Tarrasch Defence (D32-34)

The Tarrasch Defence is a chess opening characterized by the moves:

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5

The Tarrasch is a variation of the Queen's Gambit Declined.

With his third move, Black makes an aggressive bid for central space. After White plays cxd5 and dxc5, Black will be left with an isolated pawn on d5. Such a pawn may be weak, since it can no longer be defended by other pawns; but it grants Black a foothold in the center, and Black's bishops will have unobstructed lines for development.

The opening was advocated by the German master Siegbert Tarrasch, who contended that the increased mobility Black enjoys is well worth the inherent weakness of the isolated center pawn. Although many other masters, after the teachings of Wilhelm Steinitz, rejected the Tarrasch Defense out of hand because of the pawn weakness, Tarrasch continued to play his opening while rejecting other variations of the Queen's Gambit, even to the point of putting question marks on routine moves in all variations except the Tarrasch (which he awarded an exclamation mark) in his book Die moderne Schachpartie.

The Tarrasch Defence is considered sound. Even if Black fails to make use of his mobility and winds up in an inferior endgame, tied to the defense of his isolated pawn, he may be able to hold the draw if he defends accurately.

 

D32

Queens Gambit Declined; Tarrasch Defence

D32 Queens Gambit Declined; Tarrasch Defence

 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5

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Study Games for D32

D32

D33

Queens Gambit Declined; Tarrasch, Schlechter–Rubinstein System

D33 Queens Gambit Declined; Tarrasch, Schlechter–Rubinstein System

 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. g3

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Study Games for D33

D33

D34

Queens Gambit Declined; Tarrasch, 7...Be7

D34 Queens Gambit Declined; Tarrasch, 7...Be7

1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 6. g3 Nf6 7. Bg2 Be7

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Study Games for D34

D34