Catalan 5. ... a6 system by GM Magesh and GM Arun

Catalan 5. ... a6 system by GM Magesh and GM Arun‎

GM thamizhan
15 | Opening Theory

This week we shall study the Catalan System which has been the favourite weapon of the former world champion Vladimir Kramnik and the reigning champion Vishy Anand who used it a couple of times against Topalov in the recent world championship match successfully. When we say the Catalan we all imagine it is a kind of opening where the play is more positional and there are not as many tactical possibilities. But this is not the case in every Catalan system. 


Many players who are interested in playing the Catalan are pretty much worried about losing the c4-pawn and are scared that they might not be able to regain it. Today we shall see one such line where white sacrifices the c4-pawn and creates counterplay for the sacrificed pawn. 




After sacrificing the pawn White slowly built an initiative on the kingside and soon Black's pieces were left without good squares but on the other hand white's pieces were favourably placed. Even in the final position White had some chances but for some reason he agreed a draw. Often Catalan systems provide white a small but stable advantage. As you can see in many of the Catalan games white will keep pressing Black and most of the time will come out successful. The one who has a better positional understanding and good endgame technique will definitely be able to use this system well. 

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