Skip to main content

How to Achieve Checkmate in 4 Chess Moves

Learn how to achieve checkmate in four moves from Chess NYC in this Howcast video.


Hi, coach Russ here with ChessNYC, and today I'm going to be talking to you about the four move checkmate, also known as the scholar's mate. So the scholar's mate is a opening, also known as a form of checkmate that is going to focus on your attack on black's weak F7 square. So here it goes.

White opens with E4 allowing for the development of both their queen and their bishop. Black's most popular response to E4 is playing E5. Now after the E4-E5 opening white can go in either development with the bishop or with the queen, but remember we're focusing our attack on the weak F7 square.

So in this particular opening I will open up with the bishop to C4. As you can notice, the bishop is directly looking at the weak F7 square putting pressure on that pawn. Black develops the knight, and now is when we activate the queen. As you can see, the bishop is already looking at the F7 square, and now we're going to move the queen to one of two positions that can also look at or attack the F7 square.

The queen can be activated to H5, and as you see the queen is now threatening the F7 square, or we can also activate the queen to F3. In both of these positions the queen and the bishop are both looking at F7. Now if black is not careful and black makes a normal developing move or controlling the center, white can simply play queen takes pawn. And as simple as that the game is over.

So let's look at it once again. The four move checkmate is known as the scholar's mate, and it's the idea of attacking the weak F7 square. This square is considered the weak F7 square because this pawn or F7 is only protected by the opponent's king.

In order to successfully attack the F7 square, we are going activate both our queen and our bishop. We're going to play E4 opening up the queen and the bishop. Black responds to center, and now we can activate our queen. As you can see, we have our queen threatening the weak F7. Black continues with development, and now we need our second piece to attack F7.

Currently, we have the queen threatening F7, and now we are going to activate our bishop which is also looking at the weak F7 square. After black continues with their development, once again the queen takes pawn, checkmate. So everybody that looking to win a chess game very quickly and to beat their mom or dad or friend and be one of the top chess players in their school, the scholar's mate is the way to go.

Popular Categories