A Puzzle That Tells If YOU Have The “Chess Talent”

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Do you have what it takes to become a strong chess player? Do you have the so-called chess talent? In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov shows you an interesting chess puzzle which was used by the former Soviet Union chess coaches to determine whether their students have the so-called chess talent or not.

This old Russian chess puzzle (also known as the “Soviet Test of Chess Talent”) consists of a White queen and 4 Black pawns. The task for you, as White, is to capture all the Black pawns before or when they get promoted.

By the way, a question that you would probably have is “Is it true or a myth? Can chess puzzles determine if one has the so-called chess talent or not?” Well, watch the video lesson as GM Igor Smirnov has answered that as well with a nice story.

Feel free to pause the video, try to solve this puzzle, and see if you have the “chess talent”.

► Chapters

00:00 Chess Talent Test
00:12 Soviet/Russian Chess Puzzle
01:03 Can you solve this puzzle?
01:39 Is it true or a myth?
03:38 Which pawn should the queen capture?
06:25 If White plays Qxd3
08:04 Did you solve the puzzle?

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  1. i solved it in 30 i only play chess puzzles (rank 1900) but thats easy to get too this puzzle was just obvious tho no?

  2. I thought I was the pawns not the queen

  3. I was thinking Qxd3 then c2,Qd2,a2,Qb2, then yeah

  4. Ok, I have an answer after about 5 minutes, it's basically queen to d3 and start blocking pawns, you'll wind up capturing them as soon as they get promoted, let's see if it's right

  5. I don’t think I have the chess talent because I spent solid 7 minutes calculating all options, under the assumption that I am the black pieces and it’s black to moveyou can imagine I was pretty disappointed with the solution 😂 😂

  6. I solved it with Qxd3, but after c2, Qd2, then only logical move for black is a2, and after Qc1 the position is won. Anyone else solve this way?

  7. "Chess talent" i never played chess, idk why youtube recomended me this and iv solved it in 1 look

  8. Thanks for posting this. I really enjoyed it. I'm 44 yrs old and haven't played chess since I was 15 yrs old. I picked Queen to D3 in about 15 seconds. Made me feel great!!

  9. I read the bottom piece wrong at the beginning and I had it muted I thought it was a king and was like wow this is hard how could you solve it in 45 seconds then I unmuted when he said what are the queens moves and went oh ok go diagonally and it's over lol

  10. I somehow managed to solve it in a few seconds despite not playing chess, something's up.

  11. I think i found a way to win on the first one Qxb3 if he moves c3 to c2 you dont let him promote and protect a1 if he moves d3 to d2 you capture d2 and if he moves a3 to a2 you move to c3 and they cannot longer promote

  12. I solved this puzzle in 63 seconds blindfolded while baking a cake when I was 7 years old.

  13. I thought this was pretty simple. I don't really play chess..im awful at it. Once you take far right pawn your angle covers most paths. And no matter how you play it as long as you don't endanger the queen the queen wins.

  14. Man… yt algorithm just brings me here… I managed to solve in about 10 seconds… but I'm HORRIBLE at chess so…. Maybe should I start playing more often? (Great video!)

  15. i am 36 years old prodigy kid xD solved it in 20 sec

  16. Attack pawn on right first

    Edit: I did it

  17. i solved it in less than 1.30 min that was a easy one

  18. Aww shit, i just paused the video as soon as the puzzle came on the screen, and my brain assumed it was a king not a queen.. so i was figureing that out instead..

    I guess i just didnt think they would make it that easy.. and im not even good at chess..

  19. No, I don't understand a God damn thing happening when people explain high level plays in chess.

  20. I got the solution around 3mins I feel proud as a begginner

  21. Tried fruitlessly to solve. My mistake was to confuse the Q with the K… I really should watch things more carefully ,:D

  22. Instructions misleading, but guy obviously genius since clever people are mostly not good at explaining things.

  23. Is it okay that i solved this in like 1 min, didnt calculate all the moves but after checking 2 3 options i just said that one

  24. Clearly I don't play Chess. I missed a crucial word in your explanation and thought the white piece was a King. Stared at it for 10 minutes before I realized.

  25. that was cool! ran thru and came to same answer! took a lot longer than i thought it would tho lol

  26. I’m pretty and at chess so I was happy I was able to get it from just moving the pieces around

  27. I don't think the idea of this puzzle was completely explained because I understood that the moment black managed to upgrade the game was over. I didn't understand you could keep on playing if the queen was in a position to capture the pawn as soon as it hit the lower row to upgrade…

  28. I thought pretty quickly queen should go to the pawn in front of it because that position can cover the way of all other pawns, or to the one on the right and then left because then he can cover the paths

  29. Ah, that is a great puzzle, branching calculations with such a simple set of moves.

  30. The World's Greatest Castle Cat 4 Speedrunner says:

    If you believe the comment section, apparently almost everybody solved this in 15 seconds. So many people are 3x more talented than young Kramnik… even people who claim to be rated 1000 or less.

    Just so you know, picking D3 because it "felt right" is not "solving the puzzle". You haven't solved the puzzle until you calculated every variation and know you win with 100% certainty no matter what move your opponent plays.

  31. I have gotten better at chess over the year's but it wasn't til I started watching video's that I got far better.

  32. Instructions weren't very clear..renders it useless

  33. Tldr; video title is clickbait

    Long version:
    This video made me more discouraged towards tests in chess altogether as a) it was easily solvable in like a minute by an avarage player and b) i still dont know my test result. So in conclusion the story told was nice and all but i wished for some more actual data or conclusion to be able to eveluate yourself as otherwise the title of the video is clickbait

  34. I solved this puzzle on my own in like a minute I’m proud af rn lol

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