|Title: The Traxler
||Author: Dan Heisman
|Publisher: Pickard &
|Price: $ 29,95
ChessBase or ChessBase Light
Pentium III 450 Mhz, 128 MB RAM and Windows 98
|Reviewed by: Erik
||Date: 02/01 2001
|The Traxler Counterattack arise
after the following moves:
1. e4 e5
2. Sf3 Sc6
3. Lc4 Sf6
4. Sg5 Lc5!?
This CD contains:
- 53 opening surveys sorted in 7 main chapters that gives a easy overview of the mainlines and their theoretical status.
- A database of more than 1.600 games many new and interesting (but as well including all too many from internet blitzgames with hardly any theoretical relevance (even two of mine - that says it all!)).
- And finally 6 training games with exercises that gives a fine repetition of the basic variations to remember for the newborn Traxler-practitioner.
Heisman tells that he decided to look at the Traxler because it seemed one of the most direct tactical opening variations, and therefore the line best suited for computer-helped analysis. The assumption being that the chance of finding new important discoveries with the computer would be much larger in the Traxler than f.x. in the Queens Indian.
It is an enormous effort the author has put into analyzing this complex opening. It is not done by just turning the computer on and see the printout. Heisman has obviously used his own reasonable playing
strength to guide and check the computer analysis. His own estimate of having used 2.000 hours on it seems very reasonable.
Heisman stands of the shoulders of the two major works of the Traxler by Estrin (1978) and Cramer (1993). Heisman compares his conclusions to these authors and makes some interesting discoveries regarding the theoretical status of the mainlines:
- White can still get a small but safe advantage by 5.Bxf7+, Ke7 6.Bd5 as stated by both Estrin and Cramer.
- 5.Nxf7, Bxf2+ 6.Kf1 is highly complex: Heisman found some improvements over Cramer in the critical 6...Qe7 7.Nxh8, d5 8.exd5, Nd4 9.d6!? that means that here 9...Qxd6 is properbly best with an unclear result.
- After 5.Nxf7, Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2, Nxe4+ 7.Kg1 the best road for black is 7...Qh4 8.g3, Nxg3 9.Nxh8, Nd4! with at least a draw.
- After 5.Nxf7, Bxf2+ 6.Kxf2, Nxe4+ 7.Ke3 is not losing as Estrin thought, but not winning either as some recent analysis has claimed. Highly
complicated lines with the white king running around in the middle of the board. Unclear.
- 5.d4!? is an relatively easy way for white to avoid the main lines and get complex play where both sides can go wrong. Heismans analysis points to approximate equality.
As it can be seen the computer even when used as cleverly as done here has not been able "to kill" the Traxler. Even though it is an opening where one should expect the computer to be able to do so.
A reason to be at least a little optimistic on behalf of the game of chess in this computer age.
It is a work I wish I could have done. A model example of how to use computers in
opening analysis. Objective and scientific work mixed with
thought provoking and entertaining writing. A product highly recommended for the player with interest in The Two Knights
Defense or who just enjoys entertaining tactical opening analysis.