Talent Test Solution

This test is, I believe, original. Maybe I am too partial to my own creation, but I also believe this to be a very good test of aptitude. The queen moves along ranks, files and diagonals and you have to make an enormous number of well planned knight manoeuvres - so there is a little bit of everything involved. It is sufficiently difficult and challenging for concentration and perseverance to be useful qualities that will improve performance. In this test, speed is of the essence and most readers should be able to work out a possible solution for themselves, given time. I will just give the first few moves (in fact, not everybody I showed this test to succeeded in reaching the c1 square):
1.Na3 2.Nc2 3.Ne1 4.Nf3 5.Nh2 6.Nf1 7.Ng3 8.Ne2 9.Nc1 10.Ne2 11.Ng3 12.Nf1 13.Nh2 14.Nf3 15.Ne1 etc.

Knightmoves Test, Results:

Results in seconds

Matthew Sadler  290
Michael Adams 330
Jonathan Parker 340
Julian Hodgson  420
Jon Wilson 460
Artur Kogan 470
Andy Clark 480
Michele Godena 540
Natasha Regan 600
David Friedgood 700
Michael McDowell 750
Sonia Sirletti 1140
Kevin of the Teachers 1440

Results are in seconds. One or two people, who shall remain nameless, could not or would not complete the test. Leading grandmaster Michael Adams is without question a player of immense natural talent. Former English ladies international, Natasha Regan (about 2150 at the time of the test) insisted that readers should know that she was a little drunk when doing the test. ‘You prefer people to think of you as drunk rather than talentless, Natasha?’, I asked. ‘Yes, definitely’, she replied. FIDE Masters Jon Wilson and David Friedgood were both rated about 2300 at the time of the test. David Friedgood was commenting on various aesthetic features that he noticed. This must have harmed his performance. Michael McDowell is the leading problem solver and composer in Southend On Sea, and one of the best in Great Britain. I believe he was about 1800 strength at the time of the test. Andy Clark is something like 2100 strength. He is talented but does not play much. Sonia Sirletti is a charming Italian blond from Naples, about the same standard as Michael McDowell but more attractive. Kevin of the Teachers is also about the same strength, but his application to the task was not total. I suspect he is an example of very high intelligence without special aptitude for chess, mainly because he refuses to be competitive. With practice, your time on this test should come down. If you want to make an impression down at your chess club, secretly practice this ten times a day for a month. Do not tell anybody about it and pretend you have never seen the test before. One day, somebody at your club will probably bring this book along. You can casually flick through it and then suggest everybody tries the test. I can do it in about three minutes now and I am sure that is nothing special if you have practiced sufficiently.

Extract from Genius in Chess (J. Levitt, 128 pages, Batsford, 1997, £12.99 ISBN 0 7134 8049 1)
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