Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Four thought

Here's a puzzle I saw in a chess encylopaedia the other day.

Give the line of play, from the normal starting position, which leads to this position after exactly four moves by both sides.


annoyed tryer said...

no solution. i've spent hours trying to find one and now i'm very annoyed.
r u sure it's a 4-move puzzle?

Anonymous said...

I agree. Perhaps you mean 3.5 ply?

Here is a shorter solution:
1.e3 e6 2.Bc4 c6 3.Bxe6 dxe6 4.e4

Such a silly set of moves.... I hate these retrograde analysis puzzles.

Tom Chivers said...

There IS a solution! The post is written correctly!

I'll post the solution in the morning - if Justin doesn't in the mean time (Justin is ejh who set the puzzle) or if nobody else does.

Btw - I didn't work it out myself. I got the answer from someone who is very good at these things instead.

ejh said...

No, don't tell 'em! Let 'em work it out for themselves.

The puzzle is deliberately worded: it could be easily done in three moves, not three and a half, by 1.e4 e6 2.Bb5 c6 3.Bc6 dc6. Note that Black's first two moves could be reversed.

Hóember said...

who else is working on this puzzle besides we, two guys from the far lands of eastern europe...?
i think you must be very furious with your club, which results in posting unresolvable riddles driving unfortunate fellows nuts.

Tom Chivers said...

Ok, a compromise then on the solution.

I won't post it here, but I'll post a link to one place where the solution is.

This ChessWorld forum thread contains the answer - look for the post by Paul Georghiou, who got it in two minutes!

Anonymous said...

why do in four moves what you could do in 3 or 3.5?

CP said...

I've been trying to solve it on and off for 24 hours.
Tried everything I can think of but intend to keep looking...
It is tempting to think a difficult puzzle is posted incorrectly but I never thought Justin had done that.

Jonathan B said...

Well I might not be able to do normal - i.e. useful - chess puzzles but I CAN Often do these.

I thought it was fairly straight forward - once you grasp the key idea. In fact I believe there are three solutions although they are all variations on a theme.

I wish I could solve positions that might actually help me in a game though.

PS: regarding the question why do something it four moves that you can do easily in three.... well that's what makes it a puzzle isn't it???? ;-)

Jonathan B said...

ignore the above - I've just realised i hadn't solved it at all.


ejh said...

The exact wording in the book is:

¿Como llegar a esta posición exactamente en 4 jugadas, pertiendo del posición inicial?

The composer was T Orban (Die Schwalbe, 1976).

Zoli said...

O.K., I couldn't figure it out myself, so I went to see the link. (The diagram is _correct_ and it is a _4-move_ puzzle actually.)

Tom Chivers said...

cp & Jonathan - I admire your patience. I couldn't solve it in ten minutes, so begged a forum to solve it for me!

Re: "why do in four moves what you could do in 3 or 3.5?" - these problems are called 'Proof Games'. Google that along with 'chess' for more, eg John Nunn's chessbase puzzles with them. But - I suspect these are not going to be your cup of tea, anonymous . . .

Jonathan B said...


It turns out not only can't I solve standard chess problems, I can't work this kind out either.

Eventually I gave up and clicked on the link to find the answer. As before I got all the constituent elements that had to be in the solution but couldn't quite put it all together. It was the second move I couldn't get - although I had at least realised something like it would be necessary.

Perhaps I should just give up with puzzles altogether?

Tom Chivers said...

Just stick to the chessgames.com Monday puzzle :D

Btw, for anyone else still struggling here - but not wanting to look at the answer yet - I have posted a CLUE a few lines down. (The warning and space is in case you don't want to read the clue.)


Here is the clue: It's a Royal waste of time.