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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 | The 2014 Present Hunt

RULES FOR THE 2015 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, 2015. See our Official Rules to view the prizes and for other important information.

NOTE: You are not currently signed into 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 2015 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 360degrees!
Initially Perplexing

Take a ST-AB at this one.

SOLUTION: Tartakower vs Burn, 1911
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to
COMMENT: ST-AB is Savielly Tartakower vs Amos Burn.

clue #54: prize claimed by tpstar!
♘ Tour
F   T   T   Y   H


D E * G A



SOLUTION: Sajtar vs Pachman, 1943
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to
COMMENT: This is a 5x5 knight's tour which spells "GOTD SAJTARDAY KNIGHT FEVER".

clue #55: prize claimed by Enrico Leon!
Home is Where the Hearth Is

Hint: Quickshot was nerfed. Now it costs one more.

SOLUTION: N Ninov vs J Zawadzka, 2006
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to
COMMENT: These are cards from the game Hearthstone with their mana-costs in the upper-left corner obscured. Reading from the top of the stack to the bottom, the mana-costs are 1, 4, 3, 6, 9, 3, and 2, giving you the game ID.

clue #56: prize claimed by 7krzem7!

First is Delaware; eighth is David.

SOLUTION: H Rittner vs M Umansky, 1995
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to
COMMENT: The text is meaningless except for the first initials, which spell FIDE ID. Carlsen's FIDE ID is the game ID, 1503014. Inspiration for this clue came from Mostly Average Joe.

clue #57: prize claimed by OBIT!
Flowery Speech
  • Berberis aquifolium
  • Camellia japonica
  • Solidago gigantea
  • Prunus persica
  • Magnolia

SOLUTION: Oral vs V Nedela, 2005
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to
COMMENT: State flowers for Oregon (OR), Alabama (AL), Nebraska (NE), Delaware (DE), and Louisiana (LA). That spells ORAL-NEDELA.

clue #58: prize claimed by shalgo!
Chess Invasion
  • I placed the queen beneath my first finger.
  • I have aggressive knights!
  • For energy, I ate molasses-based sucrose.
  • He's only got 3 minutes before time control; I've got 45.
6, 14-15, 21-25, 27-28, 33, 36-37, 40.

Hint: Believe it or not, it makes a huge difference whether you interpret 'first finger' as the index finger, or thumb.

SOLUTION: Miles vs Bronstein, 1976
PRIZE: The book 1.d4 (Volume I) by Boris Avrukh
COMMENT: Not only a chess invasion, a British Invasion! These are all rephrased titles of Rolling Stones songs: Under My Thumb, Wild Horses, Brown Sugar, and Time is on my Side. The numbers index to get the secret message MILESBRONSTEIN.

clue #59: prize claimed by AnimusEtOblivio!
It's Showtime!

SOLUTION: Spassky vs Fischer, 1972
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to
COMMENT: A scene from the recent movie Pawn Sacrifice depicting the 3rd game of the Spassky-Fischer match, right before 12.Bxh5.

clue #60: prize claimed by 7krzem7!
Brilliancy game.

SOLUTION: Maroczy vs Chigorin, 1903
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to
COMMENT: This is a portion of a Christmas card that was sent out by Geza Maroczy to "his wide circle of friends." See for details.

clue #61: prize claimed by MostlyAverageJoe!
Winter Wonderland

Time for a SL-ED ride!

SOLUTION: Lipschutz vs E Delmar, 1889
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to
COMMENT: SL-ED in this case is Samuel Lipschutz vs Eugene Delmar.

clue #62: prize claimed by AnimusEtOblivio!
See Pics:

SOLUTION: Karpov vs Ribli, 1977
PRIZE: The book A Chess Opening Repertoire for Blitz and Rapid from New in Chess
COMMENT: Each image is a species from Star Wars, with the last image being the poster for the original film. Simply take the first letter of each species: on the top row we have Kaminoan, Aqualish, Rodian, Pa'lowick, Ortolan, Vulptereen, on the bottom we have Ranat, Ithorian, Besalisk, Lannik, and Ishi Tib. The result is KARPOV on top, RIBLI below, and the poster represents 1977, the year Star Wars was released.

clue #63: prize claimed by sleepyirv!
Christmas Spirit

SOLUTION: M Mancini vs J F Jolly, 2012
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to
COMMENT: Music by Henry Mancini, in a jolly Christmas spirit.

clue #64: prize claimed by Stantler66!
A Merry Time of Year

SOLUTION: A L'Ami vs A Merry, 2015
PRIZE: A Four Month Premium Subscription to
COMMENT: This concludes the 2015 Chessgames Holiday Present Hunt! Thanks to everybody for playing and congratulations to the winners.


  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. The top of all pages will announce a clue when one is available.
  3. Follow us on Twitter to get tweets the minute a clue is announced.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 (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.) 1,800,000. So you don't have to examine all 10 million numbers, "only" about 800 thousand.
  7. 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.
  8. Starting in 2012, all clues will have titles. These titles may provide additional hints to help solve the problem, although some are just for amusement, if not red herrings.
  9. Some clues draw upon popular chess literature and anecdotes.
  10. 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.
  11. 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".)
  12. We like to pick games from collections, so don't rule out the Chess Game Collection Search as a solving method.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. Many clues are intentionally misleading, in the spirit of crossword puzzles.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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 and results in immediate forfeit of all prizes. 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.
  22. will be the most important site to use for all clues, but being skilled with 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.
  23. There is no rule against discussing clues in progress. Traditionally, this is done at the Kibitzer's Café.
  24. 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:

  25. 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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