The Catalan derives its name from Catalonia — nowadays a region shared mainly by Spain and in a lesser area by France — after tournament organizers at the 1929 Barcelona tournament asked Savielly Tartakower to create a new variation in homage to the area's chess history. It had been played a few times before Tartakower's usage in the tournament, however: Réti-Leonhardt, Berlin 1928, for instance, transposed into an Open Catalan.
The Catalan is a chess opening which can be considered to be White adopting a mixture of the Queen's Gambit and Réti Opening: White plays d4 and c4 and fianchettoes the white bishop on g2. A common opening sequence is 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.g3 d5 4.Bg2, though the opening can arise from a large number of move orders (see transposition). ECO codes E01-E09 are for the Catalan.
Black has two main approaches to choose between: in the Open Catalan he plays ...dxc4 and can either try to hold onto the pawn with ...b5 or give it back for extra time to free his game. In the Closed Catalan, Black does not capture on c4; his game can be somewhat cramped for a while, but is quite solid
Here are a few games provided in Chess Flash format.
In keeping with the theme of my chess blog "Chess From The Amateur" I am reposting a Catalan Opeing game between two Class C players. This game took place in November 1987 and appeared in Atlantic Chess News in 1988 by Chess Master Jim West of New Jersey.
Jim West also posted this game on his chess blog in May 2, 2007. The name of Jim West blog is naturally " Jim West On Chess ".......diamondback.
I will post this same game in Chess Flash format with game annotations from Jim West and the winner of this contest later on April 16, 2009.