Herdersmat

Scholar's mate in chess 

Scholar's mate is often tried on newcomers to the game. The idea of the scholars mate is to checkmate your unwary opponent in 4 moves.  The following game illustrates Scholar's Mate. This is a checkmate whereby the Bishop and Queen attack the weak f7 pawn. This pawn is weak because, in the starting position, it is only protected by the King. Scholar's Mate is the most common trap a beginner falls into. The idea of the scholars mate is to checkmate your unwary opponent in 4 moves. 

Scholar's mate history

Scholar's mate is already very old. The first published source to mention Scholar's mate is Arthur Saul's Famous Game of Chess Play from 1640 , which says: "The French call it Le Mat du Bergier, the Shepherds Mate, as implying, if Peasants would be Chesse-players, such a Mate might a man soone give them." In that time the French called the Fool's mate: Le Mat de l'Écolier, which translates to Scholar's mate into English. So in English Scholar's mate and Fool's mate seem to be mixed-up. The shepherds seems to be the simple man who could be tricked with the Scholar's mate.

Scholar's mate

Scholar's mate is one of the first opening learned to youngsters. The following picture from 1858 shows that this is a long tradition.

1858 Scholar's mate

Scholar's mate movie (Le coup du berger)

Chess metaphor's are often used. A nice example is the movie a Scholar's Mate (French: Le coup du berger) from 1956, which is a twenty-eight minute French short movie. The movie is about adultery. A wife is cheating on her husband. When her lover buys her a mink coat, the adulterous pair make a plan to dissuade her husband questioning where it came from. An intreging plot is developing, where the cheated husband makes his countermoves. The Scholar's mate movie end with the cheated husband playing a master move uncovering himself the mink coat.

1956 Le Coup du berger by Jacques Rivette

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