Letter #08 - 2008
Wilkes Barre-Traxler Variation
Hi Chess Poster!
One of the sharpest Openings in all of Chess is the Wilkes Barre/Traxler Variation i.e. 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 Bc5, but after 5.Bxf7ch Ke7 6.Bd5 Rf8 (If a strong attacking move like this is bad, it is doubtful that 6...Qe8 is any better. White can play 7.Bxc6! in either variation).
Losev-Isaev, Trades Union, 1990 saw 6...Rf8 7.Bxc6! dxc6 followed by 8.Qe2? allowing 8...Ng4 9.f3 Bf2ch! (Losev-Isaev saw 9...Nf2). Now Fritz 8 sees a simple tactical shot i.e. 10.Kf1 (Kd1?? Ne3ch -+) Bb6=.
The correct way to meet 7...dxc6 is with 8.Nf3!! Game over! Black cannot play 8...Nxe4 because of 9.Qe2 Nxf2 10.Rf1 +- White picks up two pieces for the Rook. According to Fritz 8, Black has nothing better than 8...Kf7 which allows 9.d3. There is no attack and Black is a Pawn down with no compensation, a winning advantage for White in the hands of say GM Victor Korchnoi.
In the game Moody-Fritz 8, White easily neutralized the Black initiative after 9...Kg8 10.Be3 (Offering the trade Bxe3 11.fxe3 Ng4 12.Qe2 Be6 13.0-0 Qe8 14.h3+- White can contest the f-file and wins the endgame easily) Bd4?! 11.Nxd4 exd4 (Improving the pawn structure at the expense of handing White a simple middlegame win.) 12.Bf6 Qd6 13.Bxf6 Rxf6 14.0-0 Be6 15.f3 Raf8 16.Rf2 a6 17.a4 (Fritz has White winning easily by move 40 even though White wasted several tempos).
Since the computer plays complex middlegames at or beyond World Champion level, this is a valid test of the innovation. The combination of 5.Bxf7ch/Bd5/Bxc6/Nf3 appears to cook the Wilkes Barre/Traxler Variation.
Richard Moody Jr.
Dear Richard Moody Jr.,
Thank you for this good information.
We’re sure all our viewers will find this very useful as we did.