1. Hill Country, Texas
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    30 Oct '18 19:28
    Does anyone know of any resources (either online or offline) that deal with how to best respond to the Traxler (Wilkes-Barr) Counterattack from White's perspective. Thanks.

    David
  2. SubscriberRagwort
    Ex Duris Gloria
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    30 Oct '18 20:19
    @padretx
    Wikipedia repeats what most books say which is that 5. Bxf7 is best but in the master games database in the RHP games explorer you will find only 5 traxler games with no white wins. Even Anand loses against it!

    It doesn't seem these particular online resources will help you much.
  3. Hill Country, Texas
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    30 Oct '18 20:54
    So far, this is what I've found (this was taken from a forum post on chess.com):

    There are three "refutations" of the Traxler- namely 5.Bxf7+ Ke7 6.Bd5 (rather the easiest to play as White), 5.Bxf7+ Ke7 6.Bb3 (objectively even stronger, although White has to be careful about a few pattern tricks) and 5.d4!? which I like best, simply because it's less analysed/well known.

    In all three "refutations" Black's compensation for the pawn is at best dubious
  4. Hill Country, Texas
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    30 Oct '18 21:01
    I also found on the website chessgames.com the following about the Traxler:

    White wins 55/166
    Black wins 81/166
    Draws 30/166

    What I get from this is that Black wins more often than White, but White doesn't lose 51% (85/166) of the time.
  5. SubscriberRagwort
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    31 Oct '18 14:362 edits
    @padretx

    I have often joked that all opening moves are rubbish because they have either already been refuted or are about to be! I think if you pick a variation like 5. d4 because it is less popular then you have more work to do on your own to find all the traps etc to avoid. As your figures show Black has had good results statistically in databases probably because they are better prepared.

    My 1962 opening book gives:



    By 1998 the line in Nunn's was:



    Writing in Kaissiber magazine 10 years later Stefan Bucker gave the main line (replacing 7. Nxf7) as:-


    I have no idea where theory has gone since but to me these are moves that are quite complicated for a non expert to understand. There would be no point just learning this main line without examining what at first glance seem reasonable moves that an average opponent may choose before looking at whether you can see a clear path to glory after 14. ... Bxa1 15. Qxa1 (which I guess is based on h3 and Q or N takes e5).

    Its all very well master level players saying a variation is "dubious" or "Black doesn't have full compensation for the pawn" when you are sitting at the board at move 12 or 13 in the above line working out if you are brave enough to offer the rook on a1 by castling or if Black can get at f2 if you don't.
  6. Behind the scenes
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    07 Nov '18 18:311 edit
    @padretx said
    Does anyone know of any resources (either online or offline) that deal with how to best respond to the Traxler (Wilkes-Barr) Counterattack from White's perspective. Thanks.

    David
    This is a common issue with symmetrical openings, and I used to run into issues like this a lot. OTB players have to learn to find sound moves w/ little time to calculate. Rather than trying to memorize lines of play in this situation, I would suggest you chose asymmetrical openings such as the King's Indian Attack, or the English. These are openings your opponent is less likely to have "analyzed to death" and/or write down your positional delema, get out your chessboard, and find your own improvements in the position. This will take time and effort, but can reward you when you get into a tournament. Just remember, a chess book is a guide, NOT a gospel.
    🙂
  7. SubscriberPaul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
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    08 Nov '18 01:21
    @Ragwort

    This has to be the best forum reply of the year. When I finished reading it, the word "amen" involuntarily slipped from my lips.
  8. Subscribermoonbus
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    08 Nov '18 18:51
    @padretx said
    I also found on the website chessgames.com the following about the Traxler:

    White wins 55/166
    Black wins 81/166
    Draws 30/166

    What I get from this is that Black wins more often than White, but White doesn't lose 51% (85/166) of the time.
    Don't be bamboozled by the ratio of Black wins to White wins. All of the Black wins might have been racked up before people discovered the White variations which win. One will do.
  9. SubscriberPaul Leggett
    Chess Librarian
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    11 Nov '18 04:12
    @moonbus

    Absolutely correct, and the people who do not understand this are its victims.
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