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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Tarrasch Defence (Read 24347 times)
Fernando Semprun
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #52 - 03/31/08 at 18:52:33
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I've recently had a look but didnot like the main line after

9.Bg5 c4 10.Ne5 Be6 11.Nc6 bc6 12. b3

Aagaard recommends 12...Qa5, but, quite honestly, the resulting positions don't look either

a) easy to play
b) that Black has activity as compensation

perhaps is my (lack of) chess understanding, but still. What's so active about the Tarrasch?  Huh
  

Fernando Semprun
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #51 - 01/16/08 at 01:15:26
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Hello Dzambus:

After 6...Nc6; 7. Nxd6 Bxd6  8.cxd6 Qxd6 I cannot see anything wrong with Black. He has Q and N developed whereas White has no developed piece. Also has P at d4. I realize White has bishop pair.

Nd6 is not given in 4th edition of ECO so must not be considered the way to go for White.

Take care,

Gerry
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #50 - 01/15/08 at 14:38:19
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Hi, I have a question to Tarrasch experts.

1. d4 d5
2. c4 e6
3.Nc3 c5
4.cxd5 exd5
5.dxc5 d4
6.Ne4!?

Anybody knows if  it is possible  to defend against Nd6+ and preserve both Black bishops in that line? Tarrasch himself suggested 6...Qd5 , he also played 6..Bxc5 in one game, but I don't like arising positions. I analyzed 6...Bf5 (with an idea to cover b1 square and take b2 pawn after Qb4+) but maybe exist better solution for Black?
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #49 - 01/14/08 at 19:13:58
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sssthepro wrote on 11/27/07 at 02:53:31:
I have a question about one Tarrasch Line. After

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.g3 Nf6 6.Bg2 Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Nc3 0-0 9.Bg5 c4!? (9...cxd4 is the mainline)

This is an interesting line. Usually, Black players play this early in the game, but it seems that it is more effective if you play this move here. Some lines here.

10.Ne5 (Fritz suggested this) Be6 (10...Nxe5 11.dxe5 Nd7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nxd5 Qxe5 14.Qc2 (Or 14.f4 and 15.e4) ) 11.e3 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.f4 Ne7 Is White better here? It seems that Black is very solid, and it is not very clear how White can attack on the kingside.

Another line is 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.e4 Nxe4 (12...dxe4 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Bxe4 Bd5 also looks okay) 13.Bxe7 Nxc3 14.Bxd8 Nxd1 15.Be7 Nxb2 16.Bxf8 Kxf8

Black has two pawns for the piece, a passed pawn and a terror knight on d3. Actually, I like Black here.

Therefore, what should be played?


I think that 9... c4!? is a very interesting move indeed. The main move is 10. Ne5 and after Be6 White has a choice. 11. e3 has been suggested by Khalifman in his Opening for White according to Kramnik series. Here I'm convinced that your 11... h6! is the best answer and should promise Black a good play. For example 12. Bxf6 Bxf6 13. f4!? (13. Nxc6 gives White nothing but is more solid) Ne7 and now after 14. g4 Black will go b5!
I completely agree with your assessment of this position. Probably it's still equal but it's hard to see how White should break through on the kingside while he has to watch out not to get into a bad endgame because of Black's queenside majority.

I'm still hoping to find an advantage for White in the mainlines after 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. b3 Qa5 13. Na4! (probably best) but it's not at all easy. This is my problem:

Birarov,V (2485) - Cruzado Duenas,C (2464) [D34]
olm14 qual GP2 B3 corr ICCF Email, 2000

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.g3 Nf6 7.Bg2 Be7 8.0-0 0-0 9.Bg5 c4 10.Ne5 Be6 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.b3 Qa5 13.Na4 Rfd8 14.e3 c5 15.Bxf6 gxf6 16.dxc5 Bxc5 17.Qh5 Rac8 18.Rfd1 c3 19.Rac1 Bb4 20.Rd4 c2 21.Rh4 f5 22.Qxh7+ Kf8 23.Qh8+ Ke7 24.Qb2 f4 25.Rxc2 Rxc2 26.Qxc2 fxe3 27.fxe3 Rc8 28.Qd3 Rc1+ 29.Bf1 Bd6 30.Kg2 Qe1 31.Qe2 Qxe2+ 32.Bxe2 Rc2 33.Kf2 a5 34.a3 Be5 35.b4 Bf6 36.Rf4 Be5 37.Rh4 Bf6 38.Rf4 ½-½

This 24... f4!! move is a real shot and programs need quite a while till they understand it's point. After this move Black has solved his problems. (Earlyer this position was assessed as clear advantage for White). The idea is after 25. Rxf4 to sac another pawn with d4! and free the way for the black queen to h5.

Where should White deviate to hope for an advantage in this variation?


  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #48 - 12/11/07 at 13:27:32
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SS, 9 ...c4 was once of the main lines. Marjanovic played a number of games with it in the 80s, and Grischuk about three years ago. White's main move is 10 Ne5 Be6 11 Nxc6 bxc6 12 b3, but there are many lines. Grivas did an article on it in the latest Chess Base Magazine.
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #47 - 12/09/07 at 11:46:26
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Hi again.

I mailed mr Keilhack to check about when the new revision book is due.

He kindly replied saying that

"I'm sorry, I must delay it for uncertain time. Just made a slight webpage update
"
Looking at the webpage there is no longer any mentioning of a "Revidierte Zweitauflage Ende 2007/Anfang 2008".

Regards / Anders
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #46 - 11/27/07 at 21:28:32
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Hi.

As mentioned earlier in the thread Keilhacks work on the Tarrasch has received very good reviews but is now a bit dated (from 1994).

On http://www.kaniaverlag.de/htm/tarrasch-verteidigung.html it is stated that there should be a "Revidierte Zweitauflage Ende 2007/Anfang 2008".

If this means a complete revision of this work then it seems very interesting.  I think however there also is a new print (from a couple of years back) with small update at the end.´

I hope for the complete revision...


Cheers / Anders
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #45 - 11/27/07 at 02:53:31
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I have a question about one Tarrasch Line. After

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.g3 Nf6 6.Bg2 Nc6 7.0-0 Be7 8.Nc3 0-0 9.Bg5 c4!? (9...cxd4 is the mainline)

This is an interesting line. Usually, Black players play this early in the game, but it seems that it is more effective if you play this move here. Some lines here.

10.Ne5 (Fritz suggested this) Be6 (10...Nxe5 11.dxe5 Nd7 12.Bxe7 Qxe7 13.Nxd5 Qxe5 14.Qc2 (Or 14.f4 and 15.e4) ) 11.e3 h6 12.Bxf6 Bxf6 13.f4 Ne7 Is White better here? It seems that Black is very solid, and it is not very clear how White can attack on the kingside.

Another line is 11.Nxc6 bxc6 12.e4 Nxe4 (12...dxe4 13.Nxe4 Nxe4 14.Bxe7 Qxe7 15.Bxe4 Bd5 also looks okay) 13.Bxe7 Nxc3 14.Bxd8 Nxd1 15.Be7 Nxb2 16.Bxf8 Kxf8

Black has two pawns for the piece, a passed pawn and a terror knight on d3. Actually, I like Black here.

Therefore, what should be played?
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #44 - 11/26/07 at 21:03:05
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Greetings,

Markovich wrote on 11/26/07 at 15:38:25:
Personally I don't have much confidence in 6.Bf4 as a winning try.  White's moves are easy to find, but so are Black's.  I doubt that the c-file belongs to White, particularly. 

If anyone wants to try a nonstandard way of winning against the Tarrasch, I think the best one is 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.dxc5!? d4 7.Na4.  Black's best is 7...Bxc5 8.Nxc5 Qa5+ 9.Bd2 Qxc5 10.e3.  This leaves White with the two bishops, and a good technician could use that to torture Black for a long time.

Grünfeld-Tarrasch. Teplitz-Schönau 1922 continued 10. ..., de; 11. Bxe3, Qb4+; 12. Qd2, Qxd2+; 13. Nxd2, Nge7; 14. Bb5, 0-0; 15. 0-0, Bf5 (=)

I see that, like myself, you prefer the two bishops.

Such positions as these would have appealed to Capablanca and Rubinstein!

Kindest regards,

James
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #43 - 11/26/07 at 15:38:25
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Personally I don't have much confidence in 6.Bf4 as a winning try.  White's moves are easy to find, but so are Black's.  I doubt that the c-file belongs to White, particularly. 

If anyone wants to try a nonstandard way of winning against the Tarrasch, I think the best one is 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.dxc5!? d4 7.Na4.  Black's best is 7...Bxc5 8.Nxc5 Qa5+ 9.Bd2 Qxc5 10.e3.  This leaves White with the two bishops, and a good technician could use that to torture Black for a long time.
  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #42 - 11/26/07 at 14:11:04
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Conventional wisdom has it that if White doesn't fianchetto he's giving Black almost instant equality.

Conventional wisdom died around the time of the first incarnation of Fritz.

I still prefer to fianchetto as White, but before I knew the conventional wisdom I managed to get many interesting games playing in standard QGD style with either Bf4 (which as Dragan Glas pointed out probably is a direct transposition to the Bf4 QGD) or Bg5.

I used to play the Black side of the game and have students who still do. At the scholastic level, White rarely plays g3 and often gets busted.  I would recommend not playing g3 only if you have something specific prepared.  Otherwise, the tried and tested main lines are probably objectively still the best.
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #41 - 11/25/07 at 23:25:18
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Greetings,

MNb wrote on 11/25/07 at 21:00:20:
I never have had the opportunity to play it, but 6.Bf4 looks attractive to me. White's plan is easy: development (e3, Be2), play the queen's knight to d4 and evt. invade along the c-file.

Anyone who's plays Bf4 in the QGD per se should be perfectly at home with this - there are bound to be transpositional occurrences.

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #40 - 11/25/07 at 22:53:27
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Or play like this:



Speelman,J (2640) - Illescas Cordoba,M (2525) [D32]
World Cup Barcelona, 1989

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 e6 3.c4 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nc3 Nc6 6.Bf4 Nf6 7.e3 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bb4 9.Be2 Ne4 10.Rc1 0-0 11.0-0 Bxc3 12.bxc3 Qa5 13.c4 dxc4 14.Bxc4 Nxd4 15.Qxd4 Nd2 16.Bd6 Bh3 17.Rfd1 Nxc4 18.Bxf8 Rxf8 19.Rxc4 Qg5 20.Qe4 1-0
  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #39 - 11/25/07 at 21:14:41
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I remember how the American grandmaster Lombardy (who apparently is going to play in the invitational group of a tournament in "Dutchieland" in a couple of weeks, by the way) came a cropper in the Bf4 line long ago.  I think that Lombardy, annotating the game soon afterward, gave his own 12th move a double question mark, and wrote that taking the rooks and meeting ...Bxc3+ with Ke2 would have been good for White.    


[Event "Tallinn"]
[Site ""]
[Date "1975.??.??"]
[Round "6"]
[White "Lombardy, William James"]
[Black "Hernandez, Roman"]
[Result "0-1"]
[NIC "TD 3.6"]
[ECO "D32"]
[PlyCount "34"]

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bf4 Nf6 7. e3 cxd4 8. Nxd4
Bb4 9. Nxc6 bxc6 10. Qa4 Qa5 11. Qxc6  Bd7 12. Qc7 Qxc7 13. Bxc7 d4 14. a3 dxc3 15.
axb4 cxb2 16. Rd1 Ba4 17. Rb1 Rc8 0-1
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #38 - 11/25/07 at 21:00:20
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I never have had the opportunity to play it, but 6.Bf4 looks attractive to me. White's plan is easy: development (e3, Be2), play the queen's knight to d4 and evt. invade along the c-file.
  

The book had the effect good books usually have: it made the stupids more stupid, the intelligent more intelligent and the other thousands of readers remained unchanged.
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #37 - 11/25/07 at 17:59:42
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Greetings,

In my copy of Samarian's Queen's Gambit Declined (Batsford, 1974), he indicates that - before the discovery of the Schlechter-Rubinstein Attack - 6. Bf4 was considered the strongest of the other possibilities (Marshall's 6. Bg5 is equal at best).

See Tal-Keres, XXVI USSR Ch. 1959 for a sample line - I'd imagine that there should be lots of valuable analyses/annotations since then!

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #36 - 11/25/07 at 16:39:14
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LeeRoth wrote on 11/25/07 at 16:14:33:
I used to give Marshall's 6.Bg5 an occasional try, mainly in those early morning rounds when my brain wasn't yet working.  It's not a bad line and avoids a lot of the theory.  But if Black knows what he is about, it's hard for White to get much.

A main line used to be 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bxe7 Ngxe7 8.e3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 O-O 10.Be2 Qb6 11.Qd2 Nxd4 12. exd4.  White can try and grind a little here on the theory that he has the better bishop (his can attack d5, while Black's can't attack d4), but its hard to make any real progress and, if you play this way consistently, you run the risk of boring yourself to death.




Indeed I remember Raymond Keene (in a 1. d4 repertoire book from "long ago") writing that "White has a distinct pull" in perhaps that exact position, though after giving the line a try (and reaching that or some similar "duelling IQPs" position), my impression of White's chances was less rosy.  Surely 5./6. Bg5 is an excellent choice for keeping the draw in hand, though.


  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #35 - 11/25/07 at 16:14:33
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I used to give Marshall's 6.Bg5 an occasional try, mainly in those early morning rounds when my brain wasn't yet working.  It's not a bad line and avoids a lot of the theory.  But if Black knows what he is about, it's hard for White to get much.

A main line used to be 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.Bg5 Be7 7.Bxe7 Ngxe7 8.e3 cxd4 9.Nxd4 O-O 10.Be2 Qb6 11.Qd2 Nxd4 12. exd4.  White can try and grind a little here on the theory that he has the better bishop (his can attack d5, while Black's can't attack d4), but its hard to make any real progress and, if you play this way consistently, you run the risk of boring yourself to death.


  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #34 - 11/25/07 at 02:36:09
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Hi, what does everyone think of plans where White doesn't fianchetto?
I'm thinking of lines like 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. cxd5 ed5 5. Bg5, or Radjabov's 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bf4. Any good for White?
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #33 - 11/24/07 at 04:38:56
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Greetings,

Markovich
Nimzowitsch would have turned in his grave to see the d-pawn allowed to advance like that!

Certainly she knew what she was doing - the times on the clock clearly indicate that (1:27 - 0:17 (!!)).

Udav18
As others have picked up, I think you are talking about "sound" when you mistakenly(!?) say "solid".

One might say that, of the two, the Semi-Tarrasch is more "solid" provided the centre doesn't fall into White's hands. Both, certainly, are "sound" against equal or lesser opposition. Against World Champions, any opening would be made to look/feel unsound!  Wink

As with any opening, it depends on who knows and understands more about the underlying strategies, the (thematic) tactical traps and possibilities, and so on.

As with any openings with such unbalanced-equilibrium based on piece-play compensation for positional weaknesses - such as the Lasker-Pelikan-Sveshnikov - if you don't manage to use your pieces actively, you'll be left with being tied-down to defending the pawn weakness.

Do you prefer open positions where you can use your pieces in preference to concerning yourself with weak pawn structures? Do you play such positions well? These must be your criteria for taking up this opening - not whether the current top GMs or World Champions are using it. Tournament and club players continue to follow the trends of the masters long after such masters have changed their repertoires. New rising stars have their own favourite openings - not necessarily the ones the rest of us fancy!  Wink

As has also been noted, the standard positions can arise from the Reti, Catalan and English openings.

You need to know - and be comfortable with - the IQP.

As you are a ~2100 player, I'd heartily recommend Baburin's book on this (Winning Pawn Structures) - assuming you're not averse to hard work, it will teach you a great deal about this important theme in chess, both as a advantage (as "point" for a attacking springboard) and a disadvantage (how to attack it and tie the opponent down to defending it).

Any earlier books on this theme may well also be of help - Nimzowitsch's opus comes to mind, though certain of its strategic solutions may well be out-of-step, if not out-of-date, with modern thinking on the IQP.

Kindest regards,

Dragan Glas
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #32 - 11/15/07 at 18:17:04
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 11/15/07 at 16:23:10:
Alias,

It's off-topic, but I score quite well as Black against the Exchange Slav.  If you take a look at the stats, most of the draws occur when players agree to a draw within the first 20 moves.  If either side wants to play for a win (by avoiding trading Bishops, for example), then there are many interesting positions.  I relish playing the Black side of the Exchange Slav. I'm in my element in the positions that arise from that opening. 

Bringing the discussion back to the Tarrasch, both openings require Black to have the will to win, but the ideas behind the Tarrasch are so well known by now that it requires White to sail close to the wind to allow Black any serious winning chances against a strong opponent.


No doubt you also relish the queen exchange variation of the Petroff, so rich in possibilities for Black.

I disagree with your second statement as well.  Oh all right, I will agree, if your definition of "strong opponent" is someone who is bound to play the good moves against the Tarrasch.  But if their aren't strong opponents who sometimes play weakly against the Tarrasch, how did my student demolish FM John Bick so handily in her game against him at the U.S. Open (which appears in the current issue of Chess Life, by the way)?
  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #31 - 11/15/07 at 16:23:10
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Alias,

It's off-topic, but I score quite well as Black against the Exchange Slav.  If you take a look at the stats, most of the draws occur when players agree to a draw within the first 20 moves.  If either side wants to play for a win (by avoiding trading Bishops, for example), then there are many interesting positions.  I relish playing the Black side of the Exchange Slav. I'm in my element in the positions that arise from that opening. 

Bringing the discussion back to the Tarrasch, both openings require Black to have the will to win, but the ideas behind the Tarrasch are so well known by now that it requires White to sail close to the wind to allow Black any serious winning chances against a strong opponent.
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #30 - 11/15/07 at 08:53:30
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Smyslov_Fan wrote on 11/15/07 at 02:59:48:
Having lost at least one game to a lower rated player ( Lips Sealed) as White in the Tarrasch, I heartily recommend everyone to stop playing it as Black!

The Tarrasch is not a good opening to play against a strong opponent who is comfortable with a draw.  However, if you know that White is willing to play an uncompromising game then the Tarrasch is an excellent weapon in which every result is possible!  The only real problem I have with the Tarrasch as Black is that Black's counterplay depends largely on White's ambition.  This, by the way, is also my main problem with playing the Caro-Kann as Black.


But you do play the slav, right? No problem there with the exchange variation?
  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #29 - 11/15/07 at 02:59:48
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Having lost at least one game to a lower rated player ( Lips Sealed) as White in the Tarrasch, I heartily recommend everyone to stop playing it as Black!

The Tarrasch is not a good opening to play against a strong opponent who is comfortable with a draw.  However, if you know that White is willing to play an uncompromising game then the Tarrasch is an excellent weapon in which every result is possible!  The only real problem I have with the Tarrasch as Black is that Black's counterplay depends largely on White's ambition.  This, by the way, is also my main problem with playing the Caro-Kann as Black.
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #28 - 11/14/07 at 23:06:17
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Ari Ziegler has written a small book titled "Tarrasch garden" (Swedish language). He says in his foreword, something like :

"Tarrasch worked very fine for me and gave me a lot of pleasure but it was very difficult to defeat strong oponents.
My requirement for playing an opening is that I ,from time to time , should defeat a player  1-200 rating points higher than me....that never happened with the Tarrasch."


Jacob Aaagard has written a repertoire book with Tarrasch as the main weapon against 1.d4. Eric Schiller has written a rather good book also (one of his few good books). One good thing is that you can play it against english,1.Nf3 and against the catalan !

  

"I Often see in chess forums people asking : " What is the current status of that line ?"&&&&Its a good reasonable question,but who can claim that he knows the answer ?!&&&&Semko Semkov Januari 2008
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #27 - 11/08/07 at 00:00:28
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Udav18 wrote on 09/30/07 at 08:38:40:
Well,I dont want to waste time for an opening which has a refutation.
I played the Buderpester Gambit for a long time and thought that this opening is good for black.After about 5 years I recognized that there is a line where white is simply better.
So I wasted a long time for a bad opening.
Now I am trying to play a new,solid opening without any refutation.
I concentrated my attention to the Queensgambit and the Tarrasch Defence.
Now I am trying to find out ,whether the Tarrasch System is a solid Defence.
But I dont want to play it  to recognize again after many years ,that I wasted time for a bad opening.
So I just want to know,wheter this opening has a refutation , is awkward to play or maybe there are other reasons why no GM has this opening in his/her repertoire?


Clearly there is no refutation for the Tarrasch Defence.  You need not worry about that. It is irrelevant whether Kasporov give it up or not or if any other 2600+ play it for that matter. It if a fully playable defence at sub elite levels where Black has dynamic compensation for his structural weaknesses. Dynamic compensation does not necessarily mean a direct K-side attack. It can simply mean active piece play that will create tactical opportunities in other areas of the board.

But your question is that you would like to find a solid defence. The emphasis on solid is yours. Clearly the Tarrasch is not a solid defence. Playable, yes, solid no.
  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #26 - 11/07/07 at 21:06:46
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I  play the Tarrasch and I think it’s good defense.  Few if any, will play IQP position like Karpov against you.   If you look at Kasparov’s record with it, he basically lost two games with it (against Karpov) and played it again after those losses. (Although briefly…yes)

I think Kasparov quit playing the Tarrasch because Karpov was better at playing IQP position than him.  The soundness of the actual opening probably had little do to with Kasparov not continuing to use it. (Karpov manhandled Kaspy’s Grunfeld at least a couple of times, yet he continued to play it…The Grunfeld has been under a cloud of suspicion since….  Schiller (think what you want about his books) who is considered by many an expert with the opening has drawn a couple GM’s using it. (and  has a pretty good score against lesser mortals…) I once talked to him on the Internet and he said most of his opponents now days won’t let him employ the Tarrasch.  (That say’s to me: If you know what you’re doing the opening will perform)

I think you have to have the right style of play to use the Tarrasch to get results …. You have to like IQP positions and play them aggressively and have a willingness to take chances.




  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #25 - 10/10/07 at 12:55:33
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winawer77,

I think Black needs comp to let his d-pawn go, unless perhaps all the queenside pawns are off the board.  But I agree that the terrors of Black's position aren't that great.  Aagaard has a nice section concerning how to defend the worst ending that can arise, which is Black's e6 bishop versus White's d4 knight, and no other pieces.

I wasn't aware of anyone, and least in published sources, claiming that Black has much chance of kingside attack, though it's something that lurks in the background.  More it's just that Black is rather active, and that White has tactical weaknesses on e2 and b2 that can sometimes be exploited (or color issues if he goes e3 or b3 to eliminate these weaknesses).

Black's most amusing games come when he gets ...d4 in.  Here's a nice Tarrasch performance by my chessfriend and former student, WFM Abby Marshall, versus FM John Bick at the latest U.S. Open:

http://www.monroi.com/wdc/flashviewer/watch1.php?round_id=1423&game_id=19976&s_i...

Black knew the themes; White didn't.
  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #24 - 10/10/07 at 12:18:39
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I have also considered playing the Tarrasch, mainly as an alternative to/as well as my main Slav/Semi-Slav lines.

However, I rejected it on the basis that against strong players I will end up defending structural weaknesses with negligible active play in return. I therefore did not consider it viable for long term use.

However, I strongly believe that the Tarrasch's advantages (active play/kingside attack) and disadvantages are both wildly overstated. I shall explain why. Also, I do not believe that the Tarrasch is refuted, or ever will be. Like many openings, I believe that White can get a stable positional plus, and it's just a game of chess.

Firstly, the advantages that books/reputation claim that the Tarrasch offers Black is nowhere near enough for White to be unduly worried. The active play that Black gets is adequate to compensate for his obvious structural weakness (the d-pawn, bear in mind I'm talking about the main lines here), but nothing more. In fact, White usually clamps down on the weak Black queenside and exchanges important pieces with moves such as Na4, Bc5 removing the dark-squared bishops. However, if do not like defending blocked, cramped positions (as in the Classical QG) with your c8 bishop blocked in, then the Tarrasch is a very viable opening.

Secondly, the disadvantages of the Tarrasch are nowhere not exactly life threatening. For example, even if disaster strikes and the isolated d-pawn drops off, White still has a lot of work to do to actually win the game as a 4 v 3 kingside majority may not be decisive, especially in a rook ending.

To summarise - I agree with many posts here, in that Black will get a lot of endgames, although not all of them are favourable. I would not consider the Tarrasch a good opening when playing higher-rated opponents (unless you really know it well) as it gives White exactly what he wants when trying to grind down a weaker player - solid position, structural weakness to attack and can reduce Black's counterplay naturally with minor piece exchanges.
I would play the Tarrasch mainly against weaker or equally rated opponents. But that's just me. Even then I'm not sure I would not fancy my chances of actually winning with it.

  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #23 - 10/01/07 at 22:20:57
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One thing is, I wouldn't want to have the Tarrasch as the only defense (to d4/queenside openings) in my repertoire, lest I end up in a must-win game on the Black side of this kind of position:  1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cd ed 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. Bg5 Be7 7. Bxe7 Ngxe7 8. e3 0-0 9. dc Qa5 10. Be2 Qxc5 11. 0-0.
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #22 - 10/01/07 at 20:43:02
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Udav18 wrote on 10/01/07 at 11:57:16:
So to summarize:
The QG is better than the Tarrasch,but the Tarrasch Defense gives black more chances to win at the level until 2300?


That is also what I used to think, but now my opinion is that there are some good defences after 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 which still allow Black to play for a win. Examples are the Tartakower and the Swiss Variation 7.Rc1 a6.
Basically I think your first question wrong. What I do is finding out, what White's best options are and if I enjoy playing them as Black.
If you want objectivity, then you choice should be Nimzo-Indian combined with Queen's Indian. If you want to allow some subjectivity (ie I like this but I don't like that) then in the end you must decide for yourself.
Neither do I like strong terms like "refutation." I don't even think the Budapest in refuted. Like Tsjigorin already said: what is refuted today is considered best tomorrow. The Tarrasch might be excellent for you, who knows? Still you should start with those ..... games.
  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #21 - 10/01/07 at 16:00:42
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Markovich wrote on 10/01/07 at 15:31:35:
Obviously in either case, Black will almost always play ...Nf6 eventually, so not having the chance to play this precisely on move three is hardly a condemnation of Black's system.


I used to assume that after 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5 3. dc e6 4. e4 Bxc5 5. Bb5+ Nc6 6. ed ed 7. 0-0 Black should put his knight on e7.  But some time ago on this board someone advocated 7...Nf6, and I was unable to find anything special for White.
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #20 - 10/01/07 at 15:49:34
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Udav18 wrote on 09/30/07 at 08:38:40:
Well,I dont want to waste time for an opening which has a refutation.
I played the Buderpester Gambit for a long time and thought that this opening is good for black.After about 5 years I recognized that there is a line where white is simply better.
So I wasted a long time for a bad opening.
Now I am trying to play a new,solid opening without any refutation.
I concentrated my attention to the Queensgambit and the Tarrasch Defence.
Now I am trying to find out ,whether the Tarrasch System is a solid Defence.
But I dont want to play it  to recognize again after many years ,that I wasted time for a bad opening.
So I just want to know,wheter this opening has a refutation , is awkward to play or maybe there are other reasons why no GM has this opening in his/her repertoire?


No, there is no refutation of the Tarrasch.  It's also fair to say that, contrary to what someone said here, there is no standard kingside attack if White plays Schlecter's g3, which these days has become pretty universal.  True enough, there are some lines where Black attacks the kingside, but more often he doesn't.  It does lurk as a possiblility if White plays badly, of course.  Spassky came up with the idea of ...h5, ...h4, ...hxg6, after ...0-0 no less, as a way of weakening White's castled position, but this was not conceived as a standard, direct king attack but as a "Watch out, since I might attack you" kind of thing.

With the Tarrasch, White has his strucural advantages; Black has his active peices; and it's a game of chess.  Personally I prefer Black's chances in the Tarrasch to those in the Budapest, but that point is quite debatable.  I do believe that for young and improving players, the Tarrasch better contributes to the chess education.

The best modern source on this defense is Meeting 1.d4 by Jacob Aagaard.
  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #19 - 10/01/07 at 15:31:35
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Holbox wrote on 10/01/07 at 12:14:35:
I would just add what I think is weak point in the Tarrash. If you play the Tarrasch as your main weapon against the Queen's Gambit, and White delays c4 just one move: 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3, if you want  to play the Tarrasch you have to play 2...e6, 2...,Nf6 doesn't work, but 2...Nf6 is the strongest move to fight against d-pawn openings.


Well, whether the early ...c5 is better than the early ...Nf6, typically on the third move after 1.d4 d5  2.c4 e6 3.Nc3, is precisely what Tarrasch was debating when he promulgated his defense.  So to say that the Tarrasch is weak because it foregoes 3...Nf6 is rather like saying it's weak because it incurs an isolated queen pawn.  The fact is true but the conclusion isn't, necessarily.  (Tarrasch called 3...Nf6 the "Orthodox," although today that has come to mean something more specific.)

These days, of course, it's not a question of which move is better, but which better suits one's game.  All right, 3...Nf6 would probably be chosen if the survival of Planet Earth depended on it, but there are reasons for playing the Tarrasch.

1.d4 d5 2.Nf3 is by no means an inconvenience to a Tarrasch practioner; he just plays 2...c5 and White has nothing better than 3.c4, after which 3...e6 is a Tarrasch.  There is no special harm either in playing 2...e6.  Obviously in either case, Black will almost always play ...Nf6 eventually, so not having the chance to play this precisely on move three is hardly a condemnation of Black's system.
  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #18 - 10/01/07 at 15:20:32
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kylemeister wrote on 10/01/07 at 14:52:55:
1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 c5 5. cd ed?! runs into 6. Bg5.

A Tarrasch player might also play 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5, since 3. dc e6 4. e4 Bxc5 is quite decent (and Tarrasch-like) for Black.

Speaking of German, there is a Tarrasch book in that language by FM Harald Keilhack which John Watson thinks is excellent. 


Yeah, although that Keilhack work is rather out-of-date.  Also it's not so easy for a non-German-speaker to read, since it seems to use a lot of idiomatic expressions.  Far from your usual chess German, anyway.

Right too, Black's ...Nf6 before White is committed either to g3 or e3 is not supposed to be good in the Tarrasch, because White plays Bg5 followed by e4.
  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #17 - 10/01/07 at 14:52:55
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1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 e6 4. Nc3 c5 5. cd ed?! runs into 6. Bg5.

A Tarrasch player might also play 1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 c5, since 3. dc e6 4. e4 Bxc5 is quite decent (and Tarrasch-like) for Black.

Speaking of German, there is a Tarrasch book in that language by FM Harald Keilhack which John Watson thinks is excellent.  
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #16 - 10/01/07 at 14:06:17
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But after 2...Nf6 you will get the Semi-Tarrasch ,if white delays c4.
And you can get to the normal Tarrasch System ,too .(by capturing on d5 with the pawn instead of the Night!)
So in my view it has no matter whether you play 2...Nf6 and than e6 or the other way round.
But still i dont know ,whether i can trust this opening.
Maybe I should just start to play the QG?
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #15 - 10/01/07 at 12:14:35
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I would just add what I think is weak point in the Tarrash. If you play the Tarrasch as your main weapon against the Queen's Gambit, and White delays c4 just one move: 1.d4 d5 2.Nf3, if you want  to play the Tarrasch you have to play 2...e6, 2...,Nf6 doesn't work, but 2...Nf6 is the strongest move to fight against d-pawn openings.

  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #14 - 10/01/07 at 11:57:16
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So to summarize:
The QG is better than the Tarrasch,but the Tarrasch Defense gives black more chances to win at the level until 2300?
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #13 - 10/01/07 at 07:59:41
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Udav18 wrote on 09/30/07 at 18:29:34:
Thanks for your advice.
I play at the level of 2000 DWZ =about 2100Elo.
I think also that the Tarrasch Defence is a quite good opening to play for a win.So there is no forced line where white is better and black has no chance for a win?

There is no forced win that I am aware of Wink

Seriously, I have dabbled with it and concur that Mnb has a point. The lines Karpov played are the hardest to face. When I faced those I had great difficulty untangling and an experienced d4 player will keep you under pressure the whole game. However opposed to say the Budapest the play is more complex, so even though you are under pressure you have chances. Also the Tarrasch gambit is worse for black than most (black) books let on.

With this in mind there are some things which could make the Tarrasch interesting for you:
-Endgames. You will get a lot of endgames. So it will automatically improve that department.
-Isolani. You will get to play with it a lot and the main task is to get your pieces active to be able to transform that damn pawn into a strength. A good white will make you suffer especially there, but unless they are named Anatoli you will have chances to generate that activity.
-Safety net. Even when you lose the isolani you can often hold the resulting  endgames.
-Most non-main lines give equality.
-It is usable against 1.c4, the catalan and other stuff as well.
-Understanding this opening helps with the QGD where the move c5 has the same pros and cons, but far less pronounced.
  

If nothing else works, a total pig-headed unwillingness to look facts in the face will see us through.
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #12 - 09/30/07 at 21:52:08
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Hello MNb and Udav:

I hear what you are saying MNb but wouldn't theory have come up with improvements for Black in the meantime?

I am only 1950 but I cannot remember ever seeing a player rated higher than me playing the Budapest. Better players can chip in here and tell you but I couldn't imagine the Budapest and the Tarrasch being included in the same category!

Nevertheless, there are lines where it is a challenge to play with the Isolani and Black has to be resourceful.

Take care,

Gerry

Udav18 wrote on 09/30/07 at 08:38:40:
Well,I dont want to waste time for an opening which has a refutation.
I played the Buderpester Gambit for a long time and thought that this opening is good for black.After about 5 years I recognized that there is a line where white is simply better.
So I wasted a long time for a bad opening.
Now I am trying to play a new,solid opening without any refutation.
I concentrated my attention to the Queensgambit and the Tarrasch Defence.
Now I am trying to find out ,whether the Tarrasch System is a solid Defence.
But I dont want to play it  to recognize again after many years ,that I wasted time for a bad opening.
So I just want to know,wheter this opening has a refutation , is awkward to play or maybe there are other reasons why no GM has this opening in his/her repertoire?

  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #11 - 09/30/07 at 21:16:40
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Udav18 wrote on 09/30/07 at 18:29:34:
Thanks for your advice.
I play at the level of 2000 DWZ =about 2100Elo.
I think also that the Tarrasch Defence is a quite good opening to play for a win.So there is no forced line where white is better and black has no chance for a win?


Have you already played through those two Karpov-Kasparov games? You see, Karpov was WCh back then and an expert on demolishing slightly inferior openings. If there is a forced line where white is better and black has no chance for a win then Karpov played it.
  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #10 - 09/30/07 at 18:36:57
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could be helpful to you, if you know german Smiley

http://www.schachmatt.de/30113-post5.html
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #9 - 09/30/07 at 18:29:34
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Thanks for your advice.
I play at the level of 2000 DWZ =about 2100Elo.
I think also that the Tarrasch Defence is a quite good opening to play for a win.So there is no forced line where white is better and black has no chance for a win?
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #8 - 09/30/07 at 10:45:07
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What  do you want?
Something solid or something dynamic?

If you want something solid and really sound to play for a win, chose the combination of NID/QID/Catalan (Opening Repertoire for black, acc. to Karpov has a complete repertoire on this combination), no exchange and you can outplay the opponent strategically in the long run.

Normal QG is also sound, but a bit drawish.

But the Tarrasch is not so bad either, there are GM's winning with this opening (against other GM's),
... it may not be fully sound, but also a good a very good try to imbalance the position ...
I think it should be a very good opening in the sub 2200-2300 level ...
if Players like Kasparov and Grischuk did play the opening it shouldn't be too bad ...

Also something, you should take care of with the tarrasch you have one opening against 1.d4 and 1.c4 ... it is quite practically ...

Also you should ask yourself if complete soundness of the opening does really matter to you,
I think you would have more winning chances on the amateur level with this opening than with QID or Catalan ... or Slav, or whatever *sound* opening ... you always have to give something as black, if you want to imbalance the position to get winning chances ...
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #7 - 09/30/07 at 08:38:40
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Well,I dont want to waste time for an opening which has a refutation.
I played the Buderpester Gambit for a long time and thought that this opening is good for black.After about 5 years I recognized that there is a line where white is simply better.
So I wasted a long time for a bad opening.
Now I am trying to play a new,solid opening without any refutation.
I concentrated my attention to the Queensgambit and the Tarrasch Defence.
Now I am trying to find out ,whether the Tarrasch System is a solid Defence.
But I dont want to play it  to recognize again after many years ,that I wasted time for a bad opening.
So I just want to know,wheter this opening has a refutation , is awkward to play or maybe there are other reasons why no GM has this opening in his/her repertoire?
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #6 - 09/30/07 at 05:57:08
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Adorjan, never a fellow to be shy with his opinions, castigates Kasparov on his choice of the Tarrasch in book 2 of his black is ok trilogy.
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #5 - 09/29/07 at 21:15:18
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You should answer that question for yourself. Begin with the two Tarrasch games from Karpov-Kasparov, WCh match Moscow 1984.
  

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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #4 - 09/29/07 at 20:59:39
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So the Tarrasch Defence is a good defence without any refutation?
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #3 - 09/29/07 at 17:26:47
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Hello All:

I believe the g3 lines (D34) are some of the hardest to play against as Black usually doesn't get a strong kingside attack due to White's fianchettoes setup?

I would recommend playing it. When I was taking lessons my coach, who called it the Trash, recommended it as he thought it would make me a better player. I believe it has and now I am not afraid to play any kind of isolani position.

There was a similar issue recently of why top players do not play the Budapest. However I think the Tarrasch is much more mainstream than the Budapest.

Take care,

Gerry
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #2 - 09/29/07 at 17:00:56
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Well, it seems that top players have been skeptical of Black's ability to reliably generate enough play to balance his potential structural weakness.  The last time the Tarrasch made a splash at top level was in the 1980s, when Kasparov played it for a time.  (The last time before that was in the 1960s.  Larsen, who doubted the Tarrasch's soundness, wrote that when he saw Spassky playing it in the 1969 world championship match, "I shook my head and understood nothing -- except that Petrosian was losing his title.")   In the 1990s, John Watson wrote that the Tarrasch was "considered rather marginal at top level."  It's interesting, though, that in the 2000s ECO (more or less a compilation of assessments from Informant games) has given the best-play lines as leading to equality. 

But surely this sort of thing -- whether it's played by top players, whether it is = or += with best play -- should be irrelevant to an ordinary mortal in deciding whether to play it.
  
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Re: Tarrasch Defence
Reply #1 - 09/29/07 at 16:59:33
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Grischuk played it for a while some years ago. Not without success. The good thing is that it's a universal non-1.e4 response. Black often get active piece play. The reason the top players avoid is that white often can reach an endgame where only two results are possible. Search this section for tarrasch and I'm sure you find plenty of threads on this.
  

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Udav18
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Tarrasch Defence
09/29/07 at 15:28:10
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I want to start to play a new and solid opening with black.I thought that the Tarrasch Defence is a good option,because black has often an isolated pawn ,but has many attaking chances and because of this good chances to win.
But the problem is that nowadays no Top-Player is plaing this opening with black.
So the question appears:"Why does no Top-Player has this opening in his repertoire?"
  
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