Attacking the f7-square | Powerful Chess Opening Trap for White
Chess Openings

Attacking the f7-square | Powerful Chess Opening Trap for White

Attacking the f7-square | Powerful Chess Opening Trap for White

f7 is the most vulnerable point for the black king, and attacking it can give you immediate victories in your chess games. The Scholar’s Mate is the quickest checkmate and there are advanced ways for you to get the same. ☺

In this lesson, you’re going to learn the most universal opening trap for White that you can apply against various different opening choices of Black.

To set the stage for the trap, let me remind you the Scholar’s Mate. This checkmate is one of the quickest ways how you can punish beginner mistakes in the opening.

Scholar's Mate
Scholar’s Mate

Advanced Ways of the Scholar’s Mate

Of course, most of chess players are familiar with the Scholar’s Mate. However, not many players know that there is a more advanced way of executing a Scholar’s Mate. It’s something that you can use to get great results even against advanced level opponents.

For example, if you start with 1.e4 and after that we’re going into the Scotch Gambit… By the way this is a very good opening and I have a dedicated a lesson about this. Watch The Best Chess Opening against 1…e5 | Scotch Gambit Traps

Attacking f7 in the Scotch Gambit
Attacking f7 in the Scotch Gambit

In the Scotch Gambit, what happens if you go Ng5? This looks like a very weird looking move. Why would you play your knight here, instead of developing your other pieces?

Actually, it makes some sense, because White is ready to play Bc4 to hit the f7-pawn.

Black is likely to get annoyed by this knight and can decide to push it away by playing h6. But your knight says: “Hey, I’m not going back down, I’m going to sacrifice my life for my other teammates”. ☺

After Nxf7 Kxf7 Bc4+ Ke8 Qh5, you can notice the similarity between this with the Scholar’s Mate!

In the current position, we have the bishop as well as the queen teaming up against the black king and aiming to deliver checkmate on the f7-square. In this case, it is not a checkmate yet, but it’s going to be within a couple of moves…

This may seem like a very primitive trap to you. But you should know that White has a 96% win rate on Black’s top response. I show you in the full video lesson the database of chess games for this position, so you know that this simple trap really works!

Scholar’s Mate in the Fried Liver Attack

Let’s say this time you want to stay solid and you don’t want to play any weird moves. You just go into one of the most classical chess openings, the Two Knights Defense.

After Ng5, you’re again attacking the pawn on f7. Black would need to block this. After you take on d5, there is a very popular mistake, which is Nxd5.

Fried Liver Attack
Fried Liver Attack

This is a very well known trap… Or it should be. However, by checking in the database of chess games, we find that the losing move is the second most played move. Watch this carefully on the video lesson.

Lots and lots of chess players are playing this, which is known as the Fried Liver Attack. It starts off with Nxf7, inviting the black king to go out of there. After that, you follow up with Qf3+, which delivers a double blow to the king as well as the knight on d5.

You can notice the similarity with the Scholar’s Mate. Your queen and your bishop are teaming up together against Black’s king, ideally wanting to check mate it on f7 or in some other square around.

The best that Black could do is bring their king forward, which is obviously very dangerous. This makes it more vulnerable. Then, you just add more pieces to the attack to d5.

You are going to castle and develop the rest of your pieces. You will fully open up the position. And you will be frying this king because it’s pretty clear that it can’t survive standing in the center of the board!

Scholar’s Mate in the Alekhine Defense

This is another variation of the Scholar’s Mate in a more advanced way and it still works! If Black plays any other move, instead of e5, it can still be used.

This is something totally different. It’s the Alekhine Defense. After the first moves, we enter into the classical line where Black usually goes either Bg4 or pawn to g6. Those are the two main lines. And now you can once again jump with your knight to g5!

Attacking f7 in the Alekhine Defense
Attacking f7 in the Alekhine Defense

And you can already guess the idea. Right now, what is Black going to do here? Well, the most frequent move is the losing move Bg7. Black just overlooks that you can play Qf3.

This time, you team up with the knight instead of the bishop, but the intent is still the same: Attacking f7 and Qxf7 will be almost checkmate!

In addition to that, you’re also attacking the knight on d5. Black is in big trouble in fact. Black’s position is already losing. They don’t have to resign right here, but you got a decisive advantage.

If we take a move back, Black could realize that the knight on g5 is really dangerous. They might decide to push it away with h6. But you well know what you’re going to do…

You still take with the knight on f7 ―it’s the same Fried Liver Attack! Watch the full video lesson to see all the variations and how always you win with a kind of Scholar’s Mate.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Alekhine Defense, learn the 6 Best Chess Opening Traps in the Alekhine Defense.

Scholar’s Mate in the Bishop’s Opening

Let’s go for another opening once again. This time it’s going to be the Bishop’s Opening; by the way, a very powerful opening weapon for White.

My lesson about the Bishop’s Opening is currently going over a million of views. So, you’d better watch it right now and implement it in your games before every chess player on the planet know it. ☺

In this opening, we can offer an interesting gambit by playing Nf3, offering the pawn on e4. If Black takes it, hoping to continue with d5 on the next move and getting a great position, you prevent this by playing Nc3. Black will trade on c3.

Even though you sacrifice a pawn, a lot of your pieces are getting involved in the game. Now Black will need to protect the pawn on e5 somehow.

Attacking f7 in the Bishop's Opening
Attacking f7 in the Bishop’s Opening

You play Ng5, attacking on f7. You could take with the knight or with the bishop. If you take with the knight, you will be forking their queen and the rook.

The only thing Black can do to block your attack is play Be6. Then, you take on e6 and play Qf3. Surprise! The Scholar’s Mate is coming…

Even though Black can prevent this from happening, there is another hidden threat: the queen can take on b7, not only winning the pawn, but potentially winning the rook in the corner as well.

When Black tries to cover the f7-square with the queen, you will fully enter Black’s position, and you will chase the king until delivering the checkmate!

Scholar’s Mate in the Ruy Lopez

To wrap this up, let me show you one classical game between Zuckertort against Anderssen. They were two of the strongest players at the time.

White started with 1.e4 and Black responded with the Ruy Lopez ―a very solid defense. In this case, they played even more solid by choosing a line where Black got a rock solid position in the center and tried to defend everything.

Black neutralized the pin to the knight on c6 with their bishop on d7. In this way, they supported the pawn on e5. Black’s position looks just rock solid. After White castles, Black played Ng6, preparing the development of the bishop to e7

Attacking f7 in the Ruy Lopez
Attacking f7 in the Ruy Lopez

And White, instead of playing some normal move, played Ng5!

This is an evil move that we see all the time in this lesson. It’s a move which really annoys Black’s king. It’s attacking Black’s most vulnerable point, f7. In this case, White could push f4 or combine the knight with other pieces to attack the f7-pawn. This is our universal trap!

Black decided to drive the knight away… But we already know that this knight is not going to go back. The knight is sacrificed on f7!

At first sight, the sacrifice looks totally unsound. The truth is that, in this case, the sacrifice is not perfectly sound if Black plays proper moves. White has no attacking pieces and Black is much better developed. With a lot of defending pieces around Black’s king, how could White possibly check mate it here? Watch the video lesson to discover it!

If you are interested in knowing more about the Ruy Lopez opening, I fully recommend you to learn the 5 Best Chess Opening Traps in the Ruy Lopez.

Quiz for You – Find the Winning Move!

Finally, let me ask you to think about this position. Please, write down in the comments below how would you finish this off as White.

Overall, I hope that you enjoy this opening trap. As you can see, it is very universal because it works against various different opening choices of Black. I could show you many more cases where you can win by attacking f7; but to not make this lesson endless, let’s stop right now!

Attacking the f7-Square | Powerful Chess Opening Trap for White

Below you can play all the winning moves on the chessboard and also download the PGN file with the analyzed games to learn by hearth how attacking the f7-square can grant you quick victories in similar ways as the Scholar’s Mate does.

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want GM Igor Smirnov to help you get better at chess, watch this Masterclass.

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