Ruy Lopez, Noah's Ark Trap

Ruy Lopez, Noah's Ark Trap

Ruy Lopez, Noah's Ark Trap

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The Noah's Ark Trap is a chess opening trap in the Ruy Lopez.The name is actually used to describe a family of traps in the Ruy Lopez in which a white bishop is trapped on the b3-square by black pawns.

The origin of the name is uncertain.The shape of the black pawns on a6, b5, and c4 may resemble an ark, or the name may suggest that the trap is "old as Noah's Ark".

Even chess masters have occasionally fallen victim to this trap.An example is Endre SteinerJosé Capablanca at the Budapest tournament in 1929.
1. e4 e5
2. Nf3 Nc6
3. Bb5 a6
4. Ba4 d6
5. d4(?)
Better moves for White are 5.c3, 5.Bxc6+, and 5.0-0.
5. ... b5
6. Bb3 Nxd4
7. Nxd4 exd4
8. Qxd4??
Alexander Alekhine recommended this move in the tournament book for New York 1924 as a means for White to draw, but it is a mistake that loses material.White should instead play 8.Bd5 or try a gambit with 8.c3.
8. ... c5
9. Qd5 Be6
10. Qc6+ Bd7
11. Qd5 c4
(See diagram.) The white king bishop is trapped. White resigned after move 32.


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