This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Chess to Enjoy Will You Walk Into My Parlour? By GM Andy Soltis


Greed is punished most dramatically in opening traps. But these days it’s other transgressions that can cost you the game.


Opening traps used to be the morality


tales of chess. They were mini-parables about the wages of sin, particularly the sin of avarice: One side delays development to win a


pawn. He knows the dangers of pawn- grabbing but goes ahead anyway—and gets crushed. The moral was clear. Don’t be greedy. Play safe moves and live a clean life. But a new generation of devilish traps


punishes players for making ... well, safe- looking moves. Consider the following position, which appears hundreds of times in databases. It can come about from several openings, including 1. c4, 1. Nf3, and 1. d4. One popular route is 1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 Nf6 4. Qc2 dxc4 5. Qxc4 Bf5 6. Nc3 e6 7. g3 Nbd7 8. Bg2 Be7 9. 0-0 0-0.


r+-wq-trk+ zpp+nvlpzpp -+p+psn-+ +-+-+l+- -+QzP-+-+ +-sN-+NzP- PzP-+PzPLzP tR-vL-+RmK-


After 9. ... 0-0


White needs a solid, developing move. What is more solid than 10. Rd1 ? But this is a losing blunder because 10.


... Bc2! threatens the rook and also cuts off the queen’s retreat (11. ... Nb6!). White is lost. At least 15 strong players, includ- ing grandmasters like Maya Chiburdanidze and Istvan Csom, have fallen for this. This is another feature of today’s traps.


They often claim a great player as their victim—even their first victim. That was the case when Tigran Petrosian, in his first game in a Soviet championship, met 1. d4 with the safest defense there was, the Queen’s Gambit Declined, 1. ... d5 2.


16 Chess Life — February 2012


c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6. After 4. cxd5 exd5 5. Bg5 Be7 6. e3 c6


7. Qc2 Black usually castles and looks for an opportunity to simplify his way to safety by trading pieces, such as 7. ... 0- 0 8. Nf3 Ne4, e.g. 9. Nxe4 dxe4 10. Qxe4? Bxg5.


rsnlwqk+-tr zpp+-vlpzpp -+p+-sn-+ +-+p+-vL- -+-zP-+-+ +-sN-zP-+- PzPQ+-zPPzP tR-+-mKLsNR


After 7. Qc2 But Petrosian chose the immediate 7.


... Ne4?? and discovered to his horror that he was lost after 8. Bxe7 Qxe7 9. Nxd5! cxd5 10. Qxc8+. Accident? Yes, but in the 60 years since


it was first sprung, more than 60 other players have blundered exactly this way, according to databases. This could be called the “Petrosian


Trap.” He’s not the only world champion with that kind of dubious distinction. There are two candidates for the title of the “Fischer Trap.” One occurs in the Caro-Kann, 1. e4 c6


2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5. Bobby experimented with 5. Nc5. It’s not a bad move. But twice on his Fischer’s cele- brated 1964 simultaneous exhibition tour he met 5. ... b6 with 6. Na6?.


(see diagram top of next column) Neither of his opponents found the


punishing 6. ... Nxa6 7. Bxa6 Qd5!, which threatens to win the bishop with 8. ... Qa5+ and to raid the kingside with 8. ... Qxg2. White may not be completely lost after 8. Be2 Qxg2 9. Bf3 Qg6 but his position isn’t promising.


rsn-wqkvlntr zp-+-zppzpp Nzpp+-+-+ +-+-+l+- -+-zP-+-+ +-+-+-+- PzPP+-zPPzP tR-vLQmKLsNR


After 6. Na6 The other Fischer Trap arises in the


Sicilian Defense’s Accelerated Dragon, 1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 g6 and now 5. Nc3 Bg7 6. Be3 Nf6 7. Bc4 0- 0. Bobby loved to set up an attacking formation, with Qd2, f2-f3, Bb3, 0-0-0 and h2-h4-h5. To reach the desired position, White


should play 8. Bb3 and then 8. ... d6 9. f3 and 10. Qd2. But in his first Inter- zonal in 1958, Fischer played 8. f3? and was surprised by 8. ... Qb6!. Black’s obvious threat is 9. ... Qxb2


but he also has two subtle ones, 9. ... Nxe4 and 9. ... Ng4, followed by 10. ... Bxd4. Fischer thought for more than an hour—his longest ever “think”—and man- aged to draw after 9. Bb3 Nxe4?! (9. ... Ng4!) 10. Nd5!. Since he already had a reputation as an opening expert, the trap should have become world-famous. Yet 8. f3? Qb6! has occurred more than


1,000 times(!), according to databases. Among the victims was Paul Keres. Today’s traps occur in modern openings


but they often use tactical tricks that are well over a century old. One arises in a trendy line of the Trompowsky Attack, 1. d4 Nf6 2. Bg5 Ne4 3. Bf4 c5 4. c3 Qb6. A natural move is the innocent-looking


5. Qb3. How could offering to go into an endgame be risky? The answer lies in 5. ... cxd4, so that 6.


cxd4 Qxd4. White can avoid this with 6. Qxb6 axb6—but would be in trouble after


uschess.org


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76