- "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.
- 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 prolonged the game, as the move opens a flight square for the king at f8. White still wins with 7.Qf5! Nf6 8.Bh6 Bxh6 9.gxh7 Bxh1 10.Qg6+ Kf8 11.Qxh6+ Kf7 12.Nh3, 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.