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Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch (D32)
1 d4 d5 2 c4 e6 3 Nc3 c5

Number of games in database: 1809
Years covered: 1846 to 2014
Overall record:
   White wins 34.2%
   Black wins 27.1%
   Draws 38.7%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
PRACTITIONERS
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Frank James Marshall  40 games
Vlastimil Hort  24 games
Borislav Ivkov  18 games
Eric Schiller  27 games
Siegbert Tarrasch  20 games
Slavoljub Marjanovic  18 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Miles vs Browne, 1982
Tal vs B Brinck-Claussen, 1966
Lasker vs Janowski, 1910
Rotlewi vs Rubinstein, 1907
J Sunye Neto vs Kasparov, 1981
Petrosian vs Fischer, 1971
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 page 1 of 73; games 1-25 of 1,809  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves Year Event/LocaleOpening
1. E Williams vs H Kennedy 1-035 1846 London mD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
2. Amsterdam vs Zeist  ½-½48 1849 correspondenceD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
3. Mongredien vs G Medley 0-126 1850 London mD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
4. Wyvill vs Anderssen ½-½50 1851 LondonD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
5. Staunton vs E Williams 1-070 1851 4, London4 m2D32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
6. New York vs Philadelphia ½-½57 1859 corrD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
7. Steinitz vs E Jenay 1-033 1860 Vienna m1D32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
8. Meitner vs M Fleissig 0-149 1873 ViennaD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
9. A Schwarz vs J Minckwitz  ½-½53 1880 Graz plof-1plD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
10. C Ballard vs J N Mortson  1-036 1881 corrD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
11. V Hruby vs J Noa  0-133 1882 ViennaD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
12. V Hruby vs Mackenzie  0-134 1882 ViennaD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
13. J Mason vs Sellman  1-040 1883 LondonD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
14. Mackenzie vs Englisch  ½-½15 1883 LondonD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
15. V Hruby vs M Bier  ½-½44 1883 NurembergD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
16. V Hruby vs A Schottlaender  ½-½41 1883 NurembergD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
17. J Mason vs A Schottlaender  1-066 1883 NurembergD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
18. W Gattie vs C E Ranken 1-067 1883 London (Vizayanagaram)D32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
19. A Burns vs Gossip 1-033 1885 Melbourne Chess Club Handicap TournamentD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
20. J Crewe vs G B Hall 0-180 1887 Australian ChampionshipD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
21. M Kuerschner vs Tarrasch 0-143 1888 matchD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
22. Von Bardeleben vs Tarrasch 1-082 1888 German Masters tournamentD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
23. J Bauer vs Tarrasch ½-½39 1889 BreslauD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
24. Burn vs Tarrasch ½-½42 1889 BreslauD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
25. Tarrasch vs M Kuerschner  1-035 1891 Nuremberg club mD32 Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch
 page 1 of 73; games 1-25 of 1,809  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  
 

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 4 OF 4 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Mar-19-07  Plato: <Eric Schiller> I was basing those stats off of a search in my database for the position after 1.d4 d5, 2.c4 e6, 3.Nc3 c5 (the main QGD Tarrasch position listed above), that's why I missed them, but you are right to correct me. The Karpov-Kasparov games in question arrived at the Tarrasch with a White knight on f3 rather than c3 after the third move. It appears two games were played with this line, and White won both. This move order was also used in a Capablanca-Lasker game (drawn) and two Petrosian-Spassky games (drawn).

So the updated statistics from World Championship play are as follows:

The players to use the Tarrasch Defense as Black in World Championship play were Lasker, Tarrasch, Janowski, Spassky, and Kasparov.

From these games, White scored 68%: +6 -1 =7

<Eric> I'm not suggesting it should be avoided at top level play, I'm just providing some stats (to educate myself, mainly) about opening lines that have been used in World Championships.

Mar-19-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  ganstaman: <Plato> While this is likely rather simple for me to look up, you may already have the stats available and could thus save me time. In the World Championship matches through which you are searching, what is the overall record for white and black? It's difficult to judge the stats you provide without knowing what's normal for a WC match (which is special enough to not necessarily conform to the stats of all database games in general).
Mar-19-07  laskereshevsky: Spassky played (by black) the Tarrasch QG 5 times vs. Petrosian in the 1969 World Match with the +1=4-0 record

Mar-19-07  Plato: <ganstaman> No problem. The following stats are from all World Championships but NOT the FIDE "World Championships" of the late 90s and 2000s which were won by Karpov, Khalifman, Anand, Ponomariov, Kasimdzhanov, and Topalov. I'm also not including Karpov's win over Timman in '93 or his win over Kamsky in 96 for the same reason; I don't consider those legitimate World Championships. During these years the reigning World Champion was either Kasparov (pre-2000) or Kramnik (post-2000). The 1948 match-tournament *is* included (this was an unusual situation because the reigning world champion had died).

Having said that, here are the stats:

<Out of the 40 World Championship matches (including the match-tournament of 1948), White scores 57%: +268 -144 =470>

Mar-19-07  Plato: <laskereshevsky> I know, those games are included in my overall stats above. Spassky's win was the only win for Black in the Tarrasch Defense in World Championship play. When I wrote <two Petrosian-Spassky games (drawn)> I was just saying that I initially missed those two games from their 1969 match because I had only searched for the standard position after 1.d4 d5, 2.c4 e6, 3.Nc3 c5 (the position given on the top of this page), whereas those two games had a knight on f3 instead of c3 on move 3.
Mar-20-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <Plato, there are so many transpositions that you would do better to search ECO D32-34. That should pick them all up.
Mar-20-07  Plato: <Eric> Thanks, searching by ECO will be more accurate and more efficient for my future opening searches. In this case, it didn't pick up any new games from the ones already listed.

However, one of the wins that had been ascribed to White (Lasker-Tarrasch 1908) actually transposed to D40 (the QGD Semi-Tarrasch). So the record is now corrected for the last time (I hope!): White scores 65% with +5 -1 =7

Mar-21-07  Paul123: What I don't get is why the Tarrasch's has a bad rep.

Because the two games played between Karpov and Kasparov?

Before 1988 Kasparov racked 9 wins 2 loses (from Karpov only) and 6 draws...using the Tarrasch

Why doesn't the Grunfeld have the same bad rep...Karpov has a +6 score with 25 draws and only 2 loses against Kasparov's Grunfeld

go figure..

I think I'm going to look into the Tarrasch

Mar-22-07
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <paul123> The Tarrasch doesn't have a bad reputation in books written in the past 25 years or so. It was rediscovered in the 1980s, due largely to Kasparov's patronage. And at amateur levels, White finds it uncomfortable.

Exploiting the isolated pawn takes Karpovian skill, so few players can manage it. If it isn't as popular as it should be, it is just due to the lack of a major patron in elite events. That's just fashion.

In my experience, players often don't let me play the Tarrasch, because they know it is likely to appear if I'm given the chance.

Mar-25-07  coolbob: This is bad-isloated d pawn
Jun-05-07  Kleve: Mr. Schiller: Thank you for your comments. I personally love the Tarrasch, as I love the wide open piece play it affords. Players like me tend to fail utterly in closed formations... I prefer to blast the position open and attack, attack, attack!
Jun-05-07  Open Defence: I never understood why more non GM / IMs dont play the Tarrasch... you dont get stuck with bad pieces which is the nightmare of most non GM / IM strength players.... and there are so many other fashionable openings where they readily accept isolated pawns and much worse .... in fact that isolated pawn when it gets to d4 can be a wedge in White's throat affecting where he places his pieces....
Mar-28-08  Nikita Smirnov: I played this once in the Swedish Championships against a 1500 rated player. I won that game.It is one of my best games because of my endgame brilliance in that game.It was a bishop endgame.
Mar-28-08  pawnofdoom: I play this opening all the time. Many people don't know it well and I get tons of easy wins from it. If I can't win right from the opening, the isolated d-pawn actually proves to be very useful.
Mar-28-08  hrvyklly: The book 'Meeting 1.d4' focuses on using the Tarrasch, does anyone have any thoughts about using/studying this book? Quite fancy taking up the Tarrasch...
May-21-08  fromoort: <hrvyklly>The first three chapters are supposed to be good. This was from a review by Carsten Hansen on chesscafe.com.
May-21-08  Chigorin: I play the Tarrasch and have the book.

As far as the book goes I think it is very good. It attempts to cover everything White can throw at you other than 1.e4. In other words 1.c4, 1.Nf3 etc. are covered.

The Tarrasch coverage is great. Both ideas and theory are covered. There is no index of variations, so locating a specific line is not always easy, but it can be done. The coverage of theory seems quite good to me though, and the discussion of ideas is great.

The coverage of other lines is a bit more varied in quality. The Reti, London System, Pseudo-Tromp all seem fine. But the Colle, Catalan, English and Veresov coverage is a bit weak. However given that this is all pretty much icing on the cake anyway I don't really care!

As far as the Tarrasch Defense itself goes, it is a mixed bag. It's not a good choice for those who like to feel sure that they are playing the "most correct" line (for those players I would recommend NID+QID or Slav). Nor is it a risky but dangerous counter-attacking opening on the level of the KID, Gruenfeld, Benoni or Semi-Slav. Rather it is a more active but also more weakening way to defend the Queen's Gambit. In other words, this a rather "solid" opening, not a counter-attacking one (at least when played by good players). It's just that rather than trying to equalize by avoiding weaknesses, Black takes a few on voluntarily, arguing that if he is active enough the weaknesses don't really matter. Against a really good player who knows his stuff I don't think Black's winning chances are very good, but until you encounter such players quite regularly I don't think this matters. In many of my games against decent opposition (e.g. 1900-2000) we reach positions where it seems White is quite a bit better, but it is hard to find a way forward. For a 2200+ player the Tarrasch may not be a great choice. However for us mere mortals I think it can be a decent weapon. White really needs good technique and a well prepared line in his pocket to really punish you, and only very rarely do I run into someone who has both.

One nice thing is that there is really only one truly scary line for Black (the kingside fianchetto) and most people at my level aren't aware of this line (and don't discover it OTB). Of course you need to be comfortable against this line to play the Tarrasch, but it is nice to equalize on move 6 in so many games!

If you are curious about the absolute truth in the Tarrasch it is probably something along the lines of the game Kasparov vs Illescas-Cordoba, 1994 though Black can improve on move 21 with ...a5 and maybe earlier as well.

Jan-20-09  rudysanford: I have spent a bit of time looking through Tarrasch games and then using the 'find similar games' option.

I came across games that even though they looked liked QGD Tarrasch games they were actually listed under ECO D40 for the root of the Semi-Tarrasch, even though what I am told is the characteristic move of the Semi-Tarrasch 5...Nxd5 is not played.

This led me to do further digging which also turned up games similar to D30-D32, that were listed under other ECO code like E10, as in Pares - Spraggett 1992 or Dunkelblum - Kholmov 1962. This led to a few questions:

1. Is this just inherent in the nature of transposition w/in this opening, where games that have what Schiller called the symmetrical Tarrasch setup can be listed under other ECO codes?

2. Assuming that 1 is correct, is this a common enough an occurrence to keep digging for similar 'hidden' games to throw more light on the Tarrasch proper?

As a side note, a database that I use -SCID - has a tool to ECO classify games and it tends to classify games the E10 games mentioned above as variations of D40.

Interestingly, it also characterizes Rotlewi - Rubinstein 1907 as D40.

Apr-29-09  Fanacas: I love the tarrasch becous you can also get into it from the englich opening 1.c4. And vast devolepment just is a must for me :P
Apr-29-09  Fanacas: Ow btw why arent schlechters 20 games in the practioneers part ?
Oct-30-12  Wyatt Gwyon: Any Tarrasch aficionados here?
Oct-31-12  SimonWebbsTiger: @<Wyatt>

any reason you're asking? (e.g. You have a specific question in mind?)

Oct-31-12  Wyatt Gwyon: <simon> Looking to broaden my repertoire with a response to d4 that strikes a balance between solidity and counter-attacking possibilities, maybe with a little more emphasis on counter-attacking. Main reply has been the Benko. Just seeking some feedback from anybody experienced with this opening. Thanks.
Oct-31-12  SimonWebbsTiger: the old main lines are a pain in the butt. They are no fun. Black is on the bad side of an IQP against someone who knows their stuff.

My old friend Jacob Aagaard and Greek player Nikolaoss Ntirlis have written a recent book, published by Quality Chess, in the Grandmaster Repertoire series on the Tarrasch Defence. They look at the c5-c4 option in the g3 (Schlecter-Rubinstein) main line. It is a fine book. Worth a look, eh?

Oct-31-12  Wyatt Gwyon: I'll check it out. Thanks. Not too worried about booked-up opponents. Most of they guys I face are in the 1700-1800 range.
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