From the minds of babes!

Cohen/Ashley 2013, Black to move and mate in 3.

Cohen/Ashley 2013, Black to move and mate in 3.

It’s not often that I see something in chess that I’ve never seen before. When it happens, it’s always a pleasant surprise that brings a smile to my face and reminds me how infinite the royal game really is. This mate comes by way of one of my top students, 10 year old Jameson Cohen, who recently pulled in off in an actual game. Once I saw it, I knew we had to make a puzzle out of it, so he and I sat down and co-created this mate in 3. Is Jameson a future Sam Loyd in the making?

1…Qf4+! 2.gxf4 Bxf4+ 3.Kh3 

3.Kh1 is a standard mate we’ve all seen after 3…Nf2#


I cannot recall ever seeing this final position, either in a game or in a variation to a game. If anyone else has seen a game that in someway involves this rare gemstone of a set-up, please let us know! Until then, this might be dubbed “Cohen’s mate!”



  1. Mark Warriner says:

    Dear GM Maurice Ashley,

    This mate has happened once before that I am aware of:

    [Event “Guernsey op 33rd”]
    [Site “Guernsey”]
    [Date “2007.10.21”]
    [Round “1”]
    [White “Goman, Colin”]
    [Black “Robinson, Tom”]
    [Result “0-1”]
    [ECO “D30”]
    [WhiteElo “1885”]
    [SourceDate “2008.11.26”]

    1. d4 d5 2. c4 c6 3. Nf3 e6 4. b3 Nd7 5. Qc2 f5 6. c5 Ne7 7. h4 b6 8. b4 a5 9.
    b5 Qc7 10. cxb6 Qxb6 11. bxc6 Nxc6 12. e3 Nb4 13. Qd2 Ba6 14. Nc3 Rc8 15. Rb1
    Nf6 16. a3 Bxf1 17. Kxf1 Qa6+ 18. Kg1 Nd3 19. Ne1 Nxc1 20. Qxc1 Ne4 21. Kh2
    Bd6+ 22. f4 Rxc3 23. Qb2 Rxe3 24. Nf3 Bxf4+ 25. Kh3 Re2 26. Qb3 Nf2# 0-1

    But very nice find by Mr. Cohen none the less!

    Best Wishes,

    Mark Warriner

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