Channeling Mark Taimanov: How To Beat The Stonewall Dutch

Channeling Mark Taimanov: How To Beat The Stonewall Dutch

IM hellokostya
Jun 21, 2016, 4:04 PM |

I recently came across a famous game played by Soviet legend GM Mark Taimanov. Taimanov, by the way, is still alive at age 90!

Before going into the game, I wanted to share how I first heard about Taimanov. When I was much younger, around 6 or so, I attended a weekly group lesson with my first chess trainer, Alexey Potievsky. We called him Alek back then.

The group was mixed, with players aged 6-16, and ranged from complete beginners to about 1500. Every week Alek would lecture on famous games in history and award points to students if they could guess the next move in the game. Because of the varied level within the class, Alek made sure to also tell stories about the chess greats of the past. His stories made the lessons enjoyable and interesting for all.

Kostya, back in the day

One day Alek introduced us to Mark Taimanov. Alek mentioned that Taimanov was a great player who is most famous for losing 6-0 to Bobby Fischer in their 1971 Candidates Match in Vancouver. Immediately we started to joke, "Well, it doesn't take a great player to lose to Fischer 6-0, anyone can do that!!"

Of course, since then I've seen a few of Taimanov's best games and combinations. Fairly recently I came across the following gem, played by a 23-year-old Taimanov.

Seeing this game just a few days ago (I believe for the first time), I was immediately reminded of one of my finer wins. An 18-year-old Kostya played this game back in 2011.
I thought the similarities between the two games were quite obvious, and I wanted to share them with you. So to beat the Stonewall Dutch, all you need to do is open the c-file, double rooks, and sac your queen!