ChessGoals Catalan Course

ChessGoals Catalan Course by National Master Matt Jensen

Catalan (3)


Variations and chapters contain similar plans and ideas.


Each line leaves you with an evaluation and a plan plan without going too deep into the weeds.

No GM Games

Based on players' games under 2300, these are variations you can expect to face.

Common Traps

Common mistakes you may see, and how to punish them.

Chapter Summary

  1. Delayed Open Catalan (8 lines)
  2. Closed Catalan (10 lines)
  3. Bogo-Indian (8 lines)
  4. Open Catalan (8 lines)
  5. Benoni (9 lines)

Included With Your Course


Videos of Matt covering the 8-10 most important lines in each chapter (~25 minutes each). Video analysis of Matt's 20 over-the-board classical Catalan games.

PGN File

PGN file of all variations and annotations with instructions on viewing them with chess software and websites. A second PGN file with Matt's 20 annotated games.

Discord Community

Discuss the Catalan Course, study plans, chess improvement, and more. Matt and others will answer your questions.

Bonus Material

As we add content and bonus material, you will receive lifetime updates!

Chapter Guide

Chapter 1: Delayed Open Catalan

This chapter covers the mainline at advanced levels, and we will also cover intermediate mistakes. Many players are ready for 7.Qc2, so Matt will teach you a sideline that Magnus Carlsen has played (7.Na3).

We gain a comfortable space advantage if Black doesn’t capture the knight. If Black captures, we have the lead in development and the initiative.

Chapter 1 Preview

Chapter 2: Closed Catalan

The Closed Catalan is the most popular line at the club level. This chapter contains ten lines, and Black adopts passive positions.

Many of the annotated games come from the Closed Catalan structure. We look at an early c6, then follow-up with other move orders that Black can deploy.

Chapter 2 Full Video

Chapter 3: Bogo-Indian

This chapter covers lines where Black plays Bb4+, either on moves 3 or 4. We recommend starting with Nd2 to block the check. Blocking with the knight scores well in practice and can often lead to a bishop pair advantage in the middlegame.

Black has a choice between giving us a big center or the bishop pair. This offbeat line is likely to confuse the opponent.


Chapter 3 Preview

Chapter 4: Open Catalan

When Black captures on c4 early, that leads to the Open Catalan. We are going to look at a not-so-common 5.Qa4+. The simplicity of winning the pawn back and then developing in the center is appealing.

When Black goes for the Open Catalan, frequently, they are looking to gain a pawn out of the opening. We will put the game on our court.

Chapter 4 Preview

Chapter 5: Benoni Family

The Benoni is an aggressive system for Black. We found an interesting idea with f3! This move prevents Black’s attempts to trade minor pieces and proves a frustrating system for Black to face.

Matt will walk you through how to constrict the opponent’s play and then steamroll the opponent with the pawns.

Chapter 5 Preview