# 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”.

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► 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. pyxl says:

im a beginner and somehow got the answer first try

2. Trafalgar Law says:

You can work through this relatively quickly be elimation. First, if you don't take a piece in the first turn, you don't have enough time. So, we're down to B3 or D3.
As soon as you understand that you can use Zugzwang against black by blocking pawns, it's relatively easy to test through the options black has. In the end, QD3 wins

3. SuburbanHome says:

I feel like I solved this pretty much and a glance and I suck at chess lol

4. FluffyBrigand says:

I did solve it. Took about 2 and a half minutes. I don’t know whether that is fast or slow as you didn’t tell us lol

5. Caleb_Plays says:

I solved it on my own after getting it wrong once in around 36 seconds

6. chillguy says:

Ez

7. James Ethan says:

I already know I DONT have the chess gift. Been playing online almost every day for 5 years, and Im still at 1400s 🥴

8. Watermelon35 says:

Qxd3 if Pc2,Qc3= if Pa1 then you put Qb2 forcing one of the pawns to promote then take one of them,
If Pb2 then Qb1 confronting the advancing pawn then forcing it to move one of its supporting pawns(took me about 1:50 mins :P)

9. Chewing panda says:

23 sec solution: qxd3 – pa2, qxc3
– pb2, qb1
-pc2,qd2 – pb2,qxc2
-pa1,qc1

10. silverplant says:

Took me like 11 seconds

11. kuzey says:

so i dont really play chess but this video came up and when i thougth the winning move if i move it to there maybe he will play c2 and making the piece st the bottom snd you csn defend it easily

But the pawns DID promote into queens even on the suggested strategy? And that meant that we failed the puzzle?
I reran the video to make sure that I did not get it wrong. You said that the condition for black winning the puzzle was that black got to promote which they easily could even on the suggested strategy… I think the conditions should be clarified to: White loses if black gets to move a newly promoted queen or if black captures the white queen.

13. Edurdo says:

I solved the puzzle!
*Play and die in a 200 difficulty bot

14. Raxit says:

I kept thinking I was totally out of my depth because the challenge was to prevent any of then from "promoting". In this solution, some of them DO promote. Maybe lost in translation, I'm not sure!

15. weerobot says:

16. COOL DUDE6660 says:

That took me a painfully long time to figure out

17. Truman says:

I had it figured out in 9 minutes! It's just an unrelated coincidence that 9 minutes in the length of the video.

18. messi9991 says:

I am terrible at chess but could solve this. It's just going through moves one at a time. I find it hard to believe this is a test to see who has chess potential. Maybe for children.

19. TheBoiWho8Pasta says:

I'm so dumb that I thought You can't let them get promoted 🤦‍♂️

20. TheConMan says:

Tbh I don't even play chess anymore and I wasn't even good at chess. The puzzles is easy :/

21. Jérémie D says:

I'm terrible at chess and solved it :p

22. Mixedclane says:

i have no chess talent and I solved this puzzle in like 5 seconds using the intuitiom rule that when a puzzle goes simemetrical but one piece, that is the key to solve it

23. GrabnarMyers says:

My gut instinct was the correct move immediately, and I solved it in 20 seconds. Nice

24. SunnySparkles says:

i have played a million games and it's not solvable..

25. kingoffaith says:

First eliminate d3… Rest will happened automatically

26. Dusty Swords says:

Lol i’m pretty low rated (intermediate) but I calculated this correctly in under 30 seconds Qxd3, then Qc3 line. Cool puzzle! Also only started Chess less than 2 years ago.

27. Kalamari From The Party says:

Got it right but took like 300 seconds

28. Атанас Костов says:

I liked this puzzle. It seemed easy at first, but then I got puzzled(lol). I did manage to solve it tho, in about 2-3 min which I consider to be good because I just started playing chess and I'm as fresh as they come.

29. Birdie Numnum says:

Cmon , im 38 years old terrible at chess and i found it in less than a minute , something must be wrong :p

30. Mr Escanor Heisenberg says:

Solved it in less than 30sec lmao but my rating is shit

31. Mode Al says:

This wasn't that hard… you need "chess talent" for this?

32. Ronald Rapaj says:

I dont have chess talent but i have straight eyes

33. Magnum Opus says:

Yeah i got it in about 3 minutes.

3 moves am getting a Quinn

15 sec max

36. Wilbert Franco says:

Nice puzzle. Solved.

Yes I did

38. Kent says:

So i took it like this,

it's a win for the queen if it takes D3 pawn.

FOR left pawn move, you just take C3 pawn, and no matter how pawns move you'll capture them all

FOR mid pawn move, you go back to B1, having a mirror movement, side pawn moves, you take it, whichever pawn moves next, you take them

FOR right pawn move, you go to C3:
if left pawn moves, you go B2 and pretty much win it anyway. mirror movement – side pawn moves, you take it, any pieces that move you take them
if mid pawn moves, take C2 pawn, any other move will lead to victory
if right pawn moves, take it, a left pawn move will let u go A1, mid pawn moves, take any pawn, move, take any pawn, and a mid pawn move will let you go B1, pawn to A2, take any pawn, move, take any pawn.

and that's how I'd do it

39. Firebreaf says:

Lmao I was trying to figure this out thinking it was a king not a queen. Yeah, safe to say I don't have the talent.

40. Josephine Awor says:

If black plays c2 after Qxd3, could queen move to d2? So if black plays b2, then Qxc2, and so on, and if black plays a2, then queen blocks at c1 and just picks off the pawns or queen if promoted.

41. Eric Jeannotte says:

I was tired when I first saw the puzzle in this video. I thought I was looking at a king. I was like "this is impossible to solve!" later in the video you said it was a queen. I solved it fast, it was a fun puzzle

42. Lightstrider says:

Just found this channel! I'm excited!

43. VVarterwaves says:

this puzzle seemed easy i didn't see a problem i saw the soulution right away but i was confused and thought i was black to move so i was thinking i was black tryna win and what i found out worked with black then realized what if it's the queen and i just found that out easily i looked at every pawn move after queen takes e3 but everything could be blocked

44. Nathaniel Thomson says:

I did solve it, although I would have solved this faster if the rules had been explained more clearly "blacks promotes a single piece" is not the same lose condition as "black promotes a single piece and it survives your next move" technically the correct solution fails to accomplish the task you put forth.

45. Cyan Dude says:

I got to my answer of Qxd3 in 10 secs (second move I calculated), but I'm already 17 so I doubt chess would be a viable career path either way

46. Acr says:

Took me 1 sec to decide

47. SilverVayne says:

2-3 minutes of looking at it, 5 minute break, then 1 more minute and I believe Qxd3 and I see a reply to everything black will try, essentially getting the queen back to b1

48. SilverVayne says:

I need to add pawn structures to my mental checklist. I didn't use your line of reasoning regarding the pawn structure to start which would've saved me half the time since I started with the wrong capture.

49. Chessnectar says:

Interestingly enough, at first I saw Qxd3–c2–Qc4! (this should work too). Then I saw after that Qd2 works as well as long as you follow up with either Qc3 or Qc1 (assuming black plays a2). Nice puzzle!

50. fnmfk says:

are u flexing ur chess base??