The scholar’s mate is a game of just 4 moves.
1.e4 , e5 2. Qh5 , Nc6 3. Bc4 , Nf6 4. Qxf7++ , 1-0
Another variation, which happened in a real game that I was witness too (and .. participant as well ..) went like this:
1. e4 – e5
2. Bc4 – a6
3. Qf3 – b5??
4. Qxf7++ 1-0
Of course at any level from Intermediate and above both “Qh5” and “Qf3” are pretty bad move for White as the Queen will be an easy target of attack from minor pieces and will have to return back to base giving up a lot of tempo.
The coolest thing about this little trap is how it befuddles the victim .. that is of course unless you are the one! I had the unfortunate luck of being at the receiving end of this embarrassing checkmate in an actual tournament back in middle school. Trust me .. its not fun when you are the losing side .. LOL!
[NOTE: This post was a while back when I first started playing tennis.]
The answer to the title question is – newbies like me! Barely in my second season of tennis leagues, I decided to play in 3 tournaments. The mens’ doubles and mixed doubles’ went alright although we were well into mid-November chilling evenings and sometimes rainy mornings for the season to wrap up. But worst was the mens’ singles. By match 6 I was in the middle of moving to a new place and had hurt my feet. My 2-level higher opponent just toyed around with me, placing the ball where I’ll have to run to get it. By game 7 I’ve been out of practice for weeks and well into cold weather of December. The first set was competetive. But by second set I’ve developed a neck pain. I wouldn’t give up, having led 3-0 at one point, until a electrifying pain on my right shoulder made me shout in pain. The score had slided down to 3-4 by then. That was the end of the match and the season for me!
For a while I was feeling like Seymore Hauffman in “The Savages” or the way C3PO moves his neck in Star Wars. Thanks to some useful pain killers and massage therapy by my mixed doubels’ partner (my wife) looks like I’ll be able to get back to the court next season. But I’ve made up my mind to not play singles leagues in Fall anymore.
If you have never played Tennis in a clay court and has the misfortune to play it for first time in a big match you may learn the following in a hard way.
10. Those cute looking marks in the court aren’t designs! They are winners hit by your opponent to dispose off previous players. And now you are the target!
9. You didn’t overhit! No you really didn’t!! It’s just a natural reflex for a first timer.
8. It’s not slow motion! It’s called top spin on a clay court by someone who knows how to play here.
7. As for your own so-called “spin”, don’t try to embarrass yourself and your “fans” by pretending it was the racquet’s fault the ball hit the net.
6. The wind feels like standing still, and you feel like in a sauna and you are still in the first set! Well what do you expect playing here in the middle of the summer.
5. There is nothing wrong with the scoreboard looking so one-sided. Just getting to deuce doesn’t mean much. You still have to win the game!
4. Standing that far behind baseline expecting a big serve gives you the same chance of returning the ball as someone sitting in the audience.
3. If your “fan” (6-yr old daughter in this case) runs cheerfully to you at the end of the match asking the score, just pretend the scorecard treats “home” as “away”
2. The ball will not rise no matter how much you want, except when you least expect it to! So at least keep your eyes open while hitting it.
1. On the bright side, at least you will give more respect to this court the next time you face one.