There is the 2-move checkmate, or Fool’s Mate, and the 4-move checkmate, or Scholar’s Mate, but do you know the 3-move checkmate? Grab a friend, play white, and your next game of chess will take longer to set up than to play. You can achieve checkmate in three moves with capturing, or without capturing. For either of these methods to work requires some pretty bad play from your opponent, but maybe you can catch her cold at the start.
One way to do this:
1. Move your King Pawn forward to e4. In both of these methods the key piece for you is your Queen. The Queen is the piece that you are going to use to achieve the checkmate, so your first move should be to open up space for the Queen to move diagonally. Moving the King Pawn forward two spaces to square e4 achieves this (e4).
2. Capture your opponent’s Pawn at f5. Now use your Pawn to capture your opponent’s advanced Pawn by attacking on the diagonal. Notated, that’s e4xf5. Here you are trying to encourage your opponent to move their Knight Pawn forward two spaces to g5, so it is alongside your Pawn.
3. Move your White Queen to h5 (Qh5). Checkmate! Now you can move your Queen on the diagonal to h5 and you have your opponents King pinned. That’s game over! You’ll notice that if your opponent hadn’t moved their Pawn forward two in their last turn they could have blocked off your Queen by putting a pawn in her way by g6.
Call out checkmate! Now you can take the King with your Queen on the diagonal and celebrate a very swift victory. If your opponent has fallen into the trap they will likely be a bit annoyed, so don’t gloat too much!
See the video for a good explanation: