How to Do Scholar's Mate in Chess

Two Parts:Performing the MovePreventing Scholar's Mate as Black

The famous four-move Scholar's Mate, also known as Mate-in-four is explained here. Scholar's Mate is a great way to intimidate an amateur player, but you won't get far with this move on a more advanced player. It is also not the kind of thing people fall for twice, once they understand how it works.


The principle is to focus your attack on the black king's bishop's pawn (F7). The only piece protecting this pawn at the start is the black king. If you can take control of that square, you can put black under a lot of pressure.

Part 1
Performing the Move

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    Play white.
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    e4 - Move your king's pawn forward two squares (E2-E4).
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    Bc4 - Move the king's bishop 3 squares out through the gap, so that it threatens your opponent's king-side bishop's pawn, the one on square F7 (F1-C4).
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    Qh5 - Move the queen diagonally out 4 squares, so that it's also attacking the F7 pawn (D1-H5).
    • At this point, someone who has seen Scholar's Mate before will know it's coming. See the section below for how black can block the ploy at this point.
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    Qxf7 - Take the king's bishop's pawn (F7) with your queen.
    • You can take the F7 pawn using your bishop instead of the queen, but this won't result in checkmate.
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    Checkmate!

Part 2
Preventing Scholar's Mate as Black

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    Play your first move however you want.
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    ... d5/e6 - Move your queen's pawn forward two spaces or your king's pawn forward one space, so that white's bishop is no longer attacking F7.
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    ... Nh6/Qe7/Be6 - Do anything that protects the square on F7. Some examples given are moving the knight G8-H6, or the queen D8-E7 or the queen's bishop C8-E6.
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    Alternatively, and this is recommended, block the Queen's attack on F7. If the Queen is on F3, use F7-F6 or G8-F6. If the Queen is on H5, however, do not use G7-G6, unless you have a piece on E7 or E6 (in front of the King). Otherwise, white moves their Queen to E5, forking the Black King and Rook - the check must be dealt with, and the white Queen wins the black Rook.

Warnings

  • Be aware that most black players will spot your plan, and having your queen on the field so early can get you into trouble. This isn't just an "Oh, it didn't work, go to Plan B" strategy. Exposing your Queen early and not developing your pieces puts you at a decided disadvantage.

Article Info

Categories: Chess