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|Author / Authors||Alexey Bezgodov|
|Publisher||New In Chess|
|Publication date||November 1, 2017|
How should one solve the problem of the black pieces? In our day, it is a real practical necessity to develop rare, little-explored continuations, so that the effect of surprise will allow one to play for a win. But you have to know how to do it. There are some variations, which have plenty of surprise effect, but the weaknesses of which are simply so obvious that a strong opponent will be able to solve his problems even over the board. Then the surprise effect is liable to rebound on you. One needs great positional foundations, to avoid such problems.
The Tarrasch Defence is one of the most principled and positionally based defences. At least one black pawn remains in the centre for the long term and Black also has no difficulties with his development. In most cases, he manages to castle quickly and effectively. One very important thing is that White generally does not obtain any sort of space advantage. He does not usually get the chance for quiet, unhurried play to strengthen his advantage, as often happens in quieter variations of the Queen’s Gambit.
For many years, lots of people (both people I know and strangers) have asked me to write a book on the Tarrasch, and now the time has come. The book I am presenting is not quite an opening monograph as such, more a unique journey around this opening.
The deeply-analysed games do not pretend to cover all possible ideas and variations. This would simply be unrealistic – such a book would be too large and cumbersome for the reader. I have tried above all to convey my own experience of studying the opening, to pass on my own doubts, discoveries, my pleasant and not so pleasant experiences. I have done this so as to share with the reader all these riches, although it is not for me ultimately to judge their true worth. Everything that I could possibly do has been done to neutralise those variations which, it seems to me, might present any danger to Black. In the process, I have tried to avoid long and excessively complicated or fanciful variations.
I hope that this book will be read with unhurried pleasure, just as in a restaurant one can enjoy one’s favourite dishes. My 30-year experience in this great opening is before you.
I first met Boris Vasilievich Spassky, one of the ‘giants’ of the Tarrasch who features prominently in The Art of the Tarrasch Defence, in January 2005 at a session of the Spassky School in Satka. He still maintained excellent health and was keenly interested in developments in chess. Spassky was perfectly aware that without his match with Petrosian, the fate of the
Tarrasch Defence would have been different, and was aware of the latest developments. Against the Kasparov System he considered 12.♕b3, the move Karpov played against Kasparov in their 1984 World Championship match (Game 109 in this book), to be the main danger for Black. In his
view, after other options Black’s defence was much easier. He was skeptical of the move 17...♗h5 in the same system, which I had played in my games against Temirbaev and Iskusnyh (in spite of the fact that both games ended in a draw) – he thought this dynamic move was not good enough for
equality. But he approved of 17...d4 – see Game 110 in this book. Spassky predicted a very prosperous future for the Tarrasch Defence, especially the 9...cxd4 system.
I should like to offer my heartfelt thanks to my publisher, and also to my friends Vladimir Barsky and Nikolai Ponomariov, for their invaluable assistance in the work on this book, as well as in life generally. I should also like to thank the late GM Alexander Lastin, and IM Vladimir Genba, for their excellent games, in which my limited training success is seen.
Khanty-Mansiysk, October 2017
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