Chess is a wonderful game. Played well, it is a game of daring and strategy that will leave spectators breathless in anticipation of your next move. Played badly, some will have to struggle to keep a wince from their face as you miss move after move, until the game is lost.
This is a tutorial for two of the simplest ways to end a game. Neither is foolproof, but on the player inexperienced against them, they can be a great asset. Also, the protection against these strategies should always be foremost in one’s mind during the opening moves of a game.
Either colour can use these tactics. For the ease of writing and visualization, I shall use white.
The Four-Move Checkmate
The first move is the most critical in the game. Many come out first with a knight, giving the ability to do almost instant damage. Others begin to bring out their bishops and rooks. Still others bring out the queen first off, serving to protect all others.
For white, the first move is the King’s pawn. It can be moved forward either one or two spaces. The safest way to play is to move it only one space. This alone destroys the possibility of the same move being used against you. Correspondingly, this is noted as E2-E3. The only other space you are concerned with is F7, where the black King’s bishop’s pawn rests. This is your kill square. As long as you can move freely to this square without being captured, then the game is shortly to be over.
The second and third moves are interchangeable, yet no less important. Move number two is the Queen moving diagonally two spaces. She will end up in square F3 (Notation is D1-F3). It is important that she cannot be taken or touched for the next 2 moves. Make sure your path through the F row is clear. The third move is your King’s bishop. It will move diagonally 3 spaces, leaving it at C4 (Notation is F1-C4).. This position is more vulnerable than F3, therefore it is advisable to make this your third instead of fourth move.
Before moving your fourth turn, take a second to check the board over. Make sure that the space F7 cannot be captured by anything other than the King. If this is so, then you move the Queen straight up her Row, taking the pawn at F7. (Notation is F3xF7) This should place the King in Checkmate, unless his queen has been moved. It is a simple matter to mop up the game in that case. Follow your instincts.
The Five-Move Checkmate
The Five-move Checkmate is more difficult to use than it’s four move brother, because of the extra combinations involved with an extra move allowed. The opening two moves (E7-E6,D1-F3) are the same as in the four move version. This leaves your Queen ready, put protected by the row of pawns behind her. Your next move is you King’s knight, G1. Move him to H3. Your fourth move is again that same knight, moving him to G5. From here, you move your Queen to the kill square, F7, after making sure it is safe to do so. This will end the game as well, and offers less room for the king to move, having a second piece in the area for a mop up, shoul he have a single move to recourse with.
A defense of both types of checkmate can be to move the King’s Bishop’s pawn up one square. This leaves an opening beside it, but can easily be closed with the next move. I much prefer to use the King’s knight and move it in front of the kill square, removing the possibility of these checkmates as well. By Charles Raine.