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I have finished Avrukh's two volume series on 1.d4 and I found the Catalan section of it 99% perfect. There is one variation in the first chapter believe it or not, that is not covered and that seems to give black full equality as far as I can tell. Post your thoughts on the variation...Here it is:
What would you do if 8)Qa4 weakening your Q-side (it weakens white's K-side too,but not much due to the reduction of pieces).
It provides Black with double pawns
8.Qa4 then Qd7 and after Qxc4 Nxd4 Bxb7 Rb8 Bg2 Bb4 and black has enough dynamic compensation for the bishop pair and the queenside weaknesses. If you take on c6 with the bishop instead of Qxc4, you lose your main asset in the position, the light squared bishop.
Sticking this into the computer program I have, it seems to think that 9...Nxd4 is perfectly good for black too.
Seems to me that most of the Catalan problems black faces is when Black decides to do the closed Catalan where dxc4 isn't played.
I meant 8)Qa4 Qd7
yes I know after you take my knight, I take with the queen and after a trade of queens I am up a pawn and while you might win it back (they are tripled) The position remains equal as I can get counterplay with c5 and material is still balanced.
There are lots of lines in Avrukh's book that need updating. Don't listen too much to houdini about the e3 lines you've gotta let it think before it realizes that (8-12)...h5 isn't an easy draw.
yeah that's the line that I was thinking was good in this whole variation. Don't get me wrong though, as far as i can telll, the rest of the catalan section is excellent.
I recall that Avrukh's recommendation against the slav was refuted a year or two after the book was published. It is definitely possible that a line or two in the book may be incorrect to some degree.
The other possibility is that Avrukh recommends the line despite an equal evaluation by a computer. White does have the bishop pair and a central majority, so there at least is something to play for despite the position being objectively equal.
I would focus on learning ideas and not focusing too deeply on one line. Focus on middlegame and look over player's game such as Kraminik for ideas.
Also, if you think you can have an opening advantage as white in every line (especially the catalan) you are dreaming :)
1. There are no 99% perfect analyses, and Avrukh is no exception.
2. The line with e2-e3 has been tested at correspondence chess, and Black looks OK.
3. I would gladly take white in the "equal" position at post #1, but 9...Qd6!? looks more challenging.
I seriously consider giving up the Catalan because I can find absolutely nothing for white in the main open line (4...Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dc4), while 6.Qc2 first is also great for Black after 6...c5 7.0-0 cd4 8.Nxd4 e5.
@thehedgehog2000, black's tripled c-pawns are terrible. Also, the absence of queens benefits White. I would take the White side of that position.
black can always play c5 getting rid of his tripled pawns.
When you get rid of tripled pawns you still have doubled pawns.
Oh sure, those tripled pawns are "terrible", notwithstanding the fact than one of them is an extra pawn...
8.Qa4 is less than nothing. Here is an older game, analysis mostly my GM Sergei Dolmatov.
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