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Chessgames.com Holiday Present Hunt

2014 PRESENT HUNT PRIZES SPONSORED BY:

New in Chess   Impala Press   Impala Press   Chessgames.com

See previous contests:
The 2007 Present Hunt | The 2008 Present Hunt | The 2009 Present Hunt | The 2010 Present Hunt
The 2011 Present Hunt | The 2012 Present Hunt | The 2013 Present Hunt

RULES FOR THE 2014 HOLIDAY PRESENT HUNT: Each clue below refers to a chess game in our database, and these games contain a banner that you can click on to claim a present. Be the first to find the game and click the banner to claim your prize. We will be adding more clues to this page at random intervals until December 24th, 2014. See our Official Rules to view the prizes and for other important information.

NOTE: You are not currently signed into Chessgames.com. In order to claim a prize, you must have an account. Registration is easy, free, and confidential. If you don't have an account already, visit our Registration Page page to get a free account now! If you do have an account, sign-in so you can claim prizes.

The 2014 Chessgames Holiday Puzzle Hunt is over! Congratulations to the winners. All mailed prizes will be sent out by the first week of January. Thanks to everybody for playing, and we hope to do it again next year.

Merry Christmas!
The Chessgames Staff

THESE CLUES HAVE BEEN RECENTLY SOLVED: [click here for full list]

clue #53: prize claimed by TheBish!
Of course, in a state of sin.

1234567, 1398759, 1593442, 1353255, 1411192, 1316805, 1392967, 1509639, 1693234, 1511859, 1695232, 1373613, ?

Hint: There is a function f(xn) = xn+1 which will produce all of the numbers shown, in sequence. The function relies only on basic arithmetic: no square roots, exponents, trig functions, or anything like that.

Hint 2: The difference between the first two terms is 164192. That number has an interesting property (esp. with regards to the first term). If you discover that property, you are well on your way to the solution.

SOLUTION: Gufeld vs W Schmidt, 1974
PRIZE: The book Improve Your Chess Pattern Recognition from New in Chess
COMMENT: The title is a reference to a quote by John Von Neumann on the nature of arithmetic producing random numbers. These numbers are pseudorandomly generated by a simple arithmetic algorithm. In each step, take the 7 digit number and break it apart into the leftmost digit, the rightmost digit, and the 5 digits in between. Then multiply them all together, and add 1234567. For example: 1234567 → 1 * 23456 * 7 + 1234567 = 1398759. Repeating this process on the last number gives you the solution, game ID 1346650.

clue #54: prize claimed by Pi Guy!
Wordplay Swordplay
  1. evil eternal life
  2. giggling massacre
  3. disfigured in wedlock
  4. straighten slander
  5. angry swashbuckler
  6. warehouse tyrant
  7. burning bird
  8. gambling mecca herbivores

SOLUTION: T Simpson vs S Yvonne, 2002
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to Chessgames.com
COMMENT: Each of these phrases indicates two words, the second of which can be created by adding a letter to the first. The solutions are: 1. immorality immortality, 2. laughter slaughter, 3. marred married, 4. align malign, 5. irate pirate, 6. depot despot, 7. flaming flamingo, 8. Vegas vegans. The letters added are T-S-I-M-P-S-O-N, Tony Simpson.

clue #55: prize claimed by rogl!
Bad Math?
  • 33 = 23
  • 21 - 3 = 13
  • 5 + 19 = 23
  • 5! = 80
  • 31 - 25 = 4
  • 12 * 5 = 61
  • 102 - 11 = 21
  • 73 = 292
  • 50 - 5 = 47

SOLUTION: Leko vs J Hickl, 1992
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to Chessgames.com
COMMENT: No, the math's not bad: these statements all make sense if interpreted in a base different than decimal. For example, 33 = 23 in base 12. The bases that make the expressions correct are: 12, 5, 11, 15, 8, 9, 3, 11, and 12. Converting those numbers to letters gives LEKO-HICKL.

clue #56: prize claimed by druid!
A Bolder Type of Clue

SOLUTION: Anderssen vs M Lange, 1868
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to Chessgames.com
COMMENT: This is a test of font identification. The font displayed is an old and well known typeset called Aachen Bold and the solution game is one of the games from the master tournament played in Aachen at the 7th Congress of the Chess Association of West-Germany. (You can find that tournament easily by searching for "Aachen" in our Tournament Index.)

clue #57: prize claimed by martin1456!
Wordsearch
W E S E N O J E R E E D
N N P M C S H A N E G A
L E E T S E U Q N O C V
I E E N N O R W O O D I
B K L S O H H S A N D E
A T M H E S A O E N G S
R L A N I D G S W H A R
D E N B L E S D T E A T
E U E E V E R Y O T L H
N I R S E L I M N H G L

SOLUTION: W Golding vs Adams, 2014
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to Chessgames.com
COMMENT: A number of prominent British players can be found in the grid: BARDEN, CONQUEST, DAVIES, HODGSON, HOWELL, JONES, KEENE, MCSHANE, MILES, NORWOOD, NUNN, SADLER, and SPEELMAN. The leftover letters spell, "We're English, and the English are best at everything." This is a quote from Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

clue #58: prize claimed by Spuddy!
London's Finest



Hint: When you think Jaques, think Mieses.

SOLUTION: A Pop vs A Copi, 2012
PRIZE: A six month subscription to Chess Evolution Top GM Secrets from Chess Evolution
COMMENT: First note the type of chess board, a high quality Jaques London. This brings you to a few games, notably Jacques Mieses vs Richard Teichmann, London, 1895. Now the job is to follow Mieses' knight as it hops around the board. The squares will spell out: A GAME WITH A POP HIT. That's a punny clue to a nice tactical shot by Alexandru Pop.

clue #59: prize claimed by shrdlu!
Life Wonderful It's
  • That's why all offspring should be female.
  • It's an act of God! It's an act of God!
  • If one or the other of you witness an interloper in these parts, that's myself.
  • What do you desire? Do you desire the earth's satellite? Just tell me and I'll loop it with a rope and force its descent.
  • I've been storing this capital for a marriage dissolution, should I ever find a life-partner.
  • Instructor claims that each instance of a resonator pealing grants a cherub his aileron.

SOLUTION: W Zagema vs R Kraut, 1988
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to Chessgames.com
COMMENT: These are straightforward restatements of lines from the classic Christmas movie, It's a Wonderful Life. The original lines are:
  ANNIE: That's why all children should be girls.
MARY: It's a miracle! It's a miracle!
ERNIE: If either of you two see a stranger around here, it's me.
GEORGE: What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word,
and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.
ANNIE: I've been saving this money for a divorce, if ever I get a husband.
ZUZU: Teacher says, every time a bell rings an angel gets his wings.
The first letters of the character names spell out AMEGAZ, which backwards is ZAGEMA. (The title was the clue to reverse the order of the letters.)

clue #60: prize claimed by centralfiles!
Looking Good

Note: Line 7 was removed as it was unnecessary and possibly confusing.

SOLUTION: S Lund vs Dotzel, 1991
PRIZE: The book Fried Liver & Burning Pants by "Coach Jay" Stallings
COMMENT: This varies from the standard Snellen eye-chart, notably that the letters ABCDEFGHI are all found in the top 4 rows. The ABCDEF portion should read DOTZEL. An extra prize for this puzzle is courtesy of Coach Jay's Chess Academy.

clue #61: prize claimed by Zkid!
I'd Like to Buy a Vowel
  • open (5) street
  • artichoke (3) beat
  • hoop (4) steak
  • mother (3) bumps
  • punch (1) dancing
  • exchange (2) driver

SOLUTION: D Marolt vs B Skok, 2001
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to Chessgames.com
COMMENT: Each of these word pairs has an implied middle word, in the style of the "before and after" clues of the game show Wheel of Fortune. The phrases are: OPEN SESAME STREET, ARTICHOKE HEART BEAT, HOOP SKIRT STEAK, MOTHER GOOSE BUMPS, PUNCH LINE DANCING, EXCHANGE STUDENT DRIVER. Indexing the numbers in the middle words spells out MAROLT.

clue #62: prize claimed by tobywan!
20 Easy Pieces


(click for larger view)

SOLUTION: W Wilson vs S Langleben, 1898
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to Chessgames.com
COMMENT: When you assemble the jigjaw puzzle you have a portrait of the 28th president of the United States, Woodrow Wilson. (The completed portrait looks like this.) Puzzle created with jigsawplanet.com.

clue #63: prize claimed by OBIT!
SETI

We have intercepted a message from two headed, six legged, seventeen fingered, chess playing aliens. It reads:

EARTHLING GAME 13874E SHOWS PROMISE FOR THIS PRIMITIVE SPECIES

SOLUTION: V Gunina vs Ju Wenjun, 2013
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to Chessgames.com
COMMENT: The key here was that the aliens have 17 fingers, implying they might use a base 17 numbering system. 13874E (assuming E = 14) is the game ID, 1711829.

clue #64: prize claimed by Domdaniel!
All is Calm, All is Bright

SOLUTION: Blackburne vs M Rudge, 1875
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to Chessgames.com
COMMENT: An easy one to end the year: a game between Joseph and Mary. Merry Christmas to everyone, and a happy new year!

SOME GENERAL TIPS AND HINTS:

  1. This list is designed to provide some helpful hints and tips to win the contest. See the Official Rules for complete information.
  2. Bookmark this page and check back frequently. You never know when the next clue might appear, and as soon as it does, the race is on.
  3. Each clue has a title. Occasionally the title is critical to solving the clue, most of the time it's intended to be a hint, and sometimes it's utterly meaningless.
  4. Some clues involve initials. E.g., the clue "B.F. vs B.S." might refer to Bobby Fischer vs Boris Spassky. But don't expect the obvious: we like to be intentionally misleading, too.
  5. If you are trying to solve a clue, keep your eye out for a seven-digit game ID number, for that is the index to all games in our database. For example, to see game number 1234567 you just go to http://www.chessgames.com/1234567. (Alternately, you can enter the 7-digit number into our EZ Search on the homepage.) Be aware that the valid range of game ID's goes from 1,000,000 to (approx.) 1,780,000. So you don't have to examine all 10 million numbers, "only" about 780 thousand.
  6. Because every valid game ID begins with the numeral "1", if you see a sequence of 7 items try to figure out how the first item could possibly be interpreted as a "1"--once you've got that, the rest may follow.
  7. Starting in 2012, all clues will have titles. These titles may provide additional hints to help solve the problem, although some are red herrings.
  8. Some clues draw upon popular chess literature and anecdotes.
  9. Not all clues will narrow the field down to a single game; some clues may refer to more than one possible game. Some clues are very hard exactly because they are very vague. For clues like these, you'll simply have to search through the possible games and hope that you get lucky. We're not cruel: we try to keep the number of possibilities down to a manageable number.
  10. Some clues involve anagrams. For example, if a clue was "Apply Humor 1850" then you might want to look at Paul Morphy games from 1850. ("Apply Humor" is an anagram of "Paul Morphy".)
  11. We like to pick games from collections, so don't rule out the Chess Game Collection Search as a solving method.
  12. Some clues are puns, similar to what you might find on our Game of the Day. The Game of the Day Archive might come in handy, even though it only goes back one year.
  13. For some clues, a knowledge of chess players and chess history is helpful--but there are also references to literature, language, pop culture, mathematics, and the arts.
  14. Many clues are intentionally misleading, in the spirit of crossword puzzles.
  15. Some clues look easy and truly are. We call these "race clues" because once it's released, the race is on to get to the right game page and claim the prize.
  16. Sometimes a clue will be very hard, and then a subsequent clue will make a reference designed to act as a hint for the earlier very hard clue. So if everybody is stuck on a real stumper, pay careful attention to the new clues being released.
  17. We promise that we will never insert hints into the HTML of the pages. This includes the filenames (e.g. what the clue graphic file is named in our web server) as well as "alt text" that we use for our graphics. In other words, there's no point in viewing the hidden elements of the HTML page, because we assure you that it will never help.
  18. Don't ask the chessgames administrators for any clarification of the meanings of clues. Some of them are designed to be confusing and ambiguous; we will refuse to clarify their meaning. However, we sometimes offer additional hints to clues which go unsolved for a long period of time.
  19. To give everybody a fair chance, there is a limit of five (5) prizes per member. If you are skilled enough to win 5 prizes you'll have to stop playing until next year.
  20. It is possible to design software that downloads thousands of games in bulk to scan the HTML pages for prize graphics. This is regarded as cheating. We have measures in place designed to detect and prevent this. Anybody caught using these methods will be disqualified, and the prizes will not be awarded but instead returned to the prize pool.
  21. Chessgames.com will be the most important site to use for all clues, but being skilled with Google.com can also help a lot. Some of the clues will involve anagrams, for which the Internet Anagram Server is an indispensable resource. Cryptograms are easily cracked with an online tool such as QuipQuip. For questions of history, art, mathematics, or a number of other subjects that our clues reference, Wikipedia will surely come in handy. Having a good dictionary will also be an asset.
  22. There is no rule against discussing clues in progress. Traditionally, this is done at the Kibitzer's Café.
  23. Since many clues refer to player names, our Player Directory will be a valuable tool. When searching for players by name, it's probably best to use the Advanced Search on the homepage.

    and finally:

  24. This contest would not exist were it not for the generous contributions of our sponsors. Whether or not you win, you should take a minute to visit their websites and see the fine publications and merchandise they have to offer.


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