French Defense: Tarrasch Variation

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nd2

In the Tarrasch variation of the French defense - named after German grandmaster Siegbert Tarrasch - White defends the e4 pawn by 3.Nd2. This looks less active, but avoids the pin 3...Bb4 (after 3.Nc3) and maintains the possibility of supporting d4 by playing c2-c3.


  • Solid
  • Tries to maintain the grip
  • Less counterplay for Black


  • Slower development
  • Black can counterattack in the center with 3...c5
  • Less attacking chances than after some alternatives

Famous Practitioners: Michael Adams


Learn The French Defense: Tarrasch And Advance Variations: Model Game

Find the moves in a great attacking game by GM Viktor Korchnoi.
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