Hi everyone, it’s Jerry. If you play the Ruy
Lopez or find yourself on the defending side of it, the “Noah’s Ark Trap” is something
for you to be aware of. It starts off after the moves e4, e5, knight f3, knight c6, bishop
b5, a6, and bishop a4. With now d6 we’re entering the Modern Steinitz variation of this opening.
Now a logical enough move for white is d4, striking in the center looking to maybe grab
on e, or even exploit the pin on the knight with d5. But black has a good response. It’s
b5 breaking the pin on the knight. And after the bishop is kicked back, now a group of
three exchanges on d4. Starting first with knight takes on d4, knight takes knight, e
takes knight. And if white is impatient, and immediately recaptures on d4, they’ve fallen
for the “Noah’s Ark Trap”. Now a better continuation at this point would be something like bishop
d5…the rook sidesteps the threat…we enter a roughly equal position. But just to highlight
what will happen if the queen immediately recaptures on d4. We now have a flurry of
attacks and counterattacks, and after all is said and done, it’s black who gets the
last laugh. Here’s how it works. It’s c5 first, striking at the queen, preparing c4 to trap
the bishop. And this can only be prevented for so long. After queen d5, an appealing
enough move. A duel threat hitting at f7 for mate as well as the rook in the corner. There’s
a convenient response however with bishop e6, meeting everything…defending against
mate, defending the rook, and striking at the queen. After now queen c6, the bishop
retreats, but is still throwing a punch at the queen. After queen d5, we have now c4.
And this bishop is officially out of squares, and the bishop is trapped.