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Fool's Mate

  • Last updated on 6/24/14, 6:26 AM.

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Fool's mate, also known as the "two-move checkmate," is the quickest possible checkmate in the game of chess. One example consists of the moves leading to the position shown...

There are eight slight variations on the pattern — White might play f2-f4 instead of f2-f3 or move the g-pawn before the f-pawn, and Black may play e7-e6 instead of e7-e5.

The fool's mate received its name because it can only occur if White plays extraordinarily weakly, i.e. like a fool. Even among rank beginners, the mate almost never occurs in practice.

The same basic mating pattern may also occur later in the game. There is, for instance, a well-known trap in the Dutch Defence which occurred in 1896 between Frank Melville Teed and Eugene Delmar that runs 1.d4 f5 2.Bg5 h6 3.Bf4 g5 4.Bg3 f4; it seems that Black has won the bishop, but now comes 5.e3 (threatening Qh5#, the basic Fool's mate idea) 5...h5 6.Bd3?! (6.Be2 is probably better, but this move sets a trap) 6...Rh6? (defending against Bg6#, but...) 7.Qxh5+! Rxh5 8.Bg6#...

A similar mate can occur in From's gambit (Bird's opening) 1. f4 e5 2. g3 exf4 3. gxf4?? Qh4#...

More generally, the term fool's mate is applied to all similar mates early in the game; for example, 1.e4 g5 2.d4 f6 3.Qh5#

The pattern of the simplest fool's mate is maintained: a player advances his f- and g-pawns, allowing a queenmate along the unblocked diagonal. One such fool's mate is widely reported to have occurred in a possibly apocryphal 1959 game between Masefield (or Mayfield, depending on the source consulted) and Trinka (or Trinks or Trent) which lasted just three moves: 1.e4 g5 2.Nc3 f5 3.Qh5#
(variants on these moves also exist).

Even more generally, the term "Fool's mate" is used in chess variants for the shortest possible mate, especially those which bear a resemblance to the orthodox chess fool's mate. Fool's mate in progressive chess, for example, is 1.e4 f6 2. Nc3 g5 3. Qh5#

Comments


  • 6 years ago · Quote · #161

    gendarme

    TonyGas, there is something wrong with that diagram - where is the black pawn from f6?

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #162

    paulholding

    I've never seen white open like that what would be the plan behind it, it doesn't seem constructive or positive for white to make those moves. It does demonstrate how checkmate can be acheived in two moves and I would be a fool if I fell for it and I'm no expert by any means. Embarassed

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #163

    o-blade-o

    thank you, this is the fool's mate, ...

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #164

    eXecute

    I fell for this once, when I was practicing my Bird's Opening ... I had made the wrong move tho, I accidentally opened with Knight's pawn instead of Bishop's pawn, that was why i fell for it, and then tried to do the same opening, which was silly.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #165

    swiniaWkosmosie

    its also funny mate after 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5 Ke7 3. Q:e5 mate - however this is  longer.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #166

    15welchg

    I agree, that is impossible to see in any game, espesially in rated games because they must either be retarded or think they're so good so they go to a tornament and get their ass kicked.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #167

    daviske100

    This move is pretty much played on the inexperienced who, after becoming victim of said move, will never fall for it again.

     As for Bosco and his winning in one move---YEAH, RIGHT! SHOW ME!!!

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #168

    Egymat

    These two moves, for me, are just a tremendous REMINDER for how WEAK is the King's wing..

    Excellent lesson for all.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #169

    G-Money11

    I've never fallen for this before, but I have been checkmated in four moves at least ten times.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #170

    tapout123

    Hey TonyGas , I got caught out there a few weeks ago I guess practice makes almost perfect in this game... and even that's far fetched

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #171

    Groad

    I got this. same mate, just delayed a bit

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #172

    chessplayer110

    nobody falls for fools mate anymore...well becides people that are new to chess.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #173

    alloyace

        Hey guys, just came back from nationals half the players I played were suckers for this technique.

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #174

    invaderX17

    The name is apt... white is a fool! A two-year oldd wouldn't make that mistake, no offense!

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #175

    invaderX17

    I pity the fool

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #176

    manojkumar2009

    THESE ARE WASTE!IT COULD ULTIMATELY LEAD TO THE TRAP OF QUEEN IF THE OPPONENT PLAYS CAUTIONLY!!!! 

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #177

    explosivebishop56

    Have you ever read or watched Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone? If Ron was a Knight, then - Whoops, sorry to all you guys who haven't seen it. I might have spoiled it. Sealed

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #178

    hecuregon

    I would like to know if someone someday has played this move in chess.com.. I'm pretty sure someone has...:P

  • 6 years ago · Quote · #179

    shaneiadt

    hahaha fools mate indeed!

    Thank god it's never happened to me....i'd like to think my focus is a bit better then that :)

     

    P.S. I hope so anyway!

  • 5 years ago · Quote · #180

    Qukslvr

    I beat a player with this exact mate.

    Go to my games and look at a name that start with an "H".

    I hope the person learned from that and is still playing chess.

    A player might fall for that once but then never again!

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