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Catalan, Closed (E01)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 d5 4 Bg2

Number of games in database: 1307
Years covered: 1881 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 37.6%
   Black wins 22.9%
   Draws 39.6%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Daniil Yuffa  16 games
Petr Haba  14 games
Kamil Miton  12 games
Sergei Tiviakov  23 games
Michael Adams  11 games
Gabriel Sargissian  10 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Gelfand vs Aronian, 2007
Bronstein vs Keene, 1975
Reshevsky vs A R Thomas, 1938
G Abrahams vs G A Thomas, 1946
Flohr vs V Makogonov, 1942
Eljanov vs Ponomariov, 2010
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 page 1 of 53; games 1-25 of 1,307  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Gunsberg vs Blackburne ½-½391881Blackburne - GunsbergE01 Catalan, Closed
2. T Regedzinski vs M Brody 1-0191928The Hague OlympiadE01 Catalan, Closed
3. B H Villegas vs J Molina  1-0531931Buenos AiresE01 Catalan, Closed
4. J Molina vs C H Maderna  ½-½321931Buenos AiresE01 Catalan, Closed
5. S Beutum vs B Hoenlinger  0-1301931Trebitsch MemorialE01 Catalan, Closed
6. J Brunner vs F Acevedo 1-0421932Mexico CityE01 Catalan, Closed
7. H Mueller vs W Weil  ½-½411937Trebitsch Memorial 1937/38E01 Catalan, Closed
8. Flohr vs G A Thomas 1-0281937Hastings 1937/38E01 Catalan, Closed
9. L Kaiev vs Panov  1-0291938URS-ch sf KievE01 Catalan, Closed
10. Reshevsky vs A R Thomas 1-0531938Hastings 1937/38E01 Catalan, Closed
11. Alekhine vs O Trompowsky 1-0381938MontevideoE01 Catalan, Closed
12. Menchik vs P Frydman 0-1631938LodzE01 Catalan, Closed
13. A Cass vs A Kreymborg  1-0331938Metropolitan Chess LeagueE01 Catalan, Closed
14. A Becker vs B Koch  0-1421938German ChampionshipE01 Catalan, Closed
15. K Opocensky vs M A Sutherland  1-0161938NiceE01 Catalan, Closed
16. K Opocensky vs J Spacenkopf 0-1311938NiceE01 Catalan, Closed
17. M Raizman vs A Gromer  ½-½471938FRA-chE01 Catalan, Closed
18. M Raizman vs A Gibaud  1-0491938FRA-chE01 Catalan, Closed
19. I Zdanovs vs A Friedman  0-1411938Match 2nd Riga - Tallinn Chess clubsE01 Catalan, Closed
20. Golombek vs E G Sergeant 1-0341938Hastings 1938/39E01 Catalan, Closed
21. Golombek vs G A Thomas  ½-½231939Hastings 1938/39E01 Catalan, Closed
22. Petrov vs G Bezruchko 1-0311939KemeriE01 Catalan, Closed
23. Flohr vs G Wheatcroft 1-0251939MargateE01 Catalan, Closed
24. I A Horowitz vs C Jaffe  1-056193940th ACF Congress FinalE01 Catalan, Closed
25. G Abrahams vs E Klein  0-1471939BournemouthE01 Catalan, Closed
 page 1 of 53; games 1-25 of 1,307  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Dec-11-03  Bears092: It's a small sample size.

You need 1600 games in order to make an accurate percentage* of what white should win

As accurate as this will be. You'll still have players of different strengths as different colors.

Feb-22-04  OneBadDog: The Catalan is one of the most elegant openings out there.
Mar-24-04  ruylopez900: Is the Catalan considered an Indian opening (because of the fianchetto), simple hypermodern (control with the Bishop), or a rather normal opening (d4 and c4?) Any thoughts about this?
Apr-29-04  Vischer: If this is the catalan closed, is there such thing as the catalan open?
Apr-29-04  refutor: yes Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4 (E02)
Aug-30-04  spudweb: The Catalan is a good solid opening, but is it possible to play it against the Slav move order 1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 or QGD 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 ? many thanks
Aug-30-04  Helloween: <spudweb>

It is very possible and practical for a Catalan practitioner to play the Catalan against the QGD move order, usually by way of 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3. Against the Slav move order, however, it may be a bit dubious to play g2-g3 so early since Black is already a step ahead in consolidating his extra pawn, as in T Grabuzova vs A Stefanova, 1997

Jun-18-05  superiorNOshow: If Black wanted it to, it could resemble the KIA formation on the black side(e.g. c6 d5 and e6 pattern.)
Jun-18-05  buscher07: <Helloween> That is a really good example game to illustrate your point. Have a nice day everyone!! :)
Mar-14-06  blingice: What exactly characterizes a Catalan as a Catalan? Is it the Queen's Gambit principle, but taking the pawn back with the bishop is ignored so as to get a fianchetto? I wouldn't understand why someone would intentionally ignore taking the pawn back, as it is restrictive. A fianchetto doesn't seem like the sacrifice anyway, because fianchettos seem to be easily deconstructed by removing the knight.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <blingice> A catalan involves Nf3, d4, c4 and g3 for White against Nf6, e6, e5 for Black. Taking the pawn is no big deal because White regains it with Qa4+, or sometimes Qc2, or delays the capture, playing a4 to insure that Black can't defend it with ...b5. It is a very good opening and has been used by many top players.
Apr-23-06  McCool: Has anyone seen Catalan play any games?
Apr-23-06  Jim Bartle: I like the Catalan with Nc3, effectively deciding not to regain the pawn. I have doubts it would work against better players, though.
Jun-08-06  refutor: so is there nothing wrong with going into it after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6?
Jun-09-06  Jilted Rook: <blingice> The pawn on d5 subsides allowing the White bishop to dominate along the h1-a8 diagonal. This often has a cramping and needling effect on Black's queenside development. It's a pleasingly positional opening for both White and Black and rewards many that delve a little further into its secrets :)
Feb-28-07  thatsmate: How is Kramnik not down as one of the practitioners? He has more games as white with it than any of those players, and he has a rather stunning record with it: +7 =7 -0, even agaisnt such notables as Deep Fritz, Topalov, and Anand.
Feb-28-07  Marvol: <thatsmate> It's the curse of move-order I'd think.
Feb-28-07  Marvol: Just one example, here Kramnik vs Aronian, 2006 after white's 6th move it looks like a Catalan.

Unfortunately it has by that time already been classified as an English because Kramnik started with 1.c4.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: The database is misleading. I have over 7,000 Catalans, including relevant transpositions. It is a good opening if you like exploiting small positional advantages. So it suits Kramnik well, but fighting spirits like Kasparov and Korchnoi have used it, too.

White probably has better chances in the Catalan than in Nimzo-Indian and Queenn's Indian lines.

Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Just one example, here Kramnik vs Aronian, 2006 after white's 6th move it looks like a Catalan.>

Not a Catalan. Black hasn't played ...d5, among other things.

The database appears to pick up transpositions, at least sometimes. Kramnik vs Carlsen, 2007

Apr-12-08  LEONIDAS86: HELLO, me gustaria saber un pocos mas a fondo las ideas de la apertura catalana si alguien me puede ayudar le agradezco.
Dec-12-09  Roger Krueger: Going waaaaay back to SilentWitness: E01 looks grim for black because black's best choice of 4th move--dxc4--mostly leads to other classifications of Catalan, E02-E05.

For thatsmate and EricSchiller as well as Silent Witness: A game is only counted in the most specific (aka most moves) ECO it qualifies for. You want the Catalan with some Kramniks and decent black percentages look to E04.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day
Catalan, Closed (E01)
1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.♗g2
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day

Catalan, Closed
1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.♗g2

click for larger view

Yah. Openings are being recycled all right.

Sep-21-17  Ron: The referendum for Catalonia independence is on Oct 1. Maybe can put up on that date some games that opened with the Catalan. It's one of the superior openings too in my opinion.
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