You have 1 chess piece: The Knight
The board: Conway's Game of Life
Your goal: Survive

Basically, you control a standard chess Knight. You are only allowed to move to cells considered "live" (depicted as grey in the images). After you move, the board move forward one step as described in Conway's Game of Life. The board ends with a still pattern, and your goal is to make it to that point.

So, a turn goes like this:

  1. Move knight to a live (grey) cell; if you have no moves, game over
  2. Alter board according to the rules:
    • Any live cell with fewer than two live neighbors dies, as if caused by under-population.
    • Any live cell with two or three live neighbors lives on to the next generation.
    • Any live cell with more than three live neighbors dies, as if by over-population.
    • Any dead cell with exactly three live neighbors becomes a live cell, as if by reproduction.
  3. If current board exactly matches previous board (i.e. no cells changed state), game ends

Starting board:
Start board

You may place your knight on any live square to begin.

This specific setup has 18 generations before becoming stable.

The board doesn't get too big and there are no gliders, so infinite board size.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Infinite board or specific size? And if specific size: with or without wraparound? Plus: does the cell the knight stands on have to stay alive during the step of the board or is it allowed to die? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 14:00
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Could you confirm me the 24 generation ? maybe i'm doing something wrong with game of life. It takes 18 to be stable for me. $\endgroup$
    – pwnsauce
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 14:37
  • 6
    $\begingroup$ (Also, this is a very clever idea for a puzzle!) $\endgroup$
    – Deusovi
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 14:48
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Made a png of the 19 different states (very small so every cell is one pixel large). Just mark your knight positions (easily done in paint) and enlarge it afterwards. i.sstatic.net/bfAub.png $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 14:52
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Deusovi I was originally going to make a maze using these mechanics, but the fortnightly topic ended, and I have neither the time nor resources to craft something intricate enough to not be a simple maze. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 15:04

1 Answer 1


Here is my answer in text form. It's long, so I stored it on pastebin: 19 steps

I don't have time to convert it to png (thanks @TheDarkTruth, see comments to the question), so maybe later.

Gif animation :

enter image description here

  • $\begingroup$ The link is broken for me $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 14:58
  • $\begingroup$ i.imgur.com/o6oSo90.png here is his solution in png $\endgroup$
    – pwnsauce
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 15:11
  • $\begingroup$ That's a bit easier to see $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 15:26
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @DavidStarkey I've made a gif animation but it's low quality $\endgroup$
    – Fabich
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 15:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ @njzk2 Actually, I missed the "you move and then the board updates" rule and first updated the board and then moved a knight to a valid cell. But this can easily be changed into a "move first, update later" approach by shifting all moves one step forward and adding a new "number zero" move from a different cell to a current starting position. $\endgroup$
    – Verence
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 20:45

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