Monday, October 28, 2013

How Many Positions in Chess Games - The Montgomery County Times

The Montgomerry County Times, Wales
 4 January 1896
This is a newspaper from The Salopian & Montgomeryshire - Cardigan area of Wales. The chess column runs from 1895. Chess editor not named.

Mikhail Chigorin vs Wilhelm Steinitz 0-1, St. Petersburg 1895/96
Evans Gambit
The week's best chess tournament happened to be in St. Petersburg between four elite players, Lasker, Steinitz, Chigorin and Pillsbury. The newspaper picked up this tournament since last week.

White to move and mate in four moves
The problem come with aesthetic circle shape and "Wishing You A Happy New Year" in the middle.

Interesting article on the number of positions the chess game can reach:


Apropos of profound mathematical calculations we recount the following, which was going the rounds some time back-
The first player in chess has twenty moves to choose from on his first move, and, whichever of the twenty he takes, his opponent has the same number of replies," said Browne of our club the other day, smoking a Criterion cigarette as he stood with his back to the fire so that," continued he, there may be four hundred games of chess, only one move played on each side, and yet each position different."

"Prove it!" said Jones.
"Prove it!" replied Browne, with voice full of scornful disdain.
"Yes, prove it," cried Jones.
Jones was rather a big man, with a wooden leg, which he took off and placed by his side when playing a game of chess. He generally won, for there was a great deal of moral suasion about that leg. Browne said it was the only soft part about him.

"Mr Jones," replied Browne loftily—he was always polite when lofty-" after I have finished giving the club the information that I have called for their benefit, I will condescend to argue with yon. When four moves have been played," he went on, there may be 318,179,584,000 games, each position being different.

" Prove it!" shouted the irrascible Jones, who looked as if he wished it done on the spot.

"Gentlemen," coritiritzed Browne, not noticing the frustration,"the two Kings alone; never standing on adjacent squares, can be placed in 3,615 different positions.

"Prove it!" reiterated Jones, now getting his wooden leg into position, should it be required for the purpose of moral suasion.
"And further, gentlemen," said Browne, seven chessmen, say four white and three black, may occupy 128,746,434,575,809-"

But the sentence was never finished a booming noise, caused by a wooden leg in mid-air, suggested to us a rapid retreat, and the last we saw wns Brown ducking his head as if to avoid moral suasion.

The Montgomery County Times - 4 January 1896
tags: chess column in old newspaper, rare chess problem, aesthetic chess problem, wales chess history, montgomery chess history, chess mathematic

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