The Berlin Trap...From the English Opening.

The Berlin Trap...From the English Opening.

The Planet Greenpawn

The Berlin Trap...From the English Opening.


What is the name of the famous railway station where I bought this book.

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Reveal Hidden Content
Kings Cross

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Do not read any of these non-chess books that are full of useless trivialities.
(or as the publishers would have you believe, ‘it’s full of fascinating facts.’ )

I was reading one recently and it told me that zebras are white with black stripes.
For the next few days entire my life was put on hold as I stressed out wondering
are chessboards white with black squares, or are they black with white squares?

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Things like this always bug me and it took a while for me to forget all about it.
When I dared myself to open up the book again I was reliably informed that there
are 318,979,564,000 different ways to play the first four moves in the game of chess.

Arghhhhhh!!!!
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Georg Ernst (1878 - 1931) invites us to solve this delightful problem.


White to play and mate in three moves.

It is one of them ‘them’ being it is the very last solution you think off. Which is kind of
a silly thing to say. Of course it is the last solution you stumble upon. Why would you
look for anything else once you have solved it. However in this case I got the right idea
within seconds, a Rook sacrifice (that is a clue). But I was saccing the Rook too soon.

Right away I saw the Bishop was covering d6 stopping the mate in two 1.Ra5+ bxa5
2.Rd6 mate so I dismissed that and tried to get the Knight play a more prominent part.

My first try

Have a go. It’s rewarding when you solve it. I’ll give the solution at end. Here it is again.


White to play and mate in three (Clue - you do sacrifice a Rook)

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Named the Berlin Trap by Gary Lane in this book.

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The Berlin Trap has nothing to do with the Berlin Defence to the Ruy Lopez,
which we looked at a few weeks ago, because it pops up in the English Opening.
It got it’s name because it was first sprung in a game played in Berlin in 1950.
At the moment the body count on Red Hot Pawns is 19 victims. Here is the latest.

Eagle and King - N2H4 RHP 2021


The most frequent setting for this trap (Nxe4 and Qa4+) comes from the following.

Gary Kasparov used this trap to beat a player in a simultaneous display in 2008.
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I’ve never really been into these Rapid online tournaments (in this case the
time controls are 15 minutes plus 10 second increment for the whole game.)
There seems to be a never ending stream of them taking place with the same
players playing the same players all the time. It can get a bit ho-hum tedious.

So when I told by a colleague that there was good combo played by Duda v Giri
to look out for in a recent Rapid event I never got too excited because I have often
chased down a highly recommended game only to be disappointed with what I saw.

However when searching for this game I was seeing comments like ‘The Immortal
of the Century.’ ‘Magnificent Magic’ etc. And no nobody is going to be disappointed.

Jan-Krzysztof Duda - Anish Giri, Meltwater Chess Tour Final 2022

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The Georg Ernst mate in three solution.



The thread accompanying this blog is Thread 195461

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