Chess Traps #7: Queen Trap – French Defense: Fort Knox

Chess Traps #7: Queen Trap – French Defense: Fort Knox


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.

100 thoughts on “Chess Traps #7: Queen Trap – French Defense: Fort Knox

  1. jerry.. please get ur shit together.. not many chess players have what u have, in terms of charisma when playing, making it interesting, and .. AND.. a SUCCESSFUL youtube channel. Number 1 rule of youtube is CONTENT.. lots of it, and fan/subs interaction. which you do, or did regularly, where are u dude?

  2. Hello Jerry a much stronger move than 11.Be5 is 11.Bh4
    I know the trick to capture the queen is already done so a little irrilevant for your video but still white needs good continuation because this is not yet a clear win for white

  3. I am I just being dumb here or what, what's wrong with Be4 as black? The queen is pinned and if queen takes bishop black queen takes the nasty bishop on g5

  4. Recently I saw a video from IM Andrew Martin on the Fort Knox. Here is the link (courtesy OCL): youtube.com/watch?v=Yjitkv_rPwI. He talks about the trap (that does not exist) after Nbd7, and much more in the video.

  5. Small correction Jerry, because I play it as well and IM Andrew Martin has a great video on it – Fort Knox is signified when the Bishop gets to c6, not d7… at 4. … Bd7 it's still the Rubinstein Variation. Only after 5. Nf3 Bc6 does it become Fort Knox. Cheers

  6. Strategic, Jerry! Or strategically. ๐Ÿ™‚ Strategical isn't really a word (although I guess it gets used sometimes).

  7. Perhaps strategical shouldn't exist, but it's in the dictionary and means the same thing as strategic. It's just one of the endless quirks of the English language, I guess. Another similar example would be graphic and graphical.

    I should add that strategically is an adverb so can't be used in place of strategical, which is an adjective.

  8. they're tow different lines. Notice that in IM Martin's game the knight is protecting the king from lossing the Queen. In this variation, the queen is dead

  9. Very instructive. Concise. No beating around the bush spending 10 minutes explaining every move and variation. thumbs up!

  10. Hi!! Jerry How r u I hope u r fine. For the past one month I am facing painful defeats because of not looking at my opponents tactics possibility even one move tactics and even I am giving up the pieces for free ie without seeing the square is defended I place my pieces there. Before a month i was really had a decent tactical vision. I dont know y i am facing this problem right now it really hurts :(. Kindly give tips about improving the tactics or if any book is there suggest me. Thanking u

  11. ive actually had this come up in one of my games, i managed to calculate all the right moves just as my opponent did, but he resigned once he saw queen was dead.

    i didn't even know it was a real trap or opening lol.

  12. I clicked like but I am not always such a fan of weaker player's (even myself to be honest) memorizing traps; reality is seldom that simple.
    But that was pretty cool and clicked like.

  13. 4:41
    black queen can survive

    black bishop check king
    king moves away
    other black bishop takes white knight,
    threatening white queen
    if queen takes black bishop,
    black queen takes white bishop

    or, making the game equal
    both queens r lost

  14. you will NEVER see that variation.. NOBODY who plays the Fort Knox will play Nf6 before having played Nd7… black can trick white quite often because not everybody "white" french player knows the Fort Knox… BUT virtually EVERYBODY who is playing the Fort Knox on purpose KNOWS it!!!!

  15. 3:48 what stops black from playing Bc4 pinning the queen? If QxBc4 black responds QxBg5. You're still down your light-squared bishop after gxBf3, but white does have a damaged kingside and you have a slightly more active queen as black, the next move here being b6 by black to defend from qxb6. The structure in the end is meh for both sides but worse for white, with about equal queen positions. Not good for black, but not losing.

    If White wants to throw away the advantage and takes blacks queen (BxQf6), black can hit back with check (BxQd2), force the white king un-castled, and if white captures blacks bishop, black captures white's, or if one runs away, so does the other. The position at that point would actually be slightly better for black, despite the damage to the kingside, because white would have to castle by hand towards the queenside.

  16. 3:45 white's bishop has the black king in check, and the queen is in trouble at the same time but why not play queen knight to c6 as black? It blocks the check, protects the queen, and the knight is protected by both the bishop and the pawn ๐Ÿค”

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