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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Semi-Tarrasch (Read 26645 times)
HgMan
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #57 - 02/02/08 at 16:09:21
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I've been interested to note that 11...Nd7 (instead of 11...Nc6) is becoming a more popular way of handling the Semi-Tarrasch as Black.  Vitali Golod seems to have been one of the most diligent advocates of the Semi-Tarrasch and he recently switched to 11...Nd7.  I've not looked at this carefully, but maybe this deserves some attention...

[Event "FIDE World Cup"]
[Site "Khanty Mansiysk"]
[Date "2005.11.27"]
[White "Radjabov,Teimour"]
[Black "Van Wely,Loek"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nd7 12.0-0 b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.Bd3 h6 16.Bb1 Re8 17.Re3 Qc7 18.e5 Nf8 19.Ne1 Qe7 20.Rg3 Qh4 21.h3 f5 22.exf6 Qxf6 23.Nd3 Red8 24.Nf4 Rc5 25.d5 g5 26.h4 Rc4 27.Nh5 Qe5 28.hxg5 Rxd5 29.Nf6+ 1-0

[Event "Barcelona Casino"]
[Site "Barcelona"]
[Date "2006.10.09"]
[White "Granda Zuniga,Julio E"]
[Black "Ivanchuk,Vassily"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nd7 12.0-0 b6 13.e5 Bb7 14.Qe3 Rc8 15.Bd3 Re8 16.Nd2 Nf8 17.Ne4 Bxe4 18.Bxe4 Ng6 19.Rad1 Ne7 20.Qh3 g6 21.Rd3 Nd5 22.Qh6 Re7 23.g4 Rc3 24.Rfd1 Rec7 25.Kg2 b5 26.h4 b4 27.Rh1 Rxd3 28.Bxd3 Nc3 29.h5 Qxd4 30.hxg6 fxg6 31.Bxg6 Qxg4+ 32.Kf1 Qe2+ 0-1

[Site "Bazna"]
[Date "2007.06.16"]
[White "Chiburdanidze,Maia"]
[Black "Ribli,Zoltan"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nd7 12.0-0 b6 13.e5 Bb7 14.Qe3 Rc8 15.Bd3 h6 1/2

[Event "Monarch Assurance 16th"]
[Site "Port Erin"]
[Date "2007.09.22"]
[White "Kunin,Vitaly L"]
[Black "Golod,Vitali"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nd7 12.0-0 b6 13.a4 Bb7 14.Qe2 Rc8 15.Ba6 Qc7 16.a5 Bxa6 17.Qxa6 Nf6 18.Rfe1 Qc2 19.Re2 Qb3 20.h3 Rc2 21.e5 Rxe2 22.Qxe2 Nd5 23.axb6 axb6 24.Ng5 Qc3 25.Rd1 h6 26.Ne4 Qc6 27.Qd2 b5 28.Rc1 Qb6 29.Rc5 Rd8 30.Nd6 b4 31.Qd3 Qa7 32.Rb5 Rb8 33.g3 Nc3 34.Rxb8+ Qxb8 35.Qf3 f5 36.Qc6 b3 37.Nb5 Qxb5 38.Qxe6+ Kf8 39.Qc8+ Kf7 40.e6+ Ke7
41.Qc7+ Kxe6 42.Qxc3 b2 43.Qe1+ Kf6 44.Qb1 Qe2 45.g4 g6 46.gxf5 gxf5 47.d5 Qd2 48.Kg2 Qc1 49.Qd3 b1=Q 50.Qa6+ Kg7 0-1

[Event "Maalot Tarshiha"]
[Date "2008.01.07"]
[White "Macieja,Bartlomiej"]
[Black "Gyimesi,Zoltan"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nd7 12.0-0 b6 13.a4 Bb7 14.Bd3 Rc8 15.a5 Qc7 16.Ra3 Rfd8 17.Rb1 h6 18.h3 Qd6 19.Rab3 Rc7 20.Qe3 Rdc8 21.axb6 axb6 22.d5 Rc3 23.e5 Qc5 24.Rxc3 Qxc3 25.dxe6 fxe6 26.Nd4 Bd5 27.Rd1 Kh8 28.Kh2 b5 29.Rd2 Qc1 30.Ne2 Qa1 31.Nf4 Qxe5 32.Qg3 Kg8 33.Bxb5 Rc3 34.f3 Nf6 35.Bd3 Rc1 36.Rc2 Rxc2 37.Bxc2 g5 1/2


  

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HgMan
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #56 - 11/22/07 at 22:32:02
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I posted this game in the General Chess section, but thought it might warrant noting here.  I am starting to cool on the Semi-Tarrasch, if only because it offers Black few winning chances against good play from White.  I will likely continue to use it in games against very strong opposition where I'd be happy with a draw, but I'm starting to look at the Vienna and the Ragozin as more aggressive alternatives.  Nevertheless, I really think the Semi-Tarrasch could be an effective equalizer for Black...


[Event "Champions League 2007 Fast Track Group 1"]   
[Site "ICCF"]   
[Date "2007.9.1"]   
[White "Sheppard, Barry S."]   
[Black "Egan, Michael"]   
[Board "3"]   
[WhiteTeam "Chess Nomads"]   
[BlackTeam "CHESSPUBLISHING.COM"]   
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 O-O 11.Bc4 Nc6 12.O-O b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.d5 Na5 16.Bd3 Qe7 17.Bf1 exd5 18.exd5 Qd6 19.Ng5 Rcd8 20.Qd3 Qh6 21.Qf5 g6 22.Qg4 Rxd5 23.Nxf7 Qg7 24.Nd6 Qf6 25.Nxb7 Rxd1 26.Qxd1 Nxb7 1/2-1/2

17.Bf1 was a new move to me, which I think I mishandled--not sure I should have allowed the IQP, though I think White let me off the hook with 22.Qg4; 22.Qe5 looked more difficult, though I suspect Black was always okay...
  

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Smyslov_Fan
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #55 - 10/02/07 at 05:43:28
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The Semi-Tarrasch was originally put forth as an improvement on the QGD Tarrasch because it didnt' leave Black with an automatic IQP.  Instead, White was often left with an IQP.  Our understanding of chess has grown so much since those initial assessments that Black doesn't mind playing with an IQP and active pieces.  Neither does White. 

A long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away), Aron Nimzovich pointed out that playing both sides of IQP positions would greatly enhance one's positional understanding.  Since the days of Spassky-Petrosian, the Tarrasch and Semi-Tarrasch have been virtually equally popular.  Perhaps the Tarrasch has been a bit more popular because some youngster from Baku played it in 1979.  But the Semi-Tarrasch is still played at various levels on a fairly regular basis.
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #54 - 09/30/07 at 21:42:59
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I've seen it suggested that the Semi-Tarrasch is an improved Tarrasch--I can only imagine this is somewhat tongue-in-cheek and in reference to Black avoiding the IQP that is a common feature of the Tarrasch.  So: improved pawn structure.

On the other hand, the Semi-Tarrasch is rather passive.  I think Black can enjoy a very solid position and might have better than average chances in the endgame because of the queenside pawn majority.  However, White enjoys all the initiative in the middlegame, and can build up some rather dangerous attacks against the Black king.  Study the games of Vitali Golod, who has a very strong record with the Semi-Tarrasch, and has improved considerably on some of the classic games played by Tal and others.  In fact, he played it just a few days ago at the Isle of Man tournament against Vitali Kunin, and played 11...Nbd7 for the first time (he typically played 11...Nc6).  It will be interesting to see if he continues to play the Semi-Tarrasch this way in the future...
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #53 - 09/30/07 at 18:11:05
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I have questions:

is the semi tarrasch an improved tarrasch?
what is the downside, plus in comparison to the normal tarrasch?
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #52 - 07/29/07 at 15:36:21
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Dji wrote on 07/29/07 at 14:37:50:
In the line 5.cd5 Nd5 6.g3 the relatively new 6...Nc6 7.Bg2 Ndb4!? should to be examine too.


This can arise out of an English, too.  And it does have some merit--well worth a look!  It seems as though White could be in trouble...

[Event "Linares 16th"]
[Site "Linares"]
[Date "1999.02.21"]
[Round "1"]
[White "Kramnik,Vladimir"]
[Black "Topalov,Veselin"]
1.Nf3 c5 2.c4 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.d4 e6 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Bg2 Ndb4 8.e3 cxd4 9.exd4 Nxd4 10.0-0 Nxf3+ 11.Qxf3 Be7 12.Rd1 Qa5 13.a3 0-0 14.Bf4 Nc6 15.b4 Qf5 16.b5 Na5 17.Bc7 Qxf3 18.Bxf3 Nb3 19.Rab1 Nc5 20.a4 a5 21.b6 f6 22.Bd6 Bxd6 23.Rxd6 e5 24.Bd5+ Kh8 25.Rb5 Nd3 26.Be4 Nb4 27.Nd5 Nc6 28.Nc7 Rb8 29.Kg2 f5 30.Bxc6 bxc6 31.Rxe5 f4 32.gxf4 Rxb6 33.Ne6  1/2

[Event "Elbow Beach Club GM-A"]
[Site "Paget Parish"]
[Date "2001.01.20"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Stefansson,Hannes"]
[Black "Macieja,Bartlomiej"]
1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.g3 d5 5.d4 e6 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Bg2 Ndb4 8.e3 cxd4 9.exd4 Nxd4 10.0-0 Nxf3+ 11.Qxf3 Be7 12.Rd1 Qa5 13.Bf4 0-0 14.Qe2 Nc6 15.a3 Qf5 16.Be4 Qh3 17.Bg2 Qf5 18.Be4 Qh3 19.Bg2  1/2

[Event "RUS-chT rapid"]
[Site "Sochi"]
[Date "2004.04.??"]
[Round "4"]
[White "Popov,Valerij"]
[Black "Makarov,Marat"]
1.c4 c5 2.Nf3 Nf6 3.Nc3 Nc6 4.g3 d5 5.d4 e6 6.cxd5 Nxd5 7.Bg2 Ndb4 8.e3 cxd4 9.exd4 Nxd4 10.0-0 Nxf3+ 11.Qxf3 Be7 12.Rd1 Qa5 13.a3 0-0 14.Bf4 Nc6 15.b4 Qf5 16.b5 Ne5 17.Qe4 Qxe4 18.Bxe4 Nc4 19.Rd4 e5 20.Rxc4 exf4 21.Nd5 Bd6 22.Nxf4 Rb8 23.Rd1 Bxa3 24.Ra1 Bd6 25.Rxa7 Re8 26.b6 Bxf4 27.gxf4 Bh3 28.f3 Re6 29.Rxb7 Rxb6 30.Rxb6  1/2

  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #51 - 07/29/07 at 14:37:50
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In the line 5.cd5 Nd5 6.g3 the relatively new 6...Nc6 7.Bg2 Ndb4!? should to be examine too.
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #50 - 07/29/07 at 14:37:45
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Given that White will be able to set up two pawns in the middle of the board, it is in White's best interest to exchange bishops and take some pieces off the board in order to reduce White's chances of a kingside attack while Black must keep an eye on those pawns (nevermind the cramped quarters).  With this in mind, I think the correct line for Black is:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 at which point 11...b5 is not so attractive.

Spassky-Fischer notwithstanding, I really don't think b7-b5 is Black's best or worth avoiding as White.  Playing Bc4 also lets White keep the bishop on the a2-g8 diagonal, even after b7-b5, which can apply some nasty pressure on f7.  As you mentioned, the move caught Spassky by surprise.  Better was 10.Be2 as played by Jussupow below, keeping the d-file open and enjoying a spatial advantage.  In all, b7-b5 strikes me as a useful "trick" than objectively Black's strongest...

[Event "World Championship 28th"]
[Site "Reykjavik"]
[Date "1972.07.11"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Spassky,Boris V"]
[Black "Fischer,Robert James"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nc6 9.Bc4 b5 10.Bd3 Bb4+ 11.Bd2 Bxd2+ 12.Qxd2 a6 13.a4 0-0 14.Qc3 Bb7 15.axb5 axb5 16.0-0 Qb6 17.Rab1 b4 18.Qd2 Nxd4 19.Nxd4 Qxd4 20.Rxb4 Qd7 21.Qe3 Rfd8 22.Rfb1 Qxd3 23.Qxd3 Rxd3 24.Rxb7 g5 25.Rb8+ Rxb8 26.Rxb8+ Kg7 27.f3 Rd2 28.h4 h6 29.hxg5 hxg5 1/2



[Event "Candidates Tournament"]
[Site "Montpellier"]
[Date "1985.10.??"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Jussupow,Artur"]
[Black "Ribli,Zoltan"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nc6 9.Bc4 b5 10.Be2 Bb4+ 11.Bd2 Qa5 12.d5 exd5 13.exd5 Ne7 14.0-0 Bxd2 15.Nxd2 0-0 16.Nb3 Qd8 17.Bf3 Nf5 18.Rc1 Nd6 19.Qd4 Qb6 20.Qf4 Bd7 21.Nd4 Rfe8 22.Nc6 Nc4 23.Rfe1 Nb2 24.Be4 Nc4 25.h3 h6 26.Bd3 Nb2 27.Bb1 Bxc6 28.dxc6 Rxe1+ 29.Rxe1 Qxc6 30.Be4 Qc3 31.Rc1 Nd3 32.Qxf7+  1-0

  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #49 - 07/29/07 at 04:36:32
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I'm not so sure that ...b5 is a distant threat at all.  After all, Spassky-Fischer 1972 (game 9) saw 9.Bc4 b5!  This move had apparently been completely overlooked by Spassky and his team!
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #48 - 07/28/07 at 20:21:10
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kylemeister wrote on 07/28/07 at 19:31:58:
HgMan wrote on 07/28/07 at 17:18:09:
Dji wrote on 02/25/07 at 10:27:28:
kylemeister wrote on 02/23/07 at 16:18:56:
I have the impression that 6. g3 (which overlaps with the English) is also annoying.  For instance, a recent game in a long theoretical line (Werle-Broekmeulen, in the Dutch league) looked nice for White.  


yes nice but 7...cxd4?! 8.Nxd4 is a  sideline the real test is 7...Be7 8.0-0 0-0 and here 9.Nxd5 or 9.e4


Can't 6...cxd4 7.Nxd4 Bb4 transpose into a Nimzo-Indian?


For what it's worth, ECO considers that an English, and as being slightly better for White.  (Rather oddly, the volume dealing with the Semi-Tarrasch only gives 7. Nxd5, leading to equality.)


This doesn't look particularly harmful at all...
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #47 - 07/28/07 at 20:19:48
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 07/28/07 at 18:26:26:
Andrew Brett beat me by about two days... and five months.

I read a 1970s article on the Semi-tarrasch (possibly in Keres' Power Chess that suggested 11.Bd3 is probably more accurate than 11.Bc4 because of the threat of ...b5 as was seen in the early 1970s.

I would try 11.Bd3 rather than try to replicate Spassky's famous win over Petrosian.  Of course, an early e3 by White also does well.  11.Bc4 may score well, but it seems to play directly into Black's preparation.


I must admit, I initially thought so, but in the Semi-Tarrasch, White's main goal is to create a passed pawn on the d-file by exchanging on d5.  With this in mind, 11.Bd3 can get in the way since it obstructs the pawn's protection from a rook on d1, and interferes with the key idea of White's side of the Semi-Tarrasch. 

For what it's worth, the threat of ...b5 is a rather distant one (if it ever materializes); the bishop is more likely to be kicked by ...Nc6-a5 at some point, though it's worth mentioning that the most common response to 11.Bc4 is 11...Nc6, which in turn leaves the knight likely to get kicked by the advance of the d-pawn...
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #46 - 07/28/07 at 19:31:58
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HgMan wrote on 07/28/07 at 17:18:09:
Dji wrote on 02/25/07 at 10:27:28:
kylemeister wrote on 02/23/07 at 16:18:56:
I have the impression that 6. g3 (which overlaps with the English) is also annoying.  For instance, a recent game in a long theoretical line (Werle-Broekmeulen, in the Dutch league) looked nice for White.  


yes nice but 7...cxd4?! 8.Nxd4 is a  sideline the real test is 7...Be7 8.0-0 0-0 and here 9.Nxd5 or 9.e4


Can't 6...cxd4 7.Nxd4 Bb4 transpose into a Nimzo-Indian?


For what it's worth, ECO considers that an English, and as being slightly better for White.  (Rather oddly, the volume dealing with the Semi-Tarrasch only gives 7. Nxd5, leading to equality.)

By the way, that line/game I mentioned earlier became the basis for an article by Werle in NIC Yearbook 82.  After 6. g3 Nc6 7. Bg2 cd 8. Nxd4 Nxc3 9. bc Nxd4 10. Qxd4, he says, "Why does everybody take the queen without hesitation, only because it's theory? [...] the logical move seems to me to be 10...Be7!? [...]  In my opinion, the endgame that arises after 10...Qxd4 is clearly in White's favour."

Also, it seems to me that  7...Be7 8. 0-0 0-0 9. e4 has long been considered slightly better for White.    


  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #45 - 07/28/07 at 18:26:26
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Andrew Brett beat me by about two days... and five months.

I read a 1970s article on the Semi-tarrasch (possibly in Keres' Power Chess that suggested 11.Bd3 is probably more accurate than 11.Bc4 because of the threat of ...b5 as was seen in the early 1970s.

I would try 11.Bd3 rather than try to replicate Spassky's famous win over Petrosian.  Of course, an early e3 by White also does well.  11.Bc4 may score well, but it seems to play directly into Black's preparation.
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #44 - 07/28/07 at 17:18:09
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Dji wrote on 02/25/07 at 10:27:28:
kylemeister wrote on 02/23/07 at 16:18:56:
I have the impression that 6. g3 (which overlaps with the English) is also annoying.  For instance, a recent game in a long theoretical line (Werle-Broekmeulen, in the Dutch league) looked nice for White.  


yes nice but 7...cxd4?! 8.Nxd4 is a  sideline the real test is 7...Be7 8.0-0 0-0 and here 9.Nxd5 or 9.e4


Can't 6...cxd4 7.Nxd4 Bb4 transpose into a Nimzo-Indian?
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #43 - 07/28/07 at 17:11:17
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Ptero wrote on 02/23/07 at 16:18:13:
Check out the Smyslov-Ribli candidates match from 1983 for some nice 6.e3 games


It would appear that Ribli still trots out the Semi-Tarrasch at times, as evidenced by these recent efforts:

[Event "HUN-chT2 Charousek 0607"]
[Site "Hungary"]
[Date "2006.11.12"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Csiszar,Csaba"]
[Black "Ribli,Zoltan"]
[Result "1/2"]
[Eco "D41"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Nc6
9.Bc4 Bb4+ 10.Bd2 Bxd2+ 11.Qxd2 0-0 12.0-0 b6 13.Rfd1 Na5 14.Be2 Bb7 15.Qf4 Qf6 16.Qe3 Qe7
17.Ne5 Rac8 18.Rac1 f6 19.Nc4 Nxc4 20.Bxc4  1/2

[Event "Bazna"]
[Site "Bazna"]
[Date "2007.06.16"]
[Round "10"]
[White "Chiburdanidze,Maia"]
[Black "Ribli,Zoltan"]
[Result "1/2"]
[Eco "D41"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.Nf3 d5 3.c4 e6 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+
9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nd7 12.0-0 b6 13.e5 Bb7 14.Qe3 Rc8 15.Bd3 h6 1/2

Neither does much to advance the theory at all, but interesting that 25 years later, he should still use it occasionally.  Incidentally, Zoltan Gyimesi seems to play the Semi-Tarrasch from time to time.  Is this a Hungarian thing?
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #42 - 02/26/07 at 11:40:30
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HgMan wrote on 05/18/06 at 23:56:20:
The reason I asked is that I'm looking for openings to complement my new (old) interest in the Nimzo-Indian.  I was toying with the Blumenfeld, and then thought I should have something prepared in case White doesn't advance the d-pawn to d5.  Having spent a fair amount of time working through IQPs, I thought it might be worth taking advantage of that work.  So the Semi-Tarrasch looks like it might be worth a look.  It's strange that an opening that occurs relatively frequently at the highest level doesn't have much literature on it (is it in many of the QGD books?)  The line that bothers me:

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 c5 4 Nc3 d5 5 cxd5 Nxd5 6 e4 Nxc3 7 bxc3 cxd4 8 cxd4 Bb4+ 9 Bd2 Bxd2+ 10 Qxd2 0-0

Instead of creating an IQP to attack, I've left White with two pawns in the center of the board.  In practice, the pawns aren't terribly strong or secure, thanks in part to the open c-file and two sets of minor pieces having come off the board, but White seems to do reasonably well in this line.  It's playable for Black, but what plan?  I presume ... b6, ... Bb7, ... Rac8, ... Rfd8, and Q-where? with some pressure on White's pawns...


If you're looking to liven things up and put early pressure on White, it's well worth looking at 5...cxd4 - a Keres favourite
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #41 - 02/25/07 at 12:46:41
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I think you'd have to be a v. strong defender.

Apart from Polu v Tal in the e4 lines,

both Bc4 and Bd3 in the e3 systems score well for white.

Nothing wrong with defending Queens Gambit Tarketower though !

  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #40 - 02/25/07 at 10:27:28
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kylemeister wrote on 02/23/07 at 16:18:56:
I have the impression that 6. g3 (which overlaps with the English) is also annoying.  For instance, a recent game in a long theoretical line (Werle-Broekmeulen, in the Dutch league) looked nice for White.  


yes nice but 7...cxd4?! 8.Nxd4 is a  sideline the real test is 7...Be7 8.0-0 0-0 and here 9.Nxd5 or 9.e4
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #39 - 02/23/07 at 16:18:56
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I have the impression that 6. g3 (which overlaps with the English) is also annoying.  For instance, a recent game in a long theoretical line (Werle-Broekmeulen, in the Dutch league) looked nice for White.
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #38 - 02/23/07 at 16:18:13
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Check out the Smyslov-Ribli candidates match from 1983 for some nice 6.e3 games
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #37 - 02/23/07 at 16:14:26
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Sure, but to be honest, in a dozen or so tries, I have only faced 6.e4.  Maybe nobody studies their IQPs anymore and therefore steers clear.  Through the Semi-Tarrasch move order, 6.e4 seems the more aggressive try, I suppose.

6.e3 is, nevertheless, critical.  It is likely more common through the Caro or, indeed, the Nimzo (both in my repertoire, as it happens).  But surely Black can hold here, too, no?
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #36 - 02/23/07 at 14:43:59
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HgMan wrote on 02/18/07 at 16:50:09:
The more I look into the Semi-Tarrasch, the more convinced I am that this opening is very sound for Black.  It's probably not the best bet to play for a win, but after a number of tries in correspondence chess, I am becoming rather confident that I can hold a draw here against stronger opposition.

I have been approaching the Semi-Tarrasch by offering a Nimzo, and then playing 3...d5 after 3.Nf3, in order to avoid 3.Nc3 and 4.Bg5 or 3.cxd5:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nc6 (I'd like to explore 11...Nd7 a little more here; it looks as though it has some merit) 12.0-0 b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8

The debate then focuses on whether White can push the d-pawn, created an isolated and passed pawn on d5 and exploit that and/or a strong attack on the kingside.  Against correct play, I think White has a difficult time, and also has the difficulty of playing correct moves else this drift into equality much earlier than it needs to.  Black has a difficult defense, but White must play very accurately as well.  If Black can simplify, the endgame doesn't look too bad at all.  All in all, I'm not sure White can exploit those two central pawns the way the position suggest s/he should.  I remember a few other people expressing some interest in the Semi-Tarrasch earlier in this thread.  I think there are some real advantages here:

1.White rarely has something carefully prepared for this since it is generally disparaged.
2.The first dozen moves are very easy and straightforward to play.
3.Black gets very familiar and thematic positions; familiarity has its advantages.
4.In my experience, White tends to overpress.
5.I am pairing this with the Nimzo and Caro, and find a number of similarities in pawn structure and ideas.
6.Not the most swashbuckling of openings, but Black can stand well in the endgame.

My sense is that the Semi-Tarrasch might not be the best bet to play for a win against weaker opposition, but I'm putting together a decent record of holding against stronger opponents...


Isn't 6. e3, reaching positions that are sometimes treated in the Caro books, equally critical for the Semi-Tarrasch?
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #35 - 02/23/07 at 12:21:25
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That comes closer to my rather favourable opinion on the ST, that however may be due entirely to some fantastic games in Suba's 'Dynamic' book.
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #34 - 02/18/07 at 16:50:09
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The more I look into the Semi-Tarrasch, the more convinced I am that this opening is very sound for Black.  It's probably not the best bet to play for a win, but after a number of tries in correspondence chess, I am becoming rather confident that I can hold a draw here against stronger opposition.

I have been approaching the Semi-Tarrasch by offering a Nimzo, and then playing 3...d5 after 3.Nf3, in order to avoid 3.Nc3 and 4.Bg5 or 3.cxd5:

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nc6 (I'd like to explore 11...Nd7 a little more here; it looks as though it has some merit) 12.0-0 b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8

The debate then focuses on whether White can push the d-pawn, created an isolated and passed pawn on d5 and exploit that and/or a strong attack on the kingside.  Against correct play, I think White has a difficult time, and also has the difficulty of playing correct moves else this drift into equality much earlier than it needs to.  Black has a difficult defense, but White must play very accurately as well.  If Black can simplify, the endgame doesn't look too bad at all.  All in all, I'm not sure White can exploit those two central pawns the way the position suggest s/he should.  I remember a few other people expressing some interest in the Semi-Tarrasch earlier in this thread.  I think there are some real advantages here:

1.White rarely has something carefully prepared for this since it is generally disparaged.
2.The first dozen moves are very easy and straightforward to play.
3.Black gets very familiar and thematic positions; familiarity has its advantages.
4.In my experience, White tends to overpress.
5.I am pairing this with the Nimzo and Caro, and find a number of similarities in pawn structure and ideas.
6.Not the most swashbuckling of openings, but Black can stand well in the endgame.

My sense is that the Semi-Tarrasch might not be the best bet to play for a win against weaker opposition, but I'm putting together a decent record of holding against stronger opponents...
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #33 - 11/21/06 at 12:56:20
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Hello,

The book I metioned, Opening Preparation (1982), has the same information re: 10 ...Be7, or 10...f5 for equal game instead of 10 ...Ne5 played against Lasker (Cambridge Springs 1904). 10 ...f5 is the move Lasker thought he should of played.
                Also, against 6 Nxp, played by Fine in a few games, recommends 6 ...e5 for equality. Not aware of any recent developments in this line.

Bye John S
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #32 - 11/21/06 at 01:34:22
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So I open my beloved Taimanov's Damengambit bis Holländisch (1980) once again. The Russian GM writes (apologizes if my translation is poor):

In a game against Lasker (Petersburg 1895/96) Pillsbury took the pawn with the queen (that's why Taimanov calls 5.Bg5 the Pillsbury Variation). ....... The whole variation was considered advantageous for White for a long time. Euwe has shown though, that Black can defend after 10...Be7 (iso 10...Ne5). Also possible is 10...f5.

What are the opinions a quarter of a century later?
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #31 - 11/20/06 at 16:32:22
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The dutch-peruvian with Nf3 is not the best but it's +=
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #30 - 11/20/06 at 14:26:10
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Surely, 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 cxd4 transposes into a Panov Caro...

Doesn't the early Bg5 turn this into a Dutch-Peruvian Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 c5)?  And what are the advantages and disadvantages of Nf3 here?
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #29 - 11/20/06 at 10:13:30
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Hello,

5.Bg5 was very popular about 100 years ago, there were famous games between Pillsbury and Lasker, amongst others. Fine was playing it in the 30's.

This is probably the most well-known one.
[White "Pillsbury,Harry Nelson"]
[Black "Lasker,Emanuel"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "D50"]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Nf3 c5 5.Bg5 cxd4 6.Qxd4 Nc6 7.Bxf6 gxf6 8.Qh4 dxc4
9.Rd1 Bd7 10.e3 Ne5 11.Nxe5 fxe5 12.Qxc4 Qb6 13.Be2 Qxb2 14.0-0 Rc8 15.Qd3 Rc7 16.Ne4 Be7
17.Nd6+ Kf8 18.Nc4 Qb5 19.f4 exf4 20.Qd4 f6 21.Qxf4 Qc5 22.Ne5 Be8 23.Ng4 f5 24.Qh6+ Kf7
25.Bc4 Rc6 26.Rxf5+ Qxf5 27.Rf1 Qxf1+ 28.Kxf1 Bd7 29.Qh5+ Kg8 30.Ne5  1-0

There was a book called Opening preparation, or something like that, which looked at improvements for black. Will try and dig it out.
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #28 - 11/20/06 at 09:02:50
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In the semi-Tarrasch 5.cd5 is the automatic move but what about 5.Bg5
It seem interesting to me . The natural 5...cd4 is met by 6.Qd4 Be7 +=

So what 5...dc4 ? or something else ?
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #27 - 11/20/06 at 05:18:06
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the Grunfeld is probably a better opening because of king safety. As for Semi-Tarrasch ... well I don't wish to play a whole game calculating sacrifices on my kingside! (which will be the case whether White chooses 6. e3 or 6. e4).
Also Bg7 goes nicely with ...c5 , but I'm not sure if Black can play ...f5 anytime soon after Bb7.

But the Semi-Tarrasch, like the Ragozin, is having a mini-revival, if only because Black does not equalise after 5.Bf4 and the QGD Vienna.
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #26 - 11/19/06 at 22:57:17
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I was flicking through an old source this weekend, Burgess & Pedersen's Queen's Gambit for the Attacking Player, and was struck by their suggestion that the Semi-Tarrasch was a cross between the Tarrasch and the Grunfeld.  The Tarrasch connection makes plenty of sense if only in name and the early advance of the c-pawn, but I had never thought of the relationship between the Semi-Tarrasch and the Grunfeld before.  Burgess & Pedersen suggest that Black often has to cope with White's large pawn center in both openings, which is fair enough, but never having really investigated the Grunfeld, I hadn't appreciated that there might be similarities worth studying here.  Has anyone worked on both the Grunfeld and the Semi-Tarrasch?  Are there relevant themes that cross over from one opening to the other?

Like other sources, Burgess & Pedersen suggest that the Semi-Tarrasch may enjoy some revival in the future, and while much of the "theory" is fairly straightforward, I wonder if some study of the Grunfeld might be useful in injecting some life into the Semi-Tarrasch?
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #25 - 08/31/06 at 08:28:08
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Hello,

Also found some information on 6e4 line at
http://www.kenilworthchessclub.org/games/java/summer05/stoyko-lasker-3.htm

and in Yermolinsky's "Road to chess improvement". Both of these support current orthodox view that opening is difficult for black. Don't know of any book that specialises in this opening.

Bye John S
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #24 - 08/30/06 at 21:19:06
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In his book 'according to kramnik 5 (chapter 11) Khalifman give 11.Bc4 Nc6 12.0-0 b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.d5 Na5 16.Bd3 and now on 16...Qe7 17.de6!? fe6 18.Bb5 +=
   Is it all clear?
  Just one exemple(maybe a bad one but...??) 18...Rc5 19.Qd7 Rf7 20.a4 a6 21.Qe7 Re7 22.Bf1 h6 23.Rb1 Nc4  24.Rb4 Rec7 25.Nd4 a5 26.Rbb1 kF7 27.Nb5 Rd7 28.Rbd1 Nd2 23.f3 Bc6 30.Be2 Kf6 with conterplay .
Of course nothing is forced but I just want to know  any opinion after the move 18th!
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #23 - 08/11/06 at 15:21:20
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Thanks, Smyslov_Fan.  It seems as though I already have the critical literature.  I wasn't sure if there were chapters on the Semi-Tarrasch in various QGD books, but I'll stick to the Khalifman book and my database...
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #22 - 08/10/06 at 20:32:34
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Paul Keres wrote an excellent article on the Semi-Tarrasch that can be found in Power Chess.  Also, Spassky's notes to his famous win against Petrosian and the follow-up game between Spassky and Fischer would be excellent starting points.

These are very dated sources, but they have excellent theoretical content that is useful even today.  Of course, there are more recent analyses, but I'm not sure that an entire book on the Semi-Tarrasch would sell.  I've played both sides of it and wouldn't buy a book just on that one opening.

Addendum:  Kasparov gives detailed notes in several games in My Great Predecessors

vol 2
vol 3: Games 46, 117, 119, 120
vol 4: Games 32 and 62

Also, Khalifman covers the "Improved Tarrasch" in Opening for White According to Kramnik vol 5 chapter 10.

As is usual, I found only one game in the chapter, Kramnik-van Wely 1988, which was played by Kramnik.

Also as usual, while Khalifman gives many game stems, the theoretically most important game is one found in ECO:  Spassky-Tigran Petrosian (m/5) 1969 and quotes Bondarevsky and Boleslavsky for their evaluations.

I hope these citations help.
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #21 - 08/07/06 at 23:58:32
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HgMan wrote on 05/15/06 at 17:58:54:
What is the current status of the Semi-Tarrasch?  I keep hearing references to it being "much maligned," etc., but with little suggestion that it is in trouble.  It's always struck me as being very solid.  Does Black just get little chance to play for a win?  Do any of the recent QGD books offer much in the way of analysis here?  


I wonder if I might return to one aspect of the original post not discussed here.  While the theory of the Semi-Tarrasch is fairly clearcut and frequently serves as a vehicle for arriving at specific middlegame positions (a la IQP, which can be reached from a number of openings), where might I find the most current discussion of the Semi-Tarrasch in the existing chess literature.  Is there a good book on the QGD that provides good theoretical and explanatory coverage?
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #20 - 06/10/06 at 14:56:42
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micawber: I was probably being a little severe with my language and referring to database statistics than the objective nature of the position.  However, I just don't trust Black's game after 15 ... exd5.  See, for example:

[Event "ASPCC corr"]
[Site "USA"]
[Date "1998.??.??"]
[Round "0"]
[White "Knudsen,John C"]
[Black "Erkel,Albert A"]
[Result "1-0"]
[Eco "D41"]
1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.Nf3 Nf6 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nc6 12.0-0 b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.d5 exd5 16.Bxd5 Qc7 17.Qg5 h6 18.Qh5 Nb4 19.Bb3 Nc6 20.Nh4 Na5 21.Nf5 Nxb3 22.axb3 Kh7 23.Rd6 f6 24.Nxh6 Rce8 25.Rxf6 Rxf6 26.Ng4+ Rh6 27.Qxe8 Qc3 28.Rf1 Rg6 29.Ne5 Rg5 30.Nf7 Rc5 31.h4 Bc6 32.Qh8+ 1-0

I like your analysis, but I wonder about  15 ... exd5 16 Bxd5 Qc7 17 Qg5 h6 18 Qh5 Nb4 19 Bb3 Qc5 20 Ne5.  My sense is that White's pieces are on better squares than Black's...
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #19 - 06/10/06 at 07:03:48
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@hgman
Thx for the games. Playing 15...Na5 in combination with Qe7 looks quite solid.



1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nc6 12.0-0 b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.d5 exd 16.Bxd5 Qc7

First of all I might add that I overlooked your suggestion 17.Qg5. This seems to indicate that
I preferr  16....Qe7 over 16....Qc7.

Still I think black is not as bad after 16...Qc7 as you indicated:


17.Qg5! (an improvement on the move played by Nogeiras)
17...... , h6
18.Qh5         (end of the analysis by HgMan, white is better, but the assessment "desperate" is
                   to pessemistic ; I think Tal of all people would have seen this when playing Qc7
                   .....and evaluated that he could defend the position)
18......, Nb4
19.Nh4          Other moves don't seem better
                   19.Bxb7?!, Qxb7 20.Nh4,Nc2 21.Re2,Nd4! =
                   19.Bb3! (now black must be alert to a possible king side attack after e5-e6)
                      19.......  Qc5 20. e5,Bd5 and white's advantage is not very large
19......,Nxd5   
20.exd5,Rfe8
21.Nf5           White can achieve a sliqhtly better endgame after 21...Rxe1
                   22.Rxe1,Nxd5 23.Nxh6+,gxh 24.Qxd5,Qe7! but black should be able to draw
                   whithout too many problems
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #18 - 06/09/06 at 21:15:02
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Quote:
@john simmons, @john cox;

I think black is still OK in the semi-Tarrasch with e4
I noted that Tal (who was on the receiving end in the cited game Polugajevsky-Tal 1969, in a later game followed  Spassky-Petrosjan 1969 till move 16. There he improved and reached a reasonable position against Nogeiras (Brussels, 1988).

1.d4,Nf6 2.c4,e6 3.Nc3,d5 4.Nf3,c5 5.cxd,Nxd 6.e4,Nxc3 7.bxc, cxd 8.exd,Bb4+ 9.Bd2,Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2,0-0
11.Bc4,Nc6 12.0-0,b6 13,Rad1,Bb7 14.Rfe1,Rc8
15.d5!?,
15.......exd5  (15....Na5 led to Polugajevsky-Tal)
16.Bxd5,       (16.exd,Na5 17.Bf1,Qd6 18.Ng5,Qh6 doesnt give white very much)
16.......,Qc7!   (16....Na5 17.Qf4!,Qc7 18.Qf5! got black in trouble in Spassky-Petrosjan)
                    (an alternative might be 16...Qe7 17.Qf4,Rc7 unclear)
17.e5  , Ne7
(Nogeiras-Tal, Brussels 1988)



17 Qg5 h6 18 Qh5 with Nh4 to follow looks pretty desperate for Black.

I think I prefer Golod's approach.  Preserving the tension in the center after 15 d5 deserves some attention:

[Event "ISR-chT"]
[Site "Israel"]
[Date "1996.??.??"]
[White "Tyomkin,Dimitri"]
[Black "Golod,Vitali"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nc6 12.0-0 b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.d5 Na5 16.Bd3 Qe7 17.Qf4 Rfd8 18.Bb1 Nc4 19.Nd4 e5 20.Nf5 Qf6 21.Qg3  1/2

[Event "Internet Section 11B g/8'+2""]
[Site "Dos Hermanas"]
[Date "2004.03.11"]
[White "Gozzoli,Yannick"]
[Black "Golod,Vitali"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nc6 12.0-0 b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.d5 Na5 16.Bd3 Qe7 17.Qf4 Rfd8 18.Rd2 h6 19.h3 Rc3 20.Red1 Rc5 21.dxe6 Qxe6 22.e5 Bxf3 23.Qxf3 Re8 24.Qe4 g6 25.f4 Nc4 26.Bxc4 Rxc4 27.Qf3 Qf5 28.Rd4 Rxd4 29.Rxd4 Qb1+ 30.Qd1 Qxd1+ 31.Rxd1 g5 32.g3 gxf4 33.gxf4 f6 34.exf6  1/2

[Event "EU-Cup 21st"]
[Site "Saint Vincent"]
[Date "2005.09.18"]
[White "Komarov,Dimitri"]
[Black "Golod,Vitali"]
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5 6.e4 Nxc3 7.bxc3 cxd4 8.cxd4 Bb4+ 9.Bd2 Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2 0-0 11.Bc4 Nc6 12.0-0 b6 13.Rad1 Bb7 14.Rfe1 Rc8 15.d5 Na5 16.Bd3 Qe7 17.Qf4 Rfd8 18.h4 h6 19.Nd4  1/2


  

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Keano
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #17 - 06/08/06 at 07:56:46
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I agree Semi-Tarrasch is still a viable option - some players may fail to treat it with the respect it deserves, which is a bonus too  Wink
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #16 - 06/07/06 at 20:34:56
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@john simmons, @john cox;

I think black is still OK in the semi-Tarrasch with e4
I noted that Tal (who was on the receiving end in the cited game Polugajevsky-Tal 1969, in a later game followed  Spassky-Petrosjan 1969 till move 16. There he improved and reached a reasonable position against Nogeiras (Brussels, 1988).

1.d4,Nf6 2.c4,e6 3.Nc3,d5 4.Nf3,c5 5.cxd,Nxd 6.e4,Nxc3 7.bxc, cxd 8.exd,Bb4+ 9.Bd2,Bxd2+ 10.Qxd2,0-0
11.Bc4,Nc6 12.0-0,b6 13,Rad1,Bb7 14.Rfe1,Rc8
15.d5!?,
15.......exd5  (15....Na5 led to Polugajevsky-Tal)
16.Bxd5,       (16.exd,Na5 17.Bf1,Qd6 18.Ng5,Qh6 doesnt give white very much)
16.......,Qc7!   (16....Na5 17.Qf4!,Qc7 18.Qf5! got black in trouble in Spassky-Petrosjan)
                    (an alternative might be 16...Qe7 17.Qf4,Rc7 unclear)
17.e5  , Ne7
(Nogeiras-Tal, Brussels 1988)
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #15 - 06/07/06 at 13:52:51
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there's some useful information on 6. e3 in this old semi-tarrasch thread:
http://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/yabb2/YaBB.pl?num=1111573553/3#3

perhaps we shouldn't be creating so many new threads, and use older ones if possible for the sake of continuity. There're several games provided earlier in this thread in favour for the White cause...i think the onus is on black players to try and improve on the cited games.  Undecided
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #14 - 06/07/06 at 11:53:46
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Forget Ragozins and Manhattans, Barcadi Breezers and what have you. What about the semi-Tarrasch? Like HGMan I´d be interested in creating a revival of this.
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #13 - 05/24/06 at 17:14:15
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Incidentally, we're all massively off topic  Lips Sealed
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #12 - 05/24/06 at 17:11:18
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No no no.  It's quite simple really  Angry

The Ragozin is ...Bb4 - he does not need to go ...Nc6 for a Ragozin - but he may well have to in response to Qa4+ by White

The Manhattan/Westphalia starts out as a Ragozin, but Black meets Bg5 with ...Nbd7 (it is this move that defines it as a Manhattan).  So maybe it's better to think of the Manhattan as a sub-variation of the Ragozin  Undecided

At least, that's what I think  Wink
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #11 - 05/22/06 at 19:17:44
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I think of the Ragozin as involving ...Nc6 (without ...c5 first), as Fischer played in his teens.

I don't know what to call those lines after say 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Nf3 Bb4 5. cd ed 6. Bg5 where Black plays moves like ...h6, ...c5 and ...g5, since to my mind that's neither a Ragozin nor a Manhattan/Westphalian.  Perhaps (per MNb) my definition of Ragozin is too narrow ...

I've noticed a couple of high-level games lately where Black reached a sort of modified Manhattan, by getting in ...Be6 before ...Nbd7.  So is that a Ragozin too?     Huh Roll Eyes
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #10 - 05/22/06 at 17:00:49
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uh.. so what is the Ragozin? i suppose the Ragozin IS the Manhattan?! In Ruslan's ebook on the Ragozin, black plays both Bb4 and Nbd7 too.   Undecided

Looking at Ruslan's latest update, the slightly offbeat Botvinnik/Vienna hybrid line might be worth a try too if one is willing to work hard to find improvements: currently Ivanchuk-Vallejo  Linares/Morelia06 is terrifying for Black!
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #9 - 05/22/06 at 14:39:44
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To add to the confusion, the Manhattan (as has correctly been pointed out, this is the variation with ...Bb4 and ...Nbd7) is also sometimes known as the Westphalia, after the boat on which some of the players sailed to New York, and where they analysed the variation prior to using it in the tournament.
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #8 - 05/22/06 at 12:12:28
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Since Taimanov's book Dame-Gambit bis Holländisch I thought all variations with Bb4 and Nbd7 (White almost always exchanges on d5 at some point) were called Manhattan Variation. The name comes from some Spielmann and Vidmar games in the 1927 New York tournament, where the move order was 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Nbd7 5.Nf3 Bb4.
Ragosin Variation collects all the lines with Bb4, but without Nbd7 and dxc4. The whole classification is not very handy.
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #7 - 05/22/06 at 03:30:21
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after 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Bg5 Bb4+, Palliser gives 5. Nbd2 (like Bogoindian?!), avoiding all the Ragozin/Vienna stuff, but Black can always look for improvements on Palliser's book. Still i think 4... Bb4+ in a way plays into White's hands, and the positions after 5. Nbd2 are abit tedious to play for Black, so would prefer to go for main Bg5 QGD like Tartakower (or trying for a quick draw with the Lasker is fine too).

i've heard of the Manhattan, but never really sure if its just another name for the Ragozin. Is the Manhattan all the independent lines for White after 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 Nbd7? since 6. cxd5 transposes to the Ragozin after all.  5... h6 is interesting, maybe White is slightly better after 6. Bxf6 Qxf6 7. Qa4+ but Black can defend.
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #6 - 05/22/06 at 02:01:19
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1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 d5 4.Nc3 Bb4 5.Bg5 and besides dxc4 (Vienna) also Nbd7 (Manhattan Variation) and even h6 are possible.
Does Palliser give something independent after 4.Bg5 Bb4+ ?
Finally there is 3.Nc3 Bb4 4.Nf3 d5.
So the Ragosin indeed nicely complements the NID.
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #5 - 05/20/06 at 03:02:03
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hello, some notable recent games: a few years back there was a mini-debate on the Semi-Tarrasch between Dreev and Yusupov, they ended spectecularly badly for Black (Dreev-Yusupov Aeroflot 03, and Ordix Mainz Op. 03). Radjabov-Van Wely from recent FIDE World Cup 05 is another example.

A good choice for HgMan to complement his Nimzo is the Ragozin QGD, Black also gets to play the Nimzo move Bb4 (the Ragozin is actually classified under the Nimzo-Indian according to NIC), there's also the standard stuff about blockading and at the moment Black looks as equal as anywhere else, though admittedly White players all seemed to have forgotten about the Ragozin in their preparation! That also means the Ragozin has fair surprise value. I guess a possible problem (depending on your taste) is a transposition to the Vienna after 4... Bb4 5. Bg5 dxc4, but maybe Black can try some independent move here?! Of course don't also forget the Palliser move-order 1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 d5 4. Bg5.
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #4 - 05/19/06 at 12:51:46
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Hello,

There is also the approach of Spassky v Fischer. Ribli was the last to use opening at Candiate Matches level, as far as I remember, but that was back in the 80's.

Bye John S
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #3 - 05/19/06 at 00:54:11
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Thanks, John.  I'm familiar with both those games, and they were the source of my original concerns.  What's strange is the number of strong players who continue to willingly play this line from the Black side AND the number of top players with the White pieces who play 6 e3 instead (this looks much more attractive and manageable for Black).  Ultimately, I suppose that 6 e4 doesn't offer a forced win, but Black must work exceptionally hard to overcome White's advantage, which is significant.

If I'm hoping to get games with the IQP (a la 6 e3), then I guess I should transpose from the Panov-Botvinnik Attack in the Caro-Kann, rather than hoping that opponents will opt out of 6 e4 here...
  

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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #2 - 05/19/06 at 00:09:35
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I stand to be corrected, but I don't think theory's verdict that White has the better chances in this line has been shaken since the two classics Spassky-Petrosian (w Ch match 1969) and Polugaevsky-Tal (USSR Ch also 1969 I think, could be 1970). The latter is in Polu's Grandmaster Preparation book. If you don't know these games already, start with them.
  
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Re: Semi-Tarrasch
Reply #1 - 05/18/06 at 23:56:20
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The reason I asked is that I'm looking for openings to complement my new (old) interest in the Nimzo-Indian.  I was toying with the Blumenfeld, and then thought I should have something prepared in case White doesn't advance the d-pawn to d5.  Having spent a fair amount of time working through IQPs, I thought it might be worth taking advantage of that work.  So the Semi-Tarrasch looks like it might be worth a look.  It's strange that an opening that occurs relatively frequently at the highest level doesn't have much literature on it (is it in many of the QGD books?)  The line that bothers me:

1 d4 Nf6 2 c4 e6 3 Nf3 c5 4 Nc3 d5 5 cxd5 Nxd5 6 e4 Nxc3 7 bxc3 cxd4 8 cxd4 Bb4+ 9 Bd2 Bxd2+ 10 Qxd2 0-0

Instead of creating an IQP to attack, I've left White with two pawns in the center of the board.  In practice, the pawns aren't terribly strong or secure, thanks in part to the open c-file and two sets of minor pieces having come off the board, but White seems to do reasonably well in this line.  It's playable for Black, but what plan?  I presume ... b6, ... Bb7, ... Rac8, ... Rfd8, and Q-where? with some pressure on White's pawns...
  

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Semi-Tarrasch
05/15/06 at 17:58:54
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What is the current status of the Semi-Tarrasch?  I keep hearing references to it being "much maligned," etc., but with little suggestion that it is in trouble.  It's always struck me as being very solid.  Does Black just get little chance to play for a win?  Do any of the recent QGD books offer much in the way of analysis here?
  

"Luck favours the prepared mind."  --Louis Pasteur
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