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James Tarjan
Number of games in database: 597
Years covered: 1966 to 2020
Last FIDE rating: 2381
Highest rating achieved in database: 2530

Overall record: +239 -144 =198 (58.2%)*
   * Overall winning percentage = (wins+draws/2) / total games in the database. 16 exhibition games, blitz/rapid, odds games, etc. are excluded from this statistic.

With the White pieces:
 Sicilian (60) 
    B81 B23 B43 B92 B50
 English (21) 
    A10 A11 A13 A17 A15
 English, 1 c4 c5 (20) 
    A30 A37 A36 A31 A34
 Grunfeld (18) 
    D86 D87 D94 D83 D85
 Ruy Lopez (18) 
    C73 C69 C78 C96 C99
 English, 1 c4 e5 (17) 
    A20 A29 A25 A27 A21
With the Black pieces:
 Sicilian (71) 
    B77 B78 B25 B51 B90
 Ruy Lopez (22) 
    C83 C77 C95 C80 C81
 Sicilian Najdorf (17) 
    B90 B92 B93 B99 B94
 English (17) 
    A14 A15 A10 A13
 Queen's Indian (17) 
    E12 E17 E14 E15 E19
 Sicilian Dragon (16) 
    B77 B78 B72 B73 B74
Repertoire Explorer

NOTABLE GAMES: [what is this?]
   Tarjan vs J M Hodgson, 1983 1-0
   J Nogueiras vs Tarjan, 1979 0-1
   M Kapelan vs Tarjan, 1983 0-1
   A Planinc vs Tarjan, 1974 0-1
   E Torre vs Tarjan, 1983 1/2-1/2
   J A Grefe vs Tarjan, 1973 1/2-1/2
   Tarjan vs J A Gutierrez, 1979 1-0
   R Ervin vs Tarjan, 1975 0-1
   M Wilder vs Tarjan, 1981 0-1
   Tarjan vs Ljubojevic, 1979 1-0

NOTABLE TOURNAMENTS: [what is this?]
   Kostic Memorial (1983)
   United States Championship (1978)
   Hastings 1976/77 (1976)
   Hastings 1977/78 (1977)
   Buenos Aires Olympiad (1978)
   Odessa (1976)
   Venice (1974)
   Lone Pine (1981)
   Riga Interzonal (1979)
   First Lady Cup 2nd (1983)
   Valletta Olympiad (1980)
   Nice Olympiad Final-A (1974)
   Lucerne Olympiad (1982)
   Politiken Cup (2015)
   Gibraltar Masters (2016)

GAME COLLECTIONS: [what is this?]
   US Championship 1978 by suenteus po 147
   Hastings 1977/78 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1975 by suenteus po 147
   US Championship 1973 by Phony Benoni

   🏆 PNWCC Master Artist Point
   Tarjan vs Repka (Sep-03-21) 0-1
   R Jumabayev vs Tarjan (Mar-27-21) 1-0
   S Sjugirov vs Tarjan (Jan-16-21) 1/2-1/2
   Tarjan vs T Gareyev (Dec-26-20) 0-1
   Rohan Talukdar vs Tarjan (May-25-20) 1-0

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

(born Feb-22-1952, 70 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. Soon after his comeback he upset Vladimir Kramnik at the Isle of Man Masters (2017). He is still active as of 2021.

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

Last updated: 2021-12-05 17:49:43

 page 1 of 25; games 1-25 of 625  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Tarjan vs D Amneus 1-0231966Los AngelesC39 King's Gambit Accepted
2. T Weinberger vs Tarjan  1-0251966Pacific Southwest OpenE80 King's Indian, Samisch Variation
3. S Telingator vs Tarjan  0-1341966Casual gameD52 Queen's Gambit Declined
4. Tarjan vs Benko  0-140196667th US OpenB80 Sicilian, Scheveningen
5. Tarjan vs D Fulton  0-131196667th US OpenB14 Caro-Kann, Panov-Botvinnik Attack
6. E McCormick vs Tarjan  1-044196667th US OpenB53 Sicilian
7. R W Schutt vs Tarjan  ½-½30196667th US OpenD47 Queen's Gambit Declined Semi-Slav
8. Tarjan vs B Gross  1-032196667th US OpenB03 Alekhine's Defense
9. T Weinberger vs Tarjan 1-0461967Santa Monica Masters InvitationalD31 Queen's Gambit Declined
10. T Weinberger vs Tarjan  1-0271968Long Beach OpenE65 King's Indian, Fianchetto, Yugoslav, 7.O-O
11. T Weinberger vs Tarjan 1-0631968West Coast OpenD02 Queen's Pawn Game
12. Tarjan vs T Weinberger 0-1551968San Bernardino OpenB07 Pirc
13. H A Buczko vs Tarjan 0-126196869th US OpenB03 Alekhine's Defense
14. Tarjan vs Browne 1-027196869th US OpenC16 French, Winawer
15. Tarjan vs Larsen 0-134196869th US OpenB61 Sicilian, Richter-Rauzer, Larsen Variation, 7.Qd2
16. R Byrne vs Tarjan 1-030196869th US OpenD07 Queen's Gambit Declined, Chigorin Defense
17. Tarjan vs R Shean 1-040196869th US OpenB93 Sicilian, Najdorf, 6.f4
18. R J Gross vs Tarjan  ½-½18196869th US OpenE17 Queen's Indian
19. Tarjan vs D Fritzinger 1-032196869th US OpenB40 Sicilian
20. Kaufman vs Tarjan  1-056196869th US OpenB73 Sicilian, Dragon, Classical
21. Tarjan vs Browne 0-1301969USA-ch U18 playoffB98 Sicilian, Najdorf
22. Browne vs Tarjan 0-1381969USA-ch U18 playoffC04 French, Tarrasch, Guimard Main line
23. Tarjan vs Browne ½-½411969USA Jch plof mB23 Sicilian, Closed
24. Browne vs Tarjan  ½-½321969USA-ch U18 playoffC70 Ruy Lopez
25. Tarjan vs Ljubojevic 0-1271969WchT U26 fin-A 16thB56 Sicilian
 page 1 of 25; games 1-25 of 625  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: <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 5½ pts.

Oct-02-17  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!

Oct-02-17  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.

Oct-02-17  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.
Oct-03-17  diagonal: <GMP> thanks!

James Tarjan beat Alexandra Kosteniuk:

no gender discrimination, please :))

Oct-03-17  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!
Oct-03-17  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

Oct-03-17  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".

Dec-31-17  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?

Jul-26-19  Petrosianic: <diagonal> <At least Karjakin believes, there is such a title :)>

I mean there's no such title as Vice World Champion.

There us such a thing as an official challenger, but that isn't a title.

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