You Won't Believe This Simple Trap Even GMs Miss

  • GM Gserper
  • | Aug 10, 2014
  • | 48902 views
  • | 108 comments

There are many different traps in chess. Some of them are so well known that you can hardly use these tricks even against relatively weak players.

However, some traps are good enough to catch even grandmasters.  Sometimes, the world's leading players fall for the same traps more than once, as we discussed here.

Today, I want to talk about a very simple trap which appears in the games of super grandmasters on a regular basis.

I simply cannot explain how the world's top chess players can fall for the same little scheme again and again and again.

Even if you are not planning to play Carlsen or Aronian any time soon, I am sure you'll be able to trap one of your opponents with this tactical pattern.

Chess Traps and Stratagems by Cameron and Mary Maddux

Let me tell you how I learned about this little trick.

In one of the tournaments I entered when I was about 10 years old, I played a very strong opponent. I was leading, so a draw was a good result, especially against my opponent who was much older and stronger than me.

I don't remember the exact position, but it looked pretty much like the following diagram:


The desirable result was very close, so without any doubt I played 1. Qxc5?? expecting 1...Qxc5 2. Rxc5 Rxb2 with an instant draw. It looked like my opponent was expecting exactly my horrible move, since he immediately played 1...Re1+!!

I instantly realized that if I take his rook it will cost me my queen. But I still had some hope and played 2.Kg2, expecting to defend against his attack that might start after 2...Qb7+. Of course, after his simple move 2...Qxc5 I had to resign, as after 3. Rxc5 Rxa1 I am just down a rook!

I was totally crushed, my tournament was ruined, but the worst of all I couldn't belive how I could miss such a simple deflection of my rook. Fortunately, pretty soon I realized that it is not that I am stupid, but that this wicked trap somehow hits very strong chess players on a regular basis.

For example, at first I couldn't believe my eyes when three years after my game, one of the most imaginative chess players of his time (and an also an excellent tactician,) GM Rafael Vaganian, fell for exactly the same trap:

But then I saw more examples like this one:

And here is a game of modern grandmasters:

At some point, I just lost count of super grandmasters who fell for this trap. Here is an example from a game of two 2700+ grandmasters:

And here is the game from the very top:

Now, let's see what happened in the desisive game of the last U.S. Championship:

Finally, here are two games played last week in the Chess Olympiad in Tromso:

Now you can see that this trap is extremely common, and if you never used it against your opponents, don't despair!  

With this trap the question is not "if," it's "when"!


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Comments


  • 5 months ago

    max5678

    That is really amazing. Great article. 

  • 9 months ago

    SmilyFace4

    Good

  • 9 months ago

    AIM-AceMove

    We are talking about kids here under 10y. Its absolutely normal for them to hang a queen or miss tactic specially in complex position no matter their rating. It's a kid!!!

  • 9 months ago

    didi48

    Funny, GMs are like tactical wizards

  • 9 months ago

    Plabuk

    Excellent article GM Gserper . Love the many examples to drive the point home. More please.

  • 10 months ago

    Fabiogaucho

    In the last diagram, the ?? should be on move 23, not 24, since after 24. Rd7, black is losing material no matter what.

  • 11 months ago

    liZ_1

    ^^

  • 13 months ago

    michaels247

    lol

  • 14 months ago

    Lua_Johan

    wait what?? cant the enemy rooks kill u?

  • 20 months ago

    Mechkov

    Last move is great , but... how to reach such winning positions :D !

  • 20 months ago

    zetromax_2011

    very good lesson - I really appreciate.  

  • 21 months ago

    araujot

    muito bom ,mas precisa de um grande vacilo do aniversário !!

  • 21 months ago

    araujot

    muito bom ,mas precisa de um grande vacilo do aniversário !!

  • 21 months ago

    araujot

    muito bom ,mas precisa de um grande vacilo do aniversário !!

  • 22 months ago

    Errorer

    i just love sir Serpers articles...nice one again...

  • 24 months ago

    Samantha212

    How in the heat of the game we can overlook our opponent's back rank check.  Thanks for driving the point home.

  • 2 years ago

    TheRealMorik

    @davidcao1: For the game at the very top:

    1. Qxc5 Re1+

    2. Kg2 Qxc5

    3. Rxe1? (white has 2 rooks, black has 1 queen 1 rook)

    3. Rxc5? Rxa1 (white has 1 rook, black has 2 rooks)

     

    If instead

    2. Rxe1 Qxc5 and now white again has 2 rooks to black's queen + rook.

  • 2 years ago

    davidcao1

    I'm sorry.  I'm trying to understand what the problem is?  Maybe it is because i'm a beginner but i dont see what the problem is.

  • 2 years ago

    chyss

    That's cool. Thanks for all the examples! Excellent article! Thanks! Smile

  • 2 years ago

    NG_Quart

    nasty.

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