Queen's Gambit Declined, Rubinstein Trap

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a b c d e f g h
a8 black rook
c8 black bishop
d8 black queen
e8 black rook
g8 black king
b7 black pawn
d7 black knight
e7 black bishop
g7 black pawn
h7 black pawn
a6 black pawn
c6 black pawn
d5 black pawn
f5 black pawn
d4 white pawn
e4 black knight
f4 white bishop
c3 white knight
d3 white bishop
e3 white pawn
f3 white knight
a2 white pawn
b2 white pawn
c2 white queen
f2 white pawn
g2 white pawn
h2 white pawn
c1 white rook
f1 white rook
g1 white king
7 7
6 6
5 5
4 4
3 3
2 2
1 1
a b c d e f g h
White wins a pawn with 13.Nxd5.

The Rubinstein Trap is a chess opening trap in the Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense. Black loses a pawn after Nxd5 due to the threat of his queen being trapped on the back rank by White's Bc7.


The trap takes its name from Akiba Rubinstein, who had the misfortune of falling into it twice, in the games Max Euwe–Rubinstein, Bad Kissingen 1928, and Alexander Alekhine–Rubinstein, San Remo 1930. Rubinstein was not the first to fall victim to the trap; the first recorded game featuring the trap is Amos BurnHeinrich Wolf, Ostend 1905.

Alekhine–Rubinstein, San Remo 1930[1]

1. d4 d5 2. Nf3 Nf6 3. c4 e6

The Queen's Gambit Declined, Orthodox Defense.

4. Bg5 Nbd7 5. e3 Be7 6. Nc3 0-0 7. Rc1 Re8 8. Qc2 a6 9. cxd5 exd5 10. Bd3 c6 11. 0-0 Ne4 12. Bf4 f5? (see diagram)

Black falls into the trap.

13. Nxd5

White wins a pawn since 13...cxd5?? loses to 14.Bc7, trapping Black's queen.