Jokeroutter and the Traxler Variation

By Gary Williams (gwms)

A couple of nights ago, I played an excellent player who uses the handle jokeroutter, and we traded games: In the first game, I played black and used my usual anti-d5 defense (what I think of as a reversed French defense, although I'm not sure that's really correct).

The second game was more interesting: jokeroutter played black, while I opened with my usual Guico Piano-like e4. He played a version of the Traxler Variant (known in the US as the Wilkes Barre variant, after the Wilkes Barre (PA) Chess Club, that did an intense study of the opening after the famous Reinisch - Traxler match in Czechoslovkia in 1896), and made absolute hamburger of me.

After the game, I asked if he wanted to give me an article about the Traxler Variant, and he told me he didn't feel his English was strong enough to write an article -- but he did send me an interesting set of PGN games:

I did do a Google run on the Traxler: q=Traxler+variation and found a couple of interesting articles: and

Pillsbury vs. Lasker

By Tim Raczkowski (tjraczko)

Here's a familiar situation. You play a game of chess in which your opponent beats you soundly, in a favorite opening. So it's back to the drawing board. You analyze the game and find a much stronger move in the opening, which leaves your opponent with a permanent weakness. "Aha, I'll get him next time", you say. The next time the two of you play, you spring your new move on him and win. Well, imagine having to wait the better part of nine years, to unleash your surprise. That's just what Harry Nelson Pillsbury had to do with Emmanuel Lasker.


The threat or the execution

By Tim Raczkowski (tjraczko)

Tim Raczkowski
Tim Raczkowski
New York 1927. Aron Nimzovitch vs. Milan Vidmar As the game begins, Vidmar pulls out a cigar, lights up, and begins to puff away. The high-strung Nimzovitch is irritated by the smoke and complains to the tournament director, who is none other than the Grandmaster Geza Maroczy. After consulting with Maroczy, Vidmar agrees to stop smoking and the game resumes. Some minutes later, Nimzovitch is complaining to Maroczy again. Vidmar has apparently pulled out another cigar absent-mindedly, but isn't smoking it. Maroczy is perplexed, and Nimzovitch is exasperated. "You're a Grandmaster, " Nimzovitch exclaims. "You know the threat is stronger than the execution."

Sources: The Fireside Book of Chess by Irving Chernev and Fred Reinfeld
The World's Great Chess Games by Reuben Fine

For the 1927 New York games between Vidmar and Nimzovich, click here. For a complete set of the tournament games, click here.

Positioning your knights

By Gary Williams

Single Knight moves
Single Knight Moves
Two Adjacent Knights
Two Adjacent Knights
Where a Rook or a Bishop or a Queen moves in straight lines, making their "coverage" long bands of squares along a row or across a diagonal (or, of course, both for the queen), Knights move from point to point, making their "coverage" a set of 8 points as shown in the illustration on the left.


Tell, Say, Kibitz And Whisper

By Gary Williams

How do you talk to your friends on FICS and other chess servers? How do you send messages to your opponent, who may be around the world from you? How do you talk to the people watching a game without disturbing the players?


Defining A Chess Nut...

Black Pieces

Nut [n] someone who is so ardently devoted to something that it resembles an addiction; "a chess addict"; "a chess nut"; "a chessfreak"

Chess [n] a game for two players who move their 16 pieces according to specific rules; the object is to checkmate the opponent's king

ChessNut [n] someone who is so ardently devoted to the game of chess that it resembles an addiction.

Are you a ChessNut?

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