I'm working on a problem for this cyber security camp, and we're doing a CTF right now. I have one problem left, and I'm almost certain it relates to chess, so I've come here for advice!

Having determined the name of the bank, the FBI’s last step is to find Hax0r’s personal account. Strangely, when confronted with this question during interrogation, Hax0r agreed to tell us - but only if we played him in a game of chess. The FBI agreed, but when we got to the position on the board as shown below, Hax0r exclaimed, “You got it!” Can you figure it out what Hax0r meant? What is Hax0r’s account name in the offshore bank?

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  • 4
    $\begingroup$ That position cannot be reached in a normal chess game $\endgroup$
    – melfnt
    Jul 22, 2020 at 6:42
  • $\begingroup$ @melfnt is that even with the Black King somewhere there? $\endgroup$ Jul 22, 2020 at 6:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Landon, could you add some hints? $\endgroup$
    – Buh Buh
    Jul 31, 2020 at 9:15

4 Answers 4


It could really be as simple as

ROOT. The pieces themselves shape letters, and unscrambling them yields a common hacker-y word.

The lack of the black king, as @msh210 pointed out, means that there's no way to "play" the game to get us to some future state. The other option that occurs to me is that there's some cipher / encoding, but I can't think of one offhand.

But it definitely seems very simple. I get the feeling we're missing a lot of context.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The state of the game is "between moves" so in that sense it's legal. $\endgroup$ Jul 23, 2020 at 10:25

The account name is "g6" - the only square that the black king can be placed where it is not in check or able to be checked by white in the next move.

  • $\begingroup$ Considering the position, isn't that more likely to be b3? $\endgroup$
    – Weckar E.
    Jul 23, 2020 at 15:53

His account name is

Someone Has Swiped The Black King From The Board

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I noticed that too, but I don’t think it’s that simple. Surely! $\endgroup$ Jul 22, 2020 at 6:12

g6! it has to be as it is the only possible square where the black king can go without been check or check-mate!


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