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Chigorin-Tarrasch match
Compiled by keypusher
--*--

This match was contested in St. Petersburg between October 8 and November 14, 1893. The time control was 15 moves an hour; the stakes were 5,000 marks per side. The first player to win ten games would win the match, but if each player won nine games, the match would end without a winner.

In <Dreihundert Schachpartien>, Tarrasch wrote that he received an invitation "couched in the most flattering terms" from St. Petersburg. On the other hand, Kasparov stated in <On My Great Predecessors I> that Tarrasch challenged Chigorin. In any case, the German arrived in St. Petersburg on October 4 and the match began four days later.

Tarrasch never trailed, winning the first game in 29 moves, later leading 4-2, but he couldn't shake Chigorin. After 17 games, Tarrasch led +8-5=4, and wrote that "everyone thought (me most of all) that the match was decided in my favor." But Chigorin promptly won three in a row to tie the match again. Tarrasch won the 21st game, but Chigorin took the 22nd in a fascinating endgame. Thus, under the rules, the match ended in a tie: +9-9=4.

Kasparov praised the match for the "richness of its chess content" and noted that the contestants "fought literally to the to the last pawn: in the first nine games and the six final ones there was not a single draw!" The match is also prized because of its vivid clash of styles. Tarrasch was a renowed exponent of classical chess. Kasparov wrote that "Both in his play, and in his commentaries, Tarrasch aimed to follow general rules, and he methodically formulated them." Chigorin was quite different. As Botvinnik put it, "To get any idea of Tchigorinís creative style we must realize that he frequently looked not for the rules but the exceptions." The Russian repeatedly adopted 2.Qe2 against Tarrasch's French Defense, leading in a number of cases to the sort of King's Indian Reversed that would become popular in the following century.

Tarrasch vs Chigorin, 1893 
(C80) Ruy Lopez, Open, 29 moves, 1-0

Chigorin vs Tarrasch, 1893 
(C00) French Defense, 43 moves, 1-0

Tarrasch vs Chigorin, 1893 
(C66) Ruy Lopez, 62 moves, 0-1

Chigorin vs Tarrasch, 1893 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 62 moves, 0-1

Tarrasch vs Chigorin, 1893 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 26 moves, 1-0

Chigorin vs Tarrasch, 1893 
(C00) French Defense, 59 moves, 0-1

Tarrasch vs Chigorin, 1893 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 42 moves, 0-1

Chigorin vs Tarrasch, 1893 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 34 moves, 1-0

Tarrasch vs Chigorin, 1893 
(C82) Ruy Lopez, Open, 63 moves, 1-0

Chigorin vs Tarrasch, 1893 
(A07) King's Indian Attack, 31 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tarrasch vs Chigorin, 1893 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 53 moves, 1-0

Chigorin vs Tarrasch, 1893 
(C00) French Defense, 51 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tarrasch vs Chigorin, 1893 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 32 moves, 1/2-1/2

Chigorin vs Tarrasch, 1893 
(C00) French Defense, 77 moves, 0-1

Tarrasch vs Chigorin, 1893 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 45 moves, 0-1

Chigorin vs Tarrasch, 1893 
(C34) King's Gambit Accepted, 27 moves, 1/2-1/2

Tarrasch vs Chigorin, 1893 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 56 moves, 1-0

Chigorin vs Tarrasch, 1893 
(C00) French Defense, 62 moves, 1-0

Tarrasch vs Chigorin, 1893 
(C77) Ruy Lopez, 42 moves, 0-1

Chigorin vs Tarrasch, 1893 
(C00) French Defense, 66 moves, 1-0

Tarrasch vs Chigorin, 1893 
(D05) Queen's Pawn Game, 31 moves, 1-0

Chigorin vs Tarrasch, 1893 
(C00) French Defense, 58 moves, 1-0

22 games

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