Thursday, May 03, 2007

A small experiment on chess and intelligence

by Albert Frank

Albert Frank

During a chess tournament in which I recently participated, I asked fifteen grandmasters and international chess masters the following question: "On a chessboard 6 x 6, what is the minimum number of queens required to dominate all squares except those occupied by the queens, and on which squares must they be placed?"

The time allowed to answer the question was 20 minutes.

This problem is not very easy, but not very difficult.

Additionally, "domination problems" occur often in normal chess games.

The result was unexpected: None of the 15 could solve it.

Once again, this leads to a big question mark with regard to the correlation between "intelligence" and strength at chess.

The comment of some masters was “this is not real chess”. But the same masters are very strong at solving “retro analysis” problems, which are very difficult, but are certainly “not real chess”.

1 comment:

Jorge said...


Well, I think may be 4 queens, wich are placed on f1-a6 and b3-d4.

Interesting, too, the problem about 5 white's and 3 black's queen on a 5x5 board whithout capture each other... but I don't understand why simple "logic" - of where queen's groups may be - is not used by chessmasters!

Thanks for both problems!