I'm not very good at all at chess, but was thinking about some interesting chess variations and thought of this question.

It is well known that the fastest (i.e. fewest moves required) checkmate is the Fool's Mate. My question is, what are the corresponding fastest checkmates when the kings are given the moveset of each of the other pieces (one at a time)? As a trivial example, if the kings' movement rules are replaced with those of a pawn, the answer is the same (fool's mate still applies). The fastest I have been able to come up with are:

Pawn, Rook, Knight: 2
Bishop, Queen: 3

The green check goes to the first person who can match my records (with steps listed). I will award a 50 reputation bounty to anyone who can beat my record for bishop/queen (I doubt it is possible though). As in the case of Fool's Mate, you are allowed to make one player play atrociously; this is a proof of concept, not a realistic line of play. Good luck!

  • $\begingroup$ How do you count moves? Each player is 0.5 moves? $\endgroup$ Sep 1, 2015 at 21:37
  • $\begingroup$ I believe it's only counting your moves, the opponent doesn't count. $\endgroup$
    – Kingrames
    Sep 1, 2015 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ @IanMacDonald Count the number of moves made by the person who wins (including the winning move). To my knowledge, since your opponent can never put themselves in checkmate with a move, it will always be the winning players move last. i.e. this will always result in the same answer as the method you suggested, but is simpler to count $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Sep 1, 2015 at 21:40
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    $\begingroup$ It's not quite the same, but let's go with your counting. (If white wins on his second move, that's 1.5 moves; whereas it would be 2 moves if black wins.) $\endgroup$ Sep 1, 2015 at 22:01
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    $\begingroup$ @moonbutt74 You probably mean this: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholar%27s_mate $\endgroup$
    – Sleafar
    Sep 1, 2015 at 22:43

1 Answer 1


Pawn + Rook:

This is basically the Fool's Mate again.


I had to replace the King with a Knight for this.

Bishop + Queen:

This actually works for all pieces except the Knight. In normal chess games something like this is called "smothered mate".

Another variant for the Bishop (there are even more):

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    $\begingroup$ Nicely done! I bestow upon ye, the green check! $\endgroup$
    – NeedAName
    Sep 2, 2015 at 2:59
  • $\begingroup$ Funnily, your "variant" for the Bishop doesn't work if the Black king is also changed into a Bishop-moving piece. $\endgroup$
    – Evargalo
    Nov 27, 2017 at 16:39

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