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  1. #1
    CC Candidate Master Javier Gil's Avatar
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    How Capablanca beat the devil

    (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 Raúl, 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:

    FEN Viewer


    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?
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  2. #2
    CC Grandmaster antichrist's Avatar
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    Would love to take it on but watching Erin Brockovich same time.

  3. #3
    CC resident nutcase Trent Parker's Avatar
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    Well..... the aim of the game is to checkmate the king doesn't matter which one....

    otherwise......
    GO THE DRAGONS!
    GO Western Sydney Wanderers!
    Quote Originally Posted by Adamski's signature
    God exists. Short and to the point.
    This is the reason I do not wade into religion threads.

  4. #4
    . eclectic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by the chess nut
    Well..... the aim of the game is to checkmate the king doesn't matter which one....

    otherwise......
    a8Q#
    a8B#
    Bb7#

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


    eclectic
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  5. #5
    CC Grandmaster Alan Shore's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eclectic
    a8Q#
    a8B#
    Bb7#

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


    eclectic
    That stalemates the a1 king.
    "I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then."
    - White Queen, Alice through the Looking-Glass

  6. #6
    . eclectic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Belthasar
    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
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  7. #7
    CC Candidate Master pballard's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #8
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pballard
    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?

    Quote Originally Posted by pballard
    4... b5
    5 h7 b4
    6 h8=Q simultaneously checkmating both black kings.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    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.
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  10. #10
    . eclectic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    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.
    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
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  11. #11
    CC Candidate Master pballard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    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.

  12. #12
    CC Candidate Master pballard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    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.
    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.

  13. #13
    . eclectic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pballard
    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
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  14. #14
    Reader in Slood Dynamics Rincewind's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pballard
    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)
    So einfach wie möglich, aber nicht einfacher - Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    CC Candidate Master pballard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rincewind
    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.

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