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Siegbert Tarrasch vs David Janowski
Vienna (1898), Vienna AUH, rd 15, Jun-21
Sicilian Defense: Four Knights Variation (B45)  ·  1-0



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Given 26 times; par: 102 [what's this?]

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Kibitzer's Corner
Sep-14-03  GrandDutchman: According to Kasparov black should've played 20... Bh6 when the two bishops are better than the rook and two pawns. Tarrasch called 6...d6 "a losing move" and Euwe says in his opening books that it's very bad, and he gives one game as example. They both couldn't have thought that the Sveshnikov once would be a very fashionable opening.
Sep-14-03  Shadout Mapes: I believe the Sveshnikov involes e5, though this is similar.
Sep-15-03  euripides: I think this is a Taimanov which has transposed into the Sheshnikov, with Bf4-g5 and e6-e5 usually played in one move rather than two. Early experiments with the Sicilian didn't at the time get the credit they deserved.
Oct-04-05  aw1988: This is Sveshnikov.
Oct-04-05  MaxxLange: I think this move order is called the "Four Knights" Sicilian. Nice game, I really like 36. Ra6!
Jul-13-08  Jesspatrick: It's hard to call Tarrasch's sacrifice unsound, since he won. Still, I don't believe he got the better position out of the opening because of it. I'd play the black side of this around move 15 any time.
Jul-13-08  dabearsrock1010: this transposes exactly into a main line of the sveshnikov
Jul-13-08  Octal: Black needed to play 10. ... b5 to transpose into a Svenshnikov, as after 11. Nd5 f5 we have successfully transposed.
Jul-13-08  Jesspatrick: <Octal> You are right. It's possible to transpose to the main lines of the Sveshnikov.

The move 9...f5 (Really in this game 10...f5) is attributed to Janowski from this game and has independent significance over the main lines. The history is that Black does pretty well with it, and even in the games where White won, it was seldom on account of the opening.

This is why, I presume that many players on the white side delay the exchange on f6 until after Black plays ...b5 as it avoids the pitfalls of this line.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: Jesspatrick is right. It's interesting that if you look at modern books on the Sveshnikov (Rogozenko 2005; Cox 2007; Kolev and Nedev 2008) they either ignore the possibility of Bxf6 before Na3, or mention it only in passing. By contrast, the old Wade/Speelman/Povah/Blackstock book (1978) spends 10 pages on "Janowski's 9...f5." (Usual move order: 1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cd 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5 6.Ndb5 d6 7.Bg5 a6 8.Bxf6?! gxf6 9.Na3 f5!?) White doesn't usually play 8.Bxf6 these days, because (1) it allows Black the sharp but strong option of 9...f5!?; (2) Black can also just transpose to the main line, as Octal noted, with 9...b5; and (3) White isn't worried about 8.Na3 b5 9.Bxf6 Qxf6?!, which used to be considered the reason that 8.Bxf6 was "more accurate."

In annotating this game, Kasparov writes that 9.Na3 b5! was more accurate than Tarrasch's 9.Bxf6. Kasparov gives exclams to Janowski's 10...f5!, 11...b5!, and 13...Bb7! As GrandDutchman says, Kasparov recommends 20...Bh6!, writing that after "20...Bh6! (followed by moving the c6-knight) White's rook and two pawns are no stronger than the two minor pieces." Kasparov, My Great Predecessors, Part I, p. 141.

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: A possible improvement on the game is 16...Kd7! (surely it's better to get the king off the back rank a move sooner?) 17.Qxg6 hxg6!? 18.Nxa8 Bxa8, as in <Giorgio Perez vs S Kerr, 2002;

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