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Jentzch vs Nosotta
cr (1956) (correspondence)
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Traxler Counterattack King March line (C57)  ·  0-1

ANALYSIS [x]

FEN COPIED

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Kibitzer's Corner
Dec-06-03  Lawrence: 9.....Nd4+ is good and direct and White would surely resign right then and there, though Junior 8 shows that 9.....Qxc4+ is even a bit stronger.

4.....Bc5 5.....Bxf2+ is not basically sound because White can refute it by playing 6.Kf1.

The real way for Black to refute White's 2 piece attack is 4.....d5 5.exd5 Na5.

Dec-06-03  Lawrence: Can you imagine somebody trying this attack against none less than Capa? Well, here it is. C Schroeder vs Capablanca, 1916
Apr-20-12  Abdel Irada: <Lawrence>: I disagree with your assessment of the Traxler.

While theory suggests that white should be able to find resources to hold off black's counterattack, practice has been another matter. To my knowledge, no opening for black has better statistical results, and the hurdles that white has to clear merely to survive the opening are far too high for anyone short of a world-class IM/GM.

And my (rather extensive) studies of the line suggest that if there is a refutation, 6. Kf1 is not it. Black's attacking resources against that variation are far greater than most casual examiners realize, including many continuations in which black remedies his material poverty by spending still more pieces to sustain his attack. Among my favorite "miniatures" produced in this line is: 1. e4, e5; 2. Nf3, Nc6; 3. Bc4, Nf6; 4. Ng5, Bc5; 5. Nxf7, Bxf2+; 6. Kf1, Qe7; 7. Nxh8, d5; 8. exd5, Bg4; 9. Be2, Bxe2+; 10. Qxe2, Nd4; 11. Qxf2, o-o-o; 12. c3 (here there are multiple continuations, but most resolve to similar results), Rf8; 13. Kg1, Ng4; 14. Qe1, Qh4!++

There are of course many alternatives for both sides; among them, black can play 8. ...Nd4 in lieu of ...Bg4, and white can try any of a number of moves at his first "free moment" on move 12. None, however, offers anything resembling a convincing refutation of the Traxler, and most end in black's favor.

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