How to do scholar’s mate in chess

So I was playing a chess game, and some cheapskape decided to use the scholar’s mate. I completly lost to him. For those of you not familiar, scholars mate is a 4-turn check mate that either looks like:

Another example would look like this:

I know what scholar’s mate is, I just don’t know how to counter it when I’m black. Can someone give me a list of counters for each example. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

A knight on f6 and a pawn on e6 will stop them, and be decent moves (i think)!

Generally people play the Queen first to h5 if so Nc6 followed by g6 and then Nf6

If Bc4 first try to transpose Nc6 first if Qf3 Nf6 and if Qh5 g6

First, some comedy. Head to this link to see a grandmaster get checkmated with the Scholar’s Mate.

Now let’s get serious.

For the first example, do Nf6. That will block the queen’s path.

For the second example, g6 is an adequate response. It 50% of the time transposes into the first example, and I already told you how to counter that. Usually a player will play the Queen first. An example: (This means hungry_girl’s comment underneath WILL NOT be useful.)

Hope this helps!
The top answers are not the main ways or are just confusing to me.

Looking at your examples.. playing nf6 before nc6 would prevent scholars. I think most people tend to play nf6 first anyway to allow castling earlier?

I also lost to this recently. I don’t do well against “berserkers” – those who bring out their queen early and go for a quick cheap mate. I wonder if there are any books about how to avoid cheap mates??

Check this book out so YOU can be the one to do quick cheap mates: Quick Chess Knockouts.

You can say I am a turned chessstar after reading that book (but I don’t usually do these mates)

ab121705 you’re welcome. You’ll be sure to improve you’re rating!

Check this book out so YOU can be the one to do quick cheap mates: Quick Chess Knockouts.

The Scholar’s mate (The four move checkmate) is one of the most commonly used checkmates against lower rated opponents, giving the scholar’s mater an easy and quick win. For those who do not know the scholar’s mate, this is what it looks like:

Many people fall for this four move checkmate, and here is the standard defence to the scholars mate below:

Now from this you see that when White does Queen h5, Black does Knight c6, defending the e5 pawn. When White does Bishop c4, Black does pawn g6, protecting f7 pawn and also attacking White’s Queen. White then does Queen f3, hoping to capture the f7 pawn, but Black does knight f6, blocking the White Queen’s path to the f7 pawn, ruining White’s plans.

This is the regular defence, but Black can actually use this position as an advantage and get an easy CHECKMATE.

Here is what it begins with:

So above, you can see that Black plays the standard defence, but White plays pawn g4, hoping to advance the Pawn to g5 and attack the knight to clear a way for the checkmate. Instead, White does Knight d4, attacking White’s Queen. Notice that the Black Knight is also attacking the c2 pawn, and also threatening a double attack.

Here, white plays:

Here, White retreats the Queen to d1, playing it safe. However, Black plays Pawn d5, where the pawn is attacking White’s e4 Pawn and c4 Bishop. Also note that Black’s c8 Bishop is attacking White’s g4 Pawn.

Let’s see what happens next:

Now this is where White blunders. White’s e4 Pawn takes Black’s d5 Pawn, protecting White’s bishop; but Black play’s Bishop takes g4 Pawn, attacking White’s Queen. The Black Bishop on g4 now is protected by the Knight on f6. White’s Queen is being threatened.

So this is how it ends. White’s best move is Pawn f3, attacking Black’s Bishop. Black plays Knight e4. White’s Pawn cannot take the Knight, as the Black Bishop will take White’s Queen. So White takes the Bishop on g4. Here, Black plays Queen h4, delivering a check to White’s King. White’s King is forced to move to f1. Black plays Queen f2 checkmate.

So that is the way to brutally punish the scholar’s mate, and I hope you enjoyed. Please check out my other blogs for more interesting chess tactics.

So I was playing a chess game, and some cheapskape decided to use the scholar’s mate. I completly lost to him. For those of you not familiar, scholars mate is a 4-turn check mate that either looks like:

Another example would look like this:

I know what scholar’s mate is, I just don’t know how to counter it when I’m black. Can someone give me a list of counters for each example. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

A knight on f6 and a pawn on e6 will stop them, and be decent moves (i think)!

Generally people play the Queen first to h5 if so Nc6 followed by g6 and then Nf6

If Bc4 first try to transpose Nc6 first if Qf3 Nf6 and if Qh5 g6

First, some comedy. Head to this link to see a grandmaster get checkmated with the Scholar’s Mate.

Now let’s get serious.

For the first example, do Nf6. That will block the queen’s path.

For the second example, g6 is an adequate response. It 50% of the time transposes into the first example, and I already told you how to counter that. Usually a player will play the Queen first. An example: (This means hungry_girl’s comment underneath WILL NOT be useful.)

Hope this helps!
The top answers are not the main ways or are just confusing to me.

Looking at your examples.. playing nf6 before nc6 would prevent scholars. I think most people tend to play nf6 first anyway to allow castling earlier?

I also lost to this recently. I don’t do well against “berserkers” – those who bring out their queen early and go for a quick cheap mate. I wonder if there are any books about how to avoid cheap mates??

Check this book out so YOU can be the one to do quick cheap mates: Quick Chess Knockouts.

You can say I am a turned chessstar after reading that book (but I don’t usually do these mates)

ab121705 you’re welcome. You’ll be sure to improve you’re rating!

Check this book out so YOU can be the one to do quick cheap mates: Quick Chess Knockouts.

How to do scholar's mate in chessChess 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.

If you don’t like reading, there are video courses that will give you condensed knowledge and not unnecessary information. If you are struggling to win in chess, it’s a great way to rapidly improve your skills and learn your mistakes from the courses’ exercises. You can check out the following courses.

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!

Introduction: How to Do the Scholars Mate

Recently, many people have been picking up one of the world’s oldest games, chess. With the popularity of “The Queen’s Gambit” on Netflix, many new players are picking up the game, and are looking for an easy trick to win games quickly. In this you will learn how to do the Scholar’s Mate with the white pieces, a tactic that can checkmate your opponent in 4 moves if they’re not careful.

Supplies

In order to do this all you will need is a way to play chess, whether it’s online or a physical chess set.

Step 1: The First Move

To start off as white you get the first move, you will want to push your “e” pawn 2 squares forward. This move opens up diagonals for your bishop and queen which is what will checkmate the opposing king.

Step 2: Move 2

On the second move, assuming that your opponent has not moved their “d” pawn up two spaces to the “d5” square, you will move your light square bishop up and to the left 3 squares to the “c4” square.

Step 3: Move 3

On move three, as long as your bishop is not being attacked you will want to bring out your queen. You will move it up to the right 4 squares to the “h5” square.

Step 4: Move 4 (Checkmate)

As long as your queen and bishop are still not being attacked, and the diagonals to the “f7” square are open, move your queen up to the left 2 and deliver checkmate. The queen is protected by the bishop so the king cannot capture it, and the king has nowhere to run.

Step 5: Alternate Move 4

Your opponent is however likely to push their “g” pawn forward a square in order to attack your queen, if this happens go to plan B. Move your queen down to the left 2 squares to the “f3” square, here it will be out of danger, and it can still go to the “f7” square on the next move.

Step 6: Move 5 (Checkmate)

Once again, as long as there is nothing between the “f7” square and your bishop and queen, you will move your queen forward 4 squares to the “f7” square. Once again, this will be checkmate as the queen is supported by the bishop and there is nowhere for the king to escape.

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Introduction: How to Do a Checkmate in Only a Few Moves (chess)

How to do scholar's mate in chess

How to do scholar's mate in chess

How to do scholar's mate in chess

Short tutorial on how to do: the Légal trap

the Scholar’s mate

Step 1: Short Summary of How the Pieces Can Move (in Case You Don’t Play)

Here’s a short summary of how all the pieces can move:

1. The Rook, this is the piece in the corner. It can move as far as it wants, but only horizontally and vertically. (2)

2. The Knight, this is the horse next to the rook. It can move to the closest square that isn’t on its vertical, horizontal or diagonal axis. This creates an L-shape (2 horizontal/vertical, 1 diagonal). It also can leap over other pieces. (2)

3. The Bishop, this peace is the 3rth of the bottom row. It can move as far as it wants, but only diagonally. (2)

4. The Queen, this peace is the left of the middle 2. It can move in any direction for as far as it wants. It is the most of value. (1)

5. The King, this peace is the right of the middle 2. It can move in any direction, but for only one square. This peace is the one you’ll be targeting/protecting.

Step 2: The Légal Trap

This checkmate is a more complicated one compared to the others. It is less known and, because of that, more effective. It involves getting your Knights on the 5th row (d5, e5) and your bishop close to the king (f7). When it was first used, Légal also made a trap with his queen, to lure the enemy’s bishop away. The original consisted of 8, but it can be done in 7 moves.

Step 3: The Scholar’s Mate

This is probably the most well known of all three. It consists of bringing your queen to f7 via h5 (or my preference: f3, to make it less recognisable). You bring your bishop to c4. If your opponent didn’t use any of the countermoves (not very likely) you win. It can be done in 4 moves.

Step 4: The Fool’s Mate

This one’s pretty simple, but can’t be used very much. You can do it when your opponent places the pawn on f2 to f3 and the pawn on g2 to g4. Now you can get your queen to h4 and BOOM checkmate.

Step 5: Ending

Good luck defeating your opponents with these quick checkmates

How to do scholar's mate in chess

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How to do scholar's mate in chess

There are several ways to finish a chess game quickly. Some of these strategies are the Scholar’s Mate (in just 4 moves) and the Fool’s Mate (in just 2 moves).

However, in this article we shall take a look at how to achieve victory in just 3 moves with the white player.

There are two ways to win at chess in 3 moves: One with capturing and the other without capturing. We will take a look at both of these strategies.

Once you learn and apply these strategies, your next game of chess could take quicker to play than setting up the chessboard!

Here is how to win at chess in 3 moves:

  1. Move your King’s Pawn to e4.
  2. Black plays 1…e5.
  3. Move your Queen to the h5 square
  4. Black plays 2…Ke7.
  5. Deliver checkmate by capturing Black’s e5 pawn with your Queen (The King is checkmated!)

Of course, for this method to be successful, it would take pretty bad play for the Black player. Nonetheless, you can catch your opponent off guard.

Let’s have a visual representation of the 3 move checkmate

Table of Contents

How To Win At Chess In 3 Moves With Capturing

How to do scholar's mate in chess

As you can see in the gif above, the white queen plays an integral part in delivering checkmate to the black king in 3 moves.

Your first approach is to open the d1-h5 diagonal for your Queen via pawn-e4. This is the pawn located infront of the white king. To learn more about how chess notations work, please visit: How to write chess moves in algebraic notation

Black then plays symmetrically by bringing his pawn to e5. White may now attack the black e5-pawn by bringing the white queen all the way to the h5 square. From here, the queen is eyeing to pick up a pawn. The best move for Black is to defend this threat with 2…Nc6.

On the other hand, if Black plays foolishly via 2…Ke7, then the white player can simply capture the e5 pawn via 3.Qxe5 and the game is over.

Note that there are no escape squares for the black king to retreat since his own pieces are hindering his movements. The queen will then capture the king on any move. Of course we do not do this in chess, we simply call checkmate!

Other methods of checkmating in 3 moves

We got to look at our first example. For this new strategy, White is going to take advantage of the weak squares around the black king. Here is the gif that illustrates this strategy.

How to do scholar's mate in chess

If you look closely, Black mistakenly opened his kingside by moving his f and g-pawns forward. Do not do this in your games. This makes the black king very vulnerable to threats along the e8-h5 diagonal.

Due to this weakness, White mates in three moves with 1.e4 f5 2.exf5 g5 3.Qh5#

NB: In the opening phase, you should avoid moving your wing-pawns and instead focus on moving your central pawns to gain control of key squares in the center.

How To Checkmate In 3 Moves Without Capturing

This is quite similar to our last example. Black will blunder by moving his King’s side pawns thereby creating severe weaknesses in his camp. White will then exploit these weaknesses in the same fashion using the Queen. Here is a gif to illustrate this checkmate strategy:
How to do scholar's mate in chess

1.e4 f6 2.d4 g5 3.Qh5#is how white checkmate the black king without capturing.

Final Verdict

The 3 move checkmate is quite common at the beginner level. If you grasp the concepts and strategies shared in this article, you can definitely catch some of your opponents cold at the start. It would be a great way to surprise your friends!

They key here is to be ready to exploit Black’s Kingside weakness in the event he pushes his g and f pawns. Open the diagonal for your queen and wait patiently to strike your opponent whenever he decides to play foolishly.

International Chess Master

Vitaly Neimer is an International Chess Master and Certified Professional Chess Coach with over 15 years of training experience. He has been a part of the United States’ Webster SPICE national chess champion team and is also a two-time Israeli national chess champion.

wikiHow’s Editorial Process wikiHow partners with over 1000+ experts from a wide range of fields to ensure our content is accurate and based on well-established research and testimony. Content Managers conduct interviews and work closely with each expert to review information, answer reader questions, and add credible advice. Learn more about our editorial process and why millions of readers trust wikiHow.

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