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Two Knights Game

Back in the 16th century the Italian chess master Giulio Cesare Polerio (1548–1612) analysed the continuation 3...Nf6, which practically invites White to attack Black’s Achilles heel, f7, with 4.Ng5. This knight sortie, though dogmatically branded as a “beginner’s move” by Siegbert Tarrasch (1862–1934), has until the present day maintained its status as one of the main continuations against 3...Nf6. Hair-raising complications can occur right from move four if Black simply ignores the threat against the f7-pawn and cold-bloodedly plays 4...Bc5, the Traxler (or Wilkes-Barre) Variation. 5.Nxf7 leads to 5...Bxf2+ and chaos; 5.Bxf7+ is reckoned the better continuation. But one thing is clear in both cases: anyone playing this without sufficient theoretical preparation is a risk-taker par excellence. But the main continuation for Black is 4...d5.

Published by ChessBase

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