A trap that isn’t a trap

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I’ve been reading a great book for juniors on openings called Ten ways to succeed in the opening by http://onionschess.co.uk and it gives me an opportunity to talk about a trap that isn’t a trap in the two knights defence.

After 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 (Italian) black plays Nf6 which is the two knights defence and commonly seen at junior level white has a choice. Nc3 is common at junior level to defend the e4 pawn but black can then play Nxe4 setting the trap. I still haven’t found a decent app to show the most common traps if anyone knows of one?

If white responds with Nxe4, which is of course the reason white played Nc3 then black has a fork up his sleeve with pawn to d5 forking the bishop and knight. This is meant to be a reason not to play these moves but of course with any trap there is sometimes a way out if you look hard enough.

Black can now justice his bishop to d3 defending the knight which is the main line and after xe4 we have Bxe4 and material is equal. The trap was not a trap after all but still worth knowing as your opponent may be surprised and not know how to respond.

You then see Bd6 defending the pawn and either d4 attacking or castles from white and the game continues.

Of course Nc3 is still not a great move for this reason and better would be d4 attacking the centre, c3 preparing an even stronger d4 and of course the famous Ng5 which is the Fried Liver.

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Legal Trap

legal trapThe legal trap is a chess trap in the Italian opening. Traps are fun to look at because they lead to a checkmate in a way you may not have expected. You can see the moves in the picture that lead up to this check mate and there’s a great video on this from the chess website.

If you want to see the moves played I’ve also included a gif file below which animates the moves.

Essentially white opens with the Italian and if black plays the Philidor defence and then moves the black bishop to g4 pinning the knight then the trap is unleased.

legaltrap