Chess Traps #4: Queen’s Gambit Declined Elephant Trap

Chess Traps #4: Queen’s Gambit Declined Elephant Trap


Hello everybody. It’s jrobi. Today we’re going
to be taking a look at the elephant trap and the elephant trap is a line that you can get
into in the Queen’s Gambit declined lines. And it caught my eye because online you’ll
probably–well, if you play online chess you’ll probably have seen the Queen’s Gambit played
a lot. It’s one of the top played openings from white, so I found the elephant trap interesting
because from what I was able to find out, it has a lot of success at the amateur level,
so if your opponents aren’t comfortable with it or even know about it in your online blitz
games, you’ll probably have a lot of success with it. So we’re going to get into it here.
We’ll just put all the pieces back at the beginning and we’ll talk a little bit about
the Queen’s Gambit Declined. So it starts off with the queen’s pawn opening up to D4
and now black’s going to play pawn to D5 at which point white’s going to offer up the
gambit pawn now. But in this position, we’re going to decline it, so we’re going to play
pawn to E6. Now, from here, a common move for white is to play knight out to C3 and
black is going to play knight out to F6. And the most logical looking move for white in
this position is to bring the bishop to G5 because it’s pinning that knight down to the
queen. And now we’re going to get into a move that starts it all off for is and that’s knight
to D7. Now, the knight to D7 is actually part of a book line for a defence called the Cambridge
Springs Defence and it can also get into the lines of the Orthodox Defence, and we’re going
to talk a little bit about both of those pretty soon here but I want to get to the trapping
line first and then we’ll talk a little bit about the positions of those two other defences.
So if you take a close look at the position as it currently stands, you might notice something
about the D5 square and that is if white were to initiate an attack, on the surface it looks
like it comes a pawn ahead. And we’re going to play through why that looks to be the case.
So white’s going to come in now and initiate an attack by taking on D5. Black’s going to
recapture with the pawn and white is going to swing the knight down now to D5, comfortable
in the fact that the knight is pinned to the queen. But unfortunately for white, black
can actually go ahead and take the knight on D5. Now, you might be thinking, well this
just opens up access for the bishop to come and take the queen and it does. And white
would play bishop captures queen on D8. But from here now, black has a very strong move
and it’s very simple and it’s just bishop to B4. And you’ll notice that bishop to B4
puts the king into check and the only way that that check can be blocked is if the queen
now moves to D2 at which point black can come in, capture the queen with check, white recaptures
the bishop and now black recaptures the bishop, and from this position black is technically
two points of material ahead, but the engines give it a full piece advantage from this position
and that’s the elephant trap line. And it’s such a subtle line and if your opponent isn’t
aware of it and doesn’t play into the other defence lines, they’re going to be caught
unaware and the consequences are going to be very high. So let’s go back to the beginning.
We’ll just take one more quick look at the elephant trap line itself and then we’ll take
a look at those other defences I mentioned before. So after the queen’s pawn opening
from white, black plays pawn to D5. White’s going to offer up the gambit pawn, black’s
going to decline, so we’re into the queen’s gambit declined lines. From here white’s going
to play knight to C3, black’s going to play knight to F6 and white’s going to bring that
bishop, pinning that knight down and from here now we get into knight to D7 and now
the action’s going to revolve around the D5 square. So now once again white from this
position could see, due to the pin on the knight that they might be able to win a pawn
here, but if they don’t go a few moves farther in that line to see the trap then it’s going
to be too late. So if white initiates the action and takes a pawn, black can capture.
White captures a pawn thinking that this pin is legitimate and solid, but from here white’s
in for a big surprise when black captures that knight. White takes queen, black simply
plays bishop to B4 check and from here black gets two points material advantage, so it’s
definitely a very smooth, dangerous trapping line that if you’re opponent’s not aware of,
he or she is going to be in for some big trouble. So let’s take a look at those other lines
that I mentioned after knight moves to D7. And we’re going to take a look at a couple
of different options here because if your opponent is aware of the elephant trap, they’re
not going to try to play for central control by initiating an attack on D5. Instead, your
oponent’s most likely going to play knight to F3 and this leads into the openings that
we were talking about a little bit earlier and the first we’re going to look at is the
Cambridge Spring’s defence from black. So after knight plays to F3, black can simply
play pawn to C6. White will most likely reply pawn to E3 and black can now plan queen to
A5. And in this position, the engine scores this as compete equal for both sides, so this
is a safe line to go down. So once again, after knight to D7, if white plays knight
to F3, you’re completely equal and safe to play a pawn to C6. White will play pawn to
E3 at which point you can play queen to A5 and in this position you’re equal. Now, before
I had made passing reference to the Orthodox Defence lines, and the Orthodox Defence lines
is instead of playing, after white plays knight of F3, instead of playing pawn to C6, black
can play bishop up to E7. But unfortunately for black, this gives white a very slight
positional advantage. Now, according to the engines, it’s only a tenth of a material point,
but you don’t want to give any slight advantage if you don’t have to because over time your
opponent can turn those slight advantages to a very large crushing advantage. So what
I would recommend, at least from the sources that I’ve looked at, don’t even bother with
the Orthodox line. Simply stick with the Cambridge Spring’s defence which is pawn to C6 and you’ll
be fine. So definitely enjoy going over this trap and I hope you found it useful. And I
know from my experience, I’ve seen the Queen’s Gambit offered up a lot of times on online
play and before I really didn’t know about the elephant trap. I definitely have had opportunities
to use it and I do look forward to trying it out in my blitz matches and hopefully you
guys will find it useful for yours. So take care. Hope you enjoy the video and we will
see you next time!

100 thoughts on “Chess Traps #4: Queen’s Gambit Declined Elephant Trap

  1. Yes, I agree with you.
    The Springs is a sharper opening, and has a lot of traps. but against proper play by White, it's just like every other lines. I actually prefer the Orthodox defence, because I find it easier to free the white square bishop than with the Springs. Also, it is quieter.

  2. I like to play the semi-slav and the baltic defense against the queen pawn. (Although the baltic defense can be completely refuted I can transpose into a slav-like position with a developed light-square bishop)

  3. funny how Ive never seen this trap, yet at least 3 guys i know use this opening… lol.. cant wait ta get to work… thx

    da relic

  4. @pedronetomoreira hey man i read ur comment and i got curiosity of what you said, which is the tartakower-makogonov-bondarevsky lines? plz respond,

  5. It's nice to know traps, but NEVER set a trap if you don't know what to do afterward possitionally… if your opponent doesn't fall for the trap! You are a good teacher, but would be a much better teacher if you explored just as much of the line if they don't fall for the trap as you do when they do fall for it!

  6. @ModderXtr The trap depends on white trying to win the pawn on d5. With the knight on f3 instead of c3, white only attacks the pawn once. Since it is defended once, there is no trap to fall into. Nf3 is a perfectly good move. It just doesn't help set this particular trap.

  7. "If white were think a few more move ahead…" Ya know, that line reminded me of a figure I heard once: An average to good chess player can think 2-3 moves ahead, where as a Grandmaster thinks up to 20 moves ahead.

    I really enjoyed this video specifically, since it gave me a very good idea of HOW to think more than 5 moves ahead.

  8. in that elephant trap.. if you look on the end game.. still the white is advantage.. the next white move is e4.. the knight will only run.. and where he runs the pawn will chase it.. and establish a good position.. and when the knight goes to f6.. the bishop or the pawn on f3 will just protect the e4 pawn.. just what i think.. can you elaborate more..

  9. 1. d4 d5 2. c4 e6 3. Nc3 Nf6 4. Bg5 Nd7 a veces (sometimes) 5. cxd exd
    si captura (if white takes the pieces)
    6. Nxd5 Bxd8 7. Bb4+ Qd2 8. Bxd2 kxd2 9. kxd8 y blancas ganan calidad (and black wins a bishop or kight)

  10. I play Queen's Gambit as white quite a bit. Probably my favourite opening. Good to know about this trap! Didn't know about it and haven't been caught by it as I would not normally play 4.Bg5. I'd prefer 4. cxd4 or 4. Nf3 (Don't play 1d4 d5 as black I find Keres defence, Benoni, King's Indian and Modern defence much better)

  11. You should use your expertise and videos to help make a much-needed AWESOME chess video game. Focus it on teaching new players REAL fundamentals, not just piece movements. Show all these awesome alternative lines. Make it a story about a kid trying to be best player ev4r or something. Love your vids, man. I really think you could make a fortune, and an awesome chess game!

  12. @swish1234567890
    if black uses c6 then the elephant trap wouldn't work because black's dark-squared bishop can't give check and take queen because it is blocked by the c-pawn.

  13. I saw a lot of your clips and just wanted to say: Thank you very, very much!! 🙂

    Regards from Germany!! 🙂

  14. Great video, I really appreciate this kind of educational videos!
    I do not like to criticize, but you are not using engine response in the way you should… In the opening engines are mostly not reliable, and there is no point saying that white has 0.1 advantage. If you a=understand chess, you know what I am talking about. Best regards.

  15. just reply e3 and it all is stop. I have played this position with the e3 move and white comes out ahead.

  16. @SeedsofJoy the only thing i would watch out for would be if the bishop could perhaps pin the queen down its a playable move but you still need to be aware that your queen can be lost

  17. I am at 1600 rating and ratio of queen's pawn over king's pawn is 1- 19 .. Is that different on games higher than 1900, or is it just me facing guys that the only opening they are aware of is e5?

  18. @jakefreakinclark Chess engines. That's another way to call the chess playing software packages such as Chessmater or Fritz.

  19. Good "Trap"
    Cambrige Springs Defense: Black plays Qa5.
    What is the queen doing on A5?
    Where should black move the Dark-Squared bishop if *Not* to e7?
    What is the *Breaking move*

  20. Indeed thats something to have seen for a chess player.
    I have never seen that series of moves been called the elephant trap before though.

  21. im a noob in chess..Can someone explain to me why when white moves his bishop to G5, black doesnt move his pawn from h7 to h6 to get the bishop out of the way?

  22. Ur explanation is excellent; you don't speak too fast, you give a little background, and it seems like you know what you're talkin about. Two thumbs up!

  23. What do you do if you're white and you play the queen's gambit and you want to avoid the elephant trap?

  24. Silly comment at the end of this video – an engine giving a 1/10 pawn advantage is utterly meaningless as an evaluation of the position. In any case it's pretty sad if you base your entire game on elementary traps that better players will not fall into and it is hardly going to help you improve your game in the long run.

  25. even so, if your game goes down similar lines, it's good to know which moves gives the edge to your opponent. for example, if you don't play Nf3 in the queen's gambit lines with me, it can result in the Albin Counter-gambit, which i have won several games because there are several ways for white to go wrong, and black gains an advantage. playing c4 weakens d4. you could go into the lasker trap lines, which is fatal for white. ive had that happen too.

  26. 2:50, isn't it better to take the bisshop and afterwards the queen? If queen takes your bisshop you threaten a fork with the night after taking the queen. Great video!

  27. what if the pawn on a2 is moved up to a3 before an attack? this kinda falls apart then :/ other than that its super cool

  28. 2:50, isn't it better to take the bisshop and afterwards the queen? If queen takes your bisshop you threaten a fork with the night after taking the queen.

    The answer to this is to castle long instead of taking bishop. Then, after black takes queen, white would be better in development.  (RXD2)

  29. What happens after 1.d4 d5  2.c4 e6  3. Nf3 Bb4?
    My chess tutor says that this is the right way to play against the Queen's Gambit. Is he right?

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