Trounce ’em with the Tartakower

I wonder how many of you guess that ‘T’ would be the Trompowsky or ‘Tromp’ (1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5). Sorry to disappoint you but I’ve gone instead for the ultra-respectable Tartakower-Bondarevsky-Makogonov Variation of the Queen’s Gambit Declined, with 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Be7 4. Nf3 Nf6 5. Bg5 O-O 6. e3 h6 7. Bh4 b6. Pioneered by Saveilly Tartakower and then further developed by the other two gentlemen, this high quality defense has been a favourite of champions. For Boris Spassky in particular it was his Sunday best opening vs. 1.d4 and it also found favour with Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov and Garry Kasparov. Black solves the problem of his Queen’s Bishop with a queenside fianchetto, first playing …h7-h6 so as to capture on d5 with a knight and then not lose a tempo should White create a battery against h7 with Bf1-d3 and Qd1-c2.

Very often Black contracts ‘hanging pawns’ on d5 and c5, but these are not a problem as long as he has his pieces on the right squares. This game of Bobby Fischer illustrates Tartakower themes very well. Black gets the characteristic hanging pawns and then generates massive pressure along the b-file.

Nigel Davies

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Author: NigelD

Nigel Davies is an International Chess Grandmaster and FIDE Senior Trainer living in St. Helens in the UK. He works as a chess coach and author and Nigel runs the Tiger Chess Academy which has articles, recommendations, a monthly clinic, videos, courses and a regular blog. His students include his 18 year old son Sam who is making rapid progress with his game. Nigel has written a number of chess books that are available at Amazon: View all posts by NigelD

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