Wilkes-Barre Counterattack

Nov 18, 2011, 6:54 PM |

The Fried Liver Attack is a primitive attack from White.  It practically wins a pawn by force and is highly annoying for any Black player to play against.  It might result in slightly better positions for Black.  But what about if one wants to attack back with the same aggression as the Fried Liver?  This is where the Wilkes-Barre Counterattack (also known as the Traxler Counterattack) can be a nice weapon.  Here is the opening set of moves.


This looks like the kind of move that an orangutan might play.  Black allows for either Nxf7, winning a rook, or Bxf7+, taking away Black's castling rights.  However, if White gets too greedy, the game can end very quickly.  Take this classic game as an example:


There are many complex lines in this opening.  It might be too risky for most player's likings, but the games are always as sharp as a razor and are fun to play, especially in blitz matches.  If the Knight takes on f7, the Bishop Sac on f2 really brings the King out and does not allow the Queenside pieces to come into the game. 

The other line, Bxf7+, is a bit harder to play.  However, it is still playable.  The opening in this line goes like this:


Bb3 is the best move because if the Bishop does not move, h6 wins a piece.  So next time you face the Fried Liver Attack, try this opening.  Your opponent will most likely be shocked to see this counterattack, and you may get a quick attack and win.