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himu 15 ( +1 | -1 )
Traxler from the bright side of the board ! what do you think of this game ? -> gameknot.com

himu
ionadowman 141 ( +1 | -1 )
A fun game to play through... ... Very, very complicated. Could have gone either way. White could have won a piece by 12.Bd5, though I can appreciate that the game continuation might well have looked at least as good. The situation remained complicated and obscure until 23.Qf4?, which cost a couple of tempi and gave Black a strong-looking attack. Interestingly, at move 24, Black had 3 ways of continuing that gave him a reasonable edge, but not what I would call a winning one: 24...Rh4 (the game continuation), 24...Bh3, or 24.Nf3ch (probably what I would have played, not that I regarded it as much better than the text). The latter two moves win the queen for rook and bishop, but with pawns equal, Black would have had an interesting technical exercise to bring home the win.

I've always had a fondness for the Traxler (Wilkes-Barre) - in fact the whole Two Knights' defence complex I find endlessly fascinating. But, like just about everyone else with a similar view, this fondness is from Black's point of view. One doesn't get very many opportunities to play it, having to risk the Spanish Torture instead...

What is the state of the theory on the Traxler? Is it true that 5.Nxf7 is now considered superior to 5.Bxf7ch? Is this due to improvements in recent years found for White in the former, or for Black in the latter line? What is the view these days of 5.d4?

Cheers,
Ion
kansaspatzer 17 ( +1 | -1 )
I honestly prefer playing it from the White side. There is a player at my local club who plays it, and if I'm desperate for a win against him, I will always play into it.
ionadowman 2 ( +1 | -1 )
Wonderful, kansaspatzer! But there is far too few of you about...
himu 122 ( +1 | -1 )
Hi Ion,

sorry I am late to reply to your post, I was waiting for a traxler game to finish which took a little longer than I thought will take at that moment.

1) Thanks for the analysis of the game. Yes 12. Bd5 looks much better.
2) I found material from internet which were tilted towards the 5. Nxf7 variation, and personally I would prefer that until :

I found this stupid looking move -> gameknot.com
white sacs the tempo consuming knight on the 9th move to get a long lasting pin. I dont know maybe its a pointless sac but it lights up whites side of the game for me.

my points are :

1) the king knight ventures too far and consumes 3 tempos ( = a pawn ) and that too acquire a pin which becomes fatal if not addressed carefully.

2) the knight sac , gives 2 pawn (the gambit pawn + the pawn in g5) , also a very powerful pin. which will be difficult to ease since the dark bishop for black is in the other front usually.

3) a fast development for white, which deters the queen movement by black (d8-e8-g6).

please let me know what you think about the sac.
sorry for the delay in reply

himu
ionadowman 58 ( +1 | -1 )
What a remarkable game! A good one for the annotated games list methinks. I recall Mikhail Tal's games often featured exploitation of pins, and the pin is a strong recurring motif in this game. I haven't gone into it thoroughly, but I did check with Estrin's 30+ year old book. The theory is that after 8...h6 9.Nd5ch keeps the edge for White: 9...Nxd5 10.exd5 hxg5 11.dxc6 etc. I guess the question is whether Black could have freed himself from the pins more effectively than his protracted struggles in the game would indicate. Food for thought...
Cheers,
Ion
ionadowman 304 ( +1 | -1 )
A new variation in the Traxler? ... I've looked as far as I can into the knight sac line in the himu vs devvo game (see link 2 postings back). I haven't found any theory on it at all, apart from Yakov Estrin's 30-plus-year-old remarks about the 8...h6 move. Yet it seems to me that himu has discovered an entirely playable line! Will it enter the theory? If so, what to call the beast? The Himu-Devvo Variation has a ring to it.

The line we're discussing goes:
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5
5.Bxf7ch Ke7 6.Bb3 Rf8 7.0-0 d6 8.Nc3 h6!? (Usual is 8...Qe8)
9.d3!!? ...
b
9...hxg5 10.Bxg5 ...
Now, for the piece, White has two pawns, true, but more importantly, an active game with a nasty pin on the king's knight, and pressure on the light squares around Black's king. In the himu-devvo game, all Black's struggles never seemed to free his king from the crossfire of the bishops, White eventually recovered the invested material and went on to win a hard-fought game.
I thought I'd try it (as White) in a blitz pick-up game. Here's the result:
10...Rh8
Already a departure from devvo's 10...Qe8. Grabbing the open file, or making way for the king?
11.Nd5ch Kf8 12.c3 Na5 13.Qf3 Nxb3 14.axb3 Kf7
15.b4 Bb6 16.Nxb6 ...
I couldn't find anything better. The exchange does disrupt Black's pawn formation (White's is much the prettier!), and also frees the f-pawn to advance. Can't say I was all that happy about it all the same. How much stamina has this attack remaining?
16...cxb6 17.Qg3 Bd7 18.f4 Qe7 19.Fxe5 dxe5
White's attack is still going strong, but Black seems to have it contained. White tries to broaden the front...
20.d4 Rhe8
A mysterious rook move? Not really: I could see he was hoping to create pressure against e4
21.Qh4?! Rf8 22.Qg3 Re8 23.Rad1!? ...
Declining the tacit draw offer. But it was clear Qh4 led nowhere for White.
23...exd4 24.Rxd4 Bc6 25.Bxf6 ...
resolving the pin at last! But White is still material short. Has he enough pressure after exchanges?
25...gxf6 26.Qg5 Rg8 27.Qh5ch Rg6 28.b5 Be8
Forced. A new wave of attack comes storming in:
29.e5 Kf8 30.Qh8ch Kf7 31.Rg4! ...
With the idea 31...Rxg4? 32.Rxf6ch Qxf6 33.Qxf6ch Kg8 34.Qe6ch and 35.Qxg4 with a straightforward win. But Black isn't having any...
31...Qc5ch! 32.Kh1 Qxe5 33.Qh7ch Ke6 34.Rxg6 Bxg6
35.Qxg6 ...
Having given back the piece, has Black bought peace?
35...Rh8 36.g3!? Rd8 37.Rf2 Qd5ch 38.Kg1 Qe5
39.h4 ...
Pushing the passed pawn, but also creating a safe haven for the king. Black isn't out of the woods yet!
39... Rd1ch 40.Kh2 Rd8 41.Rf4
Suddenly faced with another deadly pin, Black tries a wriggle:
41...Rh8!? 42.Kh3! ...
The overhasty 42.Re5?? leads to a likely draw: 42...Rxh4ch!! 43.Rxh4 Qe2ch 44.Kh3 Qf1ch 45.Kg4 Qe2ch 46.Kf4 Qf2ch(=) 47.Ke4?? Qc2ch 48...Qxg6 (-/+)
42...Qg5 43.Qe4ch Qe5? 44.Qc4ch 1-0
Black's queen bites the dust. It was surprising just how much staying power White's attack had, considering the attrition brought on by exchanges.

Not what you'd call conclusive, maybe, but the "Himu-Devvo" line looks pretty viable to me!
Cheers,
Ion
himu 89 ( +1 | -1 )
thanks Ion, the name of the variation you gave is really flattering. also something like "double gambit" , "traxler wilkie barr double gambit" :) sounds more fun.

few minutes ago I put crafty and phalanx into a battle with this variation. what resulted is a 30 move brilliant win by phalanx with the white pieces. I trust phalanx (btw crafty has a better elo than phalanx ) with sacrificial combinations somewhat more than crafty thats why the unbalanced pair. below I put the game in full :

[Event "Computer chess game"]
[Site "himadri-desktop"]
[Date "2007.10.06"]
[Round "-"]
[White "phalanx"]
[Black "Crafty-19.15"]
[Result "1-0"]
[TimeControl "40/300"]

1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5 5. Bxf7+ Ke7 6. Bb3 Rf8 7. O-O d6
8. Nc3 h6 9. d3 hxg5 10. Bxg5 Kd7 11. Na4 Qe8 12. Nxc5+ dxc5 13. c3 Kd8 14.
f4 exf4 15. Bxf4 Bg4 16. Qe1 Qe7 17. Qg3 Bh5 18. Rae1 Na5 19. Bg5 Nxb3 20.
e5 Be2 21. Rxe2 Kc8 22. Ree1 Qd7 23. exf6 gxf6 24. Rxf6 Rg8 25. Qf4 b6 26.
Rf7 Qd6 27. axb3 Qxf4 28. Bxf4 a5 29. Re6 a4 30. Rxc7+
{Black resigns} 1-0
buddie 17 ( +1 | -1 )
I am a regular player of the Black side of the Traxler, whenever I get the chance. In the game given, 8. ... Nxe4 just looks wrong to me. I would play d6, with plans of Bg4 and Q-e8-h5/g6.