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Subject: Mate the Royal Couple

Author: Hans Havermann

Date: 07:37:55 11/14/98


Valentin Albillo, more than a year ago, posted his "unsolved"
3qk3/8/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQ - (Test #91:
<http://www.multimania.com/albillo/ajedre9a.htm>). Computationally intensive,
Albillo conjectured "it's a mate in 12". A number of chess engines had a go at
it, but the attempts are old and seem dated. I wonder if this problem has since
been solved.

I thought I should let MacChess (5.0b3) try this on my 300 MHz G3. After 56
hours, toward the end of 13-ply, MacChess came up with:

 1. e4 Qd4
 2. Bb5+ Ke7
 3. Qg4 Qe5
 4. Qd7+ Kf8
 5. d3 Qh5
 6. Bf4 Qf7
 7. Bh6+ Kg8
 8. Bc4 Kh7
 9. Qxf7+ Kxh6

Despite the program's move-extenders (which caused my analysis to go 93 plies
deep on some line!), it couldn't see the follow-up (because, I guess, "g3" is a
non-trivial move and does not engage the move-extender):

10. g3 Kg5
11. Qg7+ Kh5
12. Bf7#

Anyways, I do not pretend this (necessarily) "solves" the problem. But there are
people out there with faster computers and better programs than mine. Anyone?



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