While most games appear to transition through three roughly defined phases of play in neat order:
... some games are cut short by a sudden Checkmate, which occurs in the Opening phase.
- Opening phase,
- Middlegame phase,
- Endgame phase,
This guide looks at examples of Checkmate Openings, from well known Openings, such as the Ruy Lopez and Caro-Kann Defence, respectively. There's examples of Opening wins for White and wins for Black.
But, these aren't 'shortcuts to victory'. They're presented to focus your mind on the mistakes made by the losing side.
These Checkmate wins share a similarity with the Checkmate Openings (above-right), as the victories occur before the completion of the Opening phase.
But, being a bit more well known, they've been separated into their own section.
The Checkmate examples include:
- Fool's Mate (2 moves)
- Scholar's Mate (4)
- KP Smothered Mates (4)
- Hippopotamus Mate (6)
- Blackburne Shilling Mate (7)
- Legall's Mate (7)
- QP Smothered Mates (8)
- Sea Cadet Mate (10)
The basic idea of this strategy is to use two or more long-range, attacking Pieces and gradually push your opponent's King to a single row or file, at the edge of the board.
Once its at the edge File or Rank, one Piece cuts of the King's escape, the other performs the attack against the King, resulting in the Checkmate win.