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D Cavallo vs James F Opalek
Akron OH (1968), Akron, OH USA
Italian Game: Two Knights Defense. Traxler Counterattack (C57)  ·  0-1



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Kibitzer's Corner
< Earlier Kibitzing  · PAGE 2 OF 2 ·  Later Kibitzing>
Jul-17-06  patzer2: <RandomVisitor> I'd be curious to know how your Traxler variation test on Rybka goes. <Richerby> When you say 4...Bc5!? (the Traxler variation of the Two Knights) is a blunder, are you saying you believe the variation has been refuted or that you beleive the more frequently played 4...d5 is clearly superior?

Personally, I suspect most Masters believe both 4...Bc5 and 4...d5 still have a lot of sting left in them, as the tactical 4. Ng5 (Tarrasch called it a "duffers move") has been surpassed in popualarity by the more positional 4. d3.

However, I've been pleased to see a slight resurgence of interest by a few young and rising GM stars in 4. Ng5, such as Black's win in Naiditsch vs Carlsen, 2006 and white's win in Radjabov vs Naiditsch, 2005.

The current database shows 1080 games played in the 4...d5 line, with about a 41% win percentage for both Black and White. However, for the 287 games with 4...Bc5 it shows a 61% winning percentage for Black as opposed to only 23% for White. This might suggest 4...Bc5 may not be a bad try, especially at club level (i.e. below master) tournament play.

P.S. A query on's database of games of of players rated over 2200 indicated 9 games played since 1997 in the Traxler (4...Bc5), with the result being 4 Black wins 3 White wins and two draws.

Jul-17-06  gerpm: I still like Mondays!
Jul-17-06  zb2cr: To quote the ancient 1960s rock group, the Mamas and the Papas,

"Monday, good to me...Monday morning, it was all I hoped it would be...".

Jul-17-06  Tariqov: I definitely think that Bc5 is an unsound sacrifice (especially for a computer),but we are humans and many unsound gambit gave good results(typical mistakes),I think Nxf7 is more accurate but might be given a ?! as white has to play very accurately(more accurate then Bxf7+)or he will end up lost.Playing accurately is definitely no easy task.
Jul-17-06  jackmandoo: I think I just discoverd a new measurement of time. I call it a: "micronanosecond". This is how long it took me to solve this puzzle I think. This must be a breakthrough in science and in chess.
Jul-17-06  YouRang: Of course, 18...Qxd1+ wins very quickly, but I noticed that 18...Ne4 also wins.
Jul-17-06  MaxxLange: Monday is back, and I hear again the sound of people who missed a mate in 2 persuading themselves that they solved the tactics problem :)
Premium Chessgames Member
  kevin86: A typical Monday puzzle:white substitutes by exchange-the white piece on d1-from a supporting rook to a drone knight.
Jul-17-06  YouRang: <MaxxLange: Monday is back, and I hear again the sound of people who missed a mate in 2 persuading themselves that they solved the tactics problem>

Just in case you misunderstood my post... :-)

I did find the mate in 2 quickly. But I thought that this typical Monday puzzle was made a little more interesting by the fact that Black had 2 rather different ways of winning.

Jul-17-06  NeddieO: Pretty easy even for a Monday...that or puzzling is helping!
Jul-17-06  think: this could have been a puzzle at move 17 also, though it 'only' wins the exchange.
Jul-17-06  MaxxLange: There are often more ways than one to win...that came off a little nastier than I meant it too, sorry.
Jul-17-06  patzer2: <zb2cr> Speaking of Monday Morning and the Momas and the Popas, I thought some who fondly remember them might like to put to rest a false urban legend about Moma Cass's untimely death, as reported at

A sample of "Monday Morning" along with 19 other songs by the group can be found by scrolling down the page and clicking on any of the 20 links (Monday Morning is #3) at

Jul-17-06  zb2cr: <patzer2>,

Thank you! The song seemed apropos. I'm alwalys grateful to have my education contributed to, re: the urban legend.

Jul-17-06  hickchess99: it took me nearly two seconds to figure it out. at first i looked at a6, but realized that wasted too much time.
Jul-17-06  midknightblue: see a check, play a check. Thx for making my monday morning at work a little easier.
Jul-17-06  Marcelo Adaes: <MaxxLange> That exactly what it is! I am trying to persuade myself that I am not too stupid for not seeing the mate in 2.
Jul-17-06  weisyschwarz: Yay, I actually got one...quickly, too. There is hope for me yet!
Jul-17-06  c o r e: Missed it. Seriously. Spent about a minute looking at it, trying to find a win for WHITE.

Gave up, knowing it was monday, and realized that those unavoidable threats I was looking at- well you all found them, too.

Premium Chessgames Member
  BishopofBlunder: <EmperorAtahualpa: I didn't notice the rook on top of the board very quickly, so therefore it took me around 10 seconds. :)> Even worse <EA>, I didn't notice the simple instruction "Black to Play" at the top and spent 10 minutes trying to find a good move for white. Had this not been a Monday puzzle I may have given up. But I thought "it's Monday, it has to be easier than this". So I looked and lo and behold, it was black's move and he had a forced mate in two utilizing an exchange sacrifice.

Moral: When all else fails, read the instructions.

Jul-17-06  asip87: does he kidding?
Jul-17-06  dzechiel: Too easy, even for a Monday.
Premium Chessgames Member
  keypusher: <Too easy, even for a Monday.>

Sheesh, everybody's a critic.

Feb-06-08  reztap: I knew Opalek. A quiet guy who played very agressive chess. Have not seen him in years.
Apr-06-09  WhiteRook48: 18 Rd1??? sacrificing the exchange is necessary
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