A fun trap in the Two Knights Defense

| 16 | Opening Theory

If you have a friend that loves to play the two knights defense as white I have a surprise that you can spring on them the next time that you play. Yes this is an old well published trap but it never the less makes for great fun to defeat your opponent. The two knights defense looks like the position below and can be reached from several different move orders but the usual one is 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bc4 Nf6 4. Ng5.














This opening is not seen to my knowledge at the top levels of play ever.  Black has no problem dealing with this threat to the f7 pawn forking the rook and queen.  The main way of succeeding at this trap is baiting your opponent into greedy grabbing of material. 

Black plays the pawn 4… d5 then white plays the almost must of 5.exd5. This capture threatens the knight on c6 and forces it to move or to propose a counter gambit like 5…b5 6.Bxb5 Nxd5. Instead of this we move the knight 5…d4 baiting the push of the d5 pawn once again setting up the fork on f7. This move 6.d6? is noted as a mistake not a blunder.  Black will not win instantly but with this move white definitely has lost his miniscule advantage of having the first move.  Black allows the fork of the rook and queen with 6…Qxd6!.  Then the anticipated 7.Nxf7? Qc6!.














The Knight then captures the rook on h8 and effectively loses the game.  8.Nxh8?? Qxg2 9.Rf1Qe4+. Here white has a choice of whether he wants to end the game with a smothered mate or lose his queen.  10. Be2 Nf3#















or 10. Qe2 Nxe2 11. Bxe2 Bb4 12. c3 Bg4 13. f3 Bxf3 14. Rxf3 Bc5 15. d3 Qh4+ 16. Kd1 e4 17. dxe4 O-O-O+ 18. Kc2 Qxe4+ 19. Bd3 Qxf3 and either way black has a huge advantage.

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