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Typical Traps in the Opening

In the opening, there are some principles that help us to find the good moves. However, beside principles, in the opening there are also some typical schemes that bring advantage as early as the game begins.
In this game, White played without paying attention and he was checkmated in 16 moves! All began with a typical scheme in the opening phase. From my own experience, I can tell you that once you have learned this scheme, you will be able to win many games from now on.
1.e4 Nc6
Developing the knight on the queenside, Black wants to play a system that is seldom played, but very interesting. The ideal development for Black is obtained after 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5 3.exd5 Qxd5 4.Nf3 Bg4 5.Be2 0-0-0, followed by e7-e5, with strong attack on "d"-pawn and on "d"-file in general. Though, I do not recommend this move (1.Nc6) unless you don't know well the variations of this system. For example, after 1.e4 Nc6 2.d4 d5, White can play 3.Nc3! with a good position, and if 3.dxe4 4.d5!.
White knew that Black was planning to play d7-d5, so he interdicts it. This is a great moment to explain how you should think in the opening.
  • In the opening phase you have to develop your pieces as early as possible. It is our first opening principle. It is just natural: the earlier you get your pieces into the game, the earlier you can get to operations. With his last move (2.c4), White hasn't developed any piece.
  • In the opening phase, you have to get as much space as possible and, at the same time, to control as many central squares (e4,d4,e5,d5) or semi-central squares (next to the central squares) as possible. Why? Possessing more space and more support-squares in the center, your pieces will have a superior mobility. That means a bigger force. It is just normal, isn't it? With his move (2.c4), White neither improves his position in the center, nor gets space advantage.
We all know that in general, due to his first move, White has a small advantage. But what exactly does the first move offer him? In almost all the cases, the first move gets only space advantage. With his last move (2.c4), White split the control of the center in two equal parts: the squares e5 and d4 are controlled by Black, while e4 and d5 by White.
Logical moves, following the opening principles, would have been: 2.Nf3, 2.d4, 2.Nc3
Just natural! Black acquires the central square d4 and facilitates the development of the black bishop Bf8-c5, where it has a good play on the g1-a7 diagonal.

Black can control 3 central squares out of 4!

Another very important thing is to be noticed here. White cannot control the square d4 with any pawn, while Black still can play c7-c6. In fact, the square d4 is lost forever for White, but Black is able to control the square d5. So, when speaking about the control of the center, the rapport is 3:1 for Black. Furthermore, if Black advances the pawn d7-d5, (supported by c7-c6), opening of the d-file will be another advantage for Black, because the square d4 is in his hands.

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