Former World Woman Chess Champion Alexandra Kosteniuk shows in this game from the Khanty-Mansiysk 2016 that feathers can fly with a return to what appears as for years was looked upon as “coffeehouse chess play”. Against Bela Khotenashvili (black) the interesting somewhat rare line shows up like a rattlesnake bite –a mean venom.
l. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Ba4 Nf6 5. O-O N:e4 6. Re1! Nc5 7. B:c6 d:c6 8. N:e5 Be6 9. Qh5! Be7 10. N:f7! Hey! This is not supposed to happen like this but remember my thought about the f7 square being a weak link at the start of play.
10. … B:f7 11. Q:c5 Qd6 12. Qg5! Hey! What gives? This Queen has flighty feet. A strange conflict with what we learn from the books.
12. … Kf8 13. Qg3 While this seems okay, if she wants to roam around, another idea would be 13. Qa5 b6 14. Qa4 looking at aggressive ideas on the Q-side.
13. … h5 Black avoids a Queen swap being a pawn down for the endgame.
14. d3 h4 15. Qh3 Rd8 16. Nc3 Qd7 17. Q:d7 R:d7 18. h3 Rh5 19. Ne4 c5 20. b3 White eventually converted the extra pawn to win the point.
Of course all the books say best is 6. d4 (instead of Re1) b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. d:e5 Be6 leading to most usual positions of the Open Defense. But even here, 6. Re1 Nc5 for example gives white a pull. But a shocker comes if Black tries to return to the Open Defense idea by 6…b5 7. Bb3 d5 8. Nc3 N:c3 9. d:c3 Be6 10. a4 Na5 11. Bg5 leads to good chances.
The point is it seems to offer a sideline (6. Re1) that contains a lot of poison in the hands of attack minded players especially with home preparation and perhaps testing either with a friend or computer review.