Chess Aptitude Test: How Do You Score?

Mar 5, 2008, 12:00 AM |
32 | Strategy

Jonathan Levitt, (Grandmaster), created what I believe is one of the most effective yet simple, "self-tests" to determine chess aptitude. This article describes the test. He talks about this test in his in his book, "Genius in Chess."

To complete the test, it requires some sort of timer or clock, a chessboard, one white knight, and one black queen.

Place the white knight on square b1. Place the black queen on square d4. The knight has to move all the way around the board, visiting the following squares in this order: c1, e1, f1, h1, a2, c2, e2, g2, h2, and so on until you reach g8 (you won't be able to visit h8 because it is controlled by the black queen).  During the test you cannot take the black queen, and you cannot put the knight en prise at any point.

It is acceptable to visit the squares in the list out of order, but only if you are using them to get from c1 to e1, for example. However, these squares must be visited again at the correct time in the order listed above. Only do the test once, and time yourself. Anyone who can complete the test in ten minutes or less on their first try reveals, according to Levitt, "real chess talent."  

This test may seem simple at first glance, but it will surely require intense concentration, a spacial knowledge of the chess board, and the will to keep going. Some people even give up after the first stage, because it takes nine steps.
If it takes you longer than 10 minutes, don't despair... you can improve your ability to plan ahead, don't stop studying and improving! This test requires that you are able to think strategically about the chess board, not simply memorize moves. It can be difficult because, as Jonathan Levitt says, "The queen moves along ranks, files and diagonals and you have to make an enormous number of well planned knight manoeuvres."

Take a break from your computer and try it!

Post your score in the comments below:

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