French Tarrasch Part 2 by GM Magesh and GM Arun

French Tarrasch Part 2 by GM Magesh and GM Arun‎

GM thamizhan
11 | Opening Theory

Last week we discussed "Material for Initiative" in the French Tarrasch Variation with a pawn sacrifice on the 9th move. This week we shall see about the other various alternatives for Black.

Our first game is between the 13th World Champion Garry Kasparov and another elite GM Evgeny Bareev. In any given opening it is very important to know which pieces to exchange and which pieces should not be exchanged. As you can see in every opening, exchanges of a few minor pieces occur. In the following game Kasparov had an excellent exchange plan and after a few inaccuracies Black's position collapsed.

Points to note in this game. 1) Black's light-squared bishop problem 2) Black's weak dark squares on the Kingside and the King safety 3) White's exchange plans. One has to remember the above-mentioned points and only then it is possible to suggest any improvements for the Black side.


That was an instructive game from the World Champion. The Caro-Kann was found to get rid of the light-squared bishop problem. It doesn;t mean that the Caro-Kann is correct and the French Defence is wrong. One of my friends used to say Pawns go in front and pieces must stay behind the pawns. This way when the pawns are exchanged the files and diagonals get opened up for the pieces. Anyways they are two different approaches to chess.  

Our next game is between Enamul Hossain a Bangladeshi GrandMaster and P.Magesh Chandran (of course co-author of this article). In this game Magesh came up with a new idea and got rid of the light-squared bishop problem and won a beautiful game.


That was a fine show from Magesh and our next game is between two Czech Super Grandmasters Hracek and Navara. In this game Navara came up with a new idea on move 11. Even though he did not gain an opening advantage out of the novelty, he managed to outplay his opponent in the middlegame. 

In this game White was mainly playing against Black's central break e5 and forgot to create enough counterplay for himself. Suddenly when Black got the central break he was left without any counterchances and later was forced into an inferior position. The theme is "It is not wrong to play against your opponents plan but have a plan for yourself." 

More from GM thamizhan
Deterring Scholastic Chess Cheating

Deterring Scholastic Chess Cheating

How to Improve your Calculation

How to Improve your Calculation