This morning, at the coffee corner in our office, I met a colleague who mentioned he'd be joining a chess club. So I asked him: "And, how was your first evening at the chess club?"

"Well, it was a rather short one.", he replied, looking rather sad.

"Oh, what happened?"

"I had the black pieces. Because I was new, my opponent let me make three moves for free. You told me king safety is important, so I first concentrated on getting my king into safety in the corner. However, after we both made three more moves, I was still mated on the next move."

I thought back to when I showed him the smothered mate. I said: "King in the corner, let me see... did you let your king be smothered perhaps?"

"No, my bishop's pawns were still in their original positions. I still had all my pawns, for what it's worth."

Unfortunately, I had to rush to a meeting, so I couldn't ask him for the complete game. I didn't see him again that day, but on the way back home I was able to figure out which moves were played. That was a sad loss indeed ...

TL;DR: Construct a chess game where

  • White skips the first three moves
  • Otherwise, play continues normally
  • White gives mate on the 7th move
  • The black king ends in the corner
  • Black still has 8 pawns, including two on c7 and f7

(story inspired by previous questions; the puzzle itself is original)

This puzzle is an entry in the Fortnightly Topic Challenge #40: Retrograde Analysis.


I found this one which I think works:

1... g6
2... Bh6
3... Nf6
4. d4 O-O
5. Qd2 Kh8
6. Qxh6 Ne8
7. Qxf8#

Final position

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  • $\begingroup$ Yep, that was the intended solution. Congratulations for finding it so fast! $\endgroup$ – Glorfindel Oct 22 '18 at 17:57

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