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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Who do you play the Tarrasch against? (Read 3828 times)
IsaVulpes
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #25 - 02/18/20 at 16:49:33
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^I moved the 5..Nf6 discussion into this thread https://www.chesspub.com/cgi-bin/chess/YaBB.pl?num=1580368743

If anyone else is curious about the question from the OP, I decided to just give it a go against an ~1850 player, and see where I end up

This was the game:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. g3 Nf6 7. Bg2 cxd4 8. Nxd4 Bc5 9. Nb3 Bb6 10. Nxd5 Be6 11. Nxb6 Qxd1+ 12. Kxd1 axb6 13. Bxc6+ bxc6 14. Kc2 O-O 15. Bg5 Nd5 16. a3 h6 17. Bd2 Bf5+ 18. Kd1 Rfe8 19. Nd4 Bd7 20. Rc1 c5 21. Nc2 Ba4 22. Ke1 Rad8 23. Ne3 Bb5 24. h4 Re6 25. Rd1 Ba4 26. Rc1 Rde8 27. h5 Nf6 28. Rh4 Ne4 29. Bc3 Bb5 30. Rg4 f6 31. Nd5 Bxe2 32. Rh4 Nxc3 33. Rxc3 Bxh5+ 34. Ne3 Bg6 35. Ra4 Rd8 36. Ke2 Bh5+ 37. g4 b5 38. Rf4 g5 39. Rf3 Bxg4 0-1

Was equal for the longest time, but I was never very concerned about anything, always felt like I could improve my position in one way or another, while White was kinda stuck/paralyzed. Then, with time running low towards move 40, he finally cracked & things instantly fell apart.

Not too unhappy with how this went  Smiley If it is at all how I can expect future games to go, it's not really an issue.
  
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Syzygy
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #24 - 01/07/20 at 22:01:00
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I don't see how 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nf6 6.Bg5 Be6 7.e3 c4 solves Black's problems. Let's say White plays the apparently timid 8. Be2. Then possible thematic continuations could be:

8...Be7 9. O-O O-O 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11.b3
8...Bb4 9. O-O O-O 10. Ne5
8...Nbd7 9. O-O h6 10. Bxf6 Nxf6 11.Ne5
8...Nc6 9.O-O Be7 10. b3

In all cases, White seems to have a pleasant edge.
  
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #23 - 01/07/20 at 16:04:41
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Yeah, that's mentioned in the linked Reddit thread as well, and certainly something I planned to investigate  Smiley The dxc5 lines after 5..Nc6 were always very uninspiring; if 5..Nf6 is at all playable (and it certainly should be, with Carlsen beating theory expert Wojtaszek in it - Blitz or not), that makes the opening a whole lot more attractive.
  
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #22 - 01/07/20 at 10:17:22
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Aside from the merits, or lack of, of the Dubov line (I haven’t studied it so haven’t formed an opinion yet). I think that equally significant is Carlsen’s use of ...Nf6 before ...Nc6.

For example 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nf6, going against the conventional wisdom that ...Nc6 always comes first. The game Wojtaszek-Carlsen from the World Blitz made an impression on me. White didn’t go for the usual 6.g3 setups, as probably 9/10 players would do here, and played 6.Bg5, which was always supposed to be the refutation of the early ...Nf6. After 6.Bg5 Be6 7.e3 c4! I like Black already.

So could this early ...Nf6 just be a nice way of avoiding the dxc5 lines? Irrespective of whether Black wants a Dubov, or just to go back into traditional g3 lines.
« Last Edit: 01/07/20 at 12:25:38 by winawer77 »  
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #21 - 01/06/20 at 22:19:43
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RoleyPoley wrote on 01/06/20 at 14:34:46:
Has this line come about in part because of issues with the above line?

I think it's probably more to do with Dubov's creativity and the fact that this is what he often does in his opening preparation: he digs up little-known or long-forgotten opening ideas and subjects them to scrutiny, then introduces them to top-level chess. Another game in which he did this recently was in a well-known line of the Grunfeld. After 1. d4 Nf6 2.c4 g6 3.Nc3 d5 4. Bg5 Ne4 5 Bh4, Dubov played the striking-looking 5... g5 against Moiseenko last October. There's nothing wrong with the more usual 5...Nxc3, but Dubov's move sets the opponent unexpected problems at an early stage of the game and produces a position where Dubov has a big advantage in terms of preparation. I'd guess that's also the reason behind his playing this Tarrasch line, rather than because there are problems with the alternatives.
  
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #20 - 01/06/20 at 14:34:46
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doefmat wrote on 01/04/20 at 08:26:10:
Btw, you don't have to play this Dubov line. You can also play the older classical lines like 9.Bg4 c4. Maybe they are less dry?

Has this line come about in part because of issues with the above line?
  

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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #19 - 01/04/20 at 08:26:10
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Btw, you don't have to play this Dubov line. You can also play the older classical lines like 9.Bg4 c4. Maybe they are less dry?
  
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #18 - 01/03/20 at 17:22:10
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BeeCaves wrote on 01/02/20 at 03:57:13:
Drawish positions might be more a problem in theory than in practice, but I think if you are concerned with drawish positions, Tarrasch is not necessarily ideal choice according to Sadler -- he advises playing it against stronger opponents.


I probably miscommunicated a bit if you think of it solely as a "drawing weapon", I would say it's more drawish than an average opening in my opinion.  Whether or not drawish openings are a concern to you, I think is a very personal question. 

I tend to agree with thoughts of ReneDescartes and yourself that the average player shouldn't be too worried about them, but it probably depends:
1) What time controls you play, what rating you play at
2) Do lower rated opponents "know what is coming" -- i.e. how much do you vary openings, do you play tournaments where games go in the database, where you are paired down a lot, and where there is lots of time to prepare before a game?  Or do you play at a small club where everyone knows each other and what openings people play and you play the same people over and over?
3) Is the "downside" of a draw just the rating point loss or are you going for prizes, or depended on to win on a team.
4) How much does a draw bother you emotionally?
5) How important to you are short term results versus playing lots of different types of positions to learn?

I think for most people, these aren't big issues, but if they are for you than Tarrasch might not be the best "all the time weapon" or "play for a win second weapon."

I did play the Tarrasch in a small number of classical tournament games across a rating range of floored USCF expert to IM (and a number of not very serious online games) right before a multi-year break from tournament chess and right after returning.  Most of the games were a long time ago though so I don't think the 5... Nc6 6 dxc5 was as popular -- I didn't meet it except online, and I didn't get 9 dxc5 except online -- I think this got more popular as well over the years.  Mostly I got sidelines and the 9 Bg5 cxd4 -- post return I decided that maybe I liked 9 Bg5 c4 better.

Some of the 9 Bg5 cxd4 games were a bit drawish but none of them were "dead" ... one game I drew pretty quickly against a similarly rated player but neither of us played very inspiredly -- I think it was a quick repetition.  Another draw was against a player about 200 points higher -- he got a clear endgame advantage in a Nxc6 bxc6 endgame structure (I probably had equal chances earlier) but didn't show good technique and once most of his advantage disappeared he offered a draw instead of trying to torture me.

I don't think I really switched for entirely logical reasons as much as "attention deficit disorder", but realized I didn't know it that well and if I was going to be put in more effort, fell more comfortable doing that in a more mainstream opening.

That said, I think the Dubov stuff a little bit different than the main Tarrasch although some of the main themes apply.

I did have some pretty fun games along the way when my opponents didn't play so well and I played decently...

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. e3 Nc6 5. Nf3 Nf6 6. a3 a6 7. cxd5 exd5 8. Bd3 Bd6 9. 0-0 0-0 10. dxc5 Bxc5 11. Qc2 Bg4 12. Ng5 h6 13. Nh7 Nxh7 14. Bxh7+ Kh8 15. Bf5 Bh5 16. g4 Bg6 17. Rd1 Qh4 18. Rxd5 Ba7 19. Qe4 Rae8 20. Qg2 Ne7 21. e4 Nxd5 22. Nxd5 Bxf5 23. gxf5 Rxe4 24. Kf1 Rg4 25. Qf3 Qxh2 26. Ke2 Qe5+ 27. Ne3 Qb5+ 0-1

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 c5 4. g3 Nc6 5. Bg2 Nf6 6. 0-0 Be7 7. cxd5 exd5 8. dxc5 Bxc5 9. a3 0-0 10. b4 Bb6 11. Bb2 Re8 12. Nbd2 Qe7 13. b5 Na5 14. Nd4 Bg4 15. Re1 Ne4 16. Nxe4 dxe4 17. h3 e3 18. f4 Bd7 19. Rc1 Rad8 20. Qa4 a6 21. Bc3 axb5 22. Nxb5 Nc6 23. Qb3 Be6 24. Qb2 Rd2 25. Qa1 Bc4 26. a4 Ra2 27. Qb1 Rxe2 28. Na3 Qxa3 29. Bxc6 bxc6 0-1







 
  
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #17 - 01/03/20 at 15:04:44
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IsaVulpes wrote on 01/03/20 at 07:36:43:
- IF I am mislabeling the Tarrasch (that's where I got to), then why play it at all; given eg the Nimzo is far more rocksolid (the SuperGMs play it for a reason, after all), with fewer chances for a White advantage? A "drawing weapon" where you have little realistic chance for victory, but a very realistic shot at losing, seems a bit pointless


The Tarrasch is pure piece play, which works better against some opponents (see below). The Tarrasch is simultaneously a highly practical weapon, and a highly impractical one. After playing it for a few years, I really came to appreciate the Slav. Smiley

IsaVulpes wrote on 01/03/20 at 07:36:43:
A position that he (Sadler) has to avoid, cause it's a free draw for a 2400 vs a 2600, can be perfectly valid for me to go for, cus a 1900 isn't drawing it vs a 2100.

Agree 100%.

The correct opening isn't the one that induces a single huge blunder. It's the one where your actual opponent has a hard time distinguishing between the best move and the second-best move, over and over, throughout the opening and the early middlegame. Keep in mind, many many amateur 1.d4 players begin the game that way because they are afraid of an open fight -- with good reason. Faced with a wide-open "dynamic" game, they gradually and inexorably slide downhill into the abyss.

I remember a post-mortem with a talented amateur. I set him a possible Rook and Pawn ending from our game where he would have had a slight edge. Then I let him choose his own moves, to see how he would handle it. Literally every move he chose was a slight mistake, and within six or seven moves he was dead lost. I showed him the correct play, and told him he needed to study endings.
  
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IsaVulpes
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #16 - 01/03/20 at 07:36:43
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ReneDescartes wrote on 01/02/20 at 00:05:40:
Also, it seems to me there are internal contradictions in what you want. You're playing Black. If you want a repertoire that is both sound and classical, then by that very fact it will not be inherently unbalancing in the way that the Sicilian or Nimzo (or the Albin or the Latvian) is;

I feel like you misunderstood something somewhere in the OP -
I already have a sound/solid repertoire; that IS the Nimzo.
I play the ..d5 lines, and they're pretty much rock solid, but sometimes I just feel like playing something else Smiley

The Tarrasch to me is much less sound -there's a reason why it's not an SGM repertoire mainstay, even if it's popping up in the odd Rapid game here or there now- but offers "something else" for it.

The question now was mostly: What IS said something else?

Normally, these types of "less sound, but dynamic + surprise weapon" options are good choices to beat up weaker players; eg Tiviakov winning Open after Open with the ..Qd6 Scandi, Gareyev employing the Norwegian Rat + Benko, & whatnot similar.
You enter these waters knowing that if White is deeply prepped, you're going to have problems; but that it's both unlikely for him to *be* deeply prepped, and that if he isn't (or even if he is!), there's no easy way for him to "bail out" to something simple, but we'll always have a certain imbalance in the position, and some pieces that allow us to outplay.
Bonus points if inaccurate moves by the opponent quickly allow you to get an actual advantage; eg in a number of Gambits, if your opponent plays some "vaguely natural but kinda passive" moves, you have a shot at punishing hard, and just winning by move 20.

Now, the Tarrasch SOUNDED like it would qualify for this as well (Objectively += but "good enough" ie no refutation, and you get some structural deficit in the IQP with dynamic compensation), with the added benefit of working against all White non-1.e4 moves,
but upon a closer look, this doesn't really seem to be the case - a number of variations just appear(ed) to lead to instant simpliciations; plus a number of those are the "inaccurate" tries (so rather than me being able to punish passive play, it's more like White is able to safely bail out with just about anything).
Simplifications aren't necessarily bad; I'm a big fan of playing the Philidor Endgame for a win (after trading Queens on move 4), but in these Tarrasch instances I mostly saw something like 3 central pawns + 3 sets of pieces (+ one heavy piece) disappearing, and I'm not too confident in winning some symmetrical QRB vs QRB ending.

So, I'm asking:
- Am I misjudging the positions (eg as you said, this is totally winnable for Black)
- Are the positions avoidable (eg as someone on Reddit said, Bb6 instead of Re8, more on that later)
- Am I mislabeling the Tarrasch (rather than a dynamic opening to beat weaker players in, it's more of a rocksolid approach to draw)
- IF I am mislabeling the Tarrasch (that's where I got to), then why play it at all; given eg the Nimzo is far more rocksolid (the SuperGMs play it for a reason, after all), with fewer chances for a White advantage? A "drawing weapon" where you have little realistic chance for victory, but a very realistic shot at losing, seems a bit pointless

******************************

BeeCaves/katar argue that it's indeed a closer to a "drawing weapon" than a winning try, but has two distinct advantages:
A) It can be played against anything, so if your opponent has a wide repertoire, and you'd have to expect the Catalan, 3.Nc3 4.Qc2, 3.Nc3 4.Bd2, 3.Nc3 e3, 1.Nf3 with some transpositions, and the Trompowsky against the Nimzo, then the Tarrasch can help drastically limiting the playing field
B) "Active defence" can often be better than passive one; ie the drawing line from the OP is just a draw, while many objectively equal positions from the solid lines in the Nimzo still give White room to outplay you

******************************

One of the Reddit commenters gave an alternative, instead of 11. ..Re8 in this position
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
* * * * * * * *
*
He offered 11..Bb6, and gives as top engine line "12.Qa4 Qd6 13.Qh4 Bd8 14.Qa4 draw", where the first question is whether White finds this at all, and Black can also go Qh4 Re8 and play the "Doubled pawns, but Bishop pair" position, which should give ample opportunity to outplay.

BeeCaves now also points out that there's a number of tricks/traps for White to step into if he isn't careful, even in the "dead" position from the OP, so perhaps my initial assessment wasn't even that accurate?

******************************

Mostly I opened this thread to hear takes by actual Tarrasch players -
As there's eg also a common sentiment for the Marshall being nothing but a drawing weapon, but that one I can certainly deny (in practice, rather than having learned some insane long variation into perpetual by heart, White players almost always just go for some Anti, and we get a standard Ruy position), so I was curious what ppl that actually play it are doing; whether they combine it with the Benko against weak opposition, or they aren't afraid & win all their games in the symmetrical lines, or they have a set of lines that leads to more imbalanced positions (such as eg the Bb6 vs Re8 thing)

Sadler's statement from the foreword I had read, but Sadler's opposition is a bit different from mine  Wink
A position that he has to avoid, cause it's a free draw for a 2400 vs a 2600, can be perfectly valid for me to go for, cus a 1900 isn't drawing it vs a 2100.

******************************

Overall I think I'm a bit more confident in going for this stuff now  Smiley
And stuff like this https://www.chessgames.com/perl/chessgame?gid=1956940 is kinda too funny to pass by in the first place..
« Last Edit: 01/03/20 at 11:31:21 by IsaVulpes »  
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #15 - 01/03/20 at 05:39:23
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Again White is just totally fine if he plays at all decently but some more funny lines if he loses his mind...

17 Rab1 g6 ... "Hmm f2 is a problem, I'll move the pawn"
18 f3?? Rcc2 winning
18 f4?? Bb7 19 Bxb7 Qd4+ 20 Kh1 Rcc2 winning

"Hmm let me move the Queen to a more "active" square"
18 Qb4?? Rec2 19 Be4 R2c4 winning
18 Qa4?? Rec2 19 Be4 R2c4 winning
18 Qa5?? Rec2 19 Be4 R2c5 winning
  
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #14 - 01/03/20 at 04:28:17
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I guess even something like 17 Rab1 g6 18 Qf3 Qb6 and White decides to give back the pawn with 19 Rfe1 he still has to navigate some tricks ...

For instance
19 Rfe1 Qxb2 ... now he can't take rook or queen, 20 Ra1 Qe5 and Black is much better

So computer suggestion is 20 h4 there are a ton of drawn lines that shouldn't be so hard for a human to find but there are some tricks like 20... Rb8!? 21 Rxb2 (White has other fine options but natural) Rxe1+ 22 Kh2 Rxb2 23 a3?? (White should go counterattack with 23 h5 instead but player who is not paying close attention to opponent's threats might want to defend the pawn) Ree2 and White has big problems with the f2 pawn and the Bb7 threat -- he seems to be losing.
  
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #13 - 01/03/20 at 03:37:48
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 01/03/20 at 03:00:54:
@IsaVulpes - Now that you have given the moves leading to the diagram, I share your concern. I totally agree the following moves are too easy to find.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.g3 Nf6 7.Bg2 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.O-O O-O 11.Bg5 Re8 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Qxd5 Ba6 15.Qxc5 Rac8 16.Qa3 Rxe2 17.Rab1

I suppose in a rapid game, if black has analyzed the position in detail and white has just stumbled into it, then there are still chances for black. But in a classical time control I think I could hold the white side against Dubov himself. Similarly, there are many class A amateurs, say 1900 Elo, who could hold the white side against me. Some of them could do the same against Dubov! Of course I have seen and experienced many horrid games, so anything is possible. But it's best not to rely on the opponent having their worst day.


I agree with both you, although I didn't quite realize how many cheapos Black has here initially.

For instance 17 b3? Rxf2 winning
17 Rab1 g6
Now thinking as White, I can't move the Rf1, probably not going to move the Rb1 right away.  18 b3 loses to Rcc2.  Maybe I play 18 b4 threatening b4-b5 and if Rcc2, I have Qf3?  Oops 18 b4 Rc3 19 Qa4 Bd3 and white is in big trouble.

Ok maybe I play 18 h3?  Create luft and see what Black does?  It's not so bad but Black can play 18... Rec2 19 Be4 Bxf1 20 Bxc2 Bxh3 and White should still be totally fine but Black finally has a bit of an imbalance in the form of the weak kingside to play with.

Still to your overall point something like 18 Qf3 Qb6 19 Rfe1 is totally fine for White and looks pretty easy to play.
  
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #12 - 01/03/20 at 03:25:14
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an ordinary chessplayer wrote on 01/03/20 at 02:36:47:
Mistaken identity? Looking at the player list here https://www.chessmix.com/chess-games/tournaments/Le+Port-Marly+FRA%252C+Leonard+..., I don't find Maksym, but there is Mikhail Kazakov, a GM with 2443 rapid Elo.


Ah okay.  I was just going off Chessbase
  
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Re: Who do you play the Tarrasch against?
Reply #11 - 01/03/20 at 03:00:54
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@IsaVulpes - Now that you have given the moves leading to the diagram, I share your concern. I totally agree the following moves are too easy to find.

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 6.g3 Nf6 7.Bg2 cxd4 8.Nxd4 Bc5 9.Nxc6 bxc6 10.O-O O-O 11.Bg5 Re8 12.Bxf6 Qxf6 13.Nxd5 cxd5 14.Qxd5 Ba6 15.Qxc5 Rac8 16.Qa3 Rxe2 17.Rab1

I suppose in a rapid game, if black has analyzed the position in detail and white has just stumbled into it, then there are still chances for black. But in a classical time control I think I could hold the white side against Dubov himself. Similarly, there are many class A amateurs, say 1900 Elo, who could hold the white side against me. Some of them could do the same against Dubov! Of course I have seen and experienced many horrid games, so anything is possible. But it's best not to rely on the opponent having their worst day.
  
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