White to Play

Pete Tamburro on

Published in Chess Puzzles

This is one of the most famous positions in chess. It arises in the Ruy Lopez after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bb5 d6 4.d4 Bd7 5.Nc3 Nf6 6.0–0 Be7 7.Re1 0–0. By making a normal and often recommended castling move, Black has just lost the game. When I teach my students the Ruy Lopez, I have them memorize the whole game that was played back in 1892. If you don’t know this position, you’ll see why it’s worth committing to memory.

Known as the Tarrasch Trap, the game was Tarrasch-Marco, Dresden, 1892. It went this way-- 8.Bxc6 Bxc6 9.dxe5 dxe5 10.Qxd8 Raxd8 11.Nxe5 Bxe4 12.Nxe4 Nxe4 13.Nd3 f5 14.f3 Bc5+ 15.Nxc5 Nxc5 16.Bg5 Rd5 17.Be7 Re8 18.c4 and wins a piece. It still catches the unaware.


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