Volume 4: Learn How to Avoid Opening Traps & Pitfalls
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It is always nice to win a game quickly. But some opening traps are based only on hopes that the opponent will make a serious mistake. If the opponents play correctly, the trap could backfire.
On this DVD Susan Polgar will take you through a number of opening traps & short games. By knowing what to do and what to avoid, you can turn the tables on your opponent, giving you the win instead of becoming the falling victim to a "cheapo".
Avoid Scholars Mate
- It is usually better to develop Knights before Bishops
- Do not move your Queen out early prior to your minor pieces and castling
- Don't break opening principles: develop your pieces early and put your King in safety
- Do not move the same piece (especially not the Queen) over and over in the opening. By developing the Queen too quickly, it can become vulnerable to attack and you will lose valuable time needed to develop the rest of your pieces.
- Do not try and win your games quickly by playing unsound moves. Follow the opening principles and do not deviate from it except when it is a must (e.x. When one of your pieces got attacked, etc).
Legall's Mate: Where did Black go wrong?
- Black should have developed his Kingside and put the King into safety.
- Black should not have put his Bishop on unprotected squares
The inventor of this trap is Legall de Kermeur who was a champion chess player in France in the 18th century.
Moving the f-Pawn: What is the moral of the story in this game?
- Black made 4 moves with the Knight and neglected all the other pieces.
- Black moved the f-Pawn, weakened the e8-h5 diagonal and made the King vulnerable to attack.
White jumped on the opportunity by launching a devastating attack on the Black King, chasing it all the way to the other end of the board where it got checkmated.
Danish: What did we learn from this game?
- Do not move the Queen out early
- Do not put your Knight on the edge of the board
- Family fork is when the Knight attacks the King, Queen, and Rook at the same time.
- Beware aware of your opponents tactical threats
White was able to first to pin Black's Queen and then to win it with a family fork.
Paul Morphy - Most famous & greatest short Game: What went wrong in this game for Black?
- Black put his pieces on unprotected squares
- Black did not develop his Kingside and did not get to castle
- Black made unnecessary pawn moves
- Early in the game Black gave up the Bishop pair
- When the opponent breaks some opening rules, always try to look for ways to take advantage of it
Reti - Tarakower: What went wrong with Black?
- Black lacked development
- Black left his King in the center of the board
- Black fell into a double check costing him the game. This was the direct result of not following the basic principles of chess.
- Remember you can not block a double check and neither check-giving piece can be captured
Fischer - Reshevsky: What happened in this game?
- Black made only one mistake Knight to a5. Even at the highest-levels, mistakes are made.
- After the Knight move, the Black Queen on d8 remained unprotected and White was able to use a pin.
Fischer made a brilliant combination with a Bishop sacrifice. Black's choice was to give up his Queen or their King to be chased until checkmate.
Kwatschewsky - Susan Polgar: What is the moral of the story?
- Double check forced variations to make sure your calculation is accurate
- Physiological advice: be cautious if your opponent seems very confident and plays extremely fast. It may be "home preparation".
Caro - Lasker: What was Black's mistake in this game?
- Black did not develop the Kingside first and could not put his King into Safety
- Black developed his Queenside Bishop early and left the pawn on b7 vulnerable
White immediately used to opportunity to attack Black's weak point (b7).
Christiansen - Karpov
- Black left two of his pieces on unprotected squares and overlooked a double attack
- Before making your moves automatically even early in the game, take your time to make sure you are not making blunders.
Veitch - Penrose
- White made a mistake by not protecting enough their weakest point: f2.
- This is one of those games where one side (Black) played a sound game and just one mistake on the other side is decisive.
Litvinov - Veresov: What happened in this game and why did White lose so quickly?
- Remember the pawn formation that occurred in this game. When your opponent's Bishop is on a long diagonal and you are castled, that can become a very powerful and dangerous piece you may face a dangerous attack
- To avoid troubles as White had in this game, develop your Bishop to g2 and prevent your opponent from opening files on the diagonals to attack your King
- Do not create pawn weaknesses around your King.
- Try to reduce the power of your opponent's piece on the dangerous diagonal or file by blocking it with the a pawn or a piece
Susan Polar - Vujcic: What is the lesson from this game?
- As a general rule, try to develop the Kingside first before developing the Queenside.
- Again, Black neglected their weakest point (f7).
- When a King has only one square or none to move to, watch out for all checks. You never know! It may be a checkmate!
Lasker - Thomas: What did Black do wrong in this game?
- Black only noticed one of White's two threats. Black miscalculated and played the careless Queen move to e7 allowed a forceful win for White with a Queen sacrifice on h7.
- White was able to converge 4 of its pieces on Black's position resulting in a beautiful combination ending in a "grand King-hunt".
Remember to follow the Opening Principles and know how to develop your pieces.
- Occupy the center with your pawn preferably 1.e4, 1.d4
- Usually develop Knights before Bishops
- Castle quickly and connect your Rooks
- Do not bring your Queen out early in the game
- Do not move the same piece twice before you have moved every other piece once.
- Always make sound moves and avoid trying to get your opponent to fall for a "cheapo" this can cost you the game.