Listen, children, while I tell you the story of a mighty warrior called ACHILLES.

When he was young, his mother held him by his heel and dipped him in the River Styx, a magic river. This meant that no one would be able to hurt him anywhere. Except his heel.

And, guess what? A guy called Paris unsportingly shot an arrow at him. Right in his heel.

Tough luck, Achilles!

Now, just imagine for a moment that the Black King is Achilles. Where is his heel? His weak point, where you can shoot him and kill him.

Just take a look. The three squares where you can approach him are d7, e7 and f7.

But there are quite a lot of pieces DEFENDING d7. I can find four. Can you? There are also four pieces defending e7.

But look at the f7 square. It's only defended by the King. Sometimes White can win the game by launching a quick attack on that square. Let's find out how.

Get out a chess board and follow these moves.

Tell you what: remember them and try them out against your dad - you may well be able to beat him in just four moves!

White starts by playing the move e2-e4 and Black plays e7-e5. That should give you the position on your left.

Look at how these moves have opened up paths for the Queen and the Bishop.

Now, we're going to move the Queen and Bishop out to ATTACK the f7 square - the Black King's ACHILLES HEEL.

You can move either piece first, but it's more likely to work if you start with the Queen.

Tell me this! White can move the Queen to TWO squares which ATTACK the f7 square.

Can you find them?

e2 & f3 f3 & g4

f3 & h5 g4 & h5

The move we're going to play is Qd1-h5. Tell me, how many PAWNS does the White Queen ATTACK?

One Two Three Four

Yes, the White Queen ATTACKS three pawns: on e5, f7 and h7. But which of these pawns could White capture FOR FREE next move?

The one on e5 The one on f7

The one on h7 None of them

You're quite right. White is THREATENING the Pawn on e5. Let's suppose Black DEFENDS by moving Nb8-c6.

How can White ATTACK f7 with his Bishop? Should he move it to...

d3 c4 b5 a6

OK, fine! White's played Bf1-c4.

Now Black, if he hasn't seen what's happening, might play Ng8-f6, to THREATEN the White Queen.

Look carefully at the position on your left and see if you can work out what to do next.

Right, we'll give you a choice. Which of these moves would you play?

Qh5-f3 Qh5-h4

Bc4xf7+ Qh5xf7+

Well, what do you know?

It's CHECKMATE! If you got it right first time, congratulations!

Take a look at the position to make sure you understand it.

You've seen this sort of CHECKMATE with the Queen next to the King before.

The King CANNOT capture the Queen because it is DEFENDED by the Bishop on c4.

To make sure you really understand this, I'm going to ask you some more questions.

What about this position. Is this CHECKMATE?

Yes No

No, that one WASN'T CHECKMATE. The Knight on h6 could CAPTURE the Queen.

What about this one, though? Is this CHECKMATE?

Yes No

That wasn't CHECKMATE either. The Black Pawn was on e6, not e5, so Black could just play Ke8xf7.

But is THIS position CHECKMATE?

Yes No

Yes, that one WAS CHECKMATE.

There's another trap Black can fall into as well.

Go back to the position after White's just moved his Queen (there it is on your left), and you'll learn another idea that will win you lots of games.

This time, Black's played g7-g6, to THREATEN the White Queen. Choose your next move.

You should have entered Qe5 (Qh5xe5+). White takes a FREE PAWN and CHECKS the Black King.

Black cannot move his King, but it's not CHECKMATE. He can BLOCK the check by putting a piece on e7, Queen, Bishop or Knight.

Now you have the chance to play a REALLY GOOD move! Look at the board carefully before you make your choice.

If you played Qh8 (Qe5xh8), capturing a FREE ROOK, you found a great move!

Now for some revision. Can you remember how we got CHECKMATE in FOUR MOVES at the start of the lesson?
Can you remember White's first move? Enter it using the Magic Keypad.

White's first move was e2-e4 (you should have entered 'e4') and Black played e7-e5. Do you remember White's second move?

I hope you typed in 'Qh5' (Qd1-h5). In our first example, Black played Nb8-c6. What was White's third move?

White's third move was Bc4 (Bf1-c4). If Black foolishly plays Ng8-f6 (see the diagram), how would you win the game?

Yes, it's CHECKMATE!

This checkmate is called SCHOLAR'S MATE.

A scholar is someone who goes to school, and all kids who play chess at school fall for it at least once.

Try it out yourself and see if you can win with it.

In the next lesson you'll learn how to DEFEND against SCHOLAR'S MATE.

You have now completed the SCHOLAR'S MATE PART 1 assignment.