Chess Traps #3: Lasker Trap – Albin Counter Gambit

Chess Traps #3: Lasker Trap – Albin Counter Gambit


Hi everyone, it’s Jerry. The Lasker Trap is
a trap for black out of the Albin Counter Gambit. In it, white can easily fall victim
to an extremely rare and devastating tactic involving a mere pawn. Let’s see how this
black d-pawn in particular could turn out to be very deadly, and along the way pay close
attention to this queen h4 move as it’ll be present in the few of the sub variations
I show. So after d4, d5, and c4 the Queen’s Gambit. With e5 we have the Albin Counter
Gambit. d takes e, and d4 robbing the queen knight of this c3 square. Now a very common
idea is to challenge an opposing pawn that’s in your territory with one of your own pawns.
The move e3 does just that, however in this instance it’s already a step in the wrong
direction for white. Bishop b4 with check, and after the counterattacking bishop d2,
this threat against the bishop is one that black can ignore with d takes e. And before
I get into the type of beating white will end up taking if bishop takes bishop, let
just point out that the best continuation for white is to immediately recapture on e3.
And should that come about, here’s how black can at least regain the material lost. Queen
h4 with check, and after g3, queen e4. And pay particular attention to what exactly the
queen is doing…not only hitting the rook and the pawn on e5, but also the one on e3.
Keep in mind the bishop is pinned, and in short, material…the pawn, will be won back,
and black is doing quite alright. Reverting back to this position…if instead of f takes
e, queen a4 were played, we would have the knight blocking the check. And after bishop
takes bishop, pawn takes pawn would ensue. King takes pawn, and yet again queen h4 with
check. Pawn g3, queen to d4 with check, and however you slice it…no matter where the
king goes, the h1 rook…the a1 rook will fall. For example if king to g2 or e2, it’s
queen takes b, and then queen takes the rook on a. If the king runs home, we have queen
e4, and it’s the rook on h1 that falls. And lastly, if king f3 we have bishop check, king
g2, queen e4…the rook on h1, yet again, will fall. Finally, what occurs after bishop
takes bishop from this position is pawn takes pawn with check, trying to deflect the king
away from defense of the queen. King to e2 is the only way to maintain defense of the
queen. But now comes the devastating pawn takes knight, under promoting to a knight
with check! This is all very important as otherwise capturing the knight and promoting
to a queen allows white one moment to breath. And in that moment, there’s queen takes queen,
king takes queen, and only then the recapture and the material is balanced. However, under
promoting to a knight lands a check. And now after rook takes knight, we would just have
bishop g4. This is lights out…the queen is dead. And the other line would be king
e1, and now yet again, queen to h4. If g3, we have queen to e4, and the rook is dead.
And if king to d2, we have a tricky knight coming out with tempo, the bishop coming out
screaming down at the queen, black queenside castling giving a check to the king, and not
to mention black is still up a piece.

100 thoughts on “Chess Traps #3: Lasker Trap – Albin Counter Gambit

  1. Thanks for posting this Jerry! My friend from work just tried this gambit against me. Fortunately I've seen the video too, so I knew not to respond with e3 🙂

  2. Then there's no lasker trap. Kevin from thechesswebsite has a great video on the basics of playing Albin countergambit if you're interested in looking more into it: watch?v=VDfjsMXlcek

  3. At 2:03, what if the pawn doesn't go to g3 and instead did Ke3 or Kf3? When I tried playing this line, I immediately saw it without remembering all the moves and decided not to do that pawn move, and was surprised that it wasn't covered in the video. I played it against myself, and, as white, I seemed to win the bishop without really losing anything except tempo (although black did have a fairly strong attack for a while).
    I'm not a good chess player, though, so I'd love to hear from an expert.

  4. the main continuation (and the strongest i think) is 3. dxe5 d4 4. Nf3 Nc6 5. Ne2 followed by Nb3 or kingside fianchetto (if black pins with Bb4). The white position is strong and even if black finds a way to get the pawn back he will have troubles defending his pawn on d4. The white pieces can also ignored it (in many lines) and sneak with Qb3 and Ne4 aiming to f7 to threat the black exposed king.

  5. Not only is the explanation top-notch, the mere descriptions of the movements is are exciting. Phenomenal work on these videos, they are quality products and all time spent on them as well worth it.

  6. Great video demonstrating the most infamous blitz opening.
    I found an interesting continuation I wanted to share from my game. After the usual 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e5 when white plays 3. Nc3, as often happens in online play, I like 3 …exd4. If 4. Nxd5 it is a step in the wrong direction for white. 4 ..c6 5. Nf4 Nf6 6. Nf3 Ne4!
    If white plays Nxd4 or Qxd4, then it is a lost game. 7. Nxd4 Bb4+ 8. Bd2 Qxd4 and e3 gets white mated.
    7. Qxd4 Bb4+ 8. Bd2? Qxd4 9. Nxd4 Bxd2+ 10. Qd1 Bxf4

  7. 2:20 but if queen takes b, can't white play bishop to c3, preventing the queen from capturing the rook?

  8. This trap is absolutely remarkable. I just need to remember all of the sub-variations to actually make use of it!

  9. ive done this trap at least a few times already, took a while to memorize but well worth it, surprised how many ppl fall for it. they resign when they realize queen is dead.

  10. Quite the opposite in my opinion, I think the Rubinstein Trap is much more useful simply because it seems to me to be much more easily overlooked, plus that position does arise much more often than the Lasker trap position, which is very specific in its move order and set-up.

  11. And what happens if white decide to protect his d4 pawn with e3 or Knight f3, what is the continuations. Can someone chess-educated please reply ?:)

  12. good point… but hoe ewer taking the nukht whit the rouck allsow allows white one moment to breathe in thet poticilur veriation

  13. After the queen check on h4 what happens if the knight (not sure about the spelling sorry) blocks the check?

  14. Thanks Jerry! I have seen what happened after the capture with the rook, but I never understood why it would be so devestating after Ke1.

  15. 1) at 1:00 black can play Kd2
    2) at 1:30 black can play Qf3
    At (1) if white queen check h4 then g3, Qe4 and then we have the same position as (1).

  16. I was watching this video, when it finished i played a game straight after with black. Guess what happened, I won that game with this exact trap! Woah! What are the chances of that? 1 in a billion?

  17. Really interesting. Explained very well….although it is known, still the video is so helpful. Thanks for the videos…. 🙂

  18. Jerry is such a great teacher, I've watched him blunder in some games which reminds me that he's human and there's still hope for me! keep up the great work Jerry!

  19. Ouch – glad I was never on the receiving end of that……They tell me there were some horrific tortures devised in the Middle Ages, but this would be the modern equivalent…..I am glad I open with 1. e4.

  20. This is an older video, so I'm not sure you'll answer, but at 1:47 if white plays 9. Nf3, how does black win back the pawn? The e-pawn is protected by the knight, the c-pawn is protected by the bishop and even if I capture the black-squared bishop and white recaptures with the king I still don't have any rooks in play to pin the queen. Is there some long variation I'm not seeing?

  21. At 2:07 white king should move to g2. Now, if I (black) were to play queen e4+, the best move for white is to play knight f3. Should we try to attack the pinned knight with bg4, the best move for the white is to play queen b3. This is what I found. If push comes to shove, black will be up a pawn.

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