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Checkmate! The fastest possible victory in a chess game

Chess is a discipline that requires a great deal of concentration and requires clever moves and a great deal of strategy to win. However, there are times when all it takes to win a game is to move the pieces a few times. Let’s have a look at the two fastest chess queens, the knowledge of which will allow us to avoid an embarrassing defeat after only a few seconds from the beginning of the game.

To begin with, we should be clear – mats in a few moves have a raison d’être only at the amateur level, most often when we or our opponent starts a game for the first time. So it’s not worth trying them against someone who has played even a handful of games. The opponent will easily cool down our enthusiasm, and we ourselves will lose the opportunity for a favorable start in the game. Ways to instantly achieve victory are much better as a curiosity, which can possibly impress the so-called rookies.

In theory, the fastest mat can be done in just two moves. It requires, however, that our opponent has an extremely naive opening – not without reason it is called the fools‘ mate. White opponent has to move his f-pawn one or two spaces forward. Then we move our e-pawn to free the hetman. White’s next fatal move must be to move pawn g two spaces forward. Taking advantage of our opponent’s total lack of prudence, we move the hetman to h4, thus ending the lightning game. To avoid a fool’s mate, beginners are advised to leave the f-pawn at rest, at least in the initial phase of the game.

A mate in four moves, or so-called shoemaker’s mate, is one of the most popular ways to defeat an inexperienced opponent. Additionally, it is definitely more common and effective than the previously discussed fools’ mate. The opponent does not have to show a complete lack of sense of strategy for this sequence to be successful. Starting the game with white we move pawn e two spaces forward – the opponent usually does the same. Then we move our bishop f to c4. He plays a key role in the next step, which will take place in a moment. We wait for the opponent’s move, and if he doesn’t sense the trick, we move our Hetman to f3. If the opponent still doesn’t know what’s going on, we move the already started hetman in a straight line to f7, beating the black pawn and claiming victory at the same time. A complete example sequence of a checkmate might look like this:

1. e4 e5
2. Gc4 Sc6
3. Hf3 e6
4. Hf7#

As you can see, the player playing black did not make any glaring mistakes, but still he could not avoid losing the game after a few tens of seconds. The popular “cobbler” has it that the first encounter with this tricky sequence often ends in defeat. However, once we get to know it, it stops making any impression on us, because it is very easy to defend against it.

Of course, these are not the only ways to win (or lose) a game before it starts for good. The key in chess is the proper development of the pieces. If we notice that our opponent neglects such an important part of the game, we should try to take advantage of his oversight as soon as possible. On the other hand, we should pay special attention to strategic planning of our moves. This way we can avoid the situation when the chessboard becomes crowded and we give ourselves a lot of room for manoeuvre. In the video below, the player playing black made an elementary mistake and paid a high price for it, being “swept” in just eight moves.

Featured image: Pixabay

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Chess · Mental sports

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