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French, Tarrasch (C03)
1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nd2

Number of games in database: 4652
Years covered: 1890 to 2023
Overall record:
   White wins 38.7%
   Black wins 27.9%
   Draws 33.4%

Popularity graph, by decade

Explore this opening  |  Search for sacrifices in this opening.
With the White Pieces With the Black Pieces
Michael Adams  31 games
Michele Godena  31 games
Vlastimil Jansa  23 games
Yury Shulman  42 games
Alfredo Giaccio  41 games
Vereslav Eingorn  36 games
NOTABLE GAMES [what is this?]
White Wins Black Wins
Tal vs Petrosian, 1975
Geller vs Dreev, 1990
Jansa vs D Marovic, 1974
Keres vs Petrosian, 1950
Adams vs Caruana, 2008
K Grossner vs E Budrich, 1949
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 page 1 of 187; games 1-25 of 4,652  PGN Download
Game  ResultMoves YearEvent/LocaleOpening
1. Tarrasch vs Von Scheve ½-½401890ManchesterC03 French, Tarrasch
2. Steinitz vs Marshall 1-0341893Montreal Chess Club, Simul 16bC03 French, Tarrasch
3. Steinitz vs Marshall 1-0261893Heather Chess Club, Simul 18bC03 French, Tarrasch
4. S Ricardo-Rocamora vs N Jasnogrodsky  1-06718942nd City Chess Club TournamentC03 French, Tarrasch
5. W P Shipley vs E Delmar  1-0481897New York State vs PennsylvaniaC03 French, Tarrasch
6. D G Baird vs C Weeks  0-1211899Manhattan CC tC03 French, Tarrasch
7. Pillsbury vs R Raubitschek  1-0291899Blindfold simulC03 French, Tarrasch
8. A Romashkevich vs A Markov 0-1401901corrC03 French, Tarrasch
9. Pittsburgh Gazette / Leader vs H L Dolde  0-1521909Postal ConsultationC03 French, Tarrasch
10. E F Schrader vs J McClure  1-029191415th Western ChampionshipC03 French, Tarrasch
11. Levenfish vs Y Vilner  ½-½451924USSR ChampionshipC03 French, Tarrasch
12. Spielmann vs E Glass  1-0301928ViennaC03 French, Tarrasch
13. Spielmann vs B Lichtenstein  1-0411928ViennaC03 French, Tarrasch
14. Spielmann vs K Havasi 1-0271928BudapestC03 French, Tarrasch
15. Spielmann vs Nimzowitsch ½-½571928BerlinC03 French, Tarrasch
16. V A Vasiliev vs Lilienthal  ½-½641938Trade Unions ChampionshipC03 French, Tarrasch
17. G Kieninger vs L Schmitt  1-0821938German ChampionshipC03 French, Tarrasch
18. I Zdanovs vs M Brakmanis 0-11819387th Latvian congress group BC03 French, Tarrasch
19. V Mikenas vs W Hasenfuss  1-0391939KemeriC03 French, Tarrasch
20. Lisitsin vs Bondarevsky  1-0941939USSR ChampionshipC03 French, Tarrasch
21. Foltys vs G Fuster  1-0501941Trencianske TepliceC03 French, Tarrasch
22. G Kieninger vs H G Lachmann 0-1561941German ChampionshipC03 French, Tarrasch
23. K Prucha vs R Sucha  1-0461943PragueC03 French, Tarrasch
24. Foltys vs K Urbanec  1-0281943PragueC03 French, Tarrasch
25. Alekhine vs S Pavalka  0-1501943Alekhine simC03 French, Tarrasch
 page 1 of 187; games 1-25 of 4,652  PGN Download
  REFINE SEARCH:   White wins (1-0) | Black wins (0-1) | Draws (1/2-1/2)  

Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Oct-04-04  OneArmedScissor: Wouldn't 3. Nc3 transpose into a French Winawer after 3...Bb4 4. e5 ?
Nov-02-04  tomh72000: <Instead of playing 3. Nd2, 3. Nc3 is better.> What?! If you're going to say things like that, at least give a reason.
Dec-28-04  rochade18: I have been told that 3.Nd2 is better, but I don't care since any opening has it's pros and cons.
Jan-03-05  themindset: 3.Nc3 is a sharper game, while 3.Nd2 leads to a (generally) more positional game.
Jan-03-05  Dave Murray: According to the graph 3. Nd2 is as popular as it ever was, even more popular than it it was in late 70s, early 80s when Karpov was playing it.
Jan-03-05  Dave Murray: Oh yeah, and the rise of populatiy in playing 3...Be7 against Tarrasch could be a sign that Black is not all that great in 3...c5 and 3...Nf6 lines.
Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: Here are some puzzles from C03 miniatures:
Mar-01-09  FiveofSwords: Nd2 is nice, because white retains some initiative, with some attacking chances, leaving some tension in the center...but at the same time he keeps control of the game and has complete control over how much counterplay black can achieve, although if he allows none he generally gets none himself. In this respect its quite similar to an alapin sicilian, and indeed the two openings can transpose in various critical lines.
Mar-01-09  GBKnight: 3Nd2 against the French tends to limit black's options to unbalance the game. He can either play 3...Nf6, which tends to give white chances for an edge after 4e5, or play 3...c5, which was Kamsky's choice against Topalov recently, and which often leads to an IQP position for black, or alternatively bale out with 3...dxe4, which no self-respecting French Defence player would play. 3Nc3 is much more fun to play against, and many white players know it!
Mar-01-09  chessman95: I used to play 3.Nd2 to avoid the annoying Winawer, but now people say it's a bad line for black so nobody plays it anymore, so I went back to 3.Nc3.
Mar-01-09  chessman95: <FiveofSwords>
I didn't know that the Tarrasch French and Alapin Sicilian could transpose. Could you give a few examples?
Mar-02-09  FiveofSwords: well the typical well known way is via the eliksis line of the tarrasch...1 e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nd2 c5 4 ed ed 5 Bb5+ (Nf3 is another way and will tend to transpose) Nc6 6 Nf3 Bd6 7 dc Bxc5 8 0-0 Ne7 9 Nb3 Bd6 and now 10 c3 is a move-not the most common but is logical. Anyway if white doesnt play it yet he often will soon-blacks d5 must be securely blockaded. versus 1 e4 c5 2 c3 e6 3 d4 d5 4 ed ed 5 Nf3 Nc6 6 Bb5 Bd6 7 dc Bxc5 8 0-0 Ne7 9 Nd2 0-0 10 Nb3 Bd6 (unlike the tarrasch line Bb6 is rather playable for black here, but probably no better than Bd6)..the move order for many of these moves is not totally relevant except white should develop his kingside fairly fast to keep black from being able to play Nf6 comfortably (since re1+ would be very hard for him). I also have seen the Nf6 lines of the alapin become positions one would tend to see in the Nf6 line of the french- obviously if black opts to play e6 before Bg4 and odesnt paly the d5 main line, the pawn structure is fairly identical, and piece placement almost identical- only white has not commited Nd2. White probably could transpose with Nd2 in such formations but he often has even mroe promising and aggresive plans involving a fast attack on black's sensitive h7.
Mar-02-09  FiveofSwords: the tarrasch has various lines that can get quite sharp- for one thing, the position is going to open up eventually if white has any ambition at all, and then in a fashion similar to the ruy lopez its extremely complex tactically since the positon is open and absolutely no exchanges of minor or major pieces have yet occured. Also there are many interesting and unclear sidelines for both sides, such as the milner-barry gambit which is well known and also a neat line that goes 1e4 e6 2 d4 d5 3 Nd2 Nf6 4 e5 Nd7 5 Bd3 c5 6 c3 Nc6 7 Ne2 cd 8 cd f6!? 9 Nf4!?
Mar-02-09  MaxxLange: <FiveOfSwords> Isn't the Milner-Barry Gambit a line in the Advance?

A friend of mine became obsessed with that 9 Nf4 line in the Tarrasch. It gets pretty tactical....I think it's good for Black

Mar-04-09  FiveofSwords: Well I think 9 Nf4 can be good for black, certainly, but it has excellent winning chances for both sides. Who has the advantage is hard to say (and in that sense its good for black I suppose). Its rather unclear and its mainly a question of who is better prepared imho. Ive played that line about 20-30 times against decent black players and won every single game. So it can be a formidable weapon under the correct conditions independant of speaking about objective advantages.
Mar-04-09  FiveofSwords: concerning the milner barry I think it also can be reached via the tarrasch, but im not sure if its an exact transposition if its also reachable from the advnace, eg there may be options for one or both sides removed. Im not sure about this. But yes I can see how it might be a transposition because white endups up with knights on f3 and c3 but from the tarrasch they started from the opposite side! heh.
Apr-06-09  drukenknight: Craziest french ever. I'll post the opening part first and see what comments on that:

1. e4 e6
2. d4 d5
3. Nd2 Bd7
4. Bd3 Ne7
5. Ngf3 dxe4
6. Bxe4 Bc6
7. Bd3 Nd5
8. O-O Be7
9. c3 Nf4
10. Bc2 g5

after 10..g5 how to continue this:

click for larger view

Apr-07-09  drukenknight: I might as well continue with this as it's fun, the game continues:

11. Nc4 (Be4 is prolly safer)

11... Nxg2
12. Kxg2 g4
13. Nce5 gxf3+ (gets murky here, the crap pc agrees w/ gxf3) 14. Kg1 (Kh1 maybe better) Rg8+
15. Kh1 Bd6

after 15…Bd6 can white hold?

click for larger view

Apr-08-09  Hugh the Drover: Drukenknight, as the last poster, may be a good prelude to honor and lament the apparent loss of the old Drueke pieces from the 1960s, those models of perfection with the Drueke knight being of the smoothest, most definitive form. They have the sharpness of the Linares font, but are three-dimensional.
Jun-04-10  Robin01: 1.e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2 c5 4. Ngf3 Nd7?! -- Black's fourth move seems wrong. How can white take advantage of this? Perhaps there is not any way. Normally black's knight goes to c6. Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.

click for larger view

Jun-04-10  Wyatt Gwyon: 3....Nc6!
May-23-12  DanielBryant: Does anybody have any thoughts on 3...Be7 4.c4? Somebody tried this against me at a tournament this last weekend and it really caught me off guard.
Mar-22-14  FiveofSwords: @danielbryant if anything can catch you offguard then you shouldnt play Be7. Thats a do nothing move. Its fine to play do nothing moves...but you need to have the level of understanding in a position where literally nothing will throw you off your game. There are other moves for black on move 3 that actually have a point and dont do ntohing...try them instead. When you have a point, white is restricted in sound ways to respond.
Premium Chessgames Member
  LandyPJY: FiveofSwords were you really cheating of do you have another account that you use at least? are you going to make a comeback?
Premium Chessgames Member
  LandyPJY: @FiveofSwords
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