13 votes
Accepted

Ideas behind the 8.Bd3 line in the 4.Ng5 Two Knights Defense

I think the main reason behind Bd3 is to provide a "safe" retreat for the knight and keeps to e-file open. Both Nf3 and Nh3 have liabilities. A retreat to e4 also allow a further lose of time from f5,...
  • 5,131
10 votes

Why isn't 6.Bc4 considered by theory in the 5.Bxf7+ Traxler Counterattack?

Comparing 6.Bb3 and 6.Bc4, the drawbacks of the latter are obvious since the bishop is not protected and can become a target to attacks: either by a black piece: Ne5, Na5, Qc5, Qd4... or, more ...
  • 13.1k
8 votes
Accepted

Italian Game Response As Black

4.Ng5 is a provocative move, threatening to take on f7. The main line is 4...d5, and after 5.exd5 the best move might be 5...Na5. After 6. Bb5+ c6 7. dxc6 bxc6 Black has sacrificed a pawn but has ...
  • 15.8k
6 votes
Accepted

Is Nxd5 playable in the Italian Game: Two Knights Defense?

Black is not in danger of being mated, but still, in the "standard" variants, Black also loses the e-pawn, thus having only +1 material, a huge developmental disadvantage, and a king on the ...
6 votes
Accepted

Resources on Italian Game, Two Knights Defense with 4. d3 h6 and quick ...g5

FM Andrey Terekhov's Two Knights Defense repertoire on Chessable uses this variation against 4.d3. That repertoire deserves to be more widely known: it's one of the best on Chessable, the author ...
  • 26.4k
6 votes

Which openings lines are both sharp and drawish?

Typically by sharp you mean highly tactical lines, with few alternative moves, where any wrong move leads to immediate defeat. A sharp and sound opening would be one that is so far analyzed that you ...
  • 20.4k
5 votes

Ideas behind the 8.Bd3 line in the 4.Ng5 Two Knights Defense

The point is that after 8...h6, White can now play 9.Ne4. Comparatively, after 8.Be2 h6, White must go for 9.Nf3 e4, when the knight is hit again. You're right that 8.Bd3 blocks the d2-pawn from ...
5 votes
Accepted

Two Knights Defense 4. Ng5 - Strategy?

As someone who plays 4.Ng5 as White, I can tell you what I've found to be the hardest Black line against me: 4...d5 5.exd5 Na5 6.Bb5+ c6 7.dxc6 bxc6 8.Be2 h6 9.Nf3 e4 10.Ne5 Bc5!? [FEN ""] 1. e4 e5 2....
  • 829
5 votes

Why isn't 6.Bc4 considered by theory in the 5.Bxf7+ Traxler Counterattack?

Traxler is too rarely played to anybody care. Bd5 and Bb3 are old main lines. Bc4 is actually Lc0 main line on pretty solid depth. One obvious advantage is easier handling of future pin while I don't ...
  • 3,266
4 votes

Which openings lines are both sharp and drawish?

A first example of a line that is sharp and drawish is the following variation of the Pirc with f4. [fen "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1"] 1.e4 d6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 g6 4.f4 Bg7 ...
  • 3,475
4 votes

The Urusov Gambit

The gambit doesn't lose but it also doesn't gain much advantage. Black can play Nc6 and transpose into the two knight defense which is seen in the Italian and the scotch gambit. These lines have a lot ...
  • 4,943
4 votes

Two Knights Defense 4. Ng5 - Strategy?

I played the Traxler a lot, and it's quite a good option to play after preparation. Your opponents will escape with castling most of the time because they will be scared of your opening prep. And when ...
  • 4,394
4 votes

Ideas behind the 8.Bd3 line in the 4.Ng5 Two Knights Defense

I think this move illustrates the problem with "opening principles". Sometimes they contradict one another! For example, 8.Be2 may appear more natural because it does not block the "d&...
  • 13.2k
4 votes
Accepted

In this YouTube video, the author says that 10...f6 "leads to disaster"...Why?

The video's author might be overstating it by calling it a "disaster" as there is no clear knockout blow. Nevertheless, white is clearly better, and the attack will continue with best play, but it ...
  • 32.1k
3 votes
Accepted

Soltis's best chess game of the 20th century

The move you gave looks fine. In my correspondence database I have 9 games in the position after 11...Bd6. Eight went for 12.Bxb5+, but one game (featuring a 2397 player from 2010) chose 12.Qe2. Even ...
3 votes
Accepted

What are some good books on the Italian game, including the Evans Gambit and Two Knights Defense family of openings?

When I looked for a similar book, the best I could find is this somewhat dated work by Jan Pinski. This newer book by Glenn Flear apparently contains 88 pages about the italian, Evan's gambit and two ...
3 votes

Is Nxd5 playable in the Italian Game: Two Knights Defense?

It's playable in the sense that there is no known forced win, but the line Black has to thread to equality is a fine one. This is reflected by the opening eval, about +0.7 - +0.9 (see my answer to a ...
  • 22.6k
2 votes

Does 4.Ng5 in Two Knights Defense have a name?

I think the name for 4. Ng5 is Knight Attack. There isn't a specific name, because it leads to more specific openings, like the Fried Liver Attack, Polerio Defense 4. Ng5 d5 5. exd5 Na5 (trying to ...
2 votes

What are some good books on the Italian game, including the Evans Gambit and Two Knights Defense family of openings?

I don't know there's a book that covers all of those openings well. The Pinski book tries to but I don't think they do a good job. My favorite book on the Evans is Harding's book. The two knights can ...
  • 4,210
2 votes

What would you suggest I play vs. the Ruy Lopez, if I already play the Two Knights Defense vs. 3. Bc4?

There's a simple reason for which 3...a6 and 3...Nf6 are by far the most common replies to the Ruy Lopez: they're the most solid for black. It's very hard to force white into playing something dynamic ...
  • 642
2 votes

Italian Game Response As Black

As others have correctly said, once you have played 3..Nf6 there is no going back. A very reasonable alternative is the Hungarian Defence 3..Be7, against which White cannot launch a wild attack. If he ...
  • 7,538
1 vote

Ideas behind the 8.Bd3 line in the 4.Ng5 Two Knights Defense

I think it's helpful to think of bishop hoping to go to f1, after O-O and Re1. Good illustrative game is Lev Aronian v. Vidit Gujrathi Kolkata 2019 (Rapid & Blitz): https://www.chessgames.com/perl/...
1 vote

Italian Game Response As Black

Responding 3...Nf6 to the Italian Game initiates the Two Knights Defense. This isn't an opening to play if you're looking for a calm positional game with material equality; in fact, it's been ...
  • 22.6k
1 vote

The Urusov Gambit

It suggests that strong players believe it doesn't give White much of a chance for an advantage.
  • 937
1 vote

In Nakamura v. Friedel in 2009, (22. Bc1) why did Friedel resign?

Rd2 (giggling) is just a move like a computer which will not lose until it has been programmed to resign. There is nothing Black can do except run like a mouse here & there. White is in an extreme ...
1 vote

What is the best defense for White against the Traxler Counter Attack?

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 ...
  • 3,266

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible