Black would seem to have two alternatives, 11. ... Kd6 or 11. ... Kd7 and white will go for d4, opening up for the black squared bishop and the rook to e1.
Basicly, I have analyzed a great deal of lines from here with my trustworthy companion Fritz and I just wonder if there's a good line for black, can he defend from this position reaching an endgame where he even reaches equality or even better advantage? I remember finding one line for black eventually ending with 3 fold repetition, but otherwise the machine, at worst, ends up ahead in the endgame as white.
So, primarily, I'd appreciate a discussion about this line and not arguments as of why black gains more by 5. .. Na5 or 8. ... Nce7.
35 ( +1 | -1 ) My thoughts...Following 11... Kd6 12. d4, 12... c6 is just plain bad, as White has very good play after either 13. Bf4 or 13. dxe5+. 12... Be6, however, seems fine. After 13. Re1, I found 13... h5, threatening Bg4. This forces White's queen to move, allows your light-square bishop into play, and may allow you to activate your king-side rook early.
12. ... c6 does indeed seem weak after: 13. Bf4 Be6 14. Bxe5+ Kd7 15. Nc7! ... where I see white winning.
So instead black to play, as you suggested 12. ... Be6. I cannot find any games at the major database I usually refer to, while GK's database gives the following: 13. Re1 (4 games) and 3 other moves, but with the only significant one (13. Qe4) as also recommended by my buddy Fritz. I know my Fritz is limited though so I will focus on 13. Re1 and see where we end up. Now after 13. Re1 ... black can play 13. ... h5 as you suggested, but only to met by 14. Qe4. So: 12. ... Be6 13. Re1 h5 14. Qe4 Kd7 15. Qxe5 Bxd5 16. Qf5+ Kc6 17. Re6+ Bxe6 18. Qb5+ Kd6 19. Bg5+ ... Where black either forces white going into perpetual with 19. ... Kd6 or white is eventually winning after: 19... Kf7 20.Qf5+ Qf6 21.Bxe6+ Ke7 22.Bd7 Kf7 23.Qd5+
In conclusion, I still can't find a refutation to the line starting with 9. a3. At best it seems black ends up with a draw should he bypass the gates of hell awaiting him, knowing that one slightly bad move will definetly end him. Maybe I have missed a good move from black somewhere?
203 ( +1 | -1 ) The Two knights' is one of ...... my all time favorite openings. The Wilkes-Barre (4.Ng5 Bc4!?) is fine (I've played it once on GK for a 12-move win, and on several other occasions); the standard 5...Na5 leads to a gambit for Black - a pawn down but with easy development, and although I've never actually played them, 5...Nd4!? (The Fritz Variation) and 5...b5 (The Ulvestad Line) are both intriguing.
But if you want to hone your defensive technique, it probably isn't so bad to play into the Fegatello Attack (and get yer liver fried). It seems the jury is still out on this, even though the line has been known for over 400 years.
I presume this thread is primarily about this line, in particular, a discussion as to whether in the main line 8...Nb4 is stronger than 8...Ne7; and whether Black's chances of survival (in the 8...Nb4 line) are better with 11...Kd6, 11...Kd7 or 11...c6
At move 8, ...Ne7 was played in a game Polerio-Domenico played 407 years ago (Rome, 1600): 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nxd5 6.Nxf7 Kxf7 7.Qf3+ Ke6 8.Nc3 Ne7 9.d4 c6 ---9...b5 and 9...h6 are alternatives 10.Bg5 h6 ---10...Kd7 is usual nowadays 11.Bxe7 Bxe7 12.0-0-0 Rf8 13.Qe4 Rxf2 ---13...Bg5ch is the alternative 14.dxe5 Bg5+ 15.Kb1 Rd2? ---The decisive error according to Yakov Estrin, though 15...Ke7 leads also to a big White advantage. 16.h4 Rxd1+ 17.Rxd1 Bxh4 18.Nxd5 cxd5 19.Rxd5 Qg5 20.Rd6+ Ke7 21.Rg6 1-0 If 21...Qh5, 22.g4 traps the Queen; whilst 21...Qd2 is axed by 22.Qxh4+ Ke8 (or f8) 23.Rd6 whereupon Black has to shed the Queen to avert the mate: 23....Qa5 24.Qh5+ (if the Black K is on e8) g6 25.Qxg6+ and mate next move. If 22...Kf8 has been played instead: 23...Qa5 24.Rd8 Qxd8 25.Qxd8#
In his 1971 monograph on the Two Knights' Defence, Estrin makes this telling comment on this line, which has a general application. "It should be noted that when his king is trapped in the centre, Black should avoid the opening up of files. However, this point, known to the Italians over 350 years ago [we could say over 400 years ago now!] is still not clearly appreciated by many people even today. In a game Estrin v Kekillev (...1952) Black played 10...exd4 [instead of the move 10...h6 as played by Domenico] giving White a very strong attack. White won quickly after 11.0-0-0! dxc3 12.Rhe1+ Kd6 13.Bxd5 cxb2+ 14.Kb1 cxd5 15.Bxe7+."