1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 - Repertoire against Bogo-Indian and Benoni
GM Ivan Cheparinov’s last database on the Catalan has just been released, when he is back with another one, which is closely correlated.
This time the subject is the move order 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 instead of 3.Nf3 d5 4.g3 and, to some extent, his new work can be considered as an appendix of the previous two Catalan databases.
This move order is used by many Catalan players who want to sidestep the Queen's Indian Defence and get a favourable version of the Bogo-Indian. For that purpose, we need to be ready to play the Fianchetto System against the Benoni.
The database consists of 10 theoretical chapters, 15 interactive test positions, a Memory Booster, and a Video Version (3h Running Time).
Let's take a brief look at the chapters.
Chapter 1 is the only one, in which set-ups with d7-d5 can be found, but only after 3…Bb4 4.Bd2 Bxd2 5.Qxd2.
Before that the deviations in the spirit of Bogo-Indian 4…c5/4…Qe7/4…a5 are studied, as well as the extra possibilities from delaying the development of Ng1.
After 5…d5, the main line goes on with 6.Bg2 0-0 7.Nf3 c6, when 8.0-0 dxc4!? leads to a lively play with ample White’s compensation.
This database is mainly concentrated on the Benoni type of position. Starting from Chapter 2, 3…c5, as well as the most principled sequence 4.d5 exd5 5.cxd5, will be examined.
The review is starting with the relatively rare deviations 5…Bd6?! and 5…b5?! The latter has been played even by Garry Kasparov, but nowadays it seems under a cloud because of the vigorous pawn sacrifice 6.e4! Nxe4 7.Bg2! The readers are going to find many instructive move orders and inspiring tactical shots.
The main tabiya is being reached after 5…d6 6.Nc3 g6 7.Bg2 Bg7 8.Nf3 0-0 9.0-0
Black’s minor alternatives are presented in Chapter 3. In reply to the best of them 9…Nbd7 there is the annoying 10.Bf4. Even more, after 10… Qe7 11.a4 Ng4 this bishop can play on its provocative role by 12.Bg5!? f6 13.Bd2 with the instructive idea for meeting 13…Nde5 by 14.h3 Nxf3 15.exf3!
An instructive moment - Black has managed to exchange the potentially dangerous knight, but from now on the e-file will constantly remind to him of the hole on e6.
The insertion of 9…a6 10.a4 before 10…Nbd7, when after 11.Bf4!? Qc7 White can use the opportunity for playing 12.e4 without fearing a pin of Nf3, is the subject of Chapter 4.
After 12…Re8 the Nimzowitsch’s ingenious manoeuvre 13.Nd2! is recommended rather than the heavy theoretical favourite 13.Re1. The exemplary lines are demonstrating its merits.
All the remaining Chapters are dedicated to 9…Re8 10.Re1, as follows:
Chapter 5 is covering 10…Ne4 11.Nxe4 Rxe4, when 12.Qc2! forces Black to retreat – 12…Re8. Then the consistent 13.e4 Bg4 14.Bg5!, followed by 15.Nd2, is definitely an opening success for White;
Chapter 6 focuses on a true Benoni knight transfer like 10…Na6.
As on previous occasions, the author prefers the pirouette 11.Nd2! even though it might not be the most popular option in the concrete position. After the consequent 11…Nc7 12.a4! White is ready for the thematic e2-e4 and even the witty thrust 12…b5!? does not equalize;
The attention in Chapter 7 is shifted towards the other route 10…Nbd7 and the powerful 11.Bf4!, which is almost limiting Black to a tactical measure like 11…Ng4.
After 11...Ng4 12.Bg5 f6 13.Bf4 (compared to Chapter 3, it makes sense to insert this move, for the queen is still on its initial d8-square) Nde5 14.h3 g5 15.Bd2 Nxf3 16.exf3 Rxe1 17.Qxe1 Ne5 18.Qc1! the author demonstrates how White can profit from the provoked kingside advances;
The final three Chapters are dealing with the positions after 10…a6 11.a4 and the relevant subtleties.
In Chapter 8 11…b6 is studied - a kind of a waiting move for 12.e4 Bg4
White has the manoeuvre 13.Bf4 Nh5 14.Be3!? at his disposal. After the following Qd1-c2 Black must justify his move 12 by taking Nf3 and the first player can rely on the pair of bishops in the long run, as a few sample lines are briefly illustrating,
In Chapter 9, 11…Ne4 12.Nxe4 Rxe4 is leading us back to the item of Chapter 5.
In spite of the insertion on moves 10-11 13.Qc2 is the critical continuation again, even though Black has access to the b4-square:
- as can be seen from the leading line 13…Rb4 14.Ra2, Black has yet to keep the balance; take also note of the hidden tactical subtlety in Vrolijk – Bharath;
- alternatively, 13…Re8 14.Bf4! Bg4 15.a5 is analyzed to advantage;
In Chapter 10 back into the limelight is 11…Nbd7 12.Bf4 /besides, the main alternative 12.e4 Bg4 is also analyzed in great detail/.
Besides the main line 12...Ng4, Black has two possible alternatives:
- 12…Qe7 13.h3! Nh5 14.Bg5 Qf8 15.e4 and a timely g2-g4 is going to win the f4-square and, respectively, the h2-b8 diagonal for the bishop, with permanent pressure;
- 12…Qc7 13.h3!? Ne4 14.Nxe4 Rxe4 15.b3!? No less than 6 replies are explored, in all of them Black is experiencing practical problems;
The main line after 12…Ng4 goes on with 13.h3 Nge5 14.Ne4 Qe7 15.Qc1 b6, when the author comes up with the improvement 16.Ra3! over 16.h4 in the recent game Dardha – Indjic and adds concrete ideas of how White can develop his initiative.
This novelty and the related suggestions will undoubtedly shed a new light on the existing theory.