Traps, Tricks & Mistakes: No Trap
Almost every rule in chess has exceptions and traps are not the exception.
When preparing traps, chess players usually look for a means to obtain a “tangible” profit, like winning a piece, trapping the opponent’s queen or checkmating the opponent.
In a second group, there are traps where the player doesn’t obtain any ‘material advantage’ but positional benefit, like restricting the activity of the opponent’s pieces.
And there is a third group of traps, which are exceptions to the above-mentioned categories. Those are ‘false traps’. They appear like a convenient means for obtaining an advantage but if the player goes for it, then he/she gets an inferior position.
Today’s game shows one of them in one line of the Sicilian Defense, Najdorf Variation.
GM Attila Czebe, playing White, goes for such a trap and he obtains material advantage because he wins the exchange. Nevertheless, the evaluation of the resulting position favours Black due to better development.
That game was played in 2010. Eleven years later the same position after 9.e5 dxe5 appeared in another game between GMs.
Vladislav Kovalev played White against Jorden Van Foreest in round 9 of the prestigious Tata Steel tournament (The Nederlands, 2021).
Most probably both players knew the previous game and were aware of the ‘false trap’.
Kovalev didn’t go for the exchange. Instead, he retreated the knight to f3. Nevertheless, he lost the game.
Dear readers, chess is a game with plenty of surprises.
If you like to play for traps, be sure that you are familiar with them and never relax your evaluation process.
Homework is also valuable.
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