Quick Checkmates in the Bishop’s Opening
Chess Openings

Quick Checkmates in the Bishop’s Opening

Quick Checkmates in the Bishop’s Opening

Get quick wins in chess, crush your opponents early in the opening, by learning these beautiful checkmates with the Bishop’s Opening!

To begin with, we’re going to go over the Bishop’s Opening, which happens after the second move bishop to c4. 2.Bc4 is a slightly unusual move which makes a lot of sense. You’re developing a piece targeting the f7 weakness, which helps you often develop strong attacks early in the game.

Bishop's Opening

With the next examples, I’ll show you exactly how you can get quick wins with some spectacular checkmates in the opening.

Quick Checkmates in the Bishop’s Opening

Game-1: A Sharp Game with 3.d4

The first game is between Ponziani versus an unknown player. White played pawn to d4, pretty sharp attacking move which is good to play, and Black captured the pawn.

Now, capturing with the queen is inferior compared to other options. In case of Qxd4, Black can hit the queen by playing Nc6. Therefore, instead of recapturing the pawn, White pushed the pawn forward to e5. The knight is under attack, and Black realizes that this knight does not have too many squares to go.

Quick checkmates in the Bishop's Opening, White plays e5
White didn’t take the d4-pawn. Instead, he attacks the knight.

Instead of making the knight move somewhere, they decided to play Qe7, taking advantage of the pin and, in this way, solving the problem. But, nevertheless, White played Qe2, renewing the threat and, ultimately, the black knight had to go backwards; all the way back to g8.

Now White played Nf3. This time, he’s going to capture the pawn with the knight and, therefore, Black decided to protect it by playing c5. White castled. Black played the natural development move Nc6 and, at this point, White set a clever trap. White played Bg5!

White Sets a Clever Trap
Quick checkmates in the Bishop's Opening, White plays Bg5
Bg5 attacks the queen. Black is forced to play …f6.

At first, of course, Black has the only response to save the queen, which is done with pawn to f6. After this, White captured the pawn and Black happily took the queen on e2, hoping to exchange queens and go into an endgame where Black got this extra pawn on d4.

Indeed, if White were to capture the queen, then Black would probably just win here. Because of his strong center and material advantage, but instead of all that, White just played pawn to f7; a little move which checkmates Black’s king quite funnily!

Quick checkmates in the Bishop's Opening, White plays f7
Awesome checkmate with the f7-pawn supported by the bishop from c4!

By the way, it’s worth mentioning that, in the final position, you can see that bishop on c4 plays the key role. And that is how playing the Bishop’s Opening can help you attack that key f7-square; and, throughout this entire game, Black suffered because of this pressure.

Game-2: 3.Nf3

All right, let’s go over the second game for this lesson about quick checkmates in the opening. This game is between Richardson against Delmar. White still played the Bishop’s Opening. Black answered with 2…Nf6, and White developed the knight to f3.

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nf3

Quick checkmates in the Bishop's Opening, White plays 3.Nf3

3.Nf3 is actually one of the ways for White to play here. But in this lesson, we are more focused on the general checkmating patterns and the attacking ideas. So, if you are wondering about the specific moves that you should be playing in this opening, then be sure to watch the video lesson about the Bishop’s Opening.

In that video lesson, we go over different lines and specific recommendations about how to play the opening. Study this lesson if you plan to play this position either as White or as Black.

3…Nxe4 4.Nc3

White plays the opening in a pretty interesting way. In this case, you sacrificed a pawn, but if Black is willing to just trade the knights, then his position is somewhat dangerous. In the game, Black didn’t take. In case Black captures the knight, which is the most natural move, White is so much ahead in development. White got so many more open lines and diagonals under control.

Black decided not to go into this line. He wanted to be aggressive himself, and so, instead of allowing White to be an attacker, he decided to sacrifice the knight on f2.

4…Nxf2 5.Kxf2

Quick checkmates in the Bishop's Opening, Black plays Nxf2
Black sacrifices the knight to attack the white king

Black got two pawns plus some chances to attack White’s exposed king. Black has two central pawns for the sacrificed knight, and also White’s king is currently attacked.

5…Bc5+ 6.d4 exd4

White played d4 to cover the diagonal. Black recaptured,  probably hoping that White took this pawn on d4, and in this case, he prepared the move Qf6, with a double attack to  White’s king as well as the knight. In this case, White is indeed in trouble. Black is, in fact, probably, just winning here.

Quick checkmates in the Bishop's Opening, Black plays Qf6
Black’s queen double attacks

That’s probably what Black was hoping for, but White was careful enough to notice the threat and, therefore, he didn’t take the pawn.

White’s Counterattack

Instead of that, he played a counterattacking move.

7.Re1+ (7.Nxd4 Qf6+) 7…Kf8

And, even in this position, instead of recapturing the pawn on d4, White played the move knight to e4, which is an attacking move and, as you can see, it’s a common motif in different variations. If you’re playing in a gambit attacking style, you normally want to keep punching, keep attacking, as often as you can, so that your opponent does not have any free time to consolidate his position. This is the power of gambits in chess!

8.Ne4 Bb6

Tricky Move with a Hidden Trap
Quick checkmates in the Bishop's Opening, White plays Qd3
Qd3 stops the discovered check, but most importantly has set the trap!

White played a fairly tricky move. We gotta give credit to the white player. He played Qd3. At first, it looks like, maybe, he was just scared of Black’s discovered check.


The black player probably thought that White was just scared about this threat and made a mistake. Black played 9…d5, and it looks like is just winning one of the minor pieces. However, White had prepared a super cool combination.

10.Qa3+ Kg8 11.Bxd5 Qxd5

Now he captures the pawn, sacrificing the bishop, which looks like just a desperate move because White couldn’t save both of his pieces. Black happily grabbed the bishop with the queen. And it was the time for White to unleash his full threat with Nf6+.

12.Nf6+ gxf6 13.Qf8+ Kxf8 14.Bh6+ Kg8 15.Re8# 1-0

Beautiful sacrifices which enable White’s bishop to involve into the attack on the next move, by playing Bh6, followed by Re8, checkmate. A really cool game played by the white player, and just one of the super beautiful examples of quick checkmates with the Bishop’s Opening.

Game-3: Gambit Style

The next game is between Horowitz against an unknown opponent. White still goes for the Bishop’s Opening and get the opportunity for quick checkmates too.

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.d4 exd4 4.Nf3 Bb4+

White was ready to sacrifice the pawn on e4, even though in this game, Black didn’t take it. White keeps playing in the gambit style. He doesn’t want to just cover his king and trade off the pieces. He wants to play for quick development.

5.c3 dxc3 6.O-O O-O 7.e5

As you can see, e5 is a common motif in a lot of these lines. White starts the attack by advancing this pawn, which is the first signal. It’s the first White’s piece going into Black’s territory, and it may be the first signal of the beginning of  White’s attack.

7…Ne4 8.Bd5 Nc5 9.bxc3 Ba5

White noticed an interesting thing: that all of Black’s minor pieces are concentrated on the queenside. Black’s king is somewhat lonely on the kingside, which gives White the opportunity to rush for a decisive attack.

10.Ng5 Ne6 11.Qh5

It looks like it solidifies Black’s position and tries to trade off this knight. But White played Qh5, threatening checkmate in one.

11…Nxg5 12.Bxg5 Qe8

Bishop Pair & Queen Cages Black’s King
Quick checkmates in the Bishop's Opening, White plays Bf6
White wins by checkmate!

White finishes the game beautifully by playing Bf6, which puts Black’s king somewhat in the cage. It blockades the position and, therefore, none of the black pieces or pawns can move forward.

13.Bf6 h6 (13…gxf6 14.Be4) 14.Qg6 1-0

Black played pawn to h6, but it didn’t help because White found another beautiful way to finish the game with Qg6. It’s a pretty interesting position. How harmonious the white pieces are and how all of them come together to checkmate the black king. Qxg7 is unavoidable; so, Black resigned.

Game-4: Short and Sweet

The last example here was played with similar first moves. White still played Nf3 to sacrifice the pawn.

1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nf6 3.Nf3 Nxe4

In this case, Black played the expected move, trading the knights.

4.Nc3 Nxc3 5.dxc3 d6

As I’ve shown you previously, d6 is actually a mistake, which allows White to go with the knight to g5, with a deadly attack against the f7-square. However, in this game, White missed this opportunity and, instead, just castled, which is okay; but definitely, not as strong compared to Ng5, which was winning immediately.

6.Ng5 Be6 7.Bxe6 fxe6 8.Qf3 Qd7 9.Qxb7 Qc6 10.Qc8+ Ke7 11.Qxe6+ Kd8 12.Nf7#


At this point, Black probably notices the threat and he plays 6…Bg4, so that the knight can’t move anymore, and White can’t execute the knight g5 idea.

Can You Find the Winning Move?

bishop's opening trap

White to move and win!

And, in this case, I want to ask you to think about this position, and to let me know in the comments down below how would you play here as White.

Quick Checkmates in the Bishop’s Opening (Video Lesson)

Watch carefully this full video lesson. It teaches you in depth all the quick checkmates that we have been studying in this opening lesson.

Find below the PGN files to download and study in the board how to deliver these quick checkmates in the opening.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want GM Igor Smirnov to help you get better at chess, watch this Masterclass.

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