Chess Openings, Mistakes and Traps

So, in the last post we discussed the basics of chess. We learnt so what is a chess board, what are chess pieces, how to move pieces and what is the point of the game. Well today we will discuss a lot more about the game given that you are cleared with the basics of game. If not please read the previous post on this site and if you are clear without any further delay let’s start to learn about some basic openings and traps.

Ruy Lopez (also called Spanish opening):

1.e4 e5, 2. Nf3 Nc6, 3. Bb5 …

In this opening white starts with first move pawn to e4. Black responds with pawn to e5. White on second move plays Knight to f3 and black responds with Knight to c6. As of third move white plays Bishop to b5 and this game in theory called Ruy Lopez opening. It is named after a Spanish chess player and priest of sixteenth century named Rodrigo ‘Ruy’ Lopez de Segura. This opening has advantages leads to very complex games and helps white castle quickly and has disadvantages such as black gets a lot of counterplay and defences in the later part of the game. Very much theory has been developed around this opening such as after bishop to b5 if a6 is played it is called Morphy Defence which has so many variations.

One of the Ruy Lopez, Morphy Defence traps that I learnt is

1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6 4. Bxc6 dxc6 5. O-O Bg4 6. h3 h5 7. hxg4 hxg4 8.Nxe5 Qh4 9. f3 g3 10. Re1 Qh1#

This trap is also known as Alapin Gambit. In this trap, every move was normal tactic until the move h5. Taking the bishop is completely losing even though it gets material advantage. After h takes g4 and h takes g4, pawn on g4 comes as a threat to knight. Knight has no good square to go to and after taking the pawn on e5, game is over. Qh4 comes as threat of mate on h2. F3 looks like a good move to make space for king but it is met with g3 which covers the squares. Last hope such as rook to e1 to make space has no meaning since it will be a mate when queen is moved h1. This is a very beginner level trap and the key to not fell into this is not to take the poisoned bishop on g4. Remember that the most important piece in the game in king. No amount of material advantage is enough to get checkmated. So, grabbing that three-point worth bishop achieves nothing if it is getting you checkmated.

Also, a mistake that people make in Ruy Lopez. After the move, a6 (1.e4 e5 2. Nf3 Nc6 3. Bb5 a6) when bishop takes knight on c6, remember to take back with the pawn on d2 and not with the pawn on b2. Why is this important? See your opponent might think of taking the e5 pawn with the knight next as it is undefended. But that would be a mistake to do. If your opponent takes on e5 you play queen to d4. Now the queen attack both knight and pawn and there is not a single move to defend both. If your opponent decides to save the knight by moving it to somewhere like f3 or g4, it will not make a big difference since queen takes on e4 comes with a check. Either king must move to f1 or queen must block on e2. And if queen blocks the check and queens are exchanged after white king takes queen black is very good since black has one pawn extra and much faster development of pieces. Taking with the d pawn made this rapid development possible and nice position possible. Same is not the case with b pawn. So, remember to take with the d pawn and not with the b pawn.

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