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#


  • 8 years ago · Quote · #101


    This move happened to me once :S.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #102


    This move is crazy if any one is losing to this move get skills

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #103


    To all the doubters...

    I have successfully used Fools Mate (admittedly only once), Scholars (on numerous occasions) and a checkmate of a similar theme to lupu1001's like so






    To prevent checkmates like so, the following is probably best for black

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #104


    Once I won at a tournument like this:

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #105


    maybe only idiot/beginner will lose in this type of mate..haha..peace!!

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #106


    nice... good job!! hehe

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #107


    i'm new to chess and i fell for four move check mate (variations of) in two simultaneous games, the check mates were like one minute apart.

    but never will i be got again (knock on wood).

    i actually like to use it as an opening, cause it puts pressure on straight away, and always makes for an exciting game.


  • 8 years ago · Quote · #108


    Hmmm, sweet 6-year-old memories :'(

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #109


    this happens to me at least once a day. =(

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #110


    The mate in four moves is called scholars mate. I went to a ufcf rated tournament and beat an idiot with it! 5.5out of 6!

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #111


    My rating went to  1371.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #112


    I taught my nephew how to play chess. then his very first game, I won in 2 moves. He did'nt give up the game... he is a chess couch today.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #113


    Here on Live playing a blitz I won in 3 moves...but I think I hold a record because the entire game lasted only ...3 seconds...To checkmate!

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #114


    I've had some decent success as white using the 1.f3 e5 2. g4 opening.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #115


    This is sort of a basic and well common form of mate, probably everyone must have know this, when they willful to choose the Sicilian open, but neither I, I've never wanted to choose the Sicilian open although most of advanced players love it, I didn't don't know how it work, what's it's advantage and disadvantage (Fool's mate is one of the typical of it, I think), so I choose to play the advance open, it's very familiar with me, and also very work.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #116



  • 8 years ago · Quote · #117


    dude it is not checkmate!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Just move the pawn ahead and the king is blocked!!!

    You didn't even think of that!!!!

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #118


    I have done it on my 14 year old brother lol :)

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #119


    I once won in "0" moves, I sat down, and my opponent resigned.

  • 8 years ago · Quote · #120


    its only unlearned chessplayers to do that.

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