Many view chess as a super complex game that involves a lot of skill, concentration, and logic – which is why so many people want to sit down and show off their intelligence by winning a game of chess in as little time as possible.
Because of this, there is a way to win a game of chess in as few as four moves, making this opening a popular one that a lot of people want to learn so they can put rookies in their place.
Finishing a game of chess in four moves can look really impressive – so let’s take a look at how you do try it yourself!
What Is The Scholar’s Mate
The scholar’s mate is an opening in chess that can allow the player to checkmate their opponent with just four moves.
Because of this, it’s one of the first openings that a lot of new chess players learn not only to try it out for themselves but so they can learn how to defend against it and keep themselves in the game.
As a result, most chess players have fallen for a scholar’s mate at some point during their history with chess.
This is also one of the oldest openings in chess and was first named and described way back in 1656.
Since then, the scholar’s mate has earned itself many different names including Shepherd’s Mate, Napoleon’s Plan, Children’s Mate, and even Blitzkrieg.
It is the most well known way to checkmate within four moves, and is commonly used against beginners to trick them into a quick defeat.
However, some professional players even attempt this move so it’s super important that all chess players learn this opening so they can avoid and defend against it.
So – how does it work?
How To Open With The Scholar’s Mate
The scholar’s mate works by attacking the F-Pawn with either a bishop or a queen piece.
Like many other opening traps, the F-Pawn is targeted because its only purpose is to defend the King piece of your opponent’s side, therefore if you take it out, your opponent’s King is left vulnerable to a checkmate.
Many new beginners to chess fail to realize this and thus, they don’t move to protect their F-Pawn.
Their opponents then move to take the F-Pawn and checkmate them to end the game in a swift defeat.
So, let’s take a look at how it’s done! The first move you should make when attempting the scholar’s mate is to move your pawn on E2 two squares forward so it is at E4.
On your next turn, you should move your bishop from square F1 to square C4.
This will leave your bishop right in line to take the F-Pawn of your opponent, but this is not the piece you use to checkmate your opponent’s king.
Instead, on your next turn, you move your Queen from its starting position at D1 to square H5.
So, no matter what move your opponent makes next, you can either move your Bishop or Queen to F7 on the fourth and final turn of the game to take the opponent’s F7 pawn and checkmate.
And that’s it! Four simple moves to completely trap your opponent but unfortunately, as great as this opening sounds, it’s actually rarely used in intermediate and advanced games.
Why? Because so many chess players are aware of this opening and know exactly how to avoid, block and defend against it.
Defending Against The Scholar’s Mate
Defending against the scholar’s mate opening is actually super easy and once you have, it can sometimes leave your opponent in a poor position on the board.
This is why so many advanced chess players tend to avoid using the scholar’s mate – because not only is it very likely that their opponent will defend it easily, but it could also leave them with a disadvantage.
So, most advanced players avoid using this opening strategy.
However, if you do find that your opponent is trying to use the scholar’s mate against you, then here are some moves you can make to easily block and defend against the tactic.
Moving your G7 pawn one square forward will place it between the opponent’s queen and your weak F7 pawn.
This means that the opponent’s queen cannot move to take your F7 pawn in one simple move – instead, it will first have to take your G7 pawn (now on square G6) but then it will probably be taken in turn by your F7 pawn.
Not only that but their bishop cannot move to take your F7 pawn either. If it did, the king would move to take it and still be protected from the queen.
Then, the opponent’s queen will be forced to move away or risk being taken by your pawn.
So, most players attempting the scholar’s mate will be forced to give up once you move your G7 pawn forward, and retreat.
This is the most common method of defending against a scholar’s mate because it has the most advantages.
Alternatively, you can move your queen into the E7 square after you have moved your pawn forward.
This move provides extra protection to your F7 pawn, plus it develops your queen.
However, this move will also block one of your bishops and you could also be bringing the queen out too early in the game, making it vulnerable.
Due to these reasons, many chess players prefer to use the former method of defense rather than the latter – but both will get the job done and prevent you from losing to a scholar’s mate opening.
The scholar’s mate is a well-known chess opening that allows the player to checkmate their opponent after only four moves – making it one of the fastest ways to end a chess game!
However, it’s not perfect and there are many downsides to using this opening, such as how easily it can be defended and how it can leave you in a disadvantageous position.
Due to this, not a lot of advanced players use this opening – but a lot of beginners love to use it to try and trick their opponents.
So, check out the above information on how to defend against a scholar’s mate and how you can try it out for yourself. Good luck!