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Geza Maroczy vs Milan Vidmar
Ljubljana (1922), Ljubljana YUG
Italian Game: Scotch Gambit. Max Lange Attack Long Variation (C55)  ·  1-0



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Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <JoergWalter> I don't think a trap necessarily involves the "trapper" taking a risk. The one we are talking about is commonly called the "Elephant Trap."'...
Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: <FSR: Whether opening traps are the <first> thing one should learn about an opening is debatable, but this discussion strikes me as a tempest in a teapot.>

Nicely put. I wouldn't say that traps are the first thing you should learn about an opening. I'd rather focus first on things like strategic plans, typical middlegame positions and key deviations by the other player.

But I wouldn't want to leave to too long before making sure I'd done a quick sanity checks of the main traps in the opening. Many a player has come a cropper by dreaming of a middlegame plan when he should have been careful not to walk into a stupid error.

But I wouldn't jump on anyone who wanted to look at traps first. It's not my choice, but who am I (or any of us) to say it's wrong?

As to the definition of a trap, I would agree that the trapper doesn't have to take a risk. When I still had hair (ie more than 20 years ago) I used to play a fairly crude line of the Ruy that goes like this: 1. e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 Nf6 4. d4. The point is that black is doing okay if he sticks to the mainline of 4... exd4 5. 0-0 Be7, but he can come unstuck if he deviates.

For example, in opening explorer white wins 57% of games where black plays 5...d6 or 5...Nxe4, compared to black winning percentages of around 21%.

The mainline is fine for white, so I'm not really taking a risk. But there are plenty of chances for black to go wrong. I guess you would call it a trappy line.

Oct-27-11  TheFocus: <Colonel Mortimer> <The Goldsby Trap is the one that never shuts.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  Once: Let's not slip back into playground ways, eh? We were doing well until this nonsense resurfaced.

These wisecracks are not funny and not helpful. Rule 4 is still sitting there to the right of the comment box as I type this ... "no personal attacks against other users".

Oct-27-11  MaxxLange: Black should play 11...0-0-0 in this line

Speaking of traps: 11...gxf6? 12. g4! Qe5 13. Nf3 snares the Queen

Oct-27-11  Colonel Mortimer: <Once:> Ironically your original comment did more to stir the coals than either of the 2 comments that initially attracted your ire.

Surely not your intention?

Oct-27-11  LIFE Master AJ: Let me give you another example, since one pundit thought that my 15-year-old story was meaningless.

Just this year. Birmingham, AL. (You can look it up, if you have a desire to.)

Scott Varagona played my student, John Laning.

The game went: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 c6 7.Qc2,

click for larger view

John had been playing a lot of passive chess lately. I had been constantly beating the drum of: "Play actively."

John took that a little too far, and decided to play in that manner in the opening.

He played: 7...Ne4; 8.Bxe7 Qxe7; 9.Nxd5,

To John's credit, he lasted many moves, however, White was always at least one pawn up.

After the game, I asked him why he would do such a thing. He replied (very simply): "There was nothing wrong with my idea, I just had never seen that trap before."

Good enough for me.

And when I said: "The first thing I teach a student who wants to learn a SPECIFIC opening," ... I was talking about a student who already had some knowledge of chess.

Sometimes you fall into a trap because of greed or a rule violation. But sometimes, its easy to take a general idea like: "Black usually needs to swap one or two minor pieces in the opening," (to avoid getting cramped); mis-apply this idea ... and get slammed. (Or - as <Patriot> said - you may fall into a trap just becuase you have never seen that particular tactical motif before.)

When I teach chess, I am always emphasizing principles. The traps are there, like stark warnings, clearly showing what happens when you fail to correcly follow opening principles.

Oct-27-11  LIFE Master AJ: And I still think that traps are the first thing you should learn.

Kind of like driving in Houston many years ago, the roads (back then) were lousy. A local trucker told me, "The trick is to know where all the problems are and where all the pot-holes are ... and then just avoid them."

Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <LMAJ> ... 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 c6 7.Qc2 ... Ne4; 8.Bxe7 Qxe7; 9.Nxd5

One of the earlier victims of this trap became fairly well-known: Kotov vs Petrosian, 1949. This is his shortest loss in the database.

Oct-28-11  LIFE Master AJ: <FSR> Thanks for pointing that game out, I saw it, (years ago); but many here may not have ever seen this game, nor this particular tactical motif. (That basic trap has claimed many victims!)
Premium Chessgames Member
  FSR: <LMAJ> There may even be a trap within a trap here. Kotov-Petrosian continued 9...cxd5 10.Qxc8+ Qd8 11.Bb5+ Nc6 12.Bxc6+! bxc6 13.Qxc6+ 1-0. As I recall, once in an online blitz game, I played instead 12.Qxb7(??) Qa5+ 13.Kf1 0-0! and to my chagrin I actually ended up losing the game. Later when I looked at it with an engine, it appeared that I was already in big trouble, probably even lost, despite winning the knight on c6. So even when one gets a "won game," things are not always so easy.

Incidentally, Black's 6...c6! sets a positional trap of sorts, which I have only once seen remarked on in the books (in Berliner's "The System"). If White plays the natural 7.Bd3 (instead of 7.Qc2!), Ne4! leaves White with no advantage in a simplified position. Someone played this against me in a postal game once, although luckily for me he played very badly thereafter. The point of 7.Qc2! is to prevent this simplifying maneuver.

Oct-28-11  JoergWalter: <FSR> nice one -makes me forget our different wording of the matter.

<LMAJ> I understand that recently one of your students was trapped,although your training puts an emphasis on learning traps?

Oct-28-11  Colonel Mortimer: <I understand that recently one of your students was trapped,although your training puts an emphasis on learning traps?>

Those who can't do, teach. Those who can't teach, preach.

Oct-28-11  LIFE Master AJ: <<<FSR> Incidentally, Black's 6...c6! sets a positional trap of sorts, which I have only once seen remarked on in the books (in Berliner's "The System"). If White plays the natural 7.Bd3 (instead of 7.Qc2!), Ne4! leaves White with no advantage in a simplified position. Someone played this against me in a postal game once, although luckily for me he played very badly thereafter. The point of 7.Qc2! is to prevent this simplifying maneuver. <<>>>>

I am not arguing with you - in all liklihood, 7.Qc2 is probably (by a long shot) better than 7.Bd3. Yet I have already caught many players in the following trap: 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 c6 7.Bd3 Ne4 8.Bxe7 Qxe7 9.Qc2 f5? 10.Nxd5! (In both face-to-face blitz games and even a few on-line games.)

A recent tournament game (in this line) was also a favorable experience for me:

A.J. Goldsby I (2221) - Nat Riley (2019); [D35]
LA State Championships
Hilton Hotel / New Orleans, LA; (R#5) / 04,09,2011.

1.c4 e6 2.d4 Nf6 3.Nc3 d5 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 Be7 6.e3 c6 7.Bd3 Ne4 8.Bxe7 Nxc3 9.bxc3 Qxe7 10.Qc2 h6 11.Nf3 0-0 12.0-0 Nd7 13.c4 dxc4 14.Bxc4 Nb6 15.Bd3 Nd5 16.a3 Bd7 17.Ne5 Rfc8 18.Nxd7 Qxd7 19.Bf5 Qd6 20.Bxc8 Rxc8 21.Rfc1 Qe6 22.Re1 Re8 23.Qb3 Re7 24.Rec1 h5 25.Qc4 Qg6 26.h3 Re4 27.Rab1 Qd6 28.Rxb7 Qxa3 29.Qxc6 Nxe3 30.Rb8+ Kh7 31.Qxe4+ 1-0

The position after 17.Ne5 in this game:

click for larger view

I actually like 7.Bd3, even strong masters will play 7...Ne4; despite the fact that theory says that its bad ... they seem drawn to this exchanging maneuver like a moth to a flame.

In the above game, taking on c3 was inferior, since then, I have deeply explored the positions with 8...Qxe7; 9.Nge2, 0-0; 10.Bxe4. (White retains a solid edge. A sneaky weapon that will work even against a 2400+ player.) In the above game with Riley, after 17.Ne5, all the engines show White to be hugely better ... a couple even consider White to be winning. I did not submit this game, however, simply because his 17...Rfc8??; was a simple blunder. (For me, it ruined the game.)

My last tournament game, (in this line); I instead used the superior 7.Qc2.

A.J. Goldsby I (2230) - Cecilio R. Rosal (1864); [D36]

Gulf Coast Classic / Mobile, AL (R# 02) / 22,10,2011.

1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 d5 3.Nc3 e6 4.cxd5 exd5 5.Bg5 c6 6.Qc2 Be7 7.e3 h6 8.Bh4 0-0 9.Bd3 Nbd7 10.Nge2 Re8 11.0-0 Nf8 12.Rad1 Bg4 13.f3 Bh5 14.Nf4 g5 15.Nxh5 Nxh5 16.Bf2 Ng7 17.Kh1 Rc8 18.Bg1 Qd7 19.Qf2 b5 20.e4 b4 21.Na4 Nh5 22.g3 Qh3 23.Qg2 Qd7 24.b3 Ng7 25.e5 f5 26.Rc1 Nfe6 27.f4 Rf8 28.Qc2 Qe8 29.Be3 Qh5 30.Qf2 gxf4 31.gxf4 Bh4 32.Qg2 Kh8 33.Be2 Qf7 34.Qh3 Qe7 35.Rg1 Kh7 36.Bd3 Rf7 37.Rg4 Bf6 38.exf6 Qxf6 39.Rcg1 Nf8 40.Rxg7+ Rxg7 41.Qxf5+ Qxf5 42.Bxf5+ Kh8 43.Bxc8 Re7 44.Rg3 Nh7 45.f5 Nf6 46.Be6 Kh7 47.Rg6 Ne4 48.Rxh6+ Kg7 49.Rg6+ Kh7 50.Bf4 Nf2+ 51.Kg2 Nd3 52.Be5 Nc1 53.Bg8# 1-0

The position after 32...Kh8; in the above game, White is monstrously better ... and about to win material.

click for larger view

This last game was a relatively easy win for me ... I have been studying the White side of this system for 3-4 years now.

Oct-28-11  LIFE Master AJ: Since dropping the stupid Giuoco Piano (like a hot potato) ... I have been exploring a number of lines for White.

The Exchange is nice. Safe, super solid, tough as nails, sound ... Black must play perfect chess to draw.

The following encounter: A J Goldsby vs J Jurjevich, 2007, was also a positive experience for me. (I already had doubts about the GP, although I had not yet dropped it entirely.) Its a nice win over an old foe ... who has beaten me many times in the past.

Oct-28-11  Colonel Mortimer: <LIFE Master AJ:> <Since dropping the stupid Giuoco Piano (like a hot potato)>

What, after 30 years? Some hot potato that was.

Oct-28-11  JoergWalter: <Colonel Mortimer>

<What, after 30 years? Some hot potato that was.>

<LMAJ: "Those that remain ignorant of history's lessons are doomed to repeat its failures." I would say that the same concept applies to opening theory as well.>

Well, doesn't that mean about 29 years of ignorance?

Or is he just the Rip van Winkle from Pensacola?

Oct-28-11  TheFocus: If <AJ> would take a couple of minutes before posting to read his posts, he could ask himself:

"Do any of my statements make me look like an absolute dork?"

"Am I too much of a hick to post anything resembling common sense?"

"WWTFS?" (What would <TheFocus> say?)



"Are pork rinds on sale this week at Piggly Wiggly?"

"Is my forehead shiny enough?"

"To be a dork, or not to be the dork?" (Well, I can't help that.)

Oct-28-11  JoergWalter: <The Focus>

<LIFE Master AJ: This is part of my answer ... after about 15 hours of work... Thanks... But I am also highly self-critical...>

this message got censored.

Oct-28-11  TheFocus: <JoergWalter> I must have missed it.
Oct-29-11  LIFE Master AJ: Drop V.J. today?
Premium Chessgames Member
  beatgiant: <balboa07>
Please have a little respect for the rules of the site, and stop spamming with ads for your videos.
Premium Chessgames Member
  Sargon: <beatgiant: <balboa07> Please have a little respect for the rules of the site, and stop spamming with ads for your videos.>


Premium Chessgames Member
  WTHarvey: White wins:

click for larger view

17. ?

if 17...♕xe7 18.♕d5+ mates

Jan-09-22  Mathematicar: Nice game!
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