Thursday, 11 June 2015

Not quite the 4 move checkmate

At schools events the 4 move checkmate is of course a regular occurrence. It may be a testament to the improving levels of chess knowledge amongst young players that it seems either less common, or at least, not happening in its purest form. I've seen a few 1. ... e6 openings throw a white player for a loop, while early queen moves by Black at least allow Kd8 after Qxf7.
But today I saw a completely new variation on this theme. Answering the question "Is this checkmate?" I immediately noticed the queen on f7, with the Black king having nowhere to run.  But when I looked for the bishop on c4 it was not there. In fact it was still at home on f1. Instead White had performed a rook lift via h3, and the supporting piece was happily sitting on f3. But mate is still mate, no matter how it is achieved, and so the inventive White player still scored the point.
 (The following game is probably not an exact record, but a recreation of how it might have occurred)

White - Black
ACT Primary Interschool, 11.06.2015

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