World's longest Chess Problem shortened a bit ?

Mar 28, 2010, 1:16 PM |

 Otto Titusz Blathy's (1860-1939) was a brilliant Hungarian electrical engineer who was very well known in his day for creating really complex and difficult chess problems. In 1889 he created what is still believed to be the World's longest chess problem - mate in 292 moves.

However, in the solution generally available with all 292 moves there is a degree of 'move redundancy'. I looked at the problem and 'redesigned' the solution a little - with a reduction in the number of moves from 292 to 179. I show the original and the Ericacea solution below. I suggest, if you can, that you put it on 'AutoPlay' with a 1 second interval between moves. If you are able get both games up and running 'in sync' you will see that taking the knight out earlier seems quite logical and still achieves the same result.

The original solution.


The problem seems to revolve round a pattern of 6 moves  (with a spare move available then) that allows the King to do his thing.

The proposed Ericacea Solution.


I hope that this in no way detracts from Otto Blathy's original accomplishment which was done with pen and paper and a physical chessboard and a lot of mental effort - my solution took me a bit of time and a little ingenuity to identify the, to me, unneccessary bits and get my computer to do its stuff.

If you see any flaws in my solution, please let me know.