Recycling the Trash

One of my closest and longest-standing chess friends, around 2200 strength, has all his life been a fervent lover of the Tarrasch Defence to the QGD: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5. Tarrasch advocated this as the only correct way to defend the Queen’s Gambit, arguing that the free piece play that Black gets after the pawn exchange on d5 outweighs his isolated pawn. After Schlechter and Rubinstein developed the plan of putting White’s bishop on g2, most top players decided the “Trash” was not really correct, and it faded from popularity. However, it has attracted occasional support at the highest level. Boris Spassky used it as a key weapon in his victorious world championship match against Petrosian in 1969, scoring a series of draws and one win, with no losses. Some 13 years later, Kasparov also took it up, and was highly successful with it, at least until he ran into Karpov.

At the time of writing, the Trash has rarely looked in better theoretical shape, and is well worth a try, if you like open piece play and are not afraid of an IQP. Last week’s column showed the downsides of the latter; by way of balance, here is an example of the IQP showing its teeth.

Steve Giddins