I'm trying to form a 1d4 repertoire (exculsively 1e4 player) around the Catalan Opening. What are some lines that Catalan players play against the KID and slav defense(it seems the normal catalan setup isn't very effective against the slav?). I know this is an open question but I do want lines in the spirit of the Catalan if possible. Thanks.

4 Answers 4


This is the exact situation where I found myself and I decided to employ the following move order/repertoire to keep me in the spirit of the Catalan.

  • King's Indian defence

Against the King's Indian Defence you can use the fianchetto variation (which requires studying the Panno variations from the black side), which is actually quite solid and positional.

[fen ""]

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nf3 Bg7 4.g3 d6 5.Bg2 0-0 6.0-0 Nc6 

The above can be met in many different ways: there are 7.h3 lines, 7.Nc3, 7.Qc2 and so forth (you should dig into a little theory here). Notice that 3.Nf3 avoids forcing Grünfeld lines that could occur after 3.Nc3 (3...d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.e4 Nxc3 bxc3 6.c5) because there is in fact no Knight on c3 to be exchanged after 5.e4. The fianchetto variation moreover avoids the automatic plan by Black in the standard variations of the King's Indian (Mar de la Plata) with f5-f4-g5-g4, as the construction with g3-Bg2 by White makes it really hard to sac-sac-checkmate the King.

  • Slav

To be honest the best way to meet the Slav is to play the main line, as it gives White always a slight edge and if well played Black must defend (though it is by all means very robust and solid for the second player). Here it is important to go 3.Nf3 instead of 3.Nc3 to avoid the Winawer gambit 3...e5 (well, unless you want to play against it and feel comfortable).

[fen ""]

1.d4 d5 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 dxc4 5.a4 Bf5 6.e3 e6 7. Bxc4 

and the standard plan is to play Qe2 and then e4-e5 (at the right moment) followed by Bd3 and attack on the Black King. There are fianchetto lines against the Slav as well, however, if you really feel the need to play fianchetto all the times.


If you have a preferred line against the Slav, it can still be compatible with the Catalan. You can go 1.d4 d5 2. c4 c6 and now play whatever you want. It could be 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 c6 3.Nf3 and play your favourite system.

Against the King's Indian, there are a bunch or interesting fianchetto lines


If you go on amazon and search "Grandmaster Repertoire Avrukh" you will see:

  • Grandmaster Repertoire 1: 1.d4 Volume One (v. 1)
  • Grandmaster Repertoire 2: 1.d4 Volume Two
  • Grandmaster Repertoire 1A - 1. d4 - The Catalan
  • 1.d4: King’s Indian & Grunfeld (Grandmaster Repertoire)
  • Grandmaster Repertoire 17: The Classical Slav

and more.
GM Avrukh has created the repertoire you seek as a starting point to 1.d4.

He recommends the fianchetto lines against the King's Indian Defense as g3 is a Catalan move after all. Having said that you don't really get any advantage with it! You do get a solid position which you can play chess with.

I too tried to adopt 1.d4 though exclusively 1.e4 forever. I ended up adopting the English first and found some cool anti-slav lines and used the Botvinnik setup against the King's Indian. But again against the Kings Indian I don't see an edge for White -- just a battle.


I have been using the KIA move order 1.Nf3 d5 2.g3 c6 3.Bg2 Nf6 4.OO Bf5 5.c4 against the Slav. Usually I play 6.Qb3 attacking the b7 pawn and play continues from there. White keeps a very small advantage but if you keep attacking on the Q-side good things often happen similar to the Catalan. That is the idea of these openings, to play a low risk variations with long term pressure.

An excellent source for this is Grand Master Repertoire 4, the English Opening, Volume 2, by Mihail Marin. Lots and lots of great information. 10 chapters dedicated to anti-Slav lines.

About the KID I like the book Wojo's Weapons 2 which has very good coverage of the fianchetto lines against the KID. This only comes in paperback so you cannot get an e-book.

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