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As you mentioned, 7.Qc2 a6 8.Qxc4 and 7.Qa4 a6 8.Qxc4 lead to the same position. However, after 7.Qc2 a6, white has the option to play 8.a4, which is recommended by GM Avrukh in Grandmaster Repertoire 1A: The Catalan. According to the Game Database of ChessTempo, 8.a4 is a bit more popular than 8.Qxc4. Having the choice of 8.a4 and 8.Qxc4 is probably the ...

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