Hi everyone, it’s Jerry. There’s an instructional
queen trap out of the Fort Knox variation of the French Defense that is capable of catching
even a Grandmaster opponent. I’m able to say this because I experienced that first hand.
I had a Grandmaster opponent make an inaccuracy early on. I was aware of the trap, and I was
able to take advantage of it. Now I feel that it’s instructive because from the variation
itself, there’s an important strategical concept to take away from it, and we also see highlighted
from the trap itself, the importance of move order…especially in the opening. Why it’s
a bad idea to bring the queen out early. The importance of calculating accurately,
and in many case deep enough. And also the power of in-between moves, and discovered
attacks. So let’s see how that all works. It starts off after e4, we have e6, the French
Defense. d4, d5, knight c3…this knight’s deployment is irrelevant…he can also play
to d2 since after d takes e the knight is recapturing. Bishop d7, the beginning of the
Fort Knox variation. And the idea behind it is to do what exactly? The strategical concept
behind this variation is to give up the light-square bishop, and then make sure you have pawns
around on light squares to compensate for his loss. But we don’t go down that road.
Instead we get to see an inaccuracy by black right away. Knight f6, this is not a good
move. What’s better is to play the queen knight here, and only then deploy the knight to f6.
Then black would be in a position to meet knight takes with the queen knight recapturing.
But it’s very easy to mix up the move order. Knight f6, and now we capture the knight.
What would be best at this point is to recapture with the pawn. But I believe most players
as black would be recapturing with the queen, keeping the pawn structure as is. But after
this recapture the black queen is simply lost. If you’d like to, pause the video. See if
you could figure out how white should be responding from this position. Okay, here’s the solution…it’s
bishop g5. The queen is running very short on squares. And I think many players as black
would be thinking bishop g5 is a bad move because there is this potential in-between
shot, bishop takes knight. And now what do you do as white? If you’re recapturing with
the queen…well this isn’t good. Material is balanced and what do you have to show for
this smashed opened pawn structure? Not a whole lot. Similarly, capturing the queen…this
is even worse. You’re down a piece as white. If the white bishop moves away, so too does
the black bishop. If you capture the bishop, black captures your bishop. Black is up a
knight in this variation. The trick here is to meet this in-between move with an in-between
move yourself. Queen to d2. A very very easy move to miss in your calculations if you’re
playing on the black side. The queen is defending the bishop, of course she’s out of the line
of fire of the bishop on f3, and she is indirectly controlling d4. If now queen takes d4, we
get to see now a discovered attack with bishop b5. The king is in check, the queen is dead.
Now the best continuation for black at this point would be to actually capture on g2,
allow the queen to be captured, the bishop takes the rook. From this position, the material
is actually balanced, but black is still having a difficult time because this pawn is under
fire…white also has a lead in development, and this bishop runs the risk of maybe getting
captured. If something like c6, king to e2. If the bishop is going to d5, we can see c4.
He’s running short on squares. White has all their pieces working. Now there’s g7 coming
under fire. In short, this is not the road to go down from this point right here. If
as black you are recapturing on f6, you are officially losing your queen after this bishop
to g5 move.