Chess in the Wild, Part 1
Take a walk with me on the wild side . . . of chess.
The usual responses to 4.Ng5, and the more sound . . . and the more boring, include 4...d5 5.exd5 (after which most folks avoid 5...Nxd5, in light of the notorious Fegatello - 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3.) 5 ... Na5, followed by some well tested variation such as the Morphy (6. d3), or the Steinitz (6.Bb5+) or The Fritz (5...Nd4) or the interesting Ulvastd (5...b5).
In 1875, according to Tim Harding, Zukertorte even suggested the interesting, complex but likely unsound, 4. . .Nxe4?! (sometimes called the Ponziani-Steinitz Gambit)
However the most exciting and poetic, and probably sound, response, the one that answers White audacity with an audacity of its own, is the seemingly suicidal 4. . . Bc5. This is the beginning to the Traxler or the Wilkes-Barre.
Nick DeFirmian wrote: "the Wilkes-Barre Variation 4...Bc5!? looks crazy--Black ignores White's threat to f7--yet there is no known refutation of it. In Europe, it is known as the Traxler Variation."
While Alex Dunne wrote: "The logic behind 4. ... Bc5 is simple and bloodthirsty: the attack belongs to the better developed side. By branding 4. Ng5 a "beginner's move," moving a piece twice in the opening, Black prepares his own systematic attack on f2, backed up with an extra developing move or two. If a pawn or two, a rook, or even a few pieces go into the box, what does it matter when a king is at stake?."
5. Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6. Kxf2 Nxe4+ 7. Kg1 Qh4 8. g3 Nxg3 9. hxg3 Qxg3+ 10. Kf1 Rf8 11. Qh5 d5 12. Bxd5 Nb4 13. Bc4 b5! with advantage to Black. . . -Alex Dunne
5. Bxf7+ Ke7 6. Bd5
Black will have two attacking moves ... Nd4 and ... Rf8. Black's pieces will focus on White's kingside. So, for a small amount of material, Black will have a large amount of attack. - Alex Dunne
6. ... Rf8
Let's digress for a moment and look at Karel Traxler's original game.
I'll end Part 1 here, but for anyone interested, NM Ernest Colding did a series of articles on the Traxler - the Wilkes-Barre - Opening. He had planned on a longer series, but for some reason quit posting with the series unfinished.