Elephant Trap

This opening trap in the Queen’s Gambit Declined loses a knight for white. Watch out for the Elephant Trap, or you’ll get stepped on.

  1. d4       d5
  2. c4        e6
  3. Nc3     Nf6
  4. Bg5     Nbd7
  5. cxd5    exd5
  6. Nxd5?? . . .

Black’s knight is not actually pinned, for this reason:

6.   . . .    Nxd5   and after white captures the black queen:

7.   . . .     Bb4+  which wins the white queen for black, who comes out a piece ahead.

The Elephant Trap seems to be one of the simplest combinations possible early in the game, yet it is by no means easy to forsee, except by the experienced or tactically acute chess competitor. How easy for most chess players to fall into this!

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