The Catalan Opening (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 Nf6 4.Bg2) is a great opening for players who prefer to understand the strategic ideas of an opening instead of memorizing dozens of lines of theory.
Played by many World Champions, it has proven especially popular with Vladimir Kramnik and Magnus Carlsen who have revived and refined it in recent years.
One of the key imbalances is the superiority of White’s fianchettoed Bishop over it’s light squared counterpart for Black and this can be witnessed all the way to the endgame. White does have a problem piece, the dark squared Bishop, which he will be happy to exchange off, often for a Knight on f6.
French Grandmaster Axel Delorme has produced a 3-hour course “Dominate Black with the Catalan Opening” which reveals all the important principles for success playing the Catalan Opening. Not only do you add a powerful weapon to your opening repertoire but the positional themes learned will improve you all-round chess understanding.
In this free preview, IM Delorme analyzes a game between a 16 year old Magnus Carlsen and English Super GM Michael Adams.
Adams plays the tricky 4…Bb4+ trying to get White to play 5.Bd2 in which case he’d retreat his Bishop to e7 – the idea being that White really wants to play Nbd2 and cannot do this with the Bishop occupying that square.
Carlsen comes up with a new idea and meets the check with 5.Nc3!? changing the complexion of the game.
Watch how Magnus controls the game from this point on, scoring an instructive win over Adams.
Enjoy this preview and remember to check out the full course!