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Is the four move check mate (1. e4 e5 2.Qf3 Nc6 3.Bc4 Bc5?? 4.Qxf7#) the fastest way to win a game of chess, or is there a quicker way?

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FYI: The checkmate you describe is known as the scholar's mate –  Colin D Jun 18 '13 at 15:14
    
Ah thank you that is interesting to know :) –  Nathan Taylor Jun 18 '13 at 15:14
    
@ColinD - Yes, although a slightly unusual move order. The OP has Qf3 on move 2, which is easily countered by Black's Nf6. This is the Napoleon Opening. –  ire_and_curses Jun 18 '13 at 16:36
    
This question was recently asked on chess.stackexchange: chess.stackexchange.com/questions/2509/… –  Colin D Jun 28 '13 at 15:16
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2 Answers 2

up vote 16 down vote accepted

There is a quicker checkmate called the Fool's Mate which only takes 2 moves.

The moves that demonstrate the checkmate are:

1. f3 e5
2. g4 Qh4# 
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Also, of course, the fastest mate for White is in 2 1/2 moves (rather than the 3 1/2 given in the opening post) by making a 'blank' move and then following this in reverse: 1. a3 f6, 2. e4 g5, 3. Qh5#. –  Steven Stadnicki Jun 18 '13 at 15:33
    
So 'one move' means 'a move for White then a move for Black'. I did not know that. –  Colonel Panic Dec 21 '13 at 15:27
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The fastest way for Black to mate is

1. f3 e5
2. g4 Qh4# 

1.f4 is also possible so there are two versions of this.

There are more versions for a fast mate by White:

1. e4 g5
2. d4 f5
3. Qh5#

Coupled with this f, g pawn advances there is also another neat version which takes the same amount of moves for White to mate:

1. e4 e5
2. Qh5 Ke7
3. Qxe5#

Thereby fastest white mate can happen in three moves (precisely 2½ moves) whereas fastest black mate can happen in two moves.

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