# A chess problem that computers can't solve.

As I looked at the chess problem on the board above that was featured in a recent article on the subject of a chess problem that computers cant solve, everything looks well.....wrong, right?

As the article continues, that at first glance it looks like someone chose to exchange a pawn for another bishop instead of a queen. Of course we see the intriguing scene before us that the action's moved to the left side of the board.

Yet how did the game get to this stage and best of all how can the four white pawns and a white king play to a draw, or maybe even win this game?

What is even more interesting as you can read in the article (Posted below) is that scientists at the newly-formed Penrose Institute say it’s not only possible, but that human players see the solution almost instantly, while chess computers consistently fail to find the right move.

James Tagg and his co-founder, Mathematical Physicist and professor Sir Roger Penrose (who successfully proved that black holes have a singularity in them) cooked up this puzzle to prove a point: Human brains think differently.

What do you guys think of his point that human brains think differently and have you already figured out the solution to the chess problem above, can white win or can it draw?

Post your thoughts and solutions below.

(Those who figure out the puzzle can send their answers to Penrose to be entered to win the professor's latest book at this email address: mashpuzzle@penroseinstitute.com)

A draw is easy, can't see how white can win.

This position can only be achievable if you think upside down. White is only 1 move away to have a queen.

yeah easy draw, white king stays on white squares, black can only move bishops to dark squares...games goes hundreds if not thousands+ of moves maybe but eventual draw was obvious to me....maybe because it goes so many moves machine can't see it since they deal in specific solutions.

taque wrote:

This position can only be achievable if you think upside down. White is only 1 move away to have a queen.

Look at the coordinates... (and it is achievable without it being upside down).

universityofpawns wrote:

yeah easy draw, white king stays on white squares, black can only move bishops to dark squares...games goes hundreds if not thousands+ of moves maybe but eventual draw was obvious to me....maybe because it goes so many moves machine can't see it since they deal in specific solutions.

I'd say it should go only 50 moves.

Draw easy.
Forced win for white? No.
Win for white? Possible, in two moves.
Going for the win here as white, however, does lead to a forced win for black. Were I playing this position as white, I'd play for the draw and be happy.

Thank you @GRIDLOCKJK interesting puzzle and contrast between humans and computers.

@urk
Draw by agreement. Very funny. Still, wandering around on light squares for eternity seems pretty easy to me.

King goes to a8 then you play c7? Bxc7 stalemate or white queens and wins.

No b8 is cut off from the king so it cannot get to a8...

Anyone else get the feeling ", or mabey even win this game?"  Are the reporters words and never the intention of the professor?

Let me put this in the chess.com stockfish...

JWILD wrote:

Thank you @GRIDLOCKJK interesting puzzle and contrast between humans and computers.

You Welcome. I have been looking at this problem for most of the day now and Urk is right, its nice to see computers failing.  I would also play for the draw if this was my game, Yet its still my hope that since the article is new and I just posted it here I am sure someone will figure out a viable win for white.  So far I cant see it on my own board and as we all know putting it through a computer is a waste...lol.....but I will post back if I do find a solution. Hope to hear from you guys soon. Of course if you do find a viable win for white, send it into Penrose first for the contest before everyone else does!

You can win if you flag black

Where's my prize?

No forced win for white, and I was wrong there is actually no way for white to win, but 1. c7  Bf6 2. c8=B#  . It's not right because checkmate is not a win, but it's the closest thing of which I can think to post.

This is still fascinating to me. Edited  jan 20, 2018

urk wrote:
I said forced draw, not draw by agreement.

Hmmmm, lose the C pawn, put the K on B1 then bxA4 QxA4 stalemate, but it's not forced as the bishops can move beforehand and leave an escape square.