7 Beginner Chess Opening Traps

7 Beginner Chess Opening Traps

Today, we’re going to introduce some simple tricks and traps in the opening which many beginners fall for. Of course, if your opponent plays good opening moves it’s difficult to win a miniature. Many of the traps only work because somebody has severe weaknesses in his positions. But most of the time, even intermediate chess players make a lot of mistakes in the opening. Hence, studying beginner chess opening traps definitely gives you the opportunity to catch your distracted opponent into an easy win! Moreover, knowing different opening traps also helps you avoid being on the wrong side of a 10 move victory!

In this new free video -post, IM Valeri Lilov introduces 7 beginner chess opening traps. IM Lilov explains that in order to trap your opponent in chess, you need to have to set up a position in which your opponent has a nice looking line which seems to lead to serious advantages for him. As your opponent does not have endless time to decide his next move, he may not realize it in time and will fall for the trap. In essence, you need to give your opponent plenty of opportunities to go wrong during the game.

There are three rules to avoid falling for traps:

  1. Remember to look carefully at your own weaknesses and the opponent’s possibilities.
  2. Calculate your opponent’s moves precisely (not all traps your opponent sets up work in his favor).
  3. If your opponent tries to trap you, watch out for ideas to turn tables and set your own trap.

We will see some openings traps below but, if you want to know them all, you’ll have to watch the complete video!

1.e4 Opening Traps

In the first example we see a quick win by White. The game startet 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Bc5?! With this move, Black leaves his pawn on e5 unprotected and gives White the opportunity to play 3.Nxe5. White, however, should not grab the pawn immediately, but think about what Black’s idea could be. Clearly, the weak point in White’s camp is the f2-square. That said, before taking the pawn, White needs to calculate Black’s three most obvious responses, 3…Qf6, 3…Bxf2+ and 3…Qh4. Beginner Chess Opening Traps

After 3…Qf6, White can simply return his knight to f3 and is a clear pawn up. After 3…Qh4, White has the strong reply 4.d4! and after Qxe4+ 4.Be3 Bd6 (the bishop has to move again as it is attacked by the d4-pawn) 5.Nc3, White can stop calculating any further. On the one hand, he returned the pawn, but on the other hand, he now has a huge lead in development and the Black queen is in great danger. Beginner Chess Opening Traps

Now, as we checked these variations, there is only one move left for Black. The game continued 3.Nxe5 Bxf2+ 4.Kxf2 Qh4+ 5.g3! Qxe4 (see the diagram on the right).    

This was Black’s idea. White’s knight on e5 and his rook on h1 is hanging. Although 6.Nf3 would secure White an extra piece, he decided to go for an even stronger move and set up a little trap himself – 6.Qe2! As Black is behind in terms of material, he can’t exchange queens.

Without paying too much attention to White’s move, Black gladly took the rook on h1- 6…Qxh1. But now the trap snaps shut. White continued 7.Bg2 (attacking the Black queen) and after Qxh2, White simply went for the discovered check 8.Nf3+ (see the diagram on the left). Black had to resign. He needs to do something against the check and can’t rescue his queen on h2.

1.d4 Opening Traps

This time, the game started with the moves 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.dxe4 Ne4. Black goes for a rare line in the Budapest Gambit, the so called Fajarowicz Gambit. This gambit is not considered that correct, but it offers White a lot of scope to go wrong. White continued with the move 5.a3 (preventing …Bb4+). The move a3, however, does not help White to catch up in development. Beginner Chess Opening Traps

Black seizes his chance and goes for active piece play. He starts with 5…d6. After 6.exd6 Bxd6 7.g3, White tried to follow up with Bg2, Nf3 and 0-0. If he manages to play all these moves, he’ll definitely have a clear advantage. Black, however, exploited the fact that White made too many pawn moves and forgot about the development of his pieces. Beginner Chess Opening Traps

Can you spot Black’s winning combination?

Keep in mind that you should always consider checks first. Black continued with the strong move 7…Nxf2! (forking rook and queen). White had to take the knight – 8.Kxf2. But after 8…Bxg3+ 9.hxg3 (or 9.Kxg3), Black simply wins the unprotected queen on d1 with 9…Qxd1. White resigned.


These beginner chess opening traps were only 2 out of 7 great examples you will find in the video. As we’ve seen, the opening offers plenty of chances to go wrong and fall for tricks and combinations.

Check out some more opening traps here: https://www.ichess.net/blog/chess-opening-traps/

Do you want to discover more incredible and lesser-known combinations? Try Killer Combinations with GM Damian Lemos!


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