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4 Move Checkmate -Scholar's Mate Teaches Opening Chess Principles

Updated on March 11, 2011

Four Move Checkmate Easy To Learn and Full of Good Chess Strategies

Chess How to do the Scholar's Mate

As a chess coach to middle schoolers, I enjoyed teaching the beginner chess students the checkmate position and opening called the Scholar's mate. The four move checkmate is easy to learn and provides some basic chess lessons that are essential in becoming a fair player. I am writing this lens to beginners who are trying to start their journey into this most fun game we call chess. You will find many links and resources on this site to help you get started. This lens is a follow up to my lens on the Fool's mate (a two/three move checkmate that only someone "foolish" would fall into) The nice thing about the Scholar's mate is that once you understand its good chess strategies, you can try to impose it (or a similar variant) on your opponent. Below you can see the mate in animation.



The above animation is taken from Wikipedia "Scholar's Mate" Click to read more from that web site.




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Chess How To Make the Four Move Checkmate.

Good Chess Strategies

What makes the four move checkmate work is that your opponent does not understand his weak squares at the beginning of the game. Here are some of the principles:

  1. The seventh rank (row7) above the king has three possible attack points (d7,e7,f7). One of the squares (f7) is only protected by the king. This point could give you an open lane to the king.

  1. If the Queen could get to this point without being captured, the black king would have no escape. However, he could simply take the queen in this possible position! You must always make sure your queen is safe before brining her into the game. Many games are lost because of hasty queen moves.

  1. Therefore white must guard his queen before entering. In this case we bring the Bishop to c4. Now the queen can kill at f7 because the black king cannot take the queen without himself being killed. Also there is no other square of escape Black is in checkmate!

As you can tell, the four move checkmate is easily defended if black knows about king protection at the beginning of the game. If you are able to understand basic chess strategies you can avoid this trap. Most of the time it takes more than four moves so be [patient and give it a try. As you improve, you will find more and far better strategies to imploy. That is the fun of chess!



Possible Four move Scholar's mate chess game:
1. e4 e5
2. Bc4 Nf6
3. Qf3 d6 (Many other moves are possible for black to fall into white's trap. White must proceed with caution before brining his queen in for the kill)
4. Qf7 mate

Final Position: See Diagram

=========

Good Chess Strategies:

1. Be aware of weak points.
2. Develop your pieces with strategy and purpose.
3. Be careful with your queen. It is your most valuable piece.
4. When you are learning, don't be afraid to try new things.
5. Your king must be protected at all times.

Seeing the Scholar's Mate on Video from YouTube - Basic Chess Strategies

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Chess, Third Edition

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Chess for Children:  How to Play the World's Most Popular Board Game
Chess for Children: How to Play the World's Most Popular Board Game

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How to Beat Your Dad at Chess (Gambit Chess)
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Chess Tactics for Champions: A step-by-step guide to using tactics and combinations the Polgar way

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    • The Philologist profile image

      The Philologist 

      7 years ago

      Nice article. Certainly informative for anyone starting out!

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