Naftali Harris

An Easy Chess Puzzle

December 29, 2016

I was looking through Markovian, my old chess engine, recently, and came across the first game it won against another chess engine. Stepping through the game, it seems that both engines actually played pretty poorly. Even so, I was proud that Markovian found a long forced mate to end the game. Here's that mate in puzzle form; play black, and find the fastest mate. (If there's more than one, any will be accepted).

Black to move

Actually, if you look at the actual game Markovian played, it didn't play the fastest mate. Instead it gobbled up some extra pawns in a different forced checkmate line. Presumably, this was because the linear evaluation function preferred a win with a greater material advantage. I'm not sure if that makes Markovian cute or cruel...

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