- "Fool's mate" is sometimes used to mean Scholar's mate.
|This article uses algebraic notation to describe chess moves.|
Fool's Mate received its name because it can only occur if White plays extraordinarily weakly (i.e., foolishly). Even among rank beginners, the mate almost never occurs in practice.
The same basic mating pattern can also occur later in the game. For instance, there is a well-known trap in the Dutch Defence which occurred in the game Frank Melville Teed vs. Eugene Delmar, 1896:
- 1. d4 f5 2. Bg5 h6 3. Bf4 g5 4. Bg3 f4
- It seems that Black has won the bishop, but now comes ...
- 5. e3
- Threatening Qh5#, a basic Fool's Mate.
- 5... h5 6. Bd3?!
- 6.Be2 is probably better, but the move played sets a trap.
- 6... Rh6?
- Defending against Bg6#, but ...
- 7. Qxh5+!!
- White sacrifices his queen to draw the black rook away from its control of g6.
- 7... Rxh5 8. Bg6#
A similar mate can occur in From's Gambit: 1. f4 e5 2. g3 exf4 3. gxf4?? Qh4#
More generally, the term Fool's Mate is applied to all similar mates early in the game. For example, in 1. e4 g5 2. d4 f6 3. Qh5#, the basic Fool's Mate pattern is the same: a player advances his f- and g-pawns, which permit the enemy queen to mate along the unblocked diagonal. One such Fool's Mate is widely reported to have occurred in a possibly apocryphal 1959 game between Masefield and Trinka which lasted just three moves: 1. e4 g5 2. Nc3 f5 3. Qh5#.
Even more generally, the term Fool's Mate is used in chess variants to mean the shortest possible mate, especially those which bear a resemblance to the orthodox chess Fool's Mate. For example, Fool's Mate in the variant Progressive chess is: 1. e4 2. f6 g5 3. Qh5#
A similar trap once occurred in a game between Gioachino Greco and an anonymous opponent:
- 1. e4 b6 2. d4 Bb7 3. Bd3 f5? 4. exf5 Bxg2? 5. Qh5+ g6 6. fxg6 Nf6??
- 6...Bg7 would have allowed the game to continue, as the move opens up a flight square for the king at f8. However, 7.Qf5! Nf6 8.Bh6 Bxh6 9.gxh7 Bxh1 10.Qg6+ Kf8 11.Qxh6+ Kf7 12.Nh3 wins for White, but much slower than in the game.
- 7. gxh7+ Nxh5 8. Bg6#
In popular culture
- Teed vs. Delmar
- The names are also recorded as Mayfield or Mansfield and Trinks or Trent depending on the source consulted.
- Mike Fox and Richard James (1993). The Even More Complete Chess Addict. Faber and Faber. p. 177.
- Winter, Edward (2005). Chess Facts and Fables. McFarland & Co. pp. 253–254. ISBN 978-0-7864-2310-1.
- Edward G. Winter (August 2006). "Chess Notes 4493. Short game".
- Edward G. Winter (August 2006). "Chess Notes 4506. Short game (C.N. 4493)".
- Averbakh, Yuri Lvovich; Beilin, Mikhail Abramovich (1972). Путешествие в шахматное королевство (in Russian). Fizkultura i sport. p. 227.
- Lev Alburt (2011). Chess Openings for White, Explained. Chess Information Research Center. p. 509.