Hi everyone, it’s Jerry. The Elephant Trap
is a trap for black out of the Queen’s Gambit Declined. If white is not careful, just 5
or 6 moves into the game, they can find themselves down a minor piece and only have a pawn to
show for it. So here’s how it works… d4, d5, c4, e6, the Queen’s Gambit Declined. And
just a quick summary of this trap. It really revolves around this d5 square. White is there
to put pressure on it, black is there to defend. Additional pressure on move 3, additional
defense. And even more pressure now on this d5 square, only in this case indirectly since
this knight is now pinned to the queen. And now after knight b to d7, this is where white
can simply go wrong thinking that they could win a pawn on this d5 square. Now this move
right here may very well be steering into what’s known as the Cambridge Springs Defense.
For example after e3, c6, knight f3, queen a5 would denote the Cambridge Springs Defense.
Activating the queen, pinning the knight. There might be some tricks along this 5th
rank. But we don’t quite get there. As soon as knight b to d7 is played, this is where
white can go wrong in the following way. On move 5, c takes d which is fine, e takes d,
but now on this 6th move if white takes on d5, they’ve simply fallen for the Elephant
Trap. I’m not quite sure how it got its name, but knight takes d5 is a serious blunder because
black can simply take the knight, give up the queen but only temporarily since bishop
b4 check will win the white queen back in short order. Queen d2 is an only move. The
queen is pinned. You can take her right away, or simply recognize she’s going nowhere, pick
up the bishop, and soon enough after the smoke clears…what do we have? Well black is simply
up a minor piece, and white only has a pawn to show for it. King to e2 is the only way
to maintain defense of the queen. But now comes the devastating pawn takes knight, underpromoting
to a knight, with check. This is all very important.