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Fool's Mate is the term used to describe a checkmate that was accomplished in the first several moves in the game, but usually refers to a two-move variant. This checkmate is achieved only when playing black.


The Fool's Mate[]

1. g4 ...

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 rd b8 nd c8 bd d8 e8 kd f8 bd g8 nd h8 rd 8
7 a7 pd b7 pd c7 pd d7 pd e7 f7 pd g7 pd h7 pd 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 e5 pd f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 d4 e4 f4 pl g4 pl h4 qd 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 pl b2 pl c2 pl d2 pl e2 pl f2 g2 h2 pl 2
1 a1 rl b1 nl c1 bl d1 ql e1 kl f1 bl g1 nl h1 rl 1
a b c d e f g h
2.f4?? Qh4#

The unsuspecting white player moves the pawn two spaces on his king's knight's column.

1. ... e5

Black sees a chance for Fool's Mate and opens up his queen's diagonal row.

2. f4?? ...

White's move is a blunder.

2. ... Qh4#

White king cannot escape, and the threat may not be removed. It's checkmate.

Avoiding the mate[]

The 1.g4 e5 opening is called Grob Game (ECO A00).

a b c d e f g h
8 a8 rd b8 nd c8 bd d8 qd e8 kd f8 bd g8 nd h8 rd 8
7 a7 pd b7 pd c7 pd d7 e7 f7 pd g7 pd h7 pd 7
6 a6 b6 c6 d6 e6 f6 g6 h6 6
5 a5 b5 c5 d5 pd e5 pd f5 g5 h5 5
4 a4 b4 c4 pl d4 e4 f4 g4 pl h4 4
3 a3 b3 c3 d3 e3 f3 g3 h3 3
2 a2 pl b2 pl c2 d2 pl e2 pl f2 pl g2 bl h2 pl 2
1 a1 rl b1 nl c1 bl d1 ql e1 kl f1 g1 nl h1 rl 1
a b c d e f g h
The Hurst Attack

Black can mate because of the white's mistake. The main line following 1.g4 1.e5 is the Hurst Attack (ECO A00), which continues with 2.Bg2 d5 3.c4. Now, if black captures (dxc4), White plays 4.Nc3, sacrifying a pawn for a tempo. The white pawn on g4 may not be captured; 3... Bxg4??, Bxb7 and white wins a rook.


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