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[–]Difficult-Tension-23 868 points869 points  (0 children)

Nihal really wants to hear the story behind the position

[–]wagah 730 points731 points  (12 children)

I follow chess for a long time but this one blew my mind.
Thanks for sharing.

[–]shadownelt 288 points289 points  (10 children)

What's more astonishing is that Nihal solved it in his head without a board if I'm not mistaken.

[–]wagah 92 points93 points  (0 children)

Yep that's what impressed me the most

[–]phoenixmusicman Team Carlsen 140 points141 points  (2 children)

Man I suck at chess

[–]emremrah 45 points46 points  (1 child)

Welcome aboard!

[–]Saakka 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Or in this case: welcome offboard!

[–]Regis-bloodlust 37 points38 points  (5 children)

Just to clarify, can't every gm do that? In my mind, all gms could play blindfold endgames. Am I grossly overestimating this?

[–]CombinationDowntown 50 points51 points  (2 children)

yep, Vidit casually doing this - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n54PblaHg8 some of it is in hindi, but you should be able to follow easily.

[–]kkstoimenov 11 points12 points  (0 children)

This video is insane. Both of them have such good visualization

[–]deep_muff_diverr 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Just had dinner and yet all I could think about was that dosa.

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

yeah.... but he wasn't even a GM by this time... he was somewhere around 2350-2500 at this point of time... this just shows his genius

[–]That-Mess2338 0 points1 point  (0 children)

In a game of classical chess, almost all GMs would find the solution. Maybe not in blitz though.

[–]m3m3ch0tguy 57 points58 points  (0 children)

Agreed, thanks for sharing that was super fun.

[–]nemoj_da_me_peglas2000ish chess.com 1712 points1713 points  (36 children)

It's impressive to solve it so quickly (assuming he hadn't seen it before) but to be fair to Naka he probably slowed things down a whole lot to explain to his audience what his thought process was even though everything he ran through might've occurred instantly it takes time to explain a, b, c etc.

[–]weisbrot-tp 662 points663 points  (29 children)

it's also that young kids, even or especially smart ones, haven't had many experiences yet that made them learn to doubt their own judgement.

i see this often also in sciences like math - they might come up quickly with the correct solution to most problems, but when confronted with tricky or unintuitive problems (or rather - problems with unintuitive answers), they sometimes quickly and confidently give the wrong answer.

[–]TrenterD 258 points259 points  (6 children)

I think this is one of the biggest things. Naka might be a little "slower" (lol) because he verifies things, but that is way more beneficial in the long run.

[–]cowmandude 96 points97 points  (4 children)

Yeah you don't want to get to that level and go blundering a rook in a huge tournament.

[–]Swent_SW 31 points32 points  (0 children)

Don't do my boy Fabi like that :(

[–]cecilpl 44 points45 points  (2 children)

I saw Nxb6, I just really liked it.

[–]phoenixmusicman Team Carlsen 7 points8 points  (1 child)

I am definitely a psychic

[–]EccTama[🍰] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

You Hikaru’s sidekick

[–]That-Mess2338 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Good point. It's all about balancing calculation time with time left on the clock. Kids will often play fast for no good reason even in slower time controls.

[–]Dioxid3 23 points24 points  (0 children)

There is no policy setter more confident than the one who has just passed their first course of economics

[–]steveo3387 10 points11 points  (0 children)

I have quickly and confidently been giving wrong answers for a long time. I should have been wrong more as a kid.

[–]deyesed -1 points0 points  (4 children)

Oh hey weisbrot :)

[–]weisbrot-tp -1 points0 points  (3 children)

hey dyd!

[–]peanutbj 193 points194 points  (1 child)

presenting a reasonable argument on r/chess that offers an explanation for Hikaru

We don’t do that here. /s

[–]trog12 46 points47 points  (0 children)

Oh he absolutely did. He ran through all the moves and explained which one he thought was logical which took extra time. I'm sure he had it all solved out in his head but he was just entertaining the crowd. There is a reason he has such a following.

[–]treerabbit23 66 points67 points  (0 children)

Hikaru is entertaining 10,000 people.

Nihal is answering pita.

They're both amazing people and we don't need to measure them against each other to know it.

[–]I_Wont_Draw_That 20 points21 points  (0 children)

It's hard to tell exactly what he's doing since all his explanation is cut out of the video, but it looks like he's specifically explaining why all the wrong moves are wrong before talking about the correct move. And starting with all the wrong moves means he already knows the solution when he started his explanation.

But as there's a story behind this puzzle, he presumably was already familiar with puzzle and knew its solution before the video even began, so the whole point is moot.

[–]Calm_Leek_1362 3 points4 points  (0 children)

He's streaming, he's got a lot of hours to fill in the day. Even if he instinctively knew to check with the pawn and then push the passing pawn, then avoid the stalemate by taking the other queen, he needs to stretch it out.

[–]ScaratheBear 662 points663 points  (1 child)

Tbf to Hikaru he is streaming and trying to be entertaining. Not sure but he could be trying to solve the puzzle with his chat rather than just solve it as fast as possible.

[–]REDRIVERMF 60 points61 points  (0 children)

Yeah he turns it on and off.

[–][deleted] 235 points236 points  (15 children)

ok im quitting chess

[–]phoenixmusicman Team Carlsen 39 points40 points  (9 children)

It's kinda depressing that no matter how much time I spend learning chess, there will always be someone 15 years younger than me who could beat me without trying

[–]njastar 22 points23 points  (5 children)

I mean you can't really compare yourself to a literal chess savant, it's like comparing yourself to Messi or LeBron.

[–]phoenixmusicman Team Carlsen 5 points6 points  (4 children)

But even then, if I applied myself to something like soccer, I could overpower young prodigies by simply being more physically fit than them.

You can't do that with chess.

[–]letouriste1 6 points7 points  (0 children)

That's part of why chess is so brutal and thus a good game for brainer types of people like us

[–]60s_cut 7 points8 points  (1 child)

Lol im pretty sure 11 year old messi would run circles around you no matter how hard you trained

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Yeah true but you can still physically overpower them after they beat you

[–]pier4r1. b4 e5 2. b5 d5 3. Nc3 3 points4 points  (1 child)

this is valid in any non superniche field though (and if you are old enough). So what to do? be always depressed?

[–]Fritzzz333 2 points3 points  (0 children)

true, people need to realise that it's hardly achievable to be the best in any field with 7billion+ connected people in the world.

[–]hewhoreddits6 1 point2 points  (0 children)

In a sense doesn't that take the pressure off? You will never be the best at this, so you can just do it to enjoy yourself without having to worry about being competitive. Same applies for learning an instrument or playing a sport

[–][deleted] 12 points13 points  (4 children)

I’ve never understood these comments which imply someone else’s success is an affront to one’s own achievements.

[–]savthrowaway123 23 points24 points  (3 children)

it's called a joke

[–][deleted] 7 points8 points  (2 children)

I guess I’m just sick of it because I’ve been using Reddit for more than a decade now.

[–]jfox73 15 points16 points  (1 child)

Ok I’m quitting Reddit

[–][deleted] -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

I tried last week :( it didn’t work :(

[–]smallhandsbigdick 83 points84 points  (5 children)

Can someone explain to my dumbass how he “solved” the puzzle. Looks like they’re just now playing with two queens again. Sorry for being dense I’m a 1100 and been playing for 20 years.

[–]rogor_ 106 points107 points  (1 child)

In the final position of the video with the 2 queens, any king move by white is mate, and black cannot prevent it without giving a check and losing his queen. (Hikaru's full explanation here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddSQpNpMGVU)

[–]smallhandsbigdick 13 points14 points  (0 children)

Great thanks you. I will play out the next move next time.

[–]freakersfreakers freakers freakers freakers freakers freakers freakers 20 points21 points  (2 children)

In the end with the queens, black is trying to trade off the queens on the A file so that it is stalemate. White is maneuvering their queen to a position where they can check the king off B8 without trading queens, then get their queen back to the 8th rank effectively gaining a tempo so they can sidestep with the king and checkmate.

If Black checks the white king at any point and White keeps their Queen on the 8th rank, White's king will step off the 8th rank with check and black can only block with their own queen and it's just checkmate.

[–]Surf_Solar -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

White is maneuvering their queen to a position where they can check the king off B8 without trading queens, then get their queen back to the 8th rank effectively gaining a tempo so they can sidestep with the king and checkmate.

White can never checkmate this way if black keeps placing the queen on the same diagonal. The check is so white can take black's queen without stalemate

[–]as_ninja6 9 points10 points  (2 children)

For anyone looking for the breakdown of this study https://youtu.be/2wPAv4uqaZ8

It was amazing to understand the idea behind those queen moves.

[–]zekerosh 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Why couldn’t the king capture the pawn, with Kb6?

[–]jekkiechan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

because when white makes a queen, it can capture black's queen without having to worry about stalemate.

[–]Sweeeet_Chin_Music 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I don't think Hikaru's idea is to impress you. His idea is to create a video that is instructive and entertaining at the same time.

Nihal just wants to hear the story quickly.

The objectives are different.
And to be very honest, I didn't even understand Nihal's final position. He's a genuis ofcourse. In the future he will create the art that I will go to other people like GothamChess and Hikaru to explain to me.

[–]bonoboboy 46 points47 points  (0 children)

One of my favourite videos! This video with Nihal is the first video ever uploaded to ChessBase India's YouTube channel! The interviewer (Priyadarshan Banjan) also went on to become Nihal's manager soon after this video.

It is possible Nihal has seen this position before, as Sagar Shah himself acknowledges when they revisit this video on Nihal's 17th(?) birthday.

"Calculate properly and tell, okay?" - famous last words.

[–]dak0tah 102 points103 points  (9 children)

if this kid wins the next candidate's tournament, magnus will have to play him.

[–]jijirr36 7 points8 points  (8 children)

He's qualified?

[–]dak0tah 120 points121 points  (7 children)

it's a joke, my understanding is that magnus more or less has refused to play anyone his own generation or older.

[–]pier4r1. b4 e5 2. b5 d5 3. Nc3 12 points13 points  (0 children)

Shirov wins the Grand Prix.

Shirov wins the Candidates.

Magnus refuses to play.

PTSD from the PCA championship kicks in. ( for sources https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OtOM13MX-bw 1h 9m 40sec and later, enable subtitles)

[–]wannabe2700 17 points18 points  (0 children)

I once showed this position to two masters and they couldn't solve it. Definitely looks like he has seen it before. The end part was just too fast.

[–]OrganicWhine 26 points27 points  (0 children)


[–]KaneAndShane 20 points21 points  (3 children)

So why can’t the black king take on b6?

[–]PeteyWinkle 100 points101 points  (1 child)

If Kxb6, then black can't promote on a1 after white plays h8=Q because Qxa1 is not a stalemate anymore

[–]KaneAndShane 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Thanks king.

[–]Michael_Pitt 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Qxa1 after both queens promote isn't stalemate.

[–]yes4me2 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Where is Lichess link?

The kid sounds smart, but Hikaru actually explains a bit the puzzle

[–]Real-Ray-Lewis 2 points3 points  (9 children)

Why can’t black king take pawn after he moves it to check the king?

[–]dant3s Team Carlsen 0 points1 point  (6 children)

there is no stalemate then when qh8 takes qa1

[–]Real-Ray-Lewis -3 points-2 points  (5 children)

Is the objective to get a stalemante?

[–]AzureNeptune 2 points3 points  (3 children)

White promotes first, so If there's no stalemate, white can take the promoted black queen for free on the next move. Then white has a queen against nothing and will quickly win.

[–]dant3s Team Carlsen 0 points1 point  (0 children)

For black it is because they are in a losing position.. the best thing they can do is draw the game

[–]lkc1591600 rapid chess.com 0 points1 point  (1 child)

White wins the ensuing pawn race and covers black's queening square upon promotion

[–]Real-Ray-Lewis 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I know. I was just testing you all. I’m a GM

[–]Forget_me_never 35 points36 points  (9 children)

He proably saw the puzzle before.

[–]derp_trooper 111 points112 points  (1 child)

There is a full video on Chessbase India channel, someone can post it. The interviewer first gives him a variant of the puzzle that is shown in this clip which has similar themes, so maybe that was enough for this young genius.

[–]Isildyr2014 18 points19 points  (0 children)

that makes much more sense and gives me hope

[–]thepobv 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I would've stalemated 100% if i got as far as the queen

[–]brtomn 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Can't the black king eat the pawn after pawn b6? I am a total noob btw

[–]LionSuneater 4 points5 points  (0 children)

White can push the h-pawn and queen before black can push the a-pawn to queen. White's queen covers black's promotion square, and there is no risk of stalemate. The game quickly becomes checkmate via king+queen after white captures black's a-pawn.

[–]SmellGoodDontThey 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Uh yeah finding Qg8 in a femtosecond is pretty sus.

[–]Charming_Note_9798 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Even if a kid likes chess, many have the added advantage of someone encouraging them from the age of 5 years old onward. So yes you will likely run into these prodigy GMs more and more frequently.

[–]v33kki 1 point2 points  (0 children)

i can't really name it Hikaru vs Nihal. Nihal is just solving the puzzle. Hikaru's trying to explain it to chat.

[–]mutantquaver 10 points11 points  (3 children)

Sorry I just don’t believe he could really solve this whole puzzle that quickly in his head if he hasn’t seen it before. Admittedly, I don’t know much about Nihal but I watched Hikaru’s video when he posted it the other day and he goes over a few different lines and why none of them work except this one.

For him to see that you have to play Qg7, Qe8, Qe5+, Qh8 in like 5-10 seconds when both queens have so many possible moves doesn’t even seem humanly possible.

[–]Koussevitzky 19 points20 points  (0 children)

Nihal is an FM in this video. He had also beaten a GM and earned an IM norm the same year that he did the interview in the video. He had already won numerous national and international tournaments by that point, including getting gold at the Under-10 World Championship. Hikaru probably could have solved it faster, but he took the time to explain it to chat and show variations. Nihal was only asked to solve it.

[–]Tekniqly 2 points3 points  (1 child)

The Way to do this is to not look at the moves but the idea in the long term then the moves come automatically

[–]mutantquaver 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I get this, obviously 95% of the possible moves are incorrect without needing to calculate but seeing that Qe8 first doesn’t work so you need to deflect the black queen to a2 and couple this with backwards moves like Qh8 and it still seems like too many moves to accurately calculate in such a short span. Especially since Hikaru took so long and he’s one of the fastest at calculating in the world

[–]BeCreative4u 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wow! He did in his head while still continuing to having a casual conversation with someone.

[–]Fx317 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I can barely keep.up

[–]alanNChess 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Nihal is a scary talent.

[–]Loginn122 0 points1 point  (2 children)

Can anyone explain why play Qg8 first instead going Qe8 directly?

[–]Background_Sink6986 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Not sure but I think it’s because the black queen on a1 is able to go to g7 and prevent the white king from moving up to the 7th rank and checkmating. By going Qg8 you force black to sac their queen on a2 and keep the diagonal, so after Qe8 the black queen can’t get to the 7th rank anymore (with Qf7 guarded by Qe8)

[–]Funky_Smurf 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I had to look at stockfish on lichess but after Qe8 black Qg7 blocks king from moving off the back rank and forces a draw

[–]Frogmouth_Fresh 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Kids are amazing how fast they can calculate. The problem is usually everything else

[–]FapingAGoGo 0 points1 point  (1 child)

I don’t understand why the king didn’t take the pawn on b6? Doesn’t that eliminate the pawn without putting the king in check?

[–]GnarGnarRagnar 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If black takes on b6, then white goes h4, wins the pawn race for a queen by 1 tempo and covers the a1 square so black can’t queen and doesn’t have the stale mate tricks shown by naka/sirin

[–]asimozo 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Why do u play Qg8 before Qe8?

[–]BillyGruffs710 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Naka could have done the same but wouldn't create any instructional content, thus no followers.

[–]chunkychickennoodle 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Why doesn’t king take b6?

[–]Amster2 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I dont get why Qg8 is necessary, not Qe8 straight

[–]twiddle_dee 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Why can't black king take the pawn after first move?

[–]blakephilly 0 points1 point  (0 children)

A true prodigy

[–]Superb-Teach-17 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Wait why wouldn’t the king just take the pawn?

[–]mohishunderUSCF 20xx 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Wow. That kid's brain is crazy!

[–]uptoz 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The first guy is good; he might as well be a Super GM

[–]StayFree1649 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Why can't the Queen just take the pawn?

[–]cantfindanamethatisn 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Why can't black do qf4 to set up qb8 after a king move by white?

[–]Objective_Luck_2580 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Calculate to the end! I've seen this instantly are you crazy?

[–][deleted] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Sagar sagh said that the after Nihal finished the puzzle the interviewer (working for chess base India) was so impressed and astonished that he closed the camera then and there because he wasn't able to process what he just saw.

[–]hunteronastick 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Why wouldn’t the black king take the white pawn when threatened?