# An Ancient Chess Puzzle That Engines CAN’T Solve!

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In this video lesson, GM Igor Smirnov shows you a very interesting ancient chess puzzle that even modern day chess engines, monstrous computers cannot solve. This puzzle (the first puzzle shown in the video) was composed by Gioachino Greco in 1623.

Even an intermediate level chess player would be able to solve this, but Stockfish is having a very hard time solving this puzzle. Stockfish 12 gives the evaluation of +3.13 in favour of White, Stockfish 14 evaluates the position as +2.8, however only Stockfish 15 could rightly evaluate the position as a draw.

Feel free to pause the video and try to solve this puzzle if you can – it’s Black to play and draw. Are you better than chess engines? 😎

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► Chapters

00:00 Chess Engines Couldn’t Solve This Puzzle
00:43 Stockfish Engine’s Incorrect Evaluation
01:48 Black’s powerful move for the draw!
03:19 Computer got confused
03:42 Can you solve this puzzle?

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#GMSmirnov #ChessPuzzle #ChessPuzzles

1. @leahcimoganam7664 says:

Its a draw after exchanging rooks at Ra1. Blacks second move is Bh3..the double pawn at h file cannot promote to a queen because of wrong color of bishop

2. @naturelist says:

The second one: Maybe bring the king into a kind-of stalemate position so that Bc8 is forced

3. @DMEGC says:

Solution to the second puzzle:

Use the queen to limit the kings movements till the king can’t move, white has to move the bishop, check the white king, white king moves, take the bishop with the king. Then repeat the process for the second bishop.

You can start with Qb4, depending where the king moves you can immobilize it in a5, h8, or d8.

4. @nugglez_4125 says:

I found the moves in 5 seconds

king A4 would have worked too. The tower could go to the 7th line to protect more…exchange bishops and capture one pond and block the other one

6. @VaultOfWisdoms says:

you do queen knight opposition until king is in corner and has to move bishop

7. @ephy1973 says:

Can't a queen alone always eventually corner a queen thereby forcing the bishop to move and allowing the king to take it? That said pawn advancement or king and king as a team is inevitable. So it is a win for black.

8. @mega_mango says:

Йор инглиш ис вери гуд

9. @bagheera2057 says:

why should the black tower move to the other end and not just one square left? if white moves king left too, black can still install it's sprinter on d3…

10. @sachinb_it1308 says:

queen takes a6 i guess

11. @hyp7238 says:

The Waffle House Has Found Its New Host

12. @ff-zt1gs says:

Wôw

13. @doubleduece2012 says:

Whay about bishop to d3 then rook to a1 would that win back

14. @Demon538 says:

King hast to bei where the qween was and than Check mat

15. @joncarlosavala8161 says:

Not sure if this is correct but this is what worked against world master level stockfish(black to start): 1.Qb2+ , Kf4 2.Qf6+ , Ke3 3.Qe6+ , Kd2 4.Qd6+ , Kc2 5.Qc5+ , Kd2 6.Qd4+, Kc1 7.Qd3 , Kb2 8.Qc4 , Ka3 9.Qb5 , Bc8 10.Kxc8 , Bb7+ 11.Kd8 , Ka2 12.Ke7 , Ka3 13.Kd6 , Ka2 14.Kc5 , Ka3 15.Qa5+ , Kb2 16.Kd4 , Kb1 17.Kc3 , Ba8 18.Qa3 , Bb7 19.Qb2#

If someone knows the correct line let me know!

16. @thekidster101 says:

Well I mean if white plays the actual best moves he wins lmaoo

17. @Chesshercules says:

I saw it immediately. Check and then rxf1 kxf1 and bh3 because the square h8 is black and the bishop is lightquared.

18. @brandonrobinson2956 says:

I added a video with the moves for the last puzzle

19. @blue-yk6jg says:

what if bishop goes d3 and then rook a1?

20. @bnfyk says:

I solved it

21. @cantr3447 says:

queen has to sacrifise herself but if queen takes a6 it is a forced draw bishop takes queen if queen takes bishop it is also a draw so queen has to take c6 after bishop takes king can make his escape route and if bishop doesnt takes the queen and makes a king move we take the last pawn with the queen after bishop takes queen we take the other bishop with king and since bishop will have to leave the diaognal king can escape and it will be a 2 pawn vs a bishop

22. @sarahbullett3561 says:

without looking is it queen to b5 check, king moves (if moves back sacrifice the queen by taking the bishop so he has to take with the pawn so you can push the pawn and create a queen.) wait you can just force the king to go back and create a second queen BOOM.

23. @AllDayErrDay. says:

Puzzle 2: position your queen a knight's step away from the white king until cornered. This forces the bishop to c8. Take the bishop on c8 and this will force the second bishop to b7, checking black king. Move black king back to b8 which forces the bishop again to move either back to a8 or instead to c8. Do not take the bishop yet. First check the white king in such a way that it will not be a stalemate after your next move. Once they move the king, take the bishop and proceed to checkmate with your king and queen or however you see fit at that point.

24. @Justin-tz4gj says:

on first puzzle why not bd3?

25. @martonbalazskajari5424 says:

no wonder they couldn't find the solution to the 2nd one how are you gonna have 2 light squared bishops

26. @Urza26 says:

Second puzzle, Q b2 check. Zugzwang via keeping a knight distance of black queen and white king, force the white king into h8 and black queen on g6 or f7. Then white bishop moves to c8, take it with the king. Other white bishop checks on b7, kd8, then just march to kf8, the bishop cannot stop your king. Then just mate the trapped king. The bishop cannot do anything.

27. @fir4zerg4mc95 says:

The cat is better

28. @books_rule says:

I actually got the first puzzle bro 🤯
I remember yesterday I watched the thing where if you can solve this u r a GM, and I want to be one but I got discouraged because I didn’t solve it, this made me feel just a little better

29. @mychannele8749 says:

i think the best move for black in the second puzzle is queen a6 as if the bishop takes the queen we take their bishop and they cant win anymore because pawn is almost unstoppable

30. @phoenix_19910 says:

DUDE I SWEAR I SONLVED IT FIRST TRY AND WAS LIKE NOW WAY AND THEN I CHECKED WHAT THE SOLUTiON WAS AND BROOOOOOOO!!!!

31. @_Matchu says:

for the second puzzle, my guess would be saccing the queen on c6 then after Bx, your king can escape… beyond that idk

32. @ericn.1232 says:

Puzzle 3 sacrifice the queen on a3

33. @oaardvqrk5965 says:

i found the second one! all you have to do is use the queen to force the king into a corner where it cant move, then it is zuxwong for black, and they must give up their bishop, once king takes then the other bishop has to move to the other square to check the king, white king moves towards the black king while the bishop just shuffles between 2 squares and then you can checkmate with king+queen

34. @tonyennis1787 says:

I'm using Stockfish 11 on a common computer. It found the solution in about 1/10th of a second, and evaluated the position at 0.13. I have yet to see someone say "And Stockfish can't figure it out" and be right.

35. @DynamicChessScacchiDinamici says:

An engine, when there are few pieces on the board will find straight away the advantage giving +10 or even +60 with mate in few. When it gives you +2 and only 7, 8 pieces left, it is usually draw, just counting the material as advantage.

36. @florianb2856 says:

I found the second one!
You have to spit yout opponent in the eye, stand up, slap him in the face and then grap his bishops and swallow them.

EASY WIN!

37. @georgeritmeester4736 says:

Puzzle #1
While the solution is easy, it reminds me of a famous Aronian endgame that is rather mindblowing.

38. @AliNoNoNo says:

whats the name of the cat?

39. @tykemorris says:

The answer is to force the white king into a corner by placing your queen a knight's move away from the white king. The king will have no choice but to recede closer and closer to the corner until pinned in the corner unable to move. At that point, white must move it's Bishop and let the Black King capture it. There are a lot of ways to win at that point but capturing the second white Bishop while the king is trapped is a stalemate, so don't do that. The easiest win from there is to move your Black King up to c1 to checkmate with the queen. The lone Bishop can't stop you.

40. @youuuuuuuuuuutube says:

Just checked with Stockfish online that is not even using a tablebase, and both puzzles were solved in a split second…

41. @ismailmehdi4971 says:

It's queen b2 check and when the king moves the queen will chase the king like a knight (if the queen is a knight it will be a check) then when the king has no move he is forced to move one of his bishops and it is the b7 bishop to c8 then u will capture it with the king and then the a8 bishop has to move to b7 then u will move ur queen to a square that the king can't move. Then the bishop will sacrifice himself then u will fork the king and bishop with ur queen and capture the 2 pawns and win!

42. @hackingnimesh4845 says:

i found a steal mate

43. @joshuaedmondson2123 says:

How did you get 2 light square bishops????? I am sure that is confusing for many computers.

44. @GuillaumeLeBlanc-gg8rj says:

This is a 8 men position that can be reduced in 2 moves in a 6 men position that is a draw. Any engine (not necessary top level) with 6 men TB access find the solution since several years. In fact since the SSD technology allow fast access to TB. Since it is not so difficult to have 6-men TB at home, I think that the video title is wrong. Only access to 7 men remains difficult now since these TB are very large.