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Kerner vs Alfred Brinckmann
"Back from the Brinck" (game of the day Jul-20-2012)
corr (1955) (correspondence)
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Traxler Counterattack Knight sac line (C57)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
Jan-21-05  Whitehat1963: Ouch! Just when you thought you had accomplished something by forking queen and rook ... (Player of the day)
Jan-21-05  GreenDayGuy: That is the bad thing about 4.Ng5, you leave the kingside undefended.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: You ever get the feeling that every time Black wins in the Traxler it's exactly the same game? Black sacrifices everything, including some pieces he gets on credit from the next game. Sometimes White takes everything, in which case he gets mated. Sometimes White declines everything, in which case he still gets mated.

In fact, the only time the Traxler doesn't win is when you try it yourself.

Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <Phony Benoni> True-then White plays into what turns out to be one of the forced draws where you haven't got enough left to give that final push. Sounds like the Marshall, the difference being that with both sides coming to grips early on, lots of stuff gets sacrificed in many of the forcing lines and things burn out more quickly than in the Marshall.
Jul-20-12  xthred: Why didn't the King capture the Bishop?
Premium Chessgames Member
  Phony Benoni: <xthred> Taking the bishop leads down a long and winding road, too detailed to go into here, in which Black gets a vicious attack. You can explore some of the lines through the Opening Explorer:

Opening Explorer

That 72.3% wins for Black is probably somewhat inflated. When Black wins in this line, the game usually contains a lot of "brilliant sacrifices" and winds up being published and preserved. When Black loses, the score generally disappears forever. Even so, White is not in for a pleasant time.

Jul-20-12  LoveThatJoker: GG


Jul-20-12  Djoker: Always a fast mate in Traxler.
Jul-20-12  Robed.Bishop: <Phony Benoni: You ever get the feeling that every time Black wins in the Traxler it's exactly the same game? Black sacrifices everything, including some pieces he gets on credit from the next game. Sometimes White takes everything, in which case he gets mated. Sometimes White declines everything, in which case he still gets mated. In fact, the only time the Traxler doesn't win is when you try it yourself.>

Funny stuff, Phony. I agree completely.

Jul-20-12  Abdel Irada: Very characteristic: Black ended up with the superior bishop structure, and White got royally Traxled.
Jul-20-12  Fetvadd: Traxler is very stupid to allow for white. If black plays it good you will get mated if you make a mistake and even if you play it good he can still often force a draw. Not something you would like to play as white.
Jul-20-12  ossipossi: <3.Bc4?!>
Jul-20-12  ventricule: <Fetvadd> Taking with the bishop on f7 is the most principled way to refute the Traxler. Here's an example of how to handle it at the top level :

Anand vs Beliavsky, 1991

Anand lost because of a blunder on the last move but had a better position throughout the game.

Jul-20-12  ventricule: And in his DVD, lawrence trent recommands the same Bxf7+ approach, following this game :

K Asrian vs A Minasian, 2007

I agree it does sound extremely simple when you look at it, white is simply a pawn up.

Jul-20-12  lentil: Sorry, but it's always been the "Wilkes-Barre" gambit to me...
Jul-20-12  master of defence: I think that 9.c3 attacking the knight is better than 9.h3.
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: Black pieces are attacking-white's are just standing there. Most of white's forces are still in their hangers.
Premium Chessgames Member
  playground player: Does anyone around here actually play the Traxler? I've been tempted, but have yet to steel myself to try it.
Premium Chessgames Member
  perfidious: <pgp> It isn't something I've cared to try, because of the idea mentioned by <ventricule> with 5.Bxf7+ Ke7 6.Bd5; in the 1990s, there were two players in my former club, each about ~2000, who battled it out in this one. It was as predictable as the opening line between the Kosintseva sisters when they're paired, though the results at least varied a little.
Jul-20-12  schnarre: ...The only deviation from this line that I saw some time ago (15+ years), was White playing 7. d4 instead of taking the Rook immediately. It continued 7...exd4 8. c3 dxc3 9. Nxc3 Black still won that game.
Premium Chessgames Member
  scormus: <Phony Benoni: You ever get the feeling that every time Black wins in the Traxler ..... In fact, the only time the Traxler doesn't win is when you try it yourself.>

That must be the truest chess comment ever made about the Traxler. Now I think about it, I've found that to be true with some other openings. Or could it be the common factor is the way I play them :-\

Jul-20-12  RandomVisitor: On 9...Ng4 white can try his luck with: <Rybka4.1>

[+5.05] d=16 10.c3 Qh4 11.cxd4 Bxd4 12.Qf3 Nf6 13.Bb5+ Kf8 14.g3 Qg5

[+3.02] d=16 10.hxg4 Bg3 11.Kg1 Bxg4 12.Qxg4 Qc5 13.Bb5+ c6 14.Qxg3 Ne2+ <ouch>

[+2.28] d=16 10.Bb5+ Nxb5 11.hxg4 Bb6 12.d3 Bd7 13.a4 e4 14.Qe2 Nd4

Jul-21-12  Abdel Irada: <playground player>:

There's only one way to "steel yourself": Jump in and play it. What's the worst thing that can happen? And does that thing materially differ from what can happen in any other opening?

I've had tremendous fun with the Traxler/Wilkes-Barre — playing it (from both sides), analyzing it, looking over games like this one.

About the only conclusion I can offer is that the line is immensely complex, and it's not at all clear that there is a refutation, nor that the line will ever be free of the suspicion of unsoundness. I will amplify this by adding that I don't agree with <ventricule>: 5. ♗xf7+ does not leave White "simply a pawn up"; he is indeed a pawn ahead, but there's nothing "simple" about the ensuing play, and although theory endorses White, practice favors Black.

(How *much* do I enjoy the Traxler? Let's just say I once came perilously close to writing a book about the opening — and the Marshall Attack — under the title <Opening Fire>.)

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