Escaping the Quoridor “Fool’s Mate.”

I’ve been playing a lot of beginners lately, for whatever reason. I find that most beginners fall to a simple strategy.

The reason why beginners lose easily is because they keep attacking and fail to defend, which means that they cannot adapt to any change. If you look at the good openings, the one thing they have in common is that they serve a defensive function. Putting a fence right in front of your opponent at the start can seem like a good move but it really isn’t. Here is an example, with purple, the beginner, going downwards:

Purple can easily be corralled towards the closed side and turned around, and is running out of good moves fast.

If there’s one thing I would say to beginners, it’s to be patient and play more defensively early on in the game. It’s very easy to deflect the “Fool’s Mate” using the Gap. And that gives you a lot more options down the line, as well.

6 thoughts on “Escaping the Quoridor “Fool’s Mate.”

  1. This is interesting for me as a beginner but I think you supply too little explanation… I have to admit I didn’t understand anything.
    Which wall(s) in here did purple put?
    Which were the ‘bad’ walls to put?
    What does it mean to be ‘corralled towards the closed side’? which side is the closed side?


    • I will be glad to answer your questions!

      “Which wall(s) in here did purple put?”


      “Which were the ‘bad’ walls to put?”

      Same, d4h.

      “which side is the closed side?”

      The left side has been closed by blue.

      “What does it mean to be ‘corralled towards the closed side’?”

      It refers to the fact that purple can more easily be directed towards the side that has been closed by his opponent (the left side, in this case).


      No problem. Do keep asking if you have any further questions.


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