Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: Tarrasch Trap, Open Variation

The Tarrasch trap takes its name after the famous chess player Siegbert Tarrasch (1862-1934).

In fact, the Tarrasch trap refers to two different opening traps in the Ruy Lopez but in different variations. One appears in the Open variation, the second in the Steinitz variation.

Today’s trap refers to the Open variation.

With this trap Tarrasch caught two renowned chess players of his time: Johannes Zukertort (Frankfurt, 1887) and Isidor Gunsberg (Manchester, 1890).

Is worth to mention that both Zukertort and Gunsberg were experienced players. In their chess career both played World Championship Matches against Wilhelm Steinitz:

  • Johannes Zukertort in 1886 with the result +6-4=9 favourable to Steinitz
  • Isidor Gunsberg in 1891 with the result +10-5=5, also favourable to Steinitz
  • The question arises, how can two experienced players play the same mistake?
    We have to admit that 11…Qd7 looks like a natural move. The game finishes the opening and it connects rooks as general opening rules recommend.

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