Scholar’s Mate, The Way to Win in Chess in 4 Moves

Chess is a game that makes you feel a bit overwhelmed by the number of possible moves. If you are new to the game, that many possibilities make you feel extremely uncertain about winning a game of chess. In most games, after each player has made about thirty moves, one of them emerges victorious. However, if one of the players is inexperienced a game of chess can end way faster. The truth is that you can win in chess in 4 moves.

The way to win in chess in 4 moves is the so-called scholar’s mate. Scholar’s mate is a great technique to use against someone who is learning the game and has played only a few games. The moves of the scholar’s mate are described below. Also, you will find a lot of information on this website about tactics and reviews about chess products.

Scholar’s Mate Moves

The scholar’s mate is done by using the White pieces. You can do the same moves with the black pieces but this technique is usually presented with the white pieces.

First Move

The first move is a common one and that is e4. It’s a common starting move that is used in many variants. Your goal is to evacuate e2 square in order to move the Queen at d1 and the Bishop at f1 diagonally. A common response from Black is 1….e5. If your opponent doesn’t make that move you can still use the following moves.

Second Move

The second move is 2.Bc4. This is a more risky move and you are starting to put some pressure on your opponent. A favorable response is 2….d6 because it doesn’t create any problems that may cause a threat to White. I will refer to more dangerous moves that black can make later.

Third Move

The third move can either be 3.Qf3 or 3.Qh5. The goal is to threaten square f7. Just make sure that the square that you will choose is not threatened by an enemy piece. In general, I think 3.f3 is a safer move because moving the Queen away from the defensive line puts it in danger. Your opponent can respond with 3….Nc6 or any other move that creates a threat to White’s Bishop or Queen.

Fourth move

The final move is 4.Qf7#. If everything has gone according to plan then, you will have beaten your opponent. Make sure that the Queen captures the pawn and no other piece threatens it but the King. It’s checkmate because if the King captures the Queen then, the King is captured by the Knight.

Typical Ways to Stop the Scholar’s Mate and their Solutions

The 4 move checkmate can be avoided in numerous ways. In some of those cases, there are solutions and on some of them, it’s safer to cancel the attack and try to beat your opponent in a different way.

Black Knight at h6

Black can respond 3….Nh6. You can notice that it creates a serious problem because the pawn at f7 is protected by the Knight and the Knight is protected by the pawn at g7 (see the animation below).

Black Pawn at g6

Moving a pawn at g6 is a great way to stop the scholar’s mate when Queen is at h5.

Black Knight at f6

That is a really good move for the Black and really bad for the White who is trying the scholar’s mate (see the animation below).

Black Queen at e7

Moving the black Queen at e7 is an excellent way to stop the scholar’s mate. It will be better not to use this technique if this happens. See what will happen if  White makes the mistake.

Should you Use the Scholar’s Mate?

It’s obvious that even an average player could easily avoid the 4 move checkmate. These moves work against an opponent who is making his first steps in the world of chess. Therefore, you have to know how your opponent plays and then make a decision about how you are going to play. I believe you can use the 4 move mate on:

  • any person who is rarely playing chess and hasn’t ever properly practiced
  • a player who is copying your moves in the opening (as long as you are the White)

However, each player has to know some basic principles in chess. The only way to make sure that you know everything you need to know is to study a course or a book. I have some recommendations later in this articles.

How the 4 Move Checkmate Helped me Win a Week Ago

About a week ago, I played against a young promising player on a local chess club. He was playing well and it wasn’t an easy game. After each player has made about 15 moves, I decided to create a trap, inspired by the scholar’s mate (see the animation).

You might never use the scholar’s mate but it’s certain that you will find interesting lessons by analyzing these moves. It is extremely important to know this type of checkmate because if you don’t know ways to beat the opponent you will never win.

Recommended Books and Courses

Against intermediate or better players the scholar’s mate won’t work. So, if openings seem difficult to you then you should practice on them. After some research, I have selected some books that will help you a lot.

  1. Discovering Chess Openings: Building Opening Skills from Basic Principles
  2. FCO: Fundamental Chess Openings
  3. Winning Chess Openings
  4. Modern Chess Openings

Final thoughts

Feel free to check my other articles about openings and reviews of chess sets. If you are interested in beginner tactics then you should take a look at my articles on the double attack and pin in chess. I hope that you have found value in this article and have learned everything you need to know about this kind of checkmate. If this article was helpful, it would mean a lot to me if you shared and comment on this article. Enjoy chess!

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