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Javier Gil
12-03-2005, 07:26 PM
(please note that I copied this from my site and apparently the person who wrote it, got the story from a book -or rather what he remembered about it- but he can't find the original nor does he know what the book is. If you do, please let us know)

It is said that one day Capablanca was examining one of his games and the devil turned up - yes, no kidding- :)
Devil: Hi Jose Raśl, what are you doing?
Capablanca, who was well known for not letting anything affect his mood, answered: oh well, just trying to find some good moves in a chess position.
Devil: oh, chess... I see... I've heard about it, yes.
Capablanca, who was quite a nice bloke, didn't mind explaining to the devil the basic rules of the games, how the pieces moved, including knights :) and some basic pawn concepts. Then he added: "by the way, when a pawn reaches the eigth rank, you can promote it to any piece that you like.
After a short while, the devil challenged the great Capablanca to a chess game. Needless to say, Capablanca, who was playing white, was so strong that he soon got the following position:

8/P7/BB5P/8/5NN1/3K4/p6p/k7 w - - 0 1

Capablanca now played Kc2!, threatening Bd4 mate. Most people would resign here, of course... but don't forget it's the devil playing black! ;)

The devil now played, h1=King!!

"You can't do that!!!!!" said Capablanca, but the devil answered: You said that when a pawn of mine reached the eigth rank, I could get ANY piece.
Capablanca soon realized that trying to reason things out with such a cretine, was simply not worth it.
Unfortunately, if Jose Raul played Bd4 now, then the King on h1 would be stalemated! (hey, a draw against the devil is not such a bad result... but Capablanca wasn't happy with that... I mean, the devil didn't even have a rating!!)

How did Capablanca manage to win? ;)

antichrist
12-03-2005, 08:18 PM
Would love to take it on but watching Erin Brockovich same time.

Trent Parker
13-03-2005, 12:25 AM
Well..... the aim of the game is to checkmate the king doesn't matter which one.... :D

otherwise......

eclectic
13-03-2005, 01:34 AM
Well..... the aim of the game is to checkmate the king doesn't matter which one.... :D

otherwise......

a8Q#
a8B#
Bb7#

wrong perhaps but tired ... zzzz ... soon


eclectic

Alan Shore
13-03-2005, 03:57 AM
a8Q#
a8B#
Bb7#

wrong perhaps but tired ... zzzz ... soon


eclectic

That stalemates the a1 king. :(

eclectic
13-03-2005, 04:26 AM
That stalemates the a1 king. :(

but that king isn't being asked to move

it's checkmate if the king that is in check cannot escape

[ despite my earlier zzzz my insomnia continues ]

[most likely i'm still on wrong tack]

eclectic

pballard
13-03-2005, 08:48 PM
I'm guessing Capa played a8 and promoted his pawn to a black piece, hence unstalemating the two black kings...

2 a8 = black pawn
2... a7
3 Bf1 axb6
4 Ne2 b5
5 h7 b4
6 h8=Q simultaneously checkmating both black kings.

Rincewind
13-03-2005, 08:53 PM
I'm guessing Capa played a8 and promoted his pawn to a black piece, hence unstalemating the two black kings...

2 a8 = black pawn
2... a7
3 Bf1 axb6
4 Ne2

I think you're on the write track but doesn't

4...Kg2

get messy?


4... b5
5 h7 b4
6 h8=Q simultaneously checkmating both black kings.

Rincewind
13-03-2005, 08:59 PM
GOT IT! (Mainly thanks to pballard).

1.a8=K(black) (a third black king)
1... Kb8
2.h7 Ka8
3.h8=Q(white) and checkmates all 3 kings simultaneously. :D

eclectic
13-03-2005, 09:18 PM
GOT IT! (Mainly thanks to pballard).

1.a8=K(black) (a third black king)
1... Kb8
2.h7 Ka8
3.h8=Q(white) and checkmates all 3 kings simultaneously. :D

i'm wondering if capablanca wants to rub salt in the wound and checkmate 4 kings

from diagram start

Kc2 h1=K

a8=BK (but i can turn it in to any piece i like!!)

... Kb8

h7 Ka8

h8=Bk (now 4 black kings each in a corner)

now

... a) Kb8

... b) Kh8

... c) Kh7

... d) Kg7

[Kc1 perhaps (temporising in all cases)]

etc

someone else might wish to nut out the last bits if this is the correct path

eclectic

pballard
13-03-2005, 09:37 PM
I think you're on the write track but doesn't

4...Kg2

get messy?

I'm doing this without a board, but think 3 Bf1 prevented that.

pballard
13-03-2005, 09:40 PM
GOT IT! (Mainly thanks to pballard).

1.a8=K(black) (a third black king)
1... Kb8
2.h7 Ka8
3.h8=Q(white) and checkmates all 3 kings simultaneously. :D

That was my original idea, but after a8=black_king, the other two kings are still stalemated.

I know that's ridiculous, but if you accept the devil's original premise (that it's a draw if any king is stalemated), then I don't think your solution works.

eclectic
13-03-2005, 09:43 PM
That was my original idea, but after a8=black_king, the other two kings are still stalemated.

I know that's ridiculous, but if you accept the devil's original premise (that it's a draw if any king is stalemated), then I don't think your solution works.

as RinceWind states ALL kings in his solution are checkmated

eclectic

Rincewind
13-03-2005, 09:58 PM
That was my original idea, but after a8=black_king, the other two kings are still stalemated.

I know that's ridiculous, but if you accept the devil's original premise (that it's a draw if any king is stalemated), then I don't think your solution works.

That doesn't make sense because even in your proposed solution the king on a1 is stalemated too and the king on h1 is also stalemated until axb6. So I think it only makes sense to talk of stalemate if Black has no free moves. However, to checkmate you need to checkmate all kings simultaneously.

I just noticed that I have my move numbers out of order with the others in this message. It should read...

1.Kc2 h1=K
2.a8=Black King
2... Kb8
3.h7 Ka8
4.h8=Q###(triple checkmate)

pballard
14-03-2005, 09:16 AM
That doesn't make sense because even in your proposed solution the king on a1 is stalemated too and the king on h1 is also stalemated until axb6.


No they're not stalemated at any time, because black can move his pawn.



So I think it only makes sense to talk of stalemate if Black has no free moves. However, to checkmate you need to checkmate all kings simultaneously.


In that case, both our solutions work!

I'll be interested to see which is the solution intended by the composer.

Rincewind
14-03-2005, 09:52 AM
No they're not stalemated at any time, because black can move his pawn.

Yes, and by the same token in my solution Black can move the king on a8-b8 so again no stalemate.


In that case, both our solutions work!

I don't think the a8=black P solution works because after Ne2 Black can play Kg2 which becomes messy.

As I said your ideas of promoting to a black piece and promoting the h pawn to a queen to execute simultaneous mate are both right. The only problem is the pawn doesn't work. Promoting to a Black K not only introduces another simultaneous mate but contains even more poignant poetic justice. So my money is on 2.a8=K(black)

pballard
14-03-2005, 10:37 AM
Yes, and by the same token in my solution Black can move the king on a8-b8 so again no stalemate.


On 2nd thoughts I suspect you're right. I rejected it at first because it was getting late and I wasn't sure of the stalemate rules when one player has multiple kings :) But I now see that 2 Bd4+ is stalemate in the sense that "the K on a8 is in stalemate because he is not in check and black has no legal moves"; and in that sense both 2 a8=black_king and 2 a8=black_pawn prevent stalemate.




I don't think the a8=black P solution works because after Ne2 Black can play Kg2 which becomes messy.


No, 3 Bf1 guarded g2. Throughout my solution, neither black king can move, so he's forced to keep moving the pawn.

I suspect your solution is the "correct" one, and mine is a "cook".

--
Peter

eclectic
14-03-2005, 10:46 AM
On 2nd thoughts I suspect you're right. I rejected it at first because it was getting late and I wasn't sure of the stalemate rules when one player has multiple kings :) But I now see that 2 Bd4+ is stalemate in the sense that "the K on a8 is in stalemate because he is not in check and black has no legal moves"; and in that sense both 2 a8=black_king and 2 a8=black_pawn prevent stalemate.



No, 3 Bf1 guarded g2. Throughout my solution, neither black king can move, so he's forced to keep moving the pawn.

I suspect your solution is the "correct" one, and mine is a "cook".

--
Peter

i'm thinking of another idea here

i thought of having 4 black kings (or even 5 if the last pawn eventually promotes)

i then thought that if a king is checked then it has to move if no interposing or capturing the checking piece is possible

i also thought that whereas two enemy kings can't stand side to side allied kings logically are able to do so

i was dreaming about new zealand ... sheep .... sheep dog trials !!!

come on you knight and bishop sheep dogs herd those black kings sheep in one at a time into one corner (sheep pen) and find a way to lock them in (checkmate) all at once

stay!!

nooo!!

go onnnnnnnnn! corner him!!

this way ...

BAAAAAAAAA!!!!

eclectic

Rincewind
14-03-2005, 10:51 AM
No, 3 Bf1 guarded g2. Throughout my solution, neither black king can move, so he's forced to keep moving the pawn.

Yep, see that now. Your solution looks good then but just need to account for a6 instead of axb6, but that is fine and follows similar lines except Ne2 is not required.

Javier Gil
14-03-2005, 11:13 AM
1.Kc2 h1=K
2.a8=Black King
2... Kb8
3.h7 Ka8
4.h8=Q###(triple checkmate)


Rincewind's answer is the intended composer's solution.
If a pawn reaches the eigth rank, it must be promoted: getting another pawn (regardless of color), is not a promotion, at least not by definition.

Well done Rincewind!! :clap:

Rincewind
14-03-2005, 11:24 AM
Well done Rincewind!!

Thanks. As noted earlier pballard's solution had the key ideas of promotion from a white pawn to a black piece and h8=Q##. My contribution (promotion to a third black king) was minimal by comparison.

Rafizadeh
31-03-2005, 10:56 AM
That problem was too weird

TheBeluga
03-12-2017, 11:30 PM
I believe this story was told on one of Jesse Kraai's Chesslecture.com video called A holiday tale.

According to the comments there, George Koltanowski was the original writer of the story.

Capablanca-Fan
04-12-2017, 02:39 PM
I believe this story was told on one of Jesse Kraai's Chesslecture.com video called A holiday tale.

According to the comments there, George Koltanowski was the original writer of the story.

Yes. IIRC, the participants were himself and some sort of criminal leader.

FM_Bill
08-10-2018, 01:38 PM
I read of a game between Capablanca and the devil in 'The Best in Chess'. In this game (based on the Ba3 Botvinik-Capablanca game) in which Capa tricked in the Devil into touching the King and then enforced touch move.