Saturday, August 7, 2010

A trap in the Von Hennig-Schara Gambit

The Von Hennig-Schara Gambit is a tricky line in the Queen's Gambit Declined, Tarrasch Defense that begins 1.d4 d5 2.c4 e6 3.Nc3 c5 4.cxd5 cxd4!? Now the game usually continues 5.Qxd4 (5.Qa4+ often transposes, but White should be aware of the wild 5...b5!?) Nc6 6. Qd1 cxd5 7.Qxd5 Bd7, when Black gets considerable play for the sacrificed pawn.

Fidlow's 5.dxe6?! can't really be recommended for serious games, since Black has a fine game after 5...Bxe6! But it does set a trap, which Maier fell into hook, line, and sinker. After 5...dxc3? 6.exf7+!, Black had to play 6...Ke7 to save his queen. Since 7.fxg8(Q) would allow Black to escape the worst with 7...Qxd1+! 8.Kxd1 Rxg8, White played the clever 7.fxg8(N)+! Now Black had to play 7...Ke8!, when White can choose between a two-pawns-up ending with 8.Qxd8+ Kxd8 9.bxc3, or trying to hold onto his knight with 8.Qb3!? Instead, he played 7...Rxg8?? and resigned after 8.Bg5+, winning the queen.

The game presents an amusing riff on the more familiar "Lasker Trap" in the Albin Counter-Gambit (1.d4 d5 2.c4 e5!? 3.dxe5 d4 4.e3?! Bb4+ 5.Bd2 dxe3! 6.Bxb4? exf2+ 7.Ke2 fxg1(N)+! 8.Rxg1?? Bg4+).

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