“Chess is the gymnasium of the mind.”
Last week we had the level 4 (rating range 1,100 to 1,400) graduation exam. It was the first time when we did it online: one hour to solve 20 puzzles. A simple arithmetic look at it gives the student 3 minutes per puzzle. Any saved time from the easy puzzles (anything you know how to solve is easy, right?) could be used for the harder ones. It is interesting to note none of the students thought about it this way. We are going to talk about it this week when we go over the solutions.
The final result was pretty good. All but one passed the test. It is true this year I lowered the passing grade from 75% to 50%; still in the old format more than half would have passed it. I was quite pleased of it given the hard year we went through together. In the same time this gave me the idea to share with you and 3 most challenging puzzles based on the answers received. Let’s see how well you do. Each one of them is worth 1 point. Solve them in 9 minutes or less:
How well did you do? Did you get them all in time? If you did, congratulations! Your rating should be at least 1,400. Possibly the puzzles are not very complicated; however they need a bit of care in putting the solution together. Finding the winning idea is the first step. Next step, one needs precision in executing it all the way to the end. See the solutions below. If your solutions are not identical, deduct points accordingly. My students also got a quarter or half a point if that was the case.