Chess Traps #5: Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence Trap (Fishing Pole)

Chess Traps #5: Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence Trap (Fishing Pole)


Hello everybody, it’s jrobi. Today we’re going
to be taking a look at a chess trap in the Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence line and it’s called
the fishing pole trap and sometimes it’s even called the fishing pole variation. And a big
proponent of this trap, and it’s played by black by the way, but a big proponent of the
trap is Life Master Brian Wall who has a very strong reputation in the chess community and
apparently he heard about it from a gentleman by the name of Jack Young that he was living
with at the time back when he was together with a number of chess players. And it’s a
very interesting trapping line in that it doesn’t really sacrifice your position horribly
in the opening and it kind of throws your opponent off balance especially as, you know,
the Ruy Lopez players, there’s a number of large variations that they have to learn and
to take them out of book and to take them into position in uncharted territory can never
be a bad thing, especially when you’re not really sacrificing your position in the process.
So we’re going to take a look at it here and we’ll go back to the beginning. For those
not familiar, the Ruy Lopez is an opening play by white, king to pawn to E4, black plays
pawn to E5; white now develops the knight to F3 and black plays knight to C6. And now
white brings the bishop down to B5. So this is a standard Ruy Lopez opening from white.
And from here black has a number of options. Black can play knight to F6 of course, which
is the Berlin defence, which is what we’re going to get into. Of course other good moves
for black here is pawn to A6, bishop to C5 is another good one; and even F5 if you’re
playing aggressively. But nonetheless, in this line here, it deals with the Berlin Defence
so black’s going to play knight up to F6. Now, from here white’s going to castle. Now,
white also, if we just flip back a move, white’s got some move options available as well. For
example, white can play something like D3, for example, before castling. White can also
play the knight to C3 before castling. But the most popular move in this position is
simply to castle from white and from here now black has a number of options. Most common
you’ll see here would be bishop to C5. Sometimes you’ll even see here bishop to E7 or even
a pawn push here to D6. And it looks on the surface like black can come in and snag up
a pawn here on E4, but that’s met very handily by white by simply playing either rook over
to E1 or even pushing the pawn immediately up to D4. And white’s going to get that material
back and have a slightly better position than black. But that’s some typical moves that
can be played, and we’re going to get into the trapping move because this is when we’re
going to play it. And the move itself is a very crazy looking move on the surface, but
it’s interesting. First of all, it’s going to take your opponent right out of book. That’s
guaranteed. Second of all, it’s not really going to damage your position substantially.
The opening engines will say that white has an advantage slightly, but we’re so early
in the opening. There’s no tactical liabilities that this trap is going to cause, so the engine
analysis itself is very unreliable. But the move itself is knight to G4 and it just looks
completely crazy but it’s a very interesting move and we’re going to take a look at some
possibilities here. By far the most obvious move here for white is going to be to kick
the knight immediately by playing pawn to H3, but that’s exactly what black wants white
to play because after white plays pawn to H3, black is now going to push the pawn up
to H5. And if this isn’t a crazy looking position early in a Ruy Lopez game, I’m not too sure
what would be a crazy looking position. And from here you’re pretty much guaranteed that
your opponent is going to be out of their comfort zone, especially if they’re well versed
in the Ruy Lopez lines and they play the standard variations a lot. But from here now, white
has some decisions to make. If white is going to play materialistically, white can see here
obviously that white can gain a piece early in the opening and that’s the main trapping
line actually. So let’s say white captures the knight here on G4 thinking that it’s going
to snag up that knight here for pretty much for free. Black’s going to retake with the
pawn now, attacking the knight on F3. And let’s see what carnage happens to the position
here once that knight falls back to E1. Black has got a beautiful move in this position.
I’m not sure if you can see it yet. Take a couple seconds if you want and pause the video.
But take a look at this queen and where that queen is eying. And so from here black is
going to play queen to H4 and, you know, what is white going to do in this position? The
queen is supported by the rook bearing down on H1 for checkmate. White has to give the
king an escape square, maybe pushing the pawn up here to F4, but it’s all over at this point.
There’s nothing that white’s going to be able to do to stop the game from being lost because
in this position, even though the king has an escape square, black’s just going to take
that away by pushing the pawn up now to G3. And there’s absolutely nothing that white
can do to stop the checkmate. King can no longer escape from F2; the pawn and the queen
and the rook are all bearing down here on H2 to deliver the checkmate. And really the
only thing that white can possibly do in this position would be to delay checkmate by bringing
the queen down here to H5 and black’s just going to take it and checkmate shortly thereafter.
So it’s just a brutal trap that you can probably catch a lot of your blitz players in. You
know, they’re going to be completely unaware of the danger and in a blitz game they’re
not going to take a huge amount of time to try to figure it out and even if they do,
you know, it’s time off their clock. And interestingly enough, Brian Wall, who’s a big proponent
of this trap, has actually won a fair amount of games in standard time control games, so
the trapping line definitely has some possibilities. But let’s take a look at a couple of different
alternatives here that white and black can have that results from this variation. So
I’m going to go back here to knight to G4, the first move of the trapping line. And let’s
say that white wants to completely ignore this knight to G4 move by playing, say, something
like rook to E1. This is going to cause another beautiful trapping line that black can try
to unleash against the white opponent. And from this position, black’s going to play
bishop to C5 and of course this is giving the bishop scope down here to F2. Also the
knight is attacking F2, so from this position here a good move from white would be to push
the pawn up to D4, trying to limit the scope of this bishop. But from here now, black can
just take with the knight and when white’s knight recaptures, black can put the queen
now onto H4 and we’re in another dangerous position all of a sudden because now the queen
is bearing down on H2. It’s also bearing down here on F2 and white’s going to have to do
something about all of these threats that are building up in the position. White can
bring the knight back to F3 attacking the queen, but the queen can just come in, hit
the check. When the king goes to H1, the queen can come now into G1 and this is just a beautiful,
beautiful smother mate line because it doesn’t matter what white recaptures the queen with.
It can capture with the knight, and it’s checkmate, smothered mate knight to F2. Just a beautiful
line there. Alternatively, if we go back a move here, let’s say white captures with the
rook. It’s the same thing. Smothered checkmate. So that’s one possibility that can take place
after knight to G4 if black ignores it all together and plays rook to E1. But let’s go
back to knight to G4 again and let’s actually go down the trapping line a little bit here
and see what some other alternatives are. So from this position here, white can play,
once again, H3 attacking the knight. Black’s going to continue obviously with pawn to H5,
otherwise it’s just pointless to putting the knight out there in the first place. And from
here now white has some very solid move options. White has the move D3 in this position; white
also has the move knight to C3. And both of these moves are met by one move from black
that’s going to give you a dynamic and fighting game and it’s just bishop to C5. And there’s
a lot of threats in this position still. The position is still fairly much equal position.
This knight, of course, here over on G4 still can’t be captured due to the mate threat that
will result. And, you know, the position is just, it’s a wild position, it’s dynamic,
it’s completely out of book and from this point forward you’re going to be relying completely,
almost exclusively actually, on your tactical strength. So even if your opponent is more
booked up then you in standard Berlin defence lines, you’re going to have a nice fighting
position to work with from here, so I definitely found the trap interesting. And I also found
a video where I found out about it first on YouTube where some user has posted a video
that Brian Wall created. It wasn’t Brian Wall’s actual channel, so I’m going to include that
link in the sidebar. You can take a look at that as well. Brian Wall goes through the
trap and he talks about a game in which a 1500 player defeated a grand master with the
trapping line in a simul. Now the grand master didn’t take the knight immediately, but his
opponent was still able to secure the win with the game play that followed, so I found
that video very interesting and definitely encourage you to take a look. So take care.
Hope you enjoy the video and we will see you next time!

100 thoughts on “Chess Traps #5: Ruy Lopez Berlin Defence Trap (Fishing Pole)

  1. What if at 4:11 white plays knight to h2 ? black moves queen to h4, white rook to e1 and white will get out of the trap with no piece lost.

  2. @shadowdancerRFW
    afterwards I would say Qxh2, K-f1, Qh1, Ke2, Qxg2 – still not looking good for white

    or did I miss something there?

  3. @cru3linside i agree, it looks bad, but still better than being checkmate. i'm gonna compete in a chess tourny and i need all these traps 馃槈 this one is awesome because many players play king's pawn opening then castle, also many players would fall for the knight sacrifice 馃槈

  4. white cant stop all the threats and get a good game by ignoring the knight which move two times in the opening by playing c3 instead of Re1 or Nc3.

  5. I also just wanted to comment that I managed to beat Chess Titans, level 10, on the first try using this technique.

    Pure brilliance.

  6. @ 5:37 cant white put the f1 rook to f2 so that the g3 pawn will eat the rook on f2 and the king moves to f1?

  7. tournaments won since heart attack – North American Open, Stillwater, OK, Pikes Peak, CO Open, Monument, CO Open, CU Boulder Quad, Game/29 Alfred E. Packer Grill

  8. In the second line you present, jrobi, after white ignores the knight and plays Re1 the position is equal (after Bc5) because R back to f1 is fine.

  9. at 7:31, (during the variation where white does not capturing the g4 knight) isn't white's best move pawn thrust to d4?? the move cuts off the black bishop to c5 move and gets center control. does this foil the trap altogether???

    keep the videos coming! jrobi, your the best out there on youtube!

  10. I love both the Ruy Lopez traps however when playing kf6, white normally takes the knight on c6 with the bishop. Are there any handy traps or moves to make when they do try to swap off?

  11. for Einrichhibpshman

    1 e4 e5 2 Nf3 Nc6 3 Bb5 Nf6 4 d3 Bc5 5 0-0 Ng4 6 h3 h5 7 hg hg 8 Bg5 f6
    I've had this position twice, Black wins back the piece

  12. I think this is a great trap for players in the 12-1700 range. Someone with a lower rating could up their points with a few unsuspecting, and cocky higher-rated players.
    It really lends itself to an unexpected white demise..

  13. Once black plays pawn to g3, could white play Nf3 so it could delay the checkmate enough to prevent white from losing (attacking the queen + and attacking h2, the checkmate square. It may bring a material deficit, but not a checkmate, or am I wrong?

  14. we can prevent the checkmate and lose the rook instead!! white can sacrifice the rook for the pawn meantime giving a way for the white king to move..(5:05) 馃檪

  15. Man, these are great videos! Very instructional and the audio/video quality is excellent. Two views and a new subscription.

  16. 5:29
    Hey could you move rook to F2
    Pawn would take rook
    The king could move to F1
    The queen could check at H1
    Then the king could get away?

  17. how does Bc5 eliminate d3 after h5 or in other words what would happen after 1….h5 2.d3 Bc5…..then what because if 3.Ng5 it seems to block the queen

  18. i think white can gain a very big lead in development and overall advantage by simply playing 4. h3 h5, followed by 5. c3 – intending to play bxc6 and hxg4 – to be able to answer a future bc5+ with d4 – does that seem right to you or am i missing something in this line? thanks!

  19. pelaaja93, you just play Qh4, f3, g3, Re1, Qxh2+, and he gains the knight back, maybe there's a mate following, I'm too lazy to check.

  20. @goph000 It looks like black could play Nd4 and threaten the rook. If white takes the knight on Nd4 then his king is vulnerable to the queen advance.

    I haven't played it out though, but it doesn't look too promising on initial glance.

  21. i am very disgusted with these in all ruylopez variations white can take pawn on e5 with knight but i seen in many games where white wont take it and black aslo wont protect it and it simply castles,,but in online chess ppl are taking my poor pawn where as kasparov didnt taken it,,i felt like breaking my laptop,,,will u plz do one video on pawn grabbing blunders by white in ruylopezz plzzzzzzz

  22. at 2:02, Practicing vs the computer, very often he moves pawn to d4. Doesn't this cause more trouble for black as it blocks the bishop's exit?

  23. im a beginner at chess. but what's the point of bringing the white bishop to b5 at 1:21 . i guess the opponent have to do this move so that the berlin trap would be made.

  24. @pirola1 Well it is the defining move of the Ruy Lopez Opening. It is the most popular move for white in this position. The purpose of the move is to attack the knight. Since the knight is defending the e5 pawn, black now has to redefend the e5 pawn. Also, Bb5 will eventually become a pin on the knight after black advances the d pawn. Bb5 is considered stronger than Bc4, d4, or Nc3 at grandmaster level play.

  25. I played this trap and it went alll well until 7:37. instead of using knight to c3 he/she did pawn to c3. And then pushing my bishop to c5 was useless because he then pushed his d2 pawn to d3.

    Is there any way in that position to get the trap going anyway?

  26. why the colorless distorted rectangular board?….and why do you say PROcess…both of these things really disturb me….good video other than that

  27. not really. It's probably a rumor being spread by some loser. J Robi has some serious insults in here and at other places, but, it's totally undeserved. He helps those at lower levels with ideas that improve their play IF THEY RECOGNIZE the gems he is leaving for us. ChessNetwork, also, has some level limitations, I and many others have sometimes left modernized improvements on his videos. ChessNetwork DOES remove bad language, sometimes. That's cool with most players.

  28. I've wandered in and here's what I found. MANY people disagree with his analysis. However, it doesn't seem like too many are "blocked" because they keep commenting. Perhaps he pulled your name by accident. Or, maybe there was a glitch with the server. I would suggest contacting him personally and asking about it.

  29. J Robi, dang this IS a fine "trap" however, I have stepped out of line with using traps, and have tucked this one away and bring it out on occasion during the course of games. The idea is, it seems, not entirely new. I found at least one case of a person using his Bishop as the King's Knight is used here. But the point is, using it as a tool, and sometimes not even having to "sac" the piece, as in, the opponent uses a piece to grab the bait.

  30. Boy, who the hell are YOU talking to? I came and left a comment to JROBICHESS, and you complain about chess network tossing your comment. I try to be helpful and search for signs of what you said. MY time. I write and ask, I hear that there are a lot of people, sometimes comments are worded poorly or insultingly (just as you have done here) and the word is, just connect with them to try to get re-entered. And now you have some fantasy about challenges?
    Get a life, but, first…get a clue.

  31. You know what? You still have some great videos here, but now it seems you have a following of complainers. Dang. Doesn't anyone like learning about chess, anymore? Somebody claiming to be "a 2200 player" just sounds wrong. Most of the over 2000 players I have met seem quite mannered and even friendly. I guess times change, though, and good manners have walked. Well, here's hoping a new wave shows up that wants to learn more, because you have excellent lessons.

  32. Awesome J!!! I used this at the chess club and defeated 2 players 150 pts. Higher than myself. You are doing a great job!!

  33. I have a question, if Ng4 is such a good posible move, why isn't it the mainline? What would be the most solid defense against it?

  34. Not a smart trap to take on in a standard game, if even in any game.聽 Eventually with proper play, White will be able to gain a tempo by being able to push the g5 night back once the Qh5 mating threat is stopped after developing (Giving him pretty much two extra moves on black's position if he didn't do Ng5).聽 When Ng5, just do h3, and after h5, push c3 and you are going to crush the center and smother blacks position.聽 Also, be looking for your knight on f3 to go to h5 and then f4, because thats a nice square that will destroy black's center.

  35. Is there a rule in the Book of Chess that all chess tutorial videos have to open with obnoxious, grinding music? What, trying to shed that "nerd" image?

    Hey, a little classical never hurt ANYONE.

    One more video I won't be watching sigh

  36. Good trap for blitz. After 5. h3 – h5; 6. c3 or d4! Put white back on the wheel. This trap will throw opponents off in blitz but on regular time control black has little to show for and cannot really justify moving their knight twice.

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