How to win a game of chess in 4 moves

Learn how to win a game of chess in 4 moves using the ‘Scholar’s Mate‘ approach. The 4-move checkmate, is by far the most common finish to any chess game. Almost all chess players have fallen for or delivered this checkmate at some point in their lives. It is easy to master, and one which all beginners could apply to their game, albeit against another beginner!

We will also take a closer look at how to best defend this approach.

It is also worth noting that there are a few different ways you can checkmate in 4 moves, but this is probably the easier, and more common approach:

How to win a game of chess in 4 moves – Move 1; The Center Squares

Pawn to E4 – opening move to the center square.

How to win a game of chess in 4 moves - Move 1; The Center Squares

The classical opening in chess is to gain control over the center squares of the chess board with your Pawns or Knights. The player who succeeds in controlling the center gains a significant advantage in any chess game. Remember to aim for this formation early on in the opening phase of the game.

How to win a game of chess in 4 moves – Move 2; Prepare the attack

Bishop to C4.

How to win a game of chess in 4 moves - Move 2; Prepare the attack

In this crucial second move, your focus shifts to determining the weak points in your opponent’s defense and applying pressure to exploit them. When facing Black, the F7 square, situated in front of their King to the right, presents a notable vulnerability.

To enhance your offensive strategy, consider the power of Bishops. They wield formidable influence by targeting diagonals across the board. What’s particularly advantageous is their ability to attack from a distance, minimizing their exposure to threats while exerting pressure on the opponent’s position.

This move also has the added advantage of preparing your King‘s safety. By freeing up the space next to your own King, you create room for the ‘castle’ maneuver later in the game, a defensive play that can provide additional security in the midst of the match.

How to win a game of chess in 4 moves – Move 3; Team QB

Queen to F3.

How to win a game of chess in 4 moves - Move 3; Team QB

Placing the Queen on this square opens up avenues for potential threats. It indirectly puts pressure on the f7 square together with the Bishop. Your Queen coordinates well with the Bishop on c4, setting the foundation for the Scholar’s Mate threat.

It becomes more obvious now what your intentions are, and the smarter opponent will see you coming a mile away. You are going for checkmate but you do have follow-up options in case your opponent starts defending.

How to win a game of chess in 4 moves – Move 3; Move for Checkmate!

Queen to F7.

How to win a game of chess in 4 moves - Move 3; Move for Checkmate!

If you made it this far, clearly your opponent has missed your dangerous approach, means its time for the fun part…you are now ready to strike. It’s easy to get blinded by your own strategy and therefore miss what your opponent is about to do.

If your opponent is above a beginner level there is a very good change he will see through your plans immediately and will likely strike back where it hurts. So try it out, have fun with it, but be wise against who you choose to adopt it.

Chess.com has a great website where you can play against other people of your level, do puzzles and even take lessons. Try these moves and see how many battles you can win.


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