Scholar's mate

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Template:Chess position

In chess, scholar's mate is the checkmate which occurs after the white moves (in algebraic notation) 1.e4 2.Bc4 3.Qh5 4.Qxf7# or similar. The moves may be played in a different order or with slight variations, but the basic idea—the queen and bishop combining in an attack on f7—is the same.

Unlike fool's mate, which is unlikely to occur at any level (and with which scholar's mate is sometimes confused), games ending in scholar's mate are quite common among beginners. It is easily avoided, however: after 1.e4 e5 2.Qh5 Nc6 3.Bc4, for example, scholar's mate may occur after 3...Nf6 4.Qxf7# (giving the position illustrated), but 3...g6 instead, pushing the queen away, is fine for Black (4.Qf3, renewing the Qxf7 threat, is easily met by 4...Nf6). Black can later fianchetto his bishop by developing it to g7 .

Though the actual mate is almost never seen at any level above beginner, the basic idea underlying it—that the f7 square, being defended only by Black's king, is weak and therefore a good target for attack—motivates a number of chess openings.

In some areas, including Germany and the Netherlands, scholar's mate is known as shepherd's mate.de:Schfermatt it:Scaccomatto del barbiere nl:Herdersmat ru:Детский мат

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