I still remember the time I was new to chess and I was playing with one of my cousins during this time of the year. It was summer holidays and was just getting the hang of chess, its rules, the moves and the likes. Whenever I played with my cousin, I hardly managed to play over 5 moves. Why? Checkmate!
Back then, I never realized any pattern in playing chess. I had no idea of what sacrifices or ideas on bigger picture as well. All I knew was to find a way to take down the queen and entangle the opponent king. But before you know it, I kept falling for all the traps laid in front of me. The worst part was where I used to get checkmate in four simple steps. As I grew up, I started understanding the grammar of chess and that everything had a concept and reasoning.
This articles is all about that – checkmates in the openings and very few moves. If you are playing with your cousin, friends or anyone who you think has more exposure to you in chess, this should help.
This is as bad as it can get. A fool’s mate is a two-move checkmate and finishes your game before you start! However, a fool’s mate can happen only to white, where the white king could be stuck between his own pieces only to be serenaded by the black queen. A fool’s mate follows a probable blunder by the white and we are sure that a fool’s mate can happen only once in your lifetime because it leaves a scar of embarrassment that you never want to go through it again. In a fool’s mate, the general moves list is as follows:
1. f3 35
2. g4 Qh4#
Scholar’s Mate is the other type of checkmate that happens within a very few moves. The Scholar’s Mate involves the teaming up of the queen and bishop for a combined takedown of the king. The Scholar’s Mate is also known as the four-move checkmate. The difference between a Fool’s Mate and the Scholar’s Mate is that the latter is common among beginners and it is quite easily avoidable as well. The Scholar’s Mate usually takes the following sequence:
1. e4 e5
2. Bc4 Nc6
3. Qh5 Nf6??
This is one of the most interesting traps or checkmates that happens in very natural progression. It is otherwise called as the Blackburne Trap or the Legal Mate. The trap involves a queen sacrifice and a checkmate with minor chesspieces if your opponent falls for the sacrifice. Sir de Legal takes the credited for coining the trap and the reason it is also called as the Blackburne Trap is because of the many occasions Joseph Henry Blackburne – one of the top five chess players back then – used the trap during several occasions. The sequence for the Legal Trap could get a little complex on text. So, I am sharing a quick video on how to do it or how to avoid it.
So, these were some of the opening checkmates you should know about. One of the main reasons why a lot of people stop playing chess is because they keep losing and that disinterests them. Such quick facts and moves should help you sustain your game and let the fire burning. Good luck!