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

Siegbert Tarrasch

Number of games in database: 964
Years covered: 1879 to 1933
Overall record: +456 -204 =256 (63.8%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 48 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (125) 
    C77 C67 C78 C66 C65
 French Defense (62) 
    C11 C10 C01 C14 C12
 Four Knights (37) 
    C49 C48 C47
 French (37) 
    C11 C10 C12 C13 C00
 Orthodox Defense (24) 
    D50 D63 D55 D61 D64
 Queen's Pawn Game (22) 
    D02 D05 A46 E10 A40
With the Black pieces:
 Ruy Lopez (100) 
    C67 C77 C83 C80 C82
 French Defense (48) 
    C01 C00 C12 C11 C14
 Tarrasch Defense (34) 
    D32 D34 D33
 Sicilian (30) 
    B40 B45 B25 B32 B23
 French (30) 
    C00 C12 C11 C13
 Ruy Lopez, Open (30) 
    C83 C80 C82
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Nimzowitsch vs Tarrasch, 1914 0-1
   Tarrasch vs Romberg, 1893 1-0
   Tarrasch vs E Thorold, 1890 1-0
   Tarrasch vs K Eckart, 1889 1-0
   Tarrasch vs Reti, 1922 1-0
   Tarrasch vs Marotti / Napoli / de Simone / del, 1914 1-0
   Tarrasch vs Von Scheve, 1894 1-0
   Tarrasch vs G Marco, 1892 1-0
   Tarrasch vs J Mieses, 1916 1-0
   Tarrasch vs J Mieses, 1920 1-0

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: [what is this?]
   Lasker - Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908)

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Breslau (1889)
   9th DSB Kongress, Leipzig (1894)
   Manchester (1890)
   Vienna (1898)
   Monte Carlo (1903)
   Ostend (Championship) (1907)
   Chigorin - Tarrasch (1893)
   Ostend (1905)
   Hastings (1895)
   Nuremberg (1896)
   San Sebastian (1912)
   Monte Carlo (1902)
   18th DSB Kongress (1912)
   Hamburg (1885)
   Frankfurt (1887)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   Three Hundred Chess Games (Tarrasch) by Incremental
   Tarrasch's 300 Chess Games by yesthatwasasac
   Three Hundred Chess Games (Tarrasch) by Qindarka
   Three Hundred Chess Games by Edwin Meijer
   Three Hundred Chess Games (Tarrasch) by Parmenides1963
   Tarrasch's Dreihundert Schachpartien by Honza Cervenka
   Tarrasch's Dreihundert Schachpartien by hakkepof
   T Players Tease Fredthebear by fredthebear
   Challenger Tarrasch by Gottschalk
   Veliki majstori saha 6 TARRASCH (Petrovic) by Chessdreamer
   good games by sk.sen
   Tarrasch's Best Games of Chess. Part I. by Dr. Siggy
   Praeceptor Mundi by chocobonbon
   Tarrasch's Best Games of Chess. Part III. by Dr. Siggy

   Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1914
   Tarrasch vs Von Scheve, 1894
   M Porges vs Lasker, 1896
   Lasker vs Tarrasch, 1914
   Marshall vs Lasker, 1914

Search Sacrifice Explorer for Siegbert Tarrasch
Search Google for Siegbert Tarrasch

(born Mar-05-1862, died Feb-17-1934, 71 years old) Germany

[what is this?]

Siegbert Tarrasch was born in Breslau (modern-day Wroclaw, Poland). He learned chess at age 15. He rose to prominence by winning four consecutive international tournaments: 6th DSB Congress, Breslau (1889), Manchester 1890 (, Dresden (1892), and the 9th DSB Congress, Leipzig (1894). He also won Monte Carlo (1903). Chessmetrics ranks him the No. 2 player in the world (always behind his compatriot Emanuel Lasker) for 111 different months (a total of over nine years) between October 1890 and November 1906. His last good tournament result was at Semmering (1926), when he scored 10-7, tying with Akiba Rubinstein for 6th-7th place in a very strong field.

After Lasker won the World Championship, the two agreed to terms for a match to take place in the fall of 1904, but the negotiations collapsed after Tarrasch requested a postponement. The Lasker - Tarrasch World Championship Match (1908) finally took place, but Lasker won decisively (+3 -8 =5).

Tarrasch was an acclaimed writer. He was an editor of the Deutsche Schachzeitung, and also published his own Tarrasch's Schachzeitung (1932-1934) and the books Dreihundert Schachpartien (1895), Die moderne Schachpartie (1912), and Das Schachspiel (1931). He is often considered dogmatic, and had a long and bitter theoretical feud with the prominent hypermodern Aron Nimzowitsch, 16 years his junior, whose opening ideas he derided as bizarre.

He was highly regarded for his contributions to opening theory. The Tarrasch (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5) and Semi-Tarrasch (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 c5 5.cxd5 Nxd5) Variations of the Queen's Gambit Declined, and the Tarrasch Variation of the French Defense (1.e4 e6 2.4 d5 3.Nd2) are named for him, and remain very important even today. He also enriched the understanding of other aspects of the game. He articulated the principle that in rook endings rooks generally belong behind passed pawns. Many of his theories on the principles of mobility and other aspects of positional play still stand as well.

Tarrasch also played consultation chess on the teams of Tarrasch / von Bardeleben / von Scheve / Schotlaender and Tarrasch / Harmonist / Heidebreck

Wikipedia article: Siegbert Tarrasch

Last updated: 2023-11-27 06:16:07

 page 1 of 39; games 1-25 of 964  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-0241879BreslauB46 Sicilian, Taimanov Variation
2. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-0321879BreslauC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
3. Tarrasch vs A Schottlaender 0-1241879BreslauC51 Evans Gambit
4. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-0391879BreslauC51 Evans Gambit
5. Tarrasch vs Von Scheve 1-0191879BreslauB13 Caro-Kann, Exchange
6. Tarrasch vs A Schottlaender 1-0221879BreslauC80 Ruy Lopez, Open
7. Tarrasch vs F Riemann 0-1181879BreslauC67 Ruy Lopez
8. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-0331879BreslauC51 Evans Gambit
9. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-0261879BreslauA00 Uncommon Opening
10. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-0211880BreslauC51 Evans Gambit
11. Von Scheve vs Tarrasch 0-1301880BresslauC30 King's Gambit Declined
12. Tarrasch vs Mendelson 1-0241880BreslauC49 Four Knights
13. Tarrasch vs G Vogt 1-0201880Breslau000 Chess variants
14. Tarrasch vs Winawer 1-0301880Casual gameC51 Evans Gambit
15. Tarrasch vs Adolf Mannheimer 1-0271880BreslauC55 Two Knights Defense
16. Tarrasch vs B Lasker 1-0231880BerlinC42 Petrov Defense
17. Tarrasch vs Adolf Mannheimer 1-0281880BreslauC42 Petrov Defense
18. Tarrasch vs Adolf Mannheimer 1-0371880BreslauC39 King's Gambit Accepted
19. F Riemann vs Tarrasch 1-0411880BreslauC30 King's Gambit Declined
20. Von Scheve vs Tarrasch 0-1151880BreslauC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
21. Mendelson vs Tarrasch 0-1461880BreslauC51 Evans Gambit
22. Tarrasch vs Pribulsky 1-0301880BerlinC31 King's Gambit Declined, Falkbeer Counter Gambit
23. Tarrasch vs G Vogt 1-0241880Breslau000 Chess variants
24. Tarrasch vs NN 1-0111880BerlinC45 Scotch Game
25. Tarrasch vs Landau 1-0171880white blindfoldedC55 Two Knights Defense
 page 1 of 39; games 1-25 of 964  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2) | Tarrasch wins | Tarrasch loses  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 26 OF 26 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: I'm scared of the bill for the damage I'd do breaking into the Edinburgh Club.

It's closed. I cannot get in. Nobody can get in. The first thing I'll do when it opens up again is get more Aitken games and grab a the couple of the BCM's in question.

If you really cannot wait then why not test your haggling skills and go for a BCM Collection 1881-2007. See:

or give this site a look.

They have some loose 1978 BCM's (£10.00 the lot but Feb is not included.) - the bound volume is £20.00. Cannot see anything for 1979 but contact them Tel: 01903 730371 they may have it laying about.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Craig Pritchett in the Feb 2020 issue of CHESS is talking about how he put together his latest book. 'From Steinitz to the 21st Century' (Craig can write. As soon as it's in the Chess & Bridge shop I'll get a copy. Him I trust.)

Craig explains his original venture during lock down was to do a book on Tarrasch.

'Whose significance in the history of the development of chess thought remains remarkably underexplored, certainly in books published in English.'

But he was told by his publishers that it was '...commercially too risky.'

Just pause a while to think about of all the total crap about chess that gets slapped between two semi-stiff covers and Tarrasch is to be ignored yet again. (it took 100 years for his '300 games' to get translated into English. A great book.)

Craig lives in Dunbar which now I'm an OAP is a £4.50 train ride away. Of course I won't pay the £4.50. I show the ticket inspector my bus pass say I'm confused and pretend to be deaf. Works most of the time!

I'll find Craig, give him a pep talk and get him to fill the Tarrasch gap in English chess literature.

Then another train to Glasgow (here the confused and I'm deaf trick is a non-starter, The ticket collectors on the Edinburgh-Glasgow run have seen all the dodges. They wear flak jackets and go around in a pairs along with a vicious guard dog. I once saw that dog eat a suitcase!)

I'll see Jacob Aagaard (Quality Chess) give him a pep talk and he will publish Craig's book on Tarrasch.

Feb-05-22  Retireborn: Geoff, I recall we had a previous conversation (or maybe it was offramp?) about 300 not getting an English translation because Reinfeld's book didn't do as well as it deserved. Plus ca change.

I have read one of Pritchett's books, I think it was called Best Games of Young Grandmasters, which I won as a prize....that was more years ago than I care to remember.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Retireborn,

Reinfled's book on Tarrasch is a tough act to follow. I know a fair number of good players from my generation who think it is a wonderful chess text book. You enjoy the games and Fred's notes, often coupled with Tarrasch's comments. It's a works perfectly.

Tarrasch suffered from a bad P.R. which in part was his fault by angering the Victorians in Tarrasch vs Blackburne, 1890

This was at a time when it was deemed bad manners to print the name of a player who lost. Prolonging a tournament Tarrasch had already won by a full day because he wanted to beat Blackburne in his own backyard was not the done thing. Add in the fact he was German and that was enough to shun his work.

I love his games, some are wonderful works of creativity with Tarrasch noting them up as he played them so he went the most instructive way for his readers.

Some throw their arms up in horror and use the 'D' word at the mention of Tarrasch because they read that somewhere without giving his games a chance.

His games and his views are sprinkled with humour. The self depreciating he gives himself in his '300 'are funny and instructive. (as well as the praise he heaps upon himself, which would have been viewed as gloating by the English establishment.)

'Best Games of the Young GM's.' with Danny Kopec. I recall spending days trying to make 19 Bxh7+ work in Karpov vs Miles, 1980. This game was played just before getting sent to the publishers Danny asked me to look at it to see if there was anything concrete. No computers then, it was all sweat and graft. I'm just glad that computers have still not found a White win.

My autographed copy with a wonderful tribute to me from Danny is one of my genuine treasures.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Geoff>, on more than one occasion across the years, I have been critical of Reinfeldian dogma and those who follow it, but he did a good job with his works on Tarrasch and Alekhine.

As to Danny Kopec: we had a tense moment during our first meeting, at the 1982 New England championship, but always got on well thereafter. Was sorry to learn of his death.

Feb-05-22  Z free or die: <<Sally> (it took 100 years for his '300 games' to get translated into English. A great book.)>

Actually, it was only 50 years:

but good luck getting hold of that edition!

Feb-05-22  Z free or die: <<perf> As to Danny Kopec: we had a tense moment during our first meeting, ...>

OTB or off the board?

Premium Chessgames Member
  chancho: I saw Kopec at a Queen City Open in the early 90's. He always seemed to get the better of Alexander Ivanov in the games I remember him playing, but Curdo had some quick wins against Kopec. Curdo, on the other hand, would get frequently clobbered by the Russian. Curdo as far as I know, only had one win over Ivanov and it was basically a blunder where Ivanov lost a piece.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <sally>

<Tarrasch suffered from a bad P.R. which in part was his fault by angering the Victorians in Tarrasch vs Blackburne, 1890

This was at a time when it was deemed bad manners to print the name of a player who lost. Prolonging a tournament Tarrasch had already won by a full day because he wanted to beat Blackburne in his own backyard was not the done thing. Add in the fact he was German and that was enough to shun his work.>

I think this is a libel on the Victorians. Any evidence that anyone "shunned" his work? Cheshire praises Tarrasch warmly in the Hastings tournament book.

<Visitors to the Congress will remember him as a neat, well-dressed, sprightly gentleman of highly engaging manngers, and always with a fresh flower in his button-hole. Certainly a favorite with the onlookers, his board was generally well patronzied whoever was his opponent.

Journalistic work has occupied a considerable amount of his time, and his annotations are very far above the average. Those in the book were supplied in German, so that some may have lost a little of their pristine beauty in the process of translation.>


<Some throw their arms up in horror and use the 'D' word at the mention of Tarrasch because they read that somewhere without giving his games a chance.>

Bull****. I call Tarrasch dogmatic based on his own annotations, in particular those for his book on the 1908 match, which I translated. Not because I read it somewhere.

Feb-05-22  Ron: Ivanchuk created a YouTube channel analyzing chess games.

Ivanchuk said concerning this Euwe-Alekhine game:, "As great Siegbert Tarrasch said, in bad position all moves are bad."

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi K.P.

I was not thinking of you when I mentioned the 'D' word. I know you have at least played over his games and his notes and made up your own mind. I have no problem with that.

' Any evidence that anyone "shunned" his work?'

I'm running on the fact it took so long to get 300 hundred translated. It was published in 1896 (I never never knew about the limited edition in 1959 the advert for the 1999 Hays edition states 'This book is the first English Language edition of a chess classic.' so they did not know either.)

His 'Die moderne Schachpartie' by all accounts an excellent book is still waiting translation and see above. A publisher today thinks any book on Tarrasch would be '... '...commercially too risky.'' As I said, he has a bad P.R.

Hi Perfidious,

I too take the odd pop at some of Reinfeld's work but his one on Tarrasch and funnily enough Nimzovitch (Hyper Modern Chess) I really did enjoy (still take the occasionally dip into them.)

Yes Danny could sometimes be a handful when it came to a point of view or what ever. I had one or two tumbles with him but we were always friends.

Scotland was not prepared for him when he landed amongst us without warning. Soon Edinburgh was awash with Danny Kopec stories, some funny, some not, but always entertaining. He was not a shrinking violet, you knew when he was about. An excellent coach/teacher/team captain and friend.

He too had many tales to tell regarding the American chess scene. A great character, once met never forgotten.

I was in contact with him regarding a new venture right up unit a few month before he passed away. I miss him.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <zed>, it was during a long manoeuvring game which normally arises from the Gurgendize which I was playing sometimes then (1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 g6 4.e5 Bg7 5.f4 h5).

Danny said something to me--do not recall what it was, I responded--then called me a schmuck. Never understood why. After the game (drawn in 90+ moves, 8.5 hours), we talked very amicably, then split two games in the blitz event the next night.

Premium Chessgames Member
  Sally Simpson: Hi Perfidious,

Yes 'schmuck' was one of Danny's favourite phrases. I think everyone in his Scottish chess circle caught that at one time or another.

During blitz another of his favourite sayings was booming out 'Hello!' when playing a winning threat.

I played the Caro Kann just once in a serious game and it was a Gurgendize system. I lost. I was not even at the races, no swindling chances, nothing. It was not the opening it was me, I played like a...schmuck!

Feb-06-22  Z free or die: All this schmucking it up got me yucking it up.
Mar-09-22  Albertan: Siegbert Tarrasch:Player,Thinker,and Teacher Extraordinaire (5 March 1862-17 February 1934):

Premium Chessgames Member
  Diocletian: "Chess, like money, like opiates, has the power to make you happy."
Oct-23-23  Caissanist: QOTD from Tarrasch:

<Chess is a terrible game. If you have no center, your opponent has a freer position. If you do have a center, then you really have something to worry about!>

Oct-23-23  stone free or die: Inspired by <Caissanist> I found this:

<8331. Tarrasch quote

The haphazard dissemination of quotes is illustrated by a famous Tarrasch remark:

‘Chess is a terrible game. If you have no centre, your opponent has a freer position. If you do have a centre, then you really have something to worry about.’

Some brief observations:

1) The quote appears on countless English-language websites, without any source;

2) No German version is easily traceable on the Internet;

3) The English version was given by F. Reinfeld on pages 61-62 of Tarrasch’s Best Games of Chess (London, 1947) in a note to 19...Nf6 in Schiffers v Tarrasch, Leipzig, 1894;

4) After 16...Rfe8 in the same game, Tarrasch wrote in Dreihundert Schachpartien (the page number varies according to the edition):

‘Ein schreckliches Spiel, das Schachspiel! Hat man kein Zentrum, so hat der Gegner die freiere Stellung; und hat man eins, dann macht es einem schwere Sorge!’>

C.N. 8831

Winter lamentablely often omits the English translation. Google translate to the rescue!

<'A terrible game, chess! If you don't have a center, your opponent has a freer position; and if you have one, then it gives you serious trouble!'>


Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: One point is that, in German, there are certain words which are idiomatic ('Voelkisch' comes to mind), thus not directly translatable.

My knowledge was one year of the language in student days, hence hardly enough to piece all the above together.

Oct-23-23  Caissanist: User: stone free or die thanks for that. I never knew that Chessgames has that feature to generate the correct link to an entry at Here is the link for 8331 (not 8831): C.N. 8331 .
Oct-24-23  Olavi: A good example of Winter's misconceptions. Chessplayers need not give exact sources for Tarrasch quotes (depending on the type of text, of course) any more than 'to be or not to be' or 'gogito, ergo sum' needs to be sourced every time you use it.
Oct-24-23  stone free or die: You have a point there <Olavi>, but I have to admit that I know immediately that "to or not to be" is from Shakespeare, whereas I didn't instantly know the center quote was from Tarrasch.

(Though it's also true I'm at woodpusher level in quotes).

Another example would be my not knowing "Cognito, ergo sum" is the original latin phrase from Descrates (here I might have been able to figure it out, but google was quicker).

All in all, in each of these cases, I think sourcing a quote adds a little something "je ne sais quoi".

Oct-24-23  sudoplatov: "Cognito, ergo sum" has a back story. Descartes stopped at a small bar in Paris. He asked the bartender for a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon, which he downed. The bartender asked if he would like another. "I think not," replied Descartes and disappeared.
Oct-24-23  sudoplatov: Personally, I think stepped in front of a horse and got in trouble.
Oct-25-23  Olavi: <stone free or die> Depending on the type of text. But I didn't say it's not necessary to tell the reader that it's from Tarrasch; just that you don't need to give chapter and verse. On the other hand I do think 'Chess, like love, like music...' can be quoted without mention of Tarrasch.

Well, there is no absolute answer. I think Winter would stuff the 480-line The Bronze Horseman by Pushkin full with historical references. That's what he does; no ear at all for different types of text. I apologize for the harsh words.

Jump to page #    (enter # from 1 to 26)
search thread:   
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 26 OF 26 ·  Later Kibitzing>

NOTE: Create an account today to post replies and access other powerful features which are available only to registered users. Becoming a member is free, anonymous, and takes less than 1 minute! If you already have a username, then simply login login under your username now to join the discussion.

Please observe our posting guidelines:

  1. No obscene, racist, sexist, or profane language.
  2. No spamming, advertising, duplicate, or gibberish posts.
  3. No vitriolic or systematic personal attacks against other members.
  4. Nothing in violation of United States law.
  5. No cyberstalking or malicious posting of negative or private information (doxing/doxxing) of members.
  6. No trolling.
  7. The use of "sock puppet" accounts to circumvent disciplinary action taken by moderators, create a false impression of consensus or support, or stage conversations, is prohibited.
  8. Do not degrade Chessgames or any of it's staff/volunteers.

Please try to maintain a semblance of civility at all times.

Blow the Whistle

See something that violates our rules? Blow the whistle and inform a moderator.

NOTE: Please keep all discussion on-topic. This forum is for this specific player only. To discuss chess or this site in general, visit the Kibitzer's Café.

Messages posted by Chessgames members do not necessarily represent the views of, its employees, or sponsors.
All moderator actions taken are ultimately at the sole discretion of the administration.

Spot an error? Please suggest your correction and help us eliminate database mistakes!
Home | About | Login | Logout | F.A.Q. | 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 2001-2023, Chessgames Services LLC