The basic checkmate techniques should be on the tip of any player’s finger to pave their way towards excellence in the Royal game of Chess. All the players should learn some of the basic ways to checkmate to avoid losing a game or perhaps even register a quick win. Some of the fastest checkmates are mentioned below that help in getting an upper hand.
Top 10 Fastest Checkmates
|S. No.||Fastest checkmates|
|2.||Grob’s Attack (Fool’s Mate Pattern)|
|4.||Dutch Defense (Fool’s Mate Pattern)|
|5.||Bird’s Opening (Fool’s Mate Pattern)|
|6.||Caro-Kann Defense Smothered Mate|
|7.||Italian Game Smothered Mate|
|8.||Owen’s Defense (Fool’s Mate Pattern)|
|9.||Englund Gambit Mate|
|10.||Budapest Defense Smothered Mate|
Fool’s Mate is the fastest possible checkmate in chess, occurring only after two moves. To develop Fool’s mate, White must move their g-pawn up two squares and their f-pawn up one or two squares in the first two consecutive moves. These two moves brutally weaken the e1-h4 diagonal, which Black can move their queen to after moving their e-pawn on the first move.
This is called Fool’s mate because White must make two consecutive foolish moves for a Black to conduct this checkmate. Black can also be handed an identical defeat by Fool’s Mate, but it takes an extra move. If Black moves their f-pawn up to one or two squares and then moves their g-pawn up to two squares, White can perform checkmate on move 3, which could be referred to as the “Reversed Fool’s Mate”. To avoid Fool’s mate, you have to keep the f-pawn on f2 (or f7) at the beginning of the game. Before the game even starts, the squares f2 and f7 are the weakest squares on the chessboard because they are only protected by the king. Moving the f-pawn early invites dangerous attacks.
Grob’s Attack (Fool’s Mate Pattern)
Grob’s Attack is an unpopular and offbeat opening. It begins with 1.g4. White’s plan in this opening is to fianchetto the light-squared bishop to g2, then it will have a powerful influence on the h1-a8 diagonal. However, a single blunder in the early moves can cause failure. Grob’s attack is among the few openings that can allow Fool’s Mate on move two if White makes a blunder. This checkmate can be avoided if White plays the normal Grob’s attack move 2. Bg2—the checkmate above is a reminder to keep the f-pawn at home when the game starts. If one plans to move their g-pawn early to fianchetto the light-squared bishop, maybe they should try moving the g-pawn to g3 instead of the g4 square.
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Scholar’s Mate is usually one of the first checkmates that a player learns or comes across. In this, the White targets the f7-square with both their queen and bishop early, in hopes of delivering checkmate in four moves. To perform this checkmate, one should begin with 1.e4. This allows both the light-squared bishop and queen to develop in the upcoming moves. After 1.e4, a White player can develop the queen or the bishop. The bishop will always come at the c4-square, as it targets f7 from this square. The queen can go to either the h5 or f3 position to target the f7-square. Once White has attacked the f7 square with their queen, one simply defends the f7 square with Qe7 or Qf6 or just blocks the queen’s attack with g7-g6 (if White’s queen is on h5).
Dutch Defense (Fool’s Mate Pattern)
The Dutch Defense is an offbeat opening technique, but it is employed by players of all levels, from beginners to grandmasters. There are a couple of fast checkmates one should know in this opening, including the five-move mate. The Dutch Defense starts with 1…f5 in response to 1.d4. Then 1…f5 takes control of the e4-square early but on the other hand, weakens Black’s kingside. Just like in the Fool’s Mate section, if a player moves their f-pawn early (which is done on move one in the Dutch) as well as their g-pawn, then they are seeking trouble!
Bird’s Opening (Fool’s Mate Pattern)
Bird’s Opening commences with 1.f4, which takes a place in the center and controls the e5-square. But this move also weakens the White’s kingside. Moving the f-pawn early in the opening is not a good idea. If Black becomes aware of Fool’s Mate and isn’t afraid to gambit a pawn in the opening, then this astounding queen sacrifice checkmate can occur in only six moves.
Caro-Kann Defense Smothered Mate
The Caro-Kann Defense is one of the solid openings that Black can perform. However, there are quick checkmates to be aware of. The Caro-Kann Defense starts after 1.e4 c6 2.d4 d5. Since Black has supported the d5 pawn push with 1…c6, it now has a strong presence in the center. In this 6-move checkmate, Black failed to be alert at the key moment, and we can see our first example of a smothered mate. An important thing to keep in mind about these early smothered mates is to be alert when an enemy queen is lined up against the king.-- Advertisement --
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Italian Game Smothered Mate
Next in line is the seven-move smothered mate that occurs in the Italian game. The Italian one is a very popular opening and begins after 1.e4 e5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.Bc4. Here, 7…Nf3# is a beautiful victorious stroke that delivers checkmate, similar to 6…Nd6# of the Caro-Kann smothered mate. White had to make a couple of mistakes to get a defeat in this game so quickly, where 4.Nxd4 would have avoided all of the complications. Either a move of 1.e4 as White or 1…e5 as Black, this astounding checkmate is something to be aware of.
Owen’s Defense (Fool’s Mate Pattern)
Owen’s Defense is another offbeat opening. It can have the Fool’s Mate checkmating pattern. It aims to fianchetto the light-squared bishop very quickly. Check out the board below to see an amazing queen sacrifice checkmate.
The above game was won by Gioachino Greco in 1619. Similar to the queen sacrifice checkmate using the Fool’s Mate pattern that we saw in the Bird’s Opening section, this checkmate from the 17th century should leave an impression. It advises not to move your f-pawn too early in the opening.
Englund Gambit Mate
The Englund Gambit is yet another offbeat opening, but it is famous at the club level. In this, Black immediately challenges the d4 pawn, after 1.d4 e5. This is an opening that contains a lot of traps. If you are a tactical player who likes tricks, you should check out the Englund Gambit in Explorer. One of the many tricks in this gambit ends with White getting checkmated in only eight moves. White had to make a few mistakes to allow this specific checkmate, 6.Nc3 is a natural and strong move that gives White a large lead in development. Another way to avoid all of these positions as White is to simply return the pawn while maintaining your lead in development after 4. Nc3 Nxe5 5.e4. If you want to trick the white pieces against the Englund Gambit, you can try 4.Nc3 Nxe5 5.Nd5!
Budapest Defense Smothered Mate
The Budapest Defense is very similar to the Englund Gambit. This also has a quick e7-e5 pawn push. It starts with 1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5. The Budapest Defense challenges White’s d-pawn quickly. The only difference between this starting position and the Englund Gambit is the inclusions of c2-c4 for White and Ng8-f6 for Black. Unlike the Englund Gambit back-rank checkmate, this checkmate is another example of a smothered mate.
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