Error Management Guide:
Part of the Beginner's Chess Guide (Section 3)

Error Management Guide


A Trap is a tactic set by a player to catch their opponent unaware, with the result being some sort of gain, for the player who sets the Trap - it could be a material gain, though it can also include territorial/positional gain, too.

Most Traps will be set with some sort of "Bait" ... It could be a Pawn or Piece. Whatever, it's likely to be left, unguarded and seemingly free for you to capture.

You must try and weigh up, in your mind, whether the unguarded enemy 'item' has been left by a clueless beginner - in which case, it may truly be a free capture ...

Or, whether you're playing against a more-cunning and experienced player - in which case, the unguarded Pawn/Piece could be the sacrificial "Bait" in some sort of Trap.

If you assume the unguarded Pawn/Piece to be "Bait", as part of a Trap, you must then decide whether it's better for your Bait-taker - the one that could capture the assumed Bait - to remain where it is; whether it could be moved elsewhere; or, whether you should move another Pawn/Piece.

« Back to the Chess Glossary (Trap)

Moving On: Bringing Your Queen Out Too Early (Page 9).

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