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  1. #1
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Construction task: trap a queen as quickly as possible

    Interested to see if anyone has an answer to this one or has seen an answer to it in problemist literature.

    The challenge is to make moves by each side so that a queen becomes trapped and will then be lost (with best play) as quickly as possible. The definition of "trapped" is as follows:

    1. No matter what move the trapped side makes, the queen can be taken by the opponent next move.

    2. The compensation will not be remotely sufficient (eg it is not a queen swap or queen for rook and bishop).

    3. The "trap" is not a result of forcing the other side to take the queen (eg unguarded Qxf7+ forcing Kxf7).

    4. The trap is not a result of the queen being pinned on the king, or of a queen move that loses the queen being the only move to stop a mate.

    This challenge is inspired by a woeful casual game tonight in which I managed to trap my own queen on move eight. It had ten legal moves all of which would result in its capture, as would leaving it where it was. However I am sure we can do a few moves better.
    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 29-06-2010 at 03:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    1.e3 e5 2.Nc3 d5 3.Qf3 e4 4.Qf4 Bd6 traps the queen in four moves whilst meeting requirements 1-4.

    Alternatively, the solution 1.e4 e6 2.d4 Qf6 3.e5 Qf5 4.Bd3 is a half-move faster.
    Last edited by Max Illingworth; 28-06-2010 at 11:57 PM.

  3. #3
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viewed
    Alternatively, the solution 1.e4 e6 2.d4 Qf6 3.e5 Qf5 4.Bd3 is a half-move faster.
    Nice.

    This was the casual game that "inspired" this thread (actually it was move eight not move seven):

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    Last edited by Kevin Bonham; 29-06-2010 at 03:33 AM.

  4. #4
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    It actually happened in my tournament game. The grandmaster playing white did not fall for a trap, continued 9.g4 and won the game after about 90 moves.
    Last edited by Igor_Goldenberg; 30-06-2010 at 10:08 AM. Reason: pgn did not load
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  5. #5
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  6. #6
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  8. #8
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Top work THE. Third one is excellent. I was trying to get an idea with Qh5 to fly last night but just couldn't get it done with only three white moves. I'd end up with something like:

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    where white has trapped white's own queen but it's black to move (and take it).

    First one I am now pretty sure I've seen somewhere before.

    Second one is very inventive and deserves credit for the most ridiculous series of moves technically meeting my criteria.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    First one I am now pretty sure I've seen somewhere before.
    I am sure I have seen that pattern before, but not sure if it is that exact position.

  10. #10
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    This is actually a game from the Logan 2000 handicap tourney, played around the year 2000:
    J. Sarfati – G. Warta
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    Here is an old game from Wellington, New Zealand, from the early 1990s IIRC:
    R. Sutton – A. Jordan
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    An old trap, from Paris, about 1924:
    Gibaud – Lazard
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    Last edited by Capablanca-Fan; 30-06-2010 at 02:14 AM.
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  11. #11
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Of those the first one meets my criteria. The second doesn't because the queen is forced to sacrifice itself to stop mate. The third doesn't because the queen can be saved albeit with a minor technical hitch to follow. Still both are amusing examples of quick queen loss.

    It's also worth noting that the authenticity of "Gibaud-Lazard" is widely disputed. As Tim Krabbe writes:

    But nothing will prevent "Gibaud - Lazard, Paris 1924, 4 moves" being published as the shortest decisive "master game": 1.d4 Nf6 2.Nd2 e5 3.dxe5 Ng4 4.h3 Ne3 and White resigned. Almost everything is incorrect about that statement: it was not a master game, White was perhaps not poor Gibaud, it was not played in 1924, it was 5 instead of 4 moves - and even at 4 moves, it would have had to share honours with other games.

    What is true is that in his autobiography, Lazard gave a friendly game "Amateur" - Lazard, played in Paris, "around 1922", which went 1.d4 d5 2.b3 Nf6 3.Nd2 e5 4.dxe5 Ng4 5.h3 Ne3 and White resigned. Here, 5.h3 is not as stupid a blunder as in the shorter version, because White could at least have hoped to gain a tempo after 5...Nxe5 6.Bb2. "Amateur" becoming Gibaud, and Gibaud the proverbial patzer, is not Lazard's fault; he mentioned "a very strong player whose talent is done no justice by this game."

    In fact, Gibaud was champion of France no less than four times. He didn't like this 4-move game going around with his name attached. And when in 1937 the British magazine Chess published it as "the shortest tournament game ever played, from a Paris Championship", he protested his innocence.

    In the next issue, Chess answered: "He never lost any tournament game in four moves. Searching his memory he recalls a skittles he once played against Lazard, a game of the most light-hearted variety, in which, his attention momentarily distracted by the arrival of his friend Muffang, he played a move which allowed a combination of this genre - but certainly not four moves after the commencement of the game. Rumour, he said, must have woven strange tales about this game."

  12. #12
    CC Grandmaster Capablanca-Fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    Of those the first one meets my criteria. The second doesn't because the queen is forced to sacrifice itself to stop mate.
    But it doesn't stop mate; it is just the only legal move available in this position and prevents it being a mate in the first place.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kevin Bonham
    The third doesn't because the queen can be saved albeit with a minor technical hitch to follow. Still both are amusing examples of quick queen loss.

    It's also worth noting that the authenticity of "Gibaud-Lazard" is widely disputed. As Tim Krabbe writes:
    Thanx; I'm happy to have this posthumous injustice against M. Gibaud rectified.
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  13. #13
    Monster of the deep Kevin Bonham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono
    But it doesn't stop mate; it is just the only legal move available in this position and prevents it being a mate in the first place.
    OK, to avert mate with that move. I wasn't clear about that in my requirements; after all, the vast majority of cases of giving up a queen where that is the only legal move will result in the other side delivering forced mate eventually.

    I've had a look at some quick traps for other pieces. Maybe others can improve on these.

    Knight

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    Bishop

    Again there are 3-move solutions but the only ones I've found are inelegant:

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    I would prefer a solution where the winning side does not leave material en prise along the way.

    Rook

    Here there are 3-move solutions for white but again they tend to be crude and unsatisfactory.

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    But that is really a bit silly because the rook hasn't moved and doesn't have options.

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    The only thing to be said for this one is that it is said to have occurred in a real postal game after Black sent the conditional "2. Any Bb7". Source: Compleat Chess Addict so not necessarily reliable!

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    Now that's just being ridiculous since it both takes the queen and is check.

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    A slightly less ridiculous version but still a fork on the queen and still with the rook not so much trapped as never having moved in the first place.

    Pawn

    Haven't tried this one yet. (I suggest for this one that the "trapping" move must not be check.)

  14. #14
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    edit- I presume I have seen the first one somewhere.
    Last edited by Aaron Guthrie; 30-06-2010 at 08:16 PM.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by THE
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    A very natural and quite probable sequence of moves
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