Setting Traps for Your Opponent

Trap-0Setting traps for the opponent is very exciting and everybody likes doing it. Traps may have different levels of difficulties. For example, creating threats on the opponent’s pieces from a long distance may be a serious trap for beginners, as they control the board quite badly. This is an elementary trap. In the games of experienced players we see much more complicated traps based on combinations, tactical strikes and more. But we have to understand that setting a trap is not always good for us.

“Cheap traps”

Trap-1We must avoid the creation of traps that may harm our position. That would be a cheap trap. It is not worth making bad moves to set a cheap trap and hope that opponent will be naive enough to fall in it. Let’s see a typical example from a beginner’s game. White has developed the queen attacking the e5 pawn, hoping that opponent will not see it. Black played 2…Nc6! protecting the e5 pawn and destroying White’s cheap trap. Now it becomes clear that Qh5 was a bad move, as White did not get anything but lost time and the queen will come under attack very soon.

Good Traps

Trap-2
Black to play

Good traps should be built into your play! You just follow your plans, do something useful and, along the way, set a trap. This is what it should look like. Let’s check an example. Black has a material advantage and objectively a winning position. What is White’s plan? Probably, he’ll try to complicate the situation and create some threats to the black king after the Ng3-f5 maneuver. But Black saw immediately that Ng3 is bad because of a nice tactical strike: Nd3+! So, Black played 1…Rd5! “allowing” White to follow the Ng3-f5 active plan. Furthermore 1…Rd5 is a useful move as Black activates a piece and plans Qc7-e5, exchanging the queens. White decided that it is time to play 2.Ng3 to avoid the queen exchange and attacking the black king, but White falls into the trap that we already mentioned.

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