# 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. brin ds says:

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. Mynameisntcreative says:

I thought I was the pawns not the queen

3. Dhoey Tumarong says:

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

4. Eskew Roberts says:

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. Andrew Wang says:

1sec

I got it in 5 mi

7. Fabian Glathe says:

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 😂 😂

8. Alexander Steinkoenig says:

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?

9. Kelvin Mendez says:

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

10. PYR0 says:

Solved in about 2 minutes and some odd seconds

11. Nobody Nobody says:

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!!

12. KaelKnight says:

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

13. Matthias Ceus says:

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

14. A jaiden fan says:

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

15. eric daniel says:

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

16. Holly Harris says:

very easy

17. Holly Harris says:

hes wrong
one more way

18. Condor KON says:

Whos move is it tho??? Queen or pawn

19. Condor KON says:

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.

20. interforth says:

This was a fun puzzle

21. Marcos Henrique G. de Oliveira says:

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!)

22. Stojan Jankovic says:

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

23. Michele Dreyer says:

Attack pawn on right first

Edit: I did it

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

25. L. J. says:

5 sec

26. Ian Turley says:

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..

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

28. Kert says:

I actually did but it took me like 3mins

29. Lucius Thomas says:

I did it 🎉.

30. Heikin says:

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

31. Jose Corchete says:

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

32. Steve Knobel says:

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

33. GW VIBHU says:

Yes solved very easily

34. Yigitdnr says:

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

35. Enhancing Rice says:

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.

36. oHAmez says:

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

37. MarquessDeSalt says:

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

38. Gabriel Fonseca says:

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…

39. Antonio6579 says:

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

40. D HAHAHAHAHAHXD says:

Just noticed the cat in the back

41. Ironman says:

Solved in 5 seconds. Still suck at chess

42. Dallin says:

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

43. något annat says:

I solved in like 1 min, WOW

44. 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.

45. Nathan Briggs says:

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.

46. Kyle Hruska says:

Instructions weren't very clear..renders it useless

47. Animaster89 says:

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

48. Seraphim Ivanov says:

i got it instantly

49. Blackwell says:

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