Scholar's Mate

  • bowserette
  • | May 14, 2007

I had originally placed this in the "Chess Openings" part of the forums, but I think it's better suited here. :)

One of the most infamous checkmates is the Scholar's Mate. It's deceptively simple, yet many beginners fall for it. There are a few variations, but the one I learned (from experience, unfortunately) was this:


Four moves! It tends to leave those caught in its trap bewildered, for the game has ended before they've really begun to play.

How does one avoid this trap? Well, the most obvious answer is to not allow yourself to be put in that position -- if you don't mirror your opponent's moves, and/or you don't open with the pawns in front of the king and queen, you are far less likely to call the Scholar's Mate upon yourself.

If, however, you do find yourself facing this challenge, you can simply move g7 to g6 (assuming you're playing Black as in the diagram above). This prevents White's queen from making a swift execution, as she is now threatened by a pyramid of pawns. There may be other solutions, and I encourage any input from more experienced players.

In the end, Scholar's Mate really just preys upon the beginner's inability to look ahead. In my personal opinion, I feel every chess player should have to endure this humiliation, as it teaches a valuable lesson and encourages the beginner to begin anticipating possible threats from the opponent.


  • 2 years ago



  • 5 years ago


    If Black doesn't panic then he can end up with an overwhelming advantage very quickly as Qh5 is such a bad move. After 1. e4 e5 2. Qh5? then 2...Nc6! defends the KP and when White plays the drearily inevitable 3. Bc4, 3...g6 now causes White a real headache. After 4.Qf3 Nf6! Black is clearly winning. If then for example 5. g4? Nd4! and Black is already dominating.
  • 5 years ago


  • 5 years ago


    1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Bc5 3.Qh5 Qe7  then Nf6, Black gains the initiative and lead in development ; therefore this move is the best in this particular position.

  • 8 years ago


    TY billwall and for these wonderful and simple mates..!

  • 9 years ago


    Thanks for posting
  • 9 years ago









    many of the last games of the billwall selection are amasing.


     1.e4 g5 2.Nf3 f6 3.d4 c6 4.Ne5 b5 5.Qh5 mate  Morin-Forscutt, Internet 1994

    this Forscutt is also beautiful, here we can see how concentrate back are in drawing his defence. he not even the horse to eat could see.




    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.d5 Bc5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bxd8 Bxf2 mate 

    , Philadelphia 1936

    and again the white were with eyes closed 

  • 9 years ago


    I like that

    Exxon-Wall, Internet 1999, that billwall talks because it shows that not only black have to be awake.







  • 9 years ago


    The most decent response to Scholar's mate is Nf6. It controls h5, while blocks the Queen's path in the f file.  Playing Nh6 to control f7 is avoidable as White can try to exchange the Knight for his dark squared bishop, which he can free by  moving the d pawn
  • 10 years ago


    After 3.Qh5 it is better for Black to play 3...Qe7.  This protects the pawn on f7 so that the checkmate there is prevented and it also protects the black pawn on e5 (which White's Queen was also threatening to capture!).

    3...g6 would allow White to play 4.Qxe5+ and whatever Black does, White will take the rook on h8 with his Queen next move.

  • 10 years ago


    I recently gave Scholar's Mate this somewhat whimsical treatment on my blog:

  • 10 years ago


    Here are some other short mates that have actually been played.

    1.e4 f6 2.d4 g5?? 3.Qh5 mate  Klip-Bottema, Dieren 1990

    1.e4 g5 2.Nc3 f5?? 3.Qh5 mate  Masefield-Trinka, US Open, 1959

    1.e4 g5 2.d4 f6?? 3.Qh5 mate Bill Wall-Cornwell, Internet 1998

     1.f4 e5 2.g3 exf4 3.gxf4?? Qh4 mate  Exxon-Wall, Internet 1999

    1.e4 g6 2.d4 f5 3.exf5 gxf5 4.Qh5 mate  Sternenberg-Russo, Sacramento 1993

    1.e4 e5 2.f4 Bc5 3.fxe5 Qh4+ 4.Ke2 Qxe4 mate  Tchinenoff-Maillard, Paris 1925

    1.g4 d5 2.b4 Bxg4 3.Nc3 e5 4.f3?? Qh4 mate  Million-Wall, Internet 1996 

    1.c4 c5 2.Nc3 e6 3.Nf3 Ne7 4.Ne4 f5 5.Nd6 mate  Fraenkell - NN, Helsinki 1934 

    1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 Nc6 3.Bc4 g6 4.Qf3 Nd4 5.Qxf7 mate  Amillano-Loeffler, Mar del Plata 1972

    1.e4 g5 2.Nf3 f6 3.d4 c6 4.Ne5 b5 5.Qh5 mate  Morin-Forscutt, Internet 1994

    1.d4 Nf6 2.c4 e5 3.d5 Bc5 4.Bg5 Ne4 5.Bxd8 Bxf2 mate  Arnold-Hanauer, Philadelphia 1936 

  • 10 years ago


    This checkmate pattern is known around the world and has many names:


    Shepherd's mate (in France, Turkey, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, Brazil)

    Shoemaker's mate in (in Poland, Denmark, Hungary, Israel)

    Barber's mate (in Italy)

    Children's mate (in Russia)

    Napoleon (in Iran)

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