Fool's Mate

  • Last updated on 8/3/15, 3:22 PM.

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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#


  • 9 years ago · Quote · #61


  • 9 years ago · Quote · #62


    Yes.. Pretty foolish. The first one will only be possible is your playin a begginer.
  • 9 years ago · Quote · #63


    yea but these few move checkmate don't really work as it is presented. people don't even fall for easy checkmate unless they were amatures at paying
  • 9 years ago · Quote · #64


  • 9 years ago · Quote · #65


    i did it too- couldn't believe it because you only hear about these things but never think you can pull it off!  If you can check my past games it was versus "justo"!
  • 9 years ago · Quote · #66


    Hmmm.... i like to win thats all that maters :)

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #67


    Innocent fool and famus
  • 8 years ago · Quote · #68


    lupu1001, why didn't black do this?

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #69


    1. f3

    is a bland opening anyhow. 

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #70


    I think Fool' Mate is really done to first timer in chest. You don't make opennings like that if you play chess a lot. If you win by that move, I guarantee you your opponent has no knwoledge in chess playing.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #71


    wow this is cool!
  • 8 years ago · Quote · #72


    nice, lupu mate i liked too.
  • 8 years ago · Quote · #73


    Meet the fool! I was on the recieving end of Fool's Mate years ago at school. Highly embarrasing to say the least! I was playing in an inter-house school competition at the time!! Took a while to live it down.
  • 8 years ago · Quote · #74


    this is a foolish game
  • 8 years ago · Quote · #75


    Actually it's my favorite game!!!!!!!!!!

    I was dying to play chess with my new chess set I recieved one Christmas. My trouble was finding someone to play. I had played a few games with my neighbor friends (enough to know how the pieces moved) but they were not really into it. My uncle was over and I asked him to show me how to play. He did not want to. I asked again and again, then finally set up the board in front of him and made my first move. Uncle Jim gave in and made a move. I made my second move and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, the game was over! I was checkmated!!!

    I said "lets play again". He refused, and never played me again, ever.

    It was my most inspirational game. I have tryed to improve and learn ever since. It was truly humiliating!

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #76


    Glad to have reviewed this as I watched it happen twice in my life. Love this game..if its a foolish game I am the fool:-)
  • 8 years ago · Quote · #77


    I like that mate
  • 8 years ago · Quote · #78


    I have never encountered this checkmate before. when I first learned chess, I quickly came to know the scholar's mate, courtesy of a high school friend.
  • 8 years ago · Quote · #79


    The Fool's Mate is Awesome!!!


  • 8 years ago · Quote · #80


    i have never had fools mate done on me

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