How To Win At Chess In Two Moves? Fool’s Mate In Action

Chess Guides / By Andrew Hercules

There are more than one ways to finish a chess game fast, but did you know that you can win at chess in just 2 moves? The name of this strategy is called the Fool’s Mate  and is the oldest and most popular quick game strategy that is employed regularly. It allows any player to finish the game in just 2 moves even before your opponent realizes it.

Here is how to win at chess in 2 moves using the Fool’s Mate strategy:

  • Your opponent plays 1.g4
  • Open the d8-h4 diagonal for your queen by moving your e7 pawn to e5.
  • Your opponent plays 2.f3
  • Move your Queen all the way to the h4 square.
  • You have delivered checkmate!

Now let’s look at a visual representation.

How To Win At Chess In 2 Moves

Step#1: Open the d8-h4 diagonal for your Queen

Your opponent with the white pieces move his pawn from the g2 square to the g4 square. When this happens, you must move your own pawn from the e7 square to the e5 square in order to activate lines for your Queen. This will allow you to capture one of the center squares and will make your first move

Step#2: Deliver Checkmate on h4

The two move checkmate can finally be executed on move #2 once your opponent plays his f2-pawn to the square f3. This opens up a weakness along the e1-h4 diagonal and can be easily exploited by moving your Queen from the d8 square to the h4 square.

The black queen is threatening to capture the white king and there is nothing the white player can do to prevent it. Black has successfully delivered checkmate.

A word of caution: When using the Fool’s Mate, you must understand that your opponent must be foolish enough to fall for your trick. This trick will not work if you are caught. The idea of the 2-move checkmate is to trap your opponent by capitalizing on their strategy of not leaving space for the king to escape.

We’ve seen so far how the Black player was able to deliver checkmate in just two moves, but what about the white player? Can he too try for the 2-move checkmate?

Unfortunately, there is not a two move-checkmate that white can deliver against black. It just won’t be quick enough. On the other hand, White can deploy the same strategy and finish the game in just 3 moves. If Black plays foolishly and opens up his King’s diagonal as seen in our last example, the white player can also use his queen to win the game. Let’s take a quick peek.

How To Checkmate Using The Fool’s Mate For The White Player

Open the diagonal for the White Queen

For the white player, move your pawn from the d2 square to the d4 square. This will again activate your queen to deliver checkmate in the event that black plays foolishly.

Black plays 1…f6

The best move for White now is to advance his e-pawn to the e4 square to gain central control. Note that white didn’t go for pawn to e3 since that will close the diagonal as White needs the d1-h5 diagonal for the Fool’s Mate to succeed.

Black plays 2…g5?

Just what you wanted! Black has foolishly opened up his Kingside and White can deliver the final blow with 3.Qh4 checkmate

Conclusion – Should You Play The Fool’s Mate?

The Fool’s mate is a popular checkmate that many beginners run into due to a lack of understanding in the chess opening. When playing your first opening moves, never move your wing pawns as this weakens your king side position and leaves you open for attacks. The Fool’s mate is common among the beginner chess level and I encourage you to know it like the back of your hands in the event you want to finish the game quickly.

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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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