How To Win At Chess In 3 Moves? Quick Game Strategy

Guides / By Andrew Hercules
how to win at chess in 3 moves

There are several ways to finish a chess game quickly. Some of these strategies are the Scholar’s Mate (in just 4 moves) and the Fool’s Mate (in just 2 moves).

However, in this article we shall take a look at how to achieve victory in just 3 moves with the white player.

There are two ways to win at chess in 3 moves: One with capturing and the other without capturing. We will take a look at both of these strategies.

Once you learn and apply these strategies, your next game of chess could take quicker to play than setting up the chessboard!

Here is how to win at chess in 3 moves:

  1. Move your King’s Pawn to e4.
  2. Black plays 1…e5.
  3. Move your Queen to the h5 square
  4. Black plays 2…Ke7.
  5. Deliver checkmate by capturing Black’s e5 pawn with your Queen (The King is checkmated!)

Of course, for this method to be successful, it would take pretty bad play for the Black player. Nonetheless, you can catch your opponent off guard.

Let’s have a visual representation of the 3 move checkmate

How To Win At Chess In 3 Moves With Capturing

As you can see in the gif above, the white queen plays an integral part in delivering checkmate to the black king in 3 moves.

Your first approach is to open the  d1-h5 diagonal for your Queen via pawn-e4. This is the pawn located infront of the white king. To learn more about how chess notations work, please visit: How to write chess moves in algebraic notation

Black then plays symmetrically by bringing his pawn to e5. White may now attack the black e5-pawn by bringing the white queen all the way to the h5 square. From here, the queen is eyeing to pick up a pawn. The best move for Black is to defend this threat with 2…Nc6.

On the other hand, if Black plays foolishly via 2…Ke7, then the white player can simply capture the e5 pawn via 3.Qxe5 and the game is over.

Note that there are no escape squares for the black king to retreat since his own pieces are hindering his movements. The queen will then capture the king on any move. Of course we do not do this in chess, we simply call checkmate!

Other methods of checkmating in 3 moves

We got to look at our first example. For this new strategy, White is going to take advantage of the weak squares around the black king. Here is the gif that illustrates this strategy.

If you look closely, Black mistakenly opened his kingside by moving his f and g-pawns forward. Do not do this in your games. This makes the black king very vulnerable to threats along the e8-h5 diagonal.

Due to this weakness, White mates in three moves with 1.e4 f5 2.exf5 g5 3.Qh5#

NB: In the opening phase, you should avoid moving your wing-pawns and instead focus on moving your central pawns to gain control of key squares in  the center.  

How To Checkmate In 3 Moves Without Capturing

This is quite similar to our last example. Black will blunder by moving his King’s side pawns thereby creating severe weaknesses in his camp. White will then exploit these weaknesses in the same fashion using the Queen. Here is a gif to illustrate this checkmate strategy:

1.e4 f6 2.d4 g5 3.Qh5#is how white checkmate the black king without capturing.

Final Verdict

The 3 move checkmate is quite common at the beginner level. If you grasp the concepts and strategies shared in this article, you can definitely catch some of your opponents cold at the start. It would be a great way to surprise your friends!

They key here is to be ready to exploit Black’s Kingside weakness in the event he pushes his g and f pawns. Open the diagonal for your queen and wait patiently to strike your opponent whenever he decides to play foolishly.

Andrew Hercules

Hercules Chess, launched in 2020, is a website that teaches you about chess. We started as a chess blog and became a chess training platform in early 2022.

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