I was visiting two friends yesterday and found them sitting at a chess table.
After a glance at the board, I thought I had interrupted them when they were installing the starting position and I said:
"Oh, how annoying, you have set the starting position but some pieces must be missing and you cannot play.
- What do you mean ?, asked Fabi, who was sitting behind the dark pieces. Nothing is missing, the game is already started and we have played four moves each. But Mag is thinking hard now, I must have put him in trouble already !
- No trouble at all, answered Mag, I am already two pawns up."
You will understand my mistake once you consider the position that was on the board at that time: all the pieces were on their possible starting squares, but four of them were already taken !
What was the position, and how did the game start ?
Find a chess position:
- that is reached after four moves by each player,
- in which four units are taken,
- where White has a two pawns material advantage,
- where all the remaining units stand on the same squares as at the beginning of a game.
- If this proves too hard, I will post the position as a hint and only ask for how the game went.
- This puzzle is an adaptation a chess problem by Ernest Clement Mortimer & Andrei Frolkin published in Die Schwalbe 71 in october 1981.
- This puzzle is an entry in Fortnightly Topic Challenge #40: Retrograde Analysis.
- Spoiler: Mag won this game. But once this game finished, they went for a second round !