1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5 Bc5 5. Nxf7 Bxf2+ 6. Kf1 Qe7

1) Chess.com computer at Level 10 plays 5. Nxf7. Theory recommends 5. Bxf7. Which line to follow in my game in tournaments? Please advice as I am confused now.

2) After analyzing the game with computer of chess.com it suggests 4. ... Bc5 as Blunder. The best move suggested by it is 4. ... d5. Again confused as I know that this theory is Traxler Counter Attack and another is going for main line of Two Knights Defense. Kindly give your valuable suggestion. I played this game just now with play computer option of chess.com without login but as a guest. Waiting for your valuable answers. Thanks in advance


2 Answers 2


Bxf7+ is definitely the way to go in practice in my opinion. I have done quite a lot of analysis with stockfish on Nxf7 and am not at all sure it is better for white despite the computer evaluation early on.

Bxf7+ almost certainly is a lot better for white and is a lot simpler to learn which is important for a repertoire choice against an unusual line (most people won't have the guts to play Traxler!)

  • This answer is spot on. I came to the exact same conclusion as you when analyzing Nxf7 extensively with Stockfish; at first it thinks that all is fine and dandy for white, but when you go deeper into the lines the evaluations drop substantially.
    – Scounged
    Aug 18, 2020 at 12:43

As previously suggested by Hamish, Bxf7 instead of Nxf7 is a safe way for white to gain an edge, though Nxf7 is unsound anyways.

In my opinion, if you want a swashbuckling defense against the fried liver,

e4 e5 Nf3 Nc6 Bc4 Nf6 Ng5 Nxe4!?

This move is much less known than traxler counter gambit and full of tricks. For example, if

Nxf7, black is equal, if not better(Nxf7 wins for white in the traxler (see Saglione vs Moreno carretero or any chess engine)). Nxf7 Qh4 O-O(best move is Qe2, very difficult to find because it invites Nd4) Bc5 (black is already winning) Nxh8 Nxf2 .... and that's just one of the lines.

But both of these lines are UNSOUND to Bxf7, so really you should play d5. e4 e5 Nf3 Nc6 Bc4 Nf6 Ng5 d5 exd5 Na5 Bb5+ c6 and I'll let you investigate yourself, but this line is the reason why strong players seldom play Ng5.

  • Not convinced that Nxf7 is winning as I mentioned. I had not seen the Saglione Moreno game but have now looked it up. I hadn't analysed 10...Qc5 - 10...Qe7 is the line I analysed ages ago and the lines were 11. d3 Bg4 12. Qd2 Be2+ 13. Kxf2 (13. Qxe2 Nxe2 14. Kxe2 b5 15. Bb3 Bd4 16. c3 Bb6 17. Kd1 e4 18. Re1 Qd7 19. d4 c5 unclear) or 11. c3 Bg4 12. Qa4+ Nd7 13. Kxf2 Qh4+ 14. Kf1 Bh5 15. Nxe5 O-O-O. Plenty of room for improvements I'm sure but this is my two cents - YMMV
    – Hamish
    Apr 1, 2019 at 16:33
  • yeah, the Saglione Moreno game has much room for improvement, but I think the engines will show a dimmer outlook. I guess it doesn't matter too much in the end. If white doesn't know what's going on in Nxf7, as you pointed out, white always has the safe Bxf7. Apr 1, 2019 at 18:20
  • I think the engines are wrong though :)
    – Hamish
    Apr 1, 2019 at 18:51
  • @bof, "Bxf7 instead of Nxf7 is a safe way for white to gain an edge, though Nxf7 is unsound anyways." Aug 19, 2020 at 2:33

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.