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Costage Trap

Costage Trap

Nov 15, 2011, 9:07 AM 3

In 1994 Joshua Waitzkin was the top rated eight year-old in the country, he was such a phenomenal player that the chess world just knew he would win the National Elementary Chess Tournament. As expected he continued to beat his opponents until his final round in which he played against Dave Arnett. This round was so critical because the player, who won the game, became winner of the tournament.  



The opening played is commonly called the "Costage Trap" in which black gets a huge advantage in the very beginning of the game, white must either sacrifice material or prepare for a fierce attack. The best thing to do once you have failed for this trap is to lose the knight and build up your position, as shown Waitzkin refused to give up the knight and lost.


There are two things I would like the reader to get out of this game:


1. Studying the openings, if you have a basic knowledge of the openings then your game quality will improve and your rating will increase. A good way to learn of the openings is by reading Jeremy Silmans book: Complete Book of Chess Strategy: Grandmaster Techniques from A to Z.

It is an excellent book for a very basic knowledge of beging game techniques and strategy, he not only discusses main openings but the principles behind them.


2. When we play chess I feel that often emotions take control of  the game, this makes us want to play moves based off of our feelings, rather then what we should really do. We look back at the games we play and wonder “how could I have played that move when it was so obvious I shouldn’t have?” Young Waitzkin I fear let his emotions get the best of him, this is clearly shown when he played moves like 16. d3, 12. b4 and 5. Ng4 . If you are ever playing a game and realize that you are moving based of your psychological state, you need a dose of reality. I do this by standing up and walking for a moment, getting a drink of water and clearing my mind. I come back to the board with a new view and perspective of what needs to be done.


Thomas Taylor III

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