A (not so) Beautiful Trap

Mar 16, 2011, 8:34 AM |

This is probably the most beautiful trap I've ever set. [At least I thought so at the time. —17 Mar 2011] The [Black] kingside has holes, and I bear down on three contiguous diagonals and an open file.


First, I had to see it. The whole train began with the thought: What can I gain from a Queen check on h5? Black seems to have thought his king was secure, because his moves were telegraphing a buildup for a kingside assault along the long diagonal.

On move 11, I spring the trap with an innocent-looking pawn push. If black captures with the knight, and the gambit doesn't pay.

I've included my notes in the game, along with variations on the sprung trap. I believe that as soon as black played exd5, there was nothing he could do to save himself.

Edit: I overlooked an interposition of the knight that was possible on e7 after Rae1. Fortunately, so did my opponent. So it isn't as beautiful as it first appeared.

UPDATE 17 Mar 2011:

I have had further opportunity to review my opponent's play in this "trap", and there are three major inaccuracies by my opponent that made this possible. It is almost a helpmate. In the following, the main line is from the actual game, and the variations are improvements by black. We pick it up after 11.d5, the "trigger event" for the trap.

I have not checked any of these variations in a computer. I will provide another update if this reveals anything significant.