# Thread: How Capablanca beat the devil

1. Originally Posted by pballard
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.

Originally Posted by pballard
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)

2. Originally Posted by Rincewind
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

3. Originally Posted by pballard
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

4. Originally Posted by pballard
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.

5. 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!!

6. Originally Posted by Javier Gil
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.

7. That problem was too weird

8. 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.

9. Originally Posted by TheBeluga
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.

10. 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.

11. Originally Posted by Javier Gil
(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?