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Wandering Tour through the Traxler Counterattack
Compiled by tak traxler
--*--

This is a guided tour through some representative lines, ideas and mistakes in this sharp opening. It's an unusual opening in that black offers his rook to be sacrificed in move 4. Rarely seen in major tournaments, its' wild exciting play makes it a favorite in correspondence play, skittles games, youth chess and independent study.

These first four moves are the Traxler Counterattack 1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6
4. Ng5 Bc5

Normally followed by 5. Nxf2+,5. Bxf2+ and occasionally 5.d4.

Others have said about the Traxler

It may not be entirely accurate when held up to the light of heavy computer analysis - Heisman

One must note that even experienced masters, trying to punish Black's too active play in the opening, are often overimpressed by White's great material advantage and lose their objectivity; sometimes they also show their incompetence in the field of book theory.- Estrin

5. Nxf7 is followed by Bxf2+ !?. White here makes important decisions that direct the course of the game.

o Take the bishop 6. Kxf7 and upon 6...Ne5+ white's reasonable next moves are either 7.Kg1,Ke3 Possible but not as good are Kf1,Ke1,Ke2

o Decline the offer of the bishop with 6...Kf1 (worst is Ke2 due to Ng5+ seen in the Reinish/Traxler Game)

6.Kxf2 Nxe4+ is normally followed by Black creating complications for White while White looks to gain material my Nxh8.

Reoccuring Themes in the Traxler games are Black plays for the initiative developing with threating moves, checks,combinations and sacrifices. White must play very accurately in order to find King Safety and struggles to get his pieces developed. Whites Knight on H8 is out of the action for the immediate future and his queenside pieces are often left on their original squares. This often leads to minatures,Queen traps, King marches, creative mating nets, unusual checkmates.

5.Bxf7+ is considered sounder for white without as many complications. In my view it is much harder for black to play against. Beliavksy played this line as black against Anand and won.

Here is a link that speaks to refuting the traxler and some refuting the refutations 8)

http://mysite.verizon.net/vzesz4a6/...

This Chess Column speaks to the original game by Karel Traxler

http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/w...

Also Dan Heisman created a great interactive CD on the Traxler with tons of games,analysis and I recommend it to anyone interested in this interesting line.

This is a black forced draw line not on the chessgames site.

Event "Wittlich"
Site "Wittlich"
Date "1980.??.??"
Round "9"
White "Diehl, Klaus"
Black "Dietzsch, Herbert"
Result "1/2-1/2"
ECO "C57"
PlyCount "26"
EventDate "1980.??.??"

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5 5. Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6. Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7. Kg1 Qh4 8. g3 Nxg3 9. Nxh8 Nd4 10. hxg3 Qxg3+ 11. Kf1 Qf4+ 12. Kg1 Qg3+ 13. Kf1 Qf4+ 1/2-1/2

(this is a work in process and hope to update and improve this soon) I also have a number of my traxler games on my blog site

http://takchess.blogspot.com/

(Followon note:I am finding this line is so tactical and complex, that as I research this much of what I have viewed as firm conclusions and convential wisdom are being questioned through correspondence play and heavy computer analysis. IE. Heisman excellent cd book speaks that 6 . ke2 in the Nxf7 line may not be as bad as I originally thought)

The game that started it all ! Traxler annotates 6 e2 is bad
J Reinisch vs Traxler, 1890  
(C57) Two Knights, 17 moves, 0-1

Traxler once again plays the Traxler( 6. kf1 Qe7)
B Mikyska vs Traxler, 1896 
(C57) Two Knights, 18 moves, 0-1

White King not forced to play Kx B on f2 can play 6 Kf1
S Morrison vs T K Hemingway, 1952 
(C57) Two Knights, 18 moves, 0-1

6 Kf1 this is Y black plays 7 ..d5!!! breaking Bishop cvr on f2
Lum vs Jackson, 1978 
(C57) Two Knights, 9 moves, 1-0

6 Kf1 White should take d5 w/h pwn not bishop due2 Qn trap
G Jamrich vs J Dudas, 1996 
(C57) Two Knights, 21 moves, 0-1

6 Kf1 The Power of Two Knights and a Pawn on the 7th Rank
Babitsky vs G Sapundzhiev, 1964
(C57) Two Knights, 15 moves, 0-1

6 Kf1 2 Knights and 2 Bishops Cover alot of Ground !
Wead vs P Larsson, 1967
(C57) Two Knights, 13 moves, 0-1

6 Kf1 The Power of Two Bishops on the Sixth Rank
Kerner vs A Brinckmann, 1955 
(C57) Two Knights, 15 moves, 0-1

6 Kf1 Smothered Mate
J Kaplan vs Canoromi, 1964 
(C57) Two Knights, 16 moves, 0-1

6 Kf1 After 7. Nxh8 d5 8. exd5 Black can play Nd4
Estrin vs Jiri Nun, 1965 
(C57) Two Knights, 16 moves, 0-1

6 Kf1 After 7. Nxh8 d5 8. exd5 Black can also play 8... Bg4
E Reichmann vs H Ullrich, 1961 
(C57) Two Knights, 19 moves, 0-1

6.Kf1 estrin removal of the guard
S Kurkin vs Estrin, 1966 
(C57) Two Knights, 25 moves, 0-1

6 Kf1 One of the few Whites wins in this line
P Leisebein vs W Pohl, 1990 
(C57) Two Knights, 22 moves, 1-0

6 Kf1 white win again
Andreassen vs F Mueller, 1987 
(C57) Two Knights, 28 moves, 1-0

6 Kf1 Skillfull manovering to create king side mate
Smirnov vs Ulanov, 1955 
(C57) Two Knights, 16 moves, 0-1

6kf1 Nxh8 d5 8. exd5 Nd4 9. d6 mistakenly thought 2refute TCA
Tarakanov vs S Naftalin, 1971 
(C57) Two Knights, 19 moves, 0-1

6.kf1
Abdullaev vs Razmolodin, 1967 
(C57) Two Knights, 13 moves, 0-1

6 kf1 and is walked up the board
R Shankar vs R Forster, 1991 
(C57) Two Knights, 23 moves, 0-1

kf1 and pawn threatening queen move
S Augustat vs K Hentzgen, 1971 
(C57) Two Knights, 19 moves, 0-1

6.kf1
V Sarkisian vs A Shahtahtinsky, 1966 
(C57) Two Knights, 18 moves, 0-1

6.kf1
Lichy vs F Blatny, 1950 
(C57) Two Knights, 10 moves, 0-1

Two Knights Defense, Wilkes-Barre 5.Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6.Kf1
H Otte vs T Bullockus, 1978
(C57) Two Knights, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

6 kf1
K Andre vs P Leisebein, 1989 
(C57) Two Knights, 23 moves, 0-1

6.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7.Kg1 Qh4 8.g3 Nxg3 this is the common continuatio
W Schiller vs P Leisebein, 1988 
(C57) Two Knights, 16 moves, 0-1

KT 7.kg1 bishop removes the king guard taking the queen
Fedyainov vs Tokarev, 1977
(C57) Two Knights, 18 moves, 0-1

KT 7 Kg1 this is what happens if pawn x knight
Niesche vs G Fahnenschmidt, 1955 
(C57) Two Knights, 16 moves, 0-1

5.Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7.Kg1 Qh4 8.Qf1
S Small vs C Van Tilbury, 1990 
(C57) Two Knights, 33 moves, 0-1

KT kg1 Pawns abreast with knight sac
I Manolov vs G Sapundzhiev, 1963 
(C57) Two Knights, 14 moves, 0-1

bf2 kf2 N+ then kg1
I Braskin vs L Simchen, 1989 
(C57) Two Knights, 15 moves, 0-1

5.Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7.Kg1 (forcing a draw)
Mutafov vs G Sapundzhiev, 1967
(C57) Two Knights, 14 moves, 1/2-1/2

unusual line in the king take kg1
S Augustat vs R Walter, 1977 
(C57) Two Knights, 17 moves, 1/2-1/2

NF7 .KT. Kg1
R Wanke vs D Minte, 1985 
(C57) Two Knights, 25 moves, 1/2-1/2

7. kg1 hx Night on f3
Foltys vs Rossolimo, 1950
(C57) Two Knights, 19 moves, 1/2-1/2

7 Kg1
Edmund Adam vs H Schild, 1987 
(C57) Two Knights, 14 moves, 0-1

7, kg1
D Burk vs P Leisebein, 1988 
(C57) Two Knights, 28 moves, 0-1

Beginning of Section 7. Ke3 after White King takes Bf2+ 7..Qe7
R Rehfeld vs A Schneider, 1988 
(C57) Two Knights, 15 moves, 0-1

KT7 Ke3 march forward 7...Qe7
I F Angermann vs A Schneider, 1987 
(C57) Two Knights, 12 moves, 0-1

KT Nxe4+ 7 Ke3 March forward toward death 7..Qe7
Kenneth Williams vs K L Haegg, 1928 
(C57) Two Knights, 11 moves, 0-1

Two knights - King takes, Ke3 7..Qe7
A Froemmel vs W Schneider, 1989 
(C57) Two Knights, 16 moves, 0-1

KT 7 Ke3 The Wildest Traxler King March Win
C Van de Loo vs M Hesseling, 1983 
(C57) Two Knights, 48 moves, 1-0

7 ke3 Qe7
Z Rutka vs J Vesely, 1949 
(C57) Two Knights, 11 moves, 0-1

7 . ke3 mini ( 8 Qf3?)
Jentzch vs Nosotta, 1956 
(C57) Two Knights, 10 moves, 0-1

Two knights - King takes 7. Ke3 Qe7
A Chuiko vs V Borisov, 1983
(C57) Two Knights, 20 moves, 0-1

7. Kf3 Qe7
Wirtz vs G Fahnenschmidt, 1955 
(C57) Two Knights, 20 moves, 0-1

KT7 Ke3 King March to the queen side meets death 7. ..Qh4
J Deco vs J Mikita, 1993 
(C57) Two Knights, 12 moves, 0-1

ktakes Kf3 Qh4 power of Two adjacent Knights on the 6th rank
C M Grider vs F Pratt, 1964 
(C57) Two Knights, 15 moves, 0-1

karpov traxler played with precision Bxf7+ Ke7, Bd5
Karpov vs Beliavsky, 1983 
(C57) Two Knights, 34 moves, 1/2-1/2

BXf7 + Ke7 bd5 beliavsky beats anand as black
Anand vs Beliavsky, 1991 
(C57) Two Knights, 44 moves, 0-1

The Traxler is a Romantic Game played for Entertaining Value
White Rook Youth Club vs Tal, 1970 
(C57) Two Knights, 28 moves, 1/2-1/2

Estrin wins with Bxf7+
Estrin vs M Weiss, 1971 
(C57) Two Knights, 17 moves, 1-0

a Black Bxf7 win
Estrin vs I Zaitsev, 1969
(C57) Two Knights, 19 moves, 0-1

A Fischer Rare White Simul Loss against Bf7+
Fischer vs R Henry / R Thacker, 1964 
(C57) Two Knights, 31 moves, 0-1

BXf7 black win
Potolea vs D Gedult, 1974 
(C57) Two Knights, 16 moves, 0-1

Bxf7
H Baer vs S Augustat, 1970 
(C57) Two Knights, 12 moves, 0-1

5. Bxf7
G Baier vs P Leisebein, 1986
(C57) Two Knights, 22 moves, 0-1

5. Bxf7+
Friedrich vs P Leisebein, 1987 
(C57) Two Knights, 13 moves, 0-1

5.bxf7+
G Degli Eredi vs P Leisebein, 1988
(C57) Two Knights, 26 moves, 0-1

Bxf7+
E Matula vs P Leisebein, 1988 
(C57) Two Knights, 10 moves, 0-1

forced draw if Nxh8 Nd4 10. hxg3 Qxg3+ 11. Kf1 Qf4+ 12. Kg1 Qg3
Kupreichik vs A Butnorius, 1970 
(C57) Two Knights, 19 moves, 1/2-1/2

Bxf1 and forced queen trade wins for white
S Augustat vs G Stayart, 1971 
(C57) Two Knights, 15 moves, 1-0

white doesn't take on f7 but plays d3 an odd continuation
M Thunert vs R Andrae, 1990 
(C57) Two Knights, 14 moves, 1-0

5. b4 played in the middle of the Traxler
Hardy vs J T Farrand, 1956 
(C57) Two Knights, 18 moves, 0-1

6 kf1
Cosling vs P Murray, 1958 
(C57) Two Knights, 13 moves, 0-1

7 kg1
M Krc vs G Engelhardt, 1965 
(C57) Two Knights, 20 moves, 0-1

7 Kg1
O Neikirch vs Halir, 1968 
(C57) Two Knights, 13 moves, 0-1

7 kg1
I Braskin vs K de Smet, 1988 
(C57) Two Knights, 14 moves, 1-0

KTB and the failure of 7. Ke1 a bad move due2forking sequence
Petrini vs Schneider, 1990 
(C57) Two Knights, 10 moves, 0-1

7 Ke3 (14..Qf2+ with perpetual check)
G Johnstone vs B Finegold, 1992 
(C57) Two Knights, 14 moves, 1/2-1/2

6 kf1 perpetetual check in the traxler
G Valgardsson vs I Johannesson, 2000 
(C57) Two Knights, 16 moves, 1/2-1/2

6 kf1 a perpetual check game (might of been a win)
V Malada vs N Doric, 2001 
(C57) Two Knights, 27 moves, 0-1

d4 by white and best continuation by black
P Grott vs W Schneider, 1989 
(C57) Two Knights, 43 moves, 1-0

d4
L Zinn vs Jiri Nun, 1965
(C57) Two Knights, 27 moves, 0-1

d4
H Karlsen vs B Nordby, 1986 
(C57) Two Knights, 19 moves, 0-1

5. d4
V Vorobiev vs V Litvinov, 1948 
(C57) Two Knights, 17 moves, 0-1

5.d4 d5! drawing line
H Augustin vs J Riessenbeck, 1990
(C57) Two Knights, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

This is a mainline bXf7 mentioned by Heisman
C Herbrechtsmeier vs F Meyer, 1991
(C57) Two Knights, 45 moves, 0-1

Mainline Bxf7 heisman
C Herbrechtsmeier vs I Berezovsky, 1993
(C57) Two Knights, 39 moves, 0-1

bxf7 simalar to other heisman
A Sorensen vs O Kallinger, 1978 
(C57) Two Knights, 35 moves, 1-0

7. ke3 qh4
Whitney vs Chromik, 1976 
(C57) Two Knights, 15 moves, 1/2-1/2

this is just bad play
H Hoose vs Li Shilong, 1996 
(C57) Two Knights, 13 moves, 0-1

study this
C Freundorfer vs A Schweiger, 1991 
(C50) Giuoco Piano, 27 moves, 1-0

edit later
I Efimov vs Shirov, 1991 
(C57) Two Knights, 15 moves, 0-1

bf7 traxler played England vs Russia recent match
Moscow vs London, 2007 
(C57) Two Knights, 37 moves, 1/2-1/2

d4
F Nordstrom vs J Ljubarskij, 2006
(C57) Two Knights, 43 moves, 1-0

TR NSac-king takes g7 and killer knights
J Sosna vs M Muron, 1987 
(C57) Two Knights, 15 moves, 0-1

85 games

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