Chess traps – 12 deadly traps to use on your opponent

best chess trap

Chess traps have always captivated chess enthusiasts. A good trap suggests tactical thoughts, combinations, and captivating principles that seize our interest and tend to remain popular for a longer time. Not only the players, everyone can enjoy chess traps. Great players invent these traps on great occasions, and each trap has unique features. Here are the 12 best Chess Traps:

  1. The Legal Trap
  2. Blackburne Shilling Trap
  3. The Elephant Trap
  4. The Lasker Trap
  5. Englund Gambit Trap
  6. Fishing Pole Trap
  7. Siberian Trap
  8. Rubinstein Trap
  9. Fajarowicz Trap
  10. Cambridge Springs Trap
  11. Italian Belloni Trap
  12. Danish Bird Trap

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The Legal Trap

It is familiar because it is used more often in a normal opening (The Italian game).  The game involves sacrificing the Queen followed by a checkmate. Here’s how it goes:

  1. e4 e5
  2. Nf3 Nc6
  3. Bc4 d6
  4. Nc3 Bg4
  5. h3 Bh5
  6. Nxe5
Legal Trap in Chess

As we can see, Black ought to choose to take the bait from White and seize the Queen, losing the spot or passing down material. Anytime a participant exposes their Queen, it is difficult for the opponent not to take it. That is why traps like these work so well. Also, you are in a pleasant position even if the opponent doesn’t take the bait.

Blackburne Shilling Trap

The Blackburne Shilling trap is a gambit used by many Black gamers who wish to utilize it in the common Italian game against White players. The trap’s name comes from the chess master Joseph Henry Blackburne. He always used this trap to beat his opponent. Sometimes it is called Kostic Gambit. Here, Black, on e5, offers a pawn sacrifice.

  • e4 e5
  • Nf3 Nc6
  • Bc4 Nd4
Chess Traps Blackburne Shilling

However, the White player must decline the proviso to move up in the material; otherwise, they will find themselves down. How poorly White performs after falling for the lure will decide how much material they will lose. It would be excellent for White to take the castle-king side and continue its progress. The Black Knight is moved twice in this position, but it does not improve the situation. White can now pressurize and perform up to two actions of improvement.

Meanwhile, Black is unsure what to do, but White must not fall for the lure. If White does fall for the trap, Black will carry the Queen to g5 and can even attack the Knight on e5. However, the g2 pawn is now exposed to be captured. Then it can build pressure on the White King and lead to a checkmate.

The Elephant Trap

The Elephant Trap derives from the Queen’s Gambit Declined Lines. Black defends the Queen’s Gambit by clearly moving the pawn to e6, maintaining the anxiety on the d5 pawn. White pursues to grow the Knight and apply extra pressure. Here is the sequence:

  • d4 d5
  • c4 e6
  • Nc3 Nf6
  • Bg5 Nbd7
  • cxd5 exd5
  • Nxd5 Nxd5
  • Bxd8 Bb4+
  • Qd2 Bxd2+
  • Kxd2 Kxd8
Elephant Trap in Chess

Black begins offsetting the elephant to entice by advancing its Knight to the f6 position; then, it baits the White Bishop for returning to f5. Finally, it pins the Knight all the way down to the Queen. Black now brings the Knight to d7. At first glance, this action looks like Black’s mistake. However, if White sees this and falls for the enticement, they will make a huge mistake. Black can sacrifice the Queen with the compelled movements so that one can win back White’s Queen and place Black in a dominating position.

The Lasker Trap

The Lasker Trap is derived from the Queen’s Gambit Declined Traces and mainly comes from the Albin Countergambit.

As Black displays its unprotected pawn on e5, they challenge the middle. Once the White takes the pawn on e5, Black has some options.

  • d4 d5
  • c4 e5 (Albin Countergambit)
  • dxe5 d4
  • e3 Bb4+
  • d2 dxe3 (setting up the trap for Bxb4)

Here is what the board looks like after setting up the trap:

Lasker Trap in Chess
  • Bxb4 exf2 (trap laid)
  • Ke2 fxg1=N+ (promote to a Knight and check)
  • Ke1 Qh4+

The most familiar move is to retake the pawn on c4, equalize the material, and eliminate any Queen’s gambit traces with which the opponent can be acquainted. This trap, however, does not at once take the pawn and, in lieu, pushes ahead with the pawn to d4. This easy act applies tremendous tension to White, and they have to cope with this. If White fails to defend themselves correctly, they can fall into the trap.

Englund Gambit Trap

The Englund Gambit (1. d4 e50) is the starting point for this lure. This trap is a formidable try via Black to entice White into making rational but risky moves. Black will surrender the pawn early on and deliver its Queen for a fast attack on the Queen’s side. The crucial move comes after Black takes 5. Qxb2. Here is the sequence:

  • d4 e5
  • dxe5 Nc6
  • Nf3 Qe7
  • Bf4 Qb4+
  • Bd2 Qxb2

In this spot, White can play Bc3 and attack the Queen; however, Nc3 is the better move.

Englund Gambit Trap

Fishing Pole Trap

This is one of the famous chess traps to beat the opponent. The sequence is:

  • e4 e5
  • Nf3 Nc6
  • Bb5 Nf6
  • O-O Ng4
  • h3 h5

When White plays the most common move like point (4) 0-0, the Berlin defense responds with a fishing pole trap.

Fishing Pole Trap in Chess

After White castles, Black can make an exciting move on Ng4. You may find it odd because the Knight has moved twice and has been exposed. The White can kick out the Knight with h3. However, Black cannot guess that White will play h5. White can eventually capture the Knight and win the game. Black can play with its pawn on g4. After that, it can bring its Queen to h4. Then the game will be for Black. There is an extra benefit to playing this trap. Even if the trap doesn’t work successfully, Black can put its Knight in a safe position.

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Siberian Trap

For rapid development, White can sacrifice a pawn in the Smith-Morra Gambit. The Siberian trap forces the White to do that. On the other side, getting their pieces to active squares helps create a devastating attack. White has to concentrate if they want to prevail. If they fail, then there’s a fantastic opportunity for Black. The Black player will employ its Knight to pressure the White player. White will lose its King or Queen in this difficult predicament. Here is the sequence:

  • e4 c5 (The Sicilian Defence)
  • d4 cxd4
  • c3 dxc3 (Introducing the Smith-Morra Gambit)
  • Nxc3 Nc6
  • Nf3 e6
  • Bc4 Qc7
  • 0-0 Nf6
  • Qe2 Ng4
  • h3 Nd4
Chess Traps - Siberian Trap

Rubinstein Trap

This trap comes from Akiba Rubinstein, who was a victim of this trap. The trap works as follows. Black will lose a pawn after Nxd5 for its Queen, trapped on the back rank. The Bc7 of the White player is responsible for this. The sequence is:

  • d4 d5
  • Nf3 Nf6
  • c4c6
  • Bg5 Nbd7  (The queen’s Gambit Decline)
  • e3 Be7
  • Nc3
  • Rc1 Re8
  • Qc2 a6
  • cxd5 exd5
  • Bd3 c6
  • Ne4
  • Bf4 f5 (A careless mistake)
  • Nxd5 cxd5 (White has won a critical central pawn and the black queen is trapped)
  • Bc7 (The black queen is trapped)
Rubinstein Traps

Fajarowicz Trap

The trap was first discovered in the Budapest gambit opening. It has always been a great opening for chess players. In the initial stage of this trap, the Black player will win some tactical win, but in the end, the Black has to win the White player’s Queen. The sequence is:

  • d4 Nf6
  • c4 e5 (The Budapest Gambit)
  • dxe5 Ne4 (The Fajarowicz variation)
  • Nf3 d6
  • exd6 Bxd6
  • g3 Nxf2 (Trap and a sacrifice that wins material
Fajarowicz Trap in chess
  • Kxf2 Bxg3 (Black wins the queen)

Cambridge Springs Trap

The trap can be seen as the Cambridge Spring Variation of Queen’s Gambit Declined. The trap is named after a 1904 chess tournament in Cambridge and has been used in this tournament several times. The sequence is:

  • d4 d5
  • c6 e6
  • Nc3 Nf6
  • Bg5 Nbd7 (Flexible move order for Black)
  • cxd5 exd5
  • Nxd5 (This move helps to take advantage of f6 Knights. It is a mistake)
  • Bxd8 Bb4+ (White has to block the Queen)
  • Qd2 Bxd2+
  • Kxd2 Kxd8

Black will win a piece.

Cambridge Springs Trap

Italian Belloni Trap

This trap, widely shown in an Italian Game, is one of the oldest chess openings. Here, White’s goal is to attract more pieces to the center by moving its Bishop to c4. Then the trap works as follows:

  • e4 e5
  • Nf3 Nc6
  • Bc4 Bc5
  • c3 d6
  • d4 exd4
  • cxd4 Bb4+
Italian Belloni Trap

The White starts its move from 7. Kf1. It is an unbelievable move because White will lose its ability to castle, then the h1 Rook is trapped, and White can’t develop his attack. After this, Black will start from 7. Nf6 and 7. Bg4, now playing 8. d5, White, will attack the Knight.  The Knight should move and attack the Bishop on b4.

Danish Bird Trap

The accepted line of the Danish Gambit follows this trap. Here falling for bait can cause severe damage to the opponent. The player who sets the trap sacrifices two pawns while setting it. The trap works as follows:

  • e4 e5
  • d4 exd4
  • c3 dxc3
  • Bc4 cxb2
  • Bxb2
Chess Trap - Danish Bird

White starts a powerful attack on the kingside of Black. The Black player will have to defend or play very aggressively. 5. Qg5 is an attempt where Black should keep attacking White. After moving the light square Bishop for White, the pawn on g2 becomes weak. That is the effect of that attempt Qg5.

After ignoring the threat, White will set the trap with 6. Nf3. The trap will quickly succeed if the Black can’t judge the movement and attacks the g2 pawn.

So, there you have it! 12 Chess traps for your opponent. Make your opponent fall for the traps to pull off such tactics efficiently. This is not an easy task. Hopefully, you’ll be able to use some of these traps on your opposing parties. To win more games, start practicing the sequences and movements and become a champion. Apart from the 12 Chess traps, there are other chess traps that you can refer to.

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Chess Traps – FAQS

How to spot a chess trap?

Search for unprincipled movements, including shifting the same piece more than once or bringing the Queen out early.

What is the best trap in chess?

There isn’t any single best chess trap. But, a lure that grants checkmate could be better than those giving you a winning material advantage.

Which is the deadliest opening in chess?

Among all chess openings, Traxler is the toughest, deadliest, and most destructive opening in chess; it has a 99% win rate. Take a look at this article to know various chess openings that you can incorporate into your game.

How do you practice chess traps?

There are many platforms to use these traps. You can play various online chess tournaments and practice. Learn about various websites where you can play Chess online.

How to stop a chess trap?

You have to be very careful about your opponent’s movement. You have to carefully fix your moves after considering your opponent’s moves.

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