15 Best Chess Opening Traps and Tricks

15 Best Chess Opening Traps and Tricks

Have you ever felt outsmarted in your chess game? Don’t sweat it; we’ve all been there. Welcome to the exciting world of chess opening traps and tricks! This article aims to equip you with some of the best chess tricks and easy chess traps that will have your opponent biting the bait in no time.

You’ll learn about 15 of the coolest chess traps for black and white. We will include the powerful Lasker Trap, Englund Gambit Trap, and the sneaky Blackburne-Shilling Trap. We’ve handpicked these trick chess openings to spice up your games and help you level up your tactics.

This collection of traps ranges from the classics like the Legal Trap, renowned for its queen-bait maneuver, to the subtle Rubinstein Trap, where even a single pawn advantage can tip the game in your favor. For the adventurous, the Fajarowicz Trap, which involves sacrificing pieces for a surprise queen win, is a fun option. The Lasker Trap, part of the Albin Countergambit, is another favorite involving a pawn sacrifice leading to a powerful attack. For lovers of the Italian game, the Blackburne-Shilling Trap and the Cambridge Springs Trap offer intriguing tactical opportunities.

Remember, chess is not just about winning. It’s a fun, engaging game that stimulates the mind and requires a cool blend of strategic thought and tactical execution. So, whether you’re a beginner looking for easy chess traps to incorporate into your games or an advanced player aiming to diversify your opening repertoire, these traps and tricks are worth a try.

Following this guide will not only help you catch your opponents off-guard. But, it will also add some exciting and rarely played tactics to your repertoire.

And now, let’s see the Top 15 Best Traps and Tricks in Chess.

1. Italian Belloni Trap

The Italian Belloni Trap in the Italian Game is a sneaky early maneuver. White’s unorthodox move, 7. Kf1, sacrifices castling rights and sets a cunning trap. Black’s options are limited, and the bishop on b4 becomes vulnerable. White strikes back with 8. d5, attacking the knight. After the knight moves, White gains an advantage with 9. Qa4+ and a fork on b4. The trap exploits positional weaknesses, showcasing the power of sacrifices in gaining an upper hand.

2. Noah’s Ark Trap

The Noah’s Ark Trap presents an intriguing chess strategy where a seemingly harmless series of pawn movements results in an overextended bishop being trapped. It’s a play that manifests in the Ruy-Lopez opening, effectively disrupting White’s plans and catching the opponent off guard. Not just a fun twist in the game, it also provides a significant edge to black. A thought-provoking and powerful addition to your repertoire, the Noah’s Ark Trap showcases the power of pawns when they come together.

3. Siberian Trap

The Siberian Trap opens the door to a world of cunning tactics in chess. As part of the Sicilian Defense, this trap leads White into a deceptive attack on the queen, only to encounter a swift checkmate or suffer significant material loss. An unexpected knight fork changes the game’s trajectory, putting White in a perilous position. This daring and exhilarating trap will surely add a touch of unpredictability and complexity to your chess games, making it an excellent addition to your repertoire.

4. Fishing Pole Trap

Unleash a daring knight in the Fishing Pole Trap, a crafty chess ploy. The baiting knight move draws the opponent into a potentially disastrous attack, often leading toward a swift, surprising checkmate. An exciting addition to your strategic arsenal, this trap injects unexpected twists into the game, adding a thrilling dimension to your chess repertoire. Truly, a trick to relish.

5. Englund Gambit Trap

In the Englund Gambit Trap, a cunningly sacrificed pawn lures opponents into a trap, springing a powerful counter-attack. This chess strategy, a brilliant play of bait and switch, adds an unpredictable edge to your game. An exhilarating addition to your repertoire, it’s a strategy that brings a new level of complexity to the board.

6. Lasker Trap

The Lasker Trap capitalizes on a deceptive pawn move, tricking opponents and gaining material advantage for black. In the deceptive calm of the opening moves, this chess strategy strikes, turning the game in your favor. This trap, named after a chess champion, is a must-have addition to your repertoire, providing you with a potent offensive tool.

7. Legal Trap

The Legal Trap employs a daring knight sacrifice that serves as deceptive bait, often resulting in a swift checkmate that leaves the opponent bewildered. The genius of this trap lies in its audacious move, turning what seems like a loss into a decisive advantage.

This trap serves as an eloquent reminder of the game’s unpredictability and its potential for sudden reversals. A potent addition to your repertoire, the Legal Trap enriches your tactical arsenal and adds an exhilarating edge to your games.

8. Danish Bird Trap

This trap involves a seemingly careless pawn sacrifice that cleverly lures the opponent into a well-constructed snare. The ensuing coordinated attack can take even the most seasoned players by surprise, reflecting the deceptive simplicity and depth of the trap. Adding the Danish Bird Trap to your repertoire enhances your strategic gameplay by introducing a new layer of tactical richness. The Danish Bird Trap reminds players of the thrilling surprises that chess holds in every move, making each game a fascinating challenge. It is a testament to the game’s endless capacity for creativity and strategic brilliance.

9. Mortimer Trap

Unravel the Mortimer Trap is a cunning chess strategy that uses a seemingly innocent knight move to trap White in a perilous position. This deceptive maneuver provides Black with a decisive edge early in the game, showcasing the immense strategic depth that chess offers. It’s a move that forces opponents to think twice before accepting seemingly free material. Adding the Mortimer Trap to your repertoire will not only enhance your tactical play but also make your games more enjoyable and challenging.

10. Blackburne-Shilling Trap

In the Blackburne-Shilling Trap, a seemingly harmless advance toward the queen in chess sets up a devastating knight check. This strategy leads black to seize control, providing a significant material advantage and setting the stage for a potential victory.

The unpredictability of this trick makes it a captivating addition to your repertoire. The Blackburne-Shilling Trap showcases the game’s tactical depth, turning seemingly ordinary moves into a powerful offensive, adding a new dimension of strategic complexity to your chess games.

11. Cambridge Springs Trap

The Cambridge Springs Trap presents a deceptive queen move in chess that lures white into a trap, leading to a loss of material. This trap reminds players that even a single misstep in chess can significantly shift the balance of the game.

By showcasing the power of the queen, this trap adds a new level of tactical richness to your repertoire. It brings to light the consequences of underestimating your opponent’s moves, further enhancing the strategic depth and complexity of your games.

12. Flagship Trap

With the Flagship Trap in chess, an unsuspecting opponent is led into a position where a straightforward rook move results in heavy material loss. This creative trap highlights the strategic potential of each piece on the board, reinforcing the importance of every move.

The Flagship Trap is a testament to the intricate strategies that chess offers. This trap offers players a unique opportunity to exploit their opponent’s weaknesses, making it a valuable addition to your repertoire and enriching your understanding of the game’s complexities.

13. King’s Gambit Nordwalde Trap

The King’s Gambit Nordwalde Trap presents a surprising twist to the chess game. A tactical pawn sacrifice in the early game sets the stage for an unexpected checkmate opportunity, potentially turning the tide in Black’s favor. The trap’s cunning move orders can mislead opponents into a false sense of security, leading to devastating consequences. The Nordwalde Trap is a shining example of the strategic depth in the King’s Gambit, providing a valuable addition to your repertoire and making your games more exciting.

14. Rubinstein Trap

The Rubinstein Trap, named after the great chess player Akiba Rubinstein, creates a compelling chess strategy in The Queen’s Gambit Declined. This intricate trap relies on an artful bishop sacrifice that can entice an unsuspecting opponent into a deadly pin. The elegance of this move underscores the deceptive simplicity of the trap, revealing the tactical depth of chess.

Adding the Rubinstein Trap to your repertoire enhances your gameplay by introducing a layer of tactical complexity. With this trap, the potential for unexpected reversals in the game grows, reminding players of the ever-present tactical opportunities in chess. The Rubinstein Trap is not only a powerful weapon against opponents but also a homage to the strategic brilliance of its namesake, adding a historical layer to your chess games.

15. Fajarowicz Trap

The Fajarowicz Trap unveils a thrilling tactical sequence in the Budapest Gambit in chess. The surprising knight move disrupts White’s plans, creating a unique imbalance early in the game. This cunning trap can lead to material loss or a potentially decisive attack against the opponent. The Fajarowicz Trap is a testament to the dynamic possibilities in the Budapest Gambit, making it an exciting and effective addition to your repertoire.

Opening Traps and Tricks: FAQs

What is the most effective trap in chess?

While it’s hard to name a single ‘most effective’ trap since the effectiveness of a chess trap largely depends on the opponent and the stage of the game, the Legal Trap and Lasker Trap are two that have caught many players off-guard.

What is a trap in chess?

A trap in chess is a series of moves aimed at tricking the opponent into making a mistake. That often results in losing material or even checkmate.

How do you win a trap in chess?

Winning in chess with traps involves setting up a series of moves that lure your opponent into a mistake. Successful traps require a good understanding of chess principles and a keen eye for tactical opportunities.

How can a chess game be won in 2 moves?

A chess game can be won in just two moves through a rare blunder known as Fool’s Mate. However, this requires some severe mistakes from the opponent and is infrequent in games between players of a decent level. It involves the following setup:


In the world of chess, it’s always fun to try out new tricks and traps. Chess traps for beginners, intermediate, and even advanced players not only keep the game interesting. But, they can also turn the tide in your favor. So why not give these chess traps and tricks a go and see your opponents fall for your sneaky strategies? Let us know in the comments which trap you liked best!

Want to know more about Traps and Tricks? Look at the 10 Most Deadly Chess Opening Traps You Must Know, 5 Opening Traps and Tricks Every Beginner Must Know as well as the 10 Greatest Opening Traps at Chess.

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Updated 12.14.2023


Yury Markushin:
Hello Aria, glad you find it helpful!
wow that promotion to knight in the lasker trap is insane! im gonna try that out. Glad to see some uncommon traps in this article as well