Letter #16 - 2011
Two Knights defense
04/11/11 12:10:00 PM
From: Richard Moody Jr.
Hi Chess Poster!
I got hammered on Chesspub.com for suggesting that the Two Knights' Defense favored White so here is the summary of several years of theory. First, in my last letter, you got the refutation of the Berliner Gambit. Despite its obvious utility, I was advised by my critics that it was "trivial" because Black had the better move 8...Ne6!
It took me years to find a way to complicate safely which just means that White can avoid dull, drawish positions. Here are the moves: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nd4 6.c3 b5 7.Bf1 Nxd5 8.Ne4 Ne6 9.Bxb5ch Bd7 10.Bc4!! (The simplifying 10.Bxd7ch allows Black to develop with tempo where the strong Knights yield full compensation for the Pawn).
Here is a move sequence that it sure to make the anthology of opening traps: 10...Bc6 11.O-O Ndf4 12.Re1 Nd3 13.Re3 Nef4 14.Qf3! Nxc1?? 15.Qxf4! exf4 16.Nf6# 10.Bc4, is complicated so you will have to do your own research. With 5...Nxd5, here are a few variations you should know:1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5: 6.O-O?! N, I published this in Larry Evan's Column as the Question of the Month.
Unfortunately, it is equal. ' 6.d4 (the Lolli Variation) Bb4ch? (6...Be6 7.O-O+/= or 6...Nxd4 7.O-O +/=) 7.c3 Be7 8.Nxf7 (O-O?! = According to GM Lev Alburt) Kxf7 9.Qf3ch Ke6 10.O-O! +- According to Pinkus---Just check his analysis on line or check his book. The second possibility is the Fried Liver: 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3ch Ke6 8.Nc3 Nb4 9.Bb3! Close to a novelty---it avoids theory. Now Black has to play very carefully to survive.
The point is that now Black faces the threat of a3 when White holds the c2 square, 9...c6 (forced) 10.a3 Na6 11.Nxd5 cxd5 12.d4! & Now Black has a whole lot of ways to lose so I will let you find them! Suffice it to say if 12...exd4? 13.Bf4 Qa5ch 14.c3! Qb5 15.Qxe4ch Kd7 16.Bxd5 Bc5 17.O-O-O+- If 4.Ng5 Nxe4 5.Bxf7ch +/= If 4.Ng5 Bc5? (The Wilkes-Barre/Traxler).
This is only desirable against an unprepared opponent. Beliavsky used it successfully against both future World Champions Karpov and Anand, so it used to have surprise value) 5.Bxf7ch! (Only a masochist would play 5.Nxf7) Ke7 6.Bb3 (I used to like Bd5 & even won with it against Fritz 8, but 6.Bb3 is just winning) Rf8 (There is nothing better) 7.d3 d6 8.Be3 Bxe3 (as good as anything) 9.fxe3 +/- (I got a completely winning position against Fritz 12, but couldn't even win a simple endgame & allowed a draw by repetition).
White just chops on the f-file and wins with his extra Pawn e.g. 9...Bg4 10.Nf3/Nbd2/Qe2/O-O-O +/- 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5ch c6 (Bd7 7.Qe2 +/=) 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Qf3! This is too complicated here; check on the chess.com thread, 8.Qf3 for the latest theory.
Thanks Chess Poster for publishing my Berliner material!
Thank you again for your material. Chess lovers around the globe will surely appreciate your writings on Chess theory as much as we do.