The tarrasque is a gigantic lizard-like creature which exists only to eat, kill, and destroy. In most campaign settings, only one tarrasque is said to exist on each world. The tarrasque has a low intelligence and cannot speak. It is neutrally aligned, for despite its violent and savage nature, it lacks the mental capacity to choose between good and evil.
1. e4 e6 2. d4 d5 3. Nd2
Here we have the Tarrasque variation of the French Opening.
The tarrasque knight – camped on d2 – gives White a lot of flexibility. He delays the advance of his e-pawn to e5, doesn’t block the option of c3, and waits for Black to make his move. The kind of opening that positional players enjoy; lots of movement, lots of manouvering, and patient, patient, play to get an advantage.
But White’s strategy does not consider that Black might be slightly drunk.
Provoking the advance of White’s e-pawn. Black has something in mind.
4. e5 Nfd7
Here Black has a “tarrasque” of his own – the knight on d7. The position looks positively advantageous for White, he has a big space advantage. But where one side sees an advantage the other side sees an opportunity. White’s ambitiously advanced pawn is within striking range of “our” tarrasque. Whereas our own timid e-pawn is safely tucked at the back.
Now White is asking for it, because this bishop is too beautifully placed.
The classic counterattack.
And White calmly defends.
“We need more teeth” – cheesily uttered in Jurrasic World.
Black is putting a lot of pressure on d4 and there might even be a queen on b6 soon.
And White is, supremely determined to hold the line.
A second Tarrasque knight – unusually moved to e2, avoiding the routine trip to f3. Just like the first knight, White doesn’t block his f-pawn. He wants to start a very big pawn chain franchise.
Black is now attacking a second target. This time, the head of the pawn chain.
So White defends, and calmly asks, Where is your God now?
Look at all the space he’s got. A fully defended pawn chain, a strongly placed light squared bishop. In fact, White is already anticipating future growth. He will accept trades on e5 and d5, then shuffle his tarrasques to strategic squares. And then squash Black with the monsters he created.
This is White’s dream position: cxd4 9. cxd4 Be7 10. 0-0 0-0 11. Nc3 fxe5 12. fxe5 b6 13. Nf3 Bb7
In this position, which didn’t happen in the game, White has all the trump cards. His pieces are well placed, there is no attack on his pawns. Black’s kingside is under pressure, black’s pieces lack scope. All this is the result of White’s early space advantage. The tarrasque is ready to step out of his lair, and stomp on the world.
cxd4 9. cxd4
The first set of trades go strictly according to plan. White has broken the siege on d4.
fxe5 10. fxe5
But the second set of trades is happening too soon. What is Black playing at?
By failing to insert Be7 first, is Black forfeiting the right to castle? The open f-file means that White can 0-0 first, which will then prevent Black from doing the same.
Well there’s a good explanation for it. Black is drunk. And in a state of inebriation, the next move to play is…
Bring it on we’re not afraid of losing our knight for a measly pawn! Never mind that a pawn is worth one whereas a knight is worth three. Right now we can even count up to potato. This tarrasque is not going to develop.
White is forced to accept the gift. And the point is revealed – White’s knight has been distracted from the defence of g3.
Why the hell is g3 important? Black hasn’t even attacked it the whole game! Well because…
White would have preferred his knight to go to g3. Pawn on g3 weakens the kingside, and oops. One tarrasque knight is loitering in a danger zone.
Snapped up by the queen. And now, it is Black who has the advantage, simply being one pawn up and no pieces down and White’s king safety has been blown to bits.
White uses his second Tarrasque to evict the queen. Cute.
I’m not going home! The party has just started…
Get me another.
White shields the check. But he missed something…
White’s well positioned light square bishop never realizes his dream of storming the Black castle. Because he got mugged by an angry drunk clutching a beer bottle and sent to the ER but died before the doctors got to him because Obamacare.
White retains piece balance by capturing the recklessly aggressive Black one. Now things don’t look so bad. Sure White’s a piece down. But surely Black will do a queen trade now. White has still got his space advantage, Black has some dark square weaknesses. Not too shabby for the loss of a pawn, if White can get back to his deeply positional game.
Not so fast, Black replies.
I still have to send some drunk texts to an ex.
To White’s horror, his king has been forced to take a walk, naked.
While the well-laid plans of exploiting Black’s dark square weaknesses evaporate, because White’s dark square bishop is dead.
White tries using a more reliable steed, the Tarrasque knight. It attacks Black’s e6 pawn.
But this leaves open the king, who is still naked.
Black castles as part of a vicious attacking move. White has no time to do something like Nxe6, or Qh5.
18. Kg2 Rf5
Not bothering to defend the e6 pawn. Instead it is truth or dare and White is dared to take it.
The tarrasque takes the bait. A living engine of death and destruction, but severely lacking in intelligence.
The tarrasque was holding e4 just a moment ago, but it is now distracted. This lets Black re-enter with the queen like a meteorite.
Unfortunately, White traded away the f-pawn long ago, in pursuit of some grand strategic plan. He could really use an f-pawn now. It would have given his King some cover.
But a storm is coming Master Wayne.
Qe3+ 21. Kg2 Rf2+ 22. Kh3 Qh6+
Remarkably, Black has made eight queen moves in this game!
This is the White King’s only square.
The final move of the game. Black eliminates the space advantage White has tried so hard to build throughout this game. As for the tarrasque – we’re leaving it alone.
In the 4th edition version of the game, the tarrasque cannot be killed; reducing it to 0 hit points causes it to burrow into the core of the earth to slumber for a time (instead of killing it). The only monsters that are more feared in combat are deities, the largest and oldest dragons, certain powerful outsiders (such as demon lords) and epic monsters.