Saturday, 22 August 2009

The Fried Liver

Almost all opening books that are aimed at new/club players seem to cover the Two Knights Defence in the same way. They explain that 4.Ng5 breaks the rule of not moving the same piece twice in the opening ("A duffers move" S. Tarrasch), then go on to say that it should be met by 4. ... d5. However after 5.exd they counsel against 5. ... Nxd5 either saying that White gets a strong attack with 6.Nxf7 (and nothing else), or give a column of complicated variations to prove the previous assertion.
Now the difficulty I have with this is that for beginners, whatever variation you choose is going to be complicated. Either allow the piece sacrifice and hope that you are playing someone of your own skill level (which happens quite a lot), or follow the books and play on a pawn down. I had experience of the latter strategy in my first big tournament and can remember thinking "This just sucks". Indeed my recent advice to new players is: play 5. ... Nxd5 and defend the position, at least until you lose your first game in the line, then learn the "better" defence. At least this way you're material ahead at the start of the game, rather than behind. You might even get away with a win like the following game from 2007

Cazzaro,Dorian - Oges,Helene [C57]
6th Open La Fere FRA (1), 07.07.2007

1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 Nce7 9.d4 Qd6 10.Qe4 c6 11.f4 Kd7 12.dxe5 Nxc3 13.bxc3 Qg6 14.Qd4+ Ke8 15.0-0 Bh3 16.Qf2 Nf5 17.Bd3 Bc5 0-1

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Well I show juniors The Traxler Counter Attack also known as the wilkes-Barre variation for use against significantly higher rated oppenents. If white gets it wrong he gets spattered, Otherwise the game usually ends in a perpetual. If white knows vast amounts of theory, has nerves of steel, and is prepared to send his king on a long walk he may be better. But one slip and the wheels come off. This is a perfect line for juniors as they will learn lots of tactics without any positional considerations.
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bc4 Nf6
4. Ng5 Bc5
5. Nxf7 Bxf2