Evasive manoeuvres in the Scandinavian and a Catalan booster

12/15/2021 – The new ChessBase Magazine Extra #204 offers a collection top games with top annotations, including analyses by Anish Giri, Peter Heine Nielsen and Romain Edouard. Christian Bauer and Mihail Marin provide the two opening videos in this issue. The Scandinavian expert from France presents various ways of avoiding an extremely critical variation with Black in the system with 3…Qa5. Mihail Marin's video claims that "The Catalan is still alive!", which he illustrates with the game Daniel Deac - Lucas van Foreest from the 2021 European Championship. Watch an excerpt from both videos!

ChessBase Magazine Extra 204 ChessBase Magazine Extra 204

Videos: Scandinavian expert Christian Bauer shows clever evasive maneuvers in the system with 3...Da5. Mihail Marin proves that the Catalan is alive and always good for new ideas! Plus "Lucky bag" with analyses by Anish Giri, Peter Heine Nielsen, Romain E

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Opening videos in ChessBase Magazine Extra #204

Christian Bauer: Scandinavian with 3...Qa5

1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3/5.Bd2

"Scandinavian under pressure!" was the title of Sergey Grigoriant's article in ChessBase Magazine #203. Behind it was the discovery that in one of the main variations with 3...Qa5 (1.e4 d5 2.exd5 Qxd5 3.Nc3 Qa5 4.d4 Nf6 5.Nf3 c6 6.Bc4 Bf5 7.Bd2 e6 8.Nd5 Qd8 9.Nxf6+ gxf6) after 10.0-0! Nd7 11.Re1! Qc7 12.Nh4 Bg6 with

13.Bxe6! he has a strong piece sacrifice which promises him excellent winning chances. Christian Bauer himself had already been successful with this sacrifice against his compatriot Eric Prie in the 2014 Open in Montpellier. After 13...fxe6 14.Rxe6+ Kf7 15.Qe2 Nb6 16.Re1 Nd5 17.c4 Nf4 18.Qg4! Bauer checkmated the opponent's king on move 27 on h5!

So how can Blac’s play be improved? In his video, the Scandinavian expert presents various recipes for Black on how to consistently avoid this critical variation. The video includes recommendations after 5.Nf3 as well as after 5.Bd2. In his analysis Bauer frequently refers to his own games but also to recent games by Richard Rapport from the Norway Chess 2021 and Saint Louis 2021 tournaments. Bauer's conclusion: Black has various deviations that can be played well, depending on the move order chosen by White. For example, Black should react to 5.Nf3 with 5...Bf5 (and not with 5...c6). And after 5.Bd2 he can continue with 5...Bg4, instead of 5...c6. But also on move 10 or even 11 Black still has interesting alternatives with the move Rh8-g8!

Video analysis by Christian Bauer from CBM Extra #204 (Excerpt)

Running time of the complete video in ChessBase Magazine Extra #204: 14:19 min

Mihail Marin: "The Catalan is still alive!"

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 Be7 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 dxc4 7.Qc2 a6 8.a4 Bd7 9.Qxc4 Bc6 10.Be3!?

Not least thanks to Vladimir Kramnik's successes, the Catalan Opening rose to become one of the main openings with 1.d4. This status has not changed until today - even if White must currently strive to prove a theoretically significant advantage. Mihail Marin summarises the current state of theory for you against the background of the game between Bogdan Daniel Deac and Lucas van Foreest from the 2021 European Championship. Marin also sheds light on the rare move 10.Le3, which the young Romanian GM experimented with in this game. It's an interesting and rather fresh idea, and Marin intersperses his own thoughts and recommendations in his analysis, which lasts over half an hour. "The Catalan is still alive, even if it sometimes takes some very subtle thoughts to prove that. And there is room for new ideas like this quite surprising 10.Be3.”

Video analysis by Mihail Marin from CBM Extra #204 (Excerpt)

Running time of the complete video in ChessBase Magazine Extra #204: 33:29 min

ChessBase Magazine Exta #204

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