Chess Traps #9: Elephant Trap – Queen’s Gambit Declined

Chess Traps #9: Elephant Trap – Queen’s Gambit Declined


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.

49 thoughts on “Chess Traps #9: Elephant Trap – Queen’s Gambit Declined

  1. Definitely a trap that seems reasonable for players to fall into. Thanks for the video! I like the commentary 🙂

  2. White loses a knight which in Indian terms was an elephant I believe, so elephant trap.. Is that possible?

  3. Thanks a ton Jerry, going to try this trap against the next poor soul who tries to get me with the Queens Gambit!

  4. The name must have originated from the fact that knights used to be elephants, rooks used to be chariots etc. before the modern game became popular. 

  5. White has better center control so I don't know that this is all that devastating. Also the queen can take the bishop (rather than opening the diagonal for the white bishop) and then castle after knight takes queen, but black has lost the right to castle. 

  6. It could be called the Elephant Trap because the bishop was originally an elephant in chess. It had the same properties as the 'Elephant' in Chinese Chess and possibly other variations of the game before getting the extreme buff.

  7. Jerry! I published the definition for "Blue Chicken Gambit" on Urban Dictionary. Was gonna wait till you next stream but this is urgent lol.

  8. Nice video as always Jerry, cool trap. 
    Can you tell me what is the name of the song you always put at the end of your videos? it's so relaxing…

  9. After 8: … Kxd8 white could have played 9. Qxb4 instead of e3 in order to prevent moving the king so that white could still castle. Sure, white is a minor piece down anyhow, but at least king safety is easier obtained that way. I know that after Nxb4 there is a double attack threatening the rook, but that is no problem with Rd1. You lose a pawn, but nothing else is lost for that king safety. Rc1 is bad, because it is attacked after Nxa7.

  10. Why wouldn't white take bishop with his queen on last move instead of move-ing his pawn on e3? You have to take queen first , then take bishop with king.

  11. and what if white moves 9. e4 (instead of e3), with a threat to take the night on d5, which guards the bishop on b4?

  12. Hi Jerry,
    could you kindly make a video of small but important "Things to Know" in Chess. For example, a few videos ago (Carlsen vs Anand @ 2014 Fide Rapid ), you commented that a knight cannot fork you if you have pieces on opposite color squares! This was a "Oh Wow" moment for me. So could you make a video of such small but important things? Thanks!

  13. Some people in the comments said that 'bishop' is called the 'elephant' and that's how it got its name. Then someone added on the bishop is also called the 'idiot' in another language.

    Lol the "Idiots trap", only idiots fall for it 😉

  14. if you take the bishops instead of the queen then queen takes bishop knight takes queen bishoos retreats and youre down a piece??

  15. Hey great video, and Merry Christmas! I hope you can continue doing what you like, whether it be chess or something else.

  16. Love this jerry, just managed to use this in a game with my friend!! I was so happy that I remembered learning this here

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