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You are a shapeshifter that takes on the form of their victims and you've infiltrated the opposing kingdom's ranks, disguised as a lowly pawn . The opposing king has you presently assigned to the northeastern border to assist the rook in charge of the area:

Screenshot of the chessboard.

You send word back to your own kingdom describing your current situation, and are given orders to open the borders, and then take down the entire kingdom, from the inside. After a complete analysis you've determined that:

  • The church (F1 through H3) is temporarily being utilized as a meeting area for the king and a select few members of his guard.
    • They are guaranteed to be there seven days a week.
  • The knight posted at the church patrols between E1, F3 and H4 in a pacing pattern.
  • The border knights all patrol the 8 square area surrounding their commanding rooks in the same way.
    • Simply reference the northwestern knight's infinitely repeating pattern of A6, C7, A6, B8, C6, A7, C8, B6, C8, A7, C6, B8.
    • The knights can see each other from their hill tops at C3, C6 and F6 respectively.
      • They signal each other from these hill tops upon arrival and if a signal is not received, the knights report it to their commanding rooks.
  • The rooks travel between their respective battle fronts (A1, A8, H8) and their command posts (B2, B7, G7) every three days.
  • The queen likes to take walks throughout the kingdom each day.
    • Her points of interest are the garden A5 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the courtyard G5 on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and the cemetery D2 on Saturdays.
    • Every Sunday, she joins the king in the church for worship.

The rook in charge of you has informed you that you'll be taking on their knight's responsibilities until a replacement arrives in 10 days (for clarity, you currently move as a knight would). As a result, you need to make your move soon. Take out your commanding rook, and proceed in collapsing the kingdom. Based on your orders and intel, you know that:

  • The bordering knights have visibility of their commanding rooks from the hill tops on C3 and C6.
  • The rooks have visibility of their knights from their command posts.
  • The interior of the church can be seen from the graveyard.
  • The courtyard can be seen from the church.
    • The graveyard can be seen from the bishop's vantage point on top of the church.
  • The pawns surrounding the church are posted where they cannot see each other.
  • The knight patrolling the church can only see the pawns posted at F1 and H3, and only from E1 and H4 respectively.
  • The knight relieving you will arrive in 10 days. Their orders in case of an emergency are to report to the nearest command post, utilizing the optimal path, ultimately falling back to the kingdom.

Important Clarifications

  • All pieces on the board move at the same time.
  • The rooks move from their battlefields to their command posts diagonally.
    • Capturing a rook gives you typical rook movement (e.g. any number of squares horizontally and vertically).

Can you complete your mission, before the incoming knight reports your indiscretions back to the kingdom, without getting caught, and without touching the same square twice (excluding the mandatory double visit to F6)?

Note: For clarity, when you capture a piece, you move as that piece would until you capture another. Additionally, to simplify the puzzle, captures do not require a typical movement to be valid (for example the knight moving in an L shape). Captures simply require you to either land on the square of a piece to capture it, or, land directly (no squares between) next to it (this includes diagonals). Also, you may set the starting day of the week to whatever meets your needs.


If you're interested in challenging yourself, try to limit it to typical captures only. Also, feel free to try and optimize your answer for even more of a challenge.

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  • $\begingroup$ Does it matter how the rooks travel between their battle fronts and command posts? Are they just making multiple normal rook moves in a single day, or moving diagonally? $\endgroup$
    – Rob Watts
    Sep 22 at 22:42
  • $\begingroup$ @RobWatts one step diagonally, however killing the rook gives you traditional rook movement. $\endgroup$ Sep 22 at 23:00
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    $\begingroup$ Since all pieces move at the same time, capturing requires I move to the square a piece is about to occupy, right? $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 3:43
  • $\begingroup$ What does it mean to collapse the kingdom? Capturing just the king? Or captures everyone? $\endgroup$
    – justhalf
    Sep 23 at 6:44
  • $\begingroup$ @justhalf everyone $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 13:11
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I really hope I'm understanding the rules correctly...
Here's a battle plan, using the original capture-on-adjacent rule (with the stipulation that you don't get extra movement from such captures) and starting on a Monday:

Move to f6 and then h7, killing the Rook. Then hit b7 and b3 to knock out the border knights (first, because I'm also choosing the order I capture in) and commanding rooks (second, so I get rook moves going forward).
Sprint over to f3 to catch the inner pawns, and that pesky bishop (last). Step to g2 to kill the pacing knight, remaining pawns, and the King and Queen on Sunday morning.

For the harder version where captures have to be exact,

it looks like the peculiarities of the Knight-Rook cycles are such that you can't actually leave your station without setting off an alert: you can't kill your Rook without either having your absence from the route noted or missing a hilltop signal.
Even if we take liberty with our ability to offset the queen and instead offset the Knights so that they're just about to move to the hilltops, the best I can get is 0)Ng8 1)Nf6 2)Ne8 3)Nxg7 4)Rxb7 5)Rxb3 6)Nd4 7)Nxc6, at which point I've managed to kill my rook and the other knights before any of them can notice I've gone, but now can't kill the bottom rook before he resumes his post and notices his knight is gone.

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  • $\begingroup$ Awwwww I had a loop hole allowing you to capture multiple pieces a day 😢 lol great answer +1 $\endgroup$ Sep 23 at 13:45

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