[Retros] rstan

Richard Stanley rstan at math.mit.edu
Mon Sep 30 19:43:33 EDT 2013

Related to games determined by their first and last moves is the following
well-known problem. In a game of chess White playes 1.f3 2.Kf2 3.Kg3
4.Kh4, after which Black mates White (on Black's fourth move). What are
Black's moves?

The solution is e5/e6, Qf6, Qxf3+, Be7, so not quite unique if indeed this
is the only solution. This suggests problems like the following: what is
the largest n such that if White's (or Black's) first n moves are
specified, then there is a unique game in which Black mates
White (or White mates Black) after the specified moves? As an example that
such a problem is possible, but with no attempt to maximize n: 1.e4 2.e5


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