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Keywords:

  • α-branched aldehydes;
  • dynamic kinetic resolution;
  • enantioselectivity;
  • Knoevenagel condensation;
  • organocatalysis
Thumbnail image of graphical abstract

The annual rings of the pictured tree represent the time gap, 116 years, between the discovery of the Knoevenagel condensation and that of the first catalytic asymmetric variant. As described by B. List et al. in their Communication on page 1707 ff., a cinchona amine catalyst promotes the reaction of α-branched aldehydes and malonates through a dynamic kinetic resolution to give alkylidene malonates with high enantioselectivity.