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The Semi-Tarrasch Defence - Vol. 1

240 pages, paperback, Caissa Chess Books, 1. edition 2010.

Incl. 7% Tax, excl. Shipping Cost

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International Grandmaster Jozsef Pinter is now the leading theoreti­cian in Hungary. He was Hungarian Champion in 1978 and 1979. He played three times in the Interzonal Final. In a game of him against Kasparov, even the then active world champion had to struggle hard to achieve the draw. He is the captain of the Hungarian Olympic Chess Team. The leading teacher of the Maroczy Chess school, he has educated a large number of young talents.

In this book, he deals with one of the most popular openings of to­day, the Semi-Tarrasch Defence. Within the framework of 64 games, he surveys the whole opening, examining some deviations very pro­foundly, spicing them with not only variations but also with textual explanations.

He is dealing at great length with the subject of 'isolated pawn', which plays an important part in this opening, quoting Dr Siegbert Tarra­sch's words: "Whoever is afraid of playing with an isolated queen pawn should give up chess."

This is an essential handbook for all those who want to gain an insight into the mysteries of this very interesting opening.


This book attempts to give a survey of the Improved Tarrasch De­fence, not restricting the analysis to the initial stage of the game, but allowing insight into the mysteries of the middle and endgame, too.

The Improved Tarrasch Defence has been, and still is, one of my favourite openings. In the 70s, under the influence of Robert Fi­scher, we had closely studied the then very fashionable defence. Our joint analyses with grandmasters Ivan Farago and Peter Lukacs hold good even nowadays, though some of them have become out­dated by now. In the book I used all literature I could find, as well as works published on the internet, naturally supplementing them with my own analyses.

Within the framework of 64 games I survey the whole opening, examining some deviations very profoundly, spicing them with not only variations but also with textual explanations. As for the less important ones, I deal with them only briefly, with few annotations. I sketch out the middle and end games arising after the opening in full games.

With the subject of 'isolated pawn', which is one of the most dif­ficult problems of the strategy and tactics of chess, I am dealing at great length.

Dr Siegbert Tarrasch once said: "Whoever is afraid of playing with an isolated queen pawn should give up chess." Savielly Tartakower was of the opinion: "An isolated pawn spreads gloom across the whole board." Which of the two was correct?

Both, in my opinion! In many positions the IQP contributes to its possessor's launching a furious attack, in others it is the main cause of defeat. The fact is that in almost all World Championship matches, positions with isolated pawns have played an important role. Studying positions with isolated pawns intensively is not only great fun, but it also improves one's strategical understanding as well as one's ability to spot tactics. In short, it raises one's playing strength!

I examine the opening I'm dealing with from the point of view of both White and Black. This book therefore does not offer a pa­nacea, a wonder variation, it does not promise a forced getting from the opening move to checkmate; no, instead it wishes to illustrate subtly and in a complex manner the plans, efforts and typical motifs of both White and Black.

Examining the transitions is also important, since the Improved Tarrasch Defence can also arise by transpositions from many other openings, such as Caro-Kann Defence, Nimzo-Indian Defence, Queen's Gambit Accepted, English Opening, Sicilian Defence, and some deviations of the Queen's Indian Defence. From this it follows that you can, at the same time, gain a better survey of various sys­tems.

Jozsef Pinter

International Grandmaster

Language English
Author Pintér, József
Publisher Caissa Chess Books
Edition 1.
Medium Book
Weight 300 g
Width 14.5 cm
Height 20 cm
Pages 240
ISBN-13 9789638792822
Year of Publication 2010
Binding paperback

007 Foreword

009 (1) P. Keres - R. Fine

021 (2) L. Polugaevsky - M. Tal

029 (3) J. Lautier - J. Pinter

032 (4) B. Gulko - A. Yusupov

037 (5) T. Petrosian - V. Korchnoi

043 (6) J. Lautier - R. Kasimdzhanov

052 (7) O. Gschnitzer - Z. Ribli

055 (8) J. Pinter - A. Groszpeter

057 (9) E. Lundin - L. Pachman

075 (10) V. Kramnik - P. Van der Sterren

086 (11) L. Portisch - J. Pinter

089 (12) A. Yusupov - Z. Ribli

093 (13) B. Kelly - D. Lima

095 (14) W. Browne - J. Pinter

100 (15) P. Peev - J. Pinter

102 (16) L. Spassov - J. Pinter

104 (17) V. Kramnik - J. Lautier (Belgrade 1995)

109 (18) V. Kramnik - J. Lautier (Horgen 1995)

112 (19) V. Filippov - M. Krasenkov

116 (20) A. Kolev - J. Pinter

121 (21) G. Agzamov - M. Tal

139 (22) Z. Ribli - J. Pinter

143 (23) Bu Xiangzhi - J. Polgar

154 (24) I. Bilek - J. Flesch

160 (25) B. Larsen - S. Agdestein

167 (26) V. Korchnoi - Z. Sturua

171 (27) A. Groszpeter -I. Farago

174 (28) L. Psakhis - G. Agzamov

182 (29) A. Yusupov - V. Tukmakov

195 (30) V. Korchnoi - L. Portisch

205 (31) L. Polugaevsky - I. Radulov

209 (32) W. Schmidt - L. Portisch

217 (33) V. Korchnoi - R. Huebner

231 (34) V. Korchnoi - L. Brunner

240 Symbols used

The Semi-Tarrasch Defence - Vol. 1