In Chess, traps are fun to play when they work. Some work only on amateurs and others even trap the strongest Grandmaster players. This guide lists the best traps for both White and Black. But first let’s cover what they are.
What is a Chess Trap?
Chess traps are variations in various openings that try to tempt an opponent to fall into the trap resulting in a massive disadvantage. Traps are seen throughout all phases of the game from the opening, to the middlegame, and even in the endgame.
Traps that been seen repeatedly often acquire their own names to describe the sequence of moves. Most of them get their names from the players that first played them or the location of which the trap was first played. or originates from.
With that being said, let’s get started with the list.
The Budapest Defense is mostly played just to be able to play this trap. When it works, it’s a lot of fun and worth learning.
For more details, you can read the complete guide on the Budapest Trap.
The Elephant Trap gets its name from the Bishop being the main piece for setting up this trap. Bishop is the Russian word for Elephant. This is a powerful trap that commonly makes its victims resign if falling into.
For more details, you can read the complete guide on the Elephant Trap.
The Halosar Trap, named after Hermann Halosar, is a variation of the Blackmar-Diemer Gambit. The trap is placed on 7…Bg4. It dates all the way back to 1934 when Halosar used it in a game versus Emil Joseph Diemer.
For more details, you can read the complete guide on the Halosar Trap.
The Kieninger Trap is a variation in the Budapest Gambit (or Budapest Defence) and can result in one of the most beautiful checkmates you’ll see. Victims to this trap can be defeated in less than 10 moves.
For more details, you can read the complete guide on the Kieninger Trap.
Magnus Smith Trap
The Magnus Smith Trap is a variation of the Sozin Attack in the Sicilian Defense. One of many traps in the Sicilian, this is one of the more powerful traps that opponents can fall into.
For more details, you can read the complete guide on the Magnus Smith Trap.
A variation of the Berlin Defense in the Berlin Defense, the Mortimer Trap is played with the Black pieces.
For more details, you can read the complete guide on the Mortimer Trap.
Noah’s Ark Trap
Noah’s Ark Trap is found in multiple openings, but primarily found in the Ruy Lopez opening. The first example is from a game between the great Capablanca and Steiner in 1929.
For more details, you can read the complete guide on the Noah’s Ark Trap.
The Lasker Trap, named after the legendary Emanuel Lasker, is a variation in the Albin Countergambit. It was first used in one of the most famous Chess games, a Chess Simultaneous exhibition between Blumenfeld, Boyarkow, and Falk versus Lasker in 1899.
For more details, you can read the complete guide on the Lasker Trap.
Do you like guides like this one on Chess Traps? If you did, you might also be interested in the guide on Chess Databases and Checkmate Patterns.