Watch them solving (3) – Vera

by Anirudh Daga
1/30/2024 – In the final instalment of the problem-solving experiment, we invited Prof. Dr Vera Spillner to solve the unorthodox chess puzzles, present in the Dec. 31 article! We have already seen a grandmaster, and a former world problem champion solving the problems, so how about a chess amateur and enthusiast? Read on more to find out!

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I got a chance to know more about Vera via this video interview and realised how inspirational she is for the younger generation. Even though Vera is just a chess aficionado (and does not hold a GM title unlike our previous solvers), she too was able to solve the puzzles relatively quickly, demonstrating that these problems require a logical thought process rather than a calculative chess mindset!

Who is Vera Spillner?

At just 30 years of age, Prof. Dr Vera Spillner is a quantum physicist who has a PHD in string theory at the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Heidelberg!

Vera explaining quantum collisions and black holes to Aruna and Vishy Anand

Vera has many different expertises, one of which being a violinist! Check out her, playing “Ave Maria” (the same piece GM Leon Luke played in Budapest after their online zoom sessions).

Listen to a recent recording of Vera played Gounod's Ave Maria

A couple of years ago Vera trained a young grandmaster who was stranded in Budapest to play the same piece. Leon Mendonca then played it in one of the one of the largest churches in Hungary. Here is the story.

Back to chess, Vera is also an avid chess player and enthusiast! So, let’s see how an amateur handles the unusual chess compositions!

If you are interested in solving and composing chess problems, stay tuned for the next chess composition competition!


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Anirudh was born in Delhi, India, and now lives in Singapore. He is one of the world's most promising young problem composers, specializing in positions that are fascinating and unconventional. He became interested in chess composition after winning the Christmastide Solving Contest, at the age of twelve. Anirudh grew from strength to strength, competed at the World Chess Solving Championships, and composed numerous problems that have all found their due place in reputable problem magazines. It is his goal to spread the joy of chess composition and solving!
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Davidx1 Davidx1 2/5/2024 02:52
Do you know that I didn't realize that it is enough to take on e1? I thought about it later, blindly...
Oh well, what I said applies if there is a black Bc3...
Davidx1 Davidx1 2/3/2024 07:52
The pawn on d2 takes something on e1...
if you then add a Queen on d1( or two Bishops, like in d1 and g2, or also etc...) and now play Kf3, you drown him and you're happy.
However, it is not clear what this quantum would be used to explain us the meaning of life.
Frits Fritschy Frits Fritschy 2/2/2024 07:23
@aroyni
You're wrong! Think again and a bit deeper (or watch the video).
aroyni aroyni 2/2/2024 03:12
just a note that the starting position can't happen in a real game based on the position of the king
1