I have been faced with a conundrum. I have been simultaneously challenged by two of the world's best chess players to play chess. The rules are simple. I will earn two points for a win, one point for a draw, and no points if I lose. There is one fairly large problem however... I don't know how to play chess. What is a strategy that will guarantee me at least two points?

  • $\begingroup$ UK performer Derren Brown used this exact same trick to simultaneously challenge 9 expert chess players. Just FYI. $\endgroup$
    – Xenocacia
    Nov 16, 2017 at 1:59

1 Answer 1


My strategy would be to:

Play them both at the same time.

To clarify:

Let's call the first master player A, and the second player B. Insist that, against A, A goes first, and in the match against B, you go first. Then, let the game start:
- A makes their move against you.
- Copy that move against B.
- B makes their move against you.
- Copy that move against A.
- Repeat until both games are over.

At the end of the game:

One of the players will beat you, so you get 0 points in that match. But your next move will finish the other match, and you'll win, getting 2 points!

Another possibility is that:

One of the matches goes into a stalemate, getting you 1 point. The next match will also go into a stalemate on the next turn, getting you another point, for the total of 2 points!

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ This requires you to play first in exactly one of the games $\endgroup$
    – b a
    Nov 15, 2017 at 21:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.