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I was wondering if anyone knew of some viable black lines for this opening.
I've been looking at 3 ... h6 and 3 ... a6. 3 ... h6 seems fairly popular now, but is this really a solid answer to the issue?
The main line for a closed game seems more to my liking, but it still seems like black gets the raw end.
Have gone back to 3...Nf6 4e5 Nd7 5c3 c5 6Bd3 Nc6 7Ne2 pxp 8pxp f6 9. pxp Nxp 100.0 Bd6 11Nf3 Qc7 White has the standard plan of Bg5-h4-g3 to exchange black's good bishop, and then try make something of weak e5 square. Black has reasonable prospects making use of Rxf3 exchange sac at appropriate moment, and activating bad bishop with bd7-e8-h5. 6f4 and 9Nf4 are the other major lines need to know something about.
Is there a reason you are looking to play ...P-R3, JohnEricDavis?
Thanks for taking the time for the great answer TwoMove, I'm going to look those over a bit later and post here again my thoughts just in case someone else comes along with the same question. I really appreciate you taking the time to help me out.
As far as why I'm looking at this P-R3, the Tarrasch variation got thrown at me for the first time since I started spending a fair amount of my time again on chess. So I realized it was something I needed to learn a bit more about at the very least as it seemed at first to be an odd move, but in retrospect after studying it a bit looked interesting.
I looked over the main lines and a few other random ones. The database here showed the common lines turning up high on loses for black, but after this post on examining the positions and reading a few articles their ending positions only showed slight white advantages if any. So I read a bit and picked an interesting and current line that shows up a lot in 2007ish-2011 that had good win ratio and an interesting postion. I went looking at P-R3 because I had read somewhere it was fairly popular recently in GM games and I enjoyed the idea behind it as a possible surprise line to throw out if I thought it might suit me. From what I understand it is an attempt to invalidate whites centre control by planning later to push P-QN5 to threaten the knight there and run at his king side castle while giving up your king side castle, keeping the king in centre. Possibly even attempting to open up that white bishop.
Its kinda when he plays his knight to his queen file he says "You wanna play positional closed french? Ok, lets go." And then I come back throwing some weird tactics in out of nowhere moving the game away a bit from the slight positional advantage he seeks to gain by undermining its goal. Seemed like a fun line to play now and then when it fit ;).
On the otherhand, I do enjoy the main line of the closed Tarrach now that I've managed to get a few games of it under my belt.
I played the 3 ...Nf6 line vs the Tarrasch for 19 years against all levels of opposition, OTB and postal. My experience was that when I managed to get in ...e6-e5, even at the cost of a pawn, the game turned in my favor.
I also have played 3...Nf6 against the tarrasch for decades and the line I hate seeing most is 4 e5 Nfd7 5 f4 ! This line has always given me fits and still does....
Some Giants of the french defense liked 3....c5 against the Tarrasch, including Botvinnik, Petrosian and Korchnoi but I just dont like the IQP positions that often come from this.
I agree with reb, though there is one line in the e5 nfd7 bd3 that I love/hate for black.
I am surprised to hear this! I thought 5.f4 was slightly inferior to c3 or Bd3, as black can easily maintain persistant pressure with c5, Nc6 and Qb6. I'm not saying 5.f5 is a lemon or anything, just that it seems to simplify the question of a 'game plan' for black....... But of course making it a winning game plan is another problem.
If white knows what doing is probably the best, because black can be squashed with no space. The drawback for white's point of view is getting behind in development, so needs concrete knowledge. Not usally a club players strength.From black's point of view, usually has to sac something on e5 to avoid that fate. c3 ,bd3, and ne2 is nice easy devolopment for white, but is quite comfortable for black too.
So the "univeral system" with early Ng-f3 is becoming white's main try, with even players like Michael Adams suporting it. White has to be prepared to sac d-pawn. Lines like Pelik's above are typical black responses.