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Kostics' Trap

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White: Gary Owen
Black: John P. Pratt
Date: 6 Jul 1976
Location: Hill Air Force Base, Utah

Here is a great 7-move win which can be used against real players. It can only be used once, but that once can be reserved for tournaments (of average players). Where I worked, many people played chess daily at lunch. I watched a few games and finally asked if I could try a game against one of the better players. He usually opened with the standard Giuoco Piano, and I wondered if he knew about the classic Kostics' Trap (Muhlock vs. Kostics, Cologne, 1912, listed as Game #12 in Irving Chernev's 1000 Best Short Games of Chess, New York, Simon & Schuster, 1955). I soon found he didn't know it because he took the bait and exactly repeated the Kostics game. So here it is (just press the buttons to see the game). Later I invented my own 9-move variation which also worked in a tournament.

1. e2-e4, e7-e5.
2. Ng1-f3, Nb8-c6.
3. Bf1-c4,

So far, this is the classic Giuoco Piano opening.
3. ... Nc6-d4? So here's the bait. It looks like the black knight has already forgotten what he was guarding.
4. Nf3xe5, White takes the bait! c2-c3 would have been much better!
4. ... Qd8-g5.It looks like a poor way to attack a knight which can now fork the queen.
5. Ne5xf7,Greed causes many people to ignore defense. Now Black can relax, the rest is pretty much forced.
5. ... Qg5xg2.White finally awakens to the threat of checkmate!
6. Rh1-f1, Qg2xe4+.White saves his rook but the threat continues.
7. Bc4-e2, Nd4-f3 mate.Death by suffocation!