Sunday, December 7, 2014

Boden's Mate

Boden's Mate is characterized by a king being mated by two bishops along two criss-crossing diagonals.  The most famous example of Boden's Mate is the so-called Peruvian Immortal Game, Canal vs. Dubyna, Budapest 1934.

In the following game, Samuel Boden, for whom the mate is named, exhibited an early example of it in a friendly game Schulder–Boden, London 1853.  Source: Wikipedia.

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, d6
3. c3, f5
4. Bc4, Nf6
5. d4, fxe4
6. dxe5, exf3
7. exf6, Qxf6
8. gxf3, Nc6
9. f4, Bd7
10. Be3, 0-0-0
11. Nd2, Re8
12. Qf3, Bf5
13. 0-0-0? ....

Bd5 is better.

13. .... d5!
14. Bxd5? ....

This move allows a forced mate. Better is 14. Rde1, losing a piece.

14. .... Qxc3+
15. bxc3, Ba3 mate.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Tarrasch Trap

The Tarrasch Trap was named after Siegbert Tarrasch, who was one of the strongest chess players in the late 19th century and early 20th century.  Tarrasch actually used his traps against chess masters in tournament games.

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, a6
4. Ba4, Nf6
5. 0-0, Nxe4

The Open Variation of the Ruy Lopez.

6. d4, b5
7. Bb3, d5
8. dxe5, Be6
9. c3, Be7
10. Re1, 0-0
11. Nd4, Qd7?

12. Nxe6!! ....

If 12....fxe6 or Qxe6, then 13. Rxe4 and White wins a piece.

Dresden Trap

The Dresden Trap is also a form of Tarrasch Trap, and occurs in the Steinitz Variation of the Ruy Lopez.  Source:  Wikipedia.

The following game actually happened between Siegbert Tarrasch versus Georg Marco in 1892.

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, d6

This is the Steinitz Variation of the Ruy Lopez Opening.

4. d4, Bd7
5. Nc3, Nf6
6. 0-0, Be7
7. Re1 ....

White lays a trap. Castling seems a natural move for Black but it loses a pawn.

7. .... 0-0

A better move for Black is 7. .... exd4.

8. Bxc6, Bxc6
9. dxe5, dxe5
10. Qxd8, Rxd8
11. Nxe5, Bxe4?!
12. Nxe4, Nxe4
13. Nd3 ....

Not 13. Rxe4 because of 13.....Rd1+ with a mating threat.

13. .... f5

The Black Knight cannot move because of a pin on e7 Bishop.

14. f3, Bc5+?!

Better is 14...Bh4, 15. g3 Nxg3, 16. hxg3 Bxg3 where Black gets two pawns for the Knight.

15. Nxc5, Nxc5
16. Bg5, Rd5
17. Be7, Re8
18. c4! ...

White wins at least the exchange, so Marco resigned.

Noah's Ark Trap

The Noah's Ark Trap is a chess opening trap in the Ruy Lopez (Spanish Game).  The name is actually used to describe a family of traps in the Ruy Lopez in which a white bishop is trapped on the b3-square by black pawns.  Source:  Wikipedia.

The following game actually happened between Endre Steiner and Jose Raul Capablanca in 1929.

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, a6
4. Ba4, d6
5. d4 ....

White has a choice of better moves:  c3, Bxc6+, or 0-0.

5. .... b5
6. Bb3, Nxd4
7. Nxd4, exd4
8. Qxd4?? ....

A better move for White is 8. Bd5, or try a gambit with 8. c3.

8. .... c5
9. Qd5, Be6
10. Qc6+, Bd7
11. Qd5, c4

(See diagram).

The Bishop is trapped and White resigned after 32 moves.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Mortimer Trap

The trap, named after James Mortimer, begins with Black playing the Berlin Defense to the Ruy Lopez.  It is a true trap in the sense that Black deliberately plays an inferior move hoping to trick White into making a mistake.  (Source:  Wikipedia)

1. e4, e5
2. Nf3, Nc6
3. Bb5, Nf6
4. d3, Ne7

Black intends to reroute the Knight to g6.  It is an inferior move, but it lays a trap.

5. Nxe5?, c6!

Black threatens 6....Qa5 winning at least 1 piece.

6. Nc4 ....

This is White's best reply, as it covers a5, and threatens 7. Nd6 mate.

6. .... d6!
7. Ba4, b5

Black forks the White Bishop and Knight, winning a piece for two pawns.