My (very) young pupil, Magnus, is playing his first chess tournament!
I went for a coffee at the beginning of his first game ; he was White against a boy slightly older than him, maybe a 6yo, so he was a bit afraid of facing the "big guy". To my surprise, when I reached the playing hall a few minutes later to see how he was doing, the game was already over! I found him soon after in the analysis room where he welcomed with a bright smile: "I won! I took his pawn with my rook, and it was checkmate!".
I congratulated him, and took out my chessboard in order to review the game with him. Alas, that's where I faced a problem: I had seen none of the action myself. Magnus is 5 yo and cannot write down moves yet, but the arbiter asked him to mark each move with a bar: on his scoresheet there are five bars in the column for White's moves, and four bars in the column for Black's moves: it had been a very short game indeed!
My pupil's memory didn't help much: all he could tell me is that he started the game by moving a pawn.
"Well, but which pawn?, I asked
- I don't remember... Maybe on the side, or maybe in the center, or maybe not... Ah, it was a pawn. A white pawn!
- Did you move it one square or two squares ?
- Err... I don't know anymore. But I'm pretty sure I moved it forward, as you taught me!
- And you mated on move 5 ?
- Yes! I ate his pawn with my rook, scrunch!, and his king was in check, and he had no way of saving it, and so I won !"
Can you please help me recontruct this game ?
Find the chess game where White plays a pawn on move 1 and mates with 5.RxP#
The second round has just started, this time Magnus is playing Black, his opponent is even bigger, at least 7yo, but Magnus' morale is so boosted by his first win that he went to the playing hall full of self-confidence - and didn't listen much to my advices... Ok, time for me to go see how he is doing !
Why did I bother telling you that White's first move was a pawn move ?
Someone commented that freeing the rook so that it could take a pawn with check requires four white moves. This is not correct.
Magnus : "you know, at first I didn't even see that I was checkmating, I was just so happy to take his pawn because it was the first time I ate a black unit in the game."
"Meanwhile Black had already eaten one of my units for several moves, so I was a bit nervous, because I remembered what you taught me : having less material is generally not so good."
"thinking about it, maybe it was rather a pawn on the side that I played on first move, because I remembered only too late of your advice that we better start with center pawns and then I regretted my choice. But I won anyway! "