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I know the Catalan is white with d4 c4 and a fianchetto and black with e6 and Nf6, but is it possible for white to delay c4? Can white continue with g3 Bg2 Nf3 before playing c4 or does this give black something? I am new to this opening and just trying to digest it all.
It's a Catalan only after Black plays d5.
Delaying c4 gives Black additional options, e.g. 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.g3 c5, or 3...Bg4.
If you're worried that Black captures on c4 and tries to hold the pawn, don't. White always gets fine play, even when Black succeeds.
Playing c4 early is the right way.
If black captures on move 3 should white continue to develop or threaten to take back the pawn? 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6
The main reason to not delay c2-c4 is the Slavic setups with ...c6 and ...Bf5.
Development is perfectly fine. The Qa4+ lines are less dangerous for Black than the main lines.
There's no need to learn the Qa4+ (or Na3) lines to regain the pawn quickly since Black can delay the capture, so you have to learn the mainline stuff anyway.
I see what you mean. So after 1.d4 d5 2. c4 e6 should white play Nf3 or g3? If black takes on his 3rd move should white move the queen or continue with kingside development?
Sorry. We posted at the same time. So continue to develop. Do we change that plan if black's 2nd move is c6?
You don't get a Catalan against the Slav. There are fianchetto lines as well but the big difference is Black's free QB. So you need something different against the Slav.
In GM play, the Catalan ist most often reached with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 so you will find that in the majority of games Nf3 happens before g3. But in the "theoretical" move order it hardly matters what you play first.
So against the slav would you say that a fianchetto is weak?
I wouldn't say that because I don't know. I haven't got any experience with fianchetto lines against the Slav. It's different form the Catalan, that's all I can say.
Basically don't try to get a Catalan against a Slav.
Fianchetto isn't necessarily weak if its used at the right moment:
Here I believe the fianchetto is played in order to bolster white's kingside from an attack.
Also, you should reach the Catalan from 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 first then after 3...Nf6, 4. g3.
If you play the Catalan, you can't be afraid of being a pawn down-its sort of like a gambit. I've even seen white sac more than 1 pawn in some crazy sharp lines.
There are plenty of lines in the Slav where white fianchetto's, but it's usually not until something like move 8-10. Here's one-
I don't understand why you'd want to delay c4 in the Catalan. The open Catalan, where black takes c4 right away, is a tremendously fun and powerful game. There are a lot of different variations, but if you're afraid of theory the Catalan probably isn't a good choice.
Anyway if black takes on the third move in a typical Catalan move order (d4 c4 Nf3) it's just a game of QGA. The fun starts if black takes on the fourth move after white has tipped his hand regarding the king's bishop.
The truth is I'm not too fond of the QGA. Also, sometimes I like to play a game in the Torre if black allows. So if 1. d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 e6 3. Bg5. If black plays d5 on his 2nd move ( do not like the Torre after 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6) instead I would plan on playing c4. But we still have dxc4 on move 3 which leads me back to QGA lines. So I was wondering if I can make it to move 4 to get into a Catalan setup.
If you want to play the Catalan, why delay c4, which is a key part of it?
The QGA is a necessary part of the repertoire of any QG or Catalan player. If you want to completely avoid QGA you must learn systems that don't involve playing c4 such as the Colle, London, or Stonewall attack.
If you look deeper into QGA I think you'll find that the positions are fairly pleasant for white. Like any opening it has it's specialists and there are things to watch out for, but overall I think white's play is much more natural. Black concedes his stake in the center for almost no reason, with no real threat of holding the extra pawn in compensation.
If having an excess of center control and black's queen side being slightly exposed isn't acceptable to you, then you shouldn't be looking at the Catalan anyway.
This is my thought process on how these openings take place.
This is just my view. Even though we are in book, the last example looks best to me.
Often, the players who wanted a Nimzo and are faced with 3.g3 or 3.Nf3 will just play 3...Bb4+, the Bogo Indian.
Also, people who want to play QGA will just start 1...d5. After 1.d4 Nf6 2. c4, how will they get their QGA otherwise?
You can't really avoid the QGA-and whats the point? Play the ambitious 3.e4 variation. This one is actually a gambit and play can get pretty fun.
In example two I did not say the person that opened Nf6 wanted to play QGA. But were more comfortable with the knights on the f file in the QGA. Many people will play d5 on the second move if white does not play c4 ( 1.d4 Nf6 2. Nf3 d5). In the third example the person may play a bogo or might even play Be7. Neither of these cause me any problems. By not playing c4 on move two I keep my options open to play a Torre. Obviously, there are some problems with delaying c4 too long that were pointed out.Be patient with me.
Here is a different question. What are the downsides to playing d4 Nf3 c4 move order?
The third example with 4...dxc4 is the open Catalan, not QGA. The second example with the early Nf6 allows white to consider the Furman variation, which is quite dangerous for black. Of course black could make other concessions to avoid it, but that's fine too.
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