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Zoltan Gyimesi vs Federico Manca
E.U. Championship and Cork Chess Congress (2005), Cork IRL, rd 3, Mar-24
Tarrasch Defense: Classical. Reti Variation (D34)  ·  1-0



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Kibitzer's Corner
Apr-11-05  patzer2: White demonstrates how to win against the isolated pawn in the QGD Tarrasch after 9. dxc5.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <patzer2) Only because Black didn't have the guts to play 9...d4!? :-)

White has a small edge in the main lines of the Tarrasch, but Black has a lot of great tactical possibilities. See almost any of the Tarrasch games in the database of my games. And of course Kasparov's games as Black in the 1980s.

Apr-11-05  DepthlessBlue: Sorry, don't understand why this is a win for white. Can't black King just dance around g7,h7 until it's a draw? Please explain. Thanks.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <depthlessblue> there are much better endgame players than me here, but it looks as if black shuttles his king back and forth between h7 and g7 white will walk his king to e6, attacking the f-pawn. The white king has two squares from which to attack the pawn (e6 and e7), while the black king can only defend it from one square (g7). So, suppose it is black to move, with the white king on e6 and the black king on e6. black can waste one move with his pawn, pushing it to h5. But now white moves his king to e7, and black has to retreat his king and lose the f-pawn and the game.

Suppose black tries to keep the white king out. Then the game might go 43...♔g7 44 ♔f4 ♔f7 45 ♔e4 ♔e7 46 ♔d5 ♔d7 47 h5! (gaining the opposition) ♔e7 48 ♔c6! ♔e8 49 ♔d6 ♔f7 50 ♔d7 ♔g7 51 ♔e6 and we are back where we were in the first example. Black has to move his king and lose the f-pawn.

Apr-12-05  patzer2: <Eric Schiller> National Master Schiller, Welcome to I've read some of your stuff (including one of your co-authored Books on the Tarrasch) and am a fan. Didn't mean to imply the Tarrasch QGD was a forced loss for Black, but it seems to me that at the top levels, Black is more often than not fighting just to hold the draw with it.

However, I must admit that in this line after 9...d4!?, Black can get a lot of nice tactical play as in D Arganian vs E Schiller, 1983. However, I've noticed most strong GMs now prefer other options as Black and mostly avoid the Tarrasch QGD altogether. As I recall Kasparov tried it out for a while, but didn't have great results against Karpov and pretty much gave it up. Appears to me that the last strong GM to consistently employ it was Grischuk, but he hasn't trotted it out since his loss in Gelfand vs Grischuk, 2004. Still, with strong play at the top levels, the opening might be good for a draw as in Kramnik vs Deep Fritz, 2002 or Xu Jun vs Short, 2003.

Of course at Club level play, I must admit the Tarrasch QGD is an excellent winning try, especially against an unprepared opponent.

Apr-12-05  patzer2: Kasparov's last two games against Karpov in the Tarrasch QGD were both losses in Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984 and Karpov vs Kasparov, 1984. Yet, it is interesting that he did not give it up completely at that point, and played it again subsequently for wins in Larsen vs Kasparov, 1987 and Hort vs Kasparov, 1988. However, it would appear that Kasparov gave up the Tarrasch QGD in serious play after 1988.
Apr-12-05  Shams: that Arganian - Schiller game is very good. thanks for the link.

Kasparov once said you can divide all openings into two categories: those that have been played in world championship matches, and those that haven't. I would put Tarrasch on the same level as soundness as, say, the Grunfeld (another queen pawn defense that Kasparov seems to have jettisoned). I guess I feel that if your test for an opening's soundness is "can I defend with it against Karpov in his prime?" then there aren't many sound defenses in the world. My $.02

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <shams> Well put! The Tarrasch was the wrong choice against Karpov, at least the passive lines. I agree with your point (and in fact wrote World Champion Openings) that if an opening has been played in serious competitions by World Champions on a regular basis, it is almost certainly good. Openings are a matter of fashion. In these silicon chip days, almost all openings can be made "playable", assuming a player is willing to put up with a small disadvantage in the "book" lines. Some openings work well or badly against specific opponents, due to their specific skills. Karpov is a positional monster and the Tarrasch wasn't a good choice. In my only game with Kasparov (not recorded), back in 1984, I tried the Tarrasch against him and got clobbered!
Apr-12-05  Shams: you played Gazza and didn't write down the game!? can I ask why?

by the way I dated Jennifer Connelly for six months but sadly, no record of our torrid affair exists. And I got clobbered too. ;)

Premium Chessgames Member
  Eric Schiller: <Shams> It was at a charity gig related to the USSR vs. World match in 1984.and the champagne had been flowing for hours. Also, Garry arranged the game so that I was looking past him at actress Lysette Anthony fondling chess pieces for photographers. I recall the first 12 moves (the 12.Qa4 line of the Classical Tarrasch) but not the rest. We just played to please some photographers, and I was too drunk to say no ...

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