In chess, there are common traps that beginner players fall into. Some of us may have a good rating now, but we were all beginners at some point and we’ve all fallen for some of these chess traps, such as the embarrassing Scholar’s mate!
But while your opponent can lay a trap, it’s not out of our control. There’s nothing forcing us to step into the traps! There are certain ideas and principles we can study and understand so that we can detect and avoid the traps.
In this video, IM Valeri Lilov takes a look at some of the chess traps he fell for during his early career and reveals the lessons behind them. Analyzing your past games is one of the most effective ways to improve your chess as it helps you identify your weaknesses and ensures you don’t make the same mistakes twice.
Chess traps don’t only include things like gambits or picking up a seemingly loose pawn. They can also involve getting yourself into a bad position, weakening your pawn structure, falling too far behind in development, getting one of your pieces trapped, or being provoked into playing a move that lowers the defense around your king.
One key way to make sure you don’t fall for traps is to learn the ideas behind the openings you play. For example, Valeri Lilov often played the Sicilian against 1. e4, but after 1…c5 2. Nc3 Nc6 3. f4, he didn’t know what to do next! While you don’t need to memorize endless lines of theory while you’re a beginner, it’s a good idea to play a system you understand and won’t end up making early mistakes with.
Just remember, for your opponent to successfully pull off a trap, you will actually have to fall for it!
Take Down Your Rivals
Want to avoid the chess traps your opponent throws at you?
Most people associate getting better at chess with 8-hour long sessions studying the intricacies of rook and pawn endings or frantic memorization of the latest trend in opening theory.
Truth is, there are a number of “quick fixes” we can all apply to our game to avoid those painful defeats and start taking down even our toughest rivals.
GM Damian Lemos reveals his top tips for rapid chess improvement in a free email course.
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