|Moves||1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nf3 Nf6 4.Nc3 Be7 5.Bg5 h6 6.Bh4 O-O 7.e3 b6|
|Named after||Savielly Tartakower|
|Parent||Queen's Gambit, Neo-Orthodox|
The Tartakower Defense is a chess opening characterized by the moves:
The Tartakower Defense is the most popular reply to the Neo-Orthodox variation of the QGD. This system was popularized by Savielly Tartakower, who also helped orchestrate many other openings, including the Bayonet Attack or Tartakower Variation of the Staunton Gambit.
The Point of the Tartakower is to fianchetto the light squared bishop (as opposed to developing it to the passive d7 square), and preparing c5 to destabilize white's center and take advantage of the uncastled white king. Because of this, most of white's responses center around the c4-d5 tension, which most often results in white taking the d-pawn immediately, developing the light bishop, and castling.
The Tartakower hasn't reached top-level games, as not many grandmasters play the QGD, Neo Orthodox Main Line. However, when it does come up, many notable players keep the Tartakower in their toolbelt, including Magnus Carlsen, Anish Giri, and others.
The most popular reply, white would prefer to execute a mass simplification on their terms. Possible continuations:
- 8...Nxd5 9.Bxe7 Qxe7 10. Nxd5 exd5
- 8...exd5 9.Bd3 Bb7 10. O-O c5
Here white allows black to play c5, with the intention of castling. Black doesn't usually play c5 because of the advantage white would get in the center, and instead focuses on putting pressure on white's center. Possible continuations:
- 8...Bb7 9. O-O Nbd7 10. Rc1 c5
- 8...dxc4 (forcing the light bishop to move twice) 9.Bxc4 Bb7 10.O-O
Planting the rook on the soon-to-be open c-file. The drawback is that this move is very passive and gives options for black, meaning it's rare to see at higher level games. Most games continue:
- 8...Bb7 9. Bd3 Nbd7 10. O-O
Using the same strategy at 8.Rc1, but instead using the queen. This move isn't popular above intermediate level, however, as it removes a defender of the d-pawn for little gain. Most often, black tries to undermine white's center quickly with the King still in the center and the queen on an awkward square. Possible continuations:
- 8...Bb7 9.Bxf6 Bxf6 10.cxd5 exd5 11.O-O-O
- 9.cxd5 exd5 10.Bd3 Nc6
- 9.dxc5 bxc5 10.Rd1 Bb7
- 9.Rd1 cxd4 10.exd4 Bb7
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