No matter how experienced you get, there are always some sneaky chess opening traps which can catch you out. There are 2 ways to protect yourself against them (and maybe catch a few people in them yourself!): either by learning them the hard way with a painful defeat or with GM Susan Polgar’s series on chess opening tricks!
In this video, 5-time Olympic Chess Champion GM Susan Polgar reviews one of the most common traps seen at the beginner chess level – Scholar’s Mate! You’ll find this opening hundreds of times in any chess opening database or encyclopedia of chess openings.
The Scholar’s Mate set-up with an early e4, Bc4, Qh5, and Qxf7# is not one of the best chess openings if Black is paying attention and responds logically to White’s threats. However, if you have never seen this chess opening trap before, you might be falling into a checkmate in the first 5 moves!
In fact, if Black spends just one move that doesn’t protect against this chess opening trap, White can start creating threats that become difficult to deal with. And, of course, there are many variations on this quick checkmate, with White changing the move order and trying to trick Black with some decoy threats.
And, believe it or not, Scholar’s Mate isn’t just played by beginners. GM Hikaru Nakamura has played 1.e4 and 2.Qh5 on many occasions!
GM Susan Polgar, in this excerpt from her ¨Winning Chess the Easy Way, Learn How to Avoid Opening Traps and Pitfalls¨ course, clearly explains how to effectively counter the sneaky Scholar’s Mate set-up.
If you want to safeguard yourself against this and other common chess opening traps – and learn some of the more advanced tricks for winning quickly against any chess opening – watch this video and check out Susan Polgar’s course!