Games, analysis and discussion

Queen's Gambit Declined Tarrasch

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[Event "Quebec Open"]
[Site "Montreal, CAN"]
[Date "2004.07.23"]
[Round "?"]
[White "Berube, A"]
[Black "Moskvitch, A"]
[Result "0-1"]

{Discussion of QGD Tarrasch, Rubinstein Variation game:} 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 {If White tries to sidestep the Tarrasch Gambit, which can arise later at move nine of the game, by delaying or omitting Nc3, Black gains viable options to sidestep White's usual target position in return, e.g. after 3.Nf3 c5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.g3 Nf6 6.Bg2 Nc6 (in case of 6...Be7 7.0-0 0-0 8.dxc5 Bxc5 9.Nc3 Nc6 [best] White has acheived his aim, but 8...Na6!? and 8...Ne4!? have been used instead) 7.0-0 Be7 8.dxc5 Bxc5 (8...Ne4!? and even the doubtful 8...d4 have been played as well) 9.Bg5 (if 9.Nc3 d4 is okay for Black, and 9...h6!? has also been tried) now 9...Be6 is thought to be okay for Black, and 9...d4!? has also been used.} c5 {The signature move of the Tarrasch, generally a sharper option for Black in the QGD than the Orthodox variations make for.} 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Nf3 Nc6 {If 5...Nf6 6.Bg5! is known to be good for White after 6...Be6 (or 6...Be7 7.dxc5 0-0 8.e3) 7.e4 or 7.e3.} 6.g3 {The beginning of the Rubinstein Variation.} Nf6 {6...c4 intending ...Bb4 and then ...Nge7 constitutes the somewhat doubtful Swedish Variation.} 7.Bg2 Be7 {Here or next move Black might try an early ...c4 as another way to deal with the possibility of dxc5 (besides the Tarrasch Gambit, which may arise at move nine of the game in case of 9.dxc5), but then White might try to delay or omit Bg5, in comparison to the game continuation (i.e. with 9.Bg5, if Black had then played ...c4).} 8.0-0 {If 8.dxc5 d4 is possible even here, besides ...Bxc5.} 0-0 {The usual 'tabiya' for the Rubinstein Variation, which is the main line of the Tarrasch as a whole.} 9.Bg5 {Most popular. White's other main choise is 9.dxc5, when besides the usual 9...Bxc5, 9...d4 is the Tarrasch Gambit, which may not be as bad as its reputation (it has the virtue of avoiding some fairly dull positions that may arise after 9...Bxc5, if White wishes). After 10.Na4 Bf5 11.Bf4 Be4 12.Rc1, which is thought to give White an edge after 12...Qd5, Black might try 12...Qd7!?, which led to a Black win in Radonjanin-Todorovic, 2005.} cxd4 {9...c4!? is a sharp alternative that's viable, although in my databases Black scores few wins in high level play if White plays into the ultra main lines of it. The Powerful Catalan, by Bologan, treats the Tarrasch as a whole in a rough fashion, insisting that White can get an edge with 9.Bg5 however Black plays.} 10.Nxd4 h6 {In case of 10...Bg4?!, White's strongest could be 11.Qa4, possibly intending Rfd1, rather than Bologan's 11.h3, which can be met by Be6, possibly intending ...Qb6.} 11.Be3 {11.Bf4 could present a problem if Black wishes to avoid drawish simplifications, say after 11...Bg4 12.h3 and if 12...Bd7, for example, just 13.Nxd5. A possible solution is 11...Re8 12.Qa4 (or 12.Rc1 a6!?) Bd7 13.Rad1 Bc5 14.Nxc6 Bxc6, which ECO, 4th edition evaluates as +/=, but Black looks okay to me.} Re8 {11...Bg4!? is dismissed by Bologan as +/= after 12.Qa4 Na5 13.Rfd1 Nc4 14.Bc1 Nb6 15.Qb3 a5 16.Bf4, but Black could try 12...Ne5!? instead, since if 13.Rfd1 then Re8 is possible, as Nxd5 doesn't favour White here.} 12.Rc1 {Both sides continue to follow the very main line of the Tarrasch.} Bf8 {Again ...Bg4 is viable here, and if Bologan's 13.h3 then Be6 (ECO's main move), rather than his 13...Bh5 etc.} 13.Nxc6 {Bologan recommends 13.a3 Bg4 14.h3 when after Bh5 15.Qa4 he asserts that d5 and c6 come under pressure, but 15...Na5!? looks interesting. In case of 13.Na4 besides ...Bd7 or ...Ng4 (after which Nxc6 bxc6 might only now occur) Black has the options of 13...Nxd4 and 13...Ne5, when if 14.Nb5 he can play Nc6, hoping for a repetition of moves with 15.Nd4.} bxc6 14.Na4 {Again the main move in ECO's Tarrasch main line.} Ba6!? {This has been tried a few times previously. It is not in ECO, unlike 14...Bd7 or 14...Ng4, for example, which are more usual.} 15.Bf3 {Other moves have been played, including the critical looking 15.Rxc6 Bb5 16.Rc1, and now instead of 16...Rxe3, which has been tried, my machine likes the incredible 16...d4!?, which is fun to analyse, and may even be about equal.} Bb5 {15...Qa5!? was an alternative.} 16.Nc5 {16.Nc3 was possible, when Ba6 allows White to repeat moves if he wishes, and 16...Bc4 17.Qa4 Rxe3 18.fxe3 Bc5 19.Nd1 seems +/=.} Bxc5 17.Rxc5 Ne4 {Black is clearly doing okay now.} 18.Rc1 Qa5 19.a3 Rad8 20.Bxe4?! Rxe4 21.Qc2 Qa6 22.Rfe1 Rde8 23.Qc5 Qc8 24.b3? {Better is 24.Kg2 =/+.} Qh3 {-+} 25.a4 R8e5 26.axb5 Rh5 27.f4 Qxh2+ 28.Kf1 Qh1+ {28...Qxg3! mates in 5 moves.} 29.Bg1 Rh2 30.Qf2 Rxf2+ 31.Kxf2 cxb5 32.Rc8+ Kh7 33.Rc5 Rb4 34.Rc7 a5 {White resigns. Notes by Kevin Pacey.} 0-1


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Updated 07-02-2015 at 02:56 AM by Kevin Pacey

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