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Malcolm Pein features a rare variation of the Queen’s Gambit in his Daily Telegraph chess column. Time for some Tarrasch Talk.

Malcolm Pein on…Tarrasch Talk

Amidst the carnage of the non-stop high-level battles online, an almost forgotten opening with an unforgettable name appeared in the preliminary stages of the Magnus Carlsen Invitational. The Von Hennig-Schara Gambit was deployed by one of the men of the moment, Jorden Van Foreest, the surprise winner of the Tata Steel Masters at Wijk aan Zee.

The main lines were refuted when computers appeared on the scene, but Van Foreest played it slightly differently and castled kingside, instead of going long and launching an attack with g7-g5.

Back in the day when I had just a few opening books, I recall Leonard Barden recommending this opening and, in passing, giving a nod to the plan of kingside castling. Although the plan probably does not completely equalise, in a Rapid game, White is put on the defensive.

Black is more active, and figuring out a plan to unravel is not so easy, as we see in today’s game.

The Von Hennig-Schara Gambit in Action

D. Anton – J. Van Foreest
Magnus Carlsen Inv Prelim 15+10

1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4 5.Qa4+ Bd7 6.Qxd4 exd5 7.Qxd5 Nf6 8.Qd1 Bc5 9.e3 0–0!? (9…Nc6 10.Nf3 Qe7 11.Be2 0–0–0 12.0–0 g5 13.b4 Bxb4 14.Bb2 is known to be better for White as is 13.a3) 10.Nf3 Qe7 11.Be2 Rd8 12.Qc2 Nc6 13.a3 Rac8 14.0–0 Bd6 15.Bd2 Ne5 16.Rad1 (Not 16.Nxe5 Qxe5 17.g3 Bc6) 16…Bc7 17.Bc1 h5!? (After 17…h6 18.Rfe1 a6 White still has to figure out how to make progress. Not 18…Bc6 19.Nd4)

Tarrasch Talk

18.Nd4 (The computer likes 18.Ng5 g6 19.h3 or 18.Ng5 Ng6 19.f4 Bb6 20.Kh1 Bxe3 21.Rde1) 18…Nc6 19.h3 (If 19.Nf3 Ne5) 19…Nxd4 20.Rxd4 Qe5! 21.f4 Qe7 (Black is fine now, he will win the e3 pawn) 22.Bf3 Bb6 23.Rb4?! Bc6! (23…Bxe3+ 24.Bxe3 Qxe3+ 25.Qf2) 24.Bxc6 Rxc6 (White’s rook is badly placed) 25.Kh1 Ba5 26.Ra4 Bxc3 27.bxc3 b5 28.Rb4 Qc5 29.a4??

Test Your Strength

D. Anton – J. Van Foreest

Black to Play and Win

Highlight the space below this line to reveal the answer.

29…Qxb4 0–1

Play Through the Game

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