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The Independent Online
I was very rude yesterday about the appallingly pompous and pedantic Dr Siegbert Tarrasch. Today I hope to restore the reputation of that fine and perceptive player.

At his worst, Tarrasch was perhaps the most dogmatic of all great writer- players. His book Dreihundert Schachpartien (300 chess games) is one of the most instructive games collections ever compiled, yet Tarrasch's annotations are a model of pedantry.

Like all great players, however, Tarrasch showed in his games an innate understanding of when the rules ought to be broken. His best games are fine combinations of imagination and cold logic. In his writings, however, Tarrasch uses all the prescience of hindsight to downplay the imaginative side.

In the following game, Tarrasch moves his rook from f1 to e1 then back again, gives himself a bad bishop, insists on keeping the pawn structure blocked although he has bishop against knight, then crushes through with a winning attack. The whole strategy is justified by the position of the bad bishop on a3, controlling f8 and preventing Black's rooks from contesting the f-file.

With 33.Qg3 threatening e6, and 36.h4 forcing Kf8, the final attack is most elegant. At the end 38...Ne7 loses to 39.Bxe7+ Qxe7 40.Rg8+, while 38...Ke8 is killed by 40.Qb7.

White: Siegbert Tarrasch

Black: Karl Schlechter

Vienna 1898

1 e4 e5 20 Kh1 Kh8

2 Nf3 Nf6 21 Rg1 Rg8

3 Nc3 Nc6 22 Rbf1 a5

4 Bb5 Bb4 23 g4 g6

5 0-0 0-0 24 c3 Rab8

6 d3 Bxc3 25 Rg2 b4

7 bxc3 d6 26 cxb4 axb4

8 Re1 Bd7 27 gxf5 gxf5

9 d4 Nxd4 28 Rxg8+ Qxg8

10 Nxd4 exd4 29 Rg1 Qf7

11 Bxd7 Qxd7 30 Bc1 Rb6

12 cxd4 Rfe8 31 Bd2 Ra6

13 f3 d5 32 Bxb4 Rxa2

14 e5 Qe6 33 Qg3! Nf8

15 Rb1 b6 34 Be7! Ng6

16 Rf1 Nd7 35 Bf6+ Kg8

17 f4 f5 36 h4 Kf8

18 Qf3 a6 37 Qb3! Ra8

19 Ba3! b5 38 Qb4+! 1-0

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