Chess becomes fun when we learn how to survive the opening and stop falling into our opponents’ cheap tactical tricks.

And that’s what this book is about! By understanding opening play and how to exploit tactical ideas, we turn the tables on our opponents. Now they will be the ones getting outmanoeuvred, tricked, trapped and pushed off the board!

Chess Opening Traps for Kids is a serious course on how to play the opening, illustrated with memorable and entertaining examples. By focusing on 100 key themes, Graham Burgess explains how to use opening tricks to our advantage. Every opening features hidden dangers for both players, so we need to avoid pitfalls while making full use of tactics to achieve the opening goals of purposeful development and central control.

Most of the 100 sections feature a basic example followed by a more complex one. Some of the traps have claimed grandmaster victims, while others are more likely to arise in junior chess. Either way, the aim is to learn the theme so well that you can use it when similar opportunities arise in your own games. A series of exercises at the end of the book allows you to check that you have grasped the main points. Throughout the book there are tips on how to spot tactics in advance and advice on opening strategy.

Award-winning author Graham Burgess has written 25 chess books, ranging from general guides to works on specific openings. He is a FIDE Master and a former champion of the Danish region of Funen. In 1994 he set a world record for marathon blitz chess playing.

Download a pdf file with a sample from the book.

“The layout and printing is clear (as you would expect with Gambit) with numerous diagrams at key moments. An excellent book with much original material presented in a clear and friendly way” – John Upham, British Chess News

“A highly instructive openings course, based on 100 carefully selected openings traps. As an example in trap 24 we see the Serbian Trap that runs with the move order: 1.e4 c5 2.d4 cxd4 3.c3 dxc3 4.Nxc3 Nc6 5.Nf3 e6 6.Bc4 Qc7 7.0-0 Nf6 8.Qe2?! Ng4! 9.h3?? Nd4! and wins!! There is also a collection of 48 diagrams to test your newly-learned opening skills. Conclusion: This book is overloaded with exploding positions!” – John Elburg,

“The author, Graham Burgess, has a nice, accessible style of writing. ... I was completely overwhelmed by the most incredible titles, such as A Violent Unpin, A Piece Trapped in Noah’s Ark, Rampant Pawns and the Long Diagonal, A Mousetrap for Rooks, A Horrible Discovery and Sizzling Long-Diagonal Skewer. ... I quickly jumped to ‘Trap 18’ because the title A Piece Trapped in Noah’s Ark intrigued me immensely. The subtitle is perhaps even more beautiful and mysterious: A bishop drowned under a sturdy wall of pawns. ... there is no doubt that we have a book here that can be fun for youth players and above all has a pleasant training angle. ... a nice collection of tactical ideas that can lead to rapid success. As far as I am concerned it is essential.” – IM Herman Grooten,

“Would benefit chessplayers of any age... ” – Alexey Root, SPARKCHESS

“This attractively produced hardback book offers young chess players tips on how to improve their opening play and tactical eye, via one hundred easy to digest miniature games. Here are a few examples which should prove entertaining for a wide audience from near beginner to about 1600. Newcomers to the game quickly learn the old trap 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nd4? 4.Nxe5? Qg5 5.Nxf7? Qxg2 6.Rf1 Qxe4+ 7.Be2 Nf3 mate. Of course despite its success here 3...Nd4? is not a good move. Burgess shows how the knight hop can work well in a more natural way: 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Nf6 4.Ng5 d5 5.exd5 Nd4 6.d6 Qxd6 7.Nxf7?? (7.d3) 7...Qc6 8.Nxh8 Qxg2 9.Rf1 Qe4+ 10.Be2 Nf3 mate!

Another example Burgess provides of a well-known trap showing up in a different setting is:
A trap in the English Opening goes 1.c4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.cxd5 Nxd5 4.g3 g6 5.Bg2 Nxc3 6.bxc3 Bg7 7.Rb1 0-0 8.Rxb7! winning a pawn.
Burgess gives a mirror image of this: 1.e4 c5 2.f4 Nc6 3.Nf3 g6 4.Bb5 Bg7 5.Bxc6 bxc6 6.d3 d6 7.0-0 Rb8 8.Qe1 Rxb2! 9.Bxb2 Bxb2 10.Nbd2 Bxa1 11.Qxa1 f6 leaves Black a pawn up.

Chess Opening Traps for Kids would make an excellent stocking stuffer for the young chess player who is new to the game and wanting to study on their own. Recommended” – IM John Donaldson

“I have consulted all of the ‘for Kids’ books by Gambit including Chess Openings, Chess Endgames, Chess Tactics and of course the very well-known How to Beat Your Dad at Chess, all of which are very useful coaching tools but I am delighted that there is a new book specifically written about opening traps because, after all, that’s where people get caught initially. This book shows 100 traps, some of which I have never seen myself so this is not just for kids, believe me. A well-presented hardback, consistent with the format in this excellent series, and there are three sections covering Basic Tactics, Combining Ideas and Advanced Concepts. There is also a section at the end to test your opening tactics and see what you have learned. Conclusion: recommended. Kids and adults learning chess will benefit from reading this and learning the various traps, of which there are many to fall into” – Carl Portman’s Book Reviews