When playing a grandmaster, if a move looks too good to be true, it probably is, as Black quickly learns in the following game.

Everybody makes mistakes. But sometimes those “mistakes” aren’t mistakes, they are subterfuges. In the following game, White looks like he is in trouble in the opening, but in fact Black has been caught in a snare. 

Vorobiov, E. vs. Stets, D.
29th Staufer-Open 2017 | Schwaebisch Gmuend GER | Round 6.2 | 04 Jan 2017 | ECO: E62 | 1-0
1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 g6 3. g3 Bg7 4. Bg2 O-O 5. Nc3 d6 6. Nf3 Nc6 7. O-O Bf5 This move does not have the best reputation.
7... a6 This is the most common move in this position, and the strongest in my opinion. Hikaru Nakamura played it against me at the last World Cup and easily held a draw.  )
8. d5!? Energetic play
8... Na5 9. Nd2 c6 It looks like White's center is coming under fire, but Vorobiov is ready.
10. b4! Nxd5 Black's point.
11. cxd5 Bxc3 It seems like White must lose material because the rook on a1 is trapped. But Black's position is not as stable as it looks, allowing White to strike.
12. e4! Black has too many under attack.
12... Bxe4
12... Bxa1 13. exf5 For the moment, Black is up an exchange, but the knight on a5 has no retreat and will be lost.  )
12... Bd7 13. Rb1! The point of e4. Now White's rook has this square and Black is in big trouble since his knight is trapped.
13... Bxd2 14. Bxd2 Nc4 15. Bh6 Re8 16. Qd4 Ne5 17. f4 White wins material as the knight cannot move without allowing mate.  )
13. Nxe4 Bxa1 14. bxa5 Nominally, Black is up material with a rook and two pawns for two minor pieces, but the rooks have no open lines. White's play flows very smoothly from this point on.
14... Bg7 15. a6! c5 Forced.
15... cxd5? 16. axb7 Rb8 17. Qxd5  )
15... bxa6 16. dxc6 White's c-pawn probably gives him a decisive edge.  )
16. h4!? White is in no mood to mess around! He threatens h5 after which Black's king will come under fire.
16. axb7 This was also fine but I prefer Vorobiov's choice.
16... Rb8  )
16... bxa6 17. h5 Rb8 18. hxg6 hxg6 19. Qg4 The exchange of the h-pawns has made Black's king position very precarious. White threatens Qh4 followed by f5.
19... Qc8
19... Rb4! This move offered more resistance. Still, after the amusing
20. Qh3 Qc8 21. Qh1! White's queen is good in the corner, and he will next play Ng5.  )
20. Qh4! The pawn on e7 is attacked and Ng5 is threatened.
20... Re8 21. Bh3! White improves the placement of his bishop before doing anything else.
21. Ng5 This also was enough to give White a huge edge, but I like the move that Vorobiov played.  )
21... Qb7 22. Ng5 The threat of Qh5 followed by Be6 is a very serious problem for Black, who tries to stop it.
22... Qxd5 But White can do it anyway!
23. Qh7+ Kf8 24. Ne6+ This would have been enough to win as well.
24. Be6 This move looked more natural.
24... fxe6 25. Qxg6 Kg8 26. Qh7+ Kf8 27. Re1! e5 28. Qg6 And Ne6 cannot be stopped.  )
24... fxe6 25. Qxg6 Qf3 Trying to bring the queen over to help defend.
26. Bf4! White shuts Black's out from the defense once again.
26. Bxe6? Qf6 And Black has turned the tables.  )
26... Rb4 27. Bxe6 Rxf4 28. gxf4 Qxf4 This only stops mate for the moment and leaves Black totally paralyzed.
29. Rb1! Black resigned as he cannot stop the twin threats of Qxe8 and Qh7.
29. Qh7? Qg5+ 30. Kh2 Qh6+ And Black would probably win.  )
29... Qf6
29... Ra8 30. Qh7 Note that it is important that White has cleared f1 for his king
30... Qg5+ 31. Kf1  )
30. Qxe8+


Samuel Shankland is a United States grandmaster ranked No. 4 in the country. He is a professional player and recipient of the Samford Fellowship in 2013, the most prestigious award in the United States for young chess players. He was also a member of the team that won the gold medal at the 2016 Chess Olympiad. He is at @GMShanky on Twitter, has his own site, and is also on Facebook.