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Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4 (E02)
1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 g3 d5 4 Bg2 dxc4 5 Qa4+

Number of games in database: 204
Years covered: 1937 to 2019
Overall record:
   White wins 27.9%
   Black wins 26.0%
   Draws 46.1%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Vasily Smyslov  7 games
Vladimir Petrov  6 games
Salomon Flohr  6 games
Paul Keres  5 games
Alexander Alekhine  4 games
Mark Taimanov  4 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Alekhine vs B Rabar, 1942
V Petrov vs Alekhine, 1938
Keres vs Bondarevsky, 1941
Smyslov vs Keres, 1948
Ravinsky vs Smyslov, 1944
Szabo vs Geller, 1953
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 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 204  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Alekhine vs Euwe ½-½651937Euwe - Alekhine World Championship RematchE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
2. Flohr vs W Fairhurst 1-0391938Hastings 1937/38E02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
3. C H Maderna vs Alekhine  ½-½371938MontevideoE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
4. L Stumpers vs E Spanjaard  1-0551938NED-ch prelimE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
5. Kupchik vs Kashdan  0-1491938USA-chE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
6. Vladimir Petrov vs Alekhine 1-0341938MargateE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
7. Flohr vs Euwe  ½-½291938AVROE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
8. Flohr vs Fine  ½-½191938AVROE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
9. Alatortsev vs Goglidze 1-0441939Leningrad/Moscow trainingE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
10. Flohr vs Vladimir Petrov 1-0451939KemeriE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
11. Vladimir Petrov vs Z Solmanis  ½-½411939KemeriE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
12. Panov vs V Makogonov  ½-½321939USSR ChampionshipE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
13. Tolush vs V Makogonov  ½-½201939USSR ChampionshipE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
14. Vladimir Petrov vs Alekhine  ½-½301939Buenos Aires ol (Men) prel-BE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
15. Vladimir Petrov vs T van Scheltinga  ½-½411939Buenos Aires ol (Men) fin-AE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
16. Vladimir Petrov vs V Mikenas  1-0591939RosarioE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
17. Vladimir Petrov vs Kotov 1-0421940USSR ChampionshipE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
18. Vladimir Petrov vs V Mikenas  ½-½511940USSR ChampionshipE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
19. Vladimir Petrov vs V Makogonov  1-0331940USSR ChampionshipE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
20. Fine vs Pinkus  0-1511941New York Marshall CC-Manhattan CC m, USAE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
21. Vladimir Petrov vs F Apsenieks  1-0181941Latvian SSR ChampionshipE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
22. Keres vs Bondarevsky 1-0411941USSR Absolute ChampionshipE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
23. Euwe vs H Kramer  1-0461941MatchE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
24. R Keller vs J Dobias  1-0381942ChocenE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
25. R Keller vs M Katetov 0-1291942ChocenE02 Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4
 page 1 of 9; games 1-25 of 204  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
Aug-26-03  rochade18: The open catalan is not that famous, seems to me like nobody uses it. Is it because of the Qa4? Is it refuted?
Aug-26-03  Dustin J.: I've played it not knowing not what it was and I like it though. But I don't play it much I'm sticking with the English.
Dec-02-04  EnglishOpeningc4: Qa4 is not refuted, but it forces positional players into an open game so most people have gone to the english or reti
Feb-26-05  Backward Development: Zzzz....This is a very dull opening indeed. Just look at it's 'practicioners'-Ulf Anderssen at the top of the list. Here's a bit about this system by the fine book 'the catalan' by Raetsky and Chetverik.

<After 4...dxc4 White can regain the pawn back immediately. This continuation was popular during the infancy of the Catalan. In particular world champions Capablanca, Alekhine, Botvinnik and Smyslov played this line, but much has happened since. When white regains the pawn with the aid of the queen check he is also assisting black's development. more over, the queen is subject to attack on c4. These days 5.Qa4+ is seen less often than 5.Bg2, and is usually played by those looking for the edge which brings with it little chance of losing. Not surprisingly the main adherant is GM Ulf Anderssen, a peace loving man with superb endgame technique...The main line is 5...Nbd7 6.Qxc4 a6 7.Bg2 b5 8.Qc6 Rb8 9.Bf4. Black can sacrifice a pawn in order to activate his pieces with 9....Bb4(Morozevich). After 9...Nd5 10.Bg5 Be7 11.Bxe7 Qxe7 the chances are approximately even.>

I would wholly recommend this book to a CATALAN DEVOTEE. I almost feel bad with this book, since it is so dedicated to the opening, and i am not. It is the only book you'll ever need on it, and it's very impartial<for example, in the line 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.g3 dxc4 5.Bg2 b5 they say "Perhaps black should play 6.a4 c6 7.0-0 Bb7 8.Ne5 a6, when white has control over the center, while 9.b3 is less effective-prompting the conclusion that there is no guarantee of an advantage." Try to find any 'Winning with the ...' type of book that will give an assement like that!>.

Apr-08-05  get Reti: After Nc3 is played, why can't white play e4?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Ron: My latest thoughts on the opening:
After the line: d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4.Bg2 dxc4 5. Qa4 Nbd7 6. Qxc4 a6 here is a suggestion for White: 7. e3.
I have not found this position in the database of nor One of ideas is to develop the knight at e2 to keep the diagonal open for the bishop at g2. One continuation could go 7. ... c5 8. Ne2 Nb6 9. Qc2 cxd4 10. Nxd4 e5 11. Ne2 .... The variation beginning with 7. e3 seems fine for White.
Apr-25-05  misguidedaggression: For one thing, you close in your QB. Also, sometimes the e2-e4 push can be achieved in one move; playing e3 loses a tempo (and usually any hope of advantage). There are also some tactical shots that can't be played here. Your line is fine for white, butit's also fine for black. Some might even say black has a slight advantage due to the pawn on e5. True, there's still pressure on the long diagonal, but the game has now opened up, and white is behind in development. Black may even consider giving away the b pawn for more time. and white winning the exchange is almost out of the question! If the g2 Bishop is exchanged for the a8 Rook, White's light squares will be too weak to defend (especially with the knight on e2 instead of f3). Of course, black could just play 11...Nbd5 followed by ...b5 and ...Bb7 and enjoy a nice space advantage.
May-05-05  WorldChampeen: Some recommend, if you play a strong opponent, the Catalan is good for drawing opportunities.

I note to Qc2 is a move seen in the Queen's Gambit Accepted sometimes as well as 5. Qa4+

Mar-27-07  WTHarvey: Here are some winning combinations from E02 miniatures:
Premium Chessgames Member
  Penguincw: Opening of the Day:
Catalan, Open, 5.Qa4+
1.d4 ♘f6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.♗g2 dxc4 5.♕a4+

Hmm.Interesting opening.I don't think white should hurry up and regain the pawn so fast.I think Qc2 is best.

Apr-11-12  JustWoodshifting: 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2 dxc4 5.Qa4+

Opening of the Day, April 11, 2012.

Just happen to be running this opening using Houdini at Level 29:

5.(Q-a4+) Ktb-d7
6.Qxc4 c7-c5
7.N-f3 a7-a6
8.Q-c2 b7-b6
9.N-e5 N-d5
10.N-c6 Q-c7
11.e2-e4 Nd5-f6
12.d4-d5 B-b7
13.O-O e6-e5
14.N-c3 Bxc6
15.d5xc6 Qxc6
16.B-h3 B-e7
17.B-g5 h7-h6
18.Bxd7+ Qxd7
19.Bxf6 Bxf6
20.N-d5 Q-c6

Oct-29-13  Kikoman: <Opening of the Day>

Catalan, Open, 5. Qa4+
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. g3 d5 4. Bg2 dxc4 5. Qa4+

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Opening Explorer

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