Chess Traps #1: Ruy Lopez Mortimer Trap

Chess Traps #1: Ruy Lopez Mortimer Trap

Hello everybody. It’s jrobi and I’m going
to be looking at a chess trap today in the Ruy Lopez and it’s called the Mortimer Trap
and it’s used by black in the hopes that white gets a little bit greedy for material in the
beginning of the match, unleashing a whole bunch of problems for the white player. Now,
as you can see here we’re in the standard Ruy Lopez and instead of playing something
like pawn to A6 trying to stimulate an exchange variation, black’s going to play knight to
F6 and that attacks immediately the undefended pawn on E4. And a common move for white in
this position is to play pawn to D3. Now, if white does play pawn to D3 in this position,
we can now lay the trap for the white player and it’s kind of an odd looking move but you’re
going to see what it does here. So the black move to get into the Mortimer Trap is knight
to E7. Now, you’ll notice two things right off the bat. This knight is very poorly placed,
but more importantly this pawn is now undefended. And if the white player gets a little bit
greedy here for material and comes in and takes that pawn, it’s fallen for the trap
and it’s going to be in a lot of trouble. And the next move from black in the Mortimer
Trap is pawn to C6 and you’ll notice that it’s attacking the bishop so white has to
do something about that. But unfortunately for white, there’s not much that it can do.
Let’s say white player plays bishop to A4 trying to protect the bishop and get it out
of danger. Well, this opens up a very beautiful discovered check here on the enemy king and
it’s going to result in a lot of problems for white. So black comes in and checks, white
can block with the bishop, black can take the knight outright. And you’ll also notice
here that black also has an attack on another undefended pawn. So already in the match,
white is down a full piece. Now, this takes place even if, from this position, white tries
to save the bishop by going to C4 because the checking line is still open. So what’s
the best move for white in this position? Well, unfortunately for white, as in all traps,
there is no best move once they fall for the initial line. I guess a better move for white
in this position would be to play knight to C4. Now, knight to C4 makes it impossible
for black to capture this bishop right away. You’ll notice that the black king is surrounded
by its own pieces, so basically all white would need to do if the bishop is captured
is to deliver a smothered mate here on D6 and it’s game over. But in this position,
it’s still not good for white and I’ll show you why. In this position, black can simply
play pawn to D6. Now, this gives its king an escape square, but more importantly, this
bishop is still under attack and white needs to do something about that. And the only square
now that this bishop can go to is A4 and once the bishop moves to A4, black simply comes
in now with a nice pawn move to B5, forking the knight and the bishop, and white once
again is going to go down a piece. So it’s a nice trap and it’s definitely something
that I think would work very well in blitz games. I don’t usually recommend chess traps
in long rated standard matches simply because if you’re playing against a positionally sound
player, they probably won’t capture this pawn and you’ll be the person that’s stuck with
a very odd looking piece here on E7. But I think in a blitz match you’ll have a lot of
good luck here with this trap because a lot of players in blitz might get a little bit
greedy for material much more easier than they would in a normal match and once they
do you can deliver a whole lot of hurt onto your white opponent. So take care. Hope you
enjoy the video and we’ll see you next time.

100 thoughts on “Chess Traps #1: Ruy Lopez Mortimer Trap

  1. This makes me more excited than anything that could ever occur at a superbowl. Including (especially) Janet Jackson's nipple.

  2. great video, definitely something for white to watch out for as we see top players constantly trying to find ways to avoid the main lines in the Ruy Lopez, although i think after a standard bb3 and rapid d4 to open the position black maybe has taken too much time to reroute the knight to g6.

  3. @nioor white loose systematically a piece but I think knight in c3 is better than bishop in d2 because the black queen in e5 doesn't menace rook in a1. But mine is a question because I'm not sure that it can be the best move.

  4. @ lap… see what i mean, lol, as much as i enjoy this game i overlook theobvious … geesh … but thanks for kind & understanding response … so i'll just set 'em up & play another … 😉

  5. i would suggest that knight could take the pwn to f7 when the king takes the knight at f7 bishop c4+ and its a bit equalized cuz white has 2 pwns for a knigh but still the positioning of black pieces is awful

  6. @ReadCommentBelow i am just saying its awful because in the opening he moved the same piece twice and to a square that blocks black squared bishops movement and that pwn in d7 is also blocking the white square bishop so u have to waste much more tempo to get them out

  7. Very nice, but chess players will usually play Nc3 to defend the pawn, making the trap useless.

  8. this video is superb, but i don't like the trap. i tried this move i don't know how many times, and not once did white ever move the way they were supposed to. i guess it is a good trap to have in your pocket, but in my experience it was not helpful. going to try the #2 trap…will let you know. thanx for posting, like is said, the production in perfect.

  9. @YoungerCsillagpor Excuse me, but Jimmyjimjimjim was here first. So if you're gonna be a stoog, then move your ear to the back of the classfa orcks.

  10. @whoshallascend …i have to eat my own words. i kept trying the mortimer trap and it did eventually work. i beat a guy rated a pretty good bit higher than me. funny thing is i just used the concept; i didn't actually have him in check. but it didn't matter, i put my queen in place threatening to take a pawn and put him in check…i think he just missed the fact that i was going to get his knight after he took the bait pawn. thanx for the trap!

  11. I think it is better to move black knight from Ne7 to Ng6 instead of a pawn when the white knight jumps off from Ne5 to Nc4, coz it can lose another pawn by check…

  12. I think it is better to move black knight from Ne7 to Ng6 instead of a pawn when the white knight jumps off from Ne5 to Nc4, coz it can lose another pawn by check…

  13. @whoshallascend Now I really have to eat my words. I did this trap on a guy rated higher than me and it worked textbook. He resigned as soon as I took his knight. Thumbs up!

  14. @Nadarvish It MIGHT be because:
    a) white can gain time by bringing his knight out and attacking the black queen
    b) the black queen wouldn't be threatening square b2

  15. if you fell for the trap, wouldnt knight to f7 be best? capture a pawn and save the bishop while disrupting his ability to castle?

  16. question, at 2 30, what would be the drawback if instead of moving d6, d5then white takes with pawn and queen takes attacking bishop, then press with the pawn to b7

  17. There is a way to get out of the trap. When black comes in and checks, at 1:43 . all white has to do there is move the pawn to C3 or D3 and that's it. Problem Solved

  18. At 1:30 after black plays pawn to c2, what if white responded with moving the bishop to c4 and black makes a rookie mistake and moves his pawn to b5.. Couldn't the bishop take the pawn at f2 for the checkmate?

  19. when pawn comes to C6 at 1:22 to attack the bishop, what if bishop moves from B5 to C3 rather than A3 creating probability of checkmate on next move…

  20. @arunjaja I think you mean C4. You can still move your queen and check the king. Then take the knight on the next move.

  21. @arunjaja the checking line is still open…he says it right afterwards and highlights it in red…that's assuming you meant c4* not c3…if you DID mean c3 – then I have no earthly idea what in the world you're talking about

  22. ♜♞♝♛♚♝♞♜


  23. I don't know if you've answered this question or not, but what if the bishop does not retreat after pawn to d6 and instead still checks with the Knight with a continuation of Kd7, Nf7 forking the queen and rook. At this point white already has compensation for the bishop in the three pawns. Can white keep the knight after Qa5+, Nc3, cxb5, Nh8? Seems playable for black to me, but I may be missing something.

  24. If queen checks on a5, white can block with c3, and will save the bishop and prevent the queen from going for the rook on b2 when it takes the knight on e5.. that said, the knight is pretty much dead 🙁

  25. I did that thing with the horse against an asian guy at my school and he was like, wtf you doing? u high? then he proceeded to check mate in 3 moves.

  26. I'd like to try this trap, but I have a question…

    What if white doesn't take the pawn at e5 after black plays knight to e7? It looks like black would then be at a positional disadvantage (since the knight would be blocking the black queen and bishop). What would be the best strategy for black at that point?

  27. if white was privy to the trap, they might develop the queen-side knight and then push pawn to d5. whether or not black exchanges the central pawns, the plan would probably be to fianchetto the king's bishop and castle.

  28. Can anyone recommend a book or video series that can help me get better at this game? I'm 23 and I have NEVER won a chess game. I've been in quite a few stalemates but I have NEVER won. I just got my B.S. in Civil Engineering and Minor in Mathematics so people seem to think I'm "smart" (for whatever reason). I just can't get my head around this game. P.S. I've played chess off and on since I was in grade school. I just can't see what piece to move next.

  29. How many games have you played in all these years, and who exactly are you playing against?

    There's a lot of great resources right here. Look up 'Chess Tactics' on Youtube. Also google endgame puzzles and try and solve them.

    There's a series on opening principles and the middlegame with Anatoly Karpov, one of the greatest players of all time, on the OnlineChessLessons channel.

    But focus on understanding tactics and principles rather than memorising opening lines and and strategy for now.

  30. Centre > Develop > Castle > Attack
    This is a good guideline for novice chess players. Your first moves should secure some influence on the CENTRE. A pawn could be placed in the middle, or a pawn could be placed so that it eyes a square in the middle. You then DEVELOP pieces (knights/bishops) to protect those pawns and squares your opponent may otherwise want to move to. After that, castle and attack.

    And most importantly:if you move a piece,ask every other piece what they think of that move.

  31. I'd get rid of attack. In fact most positons do not call for an attack right out of the opening. You can't just launch an attack against a strong player just because your feel like it (unless you like to lose), the conditions must be favourable.

  32. i'm white i always take the pawn. when the trap comes in place i use executive privilege which is a punch to the face.

  33. Any semi intelligent player would look at your rating, and if you have a decent rating he would know something is up. Then again if he didn't see the continuation himself curiosity might get the best of him. Like when Clint Eastwood said to the black thug "the question you got to be asking yourself is did I fire all 6 shots or only 5, well in all this excitement I kind of lost tract myself, so I guess the question is do you feel lucky?" and the black guy said "I gotz ta know".

  34. of course a trap only works if someone make a mistake…
    but this trap does only work on people who doesn't know how to play the ruy lopez with white (and thats very unlikely because white choose to play the ruy lopez)

    because; after 5. …Nf6 white plays 6. 0-0
    if now black takes the pawn on e4 with the knight (6. …Nxe4) white plays 7. Re1 and is able to win back the pawn immediately (and if black plays a bad move even more!)

  35. I like this video. Do you have any for chess improvement? I need to improve my chess game. Mid to high1300's on Thanks.

  36. Maybe I'm missing something.  Once black tries to move the pawn to B5… doesn't black just move Knight to D6, taking the pawn?  White has a forced move (moving the king to D7), and then the knight takes the pawn on B5.  If white takes the knight with the pawn on C6, white recaptures with the Bishop, checking the king again.  So in the end, white trades away a knight for four(!) pawns, prevents the black king from castling, and ends up in a better position.

    Am I missing something?  Does black have a suitable end to the trap if white answers …b5 with Nd6?

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