I had posted the question Should Black avoid the Two Knights Defense because of the Fried Liver Attack? After seeing the Traxler Counter Attack from Black, it made me wonder if White should just avoid the Fried Liver Attack because of this. I have seen some variations on how the game is continued if Black plays the Traxler Counter Attack, but I am not sure what White's best response would be. In all variations, I have seen the continuation 5. Nxf7 Bxf2

[FEN ""]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5 5. Nxf7 Bxf2+

If the game continues 6. Kxf2:

[FEN ""]
1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5 5. Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2 Ne4 7.Kg1 Qh4

In the above game, I see Black with a growing attack on White, so I guess by best I mean, how can White avoid getting brutally attacked in the Traxler Counter Attack?

  • To say what is the best, we need to know what you are looking for. What is best for you might not be what is best for me. 5.Nxf7 is much sharper, and white has to do more defending. 5.Bxf7 is more common at the top-level. This thread chess.stackexchange.com/questions/322/… address your question. – Akavall Feb 19 '13 at 19:28
  • @Akavall - I will put up a game with 5.Nxf7 that may help in determining what I mean by best. – xaisoft Feb 19 '13 at 19:52
  • After 5.Bxf7 white is definitely under less attack. – Akavall Feb 19 '13 at 20:21
  • @Akavall - I am interested if White does 5.Nxf7 – xaisoft Feb 20 '13 at 12:01
  • OK, I see. I misunderstood your question all along. Sorry. – Akavall Feb 20 '13 at 15:08
6. Kf1 is the best response.

It looks like this:

[FEN ""]
1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5 5. Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6. Kf1 Qe7 7. Nxh8 Bb6 8. Bf7+ Kd8 9. Nc3 *

I wanted to have this as a surprise weapon with black, but was very disappointed even with immediate d4. Plus after Nxf7 black is on the edge of losing in the Kf1 line as was played in some correspondence games. And it is by far not clear what problems white has in Bxf7+. So for me this looks more like a rapid/blitz attempt. But for players who like mess and don't care that much about objective evaluation this looks very acceptable. No easy refutation, to get something white must go to the complications.

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