This puzzle series is based on a chess story from the year 1934. It is also the first entry for the new fortnightly topic challenge.

Li Chai was known as the best chess player in all villages in the surrounding area. One day the Emperor himself got wind about his proficiency and invited him to play against his best chess players. It didn't take long for Li Chai to win, so the Emperor arranged a celebration for him.

Among the guests was the mandarin Kao Tse. He wasn't much of a chess player at all and wondered what's behind a game where both players control the same army. Therefore he challenged Li Chai to a game, where Li Chai would play white and the mandarin would copy all his moves.

How did Li Chai win the first game?

The rules:

  • standard chess rules apply, if not stated otherwise
  • you play white and your opponent copies all your moves (e.g 1. e4 would be followed by 1. ... e5)
  • you are allowed to make "stupid" moves, your opponent will copy all moves regardless how bad they are
  • you are not allowed to make moves which cannot be copied, of course except for the last move winning the game

To make this a little interesting, you must win in no more than 4 moves.

  • $\begingroup$ What "chess story from 1934" is this based on? $\endgroup$
    – Jack M
    Apr 9, 2016 at 17:20
  • $\begingroup$ @Sleafar yes, but what book, and what magazine? $\endgroup$
    – N. Virgo
    Apr 10, 2016 at 3:49
  • $\begingroup$ @Nathaniel I didn't think I could find it, but here it is (pages labeled 22 and 23 in the PDF). $\endgroup$
    – Sleafar
    Apr 10, 2016 at 5:46

1 Answer 1


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1. d4 d5 2. Qd3 Qd6 3. Qf5 Qf4 4. Q:c8#


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