Tarrasch and Semi Tarrasch Defense

5...Nf6 Tarrasch, Alternatives to the Main Line

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "5...Nf6?! 6.Bg5!"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Tarrasch Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "D32"] [Annotator "kestenberg,tal"] [PlyCount "39"] 1. d4 (1. c4) 1... d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 {the Tarrasch Defense. Pioneered by it's namesake and legendary chess player Siegbert Tarrasch over a century ago, is a defense in which black is willing to accept pawn weaknesses in return for their fair share of space and activity. modern theory seems to show that white can thwart black's activity and reach favorable positions} 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nf6 $6 {This is not considered to be the best order of moves for black. White can create annoying pressure by pinning the knight} (5... Nc6 {this is black's best move, the main line, and will be considered elsewhere} 6. dxc5 (6. g3)) ( 5... c4 $6 {releasing the tension is premature} 6. e4 $1 $16 {a is strong reply, white opens the game for their better developed forces}) (5... cxd4 { also decides the center too soon and loses time} 6. Nxd4 Nc6 {and white is better here, many moves are possible} 7. Bf4 $5 {was tried as early as 1-0 (24) Marshall,F-Mieses,J Berlin 1908} (7. e4 $5 {is a computer suggested novelty that looks pretty good for white, intending to meet ...dxe4 with Bb5}) (7. g3 { is also pleasant for white}) 7... Bb4 $6 8. Ndb5 $1) 6. Bg5 $1 {with this pin white takes advantage of black's move order. White's pressure on the center will prevent black from developing as actively as they'd like to justify their potentially weak pawns.} Be6 {black tries to hold together the center, and avoids losing time with the ...Bf8, trying to recapture on c5 in one go. this is however a passive square for black's bishop, and it doesn't do much to get the king out of the center, allowing white an energetic response.} (6... Nc6 $6 {is dubious now due to} 7. Bxf6 $1 {and black is without a great recapture}) ( 6... cxd4 {fails to solve back's problems} 7. Nxd4 (7. Bxf6 gxf6 $6 8. Qxd4 Be6 9. e4 Nc6 10. Bb5 a6 11. Bxc6+ bxc6 12. exd5 cxd5 13. O-O $14 {1-0 (45) Lasker, E-Morrison,J Lake Hopatcong 1923}) 7... Nc6 (7... Be7 8. e3 O-O 9. Be2 Nc6 10. O-O h6 11. Bh4 Ne4 12. Bxe7 Nxe7 13. Rc1 Qa5 14. Qa4 Qb6 15. Rfd1 $14 {1/2-1/2 (36) Geller,E (2600)-Mamatov,D (2200) Riga 1975}) 8. e3 Be7 9. Bb5 Bd7 10. Bxf6 Bxf6 11. Nxd5 Bxd4 12. exd4 Qg5 13. Bxc6 Bxc6 14. Ne3 O-O-O 15. O-O $14 { 1-0 (40) Rubinstein,A-Lasker,E St Petersburg 1909}) ({black is forced to lose time after} 6... Be7 {because the bishop will need to move again on} 7. dxc5 $1 {[%csl Rd5][%cal Gf8e7,Ge7c5,Yg5d8] in this way white slows down the opponent's development, which is needed to compensate for their structure. black's structure in combination with their lagginf development offer white excellent chances for an opening advantage. This line is not too often seen at higher levels of chess, as the games of the old masters hold true, I will inclue parts of a few of them here to give a feel for play.} O-O (7... Qa5 { to take the pawn back with the queen is dubious} 8. e3 Nc6 (8... Qxc5 9. Rc1 { is too dangerous for black}) 9. Rc1 O-O 10. Bb5 {and white kept the pawn in} Bg4 11. Qa4 Qxa4 12. Nxa4 Bxf3 13. gxf3 Ne5 14. Ke2 Rac8 15. b4 $16 {1-0 (32) Capablanca,J-Morrison,J New York 1918}) (7... Nc6 {will transpose into other eximined lines, as black usually plays it at some point} 8. e3 O-O (8... Be6 { ½-½ (32) Alekhine,A-Maroczy,G London 1922}) (8... Qa5 {1-0 (32) Capablanca, J-Morrison,J New York 1918})) (7... Be6 8. e3 O-O {transposes into the later note on 0-1 (41) Smyslov,V (2580)-Fong,R (1921) San Francisco 1976} (8... Bxc5 9. Bb5+ $5 {fast development} Nc6 10. Bxf6 {removing the guard of the center} Qxf6 11. Nxd5 {0-0! was better, when white safetys the king and maintains all the pressure} Bxd5 12. Qxd5 Bb4+ 13. Kf1 O-O 14. Qb3 Ba5 15. Bxc6 Qxc6 16. Ke2 Rac8 17. Rhd1 {and white managed to convert an extra pawn in 1-0 (40) Macieja, B (2612)-Jedynak,R (2494) Lublin 2009}) (8... Nbd7 9. Bb5 Bxc5 10. Ne5 Be7 11. Bxf6 Bxf6 12. Bxd7+ Bxd7 13. Qxd5 $16 {1-0 (22) Leonhardt,P-Schories,G London 1904}) (8... Nc6 9. Bb5 O-O 10. O-O Bxc5 11. Rc1 {½- (16) ½ (32) Alekhine, A-Maroczy,G London 1922})) 8. e3 Nc6 (8... Bxc5 $6 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Qxd5 Bb4 11. Qd4 $16 {has been tried without any success for black in a few games}) ( 8... Qa5 9. Be2 Qxc5 10. O-O Nc6 11. Rc1 Qd6 (11... Rd8 12. Nb5 Qb6 13. Bf4 Ne8 14. Qc2 $14 {1-0 (51) Saemisch,F-Gruenfeld,E Vienna 1921}) 12. Nb5 Qd8 13. Nbd4 Nxd4 14. Qxd4 Be6 15. Rc2 b6 16. Rfc1 $16 {0-1 (71) Capablanca,J-Leede/Korkus New York 1915}) (8... Be6 9. Be2 (9. Bb5 $5 {is an interesting development, the bishop isn't aimed at anything yet but it probably will be soon} Bxc5 10. O-O Nc6 11. Rc1 Be7 12. Bxc6 {white opts to play against the hanging pawns} bxc6 13. Na4 {restraining the enemy pawns, looking to prevent them from escaping so that they can be captured later} Rc8 14. Nd4 Bd7 15. Bxf6 Bxf6 16. Nc5 $14 {and white's knights were better than their speedy counterparts in ½-½ (32) Alekhine,A-Maroczy,G London 1922}) 9... Nbd7 10. O-O Nxc5 11. Nd4 Nce4 12. Nxe4 Nxe4 13. Bxe7 Qxe7 {white has a small but clear, and stable advantage, with the better pawn structure and lightsquared bishop} 14. f3 (14. Rc1) 14... Nf6 15. Qd2 Rfe8 16. Rac1 $14 {0-1 (41) Smyslov,V (2580)-Fong,R (1921) San Francisco 1976}) 9. Be2 Be6 (9... Bxc5 10. Bxf6 Qxf6 11. Qxd5 Bb4 12. O-O $14) (9... Qa5 10. O-O Qxc5 11. Rc1 {0-1 (71) Capablanca,J-Leede/ Korkus New York 1915}) 10. O-O Bxc5 11. Rc1 {black is a little behind schedule on development in an IQP position, and has a somewhat unfavorable version.} Be7 12. Nd4 Rc8 13. Qd2 Ne4 14. Nxe4 dxe4 15. Bxe7 Qxe7 16. Nxc6 bxc6 {white's simplifications make their structural advantage more relevant} 17. Qa5 Rfd8 18. Rfd1 Bd5 19. b4 Rd6 $2 {white would have put tremendous pressure but a blunder quickly ended matters.} 20. Rxd5 $1 Rxd5 21. Qxd5 Qxb4 22. Rxc6 {1-0 (22) Lasker,E-Janowski,D Berlin 1910}) 7. Bxf6 $1 {preparation for opening the center, white removes the defensive knight and draws the queen out} (7. e4 Be7 $1 (7... dxe4 8. Bb5+ Bd7 9. Bxf6 Qxf6 10. Nxe4 $16 {1-0 (81) Lasker, E-Marshall,F USA 1923}) 8. Bb5+ Nc6 9. Ne5 Rc8 10. Qa4 cxd4 11. Qxd4 O-O 12. Bxc6 bxc6 13. exd5 Nxd5 14. Bxe7 Qxe7 15. O-O $11 {1/2-1/2 (20) Alekhine, A-Vidmar,M London 1922}) 7... Qxf6 8. e4 $1 {the point behind white's play. white looks to exploit black's lagging development and opens the position} dxe4 (8... cxd4 9. Bb5+ $1 (9. Nxd4 $6 {0-1 (65) Capablanca,J-Katz,S New York 1922} Bc5 $15) 9... Nd7 (9... Nc6 10. Nxd5 $1 Qd8 11. O-O $16) 10. Bxd7+ $1 Kxd7 $16) 9. Bb5+ $1 {a key move, accelerating white's mobilization, black faces trouble escaping the opening reguardless of how they choose to interpose} Bd7 {we will follow a couple games of WCH Alekhine} ({alternatively} 9... Nc6 10. Nxe4 Qf4 11. Qe2 O-O-O 12. Bxc6 bxc6 $14 {was also good for white in 0-1 (39) Stocek,J (2530)-Cioara,A (2403) Pardubice 2001 though they later lost}) (9... Nd7 10. Nxe4 $14) 10. Nxe4 Qb6 11. Bxd7+ Nxd7 12. O-O $16 {white's initiative is clear} cxd4 ({in another game Alekhine faced} 12... Be7 13. dxc5 Nxc5 14. Nxc5 Qxc5 15. Rc1 Rd8 16. Qa4+ b5 17. Qg4 Qb6 18. Qxg7 $18 {1-0 (38) Alekhine,A-Lazard,F Paris 1933 EXT 2011 [Exelsior/Primel,D]}) 13. Nxd4 Rd8 $2 14. Nf5 Ne5 15. Qe2 g6 $2 16. Qb5+ $1 {stunning!} Nd7 (16... Qxb5 {would have lead to a nice finish } 17. Nf6#) 17. Rfe1 $1 Bb4 18. Nf6+ Kf8 19. Nxd7+ Rxd7 20. Qe5 {1-0 (20) Alekhine,A-Kussman,L New York 1924} *

5...Nc6 Tarrasch, The Main Line

A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "5...Nc6 6.dxc5!?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "Tarrasch Defense"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [ECO "D32"] [Annotator "kestenberg,tal"] [PlyCount "20"] 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 c5 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Nf3 Nc6 $5 {this is black's best move order} ({avoiding the unpleasant pin} 5... Nf6 $6 6. Bg5 $1) 6. dxc5 $5 { a modern, and concrete solution, grabing a pawn and discovering attack against the enemy center pawn. White will ask some questions as to how black plans to regain the pawn without accepting a disadvantage.} d4 {practically forced so that black can play ...Bxc5 without losing the d pawn and somewhat hinder white's development} ({for example} 6... Nf6 7. Be3 $5 $14 {looks ugly but black has trouble restoring maretial equality}) (6... Be6 7. Na4 $14 {gives white an easier version of the main lines 0-1 (33) Kieseritzky,R-Vidmar,M Barmen 1905} (7. Be3 $5 $14 {is also good for white})) 7. Na4 $1 {a move disapproved of by tarrasch himself, but the knight sidelined knight serves a purpose, defending the extra pawn on c5 and the knight on the edge can't easily be chased away. Black has tried to do so with ...b5?! offering a pawn, but practice has proven this idea to be unsound. Black usually takes advantage of a pitit combination to get the pawn back right away, but at the cost of the bishop pair, a potential long term advantage for white.} Bxc5 {the most reliable, black regains the pawn with a little tactic} (7... b5 $2 {black targets the Na4 but this offers white to keep the pawn and is not completely sound} 8. cxb6 axb6 9. e3 $1 {aimed against ...b5 which would embarass the knight and looking to complete development} Bb4+ 10. Bd2 dxe3 ({black cound keep targeting the knight with} 10... Bd7 $5 11. Bb5 $1 {but here too white is better} Ra5 $5 12. Bxb4 $1 Rxb5 13. Bd2 Nf6 14. Nxd4 Nxd4 15. exd4 Bg4 16. Qc2 Qxd4 17. O-O O-O 18. Be3 Qd6 19. f3 $14 {Oms Pellice,J-Zabala,A/ESP-ch (6)/ 1993/0-1 (41)}) ({on} 10... Bxd2+ {white can play} 11. Qxd2 $1 Rxa4 12. Bb5 $1 $18) 11. Bxb4 {now white secures the bishop pair and an edge in the endgame} ( 11. fxe3 {Kortschnoj} Bd7 $14) 11... Qxd1+ 12. Rxd1 Rxa4 (12... exf2+ $2 13. Kxf2 Nxb4 14. Nxb6 $18) (12... Nxb4 $2 13. Bb5+ $18) 13. Bc3 Nge7 (13... exf2+ {loses for black} 14. Kxf2 Nge7 15. Bb5 Rxa2 16. Ne5 Bb7 17. Rd6 $18 {Rd7}) 14. fxe3 (14. Bb5 Rxa2 15. Ne5 $16) 14... Rxa2 (14... O-O 15. a3 $16) 15. Bxg7 Rg8 16. Bc3 $16 {and white a converted their extra pawn and bishop pair into the full point in 1-0 (16) Krasenkow,M (2575)-Magomedov,M (2455) Dhaka 1995 CBM 048 [Ftacnik,L]}) 8. Nxc5 Qa5+ {black is regaining their pawn, now white has their choice in continuations, in either case the onus is on black to prove they can defend a slightly worse position} 9. Qd2 $5 {an interesting move, white plans to meet ...Qxc5 with a3 and b4 gaining a tempo to develop with Bb2 and target the d pawn} ({The natural} 9. Bd2 {ia also playable, and very promising. white looks to use black's queen to gain some time for their development} Qxc5 10. Rc1 $1 Qb6 $1 (10... Qd5 11. Bc3 $1 $16) 11. e3 $1 Nf6 ( 11... Bg4 12. Bc4 $14) (11... Qxb2 $6 {is too greedy}) 12. Bc4 $1 {a tabiya for the line, black has tried a of things here, but white seems maintain a normal opening edge} dxe3 $5 (12... O-O 13. O-O Be6 $5 (13... Bg4 14. exd4 Rad8 15. Bc3 $14 {1-0 (31) Sandipan,C (2628)-Vucicevic,M (2313) Lugano 2013}) (13... dxe3 $6 14. Bxe3 Qa5 15. Bc5 $1 Re8 16. Qb3 Qc7 17. Ng5 Ne5 18. Bxf7+ Nxf7 19. Bb4 Qf4 20. Qxf7+ Kh8 21. Be7 Bg4 22. Bxf6 Qxf6 23. Qxf6 gxf6 24. Nf7+ Kg7 25. Rc7 Kg6 26. Nd6 Re2 27. Rxb7 $16 {1-0 (99) Gustafsson,J (2636)-Fiebig,T (2401) Germany 2015}) 14. Bxe6 fxe6 15. exd4 Nxd4 16. Nxd4 Qxd4 17. Qe1 $14 { Rybka-Hannibal Trier 2011}) 13. Bxe3 Qb4+ 14. Qd2 $5 (14. Bd2 Qe7+ 15. Be2 O-O 16. O-O $14 {1/2-1/2 (22) L'Ami,E (2615)-Aagaard,J (2506) Helsingor 2012}) 14... Qxd2+ 15. Kxd2 $1 O-O (15... Be6 16. Bxe6 fxe6 17. Ke2 Nd5 18. Rhd1 Nxe3 19. Kxe3 {+/=/=}) 16. Rhd1 Ng4 17. h3 Rd8+ 18. Ke2 Nxe3 19. Kxe3 {white's king gets very active in return for their bishop} Re8+ 20. Kf4 Be6 21. Bxe6 Rxe6 22. Rd7 Re7 23. Rxe7 Nxe7 24. Ke5 Rd8 25. Rc7 $14 {1-0 (39) Hildebrand,G (2383) -Andersen,J (2198) ICCF email 2012}) 9... Qxc5 10. a3 $1 {white prepares b4 and Bb2, see the example games} (10. e3 {simplifying into an endgame with the bishops has also been tried by strong players} dxe3 11. Qxe3+ Qxe3+ 12. Bxe3 Nge7 (12... Be6 13. Bb5 Nge7 14. Nd4 Bd5 15. O-O O-O 16. Rfd1 Rfd8 {+/=/= ½-½ (59) Ivanchuk,V (2729)-Grischuk,A (2717) Monte Carlo 2006}) 13. Bb5 (13. Bc4 $5 O-O 14. O-O Bg4 15. Ng5 $1) 13... O-O 14. O-O Be6 15. Nd4 Nxd4 16. Bxd4 Nc6 17. Bxc6 (17. Bc3 $5) 17... bxc6 {1/2-1/2 (17) Alekhine,A-Rubinstein,A Hastings 1922}) 10... -- ({black can't prevent b4 with} 10... a5 11. b4 $1 { the pawn is immune, the queen must go} Qb6 (11... Qd5 12. Bb2 axb4 13. axb4 Rxa1+ 14. Bxa1 Qe4 15. Qb2 Nf6 16. b5 Ne5 17. Nxe5 Qxe5 18. Qxd4 $14) (11... axb4 $2 {would lose as the a line opens with a tempo against black's queen} 12. axb4) 12. Qg5 $1 $14 {[%csl Gg7][%cal Gb4b5] 1-0 (35) Buckley,S (2345) -Milovanovic,A (2255) England 2011}) ({it doesn't help black to remove the Nf3, which attacks their pawn.} 10... Bg4 11. b4 $1 {as planned} Qd5 12. Bb2 O-O-O 13. Rc1 (13. Nxd4 $16 {intending to meet ...Nxd4 with Rd1 was already possible} ) 13... Bxf3 14. exf3 Qe6+ 15. Be2 d3 16. Bxg7 dxe2 17. Qxe2 Qg6 18. Bxh8 Qxg2 19. Rf1 {1-0 (29) Andersen,M (2504)-Kristensen,K (2341) Ballerup 2016}) (10... Nf6 {/\ ...Ne4 is nothing to worry about} 11. b4 $1 Qb6 (11... Qd5 12. Bb2 Ne4 13. Qd3 O-O 14. Nxd4 Ne5 15. Qc2 Nc4 16. e3 Nxb2 17. Qxb2) (11... Qf5 12. Nxd4 Nxd4 13. Qxd4 $16) 12. Bb2 Ne4 13. Qd3 Bf5 (13... Nc5 14. Qc4 Ne6 15. g3 $1 O-O 16. Bg2 Bd7 17. Rc1 $14) 14. Bxd4 $1 Nxd4 15. Qxd4 O-O 16. Qxb6 axb6 17. e3 Rfc8 18. Nd4 Bg6 19. Be2 $16 {1-0 (27) Wochnik,M-Vasyakin,A ICCF corr 1990}) ( 10... Nge7 $1 {this is black's best chance} 11. b4 Qb6 12. Bb2 O-O $1 (12... Nf5 $6 {quickly got black in trouble in the following game:} 13. g4 $1 Nd6 14. Bxd4 Nxd4 15. Qxd4 Qxd4 16. Nxd4 Bxg4 17. Rg1 Bh5 18. Rg5 $1 Bg6 19. Re5+ $16 Kf8 $6 20. Rc1 $18 Rd8 21. e3 f6 22. Ne6+ Ke7 23. Rc7+ Rd7 24. Nc5+ {1-0 (24) Schulze,U (2339)-Barthel,A (2170) Senden 2012}) 13. Bxd4 $1 {white must capture with tempo to avoid being pinned} (13. Nxd4 Rd8) 13... Nxd4 14. Qxd4 Nc6 (14... Rd8 $6 15. Qxb6 axb6 16. e3 Nc6 17. Bc4 Nxb4 18. O-O $14) 15. Qb2 { now black must proove they have enough counterplay for a pawn, white may be able to return it for a favorale position at some point} (15. Qxb6 axb6 16. e3 Nxb4 17. Nd4) 15... a5 16. b5 a4 17. e3 Na5 (17... Qa5+ 18. Nd2 {Qd2+/=} Ne7 19. Bc4 $14) (17... Rd8 18. Be2 Qa5+ 19. Kf1 $1 Qb6 20. h4 Na5 21. h5 $14) 18. Nd4 Rd8 19. Rd1 Nc6 (19... Nb3 20. Bc4 Qa5+ 21. Ke2 Bg4+ 22. f3 Nxd4+ 23. Rxd4 Rxd4 24. Qxd4 Rd8 25. Qb2 Qc7 26. Qa2 $14) 20. Be2 Qa5+ 21. Qd2 $1 (21. Rd2 { 1/2-1/2 (31) Hildebrand,G (2357)-Avchinnikov,V ICCF email 2014}) 21... Nxd4 22. exd4 (22. Qxa5 $6 Nc2+) 22... Qxd2+ (22... Qb6 23. O-O $14) 23. Kxd2 $5 $14 ( 23. Rxd2)) *
A game that I liked (ChessBase 13)
[Event "?"] [Site "?"] [Date "????.??.??"] [Round "?"] [White "?"] [Black "?"] [Result "*"] [SourceDate "2016.03.19"] {WEBSITE UNDER CONSTRUCTION} 1. g4 e5 2. f3 Qh4# {PLEASE EXCUSE MY BLUNDERS!} *