Logic Riddles for Chess Players

by Arne Kaehler
4/20/2020 – Chess players enjoy solving chess puzzles. The moment they understand how to solve a difficult problem is very satisfying for them. I have noticed that people who are passionate about chess, enjoy solving logical puzzles and mathematical riddles equally. In this series, I present to you interesting and famous logic riddles, wrapped up in a chess theme.

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Logic Riddles and Chess

The very first time I met Frederic Friedel, we quickly figured out our shared passion for logical riddles. The comparison to chess puzzles is obvious. We enjoy the challenge and the satisfying feeling when a puzzle or riddle has been solved by us.

Once Frederic and I had established our brain connection, he bombarded me with one logical or mathematical puzzle after another, which I could or couldn't solve.

Funny enough, the puzzles where I had to think around the corner could be solved pretty well by myself, but with the ones which required mathematical finesse, I failed miserably. The connection to my chess games is compelling. I love to spot interesting patterns and be creative in the way I play. As soon as chess leads to deeper calculations, my brain quickly tilts.

1. e4 for the creative attacker

Playing 1.e4 with White is often associated with having to know reams of opening theory but this does not have to be the case. There are many unusual but playable lines which give White attacking chances whilst avoiding the well trodden paths. Besides the practical advantage of putting Black on his own resources this gives White the opportunity to play creative chess from early on in the game. On this DVD Davies presents a complete repertoire for White comprising unusual but aggressive lines. His suggested repertoire includes 2.Na3 against the Sicilian, 2.f4 against both the French and Pirc and the Fantasy Variation of the Caro-Kann. Video running time: 4 hours.

I would like to create a series of logical riddles for you to solve. All riddles are bound to a chess related theme, to make you feel at home. Important to note is that there are some rules to follow in the spirit of the game.

The Rules

1. In The Spirit Of The Game

The World Flying Disc Federation (WFDF) has a particular rule system in their "Ultimate" game that places the responsibility for fair play on every player. There are no referees, even in the world championships. Respect for other players is key and the basic joy of playing is the first priority.

There will be riddles which you won't solve easily. Some might take you days or weeks and others you simply cannot find a solution at all. It is part of the game, so to say. Accept it. Don't cheat and look up the solution in the World Wide Web or peek in our comment section. It ruins the whole purpose of training your brain and enjoying the process, and it threatens your own discipline too.

These are all the rules necessary.

Five Chess Boxes

This is the very first riddle of the series and it is a pretty difficult one. 

As you can see in the title picture, there are five boxes standing in a row. You would love to play a game of chess in one of the next six days, but you know that all the required chess pieces are hidden in only one of the boxes.

What makes things worse is, that you are only allowed to open one box and check if the pieces are inside. Once that is done, you have to wait till the next morning to open another one. Well, in the worst case, you might find the correct box after five days in total, correct?

Unfortunately, the chess pieces awake at midnight, open their box and sneak into the next adjacent box, either to their left or right side. I hate it when that happens.

How can you guarantee to find the chess pieces in the next six days!?

To make things clear, there is of course no trickery involved. You can solve this riddle purely by logic. Yes, a bit of mathematical expertise is also helpful.

Some ideas to start with:

If you pick a similar box every single day, the chess pieces could bounce back and forth in some other boxes, so you might not catch them like this.

If you pick the first box the first day, the second box the second day, and so on until you reach the fifth box on the second last day, the chess pieces might avoid being found. They could be in box number two on the first day and simply move to box number one on the second day. Darn.

The good news is, with the right plan you can catch them on time to play the chess game!

The Solution

Will be given in the next part of this series, so you have a lot of time to solve this one until then.

Did you know this riddle already? You are welcome to post the whole answer in the comment section below. How long did it take you to solve it? 

Talking about puzzles, have you ever tried out our ChessBase tactics section before?

Arne Kaehler, a creative mind who is passionate about board games in general, was born in Hamburg and learned to play chess at a young age. By teaching chess to youth teams and creating chess-related videos on YouTube, Arne was able to expand this passion and has even created an online course for anyone who wants to learn how to play chess. Arne writes for the English and German news sites, but focuses mainly on content for the ChessBase media channels.


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