Members · Prefs · Laboratory · Collections · Openings · Endgames · Sacrifices · History · Search Kibitzing · Kibitzer's Café · Chessforums · Tournament Index · Players · Kibitzing

James Tarjan
Number of games in database: 552
Years covered: 1966 to 2018
Last FIDE rating: 2432
Highest rating achieved in database: 2530

Overall record: +215 -137 =186 (57.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 14 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (58) 
    B81 B23 B43 B50 B92
 English (19) 
    A10 A11 A17 A13 A14
 Ruy Lopez (18) 
    C96 C78 C73 C69 C99
 English, 1 c4 c5 (17) 
    A30 A37 A36 A34 A31
 Queen's Indian (15) 
    E15 E14 E12 E17 E19
 Nimzo Indian (15) 
    E41 E55 E59 E54 E53
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (65) 
    B77 B78 B25 B92 B90
 Ruy Lopez (19) 
    C83 C77 C80 C95 C73
 Sicilian Najdorf (17) 
    B90 B92 B99 B94 B93
 Queen's Indian (16) 
    E12 E17 E14 E15 E19
 Grunfeld (14) 
    D79 D88 D90 D85 D94
 Sicilian Dragon (14) 
    B77 B78 B72 B73
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Tarjan vs J M Hodgson, 1983 1-0
   J Nogueiras vs Tarjan, 1979 0-1
   A Planinc vs Tarjan, 1974 0-1
   M Kapelan vs Tarjan, 1983 0-1
   E Torre vs Tarjan, 1983 1/2-1/2
   J A Grefe vs Tarjan, 1973 1/2-1/2
   M Wilder vs Tarjan, 1981 0-1
   Tarjan vs Ljubojevic, 1979 1-0
   Tarjan vs R Hammie, 1976 1-0
   Tarjan vs Rattlinger, 1971 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   US Championship (1973)
   Lone Pine (1971)
   Lone Pine (1972)
   Hastings 1977/78 (1977)
   Lone Pine (1981)
   Riga Interzonal (1979)
   World Senior 65+ (2017)
   Lone Pine (1977)
   Lone Pine (1979)
   PokerStars IoM Masters (2014)
   Politiken Cup (2015)
   Isle of Man Open (2016)
   Reykjavik Open (2017)
   Tradewise Gibraltar (2016)
   PokerStars IoM Masters (2015)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   The Best of Tarjan & Schiffers by Garre
   Hastings 1977/78 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1978 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1975 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1973 by Phony Benoni

   🏆 Tradewise Gibraltar
   R O Perez Garcia vs Tarjan (Jan-30-18) 1/2-1/2
   Tarjan vs G Papp (Jan-29-18) 0-1
   Kosteniuk vs Tarjan (Jan-28-18) 1/2-1/2
   Tarjan vs A Donchenko (Jan-27-18) 1/2-1/2
   V Plotkin vs Tarjan (Jan-26-18) 0-1

Search Sacrifice Explorer for James Tarjan
Search Google for James Tarjan
FIDE player card for James Tarjan

(born Feb-22-1952, 66 years old) United States of America

[what is this?]

James Edward Tarjan was born in Pomona, California, USA. He was awarded the IM title in 1974 and the GM title in 1976, and was a member of the US team that won the World Student Team Championship in 1970. In tournaments, Tarjan came first at Subotica 1975 and at Vancouver 1976 and first equal at Vrsac 1983. By finishing second in the 1978 US Championship, he qualified for the Riga Interzonal in 1979, where he finished in 11th place. From 1974 to 1982, Tarjan played on five consecutive US Olympiad teams and on the first occasion, he won the board prize for those playing second reserve. Tarjan began playing chess again in 2014 after a 30-year hiatus.

Further reading: (1) Wikipedia article: James Tarjan , (2) (2016 Canadian open wall-chart).

 page 1 of 23; games 1-25 of 552  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. T Weinberger vs Tarjan  1-0251966Pacific Southwest OpenE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
2. Tarjan vs D Amneus 1-0231966Los AngelesC39 King's Gambit Accepted
3. Tarjan vs Benko  0-140196667th US OpenB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
4. Tarjan vs D Fulton  0-131196667th US OpenB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
5. E McCormick vs Tarjan  1-044196667th US OpenB53 Sicilian
6. R W Schutt vs Tarjan  ½-½30196667th US OpenD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
7. Tarjan vs B Gross  1-032196667th US OpenB03 Alekhine's Defense
8. T Weinberger vs Tarjan 1-0461967Santa Monica Masters InvitationalD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
9. T Weinberger vs Tarjan  1-0271968Long Beach OpenE65 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav, 7.O-O
10. T Weinberger vs Tarjan 1-0631968West Coast OpenD02 Queen's Pawn Game
11. Tarjan vs T Weinberger 0-1551968San Bernardino OpenB07 Pirc
12. H A Buczko vs Tarjan 0-126196869th US OpenB03 Alekhine's Defense
13. Tarjan vs Browne 1-027196869th US OpenC16 French, Winawer
14. Tarjan vs Larsen 0-134196869th US OpenB61 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, Larsen Variation, 7.Qd2
15. Robert E Byrne vs Tarjan 1-030196869th US OpenD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
16. Tarjan vs R Shean  1-040196869th US OpenB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
17. R J Gross vs Tarjan  ½-½18196869th US OpenE17 Queen's Indian
18. Tarjan vs D Fritzinger 1-032196869th US OpenB40 Sicilian
19. Kaufman vs Tarjan  1-056196869th US OpenB73 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
20. Tarjan vs Browne 0-1301969USA-ch U18 playoffB98 Sicilian, Najdorf
21. Browne vs Tarjan  ½-½321969USA-ch U18 playoffC70 Ruy Lopez
22. Tarjan vs Browne ½-½411969USA Jch plof mB23 Sicilian, Closed
23. Browne vs Tarjan 0-1381969USA-ch U18 playoffC04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
24. Tarjan vs Ljubojevic 0-1271969WchT U26 fin-A 16thB57 Sicilian
25. Tarjan vs C W Pritchett  ½-½281969WchT U26 qual-CC33 King's Gambit Accepted
 page 1 of 23; games 1-25 of 552  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Tarjan wins | Tarjan loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <Howard> Member here since 1978. Remember Tarjan very well!! We do not have many home grown American GM's, and the ones we do have leave chess (Rogoff, others) cause there is no support for chess in this country.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Joshka: <diagonal> The standings show Carlsen won!?? What place did Tarjan finish in?? He's not even listed in the standings??
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Josh,

He finished 25th= with 5 pts.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: James Edward Tarjan is an old 'Open Fox', he also played at the legendary Lone Pine Open (Louis D .Statham Tournament) in 1971 (inaugural edition, seven rounds, Evans won, Tarjan (not yet a GM) joint second), 1972 (Tarjan (still not yet a GM) again joint second, behind winner Gligoric), 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1981 (last edition, nine rounds, reigning Vice World Champion and then again World Champion Challenger Korchnoi won at age of 50, Tarjan finished as joint fifth, he met Korchnoi otb).

<Chessgames> report from the very first Lone Pine tournament:

<In 1971, James Tarjan was the early leader, starting with five straight wins including a thrashing of Walter Browne. Svetozar Gligoric slowed Tarjan with a round-six drawn, but the latter remained a half-point ahead of Browne, Gligoric, and the surging Evans.

Tarjan was paired with Evans in the last round, leaving Gligoric and Browne to their own devices. While the Grandmasters drew, Evans pulled out his sixth win in a row to take the tournament.>

Source: Lone Pine (1971)

Amongst other tournaments, Tarjan won the Keres Memorial (Open) in Vancouver 1976, and the Kostic Memorial in Vrsac in 1983, as first equal:

In 1984, Tarjan gave up professional chess to become a librarian.

As pointed out earlier by <Joshka>, <cro777> and <Fusilli>, Tarjan re-entered on international chess circuit in 2014 after a break of 30 years! He played in the U.S. Open in Orlando, and at the relaunched IoM.

This was now the fourth participation in a row at Isle of Man (IoM) Open of James Tarjan. See you again!

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: I don't think Lone Pine is all that well remembered any more (although it should be).

<reigning Vice World Champion and then again World Champion Challenger Korchnoi>

There's no such title.

Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: <I don't think Lone Pine is all that well remembered any more (although it should be).>

That's exactly why I made reference to Lone Pine and linked it with one of the corresponding chessgames tournament surveys (all tournaments of the Lone Pine series are presented in detail on cg.)

<<reigning Vice World Champion and then again World Champion Challenger Korchnoi> There's no such title.>

At least Karjakin believes, there is such a title :)

Watch out the headliner of his website, and then read carefully, he even stipulates to be the official Challenger of the World Champion..

Career Highlight of Karjakin by GCT:
'2016 World Champion Challenger'

The expression 'Challenger' is used frequently in chess reports, eg:

In 1981 at Lone Pine, Korchnoi was widely regarded as 'Vice World Champion' (retrospective), and 'Challenger' (prospective).

Oct-02-17  waustad: Picking up over 30 elo in one tournament for a player with a k factor of 10 is impressive.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: He was a very good player in the 70's/80's and so, I hasten to add, NOT a product of the computer era.

To improve he spent 30 years reading all the chess books in his local library, (he's a slow reader) he reappears and BOOM! he takes out a Russian ex World Champion. (and draws with a Russian female ex World Champion.)

Oct-03-17  GrandMaesterPycelle: Actually, he won against Kosteniuk. Though the game hasn't yet found its way to the database.
Premium Chessgames Member
  diagonal: <GMP> thanks!

James Tarjan beat Alexandra Kosteniuk:

no gender discrimination, please :))

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: diagonal: <At least Karjakin believes, there is such a title :) >

So do you, but nevertheless, there is no such official title. It's an invention of journalists. But in fact, Korchnoi never competed for or claimed such a title, and probably wouldn't have seen much value in it.

Oct-03-17  Howard: Soltis tells a nice story in his book on the U.S. chess championship (all three editions) as to how Tarjan became "one of the world's leading experts" on the Dragon. Check it out!
Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: <GrandMaesterPycelle: Actually, he won against Kosteniuk. Though the game hasn't yet found its way to the database.>

She's got a powerful lobby.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Sorry James I thought it was a draw.

30 years alone with Fred Reinfeld books.

I think we have discovered the secret of chess.

Oct-03-17  JimNorCal: What nationality does the surname Tarjan come from? What's his family's heritage?
Premium Chessgames Member
  WannaBe: <JimNorCal> Wiki says Hungarian

Premium Chessgames Member
  Petrosianic: Since CG is slow, I'll give you the last game. She blew it with 32...Kb8??

[Event "Isle of Man"]
[Site "?"]
[Date "2017.10.01"]
[Round "9"]
[White "Tarjan, James"]
[Black "Kosteniuk, Alexandra"]
[Result "1-0"]
[WhiteElo "2412"]
[BlackElo "2552"]
[ECO ""]
[CurrentPosition "

click for larger view


1.c4 e5 2.g3 Nf6 3.Bg2 d5 4.cxd5 Nxd5 5.Nc3 Nb6 6.b3 Be7 7.Bb2 Nc6 8.Bxc6+ bxc6 9.Nf3 Qd6 10.O-O Bf5 11.d3 Qe6 12.Ne4 O-O-O 13.Qc2 f6 14.Rfc1 Kb7 15.b4 Bxb4 16.Rab1 Be7 17.a4 Ka8 18.a5 Nd7 19.Qa4 Rb8 20.Rxc6 Qb3 21.Qxb3 Rxb3 22.Nfd2 Rb7 23.Rc2 Rhb8 24.Nc4 a6 25.Rbc1 Rb3 26.Bc3 Be6 27.f4 exf4 28.gxf4 R3b5 29.Bd4 Bb4 30.Bc3 Be7 31.Bd4 R8b7 32.Kg2 Kb8 33.Ncd6 Bxd6 34.Nxd6 Rd5 35.Nxb7 Rxd4 36.Nd8 Bd5+ 37.e4 Kc8 38.Nc6 Bxc6 39.Rxc6 Rxd3 40.Rxc7+ Kd8 41.Ra7 Rd6 42.Kf3 g5 43.Rg1 h6 44.h4 Ke7 45.hxg5 hxg5 46.fxg5 1-0

Premium Chessgames Member
  Gregor Samsa Mendel: <Sally Simpson: ...

30 years alone with Fred Reinfeld books.

I think we have discovered the secret of chess.>

If that was really true, then <Ulhumbrus> would be world champion.

Oct-03-17  JimNorCal: Thanks WannaBe!
Oct-26-17  Mudphudder: Tarjan needs a new profile picture here. I vote for the one where Kramnik is shaking Tarjan's hand after resigning.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Howard: Personally, I was born near the very end of the Eisenhower administration, but having been a USCF member since early 1975 (how many of such members are still out there ?!)....>

Been a member since 1972.

Premium Chessgames Member
  wwall: <Howard: Personally, I was born near the very end of the Eisenhower administration, but having been a USCF member since early 1975 (how many of such members are still out there ?!)....>

Been a member since 1969. Played in the 1969 American Open. Christiansen was just a kid there.

Premium Chessgames Member
  GrahamClayton: 1966 and 1968 Californian State Junior Champion.
Premium Chessgames Member
  technical draw: <Howard><(how many of such members are still out there ?!), I remember Tarjan well.>

I was a member from 1967 to 1969 but never renewed. I also remember Tarjan. Also in a small chess club in Valladolid, Spain, I was asked by a Spaniard if I knew Tarjan. That was in 1976. But I remembered Tarjan very well. He was in my "group".

Premium Chessgames Member
  TheFocus: I began tournament play in the late 70's and 80's. I remember Tarjan very well. I wondered how he could give up chess like he did.

Glad to see him back in the arena. Is the World Senior Championship in his sights?

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 5)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 5 OF 5 ·  Later Kibitzing>
NOTE: You need to pick a username and password to post a reply. Getting your account takes less than a minute, totally anonymous, and 100% free--plus, it entitles you to features otherwise unavailable. Pick your username now and join the chessgames community!
If you already have an account, you should login now.
Please observe our posting guidelines:
  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, or duplicating posts.
  3. No personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No posting personal information of members.
Blow the Whistle See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform an administrator.

NOTE: Keep all discussion on the topic of this page. This forum is for this specific player and nothing else. If you want to discuss chess in general, or this site, you might try the Kibitzer's Café.
Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
<This page contains Editor Notes. Click here to read them.>
Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!

home | about | login | logout | F.A.Q. | your profile | preferences | Premium Membership | Kibitzer's Café | Biographer's Bistro | new kibitzing | chessforums | Tournament Index | Player Directory | Notable Games | World Chess Championships | Opening Explorer | Guess the Move | Game Collections | ChessBookie Game | Chessgames Challenge | Store | privacy notice | contact us
Copyright 2001-2018, Chessgames Services LLC