# Shortest-proof-game challenge

• 18 months ago · Quote · #1

Anyone up for this?

For anyone that doesn't know, this involves determining the FASTEST way that a given chess position can be reached in a normal (but not necessarily logical) game.

1. Only one answer per person (to discourage guessing, of course).

2. The first person to come up with the solution for one position gets to post the next position.

3. The positions posted have to be legal ones (for obvious reasons).

4. When submitting a position, make sure you have a verified solution. Otherwise, we won't know who's right!

I'll start things off with a position of my own (well, sort of... it's taken from an old thread). Here it is:

Let the challenge begin - good luck! :P

• 18 months ago · Quote · #2

1. Qe5# mate?

whoops. Maybe not

• 18 months ago · Quote · #3

Qe6# MatE?

• 18 months ago · Quote · #4
Chesspanzer wrote:

Qe6# MatE?

That's not the objective here. The point is to REACH the diagrammed position as quickly as possible, from the very beginning of the game. Neither side is actually trying to win, nor are any moves played from the position shown.

• 18 months ago · Quote · #5

Okay, so it's been over a day now and not one guess has been made. Perhaps people are confused by what the objective here is... so allow me to clarify:

To solve these, you just reach the position given in as few moves as possible (from the starting position, via a series of legal moves), and then post however many moves it took you. Of course, there is only one correct answer (the minimum number of moves needed to reach the position), so if you think the position could be reached in fewer moves than what it took you, it might be a good idea to guess a slightly lower number (or make another, shorter proof game, etc.). In fact, you could sidestep the whole position-reaching part completely by just taking a wild guess at the minimum # of moves needed as well - who knows, maybe you'll get lucky!

In summary:

Q: "How early in a legally (but not logically) played game could this position occur?"

A: After just "x" moves (where "x" could represent any number).

• 18 months ago · Quote · #6

2 days now, without a single attempt at the very first puzzle. Kind of disappointing :(

• 18 months ago · Quote · #7

Still nothing, after 3 and a half days - I guess this first puzzle is a lot tougher than I thought!

• 18 months ago · Quote · #8

i was going to guess Qe6# mate but u already said that's wrong.

i don't think too many people want to bother with this because this is a scenario that will never occur in a real chess game.

• 18 months ago · Quote · #9

The position is too messy for me to really work out a lowest number of moves, but since we're allowed to just guess a number, I'll say... 90.

• 18 months ago · Quote · #10

and how will this improve my chess skills?  I need to focus my training time on constructive stuff.

• 18 months ago · Quote · #11

I do not expect this to be anywhere near the quickest solution, but posting this to give others a good benchmark of what to beat. 62 moves.
• 18 months ago · Quote · #12
Da_Champ wrote:

i was going to guess Qe6# mate but u already said that's wrong.

i don't think too many people want to bother with this because this is a scenario that will never occur in a real chess game.

First of all, I'm not sure that "wrong" is exactly the right word - it's just not a valid answer because the objective is not to find the best move for White, but rather to reach the position as quickly as possible (or to provide the minimum number of moves needed to reach it).

Secondly, I do agree with you that this is obviously a scenario that would never occur in a practical chess game, and for that reason there are probably a lot of people who wouldn't bother with it. However, it would also seem that you haven't really seen the broad range of puzzles that have been posted, and solved, on this site.

And what I can tell you is that I've seen puzzles just as unrelated to "real" chess as the one in the 1st post - and they always get solved, no matter how difficult or abstract, mainly because there are people out there (such as myself) who simply enjoy attempting puzzles of literally ANY kind.

• 18 months ago · Quote · #13
ChenYakumo wrote:

The position is too messy for me to really work out a lowest number of moves, but since we're allowed to just guess a number, I'll say... 90.

"Too messy," you say? And what about that "Matrix Problem" you solved recently? It seemed to border on impossible, yet you had posted a solution in a matter of hours.

90 is incorrect, btw ;)

• 18 months ago · Quote · #14
pawn_eater wrote:

I do not expect this to be anywhere near the quickest solution, but posting this to give others a good benchmark of what to beat. 62 moves.

Well, 62 is actually pretty good :)  As you suspected, though, the quickest solution does involve fewer moves.

• 18 months ago · Quote · #15

Well, I've given it some thought, and what I've decided is that I should change the rules given in the first post. The change I am making is as follows:

The person who posts the shortest proof game for a given position gets to post the next position, regardless of whether their proof game was optimal. The 3 main benefits of this are:

1. It is now completely fair to allow unlimited answers per person (for each position!) because random guesses will not be accepted.

2. Their is no longer any need to have a "verified solution" when submitting a new position, since it is not required to find the fastest possible route to the positions.

3. Now all you have to do is get to the position, and you might win! Having to take a shot in the dark at some abstract "minimum number of moves" may have seemed daunting, and even confusing, to a lot of people.

The other thing I should mention is the one-week interval. Only the answers submitted within one week of when the position was posted will count. Also, in the event of a tie, the first person to have submitted their answer wins.

Note that this means less than 10 and a half hours remain before time runs out on the position I gave in the 1st post. If no more proof games are posted before then, the winner for this round will be pawn_eater (see post #11). The number to beat is 62 moves - if you think you can top that, you'd better hurry!

• 18 months ago · Quote · #16
K_Mex wrote:

and how will this improve my chess skills?  I need to focus my training time on constructive stuff.

• 18 months ago · Quote · #17

i think i win :)

so now i give a position for others to post a proof game of?

• 18 months ago · Quote · #18

^ Yeah :)

That's a wild position, btw... even wilder than mine was, lol. I bet a proof game in 100+ could be sufficient for the win, unless things start getting real competitive.

• 18 months ago · Quote · #19

@Pawn_Eater

Your new position is impossible. The pawns cannot all queen unless the knights are sacrificed.

• 18 months ago · Quote · #20
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