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Dale Burk vs Peter Leisebein
cr (1988)
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Traxler Counterattack Knight sac line (C57)  ·  0-1
ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
May-28-03  sleepkid: Another Wilkes-Barre. The final combination forcing a won endgame is nice.

29. Nxd5 Rf2+ 30. Kh1 (Rg2 leads to the same thing) Nf6 31. Rg2 (to prevent mate) Rxg2 32. Kxg2 Nxe1+ 33. Kf2 cxd5 34. Kxe1 Kd7 35. Ke2 Ke6 36. Kf3 Kf5

I suppose white could keep the knights on the board by giving an intermediate check there, which prevents black from un-doubling the center pawns (which is key to the win in the above variation) but then his knight is out of play, and white gains the c2 pawn and either the a1 or the d3 pawn, putting him three pawns up in a knight ending. All fairly interesting.

May-28-03  Cyphelium: You seem to be correct. In a practical game though, white could continue fighting with 29. Ne4, but in a correspondence game I guess it's just painful. 29. Ne4 Nxc2!? 30. Re2 Nb4 31. Nxg5 Nxd3 perhaps?
May-28-03  sleepkid: my original post should say "black gains the c2 pawn" -

29. Ne4 does seem to be the most stubborn defense for white, but it's an ugly and convoluted defense, and probably not worth playing out in a correspondence game, where an opponent can analyze for hours and make your life miserable. (for example, in the line you give, white is 2 pawns down, his king stuck on the side of the board, neither of his rooks can leave the ranks they're on, and his knight has to come back to e4 if he's to do anything productive, losing another tempo. a distasteful situation at best, and being the exchange up is small consolation.)

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