Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Attack of the Traxler

The following game features a variation of the Two Knights Defense known as Traxler Counterattack. The combination brought about an amazing victory and the game was henceforth known as the "Attack of the Traxler".

Hostoun, 1890
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense, Traxler Counterattack

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bc4, Nf6
4. Ng5, Bc5

The Traxler Counterattack, an original combination that is better than it looks.  Traxler in his own annotation said that a small mistake by White can give Black a decisive attack.

5. Nxf7 ....

If 5. Bxf7, then Black replies with 5....Kf1, 6. 0-0 h6! and Black gets an extra piece.  (If 6. Bb3 Bxf2+, 7. Kxf2 Nxe4+! with a decisive attack.)

5. .... Bxf2+

 6. Ke2, Nd4+
7. Kd3, b5
8. Bb3, Nxe4
9. Nxd8 ...

A Queen now or never!  If 9. Kxe4 Qh4+ with a good attack.

9. .... Nc5+
10. Kc3, Ne2+
11. Qxe2, Bd4+
12. Kb4, a5+!
13. Kxb5 ....

No choice. If 13. Ka3, then 13....b4 mate.

13. .... Ba6+
14. Kxa5, Bd3+

Whether or not Black takes the White Queen is immaterial.

15. Kb4, Na6+
16. Ka4 ....

If 16. Ka5, Black would have the same reply...

16. .... Nb4+
17. Kxb4, c5 mate

A horrendous attack that added brilliancy to the game.

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