Traditional Board Games

Solution to Shatranj Problem, July 2015

Solution to July 2015 shatranj problem.
Solution to July 2015 shatranj problem.

Saturday, 8th August 2015

Last month's shatranj problem is the last one for the time being. The solution to it is as follows:

1. Pawn h4-h5 (check), King g6-f7; 2. Knight f5xd6 (check), King f7-e6; 3. Pawn f4-f5 (check), King e6-e5; 4. Knight d6xc4 (check), King e5-d4; 5. Rook h1-d1 (check), King d4xc4; 6. Pawn b2-b3 (check), King c4-b5; 7. Knight b1-c3 (check), King b5-a6; 8. Pawn b4-b5 (check), King a6-a5; 9. Pawn b3-b4 (check), Knight c6xb4; 10. Pawn a3xb4 (check), King a5xb4; 11. Knight b3-d5 (check), King b4-a5; 12. Rook f3-a3 (check), King a5-b5; 13. Rook a3-b3 (check), King b5xc5; 14. Rook b3-c3 (check), King c6-d6; 15. Knight d5-e7 (discovered check), King d6-e5; 16. Knight e7-g6, King e5xe4; 17. Rook c3-c4 (check), King e4xf5; 18. Rook a5-d5 (check), King f5-e4; 19. Knight g6-f4 (check), King e6-f7; 20.Rook d5xd7 (check), King f7-e8; 21. Rook d7-e7 (check), King e7-d7; 22. Knight f4-e6 (checkmate).

This is the classic series of forced moves: note the check on every move. Only a couple of times did white have any choice in how to move; I assume (given my source) that the alternatives would have led to a quicker defeat. The final position is shown in the diagram. This wouldn't be a checkmate in modern chess; the bishop in mediaeval chess had the power of jumping exactly two spaces, so the rook at e7 is defended here.


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