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Ruslan Ponomariov vs Pentala Harikrishna
Biel (2017), Biel SUI, rd 8, Aug-01
French Defense: Tarrasch Variation. Open System Main Line (C09)  ·  0-1


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Kibitzer's Corner
Premium Chessgames Member
  Big Pawn: Pentala Harikrishna is one of the highest rated GMs playing the French these days. I recently took a look at the stats for the Tarrasch variation and they look terrible for black!

Opening Explorer

The main lines 3...Nf6 and 3...c5 look busted by the stats at least.

Compare to the Taimanov variation of the Modern Benoni, which is considered so busted that the Modern Benoni is now usually played only by certain move orders that avoid the Taimanov.

Opening Explorer

When the Taimamov attack isn't quite scoring as well as the Tarrasch in the main line French, you know there's got to be a big problem.

I guess that explains the trend among top players of opting for 3...Be7, which is flexible and hopes to steer away from nasty variations, but if you dig into those stats, they don't look so good either.

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