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Every Russian Schoolboy Knows - English-Catalan Part 2

Opening: A13:

Player(s): Ding, Karjakin, Navara, Duda, Aronian, Anand, Aleksandrov, Yermolinsky, Lautier

We all remember the dramatic conclusion of the 2019 Sinquefield Cup. AS Magnus Carlsen caught up at the finish line with the long-time tournament front runner, Ding Liren, a tie-break match was to take place. Given Carlsen's unbeaten streal in such situations, dating back to 2007, most experts predicted yet another victory for the World Champion. The reality proved to be different. Ding won 2-0 in the first rapid chess stage to clinch the biggest success of his career. How was it done? Game One set the tone. Ding employed his favorite opening, a version of the Catalan with the white pawn still remaining on d2, and, with surprising ease, obtained a large advantage on both board and the clock. Later in the game, Magnus did let some drawing opportunities go by, largely because of severe time trouble. This time around the World Camp was unable to mount a comeback. For our purposes, we need to answer one question: how could Ding reach such an advantageous position in an opening, that for a long time had considered to be a peaceful one. This short 3-episode series is designed to answer that. Black's major issue in the Catalan structures is the development of his light-squared bishop. The traditional Catalan gives Black an opportunity to do so, but in the English version of it - remember the white d-pawn remains on d2 - it takes very precise handling for Black to equalize. Supplemental games, covered in the following two videos, demonstrate Black's different approaches to this issue.

Teacher's library (683) A13 Ding Karjakin Navara Duda Aronian Anand Aleksandrov Yermolinsky Lautier opening

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