Coach Dante's Student Appreciation Post! -- Opening Traps
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Coach Dante's Student Appreciation Post! -- Opening Traps

Jan 11, 2018, 3:01 PM |

What's the best way to handle a trap? Wear a helmet!


In my following student game we see a problem that was more my fault as a coach than my student's fault as a player.  In my judgment, as the students are still learning the very basics of the game I believed it was more important to focus on basic principles and patterns before working on more specific situations.  Oh how wrong was I!


The talented young player my student faced went for the dangerous Fried Liver Attack. Sure, the opening isn't entirely good, but against young players who don't know how to handle opening tricks it is a minefield. 

The game never really got going for my student. Facing an unknown opening is tricky. Once Black saw how much material he was dropping it seemed as if he made empty threats in the hope that they might give SOME semblance of counterplay.

What do we take away from this student's game?

  1. As a coach I have a responsibility to inform my students about common problems they will face in tournament play. I did not do that for this student, and I must strive to do better in the future.
  2. When faced with an unorthodox opening or a player who ignores opening principles for an attack it is important to take a moment, breathe, and analyse the position in regards to your opening principles. It isn't too hard to find 4...d5 to stop the Fried Liver in its tracks once you consider what your opponent is threatening and how the previous move violates the opening.
  3. When learning an opening (even if it's just 3 or 4 moves) we must take time to study the weird sidelines and the opening traps for both players. If we don't, then we are going to fall prey to them at some point.