What Is a Fishing Pole Trap in Chess?

A fishing pole trap is a chess maneuver in which one player sacrifices material to lure their opponent into a trap. The idea is that the material sacrificed will be recovered with a gain of additional material or the capture of an important piece such as the king or queen. It is usually used to catch an unsuspecting opponent off-guard and can be set up with careful planning and well-timed moves.

The most common type of fishing pole trap is when a player sacrifices a bishop or knight for a pawn. This sacrifice will usually be done on either side of the board, but it can also be done directly in front of the opponent’s king or queen. The goal is to get the opponent to take the offered piece while setting up a checkmate, resulting in an instant win for the player initiating the trap.

Examples of Fishing Pole Traps

One example of a fishing pole trap occurs when White sacrifices their knight on e5 to lure Black’s king away from its protective pawn on f6: 1.Nf3+ Kg7 2.Nxe5+ Kf6 3.Ng4+ Kg5 4.h4+ Kxh4 5.Qh5# White has set up a checkmate by sacrificing their knight and bringing their queen into play, resulting in Checkmate!

Another example involves White sacrificing their bishop on b2 to lure Black’s queen away from its protective pawns: 1.Bb2 Qxb2 2.Qc1 Qxc1 3.Rxc1 Rf8 4.Rc8# Again, White has set up Checkmate by sacrificing their bishop and bringing their rook into play, resulting in Checkmate!


A fishing pole trap is an effective way for players to gain an advantage over an unsuspecting opponent by sacrificing material for short-term gains with long-term benefits such as checkmate or material gain from recovered pieces. Careful planning and well-timed moves are essential for successful execution of this tactic and mastery over time will give any chess player an edge over their opponents!

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Daniel Bennet