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LCB, Issue #099 --, Combat the French Defense in the Tarrasch
September 01, 2023

Combat the French Defense in the Tarrasch

Lapoc Chess Board, Issue #099 -- GOTM #69

learn and play online chess
How do you feel when you go online to play a game of chess and your opponent plays the French Defense (1.e4 e6, usually followed by 2.d4 d5)? You're hoping he's not an expert on the French.

There are a few variations you can try, the Exchange Variation (3.exd5), the Advance Variation (3.e5) and the Paulsen Variation (3.Nc3 where the game might go into the Winawer Variation (3...Bb4)) are good options. But the option we're going to talk about today is the Tarrasch Variation (3.Nd2).

This month's game features such an opening. Per Ofstad of Norway took on Wolfgang Uhlmann in Saalfeld Saale in 1963.

Combat the French Defense in the Tarrasch

Ofstad, Per - Uhlmann, Wolfgang [C07]

GotM #69, Saalfeld Saale, 1963
[Connaughton, Ken]


King's Pawn Game


French Defense

2.d4 d5 3.Nd2

Tarrasch Variation


Open Variation

4.exd5 Qxd5 5.Ngf3 cxd4

Game position after 5...cxd4

After the exchanges Black has a Queen in the center. He also has two pawns in the d and e-files while White has none. White is leading in development however and he will win further tempi against the vulnerable Black Queen.

6.Bc4 Qd6 7.0-0 Nc6 8.Re1 a6 9.a4 Qc7

Game position after 9...Qc7

Black releases some of his grip on d4 so as to give his dark square Bishop some room.

10.Ne4 Bd7 11.Nxd4 Be7

Black is still well behind in development and now White is ready to exploit his advantage.


Game position after 12.Nf5!

Sacrificing the Knight to tear open the cover in front of Black's still central King.


The sacrifice is accepted and now White can subject Black to real pressure through a number of tactical ideas.


The Bishop is pinned of course and does not pose a threat to the Knight.

13...Kf8 14.Nxf7

Game position after 14.Nxf7

Not only is the King compromized but the Rook is trapped.

14...Be8 15.Qd5

White wants much more than the Rook.

15...Qa5 16.Qe6 Nd4

Black is scrambling well, he tries to chase the Queen off the light diagonal before White has a chance to get her to f7.


Game position after 17.Ng5!?

An interesting continuation


Black supposes he can afford to take the material but this moves loses quickly.

(17...Nxe6 18.Nxe6+ Kf7 19.Nf4+ Kf8=)

18.Qd6+ Be7 19.Rxe7

Game position after 19.Rxe7

And with the end inevitable, Black surrenders.

(19.Rxe7 Nxe7 20.Qf6+ gxf6 (20...Bf7 21.Qxf7#)21.Bh6#)


Ofstad, Per - Uhlmann, Wolfgang

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