Chess Traps #2: Sicilian Magnus Smith Trap

Chess Traps #2: Sicilian Magnus Smith Trap


Hello everybody. It’s jrobi. Today we’re going
to be looking at a chess trap in the Sicilian, particularly the Sozin Variation and it’s
called the Magnus Smith Trap and it was coined after three-time Canadian chess champion Magnus
Smith. And it’s an interesting trap and it’s had some Grandmasters look into it and provide
variations and actually use it in certain positions. In particular, Bobby Fischer took
a fairly good look at it and it’s cited in his 16 most memorable games book. So it’s
a trap that definitely has possibilities, so if you can see the lines that we go through
opening up in your own games, in particularly blitz games, definitely give it a shot and
let me know how it goes. But basically, as you can see here, so far we’re into the mainline
Sicilian and we’re going to continue that for a few moves, so white’s going to play
pawn to D4, black takes, white captures back with the knight and black plays now knight
to F6 and white plays knight to C3. And after black plays knight to C6 getting into the
classical variation of the Sicilian, white’s now going to play bishop to C4 and this is
called the Sozin Variation. Now, basically, what the bishop is doing is it’s carving a
nice diagonal onto that pawn on F7 and the most logical move here for black in this position
is to play pawn to E6. Now, pawn to E6 simply blocks off this diagonal. But that’s not always
the case. Black won’t always make that move. Sometimes the black player will play pawn
to G6. Now, the thinking behind this move is to fianchetto that dark square bishop of
blacks and get it on this nice diagonal with these white knights lined up beautifully without
much support. And if black decides to fianchetto that bishop and go down those lines, white
can now get into the mainline Magnus Smith trap. And the move order that follows to get
into the trap is knight captures on C6 and once black captures back you’ll notice that
black first of all has a very nice pawn island here that it can use to create a very nice
centre. But white has a little trick up its sleeve in this position and that’s by moving
pawn now to E5 and black has a couple options. It can either capture the pawn or move the
knight and we’re going to look at both. So let’s say that black is playing somewhat positionally
here and decides to save the knight and moves the knight to H5. Now, this is the line that
Bobby Fischer looked at and Fischer came up with a couple options here for white that
still leads to some big problems for black. In the first move is queen to F3 and as you
can see here this create a very nice double attack on the F7 pawn. And from here, black
will most likely play pawn now to E6 blocking that bishop’s influence on the F7 square and
Fischer recommends playing pawn now to G4. So black has to save the knight yet again
and really the only square that the knight can go to now is to G7, so you can already
see that black’s position is getting a little bit cramped. Now, Fischer plays, or recommends
I should say, playing knight to E4 in this position. Now, knight to E4 does threaten
a check here on F6 but really this move is more to bait the black queen out. And there’s
a reason why the queen is going to be baited out and that’s this little pawn here on E5
and this very nice diagonal leading down here and we’ll see how that plays out. So black
can now come in with a check and the best white reply here is to block with the bishop.
Now black comes in and takes that free pawn thinking that it’s got a very nice lined attack
here on B2, which it does. It does have a very nice attack on B2 because, as you’ll
notice, the bishop is no longer protecting B2. But unfortunately for black, if they didn’t
think about it long enough, and this will most likely come in blitz games, white can
simply play now bishop to C3 and there is no escape square. Black is going to lose its
queen in this position because this bishop here is carving a nice diagonal blocking this
square, this bishop is taking this square and this square, the knight’s protecting here,
pawn is protecting here and here, and the knight’s got this square and of course this
square’s protected by both the knight and the queen. So the black queen is just going
to fall in this position, so it’s a very nice trap in that sense. But let’s go back now
to the move E5. So let’s say that black doesn’t opt to move the knight and instead gets greedy
yet again for material and captures the pawn on E5. Well, this is where the trap really
comes into effect right away because after bishop comes in and lands the check, you’ll
notice a couple things. First of all, the white queen is securing the D-file, so this
king cannot access D7. Furthermore, the black pieces are blocking its own king from getting
any other escape square except for F7 and that’s the only square that it can go to.
So once a king takes a bishop on F7, white now comes in and simply wins the queen outright.
And honestly, in blitz games, that might be the line that you see the most often because
in blitz games people tend to get a little bit more greedy for material. They see something
undefended, easy for the taking, they go for it. And if that happens in your games and
they take that pawn right away, you can rip into their position and force that king away
from its own queen and at that point you can just take the queen outright and win the game.
So, it’s an interesting trap with a lot of lines in it, and I enjoyed going over it and
looking into it and I hope you did too! So take care, and we will see you next video!

100 thoughts on “Chess Traps #2: Sicilian Magnus Smith Trap

  1. @sourena22 Well.. i think I know the answer… 😛
    If black play
    1: … – d5
    2: kf6+ – ke7
    3: be3 (mate in the next move by bc5) – Qa5+
    4: c3

    If black takes bishop:

    4: … – dxc4
    5: Qxc6 – Qxe5
    6: 0-00 – and black has no escape

    if black do not take bishop, they do not have many choices, white's next move is b4 and then bc5++

  2. @matthewlane1991 Not true. It's just that MOST people use the Najdorf or Dragon. I have had opponents play th classical many times.

  3. interesting trap, a good way to take advantage of a weird move order by black (usually if black is planning on playing the dragon by fianchettoing the k-side bishop he doesn't play nc6 + d6 together). Although, it seems to be a very small advantage (if any) if black instantly answers e5 with d5. i think the 2 bishops compensate black for the holes in his pawn structure here.

  4. I have done this same trap with the Queen's Cambit play and move my queen and Bishops out quickly.

  5. how big channs is it that black dose all of those moves actully?

    and if you prepair your self for that trap and hes not even doing soo that the trap works then you screwd

  6. Quick question. After white moves its g2 porn to g4 attacking the black knight, black retreats, white knight goes to e4.. why cant the black porn on d6 move forward attacking bishop and knight? yes, knight can check but it doesnt do much right? no material won or anything. If you were on the receiving end of this would this be a good move? why/why not?

  7. @cnmarine2006 This line wouldnt be favorable for black. Knight could land a check at F5. King has to move to E7. Dark square bishop could come to G5 threatning a discovered check (when knight moves) and black would just lose material or even possibly the queen if its not careful. White also has the option of sacrificing the light square bishop and knight to clear up the c/d/e black pawns and get the Rook on A8.

  8. @sumeetkamat As newtonat0r said; 14. Nf6+ Ke7. 15. Qa3+ c5. 16. Qxc5+ Qd6. 17.Qxd6#

    I think it's move 14, but I may be mistaken.

  9. 3:31 If black moves pawn to D5 white should move the knight to F6, playing the king in check. The two moves for black at this point is A: take with the queen and have whites queen take F6. B: Move the king to E7. Allowing White C1 to come into play at G5 attacking the king behind the knight and a sequence of moves unfold in favor of white. It is an option but I think white would still have the advantage if played correctly.

  10. @cnmarine2006 That would still lose the game because.
    White would play Nf6 (check), Ke7, Qa3, now there's no way for black to block the mate.

  11. jrobichess, you have helped me so much in the past by making and commentating these trap and strategy videos, and I think that many can agree on my part. thanks to you, my chess gameplay skills have increased substantially, and i can finally beat my friends whenever they want to face me in chess. thanks again, and keep on making videos. i enjoy watching and learning form them very much!

  12. @cnmarine2006 Then Nxf6 and check. You have just two possible moves to play. Qxf6 or Kxe7. Option 1 : Qxf6 and E pawn will take your Queen. exf6. Which result you trade queen with a pawn and night. After this if you dxc4 white will simply fxg7.
    Option 2: Check Mate in 3

  13. Good point… maybe you could move Nd6+, the King moves somewhere, then maybe queen is free to take F7? I'm not sure.

  14. @cnmarine2006 If Black: pawn to d5
    then White: Knight to f5 check
    then Black: king to e7 (unless black sacs queen)
    then White: Queen to a3 check
    Black has no way to protect his king from checkmate. Brilliant trap

  15. As a sicilian player, I feel better about my style of going for a quick fianchetto over d6 after seeing how quickly white can tear this defense up. Impressive trap, thank you for sharing.

  16. @lukealexanderhwilson implying knight could actually go to f5. and even like that the knight is hanging so you lose a full knight for nothing

  17. @cnmarine2006

    your position will be bad after a while couse queen, bishop, and knight will be in action, while you have none pieces which are active. That knight would be pain in the ass

  18. @cnmarine2006 if d5 then white plays Nf6. Black will be checkmated. Ke7, Qa3. Anyway, black will loose his queen to prevent getting mated.

  19. @cnmarine2006 If pawn to d5, then an exchange may follow like to
    e4xd5, f6xd5, c4xd5
    Then the bishop would be still in the position attacking the pawn on f7, but being protected by the knight so the queen cannot take.

    Pawn to d5 would be a bad exchange.

  20. after watching one of these videos i always get my confidence up. then i try to play against the computer on easy mode and get demolished 🙁 i'm such a noob

  21. there is no way he is 1800 more like 1300 and even if he was i would still have a good chance beat him ):(

  22. He used to post a lot of his game results and what he was thinking at the time of the moves, starting from his early games in the 800's. Look them up

  23. What kinda rubbish are you guys talking about??? After e5 from White and then d5 from Black, how can the white Knight check the King on f5??????? Crazy, boy?

  24. Well clearly they mean f6. It's called a typo. It's not that hard to spot what they really mean by just bothering to look at the chess board.

  25. I looked at that. Cause i think in Blitz games black wont see the check imidiatly and would take the pawn:
    10. Bg5 atacking the queen.
    If Queen captures 10. .. Qxg5 (I think this looks like the better trap, to fall for)
    11. Qxc6+!
    This wins the rook.
    But i guess this line would be harder too see and easier to fall for

  26. There is a fair chance they would go for the fork with the queen since it is such a typical threat in the Sicilian. But my priority there would be to stop Nf6+, so I would instinctively play Be7, trading the good bishop rather than moving my king
    The pawn formation e6 f7 g6 is horrible. Only on obsessed with the Dragon (like I used to be) would play g6 after the white played Bc4. After a couple of games like this I am sure anyone will learn to change plans and go with e6, blitz game or not.

  27. on Ng4 white can play pawn to e6 then if BxP, BxB, PxB, QxN,or if N-e5,pxp ch,NxP,BxNch,KxB and white has better position.

  28. what if after e5 black plays knight d7?
    gets tricky for black too…but not worse than the other variations …

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