The Catalan Opening is currently in the repertoire of most all of the world's elite players. It has even been played at the World Championship level many times! This is largely because it combines strategic pressure with possibilities for a very sharp, complicated tactical struggle. This is perfect for those who insist on decisive chess. However, there are also some quieter, more solid lines. The Catalan combines the Queen's Gambit pawn duo(d4 and c4) with the hypermodern fianchettoed KB as with 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.g3 or 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3. From g2, the KB strikes through the center squares e4 and d5 and beyond to c6, b7, and a8, applying pressure to Black's Queenside. Another important advantage of the Catalan is that it can be used to side step popular Black defenses such as the Nimzo-Indian and Queen's-Indian. It can also be reached by transpositions from many different move orders. This is very good against strong opposition!
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