I found half of a chess score sheet lying on one of the tables at the recent tournament I attended. It was ripped in half at the middle so only White's moves were visible. I was wondering if it would be possible for you to reconstruct Black's moves. (Note: The moves aren't necessarily good ones.)

  1. Nf3
  2. Nxg5
  3. Nxf7
  4. Nd6+
  5. Nf5
  6. Nxd4
  7. c3
  8. cxd4
  9. Kxf2
  10. Qa4+
  11. Qxb5+
  12. Qd5+
  13. d3
  14. Bxh6
  15. Bxg7
  16. Qxd7+
  17. Qf5+
  18. Qf8#

Partial answers are allowed, as always. Good luck! (I have no idea how difficult this is, it could be solved in minutes or days.)

  • $\begingroup$ I'm gunna try and work this out when I get home from work in a couple hours, looks like it's gunna take some doodling. (also I'm unfamiliar with chess notation so there's that to learn too) $\endgroup$
    – AHKieran
    Oct 2 '18 at 13:20
  • $\begingroup$ @AHKieran I'll post a partial that may help with that last part. :) $\endgroup$ Oct 2 '18 at 14:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Pretty sure Black's first move is terrible, at least :P $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Oct 2 '18 at 14:36
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ From my thinking thus far, I don't think there is one definitive answer. I believe black's 2nd and 3rd moves can be interchangeable. $\endgroup$
    – AHKieran
    Oct 2 '18 at 14:57
  • $\begingroup$ @AHKieran There isn't intended to be one definitive answer. $\endgroup$ Oct 2 '18 at 15:01


This was a really interesting puzzle and was enjoyable to work! $+1$ from me indeed! It seems like moves $3$ and $13$ are heavily interchangeable, so long as they don't prevent checkmate down the road. Again, very nice puzzle!


The moves on white's half of the board are in algebraic expression form for chess. You have to look at it from the perspective of:

Queen to F4, Captures Rook, Check. = QxF4+

This is more in the realm of mental chess where no board is needed; I have always wanted to attempt it against someone, and this is pretty close! So if I could I would give more up-votes!

I believe that black is a novice player and isn't really thinking too far ahead with his/her movements. Thus leading to an eventual defeat dealt by white.

Final Board

My theory (White :: Black):

1. Knight to F3 :: Pawn to G5
2. Knight to G5 (Captures Pawn) :: Pawn to D5
3. Knight to F7 (Captures Pawn) :: Bishop to G7
4. Knight to D6 (Check) :: King to D7
5. Knight to F5 :: Pawn to D4
6. Knight to D4 (Captures Pawn):: Queen to F8
7. Pawn to C3 :: Bishop to D4 (Captures Knight)
8. Pawn to D4 (Captures Bishop) :: Queen to F2 (Captures Pawn, Check)
9. King to F2 (Captures Queen, Release Check) :: Knight to H6
10. Queen to A4 (Check):: Pawn to B5 (Release Check)
11. Queen to B5 (Captures Pawn, Check) :: King to D8 (Release Check)
12. Queen to D5 (Check):: King to E8 (Release Check)
13. Pawn to D3 :: Rook to G8
14. Bishop to H6 (Captures Knight) :: Rook to G7
15. Bishop to G7 (Captures Rook):: Bishop to D7
16. Queen to D7 (Captures Bishop, Check):: King to F7
17. Queen to F5 (Check):: King to G8
18. Queen to F8 (Checkmate)

Special thanks to @ExcitedRaichu for pointing out that move $3$ was the biggest incorrect move, followed by move $13$.

  • $\begingroup$ C3 and D3 refer to pawn movements. See this guide for notation. $\endgroup$
    – El-Guest
    Oct 2 '18 at 14:50
  • $\begingroup$ This is super useful, but yeah, c3 and d3 refer to a pawn moving to those squares, the x refers to a capture, + is check, and # is checkmate. If you could add these words to your white move list then that would be even more useful :D $\endgroup$
    – AHKieran
    Oct 2 '18 at 14:53
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algebraic_notation_(chess) $\endgroup$
    – Jafe
    Oct 2 '18 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ On move 4 Kf7 is illegal because that square is also guarded by the knight. $\endgroup$ Oct 2 '18 at 15:02
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you all for the feedback! I am currently working this in steps and @ExcitedRaichu I have to say this is a good one. I figured out all of the above while working through; I'll be giving very little feedback for a while as I work this! :) $\endgroup$ Oct 2 '18 at 15:08

I think I have a partial answer, although part of me is not sure because it relies on one of the moves provided being wrong, I think:

1. Nf3 g5
2. Nxg5 d5
3. Nxf7 e5
4. Nd6+ Kd7
5. Nf5 d4
6. Nxd4 Qh4
7. c3 exd4
8. cxd4 Qxf2+
9. Kxf2 Ne7
10. Qa4+ b5
11. Qxb5+ Kd8
12. Qd5+ Ke8
13. d3 h6
14. Bxh6 Bg7
15. Bxg7 Rh7 Bd7
16. Qxd7+ Kf7
17. Qf5+ Kg8
18. Qf8# (but this is not mate...)


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