I recently heard about Owen's opening. 1. e4 b6 is the starting move which can transform into various lines. I am just curious about the traps (for both black and white) involved in this opening. I tried surfing on the internet but couldn't get any traps on this opening. So, are there any traps involved or not?

PS- Although I've accepted an answer, feel free to add any relevant comment or answer !

  • Searching by "1.e4 b6 miniatures" I found some interesting results. For example (do a "e4 b6" search):
    – emdio
    Commented Jan 20, 2021 at 13:42

3 Answers 3

[fen "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQkq - 0 1 "]

1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Bd3 f5 4. exf5 Bxg2 5. Qh5+ g6 6. fxg6 Nf6 7. gxh7+ Nxh5 8. Bg6++

One possible trap for black is in the Matinovsky gambit which starts with ... 3.f5.

  • Wow, perfect! So, the 6th move Nf6 was a loosing move.. What is the best reply in this case? Possibly Bd5 ? Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 13:43
  • 1
    Yes Nf6 is a loosing move, i believe 6. ...Bg7 would be a better defense for black but still with a slight advantage for white. 3....f5 is the first dubious move from black's perspective
    – Don
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 13:52
  • Yes, this is a standard trappy line in this opening; 6 . . . Nf6? loses instantly, and Dark_Night's 6 . . . Bd5? is scarcely better (simply 7 Qxd5 and White's already a piece up and about to win the Ra8 or mate on f7). The critical line is 6 . . . Bg7! because if White wins the Ng8 with 7 gxh7+ then he'll still lose the Rh1. But there's a remarkable refutation starting 7 Qf5! Nf6 8 Bh6!! with the idea Bxh6 9 gxh7! and Black can take either Rook (one line starts Kf8 10 Qg6 Bc1 11 Qxg2 Bxb2) but should eventually lose. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Owen%27s_Defence#Matovinsky_Gambit Commented Nov 1, 2016 at 4:35
  • 6...Bd5?? 7.g7+ Bf7 8.Qxf7+ Kxf7 9.gxh8=Q wins a piece and a rook for white. Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 10:41

Owen's Defense is a bit passive, but quite solid opening, so there aren't that many traps to watch out for.

Here is a primitive one:

[FEN ""]
[Title "Owen's Defense"]
[Startply "5"]

1. e4 b6 2. Nf3 Bb7 3. Bc4?! Bxe4? (3... e6) 4. Bxf7+ Kxf7 5. Ng5+ Ke8 6. Nxe4

Black has lost their castling rights, so there must be some advantage for white.

3. Bc4 isn't a good move, though. After 3... e6 the white bishop is awkwardly placed.


enter image description hereThe best thing to do after the bishop captures the pawn, is the move Ng1-f3 to lock the bishop. After your f5 pawn is in place you simply follow up with the knight to have many more attack options than to crush black with only your queen. Every variation, including bishop taking the knight you placed on f3 to block it, will result in severe slaughter of black by white, resulting in a massive material advantage for white or checkmate on black. O.O

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