Fast and Furious: Open Catalan (4...dxc4) with 5...a6

by Robert Ris
1/16/2020 – All eyes on Tata Steel Chess this week, and IM Robert Ris has a theoretically significant game in the Catalan from the current leader of the Challengers group, Surya Ganguly. Tune into the live show at 18:00 UTC (19:00 CET / 1 PM EST) which is free to watch, and available on-demand for ChessBase Premium account holders (but FREE for a limited time!). To chat, please visit or login via Playchess for Windows. In the diagram, it's Black to play!

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Pattern recognition is an important tool in modern chess, as it helps you to understand better the characteristics of a position. Particularly when you have been confronted with a surprise opening system played by your opponent, it helps when you can just


And Indian GM's Catalan Challenge

The Tata Steel Chess Tournament in Wijk aan Zee is in full swing. Most of the attention has gone to the World's best players competing in the Masters section, but in this Fast & Furious show we will have a look at a near-miniature (it lasted 26 moves...) played in the Challengers. After four rounds, Indian grandmaster Surya Ganguly is in the sole lead with 3/4. In the fourth round he used a very aggressive system (4...dxc4 and 5...a6) against the Catalan to crush the talented Kazakh player Saduakassova in great style. This fashionable setup has recently produced several sharp battles at the highest level, so this could be a very nice weapon with Black for you as well!

The live show is free to watch and available on-demand for ChessBase Premium accounts.

First, try to find the winning sequence of moves for Black!


Move the pieces on the live diagram — solution below!

This week's show

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Robert is an International Master who mostly spends his time training and coaching talented youngsters. On the PlayChess server The Fast and the Furious is a popular show where he explains sharp opening lines for a wider audience. He is also a well-known ChessBase author who produced numerous DVDs and regularly contributes to ChessBase Magazine as well. Since 2015 he is the organizer of the Dutch Rapid Championships in his home town Amstelveen. He has started a YouTube channel with chess analysis as well.


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