Vishy Anand once had to resign on move 6 of a serious tournament game, while Magnus Carlsen was lost in 7 moves against Ian Nepomniachtchi in the first Magnus Carlsen Invitational. Such accidents are incredibly rare for the best, but for the rest of us they tend to happen all the time! Sean Marsh takes a look at some potential speedy checkmates in the opening that you should keep your eyes out for – either to avoid them or to catch out your opponents.
You may or may not encounter these exact checkmates in your own games, but remembering the basic patterns will undoubtedly be of use.
Catastrophe in the Caro-Kann
The Caro-Kann Defense is normally very solid, but there are ways to go wrong in every chess opening.
2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 dxe4 4.Nxe4 Nd7
Black wants to play 5…Ngf6, which would enable him to recapture with a knight rather than pawn after 6.Nxf6+ thus avoiding having to accept doubled pawns.
This is not the best move, but it does set a trap for the unwary.
5…Ngf6?? 6.Nd6 checkmate
Note that White’s queen pins the e-pawn, which means the knight is immune to capture on d6.
There are similar smothered mates in other openings too. Here is another example of the same theme.
Beaten by the Budapest
1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5
The Budapest Gambit.
3.dxe5 Ng4 4.Bf4 Nc6 5.Nf3 Bb4+ 6.Nbd2 Qe7 7.a3 Ngxe5
The trap is set.
Greed is often a contributory factor when one falls for a trap.
read about next example at chess24