How to Checkmate in 3 Moves in Chess

Опубликовал Admin
28-09-2016, 13:05
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You know the 2-move checkmate, or Fool's Mate, and you know 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.

Getting Checkmate in Three Moves while Capturing

  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).
    • If you're unfamiliar with algebraic chess notation, check out the wikiHow article to brush up.
    • As well as freeing your queen, you need your opponent to expose their king. If black then moves their bishop pawn 2 spaces to f5 to tempt white, the checkmate in three moves is on!
  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.
    • This isn't a smart move from your opponent, but maybe you can lull her into it.
    • The idea of this move is to make sure nothing can block off your route to your opponent's King after you make your next move.
  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.
    • You really need your opponent to play into your hands to pull off this three-move checkmate.
  4. 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!

Getting Checkmate in Three Moves Without Capturing

  1. Move your King Pawn to d3. This is a very similar method to the previous one. You are basically aiming to get your opponent's Bishop and Knight Pawns forward one and two squares respectively, while freeing your Queen to enable it to move onto h5. The end result is the same as the previous method.
    • You are trying to tempt your opponent to move her Bishop and Knight Pawns.
    • You need you opponent to respond by bringing out her Bishop Pawn one square to f6.
    • It can also work if she moves her Knight Pawn forward two squares on this turn, as long as she moves the Bishop Pawn on her next move.
  2. Move your Queen Pawn forward to e4. The next move for you to make has to free up your Queen so it can get into a checkmate position on the next move. To do this, move the White King Pawn ahead two squares to e4. Now you have opened up an avenue for your Queen to reach h5.
    • In order to clear the way to your opponent's King you need her to move her Knight Pawn ahead two spaces to g5.
  3. Move the White Queen to h5 (Qh5). Checkmate! And that's it, you have trapped your opponent's King in the same position as the previous method, but this time you did it without even capturing a single piece. Game. Set. Match. Over.
    • Again, this looks simple and it is. So don't expect it to work very often!
    • In theory, there are loads of variations on this. The key moves are getting your Queen to h5, and your opponent's Bishop and Knight Pawns out of the way of her King.


  • For his to work you need an opponent who is either very cooperative, or perhaps not quite awake.
  • Be wary of trying this in a more serious game, as it not likely to come off. If they don't play right into your hand, the 3-move checkmate won't work.

Things You'll Need

  • Chess board and pieces
  • Cooperative opponent
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