Chess Opening Traps

There are plenty of traps in all of the chess openings. Some of the traps become opening theory! Hereís a list of some of the common and well-known traps:

  • Scholarís Mate. The four-move checkmate with bishop and Queen.
  • Scholarís Mate: g6 defence leads to Qxe5+ and Qxh8 (winning the Rook)
  • Reverse Scholarís Mate. Black has a bishop and Queen too. Same traps exist in reverse.
  • Weak f7 square: Lots of King Pawn Openings where Bc4 and Ng5 gets a fork on f7. See also the Two Knightís Defence for how to defend it!
  • Weak f2 square: Black can fork too, via Bc5 and Ng4, forking on the f2 square.
  • Weak c7 square: Lots of Queen pawn openings have a trap where Bf4 and Nb5 gets a fork on the c7 square.
  • Weak c2 square: Black can play Bf5 and Nb4 in the Queen pawn openings too.
  • Pirc Defence: White cannot play e5 immediately because it loses a pawn.
  • Budapest Defence: Nd2 variation with h3 leads to Ne3 smothering the Queen or mating with Qh4+.
  • Sicilian Defence: Dragon: a line where Bxf7+ Kxf7 Ne6 wins the Black Queen (e.g. Fischer-Reshevsky).
  • Petrov Defence: Nxe4 immediately loses to Qe2, with a deadly discovered check if the Black Knight moves. Although it only loses a pawn with best play.
  • Unpinning traps. There are lots of lines where if Black plays Bg4 to pin a Knight on f3, then White can escape and unpin by either Bxf7+ or Nxe5 combinations.