The Most Brutal Way to PUNISH Scholar's Mate Trick
Tactics & Calculation

The Most Brutal Way to PUNISH the Scholar’s Mate Trick

The Most Brutal Way to PUNISH the Scholar’s Mate Trick

Are you tired of falling victim to sneaky chess players attempting to checkmate you within a few moves? The dreaded Scholar’s Mate and early queen attacks can be frustrating to deal with. But fear not! I have a solution for you.

In a previous video, I shared some counterattacking strategies, but I must admit, they lacked the sheer brutality I promised.

Well, today, I’m here to make it right by revealing an unbelievably ruthless method to dismantle White if they dare to launch this unsound assault against you.

This counterattack variation will help you completely destroy your opponent’s attempts to checkmate you (with the Scholar’s Mate). In fact, you will learn how to trap their queen in one of the variations of punishing White’s early queen attacks.

  1. e4 e5 2. Qh5

It all starts with the seemingly innocent move 1.e4. You respond confidently with 1…e5, and that’s when the mind games begin. White typically brings their 2.Qh5, hoping to catch you off guard. But wait! I’ll show you a clever trick to turn the tables.

Instead of kicking the queen away with 2…g6 (a losing error), brace yourself for a devastating counterattack.

2..Nc6 3. Bc4 g6 4. Qf3

You’re going to go 2…Nc6 to defend the pawn on e5. After that, they’re going to play 3. Bc4, creating the checkmating threat of Qxf7. You respond with 3…g6, and now the Qf3.

Black’s Aggressive Counterattack (4…f5)

When it comes to any chance tutorial covering this position, they all recommend going 4…Nf6, including my previous video. However, there is another way that is actually a lot more aggressive and will completely shock White.

That move is 4…f5 in this position, which may seem completely absurd at first, as if you’re just exposing your king. But in reality, you have a really nasty counterattack going your way.

All your opponents will play 5.exf4, because they’ll be hoping for you to recapture,  However, you won’t do that. You counter attack. Let’s see how to counter attack.

You can see how quickly your counterattack unfolds on a seemingly empty space. It may seem like you haven’t done anything special, but you have this really massive counterattack.

That’s why I love this variation so much.

White’s Most Common Response

Most players will go 6. Qd5, and it may seem like White is nearly winning here. There’s still the absolute checkmating threat with the queen. Let’s see how to respond.

Black is completely dominating.  If you look at this position, you have basically finished your development and White’s position is a complete mess. It’s even hard to suggest any good move for White or any decent play at this point. Black is winning the final position.

White Decides to Play Safe

Some of your opponents will realize that something’s gone wrong and will try to play safe.

Instead of playing forward, they’re gonna go 6. Qd3, which is also a fairly popular move for White in this position, trying to hold on to the pawn on c2 so that you cannot capture it.

Let’s see how to proceed here.


The era of falling victim to the Scholar’s Mate and early queen attacks ends today. Armed with a devastatingly brutal counterattack, you can now unleash your full potential on the chessboard. No longer will you cower in fear when faced with these unsound tactics. Instead, you’ll confidently dismantle your opponent’s position and leave them reeling in defeat.

By adopting the aggressive strategy of 4…f5 and the subsequent knight maneuvers, you’ll create a whirlwind of attacks that will leave your opponents scrambling for survival. Your relentless pursuit of victory will leave them disoriented and unable to mount a meaningful defense.

Below, you can find the examples shown in the video:

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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