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MACA Book Review
222 Opening Traps after 1.d4 222 Opening Traps after 1.d4
by: Karsten Muller & Rainer Knaak

Price: $29.95
ISBN: 978-3-283-01005-8
Format: Book 147pp.
Publisher: Edition Olms

Reviewed by: Chess Horizons Editor Mark Donlan
Recommendation: Recommended

Similar to the title on 1.e4, which was reviewed in the October-December issue, this book is based on the material in Muller & Knaak’s 1,000 Opening Traps (CD). The traps contained here all follow after any move except 1.e4. So we have openings such as the Bird, Sokolosky, and Larsen, as well as the main line openings.

The authors note that many people learn traps as a way of avoiding opening theory, but that it is far more constructive to “fit a promising trap into your own opening repertoire, or even to construct a repertoire around the trap.” They describe the theme of this book as going further “than that which can be expected of the usual concept of the opening trap.” They write “to sum up … we would say: ‘someone plays a ‘normal’ looking move, which is then refuted by an unusual variation (or move).’”
Rather than trying to commit these traps to memory, the most benefit to be gained is from playing through these examples, many of them miniatures, in order to learn tactics in non-standard positions. It seems the goal of every player nowadays is to take the game out of book as soon as possible, so wouldn’t it be wonderful to prepare yourself to punish such folly.

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