Beth Harmon Falls for Scholar’s Mate in The Queen’s Gambit (Netflix Miniseries)

Beth Harmon (played by Anya Taylor-Joy) was also once a beginner in chess. One of the first chess scenes of the widely popular Netflix show The Queen’s Gambit shows a young Beth Harmon playing against Mr. Shaibel, the janitor at Beth Harmon’s orphanage. The game is short and bitter for her because she falls for Scholar’s Mate (1.e4 e5 2.Bc4 Nc6 3.Qf3 Nd4 4.Qxf7#). Want to learn how to play chess? Check this out ►

Scholar’s mate that Beth Harmon was not able to prevent is a common trick used among beginner chess players to finish things off quickly with a violent checkmate achieved by the White Queen and Bishop.

Even though in The Queen’s Gambit (the Netflix miniseries, not the popular chess opening) Beth Harmon evolves into a great chess champion, in this game she falls for one of the oldest tricks in the book.

If you are a beginner in chess you should be well aware of this chess tactic that can take you out of the game in just 4 moves!

The best thing to do is to know exactly how to avoid this, but it’s not advisable to try to take your opponent down with Scholar’s Mate because it’s not actually strategically sound.

You should instead try to develop the rest of your pieces first, try to take control of the center of the board, and only move your Queen when you’ve reached the middlegame.

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