My 5yo pupil, Magnus, is playing his first chess tournament. Although I missed his first game, @Elder helped me reconstruct this important first win from the few clues I could collect.

Alas, the second round started when I was still reading @Elder useful answer on Puzzling.SE, and I missed the action again! When I reached the playing hall, Magnus and his opponent, a 7yo girl, were already putting the pieces back in their starting places.

Luckily, Magnus' bright smile left me no doubt about the result: he won again. He was Black this time, and the five bars in each column (for White and for Black) on his scoresheet prove that, once again, the game was a very short one.

When I asked him what happened, he told me:

"I took her rook with my knight, hop! I was already so happy to eat a rook, but moreover, after I played it, I noticed that I was attacking her king, and she had no escape... Checkmate, I won again!

-Impressive, congratulations, Magnus! Err... Do you remember what happened before ?

-Hmmm, not quite, the board is so big... At first I was a bit afraid because she is taller than me, and she started with the pawn in front of her king, two squares - I remembered you told me this is a great move to start with, so I thought she must be very strong to find it. But then I just played a few moves, and my horsey ate her rook, and wow, checkmate!"

I could not get any more details about how the game went, so once again I need to ask you to help me and reconstruct what happened.


Find the chess game where White starts with 1.e4 and Black plays 5...NxR#

Hints will be provided later (if need be).


For current version these moves should apply (after editing with requirement of 1. e4 as first move):

1.e4 Nf6 2.f3 Nxe4 3.Qe2 (?) Ng3 (!) 4.Qxe7+ (??) Qxe7+ (!!) 5.Kf2 Nxh1#

FEN notation (use FEN reader to see final position on the board):


Comment for the moves:

The opening starts with Alekhine's defense by 1. e4 Nf6, but instead of common 2. e5 White continues with 2. f3 which weakens kingside position. Also 2. ... Nxe4 is a risky move because White may use 3. fxe4 with material advantage. The most possible move with M5 for Black includes a mistake and a blunder (with 4. Qxe7 loses White's queen immediately and the king unable to occupy e-file, then capturing White's h-rook produces checkmate).

  • $\begingroup$ This is the intended answer. Congratulations for solving the puzzle very fast. $\endgroup$ – Evargalo Oct 8 '18 at 13:49
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE! Nice answer. $\endgroup$ – u_ndefined Oct 8 '18 at 13:56

This should work (for the initial version of the question, where White's first move was a single-step pawn move):

1. f3 Nf6 2. Kf2 Nh5 3. Qe1 Ng3 4. d3 d5 (most Black moves will do here) 5. Be3 Nxh1#

Final position:

An idea which almost works for the updated version:

1. e4 Nc6 2. Ne2 Nd4 3. h4 Nxc2 4. Rh3 Nb4 5. Rd3 Nxd3

This fails because 3... Nxc2 is check and White needs to respond to that.

  • $\begingroup$ Nice job. Alas, I make a mistake in the question - so sorry. I'll edit the question, and this answer will not work anymore, so I won't give you the thick. +1 anyway, of course. $\endgroup$ – Evargalo Oct 8 '18 at 11:46
  • $\begingroup$ Glorfindel is there when it comes to chess! $\endgroup$ – Wais Kamal Oct 8 '18 at 12:06

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.