 1 2 'ike4 1i.c5 1 3 1Lxd7+! 1Lxd7 1 4
'ilVg4. Thi s i s the usual stuff, Black winning a
pawn but White generating sufficient play.
Black has problems with g7. Play continued
1 4...'it>f8 1 5 .l:!.d1 h5 1 6 f4 h4 1 7 lbe4 1Le7
1 8 1i.e3 hxg3 19 fxg3! (the f-file opens and
White goes on the offensive) 19 ... .l:!.c6 20 .l:!.f1
1Le8 21 .l:!.ad1 'iVc8 22 'iVf3! 'it>g8? 23 1Lg5
'it>f8 24 1i.xe7+ and White won.
Black should instead look to the follow
ing: 1 1 ...1i.b7 1 2 1i.xb7 l:txb7 1 3 .ll d 1 c5 1 4
'ikg4 'iVc7 1 5 1Lf4 'YWc6 1 6 f3 f5 (Black has to
free himself somehow, and this is a creative
solution) 1 7 exf6 lbxf6 1 8 'iVg5 1Le7 1 9
"iNxg7 .l:!.g8 2 0 'iVh6 .l:!.g6 2 1 "iNh3 b4!

We are following Gleizerov-Werle, Hoo


geveen 2000, which witnessed the rather
passive 22 lbb 1 ?!, to which Black responded
22 ... .l:!.d7! 23 lbd2 c3 24 lbc4 cxb2 25 lbxb2
.l:!.xd 1+ 26 .ll x d1 c4 with advantage thanks to
1 34

the dangerous queenside pawns. S.Ivanov &


Yuneev offer the following: 22 lbe4 lbxe4 23
"it'xh 7 e5! 24 1Lxe5 lbg5 25 "it'h8+ 'it>f7 26
iVh5 and the attack on Black's troubled king
compensates for the sacrificed piece, or
25 ... 1i.f8 26 l:td8+ 'it>xd8 27 'ikxf8+ "iNe8 28
1i.f6+, again with pressure against the black
king.
1 0 . . . b7
Also possible is 1O ... c5 1 1 'iVf4 "iNc7 12
.l:!.d1 'iVb6 13 a4 b4 14 lbb5 'ii'd 8 1 5 lbd6+
1i.xd6 1 6 exd6 0-0 1 7 as when White was in
charge in Prakken-Ippolito, Ubeda 2000 .
Even worse is 1 2 ...'iVxe5? 1 3 .l:!.xd7!, while
1 2 ... lbxe5 1 3 a4 a6 1 4 axb5 axb5 1 5 1i.c6+!
xc6 1 6 'iVxe5 is very pleasant for White.
1 1 l:td 1
The greedy 1 1 'ii'x a7?! is less convincing as
1 1 ...1Lc5 1 2 'ii'a 5 1Lxg2 1 3 'it>xg2 'iVc8 1 4 f3
iVb7 looks good for Black. White's e5-pawn
is weak and Black's queenside majority seems
the more useful.
1 1 . . . xg2 1 2 'iit x g2

1 2 . . . 'iVc8
12 ... c5 is also possible but it is IOglcal to
keep this square free for a piece. After the
further 1 3 'iVe4 'iVc7 1 4 a4! the opening of
the a-file helps only White.
1 3 a4 a6 1 4 axb5 axb5 1 5 f3 e7
1 5 ... 1i.c5 16 g4 g6 17 1i.h6 lbxe5 1 8
e4 lbd7 1 9 'iVc6 and Black i s struggling
against the tide .
1 6 l:ta5 b4

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

Black seeks counterplay. After 1 6 ... c6 1 7


lLle4 h 6 1 8 lLld6+ i.xd6 1 9 "iVxd6 lIb 7 20
.1i.e3 his dark squares are too weak.
1 7 CUb5 CUb6 1 S 'iWg4 'it>fS
Something has gone wrong for Black.
1 9 l:ta7 l:tb7 20 'iWe4 l:txa7 21 CUxa7 'iWa6
22 CUe6 'iWa4
22 ...lLld5 23 lLlxe7 xe7 24 g5+ f6 25
exf6+ ttJxf6 26 xf6+ gxf6 27 'iVg4 leaves
Black's king walking on thin ice.
23 l:td4 '/WaS 24 i.e3 f5?
The final mistake, although the correct
24 ... h6 25 lId1 'iVa4 26 lIc1 is still good for
White.
25 exf6 i.xf6 26 'iWxe6 'iWeS 27 l:tdS! 1 -0
Coming next is i.c5.

White plays 6 '/Wa4

Game 67
Tkachiev-Solozhenkin

France 2000
1 d4 d5 2 e4 e6 3 CUf3 CUf6 4 g3 dxe4 5
i.g2 CUe6 6 '/Wa4 i.d7 7 'iWxe4

7 . . . CUa5
7 ... i.d6 8 ttJc3 0-0 9 0-0 h6 to .i.f4 .i.xf4
1 1 gxf4 gives rise to White's typical grip on
the dark squares in the centre. Consequently
Black tried to ... lIb8?! in Tukmakov-Barle,
Bled 1 996, but 1 1 lLle5! b5 1 2 d3 ttJb4 1 3
'ii'd2 ttJbd5 1 4 lIac1 ttJxf4 1 5 iVxf4 nb6 1 6
ttJe4 ttJxe4 1 7 'iVxe4 lIa6 1 8 a3 lIa4 1 9 e3

i.e8 20 'iYb 7 then left White with the supe


rior pawn structure, while control of the c
ftle and the c5-square also remained intact.
S 'iWd3
The queen is worse on c2 than d3 because
of the semi-open c-file, e.g. 8 ... lIc8 9 ttJe5 c5
10 ttJxd7 'ii'xd7 1 1 dxc5 .i.xc5 12 ttJc3 ttJd5!
13 .i.xd5 exd5 1 4 0-0 0-0 1 5 'id3 d4 16 ttJe4
.i.e7 1 7 .i.f4 'iVd5 when Black had sufficient
play to compensate the isolated d-pawn in
Vaganian-Taimanov, USSR 1 974. Tratar
Plachetka, Charleville 2000 continued 9 0-0
c5 to ttJc3 cxd4 1 1 ttJxd4 i.c5 1 2 lId 1 'iVb6
1 3 e3 0-0 1 4 ttJb3 ttJxb3 1 5 'iVxb3 'iVxb3 1 6
axb3 .i.c6 1 7 .i.d2 .i.xg2 1 8 xg2 lIfd8 with
no problems for Black throughout.
S . . . e5 9 0-0
The more aggressive 9 ttJe5 was tried in
Shipov-Kacheishvili, Berlin 1 995: 9 ... ttJc6 to
0-0 cxd4 1 1 i.f4 .i.c5 12 ttJd2 0-0 13 lIac1
.i.b6 1 4 ttJdc4 (14 ttJxc6 i.xc6 1 5 xc6
bxc6 16 lIxc6 'idS is only equal) 14 ... ttJd5
1 5 lIfd 1 ttJxf4 16 gxf4 ttJxe5 17 ttJxe5 nb8
is instructive, White exerting some pressure
on the queenside, with Black generating suf
ficient play to maintain the balance.
9 . . . i.e6 1 0 CUe3
Another option is 10 lId1 c4 1 1 'iVc2 .i.e4
(note that this move is made possible by the
omission of ttJc3) 12 'iVd2 h6! 1 3 'iVe1 ttJc6
14 'iVf1 .i.d5 1 5 ttJc3 b4 as in Lautier
Karpov, Ubeda 1 994, when Black could suc
cessfully fight for e4 thanks to 1 6 ttJxd5 exd5
17 ttJe5 O-O!, with eyual chances.
1 0 . . . exd4
to ... lIc8 1 1 .l:.d 1 c4 merely gives White a
free hand to get busy in the centre, e.g. 1 2
'iVc2 .i.b4 1 3 d5!? 1 3. .. exd5 1 4 e 4 .i.xc3 1 5
exd5 ttJxd5 1 6 bxc3 0-0 1 7 ttJg5 g6 1 8 ttJe4
and (again) the weakness of the dark squares
proved a good investment in Ftacnik
Lechtynsky, Czechoslovakia 1 979. Then
1 8 ... f5!? is interesting, while 1 8 ...'iVe7 1 9 .i.g5
f6 20 l:txd5! was a little combination that
returned the pawn, 20 ... i.xd5 21 ttJxf6+
lIxf6 22 i.xd5+ rj;g7 23 i.xf6+ xf6 24
1 35

Th e Ca t a la n

'it'd2 spelling trouble for Black.


1 1 ttJxd4 ii.c5
1 1 ...i.xg2 12 Wxg2 'it'd7 13 I:tdl .J1i.cs 1 4
ii.gS favours White.
1 2 .l:!.d 1 ii.xg2 1 3 'it'b5 + ! ? ttJd7 1 4 c,t>xg2
a6
14 ... 0-0?? IS lDf3 loses the knight.
1 5 'ifd3 ii.e7

1 6 ii.f4! .l:!.c8
The tempting 16 ... eS? loses material due to
17 lDf5 exf4 18 lDxg7+ WfS 19 'iiVx d7.
1 7 ttJf3 ttJc4 1 8 ttJa4 b5 1 9 b3! ttJcb6 20
ttJxb6 ttJxb6 21 'ifxd8+ ii.xd8?!
21 ...lIxd8 22 l:txd8+ .J1i.xd8 23 .l:!.c1 is the
lesser evil.
22 e4
The b6-knight is deprived of the last good
square. White has a clear advantage.
22 . . .16
22 ... lDd7 23 l:tac1 l:txc1 24 Ihc1 lDf6 2S
eS lDdS 26 :c8 and Black is trailing. After
the text the queenside pawns come under
attack.
23 .l:!.d6 c,t>e7 24 ttJd4 e5 25 ttJf5 + c,t>f7
26 ii.e3 g6 27 ttJh6 + c,t>g7 28 .l:!.ad 1
Suddenly White is very active.
28 . . . .l:!.b8 29 .l:!.d7 + !
A nice exchange sacrifice.
29 . . . ttJxd7 30 .l:!.xd 7 + c,t>f8 31 ttJf7 .l:!.g8
32 ttJd6!
Mate cannot be avoided without heavy
loss of material.
32 . . . g5 33 .l:!.f7 mate!
1 36

Game 68
Raetsky-S . Ivanov

Simferopo! 1989
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
ii.g2 ttJc6 6 'it'a4 ttJd7
6 ... lDdS 7 'iiVxc4 lDb6 transposes to
6 ... lDd7 7 'iic4 lDb6.
7 'it'x c4 ttJb6

8 'ifd3 e5
Another idea is 8 ... lDb4, e.g. 9 'iiVb 3 eS 1 0
lDgs "iIIe7 1 1 a 3 lDc6 1 2 .J1i.xc6+ bxc6 1 3
dxeS h 6 1 4 lDf3 .J1i.h3 with unclear play ac
cording to Shipov, or 9 'iiVc 3 eS 1 0 dxeS i.f5
1 1 0-0 ii.xb 1 1 2 ltxb 1 lDxa2 1 3 'iiVb 3 lDxc1
1 4 l::tb xc 1 , Shipov-Gofstein, Paris 1 995,
when White had a lead in development.
9 ii.e3! ?
A home-made idea from one of your au
thors! In Gasimov-Zvjagintsev, Yurmala
1 992 a draw was agreed in the equal position
that resulted from 9 dxeS "iIIx d3 1 0 exd3
lDb4 1 1 'it>d2 ii.f5 1 2 a3 lDxd3 1 3 lDh4
lDxc1 1 4 Wxc1 .J1i.xb 1 I S l:txb 1 . Meanwhile,
in Poluljakhov-Brodsky, Krasnodar 1 999 the
continuation 9 ii.gS ii.e 7 1 0 ii.xe 7 'iVxe7 1 1
lDxeS lDxeS 1 2 dxeS 'iiVx eS 1 3 lDc3 0-0 14
0-0 c6 I S l::tfd l .J1i.e6 16 'iVd4 'iIIc 7 saw Black
entering the rniddlegame phase with no
problems.
9 . . . ttJb4
9 ... exd4 10 lDxd4 lDb4?! 1 1 "iIIe4+ i.e7 12

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 l"iJ c 6

lDc3 ttJc4 1 3 l:td1 !? ttJd6 (13. .. ttJxb2 1 4 ttJc6


lDxd1 1 5 ttJxd8 ttJxc3 16 'iVe5 clearly favours
White) 1 4 'iWb1 0-0 1 5 0-0 'iVe8 1 6 .i.f4 .i.d7
17 a3 ttJc6 1 8 ttJdb5 and, after some weird
manoeuvring, Black was drifting into trouble
in Filippov-Short, Batumi 1 999. In fact after
18 ...l:k8 1 9 ttJxc7! .l::!.x c7 20 ttJd5 .i.f5? 21
lDxc7 White won. A lesser evil is 1 O ...ttJxd4
1 1 .Jtxd4 .Jtb4+ 12 ttJc3 0-0 1 3 a3 .Jte7 1 4
d1 c 6 1 5 'iVe4!, although Black has prob
lems with the co-ordination of his pieces.
10 'iWb5 +

1 0 . . . l"iJd7
1O ... .Jtd7!? is a clever move with which
Black sacrifices a pawn in order to seek to
exploit the insecure position of White's
queen. In J.Horvath-Rabiega, Austria 1 996
this did not work out for Black after 1 1
xe5+ .Jte7 1 2 ttJa3 0-0 1 3 0-0 ttJ6d5 1 4
.i.d2 .u.e8 1 5 .i.xb4 ttJxb4 1 6 'iVf4 .Jte6 1 7
ttJb5! ttJd5 1 8 'iVd2 .Jtb4 1 9 'iVc2 c 6 20 ttJc3.
However, there is an improvement in
1 4 ... .Jtf6 1 5 'iVh5 g6 16 'ikh6 .Jtg7 17 'ikh4
'ikxh4 1 8 gxh4 nfe8, when White's kingside
structure is compromised and Black has
some compensation for the pawn deficit.
1 1 'iWa4 exd4
1 1 ...b5?! 12 'iVb3 .Jtb7 13 ttJxe5! is bad for
Black, and after 1 1 ...e4 1 2 ttJg5 ttJd5 1 3 'iVb3
White has numerous threats (e4 is weak and
Black is behind in development) .
1 2 l"iJxd4 cS 1 3 l"iJc3 l"iJbS 1 4 'iWb3 c5
Perhaps this is too ambitious as it helps

White's Catalan bishop. Also possible is


14 ...ttJ4d5 15 ttJxd5 ttJxd5 16 .Jtxd5 'iWxd5
17 'iWxd5 cxd5 1 8 ttJb5 with an endgame that
is generally slightly better for White and here
also features a lead in development.
1 5 l"iJdb5 iLeS
1 5 ... .Jtf5 16 l:td 1 ttJc2+ 17 'it>f1 ttJxe3+ 1 8
fxe3 'ikc8 1 9 ttJd5 and in return for his dam
aged pawns White has a strong attack.
1 S 'iWd 1 iLf5?!
A waste of time, but the alternative
1 6 ... 'ikxd1+ 1 7 .u.xd1 ttJc2+ 1 8 'it>f1 ttJxe3+
1 9 fxe3 is also good for White. Again the
doubled e-pawns are balanced by White's
more rapid deployment.
1 7 0-0
White is better, with pressure against
Black's queens ide.
1 7 . . . aS 1 8 'iWxd8+ .l:lxd8 1 9 l"iJc7 + d7
20 l"iJ7d5 l"iJ4xd5 21 l"iJxd5 l"iJc4 22 .l:!.fd 1
l"iJxb2?
Losing immediately. After 22 ... .i.d6 23 b3
ttJxe3 24 ttJxe3 Black loses at least a pawn as
b 7 is hanging.
23 .l:!.d2 l"iJc4 24 l"iJbS + 1 -0

Game 69
Polovodin -Zviagintsev

St. Petersburg 1994


1 d4 d5 2 c4 eS 3 l"iJf3 l"iJfS 4 g3 dxc4 5
iLg2 l"iJcS S a4 l"iJd7 7 xc4 l"iJbS 8
d3 e5 9 l"iJxe5

137

Th e C a t a l a n

9 . . . ttJb4
After 9 ... ttJxd4 10 e3 ttJe6 1 1 'iVxd8+
ttJxd8 the game is equal, while 1 0 .i.e3 .i.c5
1 1 ttJc3 .i.f5 12 .i.e4 .i.xe4 13 'iWxe4 f5 1 4
'it'd3 'iWd6 i s unclear. White's best i s 1 0 0-0 f6
1 1 ttJf3 ttJxf3+ 1 2 xf3 .i.d6 1 3 ttJc3 with a
slight edge.
1 0 b3
In the event of 1 0 dl 'iWxd4 1 1 'it'xd4
ttJc2+ 1 2 'it'd 1 ttJxd4 1 3 e3 ttJe6 Black
shouldn't experience any problems. Gelfand
Ivanchuk, Sochi 1 986 continued 14 ttJc3 f6
1 5 ttJd3 ttJc5 1 6 ttJxc5 .i.xc5 1 7 'it'c2 .i.f5+
1 8 e4 .i.e6 1 9 f4 0-0-0 20 b3 h5 with equal
chances.
10 'iWc3 'it'xd4 needs investigating. After
1 1 'i*'xc7!? .i.e7 1 2 ttJf3 c4 1 3 'i*'xc4 ttJxc4
14 ttJd4 .i.f6 1 5 a3 .i.xd4!? 1 6 axb4 ttJxb2 1 7
.l::ta2 Black wins the pawn back but White
keeps an edge, while Haba-Klovans, Leinfel
den 2001 saw instead 1 5 ... ttJxa3 1 6 ttJxa3
.i.xd4 17 0-0 0-0 1 8 :d 1 .i.f6 1 9 ttJb5. Again
Black managed to collect the invested pawn,
but White's pressure on the queenside se
cured an advantage. The earlier encounter
Beliavsky-Adams, Madrid 1 998 went 1 1 0-0
'iVxc3 12 ttJxc3 .i.d6 1 3 ttJf3 c6 14 lIdl .i.e7
1 5 ttJd4 0-0 16 a3 ttJ4d5 17 ttJxd5 ttJxd5
with a level game, but 1 5 e4!? is interesting
and seems to give White some advantage
after 1 5 ... 0-0 1 6 a3 ttJa6 1 7 .i.f4.
1 0 . . . e6 1 1 d 1 xd4 1 2 xd4 ttJc2 +
1 3 'it'd 1 ttJxd4 1 4 xb7 .l:!.d8

1 5 d2
In Kaidanov-Shariyazdanov, Elista 1 998
White preferred 1 5 ttJd2, and after the fur
ther 1 5 ... f6 1 6 ttJc6 ttJxc6 1 7 .i.xc6+ f7 1 8
'it'c2 .i.c5 1 9 ttJb3 .i.xf2 2 0 : f1 .i.d4 21 .tf4
Black returned the material with equality after
21 ....i.xb3+ 22 xb3 ttJd5.
1 5 . . . f6 1 6 ttJc6 ttJxc6 1 7 xc6 + 'it'f7 1 8
'it'c2 c5
Black's activity compensates for the pawn
deficit.
1 9 f3 ttJc4 20 e4 .l:!.d6 21 d3 .l:!.b8
Now all of Black's pieces are in play.
22 c 1
22 b3 ttJe5 23 .i.e4 f5 24 .i.c3 fxe4 25
.i.xe5 l:td5 26 f4 e3 is to Black's benefit.
White has problems mobilising his forces
and his light-squared bishop has a bright
future.
22 . . . d4 23 ttJc3 .l:!.c6 24 e4 .l:!.c5 25
.l:!.d 1
Another move is 25 e3 but Black has a
strong reply - 25 ... ttJa3+! 26 'it'd2 .i.xc3+ 27
bxc3 l::t d8+ 28 'it'e2 ttJb5 and Black both
regains the pawn and maintains the offen
sive.
2S . . ..bs 26 f4 ttJxb2!

A nice little combination that wins back


the pawn.
27 xb2 .l:!.xb2+ 28 'it'xb2 xc3 + 29
'it'b 1 c4
Of course Black has no intention of re
storing the material balance immediately as
1 38

4 . . . dx c 4 5 i. g 2 0, c 6

his bishop is far better than the rook.


30 a4 f5 3 1 l:te 1 ?
After the more circumspect 3 1 .i.f3 .i.xal
32 '.t>xal .i.b3 Black wins a pawn but White's
forces then enjoy sufficient freedom with
which to secure equal chances.
3 1 . . . i.xa 1 32 ':'xe4 l1xe4 33 i.d5 + f6
34 i.xe4 i.d4
This opposite coloured bishop ending is
far from a draw. Had White's king been on
the kingside the draw would have been obvi
ous. Now these pawns make easy targets for
the enemy bishop.
35 e2 i.g 1 36 h3 i.h2 37 d3 i.xg3
38 e3 h6 39 e2 g5 40 f3 i.e 1 41
e2 i.b4
Black already has one passed pawn but to
win the game he has to create a second.
42 f3 i.d2 43 i.a6?!
Better is 43 fxg5+ hxg5 when Black has to
work to make progress on the kingside.
43 . . . g4+ !

Forcing an exchange that results in a sec


ond, decisive passed pawn.
44 hxg4 fxg4+ 45 xg4 i.xe3 46 f3
i.e 1 47 e4 e6 48 i.e2 a5 49 i.h5
d6 50 i.d 1 e5 51 e5 b4 52 f5
White also has a passed pawn that needs
attention, but the win is uncomplicated. If
necessary Black will sacrifice his bishop for
the f-pawn so that his two runners cannot be
held at bay by White's lone bishop.
52 . . . e5 53 f6 i.b2+ 54 f5 e4 55 f7

55 'it>g6 i.xf6 56 'it>xf6 'it>c3 57 .lte2 'it>d4


doesn't help White.
55 . . . i.g7 56 e4 e3 57 i.g4 d2 0-1

Game 70
Zsu . Polgar-Benjamin

Dortmund 1985
1 d4 d5 2 e4 e6 3 0,f3 0,f6 4 g3 dxe4 5
i.g2 0,e6 6 'i'a4 i.d6

7 0-0
In the event of 7 ttJbd2 (note that with the
moves ... i.b4+ and i.d2 inserted this is not
possible) 7 ... 0-0 8 ttJxc4 Black must not allow
the exchange of his potentially useful dark
squared bishop for White's knight. Therefore
in this position practice has seen the forcing
8 ... b5!? 9 "iVxb5 b8 1 0 'iVxc6 i.d7 1 1 'iVa6
i.b5 1 2 "iVa5 .i.xc4 1 3 a3. Then 1 3. .. ttJe4!? is
worth a try, with compensation after 14 ttJe5
.i.d5 1 5 0-0 c5. Instead Jo.Horvath-Van Der
Werf, Haarlem 1 995 continued 1 3 ... c5 1 4
'iVxd8 fxd8 1 5 dxc5 .ltxc5 1 6 b 4 .tb6 1 7
.i.b2, when 1 7 . . .ttJe4 1 8 e 3 ttJc5! 1 9 ttJe5
ttJd3+ 20 ttJxd3 .i.xd3 21 c1 as gives Black
slightly less than a pawn's worth of compen
sation.
7 . . . 0-0 8 l:td 1
I f White is not prepared to forget about
the c4-pawn he should play 8 'iixc4 e5 9
ttJc3 exd4 1 0 ttJxd4 ttJe5 1 1 'iVa4 .td7
(1 1 ...c6!? is interesting) 1 2 b3 c5 1 3 ttJdb5
c4 14 'iVc2 .i.c5 1 5 .i.f4 'iVe7 1 6 ad l , when
1 39

Th e C a t a l a n

White had a n edge i n Gleizerov-Dzhakaev,


Hoogeveen 2000. The ambitious thrust of
the c-pawn seemed to have helped White
more than Black.
8 . . . tDb4
An interesting approach to the position is
8 ... ir'e8?! 9 'iVxc4 e5 10 d5 li:'lb4, when the
queen monitors both the e-file and the a4-e8
diagonal. Filippov-Loeffler, Ubeda 1 998 con
tinued 1 1 li:'lc3 li:'lc2 12 l:tb1 e4 1 3 li:'ld4
li:'lxd4 14 llxd4 i.f5 1 5 CDxe4 b5 1 6 d3
i.xe4 1 7 i.xe4 i.c5 1 8 i.f3 i.xd4 1 9 'i*'xd4
and White enjoyed a greater share of territory
and decent attacking chances in return for
the exchange.
9 tDe5 c6
Another option is 9 ... li:'lfd5!? 10 a3 li:'lb6
1 1 'iVa5 li:'lc2 12 .l:!.a2 f6 and the position
remains unclear.
1 0 a3

viding compensation for the missing pawn.


Finally, after 1 1 ...6 1 2 ir'a5 li:'lc2 1 3 l::ta2
li:'ld5 1 4 'i'xb6 axb6, we have another com
plex battle to look forward to.
1 1 tDc3 "ikc7
Black can try 1 1 ...li:'ld5 1 2 li:'le4 b5 13 ir'c2
but the resulting dark square weaknesses give
White something to aim at. You might have
noticed that after 1 2 ir'xc4?? li:'lxc3 1 3 bxc3
i.xe5 Black is winning.
1 2 "ikxc4 .i.xe5 1 3 dxe5 "ikxe5 1 4 .i.f4
"ikh5 1 5 .i.d6
The dark squares again give White enough
play.
1 5 . . Je8 1 6 .i.f3 "ikf5 1 7 .i.xc6?!
A more quiet approach with 1 7 b4!?
should be preferred.
1 7 . . . bxc6 1 8 "ikxc6 b8
1 8 ... i.d7 1 9 'iVxa6 li:'le4 20 li:'lxe4 'iVxe4 21
'ifd3 slightly favours White.
1 9 .i.xb8 tDxb8 20 "ikb5 "ikh3
After 20 ... 'iVxb5 21 li:'lxb5 a6 22 li:'ld6 l:tfB
the exchange of queens helps White's cause,
whereas the text at least draws attention to
White's king.
21 tDe4
21 'i*'xb8?? li:'lg4 and mate is on the menu.
2 1 . . . tDbd7 22 tDxf6 + tDxf6 23 f3 e5 24
e4 "ike6
24 ... h5 25 l:td6 h4 26 ir'fl sees White ex
change queens to leave Black with only a
small edge.
25 J:tac 1 .i.d7 26 "ikb4 "ika6 27 Wf2 "ike6

1 0 . . . tDa6
Black can also head directly for the end
game with 1O ... b5!? 1 1 li:'lxc6 bxa4 12 li:'lxd8
li:'lc2 1 3 .l:!.a2 li:'ld5 14 li:'lc6. White's rook
looks a bit silly at the moment but he has
made progress in the centre and Black's
queenside has seen better days. Not surpris
ingly this is a difficult position to assess. We
should not forget that Black has two other
possibilities after 1 1 li:'lxc6, the most obvious
being 1 1 ...li:'lxc6 1 2 'ii'x b5 i.d7 1 3 i.xc6 ttb8
14 'iVa4 'iVc7 1 5 i.xd7 li:'lxd7 with a lead in
development and pressure on the b-ftle pro-

Yo - Yo

1 40

Game 71
Bauer-I ppolito

New York 2000


1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tDf3 tDf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
.i.g2 tDc6 6 "ika4 .i.b4+ 7 .i.d2 .i.d6 8
tDe5
White has a range of possibilities here. In
the case of 8 li:'la3 the most direct response is
8 ... i.xa3, when after 9 "it'xa3 li:'lxd4 10 li:'lxd4
'iVxd4 1 1 lld1 White has sacrificed two

4 . . . dx c 4 5 i. g 2 l"jj c 6

pawns but the lead in development and pres


sure against Black's queenside make life
rather awkward for the defender. An unclear
position arises after 8 ... a6 9 ltJxc4 b5 1 0
tLlxd6+ cxd6 1 1 'iVa3 .i.b7, which leaves
8 ... ltJe4 9 ltJxc4 ltJxd2, Black making use of
the 'extra' .i.d2 to remove a potentially influ
ential bishop. After 10 ltJfxd2 .i.d7 Beliavsky
gives 1 1 e3!? 0-0 1 2 'itb3 as an interesting
choice, while in Beliavsky-Anand, Dortmund
1 998 the continuation 1 1 ltJxd6+ cxd6 1 2
ttJe4 0-0 saw Black sacrifice a pawn for a
more fluid deployment of his forces: 1 3
tLlxd6 'it'c7 1 4 ltJe4 l:tfd8 1 5 'it'c4 'it'b6! 1 6 e3
!lac8 17 'iVb3 'ii'a5+ 1 8 ltJc3 e5! 19 d5 ttJd4!
20 exd4 exd4 21 0-0 dxc3 22 bxc3 .l:!.xc3 23
'i'xb7 'it'c5! with a balanced game.
Another option is 8 .i.c3 0-0 9 'it'xc4 with
a space advantage for White. This was trans
lated to a general lead in Wojtkiewicz-Goldin,
Oak Bridge 2000, which went 9 ... 'ii'e 7 1 0
ttJe5 .i.xe5 1 1 dxe5 ttJd5 1 2 0-0 .l:!.d8 1 3 l:t d 1
i.d7 1 4 ltJd2 ttJxc3 1 5 'fixc3 .i.e8 1 6 ltJb3
.l:!.xd 1+ 17 l:!xd 1 J:td8 1 8 nc 1 .
O f course White can capture on c4 imme
diately. For example D.Gurevich-Beliavsky,
Las Vegas 1 999 went 8 'it'xc4 e5 9 dxe5 (9
d5!? is interesting) 9 ...ltJxe5 10 ltJxe5 .i.xe5
1 1 'it'b5+ (the point of the exchange on e5,
but Black is still okay) l 1 ...ltJd7 12 .i.c3 O-O!
(a temporary piece sacrifice) 1 3 0-0 (1 3 i.xe5
c6!) 1 3 . .. c6 14 'it'c4 l:te8 1 5 a4 ltJb6 16 'it'c5
i.g4! and Black was doing fine.
Finally there is 8 0-0 0-0 9 'fixc4, when
9 ... e5 presents White with a decision regard
ing the d-pawn. 1 0 dxe5 ttJxe5 1 1 ttJxe5
i.xe5 1 2 .i.c3 doesn't seem to pose Black
any problems, e.g. 1 2 ... 'it'e7 1 3 .i.xe5 'it'xe5
14 ttJc3 c6 1 5 .l:!.fd 1 .i.e6 1 6 'iVb4 .l:!.ab8 1 7
.l:!.d2 a s 1 8 'iVb6 ltJd7 1 9 'it'd4 'it'xd4 20
l:txd4 J::t fd8 21 l:tadl f8 with a draw in
Karpov-Kramnik, Wijk aan Zee 1 998. In
stead in Raetsky-Shariyazdanov, Biel 1 999
White pushed with 10 d5, which earns a terri
torial advantage after 1 O ...ltJe 7 1 1 ttJc3 a6 1 2
i.g5 ttJe8 1 3 e4.

8 . i.xe5 9 i.xc6 +
9 dxe5 ltJd5 1 0 f4 ltJb6 1 1 .i.xc6+ bxc6 1 2
'it'xc6+ 'it'd7 i s unclear because, while Black's
pawns look fragile they are not easy to attack
and, in the meantime, he has the b-fue.
9 . . bxc6 1 0 dxe5 'ii'd 5
Also possible is 1 O ...ltJd7 1 1 .i.c3 ltJb6 1 2
'fixc6+ 'ii'd 7 1 3 'ii'xd7+ xd7 1 4 ltJa3 .i.a6
1 5 0-0-0+ c6 1 6 lld4 (Ilincic) . Compared
with the previous note featuring 9 dxe5,
White has clearly improved and his forces are
much better placed.
1 1 f3 l"jjd 7
1 1 ...'it'xe5? 12 'iWxc6+ d8 13 'it'xa8
'ii'xb2 1 4 0-0 'iix al 1 5 'it'xa7 nets a pawn for
Black but he will soon feel the power of his
opponent's pieces.
1 2 l"jjc 3 'ii'c 5
12 ...'it'xe5 13 'it'xc6 l%.b8 1 4 .i.f4 'it'd4 was
tested in Ilincic-Marjanovic, Yugoslavia 1 998.
After 15 'ii'x c7 0-0 16 l:i.dl 'it'b6 17 'it'xb6
1:txb6 1 8 .i.d6! :e8 1 9 .i.a3 f5 20 l:td2 ltJf6
21 f2 e5 22 l::t h dl White's control of the d
fue and more sound structure secured the
better prospects. Perhaps Black should look
to 14 ... 'iVf5!? 1 5 .i.xc7 .l:txb2 1 6 .i.d6 .i.b7 1 7
'iVxc4 'iVa5! with good counterplay. I n return
for leaving his king in the centre Black can
generate pressure of his own.
1 3 f4
. .

1 3 . . . 0-0
The situation after 1 3 ... ltJb6!? 14 'it'c2
.i.b7 1 5 0-0-0 0-0-0 16 ltJe4 'it'e7 17 .i.e3
14 1

Th e C a t a l a n

.l:Id5 is given a s unclear b y Bauer.


1 4 0-0-0 .l:!.bS 1 5 ttJe4 'iWb5 1 6 'ii'c 2 c3?!
After 16 ... .l1.b 7 17 ttJg5 g6 18 .l1.c3 Black
keeps the c4-pawn but the question is how
much is it worth, as without the pawn Black
has more room for manoeuvre - hence the
text.
1 7 i.xc3 ttJb6 1 S ttJg5 g6 1 9 h4 ttJd5 20
h5! !
The direct approach. Time is more impor
tant than material.
20 . . . ttJe3 21 't\Ve4 ttJxd 1 22 .l:!.xd 1 Wg7
Other moves are clearly worse, e.g. 22 ... h6
23 hxg6! hxg5 24 .l:Ih 1 ! with the cruel threat
of .l:Ih8+!, or 22 ... c5 23 "iYh1 !, heading for h7.
23 g4
Here 'W'hite misses a great opportunity to
continue in gambit style with 23 f5!! gxfS
(23 ... exfS 24 e6+ f6 25 'iVh4 wins - h 7 is the
problem) 24 h6+ 'it>g8 25 'iVh4 and 'W'hite is
winning (it is safe to say that Black is weak
on the dark squares!).
23 . . . i.a6
23 ... h6 24 ttJxf7! 'it>xf7 25 'it'xg6+ 'it>e7 26
'iVxh6 and 'W'hite's attack looks dangerous.
24 .l:!.d7 'iWc4 25 h6+ WgS 26 f5!

26 . . . .l:!.bdS
Even the exchange of queens doesn't help
Black: 26 ... 'ii'x e4 27 ttJxe4 gxf5 28 gxfS c8
29 .l:Ixc7 .t!.b7 30 .l:Ixc6 with a huge advantage
to 'W'hite.
27 fxe6 .l:!.xd7
'W'hite's win is practically forced.
142

2S exd7 .l:!.dS 29 e6! 'ii'xe4 30 exf7 + Wf8


3 1 i.g7 +

3 1 . . . We7 32 fS'iV + .l:!.xfS 33 i.xfS + Wxf8


34 dS'iY + 1 -0
Mate is unavoidable.

Game 72
G rabliauskas-Benjamin

New York 2000


1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
i.g2 ttJc6 6 'iYa4 i.b4+ 7 i.d2 ttJd5 8
'iYb5 0-0
8 ... xd2+ 9 ttJbxd2 c3 10 bxc3 ttJxc3 1 1
'iVd3 ttJd5 nets Black a pawn but 'W'hite has
compensation, e.g. 1 2 0-0 0-0 1 3 e4 ttJf6!? 14
.l:Ifd1 'iVe7 15 .l:Iac1 nd8 16 ttJf1 d7 17
ttJe3 .i.e8 1 8 a3 h6 19 d5 .l:Iac8 20 'iVb 1 ttJa5
21 .l:Ic3 Iljushin-Aleksandrov, Smolensk,
2000. In Van Heste-Barsov, Netherlands
1 998 Black tried 1 3 ... ttJb6 with some patient
manoeuvring after 14 ttJb3 'ii'e 7 1 5 .l:Iac1
d7 1 6 ttJc5 ttJd8 1 7 .l:Ife 1 e8 1 8 h4 h6 1 9
'iVb3 ttJc8 2 0 ttJe5 c 6 21 ttJc4 b 6 2 2 ttJd3
ttJb7 23 e5, although 'W'hite emerged with a
pull.
Well worth considering is the retention of
dark-squared bishops with 8 ... .l1.e7!?, when
Paunovic-Zvjagintsev, Yugoslavia 1 995 went
9 'ii'xc4 ttJb6 1 0 'iVd3 0-0 1 1 0-0 e5 1 2 .l1.c3
exd4 1 3 ttJxd4 ttJxd4 14 xd4 fS 1 5 'iVxfS
'iixd4 1 6 ttJc3 c6, Black succeeding in neu
tralising 'W'hite's aggression. Instead of 12

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 l2l c 6

i.c3 White can try 1 2 ttJxe5, e.g. 1 2 ... ttJxe5


(1 2 ... ttJxd4 13 .i.c3 is an edge thanks to
White's modest development lead) 1 3 dxe5
'i'xd3 14 exd3 J:td8, when the attack down
the d-ftle provides Black with compensation.
9 'WiVxc4
Also possible is 9 .i.c3, when the forcing
9 ... .i.xc3+!? 1 0 ttJxc3 ttJxc3 1 1 bxc3 d5 is
okay for Black. An alternative to the bishop
trade is 9 ... e5!?, e.g. 10 dxe5 i.e6 1 1 0-0 a6
12 'ilt'a4 jus 1 3 ttJh4 .i.xb1 (13. .. b5!? might
be better, when 1 4 'it'd 1 ..lte6 1 5 a4 l:tb8 is
unclear) 1 4 l:taxb1 .i.xc3 1 5 'ii'x c4 ..ltxe5 1 6
i.xd5 with the easier game for White in Ro
manishin-Brodsky, Nikolaev 1 995. Note that
10 O-O?! is not in White's interest in view of
1O ... a6 1 1 'it'xc4 e4 1 2 .i.xb4 (directed against
...ttJa5) 12 ... exf3 13 .i.xfS fxg2 14 xg2 ..lte6!
and the resulting rook versus rwo minor
pieces middlegame clearly favours Black.
9 . . . l2lb6 1 0 'WiVd3 e5
1O ... .i.xd2+ 1 1 ttJbxd2 e5 12 ttJxe5 ttJb4
13 'it'b 1 'it'xd4 14 ttJdf3 'iVd8 1 5 a3 ttJ4d5 1 6
0-0 'it'e7 1 7 c2 a s was fine for Black in De
Boer-S.Polgar, Netherlands 1 996.
1 1 iLxb4
1 1 ttJxe5 i.xd2+ 12 ttJxd2 ttJb4 13 c3
'iVxd4 1 4 0-0 'l'xc3 1 5 bxc3 ttJ4d5 is pleasant
for Black.
1 1 . . . l2lxb4 1 2 'ifd2 a5 1 3 a3 e4! ?
1 3. .. ttJc6 1 4 dxe5 'ilt'e7 1 5 'YWf4 a 4 1 6 0-0
l:ta5 17 ttJc3 ttJxe5 with a draw in Konopka
Grabliauskas, Litomysl 1 996. The text is
more ambitious.
14 axb4 l2lc4!
14 ... exf3? 1 5 ..ltxf3 ttJc4 16 d3 ttJxb2 1 7
c3 and the knight i s lost.
1 5 'ifc 1 ? !
1 5 'iVf4 has more bite. Benjamin gives
1 5 ... exf3 1 6 ..ltxf3 'iVe7 1 7 ttJc3 (1 7 bxa5
'ifb4+ 1 8 ttJc3 'ixb2 19 'it'c1 'iYxc1+ 20
l:txc1 c6 leads to equality) 1 7...'iVxb4 1 8 0-0
'iVxb2 19 ttJd5 ttJd2 20 lIfd1 ttJxf3+ 21 'it'xf3
c6 22 ttJe7+ 'ith8 23 .l:.ab1 'iVc2 24 e3. White
wins back the b 7 -pawn with an equal game.
1 5 . . . exf3 1 6 iLxf3 'WiVxd4 1 7 l2ld2 l2le5

1 8 bxa5 iLh3!

Black's is a sensible pawn sacrifice.


White's king is kept in the centre for the time
being.
1 9 'WiVc3
In the event of the greedy 19 ..ltxb 7 Black
generates a formidable attack after 19 .. J::ta e8
20 .i.e4 ttJg4.
1 9 . . . l2lxf3 + 20 l2lxf3 'ife4 21 'ifd4 'ifc6
22 'ifc3 'ifa6
No exchange of queens. By now White
really misses his Catalan bishop!
23 l2ld4 l:!.fe8 24 f3?

White tries to repair the light squares, but


he cannot afford the time. 24 b4 ':ad8 25 e3
f6 is necessary.
24 . . . c5! 25 'ifxc5 iLg2 26 'it'f2
The point behind Black's play is seen in
the line 26 l:tg1 i.xf3 27 'itf2 ':xe2+ 28
'it'xf3 d3+ 29 'it>g4 ':xh2, when White's
1 43

Th e Ca t a l a n

king is in dire straits.


2S . . . i.xh 1 27 xh 1 ec8 28 'ii'g 5 hS 29
'ii'g 4 'ii'x a5
The knight and pawn are no match for the
rook in this wide open position.
30 tDf5 'ilfbS + 31 Wg2 'ii'f S 32 Wh3?
32 ttJd4!? puts up more resistance.
32 . . . c2 33 d 1 xe2 34 dS eS 35
d7 b5?!
A quicker win results from 35 ... h5 36
'iVxh5 g6 37 ttJh6+ g7.
3S f4 b4 37 b7 'ilfxb2 38 xb4 'ii'fS
With or without rooks and queens Black
will win the game.
39 b7 d8 40 b5 d2 41 b8 + Wh7
42 tDh4 ee2 43 tDf3 b2 44 f8 f2
45 f5 'ii'e 7 4S a8 'ii'e 2 0-1

Game 73

Dorfman, Cannes 1 990. The rook looks


rather silly on a2.
1 1 . . . tDxa 1
An interesting line is 1 1 ...d7!? 1 2 'it>xc2
ttJxd4+ 1 3 ttJxd4 xb5 1 4 ttJxb5 J:!.b8, e.g.
1 5 c6+ (1 5 ttJ l c3 0-0 1 6 l:tadl 'iVe7!? 17
ttJxa7 'iVc5 18 ttJc6 l:tb6 1 9 ttJa4 'iVf5+ 20 e4
'iNb5 with a highly complex struggle ahead)
1 5 ... f8 1 6 ttJ l c3 'iNe7 1 7 .l:.hdl 'iNc5 (Chet
verik-Grabliauskas, Martin 1 996) 1 8 .ltf3
Ihb5 (the less forcing 1 8 ... a6 1 9 ttJd4 'ib6
20 b4 cxb3+ 21 b2 also merits attention) 19
.l:.d8+ 'i;e7 20 .l:.xh8 .l:tb3. If judged only in
material terms, then White has more than
enough for the queen. But Black has an ac
tive position and White's king could be more
secure.
1 2 'it'xcS + i.d7 1 3 'ilfxc4

Ivanch u k - Korchnoi

TilbufJ!, 1989
1 d4 d5 2 c4 eS 3 tDf3 tDfS 4 g3 dxc4 5
i.g2 tDcs S 'ii'a 4 i.b4+ 7 i.d2 tDd5 8
i.xb4 tDxb4 9 a3

9 . . . b5!
Simagin.
1 0 'ilfxb5 tDc2+ 1 1 Wd2
This is better than 1 1 f1 d7 12 .l:.a2
ttJ2xd4 1 3 ttJxd4 ttJxd4 14 'it'c5 ttJb3 1 5
'iVxc4 l:tb8 1 6 f3 0-0 1 7 g2 e 5 1 8 ttJc3 c6
19 .l:.dl 'iNe7 20 g4 xg4 21 'iNxg4 nfd8
with an advantage to Black in Bogdanovsky1 44

1 3 . . . c5!?
The main alternative is 1 3 ... .l:.b8, e.g. 1 4 b4
c5! 1 5 ttJc3?! cxd4 1 6 ttJe4 .ltb5 1 7 'iVa2 d3
with considerable counterplay for Black in
Zilberstein-Raetsky, Voronezh 1 988. After
1 8 l:txa 1 .l:.c8! 1 9 ttJc5 I1xc5! 20 bxc5 'iNa5+
21 e3 'iVc3 22 exd3 'iVxd3+ 23 f4 g5+ 24
ttJxg5 'iVf5+ Black's attack is indeed very
dangerous.
White should go for the knight immedi
ately, Kozlov-Chernikov, Vladivostok 1 978
being a good example of model play after 1 5
'iNc3! cxb4 1 6 axb4 as 1 7 'iVxal axb4 1 8 ttJe5
0-0 1 9 .l:.dl ! b3 20 e1 b2 21 'it'a7 .ltb5 22
ttJc3 'iVd6 23 'iVa5 nfd8 24 e4 (24 ttJxb5?

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 ltJ c 6

'i"xe5! is a nice little trick that illustrates the


power of the b2-pawn) 24... e8. White has
two minor pieces for the rook, a fIne centre
and his king is about to feel safer on the
kingside, but the b2-pawn is dangerous.
1 4 it'a2 'ili'a5 + ! 1 5 b4
1 5 lbc3 is also interesting and has been
tried at the highest level recently: 1 5 ... cxd4 1 6
lbxd4 .l:td8 1 7 l:txa 1 e 5 (17...'iib 6!? 1 8 e 3 e5
1 9 lbd5 "iVh6! offers Black counterplay, or 1 9
ltJde2 e6+ 20 .ltd5 'iVc5 and White cannot
hold on to f2) 1 8 b4 iVb6 19 lbc2 .lte6+
(19 .. :ihf2 20 .ltd5 0-0 21 'ii'c4 .lte6 22 lbe3
'iVxh2 23 "iVh4 'iVxh4 24 gxh4 f5 25 'it>c2 'it>f7
26 l:tdl f4 27 lbc4 gave White the smallest of
edges in Kasparov-Adams, Wijk aan Zee
2001 , the game eventually ending in a draw)
20 i.d5 "iVxf2 21 J::td l !? (White wants to
transfer the king to the gueenside) and now
in Kir.Georgiev-Timoschenko, Panormo
200t there followed 21 ...0-0?! 22 'it>c1 i.xd5
23 lbxd5 'it>h8 24 'ii'c4 'iVxh2 25 g4 "iVg2 26
ttJde3, when White was well co-ordinated
and had the better prospects. Timoschenko
proposes 21 ...'iVxh2! 22 'it>c 1 xd5 23 ttJxd5
l:tc8 24 'iVb3 'iVxe2 25 'iVa4+ 'it>f8 26 ttJc7 g6
27 'iVd7 rj;;g7 as an improvement (with two
pawns and an insecure king to aim at, Black
should be satisfIed with his lot) .
1 5 . . . cxb4 1 6 it'xa 1 .l:!.c8 1 7 ltJe5
Not to be recommended is 17 e4 0-0 1 8
'it>e3 bxa3, when the a-pawn looks menacing
and White's king might prove awkwardly
placed.
1 7 . . . iLb5 1 8 'it>e3?
White should address the threatened infil
tration. 1 8 i.e4?! 0-0 19 'it>e3 f6 20 ttJd3 f5
21 i.f3 xd3 22 'it>xd3 'iVa4 saw White ex
perience problems in Raetsky-Pushkov, Po
dolsk 1 992, when 23 'iib2 bxa3 24 'iVxa3
'iVc4+ 25 'it>e3 e5! 26 'ii'd 6 iVb3+ led to a win
for Black. The best course is 1 8 a4!? 0-0 1 9
i.e4 f6 20 lbf3! (Byrne & Mednis) and the
struggle continues.
1 8 . . . .l:!.c2 1 9 iLf3 0-0 20 a4 f6 21 ltJd3
21 lbd2 fxe5 22 axb5 J::tc3+ 23 'it>e4 'iVxb5

and with this king position White can't ex


pect to survive much longer.
2 1 . . . iLc4 22 ltJd2

22 . . . it'g5 +
2 2... .ltxd3! 2 3 exd3 'ii'g5+ wins o n the
spot.
23 ltJf4 e5 24 ltJxc4 exf4+ 25 gxf4 'it'f5
26 ltJd6
26 i.e4 .u.c3+ 27 i.d3 (27 'iVxc3 "iVh3+)
27 ... J::te8+ 28 'it>d2 "iVxf4+ 29 'it>dl "iVxd4 and
Black has a decisive advantage.
26 . . . it'e6 + 0-1

Game 74
Vakhidov-Ziatdinov

Tashkent 1987
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ltJf3 ltJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
iLg2 ltJc6 6 'ili'a4 iLb4+ 7 iLd2 ltJd5 8
iLxb4 ltJxb4 9 ltJe5

145

Th e Ca t a l a n

9 . . . .ltd7
9 ... 0-0 invites White to contemplate the
captures on c6. White can cause considerable
structural damage with 10 xc6?! ttJxc6 1 1
ttJxc6 bxc6 1 2 'iVxc4 but this leaves him
open to trouble on the b-ftle, e.g. 1 2 .. J:tb8 1 3
0-0 (1 3 b 3 ..ta6!) 1 3. . .l:txb2 1 4 ttJc3 'iVd6 1 5
l:tabl l:tb6 1 6 l:.fc 1 l:td8 1 7 e 3 e 5 1 8 dxe5
'iWxe5 and the light-squared bishop gave
Black a plus in Stajcic-Luther, Kecskemet
1 993. Note that 10 ttJxc6 ttJxc6 1 1 xc6 is
quite different in that it allows the interesting
1 1 ...'it'xd4!?, which leaves 1 1 e3, when Mo
chalov-Korneev, Minsk 1 995 went 1 1 ...e5 1 2
d 5 ttJe7 1 3 'ii'x c4 ttJ f5 1 4 0-0 ttJd6 1 5 'ii'c 3
l:te8 16 ttJd2 f5 17 l:tac1 l:tc8 1 8 l:tfd 1
'it'd7 with a very solid set-up for Black.
1 0 12Ja3?!
Not the most accurate of the available op
tions. 10 ttJxd7 'it'xd7 1 1 a3?! b5 12 'it'xb5
ttJc2+ 1 3 ..t>f1 ttJ6xd4 1 4 'it'xc4 l:td8! 1 5 l:ta2
0-0 1 6 ..te4 (1 6 b4 ttJf5 and mate on d 1 is
threatened) 1 6 ... f5 1 7 d3 f4! leaves Black
with the initiative. Instead Gulko assesses 1 1
ttJc3 'iVxd4 1 2 a3 ttJd5 1 3 l:tdl 'iVe5 as un
clear.
10 0-0 appears best, when the following
line is given as slightly better for White by
V.Mikhaievsky: 1 O ... ttJd5 1 1 'ifxc4 ttJxe5 1 2
dxe5 c6 1 3 ttJc3 0-0 1 4 l:tfdl ttJb6 1 5 'it'c5
ttJd7 1 6 'it'd4 ..txg2 1 7 'it>xg2 ttJb6 1 8 'ife4 again White enjoys a space advantage. 1 0 ... a5
1 1 ttJxd7 'iYxd7 12 ttJc3 J:td8 1 3 l:tfdl 0-0 1 4
a 3 was the course o f Y.Mikhalevsky
Beshukov, Saint Vincent 2000, 14 ...ttJd5 1 5
'iix c4 ttJb6 1 6 iYc5 ttJxd4 1 7 l:!.ab l providing
White with compensation thanks to Black's
loose pawns. Kobylkin-Nadyrhanov, Kras
nodar 2002 continued 10 ... 0-0 1 1 ttJxc6
ttJxc6 12 'it'xc4 e5 1 3 dxe5 ttJxe5 14 d5
(more promising than 14 f4 'ilVe7 1 5 ttJc3
c6 16 .l:.fd 1 f6 17 l:td4 l:tfd8 1 8 l:tad 1 ..te6
with equal chances in O'Cinneide-Adams,
Kilkenny 1 999) 14 ... 'iVf6 1 5 xb7 ..tc6 1 6
..txc6 ttJxc6 1 7 ttJc3 l:tab8 1 8 'iVxc7 l:tfc8 1 9
'ilVd7 l:td8 20 'ilVg4 l:tb4 2 1 'ilVh5 l:txb2 and
146

Black achieved some chances but was still a


pawn down, Nadyrhanov evaluating the po
sition after 22 l:tfc1 ttJd4 23 nab 1 l:td2 24
l:tb7 g6 25 'iVg4 as slightly favourable for
White.
1 0 . . . l2Jd3 + !

1 1 12Jxd3 cxd3 1 2 e 3 d 2 + 1 3 xd2 e5


1 4 d5
With the king on d2 White has to keep the
position closed.
1 4 . . . 12Je 7 1 5 'ii'e4 0-0
Black can opt for an equal endgame with
1 5 ... c6 1 6 'iVxe5 ..txd5 1 7 ..txd5 xd5+ 1 8
'ii'x d5 ttJxd5.
1 6 e2
16 'ii'x e5 runs into 16 ... ttJxd5!, e.g. 17
..txd5 (1 7 'ilVxd5 cfj gives Black a superior
ending in view of his stronger minor piece)
1 7 ... e6 1 8 e4 c6 and Black opens the centre
and begins an attack against the troubled
king.
1 6 . . . c6 1 7 'ii'x e5
17 d6 ttJf5 18 tthdl 'iVf6 and Black has
the initiative. The d6-pawn is a bit loose.
1 7 . . . l2Jxd5 1 8 .ltxd5 cxd5 1 9 .l:!.hd 1 .ltc6
20 .l:!.d4?!
20 ttJc2 l:te8 21 f5 'iYb6 and White has
no time to consolidate with ttJd4. Black's
initiative is too strong.
20 . . . .l:!.e8 21 'iiVf 5?
A lesser evil is 21 'ilVf4 'i!Vb6 22 l:tb4 'it'a6+,
although Black retains the upper hand.
21 . . :iWb6 22 12Jc2

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

22 .l:td2 d4! blows away the defences.


22 . . . g6 23 'ilVg5 'ilVxb2
Black is winning.
24 ..t>d2 .l:!.e4 25 .l:!.c1 .l:!.c8 26 .l:!.xe4 dxe4
27 'ilVa5 i.. b 5 0-1

Game 75
Filippov-Rausis

Dubai 1999
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tLlf3 tLlf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
i.. g 2 tLlc6 6 "iVa4 i.. b4+ 7 i.. d 2 tLld5 8
i.. x b4 tLlxb4 9 0-0

l:!.ac1 ttJb3 1 8 .l:tcd 1 ttJb4 1 9 e3 cS with equal


chances.
1 0 . . . a6
10 ... 0-0 1 1 a3 ttJdS 12 "it'xc4 ttJaS 13 'ir'd3
favours White, but l O ... .i.d7 leads to compli
cated play, e.g. 1 1 a3 bS 1 2 ttJxbS ttJdS
(1 2 ... a6 1 3 ttJc3 ttJxd4 14 'ilkaS! ttJb3 I S 'fieS
f6 1 6 e4 ttJxal 17 axb4 ttJb3 1 8 xc4 'i'e7
19 'ixb3 and the knights are stronger than
the rook) 1 3 ttJc3 (1 3 e4 ttJce7 14 exdS
.i.xbS I S 'ilVxa7 c3 and Black has good coun
terplay) 1 3. .. .l:txb2 14 'iVxc4 ttJaS I S 'i'd3
.l:tb3 1 6 .l:tfc1 cS 1 7 d2! c4 1 8 ttJeS ttJxc3
19 .l:txc3 and White's centre was the differ
ence in Romanishin-Aleksandrov, Pula 1 990.
1 1 tLle5
1 1 a3 bS 12 "it'dl ttJdS is nice for Black.
1 1 .l:tfc 1 , on the other hand, is more to the
point: 1 1 ...0-0 1 2 'iVdl bS 1 3 b3 ttJaS 14 ttJe4
ttJdS I S ttJcS ttJb6 1 6 ttJeS f6 1 7 b4 fxeS 1 8
bxaS exd4 1 9 axb6 (Nedobora-Sjodahl, La
Coruna 1 993) 1 9 ... cxb6!? with an unclear
position.
1 1 . 0-0
1 1 ...'xd4 is thematic, e.g. 12 ttJxc6 ttJxc6
13 .i.xc6+ bxc6 14 'i'xc6+ 'iVd7 IS 'i'xc4 0-0
16 b3 'iVe7 17 ttJa4, Lavrov-Raetsky, Lipetsk
1 993. In this knight versus bishop middle
brame Black's weaknesses on the queenside
are more important than the compromised
light squares around the white king. Never
theless, White's advantage is only small.
1 2 i.. x c6
12 ttJxc6 bxc6 13 a3 ttJdS 14 xc4 .l:txb2
I S e3 is also possible. White has a good pawn
structure and compensation for the pawn.
1 2 . . . tLlxc6 1 3 tLlxc6 bxc6 1 4 "iVxc4
14 xc6 xd4 I S .l:tfdl 'iVeS 1 6 .l:td2 .l:tb4
17 .l:tadl .i.b7 1 8 d7 'i'cs was balanced in
Rashkovsky-S.Ivanov, Elista 1 995.
1 4 . . . "iVd6! ?
The immediate capture on b 2 needs inves
tigating: 14 ... .l:txb2 IS .l:tab 1 .l:tb6 (1 5 ... .l:td2!?
16 e3 eS 17 dxeS .i.fS is interesting) 16 'iVcs
h6 1 7 .l:tfdl l:!.xbl (1 7 ... .i.d7 1 8 a4 8 19 as
.l:tb2 20 a3 .l:txbl 21 .l:txb l 'flVa7 22 cS
.

9 .l:!.b8 1 0 tLlc3
10 ttJeS?! is a dubious idea, for after
lO ... 'iVxd4 1 1 ttJxc6 ttJxc6 1 2 .i.xc6+ bxc6 1 3
xc6+ iLd7 1 4 xc7 0-0 - a s in the previ
ous game - the light-squared bishop gives
Black the better chances.
After l O ttJa3 .i.d7 1 1 "itbs White collects
the pawn with the usual Catalan space advan
tage, while Wojtkiewicz-Krasenkow, Manila
1 998 went 1 1 ttJeS 0-0 12 ttJxc6 ttJxc6 1 3
xc4!, the subsequent 1 3 .. .'iVxd4 1 4 .i.xc6
xc4 IS ttJxc4 bxc6 16 b3 .l:td8 17 .l:tfdl
iLd7 1 8 .l:td2 leading to a pleasant ending for
White in view of Black's poor pawns. How
ever, in Wojtkiewicz-Yuneev, Yerevan 1 996
Black fared better, the simple and sensible
10 ... 0-0 1 1 'iVb5 b6, with the idea of ... .i.a6,
being a common theme in the Catalan. There
followed 1 2 'flVxc4 .i.a6 1 3 ttJbS 'ir'dS 1 4
'i'xdS ttJxdS I S a4 ttJaS 1 6 ttJeS .l:tbd8 1 7
. . .

147

Th e Ca t a la n

'ii'x cs 2 3 dxcS .i.cs favoured White in


Cs.Horvath-Luther, Budapest 1 991) I S :xb 1
'iVd6 1 9 ltJe4 'tlidS 20 'tlixdS cxdS 21 ltJcs
l:!.eS 22 l:.bS was seen in Khalifman
S.Ivanov, St. Petersburg 1 996. Despite the
pawn deficit White's chances are preferable
because Black's bishop is quite poor at the
moment and White has a firm grip on the
dark squares.
1 5 e3
White can't protect both b2 and d4, so he
has to choose. 1 5 b3 I:tb4 16 ltJe4 l:!.xc4 1 7
ltJxd6 llxd4 I S ltJxcs lhcs 1 9 l:[fc 1 a s 20
l:!.xc6 a4 21 .l:tac1 g6 was agreed drawn in
Mittelman-Zifroni, Tel Aviv 200 1 , but 1 5
ltJe4!? is interesting, e.g. I S ...'ii'd S 1 6 'ii'c2
'ii'xd4 17 b3 bS I S l:!.fdl 'ii'e S 1 9 ltJc3 ncS
20 l:!.d3 with an edge for White in Kamenets
Mohrlock, Correspondence 200 1 .
1 5 . . J:txb2 1 S J:!.ab 1

1 S . . . J:!.bS

148

Also possible is 1 6 .. J::txb 1 1 7 l:!.xb 1 eS I S


dxeS 'ii'x eS 1 9 'iVxc6 .i.h3 20 ltJe2 gS 21
'iih 6 'iVe4 22 'iVxgS+ with a draw in Rausis
Nisipeanu, Cappelle la Grande 2002. Here
White can be more ambitious with 20 ltJdS
l:!.dS 21 ltJf4 .i.f5 22 l:tc1 , but Black gets
excellent counterplay due to the weakness of
the light squares - 22 ... .i.e4 23 'tlixa6 gS
(Nisipeanu & Stoica) .
1 7 f4
White prevents the thematic ... e6-eS break.
1 7 ltJa4 llbS doesn't force Black to surrender
the b-ftle, while after 1 7 I:tfc1 eS I S dxeS
'iVxeS 1 9 1hb6 cxb6 20 'iVxc6 'iVaS Black has
a good position.
1 7 . . . a5 1 8 a4 aS 1 9 J:!.fd 1 c 5 ! ?
1 9 ...n fb S 2 0 'it'xaS .i.c4 can also be
considered. The position remains unclear.
20 ttJe4

20 . . . d5 21 J:!.xbS xe4 22 J:!.xaS


Black forces a draw by repetition.

Y2 - Y2

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 tD c 6

Summary
After 6 0-0 l:[b8 White's strongest seems to be 7 lbc3. Then after 7 ... i.b4 White can claim a
slight advantage after both 8 i.gs and 8 'ii'c 2. In reply to 7 ... bS, reacting with 8 e4 is not in
White's interest, but Black should probably avoid the unclear 8 ... b4 and develop naturally with
8 ... i.e7. It is interesting that the game can transpose to the 'normal' variation S ... i.e7 6 0-0 0-0
7 lbc3 lbc6 8 e4 .l:tb8 followed by 9 ... bS, as seen in the notes to Game 27 in Chapter 4. Instead
the best way to meet the early push of the b-pawn is undoubtedly 8 lbeS. Sufficient research
has been carried out on the line 8 ...lbxeS 9 dxeS lbd7 10 i.xc6 a6 1 1 'ir'xd4 i.b7 12 i.xb7
l:txb7 1 3 l:[dl . Here it is not so easy for White to demonstrate compensation for the pawn, so
it is necessary to pay attention to 10 iVd4!? (Game 66) .
Now w e turn t o 6 'ii'a4. The strategy beginning with 6 ... i.d7 appears not t o offer Black
equality. In the main variation 7 'ii'x c4 lbaS 8 'ii'd 3 cS 9 0-0 i.c6 1 0 lbc3 Black can choose
between the plan with ... cS-c4 (immediately or - as is seen more often - after 10 .. .11c8 I I l:tdl )
o r the less ambitious exchange o n d4. In the former case White i s given the pawn majority in
the centre and often develops an initiative through the positional breakthrough d4-dS (see, for
example, Ftacnik-Lechtinsky in Game 67, note to Black's 1 0th move). After 1 0 ... cxd4 the game
tends to be simplified and it is not so easy for Black to neutralise the slight but often enduring
superiority enjoyed by White.
After 6 ... lbd7 7 'it'xc4 lbb6 8 'ii'd 3 eS 9 i.e3 White cannot realistically claim a genuine ad
vantage, but Black must be careful to avoid quickly running into trouble (see Raetsky-S.Ivanov,
Game 68 - including Filippov- Short) . In the case of 9 lbxeS lbb4 the queen moves to dl and
b3 fail to furnish White with anything positive, and nor does 1 0 'it'c3 if Black plays 1O ...'ir'xd4
1 1 0-0 'ii'x c3 1 2 lbxc3.
As a whole the variation starting with 6 ... lbd7 contains numerous areas for new discoveries.
For example 9 ...lbd4 has never been tested despite the fact that we do not see how White
should achieve any appreciable advantage.
Another deviation from the main line (which, of course, is 6 ...i.b4+), namely 6 ... i.d6, is
quite playable. After 7 0-0 0-0 8 lldl Black can exploit the absence of White's bishop from d2
(as opposed to the modern line 6 ... i.b4+ 7 i.d2 i.d6 8 0-0 0-0) by playing 8 ...lbb4, illustrating
the downside to the posting of White's queen on a4 (polgar-Benjamin, Game 70). If White is
not suited to these complex positions it is better to allow ... e6-eS with 8 'ii'xc4, or to play an
other line starting with 7 lbbd2.
The theory of the line with 6 ... i.b4+ 7 i.d2 i.d6 has only just begun to develop. It is
particularly difficult to evaluate how the chances are divided after 8 lbeS. A fter 8 'ir'xc4 0-0 9
0-0 eS 1 0 dxeS almost all games have ended in a draw, and White, if he is looking to achieve
something in the opening, should go for 1 0 dS lbe7 I l lbc3.
After 6 'ii'a4 i.b4+ 7 2 lbdS the manoeuvre 8 'ii'b s loses time and is not dangerous for
Black, who should simply continue with 8 ... 0-0. For example in Grabliauskas-Benjamin (Game
72) an important feature is the potentially precarious situation of White's king, which is stuck
in the centre.
In the very sharp line 8 i.xb4 lbxb4 9 a3 bS 1 0 'ii'x bS lbc2 1 1 'itd2 several recommenda
tions can be made for Black. First there is 1 1 ...i.d7!? 1 2 'itxc2 lbxd4+ 1 3 lbxd4 i.xbS 1 4
lbxbS .l:tb8 (Chetverik-Grabliauskas in Game 73, note t o Black's 1 1 t h move), which i s not
often quoted, although Black's queen does not seem to be inferior to White's three pieces.
Secondly, Black no longer plays l 1 ...lbxal 12 'ii'x c6+ i.d7 13 'it'xc4 1Ib8 14 b4 cS!, but all the
possibilities have not been refuted here. Finally, the modern line 1 3 ... cS 14 'ii'a2 'ii'a S 1 s lbc3
1 49

Th e Ca t a l a n

cxd4 1 6 ttJxd4 l:td8 also gives Black sufficient counterplay (according t o analysis b y Timo
schenko) due to White's vulnerable king.
In the solid variation with 9 0-0 we have seen considerable changes in recent fashion. The
position after 9 ... l:tb8 1 0 ttJc3 a6 1 1 ttJe5 0-0 1 2 i.. x c6 ttJxc6 1 3 ttJxc6 i.. x c6 1 4. 'ii'xc4 'ii'd 6!?
has become critical:
Black prevents the enemy queen from taking up a dominating position on c5. If White does
give up the b2-pawn Black's rook will have other qualities than those of a savage killer on the
b-file (1 5 b3 i:tb4 and 1 5 ttJe4 'iVd5 1 6 'iVc2 "it'xd4 17 b3 i:tb5 should be noted) . We do not see
anything special for White here. More attention might be given to Wojtkiewicz' 10 ttJa3, which
sees the knight monitor both c4 and b5. If Black doesn't play 1 0 ... a6 White regains his pawn
with the familiar manoeuvre 'itb5-c4.

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lLJf3 lLJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5 g2 lLJc6 6 a4


6 0-0 l:!.b8 (D)
7 e3 Game 6 1
7 a4
7 ... a6 Game 51 (Chapter 5) ; 7 ... b6 Game 62
7 ttJc3
7 ... i.. b4
8 e3 Game 63; 8 'it'c2 Game 64
7 ... b5
8 e4 Game 65; 8 ttJe5 Game 66
6 . . . b4+
6 ... iLd7 Game 67
6 ... i..d 6 Game 70
6 ... ttJd7 7 "it'xc4 ttJb6 8 d3 e5 (D)
9 iLe3 Game 68; 9 ttJxe5 Game 69
7 d2 1LJd5
7 ... i.. d6 Game 71
8 xb4
8 'itb5 Game 72
8 . . . lLJdxb4 (D)
9 a3 Game 73; 9 ttJe5 Game 74; 9 0-0 Game 75
-

6. . 1:.bB
.

1 50

B . e5
.

B. . . lLJdxb4

CHA PTER SEVEN

4 . . . dxc4 5 .192 c 5

1 d4 d 5 2 c4 e6 3 4Jf3 4Jf6 4 g 3 dxc4 5


i.g2 c5
This is a rather logical continuation.
4 ... dxc4 has already given Black sight of the
d4-pawn and what would be more natural
than for Black to immediately contest the
centre in this manner? Consequendy it is not
surprising that the 5 ... c5 system has main
tained its popularity since its use during the
early days of the Catalan.
In reply to 5 ... c5 White occasionally con
tinues 6 'ilVa4+ (Game 76), and of course this
can transpose to 5 'iVa4+. The variation with
6 a4+ SLd7 7 'iVxc4 .1i.c6 was tested twice
in the Kasparov-Korchnoi encounters in
London in 1 983. Black solved the problems
with his queen's bishop and managed to
equalise with accurate play. Therefore 6
a4+ has lost ground to the modern 6 0-0.
Here Black is not obliged to resolve matters
in centre at once with 6 ... cxd4 (Game 77),
when White gets an e"-luring, albeit tiny ad
vantage after both 7 'tli'xd4 and 7 ttJxd4.
With this in mind Black almost always pre
fers 6 ... ttJc6, increasing the pressure on the
d4-pawn. White must act quickly if he is to
achieve anything positive. The exchange in
the centre with 7 dxc5 is harmless for Black
as he has good development, but the direct 7
ttJe5 presents Black with serious problems to

address. After 7 ...ttJxe5 8 dxe5 'iNxdl 9 l:txdl


ttJd5 (or 9 ... ttJd7) the manoeuvre ttJa3xc4
regains the pawn and secures a small but
steady advantage, while even 8 ... ttJd5 (Game
78) favours White.
The main answer to 7 ttJe5 is 7 ... SLd7.
Now White must choose between 8 ttJc6, 8
ttJc4 and the main move 8 ttJa3 (Games 79
& 80) .
Another common continuation in the dia
gram position above is the standard attack
with the queen - 7 'iVa4. Then we have a
branch with 7 ... cxd4 (Game 81) and 7 ... .1i.d7
(Games 82 & 83) . After 7 ... cxd4 8 ttJxd4
'ilVxd4 9 .1i.xc6+ .1i.d7 10 l:tdl the ending that
results from 1O ... .1i.c6 1 1 'iYxc6 bxc6 1 2 l:td4
tends to be inferior for Black, which explains
why there is a preference for sacrificing the
queen for rook, bishop and pawn with
1 O ...xd 1 1 1 l:txd 1 .1i.xc6.
In the case of 7 a4 the reply 7 ... .1i.d7 has
become increasingly popular. It has been
established that 8 dxc5 does not confer an
advantage due to 8 ... ttJa5 9 c2 .1i.xc5,
which brings us to the main continuation, 8
c4, when Black has two possibilities 8 ... cxd4 (Game 82) and 8 ... b5 (Game 83).
Portisch-Radulov and Ribli-Ljubojevic re
ceived much attention and must have helped
in promoting the popularity of 7 'iVa4.
151

Th e C a t a l a n

White plays 6 'i'a4+

Game 76
I n kiov-Pinter

Zagreb 1987
1 d4 d 5 2 c4 e6 3 lLlf3 lLlf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
g2 c5 6 'i'a4+

6 . . . d7
Of independent relevance is 6 . ..tLlc6. Then
7 0-0 i.d7 transposes to 6 0-0 ltJc6 7 'ii'a4
i.d7 below (Game 82) . 7 dxcS i.xcs 8 0-0
0-0 9 'ii'x c4 'ii'dS to ltJfd2 xc4 1 1 ltJxc4
ltJd4 12 ltJc3 i.b4 1 3 e3 i.xc3 14 bxc3
ltJe2+ 1 5 h 1 ltJxc1 1 6 .l:i.fxc 1 .l:!.b8 17 e4
ltJd7 1 8 f4 b6 1 9 ltJd6 i.b7 20 .l:i.dl ltJcs
achieved nothing for White in Balashov
Beliavsky, Vilnius 1 980.
This leaves 7 ltJeS ltJdS (7 ... i.d7 8 ltJxc6
i.xc6 9 i.xc6+ bxc6 to 0-0 transposes to 6
0-0 ltJc6 7 ltJeS i.d7 8 ltJxc6 i.xc6 9 i.xc6+
bxc6 10 'iWa4, dealt with in Game 79) 8 ltJxc6
bxc6 (8 ... d7 9 'ii'xc4 'iVxc6 10 ltJc3 cxd4 1 1
'ii'xd4 'itb6 1 2 'iVxb6 ltJxb6 1 3 0-0 favours
White because Black is behind in develop
ment and is under pressure on the long di
agonal) 9 dxcS i.b7 to 'iVxc4 'iY'aS+ 1 1 i.d2
'iVxcs 12 'iVxcs i.xcs 1 3 ltJc3 and White has
a slight but enduring edge.
7 'i'xc4 c6 S 0-0
Another possibility is 8 dxcS, when
8 ...'iVdS 9 'iVxdS ltJxdS to ltJeS should fa
vour White. Indeed 1 O ... ltJb4 1 1 ltJxc6
1 52

ltJ8xc6 1 2 ltJa3 i.xcs 1 3 i.d2 0-0 1 4 0-0


i.d4 1 5 ltJc4 l:1ab8 1 6 a3 ltJdS 1 7 .l:!.ac1 i.f6
1 8 e3 was rather pleasant in Keres-Klovan,
Parnu 1 960. Black needs to be active, and a
good try is 8 ... ltJbd7 9 i.e3 i.dS to 'iVb4 as,
which was the subject of Sosonko-Farago,
Wijk aan Zee 1 988. The game continued 1 1
'iVh4 i.xcs 1 2 i.xcs ltJxcs 1 3 ltJc3 i.xB 1 4
i. x B 0-0 1 5 0-0 'iVb6 1 6 ltJa4 ltJxa4 1 7
'iWxa4 l:tad8 1 8 .l:i.adl 'ii'xb2 1 9 'iVxaS l:ta8 20
l:td2 .l:!.xaS 21 .l:!.xb2 ltJdS and the simplifica
tions and the pressure against a2 left Black
with no problems and should have resulted
in a draw. This is certainly an improvement
for Black on to ... 'tic8 1 1 ltJc3 i.xcs 1 2
i.xcs "iYxcs 1 3 ltJxdS ltJxdS 1 4 'iVd2 l:tc8 1 5
0-0 0-0 1 6 .l:i.ac1 ifb6 1 7 'iVd4 .l:i.fd8 1 8 l:i.fdl
xd4 1 9 ltJxd4, which led to White's stan
dard Catalan advantage of bishop versus
knight in Korchnoi-Kasparov, World Cham
pionship Candidates Match (game 8), Lon
don 1 983.
s . . . lLlbd7 9 g5
9 ltJc3 is rendered hannless by 9 ... bS!, the
point being that 1 0 ltJxbS?? ltJb6 1 1 'ifb3 c4
sees White lose the knight. After to 'iVd3 c4
1 1 'iWc2 b4 1 2 ltJd l ltJb6 1 3 i.gS i.e7 1 4
ltJe3 .l:!.c8 only Black can claim t o b e better.
9 . . .l:!.cS
Black can also equalise with 9 ... ltJb6 10
'ii'd 3 cxd4 11 ltJbd2 i.e7 1 2 ltJxd4 i.xg2 13
'it'xg2 0-0 etc.
1 0 xf6
.

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

1 0 . . . gxf6!
Perhaps too inventive for some, but Black
does not want to recapture with a piece. In
fact after 10 . ..tbxf6 White is guaranteed a
slight edge with 1 1 dxc5 iLxf3 1 2 iLxf3
iLxc5 13 'ifb5+ (1 3 e3!?), when Kasparov
Korchnoi, World Championship Candidates
Match (game 7), London 1 983 went 1 3. .. 'it'd7
14 tiJc3 'it'xb5 1 5 tiJxb5 e7 1 6 b4 iLxb4 1 7
tiJxa7. Then Black's best i s to keep his disad
vantage to a minimum with 1 7 ...l:!.a8 1 8 tiJb5
.l:'ta5.
1O ...'ii'xf6 looks the safest. Korchnoi gives
1 1 tiJc3 iLe7 1 2 e4 0-0 1 3 d5 tiJb6 1 4 'ii'd 3
exd5 1 5 exd5 ':'fd8 16 tiJd2 c4 17 tiJxc4
tiJxc4 1 8 'ii'x c4 iLxd5 1 9 tiJxd5 .l:'txc4 20
tiJxf6+ iLxf6 when the draw is imminent.
1 1 lLlc3
1 1 dxc5?! iLxc5 12 'it'g4 'ii'b 6 is awkward
for White as the b2-pawn is under fIre.
1 1 . . . b5 1 2 'ifd3 c4 1 3 'ifc2 b4 1 4 lLle4
lLlb6 1 5 g4? !
This move is hard t o justify and should
land White in trouble if Black were to react
accurately. 1 5 e3 f5 1 6 tiJed2 c3 also gives
Black a good game.
1 5 . . . h5?!
Overlooking 15 ...l:.g8! 1 6 h3 (1 6 g5 fxg5
1 7 tiJe5 iLa4! and White is in a very bad way)
1 6 ... h5 1 7 gxh5 f5 with a decisive attack.
1 6 g5 fxg5?!
16 ... iLxe4 1 7 'ii'x e4 fxg5 18 tiJe5 iLg7! is
preferable, after which the situation is far
from clear.
1 7 lLlexg5 .tg7
17 ... iLe7? runs into 18 tiJxf7! xf7 1 9
tiJe5+ etc.
1 8 h4 i..f6
1 8 ... iLxd4? 1 9 l:tadl iLa4 20 b3 cxb3 21
'it'e4! gives White a strong attack (Inkiov) .
1 9 e4 i.. x g5
19 ... c3!? is a sound alternative, 20 bxc3
bxc3 21 a4 leaving both sides with much to
play for.
20 hxg5 .l:!.g8 21 .l:!.fe 1 i.. a4 22 'ifd2 c3
23 bxc3 bxc3 24 'iff4 'ifc7

Black needs to be careful. 24 ... tiJc4 25


.l:'tac1 c2 26 d5 'iVd6 27 'ii' f6 is double-edged.
25 'ti'h4 lLlc4 26 d 5
2 6 'it'xh5?! succeeds only i n providing
Black with a large helping of counterplay
after 26 ...'it'f4! (the h-pawn is practically
worthless) .
26 . . . i.. d 7

27 dxe6? !
27 e5! exd5 28 tiJd4! is stronger. After
28 ... iLe6 (28 ...'ii'c 5 29 e6! puts Black's king in
danger) 29 'ii'x h5 'iWb6 30 tiJxe6 'iWxe6 3 1
iLh3 'it'e7 32 h l White has a wonderful
attack.
27 . . . i.. x e6 28 lLld4 i.. g 4 29 lLlf5 lLle5 30
'ti'g3 .l:!.d8?!
Black's play seems to be a little planless,
an appropriate course being 30 ... iLf3! 3 1 l:te3
c2 32 .i:!.c1 in order to generate counterplay.
The most obvious move is then 32 ... iLd 1 ,
when the c-pawn is certainly a factor, but
after 33 .l:tb3! with the idea of 34 :b7! the
situation remains a complete mess. A possi
ble conclusion to the game is 33 ... l:tg6 (pro
tecting d6) 34 .l:'tb7 'ii'x b7 35 'ii'x e5+ d8 36
'ii'h8+ c7 37 'ii'e5+ with a draw by perpet
ual check.
31 .l:tac 1 .l:!.d3
31 ... c2? 32 Itxc2! is simply a terrible blun
der, while after 3 1 ...h4 32 'iWxh4 l:td2 33
tiJh6! l:th8 34 'iWg3 Black is also in dire
straits. Perhaps it is already too late to save
the game.
1 53

Th e C a t a l a n

1 O ... .ixd6 1 1 .ixd6 .ixf3! 1 2 .ixf3 'iib 6 1 3


.ia3 O-O-O! a s i n Bogdanovsky-Smagin, Prilep
1 992. Smagin gives 1 4 l:tc1+ 'it>b8 1 5 J:.c4
lLle5 1 6 J:.b4 lLlxf3+ 1 7 exf3 c6 1 8 J:.xd4
l:!.d5 as level.
7 lLlxd4
White has a decent alternative in 7 'tWxd4
'tWxd4 8 lLlxd4 a6 9 lLld2 i.c5 1 0 lLlc2 c3 1 1
Black meets 6 0-0 with 6 . . . cxd4
bxc3 lLlbd7 1 2 lLlb3! .ie7 1 3 J:.bl , when the
open ftle is perfect compensation for the
Game ll
isolated pawns. The subsequent 1 3 ... lLld5 14
Chetverik -Ivan
.id2 b5 15 lLlb4 lLl7b6 16 lLla5 i.d7 17
lLlxd5 exd5 18 c4! .ifS 1 9 e4! .ixe4 20 i.xe4
Harka'!J' 1996
--------.. dxe4 21 cxb5 leaves Black somewhat worse
in view of the passed pawn and his slightly
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lLlf3 lLlf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
inferior development, while Balashov
i.g2 c5 6 0-0
A.Petrosian, Yerevan 1 986 favoured White
after 1 7 ... lLlxd5 1 8 c4 bxc4 1 9 lLlxc4 .ib5 20
l:!.fc1 0-0 21 a4! .ixc4 22 J:.xc4 l:i.ac8 23
nbc 1 .
7 . . .lLla6 ! ?
7...6 8 lLlc3 .id7 9 .ie3! looks danger
ous for Black, who should respond with
9 ... lLlg4!? or 9 ... lLla6!? rather than follow the
example of V.Mikhalevsky-Murey, Israel
1 997, when the experienced GM went for
the bait with 9 ... .ic5?! and ran into 1 0 b4!
cxb3 1 1 J:.bl ! i.xd4 1 2 .ixd4 'iVc7 1 3 xb3
i.c6 1 4 'iVa3!, the further 1 4 ... .ixg2?! 1 5
lLlb5 'iVd7 1 6 lLld6+ 'it>f8 1 7 'it>xg2 'iWc6+ 18
6 . . . cxd4
'iitg l a6 19 xa6 bxa6 20 .ixf6! gxf6 21
Black has more colourful alternatives. Ra
l:!.b7 resulting in a decisive lead for White.
zuvaev-Feller, Poland 1 988 continued 6 ... a6 7
S lLla3! ?
dxc5 'iflxdl 8 .l:txdl .ixc5 9 lLle5 lLlbd7 1 0
8 a4+ .id7 9 xc4 l:!.c8 followed by
ttJxc4 l:!.a7 1 1 ttJc3 with an edge for White.
...lLlc5 is no worse for Black.
There followed 1 1 ...b5?! 12 ttJd6+, when
S . . . i.xa3 9 bxa3 0-0 1 0 i.b2 'ii'b6 1 1
Black could have minimised the damage
'ii'c 2 i.d7
caused by the weakening thrust of the b
1 1 ...l:!.d8 12 lLlf3! and White has a strong
pawn with 1 2 ... i.xd6 1 3 l:!.xd6 'it>e7 1 4 l:!.c6
position. Black needs to get his development
lLlb8 1 5 .l:tc5 l:!.d7 1 6 .if4 .ib7 1 7 a4, al
gOing.
though this is nevertheless rather unpleasant.
1 2 l:tab 1 'ii'c 7 1 3 lLlf3 l:tacS
Instead after 12 ... 'it>e7? 1 3 ttJce4 lLlxe4 1 4
13 ... c3 14 .ixc3!? l:!.fc8 1 5 l:!.fc1 ttJd5
lLlxe4 l:!.c7 1 5 .id2! White was already win
looks strong but White has a counter with 1 6
ning.
lLlg5 lLlxc3 1 7 'ifxh 7+ 'it' f8 1 8 'ifh8+ e 7 1 9
6 ... .id7 is more interesting for Black, e.g.
'iflxg7 and Black i s forced into 1 9 ... ttJxe2+ 20
7 lLla3 .ic6 8 ttJxc4 lLlbd7 9 .if4 cxd4 1 0
f1 ttJxc1 21 'iflxf7+ 'iitd 6, when White has
ttJd6+ ( 1 0 ttJxd4!? might b e an improvement)

32 l:te3 i.e2?!
32 ...l:!.xe3 33 'iVxe3 c2 34 f3! .ixfS 35 exfS
'it>f8 36 f6 wins for White.
33 l:txd3 i.xd3 34 f4 h4
34 ... 'iflb6+ 35 'iKe3 lLlg4 36 'iflxb6 axb6 37
l:!.xc3 and White wins.
35 'ii'e 3 lLlg4 36 'ii'x d3 1 -0

1 54

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

no more than perpetual check - 22 iff4+


rl;e7 23 'iWf7+ 'iitd 6 24 tDe4+ 'it>dS! 25 tDd2+
'iYtd6 26 tDe4+ 'it>dS and White cannot make
progress.
14 i..e 5 'i'c5 1 5 l:tfd 1 ttJg4
Both the lines l S.J:tfdS 1 6 lId4 and
lS ... i.c6 16 xf6 gxf6 17 c3 give White
good compensation for the pawn on the
kingside.
1 6 i.. d 4 a5 1 7 1j'e4
17 i.c3!? .l1.a4 1 8 "iVc 1 is a possible im
provement.
1 7 . . .f5? !
1 7 ... eS is necessary. After 1 8 i.xa7 the
game can swing either way.
1 S 1j'xb 7 .l:!.c 7 1 9 1j'b2 i.. a4 20 .l:!.dc 1 l:tbS

Allowing a nice queen sacrifice, but by


now Black is already walking on thin ice.
20 ... h6 21 h3 tDf6 22 tDeS illustrates White's
complete control over the centre.
21 1j'xbS + ! ttJxbS 22 l:txbS + f7 23
ttJg5 + e7 24 i.. c 3 1j'a6 25 J:!.gS e5?
Black can still put up some resistance with
2s .. :iNb6 26 lIxg7+ 'it>e8 27 .l::!.g8+ rJJ e 7, al
though White can look forward to a power
ful attack after 28 e3.
26 .l:!.xg 7 + f6
26 ... d8 27 aS! and White wins.
27 l:txc7 xg5 2S l:txc4!
Now Black can no longer defend.
2S . . . i.. b 5 29 .l:!.c7 'ilfb6 30 i.. d 2+ h5 3 1
e 3 h 6 32 i.. b4 i.. a4 3 3 i.. d 5 i.. e S 3 4 h3
ttJf6 35 i.. f3 + g5 36 l:tg7 + 1 -0

White plays 6 0-0 ttJc6 7 ttJe5

Game 78
Ksieski-Enders

Bad Harzburg 2000


1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
i.. g 2 c5 6 0-0 ttJc6

7 ttJe5
This is probably the most ambitious
choice. Indeed 7 dxcS 'iWxd1 8 lIxd1 xcS
appears insufficient for an advantage, e.g. 9
tDbd2 c3 1 0 bxc3 0-0 1 1 tDb3 i.e7 1 2 tDfd4
d7 1 3 gS .l::!. a c8 1 4 i.xf6 .l1.xf6 1 5 tDcs
tDxd4 1 6 cxd4 bS with equality in Speel
man-Van der Sterren, Yerevan 1 996. 7 a4
features in Games 81 -83 below.
7 " 'ttJxe5
This is, of course, not forced. 7 ... i.d7,
which is considered in the next two main
games, should be the strongest alternative.
7 . . . tDxd4??, on the other hand, spells disaster
for Black due to 8 e3 tDf5 9 'iNxd8+ 'it>xd8 10
tDxf7+ and White wins. 7 ...tDdS 8 tDxc6 bxc6
9 dxcS xcS 10 ifa4 'iVb6 1 1 tDd2 favours
White, e.g. 1 1 ...a6 1 2 tDxc4 'iVbs 1 3 xbS
cxbS 1 4 tDeS b4 l s lId1 b7 1 6 d2 i..e7
1 7 lIac 1 as 1 8 e4 tDf6 1 9 gS i.d8 20 tDc4
()-() 21 tDd6 with a pleasant game for \x'hite
in Savchenko-Galliamova, Rostoy 1 996.
S dxe5 ttJd5
Black cannot equalise here. 8 . . .tDd7 9 f4
l:tb8 1 0 a4 i.e7 1 1 tiJa3 b6 1 2 tiJxc4 i.b7 1 3
1 55

Th e C a t a la n

b 3 .Jtxg2 1 4 xg2 'iYc7 1 5 .Jtb2 'iVc6+ 1 6


g1 0-0 1 7 'it'c2 .l:!.bd8 1 8 e4 was better for
White in ljngnau-Klovans, Berlin 1 996, and
8 ... 'it'xd1 9 J:txd 1 ttJd7 1 0 f4 l:tb8 1 1 a4 .Jte7
12 ttJa3 0-0 1 3 ttJxc4 is also very pleasant for
White, who was successful in Hajtun-Gecsei,
Budapest 1 9 5 1 : 13 ... b6 14 ttJd6 l:td8 1 5 .Jte3
.Jtxd6 16 ':xd6 .Jtb7 17 l:tad 1 .Jtxg2 1 8
xg2 lIb 7 1 9 fS h6 20 g4 f8 2 1 g5! exfS 22
gxh6 gxh6 23 l:txh6 l:tdb8 24 l:[xd7! and
White won.
9 ttJa3
Another strong option is 9 'it'a4+!? .Jtd7
1 0 'ii'xc4, when Black needs to find an im
provement on Vaulin-Koc, Koszalin 1 997,
which went 1O ... .Jtc6 1 1 ttJc3 'it'd7 12 lId1
b5 1 3 'iVg4 'iVb7 1 4 ttJxd5 .Jtxd5 1 5 .Jtxd5
exd5 16 e6 l:[d8 17 .Jtg5 .Jte7 1 8 .Jtxe7 'iVxe7
1 9 'it'xg7 and White was already close to
wmrung.
9 . . . i.d7
Black does not have time for 9 ... c3 1 0
bxc3 ttJxc3 1 1 'iVc2 ttJd5 1 2 l:td1 .Jtd7 1 3
ttJc4 which put the defender under too much
pressure in Andersson-Guyot, France 1 993,
when 13 ...'it'c8 14 .Jtb2 .Jte7 15 ttJd6+ .Jtxd6
16 exd6 0-0 17 .Jtxd5 exd5 1 8 .l::lx d5 left
White with a clear advantage. However,
Black's capitulation soon followed as 1 8 ... b6?
met with immediate punishment in the form
of 1 9 .Jtxg 7! xg7 20 llg5+ h8 21 l:th5 etc.
1 0 ttJxe4 i.e6

1 1 e4!
1 56

White should play with energy. After the


quieter 1 1 b3 White achieved little in Raet
sky-Enders, Forchtenberg 1 997, when
1 1 ...ttJb4 1 2 .Jtb2 .Jtxg2 1 3 xg2 'it'd5+ 14
'iVxd5 exd5 15 ttJd6+ .Jtxd6 16 exd6 d7 17
.Jtxg7 l:thg8 18 .Jtc3 ttJc6 saw the game drift
into equality .
1 1 . . . ttJb6 1 2 ttJd6 + i.xd6 1 3 exd6
This pawn can easily be underestimated.
Karpov and Kramnik are known masters in
exploiting such circumstances.
1 3 . . . ttJe4? !
A lesser evil is 1 3 ... 0-0 1 4 .Jtd ttJd7 1 5
'iVc2 with a clear advantage for White.
1 4 'We2!
Black will soon find that winning the
pawn is not much fun.
1 4 . . . ttJxd6 1 5 .l:I.d 1 'fie 7 1 6 i.e3 b6 1 7
i.xe5! bxe5 1 8 'fIxe5 'fIb7 ? !
1 8 ....Jt b7 1 9 J:lxd6 i s more accurate, al
though White still has a pawn for nothing.
1 9 'fIxd6 1 -0
Black has had enough.

Game 79
Shipov-Volzhin

Hastings 1997/98
1 d4 d5 2 e4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxe4 5
i.g2 e5 6 0-0 ttJe6 7 ttJe5 i.d7 8 ttJa3 !
This has become the modem way t o han
dle the position, taking over from continua
tions such as 8 ttJxc6 .Jtxc6 9 .i.xc6+ bxc6 10
'it'a4, e.g. 1 O ... cxd4 (1O ... 'iib 6 1 1 dxc5 .Jtxc5
12 'i'xc4 l:td8 1 3 ttJd2 'iVb5 14 'i'xb5 cxb5
1 5 ttJb3 .Jtb6 was even in Belichev
Mukhametov, Yalta 1 995) 1 1 'iVxc6+ ttJd7 12
'i'xc4 .Jtc5. Then 13 ttJd2 0-0 1 4 ttJe4 .Jtb6
1 5 .Jtg5 ttJe5 1 6 'i'b5 might look like Black is
under pressure but after 1 6 ... 'iYd5! 1 7 'it'xd5
exd5 1 8 ttJd2 f6 1 9 .Jtf4 ttJc4 20 a4 l:He8 it
was actually the other way around in Pav
lovic-Byrne, New York 1 997. Salov
A.Sokolov, Sochi 1 982 went 1 3 b4 .i.b6 14
.Jtb2 l:tc8 15 'iVb3 0-0 1 6 ttJd2 ttJe5 17 .l:lad 1
'i'f6 1 8 a4 a6 and Black was no worse.

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 c 5

Worth further investigation is 8 ttJxc4


cxd4 9 .i.f4 ttJd5 10 ttJd6+ .i.xd6 1 1 .i.xd6.
Gelfand-Dokhoian, Sverdlovsk 1 987 contin
ued 1 1 ...'fib6 12 'iVc1 f6 1 3 ttJd2 f7 1 4
ttJb3 ttJa5! 1 5 ttJxa5 it'xa5 1 6 'it'c4 and
White emerged with good play for the pawn,
while 1 1 ...ttJde7 1 2 ttJd2 0-0 1 3 'fib3 .i.c8 1 4
.i.a3 e 5 1 5 .l:tac1 it'c7 1 6 ttJc4 .l:.d8 1 7 .i.c5
.i.g4 18 l:tfe 1 .l:!.d7 19 'ili'a3 l:tad8 20 b4 also
resulted in compensation in Romanishin
A.Sokolov, Cannes 1 998.
8 cxd4
Black can also try 8 ... ttJd5!?, when 9
ttJaxc4 seems harmless, e.g. 9 ... ttJdb4 1 0
ttJxc6 .i.xc6 1 1 .i.xc6+ ttJxc6 1 2 dxc5 .i.xc5
13 .i.f4 0-0 14 it'xd8 .l:!.fxd8 15 ttfd1 f6 1 6
.i.d6 .i.xd6 1 7 lIxd6 f7 1 8 l:tad 1 e7 1 9
.l:.xd8 l:txd8 with a draw in Raetsky
ASokolov, Biel 1 996. Instead White should
consider 9 ttJxd7 it'xd7 10 e4 ttJdb4 1 1 d5!?
with possibilities of stepping up a gear.
9 ttJaxc4 ttJxe5
For 9 ... .i.e7 see the next main game,
which also covers Black's alternatives.
1 0 ttJxe5 'ifb6
. . .

.l:tb4! 'ilif6 1 9 l:hb7+ c8 20 J:!.c1+! and


White wins) 1 8 .l:f.d1 .i.xe3 1 9 .l:tb4 ttJc5 20
J:!.xb6 ttJxa4 21 lIxd8+ .l:txd8 22 .l:[xb7+ c8
23 fxe3 with a clear plus according to Moro
zevich. A more sober approach was essayed
in Cvitan-Gyimesi, Baden 1 999, when
1 2 ... .i.c5 1 3 .i.f4 .l:.d8 1 4 ttac1 0-0 1 5 b4
'iWxb4 1 6 'it'xb4 .i.xb4 1 7 .i.c7 l:tde8 1 8
.i.xb7 .l:.e7 1 9 i:tb 1 ttJb6 20 .i.xb6 axb6 21
J:!.xb4 l:hb7 22 ':xd4 ended in a draw.
There is an interesting alternative in 1 1
b4!?, White making no secret of his quest for
the initiative, e.g. 1 1 ...it'xb4?! 1 2 .i.f4 .i.a4 1 3
it'c1 .i.e7 1 4 .l:i.b1 it'c3 1 5 .i.xb7 .l:td8 1 6
ttJc6 .i.xc6 1 7 .i.xc6+ f8 1 8 it'xc3 dxc3 1 9
i:tfc1 and the endgame indeed looks like a
grim ordeal for Black. Brodsky-Ulibin,
Bydgoszcz 2001 went 1 1 ...l:td8 1 2 a3 .i.e7 1 3
.i.b2 it'a6 1 4 .i.xd4 0-0 1 5 e 3 .i.b5 1 6 l:1e1
.i.d6 17 a4 .i.xe5 18 axb5 it'd6, when Ulibin
gives 1 9 l::t xa7 it'xb4 20 l:txb7 .i.xd4 21 exd4
l::t xd4 22 'iWb 1 ttJd5 23 b6 with a pull for
White.
1 1 iLb5 1 2 a4
More challenging might be 1 2 b4!? .l:!.d8 1 3
a4 .i.c6 1 4 .i.xc6+! bxc6 1 5 .l:tc1 nc8 1 6 b5!
ttJd5 17 ttJxc6 ttJc3 18 'it'd3 ttJxa4 19 .i.e5
with play for the pawn in Tukmakov
ASokolov, Lenk 2001 .
1 2 i.a6 1 3 b4! ?
Nothing more than equality i s achieved af
ter 1 3 as 'fibs 1 4 it'xd4 .i.c5 1 5 'iWc3 0-0.
1 3 i.xb4 1 4 a5
. . .

. . .

. . .

1 1 i.f4
Not surprisingly this is not White's only
opportunity. In the event of 1 1 ttJxd7 ttJxd7
1 2 it'a4 Black should avoid the risky
1 2 ... 0-0-0?! 1 3 .l:.d1 .i.e7 1 4 .l:.xd4 .i.c5 1 5
l:!.c4 b8 1 6 '.t> f1 e5, which was seen in To
palov-Morozevich, Madrid 1 996. Now White
could have played 1 7 .i.e3! f5 (17 ... .i.xe3 1 8
157

Th e Ca t a l a n

14 .. :iVb5!
After 1 4 ... 'iii'c 5 15 .i.xb7! .i.xb7 1 6 'it'a4+
'it'ffi 1 7 l:tab 1 White is given some attacking
possibilities.
1 5 'it'b3 0-0
1 5 ... .i.c3 1 6 'it'xb5+ .i.xb5 17 .i.xb 7 l:tb8
1 8 .i.c6+ .i.xc6 19 ttJxc6 l:tc8 20 l:tab I ! and
White has good compensation for the pawn.
1 6 l:tab 1 g5 1 7 'it'xb4
In the case of 1 7 ttJd3 gxf4 1 8 ttJxb4
l:tab8 White cannot fully justify the sacrifice
of a pawn.
1 7 . . . 'it'xb4 1 8 l:txb4 gxf4 1 9 il.xb 7 il.xe2
Also fine is 19 ... .l:!.ab8 20 l:tfb 1 .i.xe2 21
l:txd4 with equality.
20 il.xa8 il.xf 1 21 il.b 7
White should not lose his sense of reality.
For example 21 'it'xfl lIxa8 22 gxf4 lld8
even allows Black to play for the win.
21 . . . il.e2 22 l:txd4 fxg3 23 hxg3 il.b5 24
l:tb4 a6
A last try?
25 l:txb5! ? axb5 26 a6 lLld5 27 a7 lLlb6
28 lLlc6 f6 29 lLle 7 + f7 30 lLlc8 l:txc8
31 il.xc8 b4 32 f1 b3 33 il.a6 Y:z - Y:z

Game 80
Piket-Van Wely

Monte Carlo 1997


1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lLlf3 lLlf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
il.g2 c5 6 0-0 lLlc6 7 lLle5 il.d7 8 lLla3
cxd4 9 lLlaxc4 il.e 7
This sound developing move is the most
popular these days, but over time a number
of alternatives have been tested. 9 ... ttJd5?!
does not look sound, and after 10 ttJxc6
.i.xc6 1 1 'iVxd4 ttJb4 12 .i.xc6+ ttJxc6 1 3
'iVc3! Black has a difficult job bringing his
pieces into the game. Kasparov-Andersson,
Belgrade 1 985 continued 1 3. .. f6 14 .i.e3 .i.e 7
1 5 l:tfdl 'iVc7 1 6 'fib3! g5 1 7 l:tac1 l:td8 1 8
nxd8+ .i.xd8 1 9 'iVxb7! and White was on
his way to winning the game.
9 ... l:tc8 10 .i.f4 ttJd5 1 1 ttJxd7 ttJxf4 1 2
.i.xc6 bxc6 1 3 ttJxffi ttJh3+ 1 4 'ittg2 'iVd5+
1 58

looks natural but 1 5 e4! 'iVxc4 1 6 lIc1 'it'b4


1 7 ttJxe6! fxe6 1 8 'iVh5+ clearly favours
White according to Glek. Instead of the
check on h3, Ljubojevic-Yusupov, Belfort
1 988 went 1 3. .. 'it'd5 1 4 gxf4 'iYxc4 1 5 lIc1
'it'd5 16 'iVa4! g5 17 fS! exfS 1 8 l:tfdl xffi
19 l:txd4 'iii'e6 20 l:tc5 g7 21 'iVas h6 22
l:txfS with a clear lead for White.
9 ... .i.c5 10 'it'b3 0-0 1 1 'iVxb7! does not
work out for Black, as was witnessed in Kas
parov-Deep Blue, Philadelphia (game 2)
1 996: l 1 ...ttJxe5 1 2 ttJxe5 l:tb8 1 3 'iVf3 .i.d6
(13. . .'Jd5 14 .i.g5! f6 1 5 'ii'g4! gives White all
the chances - Sulava) 1 4 ttJc6 .i.xc6 1 5 'ii'xc6
e5 1 6 l:tb I ! and White had the better chances.
The computer went on to prove that posi
tional decision making is not a strength, re
sulting in a clear advantage for White after
1 6 ...!1b6?! 1 7 'iVa4 'it'b8 1 8 .i.g5 .i.e7 1 9 b4!
.i.xb4 20 .i.xf6 gxf6 21 'ilVd7!, when both f7
and h7 proved seriously weak. Black is ad
vised to turn to the more circumspect
1O .. :iWc8.
Rashkovsky-A.Sokolov,
Cap
d'Agde 1 994 was harmless after 1 1 .i.f4 0-0
1 2 l:tac1 ttJd5 1 3 ttJd3 ttJxf4 14 gxf4 .i.e7 1 5
ttJce5 l:tb8 1 6 l:tc4 .i.f6! 1 7 ttJxc6 1i.xc6 1 8
l:tfc 1 , when the game should end i n a draw
after 1 8 ...'iii'd7 1 9 1i.xc6 bxc6 20 'iWa4 l:tb6 21
l:txc6 e5! 22 fxe5 'iVg4+ 23 fl 'iVh3+
(Rashkovsky). Kharlov-A.Sokolov, St. Pe
tersburg 1 993 saw multiple exchanges: 1 3
ttJxd7 'it'xd7 1 4 ttJe5 ttJxe5 1 5 1i.xe5 1i.b6 1 6
l:tfd 1 l:tac8 1 7 l:txc8 xc8 1 8 .i.xd5 'iVxd5 1 9
'iVxd5 exd5 20 .i.xd4 .i.xd4 21 l:txd4 l:td8! 22
e4 ffi 23 exd5 'it'e7 24 g2 d6 25 f3
l:tc8 26 l:td2 l:te8! and the rook endgame can
be drawn but still requires a little effort.
1 0 'it'b3 'tlic8 1 1 il.f4 0-0 1 2 l:tac 1 lLld5
1 3 l:tfd 1
White has more chance of an advantage
with 1 3 ttJxc6!? 1i.xc6 1 4 .i.e5, which was
successful in Salov-Van Wely, Wijk aan Zee
1 998 after 14 ....i.f6 1 5 l:tfd 1 .i.g5 1 6 f4 .i.e7
1 7 .i.xd4 'iVe8 1 8 l:tfl .i.b5 1 9 e4.
1 3 . . . lLlxf4
After 1 3 ...l:td8 White has the tactical 1 4

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 c 5

.ixdS exdS 1 5 4JaS 4JxaS 1 6 it'xdS .ie6 1 7


'i'xaS b 6 1 8 it'a4 'ifb 7 1 9 4Jc6 with a slight
plus.
14 gxf4 l:tbS 1 5 iLe4 c7 1 6 f3
1 6 4JaS i.d6 1 7 'i!fh3 h6 1 8 .ixc6 bxc6 1 9
ttJaxc6 i.xc6 20 l:txc6 'iYe7 and Black holds
his gtound.
1 6 . . . iLf6 1 7 e3 ! ? g6 1 8 exd4 l:tfd8 1 9
tiJe3
If White is too optimistic and plays 1 9
dS?! Black should respond 1 9 ... exdS 20 .ixdS
.ie8 21 iLxc6 iLxc6 22 4Jxc6 l:txd1+ 23
l:txdl bxc6 with play against both the b2and f4-squares.
19 . . . i.e8 20 l2lxc6
Not 20 dS? which runs into 20 ... i.xeS 21
fxeS exdS 22 4JxdS 'iVxeS when Black nets a
pawn.
20 . . . bxc6 2 1 iLxc6 'iiVa 5
In the case of 21 ...iLxc6 22 l:txc6 'ifb7
White must push with 23 dS!? in order to
keep the game flowing.
22 iLxe8 l:txe8 23 a3 l:ted8 24 e4 l:tb3
25 d5 exd5 26 l2lxd5 iLxb2 27 l:tc7? !
Too optimistic. White should settle for the
'passive' 27 l:tb 1 with the point that after
27 ... l:tbS 28 4Je7+ <:J;;g7 29 l:txd8 'i/t'xd8 30
l:txb2 l:txb2 31 'iWeS+ f6 32 'iWxb2 Black is
forced to take perpetual check.
27 . . . 'iiVx c7 !
Black can resist anything - except tempta
tion.
28 l2lxc7 l:txd 1 + 29 g2 l:tb8
Black cannot win with 29 ... iLxa3?! because
after 30 'iYe8+ iLfB White has 31 4Je6! and
the game is drawn after 3 1 ...l:tb8! 32 'it'xb8
fxe6 33 it'xa7 l:tdS, when Black will put the
rook on f5 and erect a solid fortress. He
would never defend the e-pawn - why
should he?
30 'iiVa4 l:tbd8? !
But here there i s a n improvement in
30 ... l:tdd8 31 'iYxa7 iLd4 with play against
White's king. The text leads to a draw.
3 1 l2lb5 .l:t 1 d7 32 l2lxa7 iLxa3 33 l2lc6
iLfS 34 tiJxd8 l::t x d8 % - %

White plays 6 0-0 l2lc6 7 a4

Game 8 1
H . Olafsson-Hjartarsson

Reykjavik 1984
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 l2lf3 l2lf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
iLg2 c5 6 0-0 l2lc6 7 a4

7 . . . cxd4
The modern 7 ... iLd7 is considered in the
next two games.
8 l2lxd4 xd4 9 iLxc6 + iLd7
9 ... bxc6?! is best avoided, 10 'ii'xc6+ 'i'd7
1 1 'i'xa8 iLcs 1 2 4Jc3 0-0 1 3 l:tdl c7 1 4
'iY f3 leaving Black with insufficient compen
sation for the exchange in Christiansen
Lhagva, Lucerne 1 982. Indeed after 14 ... iLb7
1 5 .if4 'iYb6 1 6 e4 4Jxe4 1 7 4Jxe4 fS 1 8 b4!
iLd4 1 9 iLc7 'iYxc7 20 l:txd4 fxe4 21 'iVe2
White was in the driving seat.
1 0 l::td 1
After 1 0 iLxd7+ 'iVxd7 1 1 'irYxc4 l:tc8 1 2
"iVb3 iLcs Black i s doing fine, but 1 0 .ie3!?
looks good. In Gulko-Zsu.Polgar, Bid 1 987
Black failed to solve her opening problems
after 10 ... iLxc6 1 1 'iixc6+ 'iYd7 12 'it'xc4
iLe7 1 3 4Jc3 0-0 1 4 l:tfdl 'iVc8 1 5 'iYbs a6 1 6
it'b6 iLd8 1 7 'ilVb4. Also possible is
1O ... 'iYxb2 1 1 iLxd7+ 4Jxd7 12 l:tdl bS 1 3
'iYa6 when White has a strong initiative.
However, Black also has two pawns, and
after 1 3 . ..l:!.d8 the situation is far from clear.
1 0 . . . 'iiVx d 1 +
1 59

Th e C a t a la n

1 O. . .xc6 1 1 'iixc6+ bxc6 1 2 J.:txd4 e7


1 3 .l:!.xc4 cS 14 f4 0-0 1 5 ttJd2 ttJd7 1 6
ttJb3 a s 1 7 l:ld 1 ttJb6 1 8 l:tc2 left White with
the easier ending in Vladimirov-Ghaem
Maghami, Kelamabakham 2000.
1 1 'ifxd 1 iLxeS

1 2 liJd2
White has two important alternatives. 1 2
gS seems only to give Black a tempo, but
in fact White gets in f2-f3 for free. Neverthe
less, there is no advantage: 12 ... ttJe4 1 3 e3
hS 1 4 f3 ttJf6 1 5 ttJd2 l:td8 1 6 c1 h4 1 7
ttJxc4 hxg3 1 8 hxg3 lIdS! and Black was no
worse in Mochalov-Sturua, Moscow 1 979.
The game continued 19 g4 e7 20 xa7
ttJxg4! 21 fxg4 .l:th1+! 22 'it>xh1 l:thS+ 23
'it>g 1 !Ih 1+ 24 'it>f2 h4+ 25 'it>e3 gS+ 26
'it>d3 Ihc1 27 ':xc1 xc1 and a draw was
agreed.
1 2 'iVc2 demonstrates that Black cannot
really hold on to the pawn. Polugaevsky
Andersson, Moscow 1 98 1 went 1 2 ... e7 1 3
'ilVxc4 0-0 1 4 ttJc3 l:tfd8 1 5 e3 ttJdS 1 6
ttJxdS xdS 1 7 g4 J::td c8 1 8 d4 ffi 1 9
e4 c6 20 h 4 !Id8 21 c3 ':d3 2 2 h S h 6 23
ne1 .l:tad8 24 'it>h2 a6 with a slight plus for
White. But Andersson has some affection for
these passive positions, so he was probably
not too uncomfortable here.
1 2 . . . e3?!
This helps only White because it wastes a
tempo and opens the b-ftle. However, Black
anyway has difficulties equalising. In Kas1 60

parov-Andersson, Niksic 1 983 White earned


good chances of gaining the full point after
1 2 ... bS 1 3 a4 e7 1 4 axbS xbS 1 5 ttJxc4
0-0 1 6 b3 l:[fd8 1 7 'ilVc2 l:tdc8 1 8 a3 xa3
1 9 J::txa3 h6 20 'iVc3 xc4 21 bxc4 l:tc7 22
'it'd4 l:tac8.
There is an interesting line in 12 ... hS!? 1 3
ttJxc4 h 4 1 4 f4, when White should be
somewhat better. However, Black managed
to do well in Vanheste-Blauert, Groningen
1 989 after 1 4 ... l:td8 1 5 3 hxg3 1 6 xg3
ttJe4 1 7 ttJeS ttJxg3 1 8 'iVxg3 d6 1 9 'it'xg7
xeS 20 'iVxeS l:!.g8+ 21 'it>f1 g2+ 22 'it>e1
i.c6 with a draw by repetition.
1 3 bxe3 0-0-0 1 4 'ifb3 iLe5 1 5 liJf3 liJe4
1 S ... ttJg4 1 6 ttJd4 i.dS 1 7 'iVbs i.b6 1 8 a4
is excellent for White.
1 S liJd4 xd4
Black essays an exchange sacrifice, but it is
not enough. In the long-run the queen will
reign. Unfortunately for Black 1 6 ... dS 1 7
'ii'c 2 e S 1 8 i.e3! i s unpleasant anyway ac
cording to H.Olafsson.
1 7 exd4 iLxd4 1 8 b1 iLxf2+
18 ... ttJxf2? loses to 19 e3.
1 9 >tof 1 h5
19 ...l:td8 20 'iVc2 i.cs 21 l:.b3 .l::tdS 22
i.e3 and White is much better.
20 iLf4
White also has 20 e3 h4 21 g4 g3 22
l:tc1 ! xh2 23 l:txc6+ bxc6 24 'iVa4 with a
clear plus in Hjartarsson-Hardarson, Ne
skaupsstadur 1 984.
20 . . . g5?!
20... .l:td8 21 nc1 cS is necessary, al
though White is still doing very well after 22
e3.
21 iLxg5 h4 22 gxh4 iLxh4 23 'ii'b2 f6
24 iLxh4 xh4 25 e 1 >tod7
2s .. Jhh2 loses to 26 l:Ixc6+! bxc6 27 'ilVc2
and White will pick up all the enemy pawns.
2S 't'ia3
Black is lost.
2S . . . liJdS 27 'ifg3 h5 28 d 1 iLd5 29
'ii'g 7 + >toeS 30 e 1 + iLe4 31 'ifg4 f5+
32 >toe 1 b5 33 h4 e5 34 h5 f4 35

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 c 5

'i'g2 + 'it>b6 36 h6 ttJe4 37 h7 l:th4 38


h8'i' 1 -0

Game 82
Portisch-Radulov

Buenos Aires 1978


1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
iLg2 c5 6 0-0 ttJc6 7 'i'a4 iLd7
This looks like the most appropriate
move, after which Black has good chances of
equalising.
8 'i'xc4
White needs to play this as he achieves
nothing after 8 dxc5 ttJa5! 9 'ilVc2 .ltxc5 1 0
ttJe5 l:tc8 1 1 ttJc3 ttJc6 1 2 ttJxc4 0-0 1 3 t[ d 1
'ife7 1 4 .lte3 .ltxe3 1 5 ttJxe3 .l:i.fd8 1 6 .l:.d2
and a draw was rightly agreed in Razuvaev
A.Sokolov, Riga 1 985. In Fominyh
Morozevich, Alushta 1 993 Black was even
better after 1 1 i.g5 h6 1 2 .ltxf6 gxf6 1 3
ttJxd7 'iWxd7 1 4 ttJd2 .lte7 1 5 ttJe4 'iWc7 1 6 f4
f5 1 7 ..wc3 J:tg8 1 8 ttJf2 .ltc5.
8 . . . cxd4
This move lets White develop a bit too
freely, and Black is under some pressure for a
long time. 8 ... .l:!.c8 9 dxc5 'ilVa5 1 0 ttJbd2
'ifxc5 1 1 b3 i.e7 1 2 .ltb2 'iWb6 1 3 'iWf4 0-0
14 ttJc4 "iic 7 1 5 l::tfd l 'iWxf4 1 6 gxf4 l:tfd8 1 7
ttJfe5 i.e8 1 8 l:txd8 ttJxd8 1 9 lId 1 gave
Black some problems to solve in Ftacnik
Unzicker, Germany 1 995. These were minor,
but problems all the same. The energetic
8 ... b5 is considered in the next game.
9 ttJxd4 l:tc8 1 0 ttJc3 ttJxd4
Korchnoi-Karpov, Candidates Match
(game 1 7) , Moscow 1 974 also proved awk
ward for Black after 1 0 ...'it'a5 1 1 .l:!.dl i.e7 1 2
ttJb3 'ifc7 1 3 ttJb5 (1 3 .ltf4!? e 5 1 4 .ltg5 i.e6
1 5 'it'a4 is interesting and looks a shade bet
ter for White) 13 ... 'iib 8 14 ttJc5 a6 1 5 ttJxd7
ttJxd7 16 ttJc3 ttJde5, when 17 'ifb3 0-0 1 8
.ltf4 favours White according to Botvinnik.
1 1 'i'xd4 iLc5 1 2 'i'h4 iLc6 1 3 l:td 1 !
1 3 i.g5 invites 1 3.. .'d4! (the equaliser),
when Karpov-Piket, Monaco (blindfold)

1 998 continued 1 4 i.xc6+ l:txc6 1 5 .ltxf6


'ilVxf6 1 6 'ii'a4 0-0 1 7 l:tadl a6 1 8 nd7 b5 1 9
'iie 4 .tIfc8 2 0 e 3 h 6 21 l:tfdl i.b6 with a level
game.
1 3 . . . 'i'b6?
A tactical error that is punished severely.
1 3 .. .'ilVa5 is the alternative. Benko-Peters,
USA, 1 979 continued 14 .ltxc6+ ':'xc6 1 5
i.g5 .lte7 1 6 ttJe4 'ili'e5 1 7 ttJxf6+ .ltxf6 1 8
i.xf6 gxf6 1 9 'ifb4 l:tb6 20 'it'a4+ 'itt f8 21
l:td2 and Black still had much work to do in
order to feel more secure. 1 4 i.h6 works less
well here than in the main game for after
1 4 ... 0-0 1 5 .ltxc6 l:!.xc6 1 6 i.xg7 Black has
1 6 ... i.xf2+! 17 'itt x f2 'itt xg7 1 8 l::t d 3 :ctc5 with
equaliry, as In Csom-Peters, Hastings
1 978/79.
14 iLxc6 + l:txc6 1 5 iLh6!

Breaking open Black's kingside.


1 5 . . . gxh6
15 ... .ltxf2+? 16 'ittg2 0-0 17 i.xg7! gives
White a winning attack. Alternatively
1 5 ... i.f8 1 6 ':d2 e5 1 7 i.e3 'it'a6 1 8 .l:!.ad l
i.e7 1 9 'it'g5! 0-0 20 'iWxe5 won White a
pawn in Ribli-Ljubojevic, Buenos Aires 1 978.
1 6 'i'xf6 0-0 1 7 ttJe4 'i'b4 1 8 'ii'e 5 iLe 7
1 9 a3 'ii'b 6 20 .l:!.d7 iLg5
20 .. .f6?! accelerates defeat, White winning
with 21 'ih5 'iWxb2 22 l:txe7 'it'xa1+ 23 'ittg2
when Black is mated - 23 ... f5 24 'iWxh6 and
1i'xh7 decides.
21 b3 !
Accurate. After 21 ttJxg5 ':c5 22 'ife4
161

Th e Ca t a l a n

hxg5 2 3 lIxb 7 White i s a pawn up, but no


more.
21 . . :ii'x b3
After 21 ...f6 22 2 lId8 23 1Ixd8+ 'it'xd8
24 h4 f5 25 hxg5 fxe4 26 gxh6 Black is in
serious trouble.
22 tDxg5 hxg5 23 'iYxg 5 + h8 24 l:tad 1
'iYc2 25 'iYf6 + g8 26 l:t 1 d4 "ii'g 6
26 ...lIc4 27 lIxf7! and Black is mated.
27 "ii'f 3! h5 28 l:txb7 e5 29 l:th4 l:td8 30
'ii'x h5 'ii'x h5 31 l:txh5 f6 32 l:txa7 l:td2 33
e3 l:tc 1 + 34 g2 l:tdd 1 35 l:tf5 1 -0

Game 83
Korchnoi-Ivanchuk

Istanbul 2000
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tDf3 tDf6 4 93 dxc4 5
i.g2 c5 6 0-0 tDc6 7 'ii'a4 i.d7 8 'iYxc4
b5!?

The most energetic move.


9 'ii'd 3
Black should be advised against 9 'iVxb5?
tLlxd4 10 tLlxd4!? (1 0 d3 i.b5 clearly fa
vours Black) 1 O ... xb5 1 1 tLlxb5 tLld5 1 2
tLl l c3 a 6 1 3 tLlxd5 axb5 1 4 tLlc3 b 4 1 5 c6+
We7 1 6 tLle4 .l:tc8 and there was clearly not
enough compensation for the queen in
Hodgson-Karolyi, Kecskemet 1 988.
9 . . . l:tc8
Completing queens ide development and
stepping off the long diagonal. With 9 ... c4
Black loses options: 10 'it'd l lIc8 1 1 tLle5
1 62

i.d6 1 2 tLlxd7 'ifxd7 1 3 tLlc3 a6 1 4 d5 exd5


1 5 tLlxd5 tLlxd5 1 6 'it'xd5 'it'e6 1 7 lIdl ..te5
18 a4 gave White a slight plus in Stefanova
Zhu Chen, Groningen 1 999.
10 tDc3
After this move Ivanchuk successfully
tries for the initiative. It seems more natural
to play 1 0 dxc5 xc5 1 1 tLlc3, when Black
has more than one path to follow. 1 1 ...0-0 12
g5 (1 2 tLlxb5? tLlb4 1 3 'ifc4 ..txf2+ and
Black wins) 1 2 ... tLlb4 1 3 i.xf6 gxf6 1 4 'Yid2
c6 1 5 'it'h6 .l:te8 1 6 lIadl ..tfS 1 7 'iVh5
'ike7 1 8 a3 xf3 (1 8 ... tLld5 1 9 tLld4) 1 9 .i.xf3
with a winning position for White in Anasta
sian-Kaidanov, Lucerne 1 997.
l 1 ...tLlb4 12 'iVd2!? 'iVb6 (1 2 ... tLlbd5 13
tLlxd5 tLlxd5 14 a3 0-0 15 b4 b6 16 .i.b2
and White is better placed thanks to the co
ordination of his bishops) 1 3 tLle5 l:td8 1 4 a3
tLlc6 1 5 tLld3 0-0 1 6 'ifg5 e5 1 7 tLlxc5 'ikxc5
1 8 'iVh4 favoured White (..tg5 is coming) in
Vladimirov-De La Villa, Marchena 1 990.
l 1 ...b4 puts the question to the knight. In
Hansen-Van Der Sterren, Kerteminde 1 991
White chose 12 tLle4 tLlxe4 13 xe4, when
there followed 1 3. .. tLle7 (13. .. 0-0 1 4 l:tdl
'ife7 1 5 g5 f6 1 6 e3 gives White a little
something as Black's queenside pawns are
potentially weak) 1 4 tLle5 ..tb5 1 5 ..te3 0-0
1 6 lIfd 1 'iVb6 1 7 ..txc5 lIxc5 1 8 tLld7 xd7
1 9 lIxd7 tLld5 20 h4 h6 and Black was no
worse. After 21 l:!.dl l:tc2 22 xd5 l:txe2!? 23
'iVd4 exd5 24 l:!.xa7 'it'xd4 25 l:txd4 l:!.xb2 the
game was drawn. Khalifman-Dokhoian,
Germany 1 99 1 saw instead 1 2 tLlb5 0-0 1 3
tLld6 tLld4! 1 4 ..tf4 tLld5 1 5 e5 tLlxf3+ 16
i.xf3 'ifg5 1 7 tLlc4 ..tb5 18 h4 'ike7 1 9 b3
lIfd8 and Black had been very successful in
the opening. White has problems getting his
pieces into play, and the queen is struggling
to contribute.
1 0 . . . cxd4
1O ... c4 1 1 1 (1 1 'tidl ! b4 12 tLla4 'ifa5
results in an interesting position with chances
for both sides) 1 1 ...b4 1 2 tLle4 tLld5 1 3 tLleg5
h6 1 4 e4 tLlf6 1 5 tLlh3 e7 1 6 l:!.dl 'ifa5 was

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 c 5

unclear in Kozul-Bunazovic, Ljubljana 1 993.


1 1 ttJxd4 ttJe5
Black presses for the win. After the sim
pler 1 1 ...ttJxd4 12 'iWxd4 i.c5 1 3 'iVd3 b4 the
situation is comfortable, the subsequent 1 4
ttJe4 ttJxe4 1 5 i.xe4 'iVb6 1 6 i.f4 i.b5 1 7
'i'B 0-0 (1 7 .. .f5!? i s messy) 1 8 l:tad1 i.d4 1 9
l:td2 e 5 being fine for Black in Inkiov
Adamski, Tbilisi 1 986.
1 2 'i!Vd 1 b4
Black needs to maintain the high pace. Af
ter 1 2 ... 'iYb6 1 3 a4 b4 1 4 ttJe4 White might
be a little bit better.
1 3 ttJe4 ttJd5
Black can equalise (again) with 1 3 ... ttJxe4
14 i.xe4 i.e7 1 5 i.f4 ttJc4 1 6 b3 ttJd6 1 7
..It B 0-0 etc.
14 ttJg5
Perhaps this is careless. After the more
natural 14 i.f4 ttJxf4 1 5 gxf4 ttJg6 16 e3
'iVb6 the position is level.
1 4 . . . iLe7 1 5 iLxd5?!
A decision that White will come to regret.
After 1 5 e4 ttJb6 1 6 h4 h6 1 7 ttJgB ttJxf3+
1 8 'iWxB .i.f6 1 9 nd1 i.a4 20 ttJb3 'fie7
Black is doing well. In the event of 1 5 ttJf5!?
it is tempting to go for 15 ... l:t.xc1 !? 16 l:txc1
i.xg5, when 1 7 f4 'iVb6+ 1 8 'it>h 1 ttJg4 1 9
fxg5 ttJge3 20 'iVb3 ttJxfl 21 ltxfl 0-0 seems
fine for Black. Meanwhile there is 1 5 ... exf5
1 6 'iYxd5 l:tc5 1 7 'ii'd4 0-0 1 8 i.f4 .i.c6 1 9
..Itxe5 .i.xg2 20 'it>xg2 l:td5 21 'iWf4 i.xg5 22
'ii'x fS l:te8 23 f4 i.f6 24 .i.xf6 gxf6 25 g4+
'it>h8 with compensation for the pawn ac
cording to Ivanchuk, and Black can also play
the position in another fashion - with
23 .. .f6!?, for example.
1 5 . . . exd5 1 6 ttJgf3 ttJc4 1 7 'ifd3 0-0 1 8
J:td 1 J:te8 1 9 J:tb 1 ? !
White should not tolerate the knight on
c4: 1 9 b3 ttJd6 20 ttJe5 (20 a3 ttJe4 21 axb4
i.xb4 22 lha7 l:tc3 23 'iVb1 .i.c5 clearly
favours Black, 24 l:ta2 l:txB! 25 ttJxB i.xf2+
26 'it>g2 ttJc3 completely ruining White's
structure) 20 ... ttJe4 21 ttJxd7 'fixd7 22 .i.b2
i.f6 and White has good chances of main-

taining the balance.


1 9 . . .iLf6 20 b3 ttJd6 21 iLd2 'it'b6 22
J:tbc 1 ttJe4
Black is better.
23 iLe 1 h6 24 Wg2 a5

25 h3 J:tc5 26 J:txc5 'it'xc5 27 e3 J:tc8 28


g4 'ifb6 29 ttJg 1 iLxd4 30 exd4
A better try is 30 'iWxd4 'iVxd4 31 l:txd4
i.e6, although the endgame is quite grim.
30 . . . iLb5 31 'ifb 1 'ifc6 32 iLd2 f6 33
iLe3 J:tc3 !
Eliminating the dark square defender.
34 'iWb2 J:txe3! 35 fxe3 h4 36 J:td2
'it'g3 + 37 Wh 1 'ifxe3 38 c2 ttJg3 + 39
Wg2 iLf1 + 40 Wh2 ttJe4 4 1 c 1 'ifg3 +
4 2 Wh 1 iLd3 4 3 J:tc8 + W h 7 44 J:th8 + ! ?

44 . . . Wg6!
44 ... 'It>xh8? 45 c8+ allows White to es
cape with a draw.
45 'iWc6 + ttJf6 46 J:te8 Wh7 0-1
1 63

Th e Ca t a l a n

Summary
The position after S ... cS 6 0-0 ttJc6 7 'it'a4 cxd4 8 ttJxd4 'it'xd4 9 .i.xc6+ .i.d7 10 l:txdl
'it'xdl + 1 1 'it'xdl .i.xc6 remains very important for the overall evaluation of the S ... cS system.
It used to be thought that Black has two plans of approximately equal value - to play for sim
plification in the hope of achieving a draw or to strive for an initiative on the kingside by ad
vancing the h-pawn. Now it has been established that the aggressive approach fails. However,
the 'drawing' fortress seems quite feasible, which partly undermines the reputation of 7 'it'a4.
The positive contribution 7 'ii'a4 received from Portisch-Radulov (Game 82) was only tempo
rary as after 7 ... .i.d7 8 'it'xc4 cxd4 9 ttJxd4 J:Ic8 10 ttJc3 ttJxd4 1 1 'ii'xd4 .i.cs 12 'ii'h4 .i.c6 1 3
l:tdl Black made a n error with 1 3. . .'iVb6?; 1 3 . . .'iIi'aS steers the game towards equality.
In the 1 990's the following variation became fashionable for Black: 8 ... bS 9 'iVd3 l:tc8, when
Korchnoi-Ivanchuk (Game 83) illustrates that 1 0 ttJc3 is hannless for Black. After 1 0 dxcS
.i.xcs 1 1 ttJc3 both 1 1 ...0-0 and 1 1 ...ttJb4 are not quite satisfactorily for Black, but 1 1 ...b4 se
cures a level game after 12 ttJbS and 12 ttJe4. Consequently 7 'ili'a4 is no longer considered
dangerous for Black. Therefore White's attention has turned to 7 ttJeS. Now on 7 ... .i.d7 White
should not hurry with 8 ttJxc6 .i.xc6 9 .i.xc6 bxc6 1 0 'iVa4 because Black has time to get his
game going despite the ruined pawn structure. Also not so popular these days is the complex
continuation 8 ttJxc4 cxd4 9 .i.f4 ttJdS 10 ttJxd6 .i.xd6 1 1 .i.xd6. The main line is 8 ttJa3 cxd4
9 ttJaxc4, when White has achieved a lead in development. Nevertheless the (extra) d4-pawn
restricts White a little. In the modern line 9 ... ttJxeS 1 0 ttJxeS 'iVb6 White must consider 1 1 .i.f4
.JibS 1 2 b4 (fukmakov) and 1 1 b4 (Brodsky), and in the case of 9 ... .i.cS 1 0 'iVb3 0-0 he can
probably grab the b7-pawn. Thus it is preferable for Black to play 1 0 ...'iIi'c8 with chances of
gradually equalising, as is demonstrated in Piket-Van Wely (Game 80).
1 d4 d 5 2 c4 e6 3 t'Llf3 t'Llf6 4 g3 dxc4 5 iLg2 c5 (D) 6 0-0
6 'iVa4+ .i.d7 7 'ili'xc4 i.c6 - Game 76
6 . . . t'Llc6
6 ... cxd4 - Game 77
7 t'Lle5
7 'iVa4
7 ... cxd4 - Game 8 1
7 . . ..i.d7 8 'iVxc4 (D): 8. . .cxd4 - Game 82; 8. . .b S - Game 83
7 . . . iLd7
7 ... ttJxeS - Game 78
8 t'Lla3 cxd4 9 t'Llaxc4 (D): 9 ... ttJxeS - Game 79; 9 ... i..e 7 - Game 80

S. . . cS
1 64

8 'iix c4

9 t'Llaxc4

CHA PTER EIGHT

4 . . . dxc4 5 .,tg2 b 5

1 d4 d 5 2 c4 e 6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g 3 dxc4 5


g2 b5
This is a genuine gambit, Black immedi
ately protecting his extra pawn despite it not
yet being attacked. In return for the pawn
White has a space advantage in the centre
and a lead in development.
S ... bS has always been considered a very
provocative continuation, being seldom seen
in international practice. However, it is impor
tant to note that other systems often transpose
to S ... bS lines. For example if, in the S ... c6
variation, White plays 6 0-0, then the best
answer is considered to be 6 ... bS with a trans
position to S ... bS. And S ... a6 and S ... bS are also
closely related - the only real difference being
that S ... a6 is more flexible and allows Black to
avoid the S ... bS lines if he so desires.
After S ... bS there are two main lines. The
first is the tactical line introduced by Gulko 6 a4 c6 7 axbS cxbS 8 ttJeS ttJdS 9 ttJc3 ii.b4
1 0 0-0 .i.xc3 1 1 e4! (Game 84) . In the 1 980's
White achieved a number of brilliant victo
ries with this system, mainly in Soviet tour
naments. But the games somehow failed to
follow standard, rational paths and did not
feature precise defence and accurate calcula
tion. Not surprisingly Black began to find
ways in which the defence could be strength
ened and prospects improved, prompting an

evaluation of the position as - at best - un


clear. Thus in the struggle between the sword
and the armour it would seem that the ar
mour should triumph, and this forcing line
has practically vanished from international
practice. Now we are more likely to see the
albeit less inventive 6 a4 c6 7 0-0 .i.b7 8 ttJeS
(Games 8S & 86), holding back the b 1 knight, a s i n the S. . .a 6 lines.

Game 84
Balashov -Beliavsky

Kiev 1986
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
g2 b5 6 a4 c6 7 axb5 cxb5 8 ttJe5 ttJd5
9 ttJc3

1 65

Th e Ca t a l a n
9 . . i.b4
.

9 ... b7?! is a dubious alternative as 1 0


ttJxb5 ttJc3 1 1 ttJxc3 .i.xg2 1 2 l:.g 1 (polo
vodin) might net Black the light-squared
bishop but the price of time is a more impor
tant factor. White exerts pressure on the
queenside and is clearly better.
9 .. .f6 looks risky. Indeed Black was pun
ished in Hackel-Rausch, Germany 1 996,
which continued 10 e4!? ttJxc3 1 1 'Yi'h5+ g6
1 2 ttJxg6 hxg6 1 3 'iix h8 'iVxd4 1 4 1t.h6 ttJd7
1 5 0-0 f5?! 1 6 'Yi'g8 ttJxe4 17 'Yi'xe6+ Wd8 1 8
l:i.ad 1 'Yi'c 5 1 9 1t.xe4 fxe4 20 l:i.d5 'Yi'b6 21
1t.g5+ Wc7 22 1t.f4+ 'it>d8 23 'iVe5 1t.b7 24
.i.g5+ and White won. An improvement is
15 ... ttJe2+ 16 'it'h1 e5 17 .i.xfS ttJxfS 1 8
'tWxf6 when Black has two minor pieces for a
rook but White enjoys more activity and has
the safer king.
1 0 0-0 i.xc3 1 1 e4!

Gulko's contribution, which is preferable


to 1 1 bxc3 ttJxc3 1 2 'iWd2 ttJd5 1 3 1t.a3 f6
\vith an edge for Black as White's knight is
driven back and there are no tricks with
'iVh5.
1 1 . . . i.xb2!
The best of the candidate replies.
1 1 ...b4? is the worst in view of 12 exd5
exd5 13 ttJxf7! Wxf7 14 'iVh5+ and White
wins. 1 1 ...ttJf4 doesn't look too convincing
either, Gulko giving 1 2 xf4 1t.xb2 1 3 l:i.b 1
.i.xd4 1 4 ttJxc4! bxc4 1 5 e5 etc.
1 1 ...ttJe7 proved disastrous in Gulko1 66

Mikhalchishin, Volgodonsk 1 98 1 , Black re


sponding to 1 2 bxc3 with the poor 1 2 ... f6?,
running into serious trouble after 1 3 'iVh5+!
g6 1 4 ttJxg6! ttJxg6 1 5 e5 ttJc6 1 6 .i.xc6+
.i.d7 1 7 .i.xa8 'iYxa8 1 8 h6 Wf7 1 9 exf6.
Of course this can be avoided with 1 2 ... 0-0,
but then 1 3 1t.a3 f6 14 ttJxc4! bxc4 1 5 e5
ttJd5 16 .i.xfS 'iWxfS 17 it'a4 is pleasant only
for White who, despite having a rook for two
minor pieces, has the open flies on the
queenside with which to generate play.
In the event of 1 1 ...ttJf6 1 2 bxc3 1t.b7 1 3
1t.a3 'iVc7 1 4 'iVe2 ttJbd7 1 5 ttJxd7 'iVxd7 1 6
d 5 White has compensation for the pawn
due to the dark-squared bishop.
1 2 exd5
The alternative is 1 2 .i.xb2 ttJe7 1 3 d5! 0-0
1 4 1t.a3, when 1 4... ttJd7? 1 5 ttJxf7 xf7 1 6
dxe6+ xe6 1 7 'iih 5 g6 1 8 'iVxh 7 ttJe5 1 9
l:i.ad 1 ttJd3 saw Black walking o n thin ice in
Polovodin-Zhelnin, Moscow 1 983. In fact
the game ended 20 .i.h3+ We5 21 'iVg7+
Wxe4 22 ..ig2+ Wf5 23 ..ixe7 "iVe8 24 .i.h3+
'it'e4 25 l:i.fe H ttJxe1 26 'iVd4+ and Black was
mated. Instead of the faulty 1 4 ... ttJd7?, 011
assessed the situation after 14 .. .f6 1 5 d6
ttJec6 1 6 ttJxc6 ttJxc6 1 7 d 7 b4! 1 8 dxc8'iV
l:i.xc8 as unclear, thanks in no small part to
Black's has three connected passed pawns.
1 2 . . . i.xa 1 1 3 i.a3

1 3 . . . a5
13 ... exd5?! is dangerous in view of 1 4
'iWh5, e.g. 1 4. . .g6 (1 4. . ...ie6 i s punished by

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 b 5

Chernin's 1 5 liJxf7! g6 1 6 f3! l:tfB 1 7 l:tel


Wd7 1 8 l::t x e6, when White wins) 15 f3 and
White has a strong initiative, e.g. 1 5 .. .f6 1 6
J:tel ! 1Le6 1 7 1Lh3! f5 1 8 liJxg6 hxg6 1 9
J:txe6+ <j;} f7 20 .ixf5 .ixd4 21 1Lxg6+! and
Black is crushed.
14 'iVg4
Also possible is 1 4 dxe6 1Lxe6 1 5 .ixa8,
when Kengis-Mejster, Toljatti 1 985 contin
ued 1 5 ... .ixd4? 1 6 liJc6! .ixf2+ 17 'itxf2
'i'c7 1 8 .id6! 'iVb6+ 1 9 'iVd4 'iixd4+ 20
tL'lxd4 b4 21 l:tal ! 'it>d7 22 .if4 l:tc8 23 .ib7!
J:td8 24 l:txa5 'ite8 25 liJxe6 fxe6 26 l:b5 and
White won. Black's queenside pawns were
inferior to White's active pieces. Dunnington
gives 1 5 ... b4 1 6 'iVxal 0-0 1 7 1Lel with at
tack, while 1 5 ...xd4 1 6 xal xal 1 7
J:txa 1 b4 1 8 .iel 0-0 1 9 ':xa5 .l:td8! i s analysis
by Kengis.
14 . . . b4
After 1 4 ...g6!? 1 5 'i!kf4 f6 1 6 .l:hal l:ta6 1 7
tL'lg4 e 5 1 8 dxe5 .ixg4 1 9 'iVxg4 b 4 20 1L c 1
c3 21 d6 (011) the siruation is highly complex.
1 5 'iVxg7 f8 1 6 .l:!.xa 1 .l:!.a6
16 ... bxa3 17 dxe6 .ixe6 18 .ixa8 'iixd4
19 l:tb 1 liJd7 20 .ic6 and now Chernin
Yudasin,
Sverdlovsk
1 984
continued
20 .. :ifd6? 21 .ixd7+ .ixd7 22 liJxc4 'iic 5 23
J:tb8+ 1Lc8 24 l:.xc8+ and White won. Black
should play 20 ... a2! 21 .ixd7+ .ixd7!, sacri
ficing and relying on the dangerous a2-pawn.
Then after 22 .l:tb8+ 'it>e7 23 xfB+ 'iit e 6 24
'i'xf7+ 'it>xe5 25 e7+ 1Le6 26 nbS+ <j;}e4 27
'i'xe6+ c;t>d3 the battle rages on with chances
for both sides.
17 iLc 1 exd5
1 7 .. .f6 is also possible, Balashov giving 1 8
tL'lxc4 l:. f7 1 9 'iih 6 exdS 20 liJe3 1Le6 2 1
.to. White is the exchange down but has
attacking prospects against Black's exposed
king, while Black has rwo dangerous con
nected passed pawns.
18 iLh6! xh6?!
Better is 18 ...e7 1 9 l:tel .ie6! 20 'iixh7
tL'ld7 21 liJxd7 'iitx d7 22 .ixdS when White
has clear compensation for the exchange in

this open position but Black's dangerous


pawns contribute to an evaluation of unclear.
1 9 'ilfxh6 iLe6 20 .l:!.e 1 'ilfe7 21 ttJxc4
21 liJxf7!? 'iVxf7 22 .l:txe6+ 'iit d7 23 .l:td6+
'iit c 7 24 f4 and Black's slightly troubled king
confers White the more pleasant game. Again
Black's pawns are dangerous!
21 . . . dxc4 22 d5 d7 23 "ii'e 3!
White has a strong attack.
23 . . . 'ilfd6 24 'ilfa7 + 'ilfc7 25 dxe6 + fxe6
26 'iVd4+ c8?
Better is 26 ... 'iid6 27 'iig7+! 'iie 7 28 lieS
but White still has a strong initiative.
27 .l:!.xe6

White is winning.
27 . . . c3 28 iLh3 b7 29 'iVd5 + a7
Or 29 ... liJc6 30 1Lg2 l:tc8 3 1 l:txc6 xc6
32 'iVbS+ and White wins.
30 iLg2 ttJa6 31 .l:!.c6 ! 1 -0

Game 85
Mochalov-Spirin

Correspondence 1986
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
iLg2 b5 6 a4 c6 7 0-0 iLb7 8 ttJe5
After 8 liJc3 b4 9 liJb 1 cS 10 liJbd2 c3 1 1
bxc3 bxc3 1 2 liJc4 cxd4 1 3 xd4 lixd4 1 4
liJxd4 .ixg2 1 5 'it>xg2 1Lb4 Black had no
problems in Grinshpun-Rabinovich, Tel
Aviv 1 997. Moiseenko-Kharlov, St. Peters
burg 1 998 took a different course: 8 ... a6 9 e4
liJbd7 10 e5 liJd5 1 1 liJgs liJ7b6 1 2 h5
167

Th e Ca t a l a n

d7 1 3 a s 4Jxc3 1 4 bxc3 4JdS 1 5 jixdS


cxdS 16 4Jxh7 0-0-0 17 4Jxffi l:tdxffi with
chances for both sides.
S . . . ltJd5
Also possible is 8 ...'iVb6 9 b3 cxb3 1 0
'it'xb3, offering the d4-pawn. I n fact after
1 0 ... 'ii'xd4 1 1 jib2 6 1 2 axbS cxbS 1 3
jid4 'iixd4 1 4 jixb7 xal 1 5 xbS+ 4Jbd7
16 4Jxd7 4Jxd7 17 jixa8 White has compen
sation for the pawn due to his lead in devel
opment.
Khalifman-Sveshnikov, Elista 1 996 went
1O ... 4Jbd7 1 1 jie3! cS, prompting White to
open up the centre with 1 2 4Jxd7 4Jxq.7 1 3
dS!, when there followed 1 3 ... bxa4 1 4 'iVxa4
exdS (1 4 ... jixdS 1 5 4Jc3 jixg2 1 6 xg2
'it'b7+ 1 7 gl .l:!.d8 1 8 .l:tabl 'iVc8 1 9 4JbS!
a6 20 4Ja7 'iVc7 21 I:.fd l ! 'iVxa7 22 'iVc6 'iVa8
23 I:.b7 'ii'c 8 24 nc7 is clearly better for
White - Khalifman) 1 5 4Jc3 with an excel
lent game for White. After I S ... d4 1 6 4JdS
jixdS 1 7 jixdS .l:!.d8 1 8 jif4 'iVf6 1 9 'iVbs
jid6 20 l:ta6 l:tb8 21 jib7! this had been
translated to a decisive advantage.
Finally there is 1 0 ... a6 1 1 lldl 4Jbd7 1 2
4Jc3 4JxeS 1 3 dxeS 4JdS 1 4 jixdS!? exdS 1 5
axbS axbS a s in Raetsky-Z.Yarga, ZUrich
2000, when White's development lead was
balanced out by Black's consolidation in the
centre. After 1 6 jie3 d8?! 1 7 jia7! 'iVc7?!
18 e4 b4 19 exdS! bxc3 20 d6 d7 21 jicS!
White stood better despite being a piece
down. Black should play 1 6 ... jicS 1 7 .l:!.xa8+
jixa8 1 8 l:tal jib7 1 9 4Ja4 bxa4 20 xb6
jixb6 21 jixb6 d7 22 xa4 l:ta8 with
equality.
9 b3
9 4Jc3 a6 transposes to 8 ... a6 9 4Jc3 4JdS
9 e4 4Jf6 1 0 dS!? (1 0 4Jc3 leads to equality
after 1 O ... b4 1 1 4Je2 cS) l O ... cxdS 1 1 exdS
4JxdS, when Raetsky-Sofrigin, Leukerbad
2002 continued 1 2 4Jc3!? b4 1 3 4JxdS jixdS
14 jigS! jie7 (14 ... 'ii'xgS 1 5 jixdS iVxeS 1 6
jixa8 'iVxb2 1 7 .l:!.c1 favours White) 1 5 jixe7
xe7 16 'it'hS g6 17 'ii'h4+ f6 1 8 jixdS exdS
1 9 nfe1 ! gS 20 h6 and White had a devas1 68

tating attack: 20 ... fxeS 21 xeS+ f7 22


l::t f5+ and White won. In Vladirnirov
Gedevanishvili, Daugavpils 1 978 the queen
side saw all the action: 1 2 axbS jie7 1 3 4Jxc4
0-0 1 4 4JaS 'it'b6 1 5 4Jxb7 'ii'x b7 1 6 4Jc3
l:td8 1 7 3 4Jc6 1 8 4JxdS exdS 1 9 l::td l
4Jb4 20 jid2 'it'xbS 21 jixb4 'ii'xb4 22
'ii'xb4 jixb4 23 jixdS nab8 24 .l:txa7 and in
this opposite-coloured bishop ending White
had good winning chances.
9 . . . cxb3

1 0 'i'xb3
Also possible is 10 axbS cxbS 1 1 'ii'x b3 a6
12 e4 4Jf6 13 dS!, e.g. 13 ... exdS 14 exdS
xdS 1 5 e3 e7 1 6 jixdS 4JxdS 1 7 'iVe4
'ii'e 6 1 8 l:tdl with comfortably enough for
the two pawns. 1 3 ... cS!? is interesting but
appears inadequate in view of Agzamov's 14
dxe6 fxe6 15 'iixe6+ e7 16 xe7+ xe7
1 7 4Jc3 0-0, when White is slightly better
because the centre pawns are more mobile
than Black's a- and b-pawns.
1 0 . . . a6 1 1 ltJc3 ltJd7 1 2 axb5
12 4JxdS exdS 13 e4 4JxeS 14 exdS!?
cxdS! 1 5 dxeS cS 16 axbS 0-0 17 b6!? with
a slight advantage for White.
1 2 . . . axb5 1 3 J:txaS .ixaS 1 4 ltJxd5 exd5
1 5 e4 ltJxe5 1 6 dxe5 d4? !
1 6 ... dxe4 1 7 xe4 e 7 1 8 d 1 gives
White compensation by way of the usual
development lead.
1 7 e6 f6
Mochalov gives 1 7 .. .fxe6 1 8 'it'xe6+ 'ii'e7

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL. g 2 b 5

1 9 a2! .1b7 20 e5! c5 21 .1g5! 'iixg5 22


.1xb 7 with an excellent game for White.
1 8 e5!

After 26 ... 'ii'e 7 27 'it'xe5 'ii'xe6 28 'iix e6


l:txe6 29 i.fS White wins a piece and the
game.
27 'ii'g 7 + 'ii'e 7 28 'ii'x e5 + Wb6 29
'ii'x d4+ Wc7 30 'ii'e 5+ Wb6 31 l:tb8 + 1 -0

Game 86
Filippov-Pridorozhni

Ekaten'nburg 1997

1 8 . . . fxe5
18 ... i.e 7 19 exf6 .1xf6 20 .1a3 .1e7? 21
'it'f3 l::t f8 22 'it'xc6+! is a nice little trick.
1 9 iL.e4! iL.e7
1 9 ...'it'd6 20 .1g5 .1e7 21 l::t a 1 gives White
the initiative as Black has no time to castle:
2l ...i.b7 22 l:ta7 .1xg5 23 .l:!.xb7 etc.
20 'iff3 'ifd6
20 ... .1f6 21 .1xc6+ <3;e7 22 .1a3+ <3;xe6
23 l::t c 1 and White is better. Black's king has
seen better days.
2 1 'iff7 + Wd8 22 iL.g5! iL.b7 23 l:ta 1 iL.c8
23 ... l::te 8 24 l:ta7 'it'c7 25 .1xe7+ l:txe7 26
llxb7! l::tx f7 27 exf7 'iVd6 28 .1xc6 and
White wins.
24 J:ta8 iL.xg5 25 'ifxg7

25 .. .1:1e8 26 'ifxg5 + Wc7

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ltJf3 ltJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5


iL.g2 b5 6 a4 c6 7 0-0 iL.b7 8 ltJe5 a6 9
ltJc3
Also possible is 9 b3 cxb3 10 i.b2. Then
1O ... 6 1 1 xb3 ttJbd7 12 ttJxd7 ttJxd7 1 3
tDd2 .1e7 1 4 d5! saw White exploit his supe
rior development after 14 ... cxd5 1 5 i.xg7
l::tg8 in Tukmakov-Korchnoi, Leningrad
1 973, Tukmakov giving 1 6 .1h6!? l::tg6 1 7
.1e3 .1c5 1 8 .1xc5 ttJxc5 1 9 'itb2 as unclear
due to Black's weak dark squares. Alterna
tively, Black sorted out his kingside in Orlov
Akopian, Minsk 1 990, although after
1 O ... .1e7 1 1 'iNxb3 0-0 1 2 ttJd2 l:ta7 1 3 l:tfe1
'iWe8 14 l::t ac1 as 1 5 e4 .1a6 1 6 axb5 .1xb5
1 7 'iVe3 lla6 1 8 g4 White started an offensive
in this sector, the subsequent 1 8 ... a4 1 9 g5
ttJfd7 20 ttJec4 f6 21 gxf6 l::t xf6 22 e5 l::tg6 23
'it'h 1 resulting in a balanced game.
9 . . . ltJd5
Black can try 9 ... 'itb6, e.g. 10 e4 ttJbd7 1 1
ttJxd7 ttJxd7 1 2 d5 i.c5 1 3 dxe6 fxe6 1 4
i.h3 ttJ f8 1 5 'ikh5+ g6 1 6 'iih 6 and White
has considerable play for the pawn, although
this is preferable for Black to Shabalov
Martynov, Moscow 1 987, which went
1 2 ... cxd5 1 3 exd5 e5 14 axb5 axb5 1 5 xa8+
i.xa8 1 6 i.e3 i.c5 1 7 'it'g4 g6 1 8 i.xc5
'iNxc5 19 J:ta 1 i.b 7 20 lla5.
In Filippov-Akhmadeev, Kolontaevo 1 994
Black opted for the quieter 1O ... .1e7 1 1 .1e3
0-0 12 b3 cxb3 13 'iWxb3 'it'd8 (13. .. c5 is too
early in view of 14 ttJc4! with an edge for
White), inviting White to gradually build up
his forces with 1 4 llfd 1 ttJbd7 1 5 ttJd3 .l:!.e8
16 l::t ac 1 l::t c 8 17 h3 h6 1 8 g4 .ta8 19 f4 etc.
1 69

Th e C a t a l a n

1 0 e4
White concentrates on the centre. 1 0 ltJe4
ltJd7 1 1 i.g5 f6 12 ltJxd7 'iVxd7 1 3 i.d2
i.e7 1 4 ltJc5 i.xc5 1 5 dxc5 "fie7 16 e4 ltJc7
17 i.a5 e5 1 8 "fid6 resulted in the usual dark
square theme in Szabo-Shamkovich, Con
stanza 1 969. 10 axb5 must also be investi
gated. Then 10 ... cxb5 transposes to 5 ... a6 6
0-0 b5 7 ltJe5 ltJd5 8 a4 c6 9 axb5 cxb5 1 0
ltJc3 i.b7 (Chapter 5), which leaves 1 O . . . axb5
1 1 xa8 i.xa8 12 i.xd5 cxd5 1 3 ltJxb5 as in
Piket-Lputian, Montecatini Terme 2000.
White wins back the pawn but now Black is
able to smoothly bring his forces into the
game, and Lputian secured equal chances:
1 3. . .'it'a5 1 4 ltJc3 ltJc6 15 i.f4 i.b4 16 e4 0-0
17 'iVg4 h5 18 ltJxc6 i.xc6 19 xh5 i.xc3
20 bxc3 'iYxc3 21 i.e5 "fid2 22 nd1 'iYh6 23
'iVxh6 gxh6.
1 0 . . . tDxc3 1 1 bxc3 tDd7 1 2 f4 tDf6?!
1 2 ...i.e7 is appropriate, when 1 3 ltJxf7?! is
dubious in view of 13 ...'it>xf7 1 4 f5 e5! and
Black keeps the position closed. G.Gross
M.Gurevich, Germany 1 998 is a more useful
model for White: 13 'i!Vg4 0-0 14 f5 ltJf6 1 5
'i!Ve2 exfS 1 6 nxfS ltJd7 1 7 ltJg4 ltJb6

Now White found the dangerous looking


1 8 ltJh6+!?, both players having a fight on
their hands after 1 8 ...gxh6 1 9 i.xh6 h8 20
e5 ltJd5.
1 3 f5 exf5 14 .l:!.xf5 i.e 7 1 5 'iVf3 c5
1 6 d5 0-0 1 7 i.e3
The forcing 17 ltJc6 i.xc6 18 dxc6 prom1 70

ises White less than the game continuation.


1 7 . . . g6? !
1 7 ... 'iYa5 1 8 i.g5 h6?! 1 9 i.xf6 i.xf6 20
nxf6! gxf6 21 ltJg4 with good chances of
success on the kingside.
1 8 i.h6 ! !

A brilliant sacrifice!
1 8 . . . gxf5 1 9 'iiVx f5 'it>h8 20 .l:!.f 1 !
White allows his forces full participation.
Black is helpless.
20 .. :e8
After 20 ... 'i!Vd6 21 "figS ltJe8 22 i.xfS
i.xg5 23 ltJxf7+ Black avoids mate but not
defeat.
21 d6 i.d8 22 d7 'iVe7

23 'iiVg 5 tDh5
23 ... ng8 doesn't help Black 24 'i!Vxf6+
'i!Vxf6 25 nxf6 ng6 26 ltJxg6+ hxg6 27 nxf7.
24 'iiVx h5 f6 25 i.xf8 'ii'x e5 26 'iiVe 8! i.c6
27 i.e7 + 1 -0

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 b 5

Summary
After 6 a4 c6 7 axb5 cxb5 8 ttJe5 ttJd5 9 ttJc3 b4 1 0 0-0 xc3 1 1 e4 it is difficult for White
to achieve an advantage as Black is provided good counterplay by his queenside pawns. Con
seljuently the line with 6 a4 c6 7 0-0 b 7 8 ttJe5 holds more potential for White. The prob
lems with 8 ... 'ifb6 (such as reducing Black's influence over d5) were pointed out in Khalifman
Sveshnikov, while after 8 .. ttJd5 White can successfully generate an with either 9 e4 or 9 b3.
Perhaps Black should play 8 a6, when White has control over the centre, while 9 b3 is less
effective - prompting the conclusion that there is no guarantee of an advantage.
.

...

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5 iLg2 b5 6 a4 c6 (D) 7 0-0


7 axb5 cxb5 (D) 8 ttJe5 ttJd5 - Game 84
7 . . . iLb7 8 ttJe5 (D)
8 .. ttJd5 Game 85; 8 . . a6 Game 86
.

6. . . c6

7 . . . cxb5

8 ttJe5

171

I CHA PTER NINE I


4 . . . dxc4 5 Ji.g2 c6

1 d 4 d 5 2 c4 e 6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5


g2 c6
S ... c6 is rarely seen. White can choose to
head for the S ... bS lines with 6 0-0 bS 7 a4
but there is also the more challenge with 6
ttJeS!?, which has a downside in that
6 ... ii.b4+ can disrupt the first player's devel
opment. White can block the check with 7
ttJc3 with decent chances of achieving some
thing concrete from the opening phase, or he
can try the interesting gambit with 7 ii.d2, as
seen in both games in this chapter. In the
first game Black accepts the second pawn
with 7 .. .'ihd4 and faces a difficult task de
fending against White's threats (something in
which he does not succeed). In the second
game Black seeks to exploit the temporarily
poor posting of the bishop on d2 with
7 ... ii.e7, adopting a more positional ap
proach.

Game 87
Chetverik -Burma kin

Nagykanizsa 1993
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
g2 c6 6 ttJe5 b4+ 7 d2
Let us look at 7 ttJc3 ttJdS. Then 8 'il'c2?
ttJxc3! 9 bxc3 'it'xd4! 10 ii.b2 ..ItaS 1 1 ttJf]
'it'f6 12 ttJd2 0-0 13 ttJxc4 ..Itc7 1 4 0-0 ttJd7
1 72

1 5 ttJd2 g6 1 6 e4 eS saw Black keep the


pawn at no cost to himself in Castillo-Sadler,
Iinares 1 995.
After 8 .i.d2 the ball is in Black's court. In
Bondarevsky-Keres, Moscow 1 947 White
emerged with a slight edge after 8 ...ttJb6 9
ttJe4 as 1 0 e3 0-0 1 1 c2 ttJ8d7 1 2 .i.xb4
axb4 1 3 ttJxc4 ttJxc4 14 'it'xc4 thanks to his
easier piece play. This leaves 8 ... ..Itxc3 9 bxc3
bS 10 a4 when White's activity compensates
fully for the pawn deficit. Tkachiev
Kazhgaleev, Cannes 1 999 continued 1 O .. .f6
1 1 ttJf3 0-0 1 2 e4 ttJe7 1 3 ..Ite l !? a6 1 4 i..a3
ttJd7 1 5 0-0 ttJb6 1 6 as ttJd7?! (1 6 ... ttJa4!?) 1 7
i.. h3 'it> f7 1 8 dS!? (1 8 eS!?) 1 8 . . .exdS 1 9 exdS
ttJxdS, and now White could have played 20
..Ite6+! xe6 21 ttJd4+ 'it>f7 22 ttJxc6 ttJeS!
23 ttJxd8+ llxd8. Black has only two knights
for the queen but the semi-closed position
and the great outposts on d3 and dS mean
something, although White has the better
chances.
7 .. :,'bd4 8 xb4 'iii'x e5 9 ttJa3 ! b5
Forced. In the case of 9 ...xb2? 10 llbl
eS 1 1 ttJxc4 White wins after ttJd6+, and
9 ... cS?! is not to be recommended in view of
10 ttJxc4 c7 1 1 d6! (Neistadt) .
1 0 f4 'iii'c 7 1 1 ttJxb5 cxb5 1 2 xa8 iLb 7
1 3 xb7 'i!Vxb7 1 4 0-0
This is the most natural move. Another

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

try is 1 4 lUI !? tLld5 1 5 i.c5 tLld7 1 6 'iVd4 f6,


when Pankratov-Kharlov, Moscow 1 998 saw
1 7 e4 tLlxc5 1 8 ir'xc5 'iVb6! 1 9 'iVxb6 tLlxb6
20 0-0-0 cJ;;e 7 21 .l::td4 l:I.c8 22 l:I.fdl with a
very pleasant ending for White. At the mo
ment only the d-ftle is open so it is difficult
for White to break through. After a further
opening up of the position the difference in
strength between the rook and knight will
show. Instead of 1 7 e4 White should con
sider castling long, as 17 O-O-O! tLlxc5 1 8
'iWxc5 fS 1 9 e4! fxe4 20 fS ! creates a formida
ble attack against Black's stranded king.
1 4 . . . 'iWb6 +
In Shipov-Maljutin, Moscow 1 99 1 Black's
knights were busy after 14 ... tLlc6 1 5 i.c3
tLle4 16 a4 (1 6 i.xg7 l:I.g8 17 i.d4 h5 gives
Black counterplay) 1 6 ... b4?! (1 6 ...tLlxc3 1 7
bxc3 b 4 1 8 cxb4 'iVxb4 1 9 e 3 is a lesser evil)
1 7 i.e 1 0-0 1 8 'iVc2 tLld6 1 9 i::td 1 tLlfS 20
i.f2 but were nevertheless short of outposts,
resulting in insufficient compensation for the
exchange.
1 5 'it;h 1

After 1 6 ... tLlc6 1 7 i.c3 tLle4 1 8 i.xg7 l:1.g8


1 9 i.c3 tLlf2+ 20 l:I.xf2 'iWxf2 21 'iWd6 Black
restores the points score but the weakness of
his dark squares spells serious trouble.
1 7 f5! ttJa6
1 7 ...l:th6 1 8 fxe6 .l::t x e6 1 9 'iWfl favours
White.
1 8 fxe6? !
More clear-cut is 1 8 i.c3 0-0 (1 8. . .tLlf2+
1 9 l:txf2 'iWxf2 20 i.xg7 l:tg8 21 i.f6) 1 9
'iWd4 with a superior endgame for White.
1 8 . . . 'iWxe6 1 9 a3
In the event of 1 9 i.c3 Black can consider
1 9 ... h4!? because 1 9 ...0-0 20 'iWd4 'iWg6 21
xa7 is preferable for White.
1 9 . . . ttJxb4 20 axb4 ttJg5 21 J:l.f2
21 ::!.xa7 'iWc6 is equal.
21 . . . 0-0 22 'iWd4 'iWc6 + 23 J:l.g2 a6 _24
J:l.d 1
24 'iVh4!? is worth a look.
24 . . . ttJe4
Black's forces enjoy good co-ordination.
The knight stands well on e4 and White has
pawn weaknesses, thus affording Black com
pensation for the exchange.
25 d7 f6
Also good is 25 ... 'iVxd7 26 l:I.xd7 l:I.e8 but
Black prefers to keep the queens on the
board. This makes sense as the white king is
susceptible to attack.
26 'iWd4 'iWe7 27 e3 J:l.e8 28 'iWd7 'iWe5 29
J:l.d5 b8 30 J:l.d4 ttJf6 31 'iWd6 'iWb7 32
h3 J:l.xe3 33 'it;h2 J:l.e6

1 5 . . . h5?!
Black should prefer 15 ...tLlc6 16 i.c3 tLlg4
1 7 'iWd6 tLle3 1 8 l:I.f3 (not 1 8 .l::t fdl ?? 'iVb7,
when White resigned in Pasman-Stean, Beer
Sheva 1 978) 1 8 ... tLlf5 1 9 'iVd2 b4 20 i.e5 0-0
and White found his bishop stuck on e5 and
his centre weakened, leaving the situation
unclear.
1 6 J:l.f3 ttJe4
1 73

Th e Ca t a l a n

3 4 d8 + ?
3 4 c5 minimises Black's lead to a slight
advantage.
34 . . .'.i.>h7 35 'ii'f8 .:te1 36 'ii'c 5 f3 37
z:tf4 'iVd 1 38 g4?
This loses, but 38 ttgl Uxgl 39 xgl
d2+ 40 f2 xb4 does not help White.
38 . . . l:!.h 1 + 39 'it.'g3 d3 + 0-1

Game 88
Stefanova-Ku rajica

Benasque 1997
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 4Jf3 4Jf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
i.g2 c6 6 4Je5 i.b4+ 7 i.d2 i.e7

8 i.c3
\,('hite can also play 8 e3, when 8 ... c5!? 9
'ii'a4+ .ltd7 1 0 'ii'x c4 ttJc6 1 1 ttJxc6 .ltxc6 1 2
.ltxc6+ bxc6 1 3 dxc5 d5 1 4 xd5 cxd5 1 5
.lt d .ltxc5 1 6 i.. xf6 gxf6 brings about an
approximately level ending and 1 1 0-0 offers
White an edge.
After the text Black has tried 8 ... ttJd5 9
ttJxc4 b5?!, but this proved good for White in
Chetverik-Matras, Prague 2002 when the
bishop landed on as: 10 i.. a 5 i..b4+ 1 1 i.. xb4
ttJxb4 12 ttJe3 (1 2 ttJe5?! runs into
1 2...xd4! 13 xd4 ttJc2+ 14 'it>d2 ttJxd4 note that from e3 the knight protects c2)
12 ... i..b 7 1 3 0-0 and White was in control of
the vital c5-square. In order to avoid this

1 74

situation Black now elects to begin his


queenside play by first pushing the a-pawn.
8 . . . a5 9 a4? !
The natural looking 9 0-0 ttJd5 1 0 ttJxc4
b5 1 1 ttJe5 secures White a modest edge.
9 . . . 4Jd5 1 0 4Jxc4 b5 1 1 axb5 cxb5 1 2
4Je5
Again 12 ttJe3!? is an interesting move, e.g.
12 ... ttJxe3 13 fxe3 tta6 with chances for both
sides, or 1 2 ... i..b7 1 3 d3 b4 14 i..d2 0-0
with equality.
1 2 . . . 0-0 1 3 0-0 i.b7 1 4 'ilib3
14 e4?! ttJf6! 1 5 d3 b4 1 6 .ltd2 .lta6 1 7
ttJc4 ttJc6! and Black wins material because
d4 is under fire and there is the threat of
... ttJe5! etc. 14 .ltd2 a4 is slightly better for
Black.
1 4 . . . b4 1 5 i.d2 4Jc6 1 6 4Jxc6 i.xc6 1 7
e4 4Jb6 1 8 i.e3?!
Or 18 l:tc 1 b7 1 9 e3 a4 and Black is
making considerable progress on the queen
side.
1 8 . . . a4 1 9 'ii'd 3 'ilid7 20 d5?
The lesser evil is 20 l:tdl .ltb5 21 d2
ttJc4.
20 . . . i.b5
Black wins material.
21 d4 4Jc4 22 i.f4 e5!

23 i.xe5 4Jxe5 24 xe5 i.xf 1 25 i.xf 1


i.f6 26 h5 i.xb2 27 '!:!'a2 g6 28 f3
i.g7 0-1

4 . . . dx c 4 5 Ji. g 2 c 6

Summary
This line is a bit too obscure and lacks something in flexibility for today's top players. If White
wants he can transpose to the sharp S ... bS line with 6 0-0 bS 7 a4, while another option is a
guaranteed advantage after 6 ttJeS .i.b4+ 7 .i.d2. It is then very dangerous for Black to take the
pawns in the centre, and White enjoys an enduring lead after 7 ... .i.e7 8 .i.c3 followed by ttJxc4.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 tLlf3 tLlf6 4 g3 dxc4 5 Ji.g2 c6 (D) 6 tLle5 Ji.b4+ 7 Ji.d2
7...'ii'xd4 (D) Game 87; 7 ... .i.e7 (D) Game 88
-

5 . c6
. .

7 . . flixd4
.

7 . . Ji.e 7
.

1 75

CHA PTER TEN

4 . . . dxc4 5 i.g2 i.b4 +

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 4:Jf3 4:Jf6 4 g3 dxc4 5


i.g2 i.b4+
This check is designed to throw a (small)
spanner in the works as far as \'Vhite's co
ordination is concerned, as well as the de
fence of the d4-pawn. However, the idea is
seen rather seldom with this particular move
order.
The positions in this line can usually be
compared to those of the Bogo-Indian De
fence (1 d4 ttJf6 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 .i.b4+), while
6 ttJc3 0-0 7 0-0 transposes to the Nimzo
Indian Defence (1 d4 ttJf6 2 c4 e6 3 ttJc3
.i.b4 4 g3 0-0 S ttJf3 dS 6 .i.g2 dxc4 7 0-0)
in this book these positions can be found via
the move order S ... ttJc6 6 0-0 in Chapter 6.
The continuations 6 ttJbd2 and 6 d2 are
of approximately level theoretical impor
tance. The position after 6 ttJbd2 often arises
through the move order 1 d4 ttJf6 2 c4 e6 3
ttJf3 .i.b4+ 4 ttJbd2 dS S g3 dxc4 6 i.g2
when, in the case of 6 ... c3 7 bxc3 i.xc3 8
b1 , \'Vhite's pressure on the b- and c-files
and his lead in development compensate for
the pawn. Therefore we are more likely to
see 6 ... ttJc6 or 6 ... 0-0, and these rwo options
often overlap (Game 89) .
In reply to 6 i.d2 Black rarely trades bish
ops, and after 6 ...i.xd2+ 7 xd2 Black strug
gles if he tries to hang on to the extra pawn

pawn with 7 ... bS?! thanks to 8 gS with a


double attack. However, alternatives also
leave Black passive and without counterplay,
which explains why avoiding the exchange
with 6 ... e7, 6 ... cS and 6...aS (Game 90) is
preferable.

Game 89
Kozul-Lju bojevic

Belgrade 1989
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 4:Jf3 4:Jf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
i.. g 2 i.b4+ 6 4:Jbd2

1 76

0-0
After 6 ... c3 7 bxc3 xc3 Black wins a
pawn. Then 8 b 1 ttJe4 9 0-0 xd2 1 0
i.xd2 ttJxd2 1 1 'Yiixd2 ttJd7 1 2 fc1 left
. . .

4 . . . dx c 4 5 iL g 2 iL b 4 +

White with the usual 'development' compen


sation in Haba-Hiibner, Germany 1 993,
which was soon unclear after 12 ... 0-0 13 a4
as 14 'iVc2 c6 15 e4 ltJf6 1 6 l:td1 .
Another option for Black is 6 ... ltJc6 7 0-0
i.xd2. Tukmakov-Lputian, Novosibirsk
1 986 continued 8 i.xd2 ltJxd4 9 ltJe5!? 0-0
10 .l:r.c1 c5 1 1 llxc4 ltJd7 1 2 ltJd3, White
winning back the invested material with the
better game, retaining his lead after 12 ... e5 1 3
ltJxc5 ltJxc5 1 4 :xc5 'iVe7 1 5 SLb4 i.g4 1 6
f3 SLe6 1 7 e 3 ltJc6 1 8 SLa3 etc.
White can adopt a different set-up by re
capturing with the queen, e.g. 8 'iVxd2 l:tb8 9
b3!? cxb3 1 0 i.a3, when White is trying to
keep Black's king stranded in the centre. This
plan was used in Kozul-Vukovic, Banja Vru
cica 1 99 1 which went 1 0 ... ltJe7 1 1 axb3 i.d7
1 2 ltJe5 i.b5 1 3 l:tfc1 a6 1 4 g4 0-0 1 5 g5
ltJe8 1 6 Uc3 and White's kingside offensive
was up and running. Instead of 8...1:!.b8 Black
has 8 ... 0-0 9 'iVc3 b5, when after 10 ltJe5
ltJxd4 1 1 l:!.el l:!.b8 12 e3 White hits the piece
that defends against the fork on c6. Conse
quendy Black should maintain the momen
tum by parting with the knight, although
1 2 ... c5 1 3 exd4 cxd4 1 4 'iVa3 anyway favours
White.
7 0-0
Creating a genuine threat against c4 by lift
ing the pin. 7 'iVc2 is the alternative means to
hit c4, when Black is not obliged to react.
7 ... b5 8 a4 bxa4 sees Black voluntarily
weaken his pawn structure in return for piece
play, Haba-Hiibner, Germany 1 99 1 continu
ing 9 0-0 SLb7 1 0 ltJxc4 c5 1 1 i.g5 ltJc6 1 2
dxc5 i.xc5 1 3 'iVxa4 'iVe7 1 4 ac1 l:!ac8 1 5
SLe3 i.xe3 when a draw was agreed, al
though White is slighdy better in this posi
tion. Black can also play 7 ... c5 8 dxc5 c3 9
bxc3 i.xc5 1 0 0-0 ltJc6 1 1 ltJb3 i.e7 1 2 l:i.dl
'iVc7 13 i.f4 e5 14 i.e3, this time White
accepting a litde structural damage in order
to generate pressure on the queenside. This
seemed to work in D.Gurevich-Tiviakov,
New York 1 998 after 1 4... i.g4 1 5 h3 i.h5 1 6

ltJh4 l:tfd8 1 7 l:[xd8+ l:lxd8 1 8 lIdl with an


edge for White.
A simple, albeit rather unambitious ap
proach is to anticipate the coming capture on
c4 and prepare a trade of queens with
7 ...ltJc6 8 'iVxc4 'ii'd 5, although 9 0-0 i.xd2
1 0 'iVxd5 exd5 1 1 i.xd2 i.g4 1 2 lIfc1 l:lac8
1 3 e3 ltJe4 1 4 i.el resulted in White having
the more comfortable game in D.Gurevich
Young, Reno 1 992 thanks to the bishop pair.
There followed 1 4 ...lIfe8 1 5 b4 ltJd6 1 6 a4
a6 1 7 nab 1 i.f5 1 8 lIb3 ltJa7 1 9 ltJe5 c6 20
g4 i.e6 21 f3 f5 22 h3 l:tcd8 23 SLh4 l:!.a8 24
i.g3 .l:!ac8 25 :tbc3 g6 26 i.f1 and Black had
failed to drum up worthy counterplay, being
reduced to the unenviable policy of waiting
to see how White chose to continue the bat
de.
7 c3
Raetsky-Gipslis, Senden 1 998 went 7 ... b5
8 a4 c6 9 'it'c2 as 10 b3 cxb3 1 1 ltJxb3 bxa4
1 2 l:ha4 i.a6 1 3 SLg5 SLb5 1 4 J:ta2 h6 1 5
SLxf6 'ii'xf6 1 6 ltJe5 l:td8 1 7 l:tb 1 a4 1 8 ltJc5
when, for the pawn, White had managed to
generate a formidable initiative.
S lLlc4 lLlc6
. . .

9 fid3
Quite different is 9 b3, White hoping to
win the c3-pawn. Haba-Ostrowski, Czehia
1 999 developed as follows: 9 ....l:tb8 10 a3
i.e7 1 1 'iVc2 b5 1 2 ltJce5 i.b7 1 3 ltJxc6
i.xc6 1 4 'iVxc3 i.e4 1 5 i.b2 ltJd5 1 6 'iVc1
'iVc8 1 7 ltJe5 and White was ready to ad1 77

Th e Ca t a l a n

vance the e-pawn.


9 . . . cxb2 1 0 .ll. x b2 .ll. e 7 1 1 ac 1 as 1 2
'ilVb 1
1 2 l:tfd1 a4 1 3 e4 a3 1 4 a1 d7 1 5 'ifb1
l:ta4 1 6 d5 exd5 1 7 exd5 tt:Ja5 was the course
of Raetsky-Rashkovsky, Cappelle la Grande
2000. Now White could have had chances
for an advantage with 1 8 d6! .l:!.xc4 1 9 dxe 7
'iVxe7 20 tt:Jg5 (20 l:txc4 tt:Jxc4 21 ii.xf6 h'Xf6
22 'iVxb7 with compensation for the mate
rial) 20 ...g6 21 l:txc4 tt:Jxc4 22 ii.xf6 'iVxf6 23
tt:Jxh7! 'it>xh7 24 J::!. xd7 etc.
1 2 . . . a4 1 3 e4 a3 1 4 .ll. a 1 ttJb4 1 5 fd 1
a4 1 6 ttJe3 c6 1 7 h4 h6 1 8 .ll.f 1 .ll. d 7
An interesting option is 18 ... b5!? 19 tt:Je5
'ifb6 with chances for both sides.
19 .ll. c4 b5 20 .ll. b 3 a7 2 1 ttJe5
White has better in 21 c3! tt:Ja6 22 d2!,
redeploying the bishop for an attack on the
kingside, e.g. 22 ...'ifb6 23 e5 tt:Jd5 24 tt:Jg4.
21 . . . .ll. e 8 22 f4? !
Dubious. The correct treatment is 22
tt:J5g4 tt:Jxg4 23 tt:Jxg4 Wib6 24 e5! (Kozul).
22 . . . ttJh5! 23 ttJf 1
23 'it>g2 .i.xh4! helps Black.
23 .. :ii'b 6 24 Wh2 c5 25 dxc5 .ll. x c5 26
xc5 'ilVxc5 27 .ll. d 4 'ilVe7 28 c 1 ttJa6 29
.ll. x a7 'iVxa7 30 ttJg4 ttJc5

3 1 .ll. d 1
Perhaps White might try 31 e5!? c6 32
ii.d 1 , thus avoiding Black's next, which
opens up the centre.
31 . . . f5! 32 exf5 exf5 33 ttJe5 ttJe4 34
1 78

c2 'ilVd4 35 .ll. f 3?
35 xh5 xh5 36 'iVxb5 'il'd 1 IS the
lesser evil.
35 . . . b4
Black has a decisive lead.
36 'ii'b 3+ Wh7 37 .ll. xe4 'it'xe4 38 c7
.ll. b 5 39 ttJe3 ttJxf4 40 c5
40 l:te 7 .i.a4! etc.
40 . . . d8! 4 1 gxf4 'ii'xf4+ 42 Wh3 .ll. f 1 + !
0-1

Game 90
Karpov-Piket

Monaco 1999
1 d4 d 5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
.ll. g 2 .ll. b4+ 6 .ll. d 2

6 . . . a5
Of course Black has other options. After
6 ... .i.xd2+ 7 'iVxd2 a mistake is 7 ... b5?! in
view of 8 'iVg5 with simultaneous threats
against b5 and g7. Instead 7...0-0 8 tt:Ja3 ii.d7
9 tt:Jxc4 c6 1 0 0-0 tt:Jbd7 1 1 l:tfc1 d5 1 2
b 4 left White i n charge o n the queenside in
Portisch-P.Nikolic, Ijnares 1 988.
6 ... ii.e7 7 0-0 leads only to equality after
7 ... 1Ld7! 8 'il'c2 ii.c6 9 'iVxc4. Unander-Plato,
Sweden 1 995 saw the more combative 7 'iVc2
.i.d7 8 tt:Je5!? tt:Jc6 9 'iVxc4 tt:Jxe5 10 dxe5
tt:Jd5 1 1 0-0 0-0 12 tt:Jc3 c6 1 3 a4 'tIVb8 14 f4
as 1 5 'YWd3 'iVc7 1 6 l:tac 1 and White enjoyed
more space.
An interesting situation arises after 6 ... c5 7

4 . . . dx c 4 5 s... g 2 s... b 4 +

jLxb4 cxb4 8 4Je5 0-0 9 4Jxc4 4Jc6 1 0 e3,


when Chetverik-Ziabari, Prague 2002 con
tinued 10 ... e5!?, the point being that after 1 1
jLxc6 bxc6 both 1 2 dxe5 'YWxd1+ 1 3 'it'xdl
4Je4! 1 4 'it'e2 a6 1 5 l:tc1 l:tad8 and 1 2
4Jxe5 jLh3 1 3 'i f3 l:tc8 Black has compen
sation. Consequently White chose 1 1 d5,
when the counter l 1 ...b5! 12 dxc6 'iVxd1+ 1 3
'i.t>xd 1 bxc4 1 4 4Jd2 c 3 1 5 bxc3 bxc3 1 6 4Jc4
e4 17 'i.t>c2 i.e6 1 8 'it>xc3 i.d5 19 4Ja5 i.xc6
would have led to equality.
7 0-0 0-0
After 7 ... b5?! 8 a4 c6 9 axb5 i.xd2 1 0
'YWxd2 cxb5 White again has 1 1 iVg5 with the
now familiar double threat against b5 and g7.
Voloshin-Fiodorov, Polanica Zdroj 1 997 saw
1 1 ...4Jd5 1 2 'it'xg7 f6 1 3 xf6 4Jxf6 1 4
4Je5 4Jd5 1 5 4Jc3 f6 1 6 4Jxd5 exd5 1 7 4Jf7!
i.e6 18 4Jd6+ 'it>d7 1 9 4Jxb5.
8 'iVc2 b5?!
Babula-Jirovsky, Zlin 1 997 witnessed an
other exchange of queens: 8 ... 4Jc6 9 'iVxc4
d5 1 0 l:tc1 l:td8 1 1 xd5 exd5 1 2 f4
i.g4 1 3 e3 l:td7 1 4 4Jc3 4Jh5 1 5 4Jb5 4Jxf4
1 6 gxf4 f6 1 7 a3 jLfS 1 8 4Je 1 a4 1 9 jLfl l:ta5
20 jLd3 g6 21 4Jc3 4Ja7 22 jLc2 b5 23 4Jd3
and White's pull on the queenside was
enough for an advantage.
9 a4

9 . . . bxa4 1 0 .l:!.xa4
White has an interesting idea in picking up
the a4-pawn with the knight, an approach

tried in Gulko-Makarychev, Moscow 1 974,


when 10 4Jc3!? jLb7 1 1 4Jxa4 xd2 1 2
xd2 4Jbd7 1 3 l:tfc 1 4Jb6 1 4 4Jc5 4Je4 1 5
e 1 4Jxc5 1 6 dxc5 4Jd5 1 7 4Je5 c3 1 8 bxc3
f6 19 l:tcb 1 favoured White. The advantage
remained intact after the subsequent 1 9 ...l:ta7
20 c6 jLa8 21 4Jd7 l:te8 22 c4 i.xc6 23 4Jb8!
jLb7 24 l:txb7! l:txb7 25 4Jc6 'iVd6 26 cxd5
exd5 27 'it'xa5 l:tb2 28 'iVxd5+ 'it>fS 29 e3, the
two minor pieces being stronger than the
rook (although Black can still fight on).
10 . . . s... b 7 1 1 s... x b4 axb4 1 2 lha8 s... x a8
1 3 ttJbd2
1 3 xc4 leads only to equality after
1 3 ... d5 1 4 'YWxb4 4Jc6 1 5 'iVc5 jLxf3 1 6
jLxf3 4Jxd4 1 7 4Jc3 4Jxf3+ 1 8 exf3.
1 3 . . . c5
Black can clear the queenside with 13 ... c3
14 bxc3 bxc3 1 5 iVxc3 4Je4 16 4Jxe4 jLxe4
17 4Je5 jLxg2 1 8 'it>xg2 'iVd5+ 1 9 'it>g1
(piket), when White can claim a lead in view
of his superior pawn structure.
1 4 dxc5 'iVa5 1 5 xc4 s... d 5 1 6 d4
1 6 iVc2 l:tc8 1 7 e4 l:txc5 1 8 iVd3 gives
White something to bite on.
1 6 . . . d8 1 7 ttJc4 s... x c4 1 8 'iVxc4 .l:!.c8 1 9
ttJd4?!
Better is 1 9 l:td 1 h6 (1 9 ...l:txc5?! 20
iVxb4!) 20 h3 with a minimal advantage to
White.
1 9 . . . .l:!.xc5 20 'iVd3 .l:!.c8 21 .l:!.d 1 h6
21 ...l:td8 22 iVc2 g6 23 e3 e5 is level.
22 h3 'iVa2 23 'iVb3 xb3 24 ttJxb3 ttJfd7
25 f4 f8 26 s... e4 e7
The king comes to the centre. Black has
equal chances in this endgame.
27 .l:!.d4 f5 28 s... d 3 ttJc6 29 .l:!.c4 ttJb6 30
.l:!.c 1 d6 31 f2 g5 32 e4
32 fxg5 hxg5 33 jLb5 4Je5 34 l:txc8 4Jxc8
35 h4 with approximate equality.
32 . . . gxf4 33 gxf4 fxe4 34 s... xe4 ttJe7 35
.l:!.xc8 ttJexc8 36 ttJd4 ttJa4 37 b3 ttJc5 38
s... c 2 ttJe 7 39 f3 e5 40 ttJe2 exf4 41
ttJxf4 e5 42 ttJd3 + ttJxd3 43 s... x d3 ttJc6
Y:z - Y:z

1 79

Th e Ca t a la n

Summary
In the variation with 6 lbbd2 lbc6 Black usually exchanges on d2 and holds on to the gambit
pawn. In return White enjoys better development and has definite compensation. After 6 ... 0-0
White has a choice between taking direct aim at c4 with 7 'ifc2, with a slight edge, or seeking
an initiative with 7 0-0, allowing Black to hang on to the material (after 7 ... bS or 7 ... c3) .
In reply t o 6 .Jtd2 a ll of 6 ... .Jte7, 6 ... cS and 6 ...a S are reasonable for Black. Note than after
6 ... iJ... e7 7 0-0 Black can bring his other bishop (via d7) to c6 because 7 ... .Jtd7 S lbeS?! lbc6
makes the bishop look misplaced on d2. White has a modest space advantage after 7 'iVc2 .Jtd7
S lbeS.
In the variation with 6 ... cS 7 .Jtxb4 cxb4 S lbeS 0-0 9 lbxc4 lbc6 10 e3 it was thought that
1 0 ... eS was dubious due to 1 1 .Jtxc6 bxc6 1 2 dxeS 'ii'x d1 1 3 'iit x d1 lbg4 1 4 'iit e 1 (Bareev), but
Black can certainly improve on 1 3 ... lbg4? with 1 3 ... lbe4, guaranteeing compensation for the
pawn. Perhaps White should prefer 7 dxcS, with a slight lead in a standard Catalan position,
rather than 7 .Jtxb4.
After 6 ... aS 7 0-0 0-0 8 'iVc2 lbc6 9 'ir'xc4 iLd6 we have a position which belongs in the line
starting with S ... lbc6 6 'it'a4 iJ... b4+ 7 .Jtd2 .Jtd6 S lfxc4 0-0 9 0-0 but with the additional ... a7as. The continuation 9 'iVxc4 'iVdS differs from the well known variation in the Bogo-Indian
Defence - namely 1 d4 lbf6 2 c4 e6 3 lbf3 .Jtb4+ 4 .Jtd2 as S g3 dS 6 'iVc2 lbc6 7 .Jtg2 dxc4 S
'iVxc4 'it'dS - in that neither player has castled in the Bogo. Here, apart from 1 0 'iVxdS and 1 0
'iVd3, White has the additional possibility o f 1 0 l:!.c1 with a small but steady advantage.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 f3 f6 4 g3 dxc4 5 .i.g2 .i.b4+ (D)
6 lbc3 0-0 7 0-0 lbc6
S e3 .l:!.bS - Game 63 (Chapter 6) ; S 'iVc2 l:tbS - Game 64 (Chapter 6)
6 lbbd2 0-0 7 0-0 c3 (D) - Game 89
6 .Jtd2 as (D) - Game 90

1 80

. . .

.i.b4 +

. . .

c3

. . .

a5

CHA PTER ElEVEN

4 . . . dxc4 5 g2 et:Jbd 7

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 4:lf3 4:lf6 4 g3 dxc4 5


i.g2 4:lbd7
This natural posting of the knight is simi
lar to Black's set-up in the Queen's Gambit
Declined. Black addresses queenside devel
opment and prepares the liberating ... c7-c5
and ... e6-e5, but the system's peak in popu
larity has long gone. This is because White
tends to find himself with an advantage and
in little danger of facing counterplay from
Black. Note that both 6 1t'a4 and 6 'ic2
transpose to 5 1t'a4+ ttJbd7 in Chapter 3, so
here we shall consider only the consequences
of 6 0-0.
Then 6 ... e7 7 it'c2 will again steer us to
5 'iVa4+, but White stands better after 7
ttJbd2 and 7 ttJfd2. 6 ... c5 is discussed In
Game 91 and 6 ... J::tb 8 in Game 92 .
...---

Game 9 1
Vasilchenko-Meszaros

Kecskemet 199 1
1 d 4 d5 2 c4 e 6 3 4:lf3 4:lf6 4 g 3 dxc4 5
i.g2 4:lbd7 6 0-0 c5
Immediately contesting the centre.
6 ... ttJb6 7 ttJbd2 c5 8 ttJxc4 transposes to
6 ... c5 7 ttJa3 ttJb6 8 ttJxc4 in the note to
Black's 7th move below, but an alternative is
6 ... e7. Then 7 c2 0-0 8 'YWxc4 transposes

to 5 'it'a4+ ttJbd7 6 g2 iLe7 7 'iVxc4 0-0 8


0-0 (Chapter 3) .
7 ttJfd2 ttJb6 8 ttJxc4 ttJxc4 9 'iVa4+ ttJd7
10 'ii'x c4 ttJb6 1 1 'ikd3 0-0 12 ttJc3 ttJd5 1 3
l:td1 b6 1 4 e4 earns White the initiative. In
Krasenkow-Hubner, Polanica Zdroj 1 996
Black chose the inferior 14 ... ttJb4?! 1 5 'itb 1
l:tb8 1 6 iLf4 g5 1 7 a3 ttJa6 1 8 iLxg5 'ii'xg5
1 9 b4 c5 20 f4 'iYh6 21 ttJb5 and found him
self looking at a misplaced knight on a6.
Hubner proposes an improvement in
14 ...ttJxc3 1 5 bxc3 iLb 7 1 6 c4.
7 ttJbd2 also hits c4, A.Zaitsev-Hubner,
Buesum 1 969 continuing 7 ... ttJb6 8 'ii'c2 a6 9
a4 0-0 1 0 as ttJbd5 1 1 ttJxc4 b5 1 2 axb6 cxb6
1 3 'iVb3 iLd7 14 ttJfe5 iLb5 1 5 iLd2 ttJe8 1 6
e4 ttJdf6 1 7 J::t fd 1 ttJd6 1 8 ttJxd6 iLxd6 1 9
iLg5 J::tc 8 2 0 iLfl ! iLxfl 21 'it>xfl e7 2 2 d5!
with a nice attack for White. 7 ... b5 has been
tried here, e.g. 8 a4 c6 9 axb5 cxb5 10 ttJe5
ttJxe5 1 1 iLxa8 'ii'xd4 12 ttJO ttJxO+ 1 3
.i.xO 'iNb6 1 4 b 3 0-0 1 5 bxc4 bxc4 1 6 iLe3
.i.c5 17 xc5 it'xc5 1 8 1t'a4 e5 19 J::t fc1 iLe6
20 iLb 7 and White was in the driving seat in
Ni Hua-Jakubowski, Oropesa 1 999.
6 ... c6 supports the advance of the b-pawn,
which soon saw action in Pine-Euwe, New
York 1 95 1 after 7 a4 b5 8 axb5 cxb5 9 ttJc3
'iVb6 10 b3 b4 1 1 ttJa2 iLe7 12 bxc4 bxc4
13 ttJd2 ttJd5 14 ttJxc4, when White stood
181

Th e Ca t a l a n

better thanks t o his healthier pawns and


queenside pressure. In Budnikov-Thesing,
Germany 1 992 Black sent his knight on a
tour: 7 ... tDd5 8 e4 tDb4 9 tDa3 tDd3 10 .ig5
f6 1 1 tDxc4 b5 1 2 axb5 cxb5 1 3 tDa5 tDxb2
14 'W!Vb3 tDc4, and now after 1 5 .id2 tDdb6
16 xb5+ d7 17 'iVh5+ g6 1 8 'iVh4 .ie7 1 9
h6 White was in charge, in no small part
thanks to Black's poor king.
7 lLla3 a6
7 ... cxd4 8 tDxc4 'iVc7 9 xd4 b5 10 tDce5
.2i.c5 1 1 d3 looks nice for White, while
Raetsky-Lechtynsky, Pardubice 1 992 contin
ued 7 ... 1I.. e7 8 tDxc4 0-0 9 1I.. f4 tDd5 10 .l:i.c1
tDxf4 1 1 gxf4 .l:i.b8 12 dxc5 xc5 13 c2
tDf6 1 4 .l:i.fdl e7 1 5 tDfe5 tDd5 1 6 e3 a6 1 7
a3, again with a queenside pull for White.
After 7 ... tDb6 8 1I..g5 Atalik gives 8 ... c3! 9
bxc3 cxd4 1 0 tDb5 d7 1 1 'iVbl ! a6 1 2
tDbxd4 h 6 1 3 1I.. xf6 !,,"X f6 as unclear in view
of the pawn weaknesses on both sides.
Korchnoi-Miles, Rotterdam 1 984 went 8
tDxc4 tDxc4 9 1Wa4+ .2i.d7 1 0 xc4 6
(1 0 ... b5 is a bit too early, as was demon
strated in Quinteros-Schweber, Buenos Aires
1 998, which continued 1 1 it'd3 c4 1 2 c2
.2i.c6 1 3 g5 e7 14 .2i.xf6 xf6 1 5 e4 b7
16 .l:1ad 1 0-0 17 e5 .2i.e7 1 8 tDg5 .2i.xg5 1 9
.2i.xb7 nb8 20 .ie4 g6 21 h4 .ih6 22 d5
exd5 23 .ixd5 'iVe7 24 .l:i.fe l and Black was
left to contend with e5-e6) 1 1 dxc5 .ixc5 1 2
b4! 'iYxb4 1 3 it'xb4 .ixb4 1 4 .l:i. b1 .id6 1 5
.l:i.dl e7 1 6 tDg5 tDd5. Korchnoi then gives
1 7 tDxf7!? xf7 1 8 .l:i.xb7 We8 1 9 e4 .ia4
(1 9 ... .ic6 20 .l:lxg7 .2i.e5?! 21 exd5 .2i.a4 22
llg5! is excellent for White) 20 .l:i.d3 .l:i.c8 21
.ib2 .ic2 22 .l:i.d2 b4 23 .l:i.xc2 .l:i.xc2 24
xg7 tDe3 25 fxe3 as a route to advantage
for White.
8 dxc5 i.xc5 9 lLlxc4 0-0
9 ... b5? runs into 10 tDce5 .ib7 1 1 tDxf7!
<j;xf7 12 tDg5+ e7 13 .ixb7 and White was
close to winning in Raetsky-Andersen, Bad
Raga? 1 994.
1 0 'iWc2 b5?!
1 O ...e7 11 .ig5 h6 1 2 .ixf6 tDxf6 1 3
1 82

.i:!.ac1 with a slight advantage for White due


to his lead in development.
1 1 lLlce5 b6
Another try is 1 1 ...'iVc7 12 .ie3 b6
(1 2 ... .ib7? 13 tDxd7 tDxd7 14 tDg5 and
White wins) 1 3 it'xc7 1I.. xc7 1 4 .i:!.ac1 with a
considerable lead for White. Again Black has
problems on the h l -a8 diagonal.
1 2 b4! i.xb4 1 3 i.e3 'iWd6 1 4 .l:.ad 1
1 4 tDg5?! is tempting but Black pounces
with 14 ... tDxe5 1 5 11.. xa8 tDc4 .
1 4 . . . lLld5

1 5 lLlg5! f5
15 ... tD7f6 16 tDg4! and White wins at least
a piece. 1 5 ...g6 is more stubborn, although
White wins after 1 6 tDexf7! .l:i.xf7 1 7 tDxf7
Wxf7 1 8 .if4 c5 19 xc5 tDxc5 20 .l:i.xd5!
etc.
1 6 lLlxe6! lLlxe3 1 7 fxe3 'iWxe5 1 8 lLlxf8
'iWxe3+ 1 9 h 1 1 -0

Game 92
Kasparov-Korchnoi

Candidates Semifinal (9), London 1983


1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 lLlf3 lLlf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
i.g2 lLlbd7 6 0-0 J:tb8 7 a4 b6
Not Black's only configuration on the
queenside. After 7 ... a6 8 as b5 9 axb6 cxb6
10 .2i.f4 .l:i.b7 1 1 .l:i.xa6 tDd5 12 tDc3 Black
played 12 ... .2i.e7?! in Tukmakov-O.Rodriguez,
New York 1 987, but following 1 3 tDb5! 0-0
1 4 it'c 1 tDxf4 1 5 gxf4 .i:!.b8 16 .i:!.a7 .2i.b 7 1 7

4 . . . dx c 4 5 i.g 2 0, b d 7

'iVxc4 emerged a pawn down for nothing, his


situation taking a turn for the worse after
1 7 ... ctJf6 1 8 ctJe5 ctJd5 1 9 f5! .i.g5 20 ctJxf7!
Itxf7 21 fxe6 l:.f5 22 l:.xb7 .l::t xb 7 23 e4,
when White won. Black can consider
12 ... ctJxf4, when 1 3 gxf4 b5 1 4 l:ta8! ctJb6 1 5
l:.a5 favours White, the b5-pawn being weak
and Black lagging behind in development. In
Gulko-Shapiro, New York 1 987 Black man
aged to use the b5-square (temporarily) for
his own knight after 8 ... ctJe4 9 'ilVc2 ctJd6 1 0
ctJe5 ctJb5 1 1 l:.d 1 ctJxe5 1 2 dxe5 .i.d7 1 3
'iix c4 c 5 1 4 ctJc3, when White collected the
gambit pawn with a more active position.
Indeed after 14 ... 'it'c7 1 5 ctJe4 .i.e7 1 6 .i.f4
0-0 1 7 ctJf6+! .i.xf6 1 8 exf6 e5 1 9 .i.e3 ctJd4
20 lhd4! exd4 21 .i.f4 White won material.
S 0,fd2
8 ctJbd2 .i.a6 9 'iVc2 c3 10 bxc3 .i.xe2 1 1
lie 1 .i.a6 was tried in Lutikov-Klovans,
Vladivostok 1 978, when White could have
obtained the better chances after 1 2 c4! .i.e7
1 3 d5 ctJc5 1 4 ctJe5 .i.b7 1 5 dxe6 ctJxe6 1 6
.i.c6+ .i.xc6 (Neistadt gives 1 6 . ..'.ti> f8 1 7
ctJdf3 with initiative) 1 7 ctJxc6 ctJd4 1 8
l:.xe7+! 'it'xe7 1 9 ctJxd4 'ilVe1+ 20 'it'g2, with
two pieces for a rook.
S . . . e5
8 . . . .i.b7 9 .i.xb7 l:.xb7 10 ctJxc4 .i.e7 1 1
ctJc3 ctJd5 1 2 e4 ctJxc3 1 3 bxc3 ctJf6 1 4 'it'e2
is an edge for White, while 14 e5?! ctJd5 1 5
'it'g4 ctJxc3!? 1 6 .i.b2 h5 1 7 'iWxg7 ctJe2+ 1 8
g2 'ilVd5+ 1 9 f3 l:.f8 is unclear.
9 0,xc4!
9 d5?! as! 10 ctJc3 .i.a6 1 1 ctJb5 .i.xb5 1 2
axb5 .i.d6 1 3 ctJxc4 0-0 i s equal.
9 . . . exd4 1 0 'iWxd4 i.c5 1 1 'it'd3 0-0 1 2
0,c3 i.b 7 1 3 i.xb 7 l:txb 7 1 4 'liVf3 !
1 4 .i.f4 .i.b4! 1 5 'if f3 ctJc5 with only a
small advantage for White.
1 4 . . :ii'a S 1 5 i.f4 a6
1 5 .. J:tbb8 16 'it'xa8 t!.xa8 17 l:.ad 1 c6 1 8
e4 11fd8 1 9 .i.c7 l:.e8 20 .i.d6 .i.xd6 21
ctJxd6 l:.e7 22 f4 favours White, whose
proud knight is most unwelcome on d6.
1 6 e4 l:ta7 1 7 0,d5

Also possible is 1 7 'iitg2!? 11e8 1 8 e5


'iixf3+ 19 'it'xf3 ctJh5 20 l:tad1 ctJxf4 21 gxf4
with a better endgame.
1 7 . . . b5
1 7...'iVc6 1 8 b3 ctJxd5 1 9 exd5 'iVf6 20
.uac 1 is a lesser evil.
1 S 0,a5!

18 ctJe5 forces too many exchanges and


results in equality after 1 8 ... ctJxe5 19 .i.xe5
ctJxd5 20 exd5 .i.d6 21 .i.d4 l:.b7 when, sud
denly, Black is no longer cramped on the
queenside.
1 S . . . bxa4? !
Far better is 1 8 ... l:.e8! 1 9 ctJxc7 'iVxe4 20
'it'xe4 1he4 21 axb5 axb5 22 ctJxb5 l:.a8 with
chances to fight on despite White's extra
pawn.
1 9 l:tfc 1 ! i.d4
Or 1 9 ... .i.d6 20 ctJc6 .i.xf4 21 ctJxf4 l:.b7
22 e5 ctJe8 23 11xa4 with a decisive lead.
20 l:txa4 i.xb2?
Losing the exchange. After the more accu
rate 20 ... ctJxd5 21 exd5 .i.xb2 22 11c2 .i.f6 23
.i.e3! ctJb6 24 11g4 White stays on top thanks
to his attacking chances and Black's poor co
ordination.
21 0,e7 + ! 'it>hS 22 .l:tc2 'liVeS
Or 22 ... ctJe5 23 .i.xe5 .i.xe5 24 ctJac6 'iVe8
25 11a5 .i.d6 26 e5 .i.xe 7 27 ctJxa7 ctJd7 28
ctJc6 and White wins.
23 l:txb2 'it'xe7 24 0,c6 'iWc5 25 0,xa7
'liVxa7 26 e5 0,9S 27 i.e3 'iiVa S 2S 'ii'x aS
xaS 29 f4 0,e7 30 l:td2 1 -0
1 83

Th e Ca t a l a n

Summary
Practice shows that the S ... ttJbd7 system is difficult for Black, which is why it is seldom seen
on the tournament circuit these days. After 6 ... cS 7 ttJa3 (Game 91) 7 ... ttJb6 our attention is
drawn to the standard collection of the pawn with 8 ttJxc4! ttJxc4 9 'ifa4+ .i.d7 10 'ifxc4 (note
that this is possible after 6 ...ttJb6 7 ttJbd2 cS 8 ttJxc4) . After 6 ....l:tb8 7 a4 b6 (Game 92) Black's
defensive task seems sufficiently difficult to prefer 7 ... a6 8 as ttJe4.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 liJf3 liJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5 i.g2 liJbd7 (D)
6 'iVa4 a6 7 'iVxc4 Games 25 & 26 (Chapter 3)
6 0-0
6 ... cS (D) Game 9 1 ; 6 ... l:tb8 (D) Game 92
-

5. . . liJbd7

1 84

6. . . c5

6. . . 'D.b8

I CHA PTER TWEl VE I


4 . . . dxc4 5 g2 i.d7

1 d 4 d 5 2 c4 e 6 3 tDf3 tDf6 4 g 3 dxc4 5


i.g2 i.d7
This is a logical attempt to provide the
traditional 'problem' bishop with a good
outpost, Black planning to place the piece on
c6 in order to challenge the Catalan bishop.
The point is that, compared to accommodat
ing the bishop with ... b7-b6 or ... b7-bS, in
this way Black avoids compromising the
queenside strucrure and denies White targets
in the form of weakened light squares.
S ... .i.d7 was reintroduced into modern
practice by Korchnoi, notably in the 7th
game of his match with Kasparov in London
in 1 983. Not surprisingly this provided a
significant contribution to the theory of the
line.
White can react in two ways, 6 ttJbd2 or 6
'iVc2, both with the intention of regaining the
gambit pawn. We should note that the ma
jority of variations after 6 'iic2 have no inde
pendent value. Usually there is a transposi
tion to S it'a4+ .i.d7 6 it'xc4 .i.c6 7 .i.g2,
which was discussed in Chapter 3.
It makes sense to prevent the arrival of
Black's bishop on c6. Consequently 6 ttJeS is
the main continuation, and the position after
6 ... .i.c6 7 ttJxc6 ttJxc6 forms the tabia of the
S ... .i.d7 system. We then have a typical Catalan gambit siruation where White's initiative

(initially in the centre) compensates for the


pawn.

Game 93
Kozul-H . Olafsson

Wijk aan Zee 199 1


1 d 4 d 5 2 c 4 e 6 3 tDf3 tDf6 4 g 3 dxc4 5
i.g2 i.d7 6 tDbd2
6 'ii'c 2 .i.c6 transposes to S 'iVa4+ .i.d7 6
'iVxc4 .i.c6, which leaves 6 ... cS. Then 7 'iixc4
.i.c6 is familiar, while 7 0-0 .i.c6 8 'fixc4
transposes to S ... cS 6 'i*'a4+ .i.d7 in Chapter
7. Vaganian-Portisch, Saint John 1 988 con
tinued 7 ttJeS ttJc6 8 ttJxc6 .i.xc6 9 .i.xc6+
bxc6 10 dxcS .i.xcs 1 1 0-0 'fidS with the
better strucrure for White, although Black
was active. After 1 2 ttJc3 'fihs 1 3 'it'g2 0-0 1 4
ttJa4 'ilVdS+ I S f3 .i.e7 1 6 .J:t d l 'it'hS 1 7 l::td4
ttJdS 1 8 l::t xc4 l::t fd8 1 9 a3 l::t a c8 20 b3 .i.f6
21 l::t b l ttJb6 both sides had chances.
6 . . .i.b4 7 "i!Vc2
7 0-0 c3!? 8 bxc3 .i.xc3 9 nb l O-O?! fa
voured White in Sigulski-Yuferov, Naleczow
1 984 after 1 0 .i.a3 l:te8 1 1 l::t xb7 .ic6 1 2
l::tb 3 .i.xd4 1 3 l::t d 3 e S 1 4 ttJxd4 exd4 I S ttJ f3
'fid S 1 6 'ilVc 2 'it'a s 1 7 ttJxd4 .i.xg2 1 8 'it'xg2
ttJbd7 1 9 ttJc6 'ii' fS 20 l::t d2 but the immedi
ate 9 ... .i.c6 improves. Then 10 .i.a3 as 1 1
'iic2 .i.b4 1 2 .ixb4 axb4 1 3 l::t xb4 0-0 re1 85

Th e Ca t a l a n

stores material equity with a n unclear posi


tion.
7 " .b5
7".i.xd2+ 8 i.xd2 i.c6 9 'iVxc4 i.dS 10
'it'd3 ttJc6 1 1 0-0 leaves White with the dark
squared bishop. However, 7".i.bS! looks
best, when play has continued 8 0-0 ttJc6 9
lId1 . One game went 9".ttJaS 10 e4 0-0 1 1
ttJeS i.xd2 1 2 i.xd2 'it'xd4 1 3 i.c3 'iVb6 1 4
'iYd2 ttJc6 I S 'it'gS h 6 1 6 'iVh4 ttJxeS 1 7
i.xeS ttJd7 1 8 Si.d4 c S 1 9 i.c3 and the
bishop pair gave White compensation in
Kozul-Liang Jinrong, Novi Sad 1 990. In
Sosonko-Korchnoi, Wijk aan Zee 1 984 Black
accepted the invitation to take on d4:
9".ttJxd4 10 ttJxd4 1lVxd4 1 1 ttJe4 b6 1 2
Si.e3 1lVa6 1 3 i.d4 i.e7 1 4 i.xf6 gxf6
(1 4".i.xf6 I S ttJxf6+ gxf6 1 6 1lVc3 eS 1 7 'Vf3
<j;;e 7 1 8 1lVxb7 xb7 1 9 i.xb7 lIab8 20 i.f3
with equality) IS 'iYc3 eS and White had the
trademark Catalan activity in return for the
material investment.
8 a4 0-0

.bg5 'iVe8 1 7 i.e4! :!:tf5


1 7".gxhS 18 'it>hl f7 19 l1g1 and White
wins.
1 8 'it'h 1 ! e5 1 9 .l:!.g 1 xg5 20 hxg6
Also good is 20 'iixgS i.e7 21 d2.
20 . . . l:!.xg 1 + 21 .l:!.xg 1 'it'g7
21 ...'iie7 22 'iYh7+ does not help Black.
22 'ii'h 7 + 'it'f6 23 g7

23 . . . ttJa6 24 l:!.g6 + 'ilixg6 25 '(/ixg6 +


'it'e7 2 6 dxe5 1 -0

Game 94
Sulava-Farago

Vinkovci 1993

9 0-0
\,{'hite achieves an advantage after 9 axbS
i.xbS 10 0-0 ttJc6 1 1 ttJxc4 in view of
Black's somewhat weakened queenside.
9 . . . c6 1 0 ttJe4 ttJxe4 1 1 'ii'xe4 bxa4 1 2
ttJg5 g6? !
Black can try 1 2".f5 1 3 'iYc2 iLe7 1 4 ttJf3
ttJa6 although it leaves White with a clear
lead after I S 'iYxc4 ttJc 7 1 6 ttJeS.
1 3 'iWh4 h5 1 4 g4! f6 1 5 gxh5! fxg5 1 6
1 86

1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5


i.g2 i.d7 6 ttJe5 i.c6 7 ttJxc6 ttJxc6 8
0-0
White elects to keep his Catalan bishop in
play rather than surrender it with 8 i.xc6+
bxc6 9 'iYa4 (9 0-0 cS 10 'iYa4+ 'iYd7 1 1
'iYxd7+ ttJxd7 gives Black a good endgame)
9,,:YWd7 1 0 'iYxc4 'iYdS 1 1 'it'xdS cxdS with a
level ending.
Slightly different is the solid 8 e3 eS 9
iLxc6+ bxc6 1 0 'iYa4 1lVdS 1 1 0-0, e.g.
l 1 ...iLe7 1 2 ttJc3 'iYe6 1 3 dxeS ttJd7 14 f4
0-0 I S e4 iLcs+ 1 6 'it>g2 i.d4 \\th Black's
inferior structure no more significant than his
healthy counterplay (White's king is a bit
exposed here) .
Another try is 8 'iYa4, e.g. 8".i.b4+ 9 iLd2
iLxd2+ 10 ttJxd2 0-0 1 1 i.xc6 bxc6 12 'iVxc4

d5 1 3 0-0 l:tfd8 1 4 'ilfxd5 l:txd5 1 5 ttJb3 as


and a draw was agreed in Dorfman-Psakhis,
Lvov 1 984. Black's doubled c-pawns are
weak and White has fIrm control of the c5square, but Black is very active and has pres
sure both against d4 and down the b-flie.
Also possible is 8 ... d7 9 xc4 ttJxd4 1 0
..txb7 l:tb8 1 1 i.g2 ..tb4+ 1 2 ttJd2 0-0 1 3 e3
ttJf5 14 ..tc6!? 'ilVd6 1 5 a3 ttJg4 1 6 it'c2,
which was unclear in Wojtkiewicz
Timoshenko, Fredericksburg 1 999.
8 . . . ii.. e 7
Black's 8 ... ttJxd4?! in Gulko-Korchnoi,
Amsterdam 1 989 shouldn't be repeated. Af
ter 9 ..txb7 l:tb8 1 0 i.g2 i.c5 1 1 ttJd2 c3 1 2
bxc3 ttJb5 1 3 'ilfc2 0-0 1 4 a 4 ttJxc3 1 5 'iVxc3
.i.d4 1 6 'iVa3 i.xa1 1 7 xa1 the rook was
no match for White's bishops.
9 'i'a4
9 e3 has also been played, when Black
must choose his next step carefully.
Zsu.Polgar-A.Maric, Tilburg 1 994 went
9 ...'ilfd7 10 'it'a4 ttJb4 1 1 'iVxd7+ ttJxd7 1 2
ttJd2 ttJb6 1 3 i.xb7 l:tb8 1 4 i.f3 c 5 1 5 dxc5
.i.xc5 16 i.e2 0-0 17 a3! ttJd3 1 8 b4! i.e7 1 9
ttJxc4 i.f6 20 .l:ta2 ttJxc1 21 l:txc1 l:tfc8 22
l:'Iac2 ttJxc4 23 l:!.xc4 .uxc4 24 l:txc4 with
good
winning
chances
for
White.
Krasenkow-Nei, Juvaskyla 1 99 1 saw 9 ... ttJd5
10 'iVe2 ttJb6 1 1 ttJd2 ttJa5 12 ttJe4 0-0 1 3
ttJc5 'ilVc 8 1 4 i.d2 ttJc6 1 5 l:tac1 l:td8 1 6
l:tfd1 a s 1 7 b3 a4 1 8 b4 l:ta7 1 9 a3 ttJb8 20
b5 c6 21 l:tb1 cxb5 22 l:txb5 and White had
the initiative. Tratar-Wells, Bled 1 995 fea
tured Black's best response: 9 ... e5!? 1 0
i.xc6+ bxc6 1 1 dxe5 'iVxd 1 1 2 ':'xd1 ttJd7 1 3
f4 0-0-0 1 4 ..td2 f6 1 5 e 6 ttJb6 1 6 ttJc3 f5 1 7
e4 i.c5+ 1 8 Wg2 g6 1 9 a4 a6 and the situa
tion can justifIably be evaluated as unclear.
9 . . . 0-0 1 0 li!.d 1 ? !
A more solid approach is 1 0 e3 ttJb4 1 1 a3
ttJbd5 12 'iWxc4 c6 1 3 l:td1 with a small but
solid advantage for White due to his centre,
extra space and bishop pair.
1 0 . . . b5! 1 1 'i!Vxb5 ltJxd4 1 2 'ilia4
Forced ( 1 2 'ilVxc4? ttJf3+) .

dx c 4 5 ii.. g 2 ii.. d 7

1 2 . . . ltJxe2 + 1 3 'it>f 1 ltJd4 1 4 ii.. e 3


Not to be recommended is 14 i.xa8?!
xa8 15 l:lxd4 'iVhH 16 'ite2 'iVxc1
(Farago), when White will pay for his
cramped queenside and exposed king.
1 4 . . . c5 1 5 ltJc3? !
White should prefer 1 5 ttJa3 l:tb8 1 6
xa7 ttJd5, e.g. 1 7 ttJxc4 (1 7 ..txd4 cxd4 1 8
ttJxc4 ..tf6 is unclear - White has a danger
ous queenside majority but Black has central
control) 1 7 ...l:ta8 1 8 'iVb7 .l:tb8 and a draw
was agreed in Raetsky-Sax, Munich 1 994.
1 5 . . . .l:!.b8 1 6 'ilixa7 '!:!xb2 1 7 ii.. x d4 cxd4
1 8 '!:!xd4 ii.. d 6 1 9 a4 ltJd5!

20 ii.. x d5
After 20 ttJxd5 exd5 21 l:txd5 f6 Black
again has the better prospects. The c-pawn is
more dangerous than the a-pawn and it is
easier for Black to create threats against his
opponent's dark squares.
20 . . . ii.. e 5! 2 1 .l:!.dd 1 ii.. x c3 22 ii.. x c4 'ilif6
Black has sacrifIced his c-pawn but the at
tack is very strong.
23 .l:!.a2?
No better is 23 l:tab 1 ? i.d4!, but White
could try 23 l:tac1 .i.a5 24 'iVd4 'iVxd4 25
l:txd4 ..tb6 (25 ... l:txf2+ 26 'iit x f2 .i.b6 27
We3 e5 28 We4 ..txd4 29 l:tb 1 is less con
vincing - Black should keep as many pieces
on the board as possible) 26 l:tf4 g5 27 l:tf3
l:tc8, when White's co-ordination is very
poor but at least he can still fIght.
23 . . . 'i!Vf3 0-1
187

Th e Ca t a la n

Game 95
Beliavsky-Karpov

Moscow 1988
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ttJf3 ttJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5
.ltg2 .ltd7 6 ttJe5 .ltc6 7 ttJxc6 ttJxc6 8
0-0 'i!Vd7 9 e3

9 . . . b8
Black can try to hold on to the c4-pawn
with 9...ltJdS 10 'iVe2 ltJb6 1 1 ltJd2 ltJaS.
Slipak-Adla, Buenos Aires, 1 990 continued
12 ltJf3 i.d6 1 3 i.d2 ltJc6 14 i.c3 ltJe7 1 5
e4 c6 1 6 a4 0-0 1 7 as ltJbc8 1 8 xc4 and
White regained the pawn with a much better
game thanks to his space advantage - 1 8 ... a6
19 ltJd2 ltJa7 20 b4 ltJbS 21 i.b2 l:tad8 22
ltJb3 l:tfe8 23 i.h3 ltJg6 24 f4 etc.
9 ... eS 10 'iVe2 and now Hjartasson-Piket,
Tilburg 1 989 went 10 ... 0-0-0 1 1 'iYxc4 exd4
12 exd4 ltJxd4 1 3 ltJc3 (1 3 i.f4!? ltJe6 1 4
i.e3 i s interesting, with good play) 1 3. ..e6
14 'iVa4 'iVa6 1 5 'iVxa6 bxa6 1 6 i.gs i.e7 1 7
l:tac 1 with White's compensation for the
pawn coming in the shape of Black's dam
aged structure. The queens stayed on in
Glavina-Toth, Mar del Plata 1 990: 1O ... exd4
1 1 exd4+ i.e7 12 'iixc4 ltJxd4 1 3 i.xb7 l:td8
14 i.g2 cS 1 5 ltJd2 0-0 1 6 ltJf3 'iVrs 1 7
ltJxd4 cxd4 1 8 i.f4 i.cs 1 9 l:tae 1 l:tfe8 20
l:txe8+ l:txe8 21 b4 i.b6 22 a4 and the
queenside majority and bishop pair secured
White an advantage.
1 88

1 0 'i!Ve2 b5 1 1 b3 cxb3 1 2 axb3 b6 1 3


.ltb2
13 i.xc6 xc6 1 4 1ha7 releases much of
the tension.
1 3 . . . a6
1 3 ... i.b4 gave White a strong attack in
Gleizerov-Cs.Horvath, Budapest 1 989 after
1 4 l:td 1 0-0 1 5 dS! exdS 1 6 i.xf6 gxf6 1 7
l:txdS 'it'e6 1 8 'iYhS.
14 e4
14 l:tdl i.e7 15 ltJc3 ltJb4 16 e4 0-0 1 7
i.h3 (petursson suggests 1 7 f4!?) 1 7...e8 1 8
ltJa2 ltJd7 1 9 i.c3 ltJxa2 2 0 l:ha2 and White
had the initiative in Petursson-S.Polgar, Aar
hus 1 993, eventually winning the game.
1 4 . . . ttJxd4!
The quieter 1 4 ... i.e7 presents White with
an opportunity to strike an attacking stance
with 1 5 dS ltJb4 16 i.h3 0-0 17 l:td 1 .
1 5 .ltxd4 'i!Vxd4 1 6 xa6 xa6 1 7
'i!Vxb5 + ttJd7 1 8 'ii'x a6 .lte7 1 9 'i!Va8 +
.ltd8 20 .ltf3
20 'YWa4 d3 21 b4 0-0 22 l:tdl ltJb6 23
l:txd3 ltJxa4 24 ltJc3 ltJxc3 25 l:txc3 i.e 7
leads to a level endgame.
20 . . . 'i!Vd3 21 'it'g2 ttJe5 22 .lth5 0-0
Not 22 ... c6? 23 ftdl 'iVxe4+ 24 'it'gl 0-0
25 ltJc3 and Black loses.
23 d 1 .lte7 24 'ii'xf8 + 'it'xf8 25 xd3
ttJxd3 26 .lte2 ttJb4 27 'it'f 1 ttJc2 28 ttJc3
ttJd4 29 .ltd 1 .ltb4 30 ttJa4 g5 31 ttJb2 f6
32 ttJd3 .ltd2 33 'it'g2 'it'e7 34 'it'f 1 'it'd6
Black is slightly better but is faced with the
age-old problem of t1Jng to find a way
through the enemy defences.
35 f3 f5 36 'it'g 1 h6 37 ttJb2 'it'e7 38
ttJc4 .ltc1 39 ttJe5 .ltd2 40 ttJc4 .ltc 1 4 1
ttJe5 h 5 4 2 exf5 exf5 4 3 g 4 h 4 44 gxf5
'it'f6 45 ttJd3 .ltd2 46 'it'g2 'it'xf5 47 'it'h3
.ltf4 48 'it'g2 .lte5 49 'it'h3 .ltd6 50 'it'g2
'it'e6 51 'it'h3 ttJf5 52 .lte2 'it'f6 53 ttJf2
ttJd4 54 .ltd 1 'it'f5 55 ttJd3 .lte7 56 'it'g2
.ltf8 57 'it'h3 .ltd6 58 'it'g2 'it'e6 59 'it'h3
ttJf5 60 .lte2 ttJe3 61 f4 gxf4 62 'it'xh4
'it'f5 63 ttJe 1 'it'e5 64 'it'g5 .lte7 + 65 'it'g6
'it'e4 66 .It f3 + 'it'd4 67 .ltc6 Yz - Yz

4 . . . dx c 4 5 g 2 d 7

Summary
In reply to S ... .td7 the continuation beginning with 6 ttJbd2 has been played by Catalan ex
perts grandmasters Sosonko and Kozul. Nevertheless White fails to achieve an advantage here
- with 6 ... .tb4 7 'iic 2 .tbS! (as in Sosonko-Korchnoi) Black managed to retain the extra pawn,
while it seems White is struggling to fmd sufficient compensation. Consequently ttJbd2 has left
tournament practice at the highest level.
After 6 ttJeS .tc6 7 ttJxc6 ttJxc6 White achieves nothing from 8 'iia4. Black can aim for
simplifications and equal chances with 8 ... .tb4+ or play the more complex positions that oc
cur after 8 ... 'iid 7. The positions after 8 e3 and 8 0-0 will often simply transpose but, after 8 e3,
Black's 8 ... eS is not bad, either. In the event of 8 0-0 .te7 the reputation of 9 'iia4 was harmed
by the game Sulava-Farago. However, after 9 'ii'a4 0-0 White is not obliged to play 10 l::td 1 ?!
(there is 1 0 e3!?, for example) which, incidentally, was partly rehabilitated in Raetsky-Sax.
Finally, after the important 8 0-0 'it'd7 9 e3 l::tb 8 10 'iVe2 bS it would appear that White's ini
tiative more than compensates the absence of a pawn.
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 ltJf3 ltJf6 4 g3 dxc4 5 g2 d7 (D) 6 ltJe5
6 'iic 2
6 ... cS 7 0-0 .tc6 8 'iixc4 - Game 76 (Chapter 7)
6 ... .tc6 7 'ii'xc4 (D) - Games 21 & 22 (Chapter 3)
6 ttJbd2 - Game 93
6 . . . c6 7 ltJxc6 ltJxc6 8 0-0 (D)
8 ... .te7 - Game 94; 8 ... 'ii'd7 - Game 95

7 flxc4

8 0-0

1 89

INDEX OF COMPLETE GAMES

Alekhine-Junge, Pra,l!,ue 1 942 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 53


Alekhine-Rabar, Afunid; 1 942 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 49
Andersson-Sokolov.A, Bar 1 997

.......................................................

.. . . .
.

..

..

.......

..................

50

Balashov-Beliavsky, Kin} 1 986 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 65


Bauer-Ippolito, 1\/eJI' ) 'ork

2000

. .

.........

.............................

.....

. . . . .

.. .
.

.......

..

............

. . . . . .

140

... ..

Beliavsky-Karpov, Mo.rcolI! 1 988. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 88


Beliavsky-Mitkov, Panormo

2001 ................................. ................................... ........................ 27

Chetverik-Bunnakin, Na!!),kanizra 1 99 3 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 72
Chetverik-Ivan, Harkany 1 996 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 54
Chiburdanidze-Vaganian, Hie/ 1 994

...............

. . .. . ...........................................................

..

. 20

Comas Fabrego-Nogueiras, Havana 1 999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29


Dautov-Tiviakov, Ven/o

2000 .

....

......

...

. .
. .

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Dizdar-Sadler, Pula 1 997

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24
77

Filippov-Pridorozhni, I ikaterinbulJ!, 1 997. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 69


Filippov-Rausis, I)ubai 1 999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 4 7
Filippov-Sulskis, Poland 1 999. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74
Fominyh-Sveshnikov, I :/i.rta 1 99 5 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 99
Ftacnik-Dutreeuw, HatulJli 1 999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76
Gelfand-Aseev, Klajpeda 1 988 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 67
Gelfand-Lutz, l )orilJlund 2002 ...................................... . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ............................. 90
Gimza-Linder, Germany 1 998 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 04
Gleizerov-Barua, Kolkata

2002

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17

Gleizerov-Ivanov.S, Poland 1 992 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 0 5


Gleizerov-Raetsky, Riazall 1 99 1 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 3 1
Grabliauskas-Benj amin, Nell' York

2000 .
.

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142

Haba-Gorin, Pardubice 1 999 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 09


Hansen.Cu-Van Wely, I.rtanbul 2000

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..

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..

55

Horvath.Jo-Wells, Odorfieill .\emie.rc 1 993 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 85

1 90

Index o f Comple te G a m e s

Tilburg 1982 ............................................................................................... 52

Hiibner-Smyslov,
Ilincic-Djuric,

Vrnjacka Banja 1999...................................................................................... 1 1 6

Inkiov-Pinter,

Zagreb 1987 ..................................................................................................... 152

Ivanchuk-Korchnoi,

Tilburg 1989 ........................................................................................ 144

Ivanchuk-Kuporosov,

Tallinn 1986 ..................................................................................... 1 0 1

Karpov-Milos,

Buenos Aires 2000............................................................................................. 8 1

Karpov-Piket,

Monaco 1999 .................................................................................................... 1 78

Kasparov-Korchnoi,

Candidates '12jinal Match If!,ame 9), L ondon 1983 .............................. 182

Kengis-Gurevich.M, Jurmala
Khalifman-Ivanchuk,
Khalifman-Portisch,

1985 ......................................................................................... 23

Minsk 1986 ....................................................................................... 1 13

Rtykjavik 199 1 ...................................................................................... 63

Dubai 2002 ............................................................................................... 88

Kobalij a-Kiriakov,

Korchnoi-Ivanchuk,

IstanbuI2000 ....................................................................................... 162

Korchnoi-Nogueiras,

Moscow 1994 ....................................................................................... 19

Belgrade 1989 ........................................................................................... 1 76

Kozul-Ljubojevic,

Lucerne 1997 ................................................................................................... 25

Kozul-Lputian,

Wijk aan 7,ee 199 1 ................................................................................ 185

Kozul-Olafsson.H,

Kramnik-Gelfand, Astana 200 1 ..............................................................................................

Bad Harzburg 2000 ..................................................................................... 155

Ksieski-Enders,

Wijk aan Zee 2000 ............................... ...................................................... 79

Lputian-Polgar.J,
Manor-Anand,

lJlndon 1987 .................................................................................................... 73

Marin-Berescu,
Mednis-Prie,

Iasi 1999

.................................................................................. .......................

Correspondence 1986 .................................................................................. 167

Olafsson.H-Geller.E,

Reykjavik 1986...................................................................................... 9

Olafsson.H-Hjartarsson,

Reykjavik 1984 ........................................................................... 1 59

Turnov 1996 ........................................................................................................ 4 1

Panov-Makogonov.M,
Pigusov-Aseev,

Kiev 1 938........................................................................................... 40

SevastopoI 1986

Pigusov-Goldin,
Piket-Adams,

32

Cannes 2000 ........................................................................................................ 45

Mochalov-Spirin,

Orsag- Haba,

83

unares 1998 ................................................................................................ 86

Kramnik-Svidler,

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.......

..........

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..

....

92

Irkutsk 1986 ................................................................................................. 1 1

Wijk aan Zee 2000 ............................................................................................ 69

Piket-Van Wely,

A10nte Carlo 1997................................................. ....................................... 1 58

Polgar.Zsu-Benjamin,

Dortmund 1985 ............................................................................... 139

Polovodin-Zviagintsev,
Poluljahov-Nikolaev,
Portisch-Radulov,

Buenos Aires 1978 ................................................................................... 1 6 1

Psakhis-Stefansson,
Raetsky-Ekstrom,

Winnipeg 1997 ....................................................................................... 65

Zurich 1998 ............................................................................................. 1 1 1

Raetsky-Gattenloehner,
Raetsky-Ivanov.S,

St. Petersbury, 1994 ........................................................................ 137

Belorechensk 1988 ................................................................................ 6 1

Winterthur 2002 ............................................................................. 34

SimJeropoI 1989 .................... ................... ................................................. 136

Raetsky-Kelecevic,

Silvaplana 1997................................... ............................ ....................... 133

19 1

Th e Ca t a la n
Raetsky-Landenbergue,
Raetsky-Naiditsch,

Scuol 200 1 ...................................................................................... 30

Dortmund 2000 ..................................................................................... 1 02

Raetsky-Sveshnikov,

Kolontaevo 1994 .................................................................................... 46

Rashkovsky-Grigorian.K,
Reti-Bogoljubov,
Ribli-Bonsch,

Kishinev 1975............................................................................... 98

New York 1924 .......................................................................................... 38

Thessafoniki 1 988 .............................................................................................. 71

Ricardi-Smyslov,

Buenos Aires 1990 ..................................................................................... 129

Rogers-Chandler,

Wellington 1986 ........................................................................................ 1 19

Romanishin-Ribli,
Romero-Antunes,
Rustemov-Sax,

Polanica Zdrrj 1993 .................................................................................. 15

Havana 1 99 1 ............................................................................................ 121

Germatry 2000 ............................................................................................... 126

Sandner-Luther,

Bad Zwesten 1 999 ....................................................................................... 128

Shipov-Volzhin,

Hastings 1997/98 ....................................................................................... 156

Stefanova-Kurajica,
Sulava-Farago,

Benasque 1997....................................................................................... 1 74

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

........................................................................................................

Wojtkiewicz-Dzhandzhgava,
Yevseev-Goldin,

1 92

107

Hastings 1989/90 ................................................................ 59

St. Petersburg 1998 ...................................................................................... 132

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