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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
The 2015 Present Hunt | The 2016 Present Hunt

RULES FOR THE 2013 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, 2013. 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 2013 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 SOLVED: [click here for short list]

clue #1: prize claimed by SwitchingQuylthulg!
My Favorite Chess Players
  1. Patrick Wolff
  2. Juri Randviir
  3. NN
  4. Shredder
  5. Anton Aaberg
  6. Joseph Gallagher
  7. Dr. Hans-Joachim Hofstetter
  8. Laurent Fressinet
  9. Daniel Noteboom
  10. Alexandre Deschapelles
  11. Batkhuyag Munguntuul
  12. Paul Littlewood
  13. Kalle Kiik
  14. David Norwood
  15. Pascal Charbonneau

SOLUTION: E B Cook vs D Starbuck, 1883
PRIZE: The book Techniques of Positional Play from New in Chess
COMMENT: Each of these players has a double letter in their last name; e.g., Wolff has a double-F. When you spell out the double letters, it reads "FIND ALT SOLUTION". With regard to chess problems, finding an alternate unintended solution is known as a "cook", named (perhaps) after American problemist Eugene Beauharnais Cook.

clue #2: prize claimed by SwitchingQuylthulg!
Saucy Eels
  1. Ether God Thing's Seine-toll Burmen
  2. Houseschool Cork's Gamic
  3. Vole in Netsin
  4. Recent Filed (sable-lab)
  5. Recent Filed (scrap)
  6. iLady sprayer to Halal
  7. Idiom-gag Serjey

SOLUTION: Gligoric vs H Pfleger, 1977
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The title is an anagram of "easy clues", and they are, once you anagram the individual words. The unscrambled text, and the answers: Three Dog Night's loneliest number (1); Schoolhouse Rock's Magic (3); Love in Tennis (0); Center field (baseball) (8); Center field (craps) (9); Daily prayers to Allah (5); DiMaggio Jersey (5). String the numbers together to get the game ID, 1308955.

clue #3: prize claimed by OBIT!
Cult Classics

SOLUTION: Anand vs Chandler, 1990
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: These are both fragments of posters for obscure movies, the left one being Anand (1970) and the right Chandler (1971). (Tip: It's likely that the solver of this clue used a service such as TinEye.)

clue #4: prize claimed by MostlyAverageJoe!

  1. Not getting the job hoped for?
  2. Elevator for birds?
  3. Found diner receipt?
  4. Grabbing the receiver?
  5. Seamstress staple?
  6. Sell tempest for quick cash?
  7. Hallway buddy?
  1. Svidler vs Malakhov
  2. Alekhine vs Fletcher
  3. Kotov vs Botvinnik
  4. Kasparov vs Campora
  5. Miles vs Pritchett
  6. Alekhine vs Stephan
  7. Oll vs Ulibin

SOLUTION: B Khotenashvili vs E V Kovalevskaya, 2013
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Each item on the left is a "daffynition" for a common chess term; e.g., "found diner receipt" is a "discovered check." These terms are each thematic in one of the seven games on the right. When you put the right column in the proper order to match the left column, the new order of the numbers reveal the 7 digit game ID, 1725346. The answers are: 1. Underpromotion (Svidler-Malakhov), 2. Rook lift (Oll-Ulibin), 3. Discovered check (Alekhine-Fletcher), 4. Interference (Miles-Pritchett), 5. Pin (Kotov-Botvinnik), 6. Pawn Storm (Kasparov-Campora), 7. Corridor Mate (Alekhine-Stephan).

clue #5: prize claimed by adoresome!

SOLUTION: Kasimdzhanov vs Carlsen, 2007
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: This rebus should be interpreted as "blitz" + "cup" + "pelican" (Pelikan). Here, Magnus Carlsen wins with a nice finesse.

clue #6: prize claimed by Alekhine2000!
Chess Party Guest List
  • Emil Sutovsky
  • Goran Cehic
  • Rybka (Computer)
  • Viktor Balogh
  • Melinda Goczo
  • Igor Glek
  • Peter Acs
  • Michael Topp
  • Dale McTavish
  • Ian Rogers
  • Stu Taylor
  • Zhaoqin Peng
  • Shirley Ben Dak
  • Jan Priborsky

SOLUTION: E Schiller vs Marley, 1979
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Each name contains one letter used twice. These spell: SCROOGE PARTNER, so the answer is a game by Marley.

clue #7: prize claimed by shalgo!

SOLUTION: Glucksberg vs Najdorf, 1929
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Nieśmiertelny is the polish word for immortal and this game has been dubbed "The Polish Immortal".

clue #8: prize claimed by sleepyirv!

SOLUTION: M Marovic vs M Carlhammar, 1990
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to

clue #9: prize claimed by OBIT!
Inverse Square Law


SOLUTION: D Petrukhin vs E Rusakov, 2001
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Your calculator will tell you quickly that 1261 squared is 1590121. Now turn it upside down (per the "inverse" in the title) to get the game ID 1210651.

clue #10: prize claimed by Sastre!
Your Uncle

SOLUTION: Battle of the Brains 3, 2009
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Pictured are Bob (from Twin Peaks), Bob Hope, and Bob Marley. The game is the Chessgames Challenge Battle of the Brains 3, or "BOB3" for short.

clue #11: prize claimed by BVer!
______! What's going on up there?!

• I'm here to speak out against discovered tacks. I heard some people in a hotel lobby talk about them as if they are a good thing. This isn't right. If you find a tack that doesn't belong to you, you should find the owner. And be certain to have it tucked away nice and safe, so that it doesn't poke anybody. Tacks can be very dangerous and should not be left lying around. Um, what? You say it's "discovered attacks?" Some kind of chess move? Oh. I'm sorry. Nevermind.

• So there I am, the first round, and guess who I'm paired with? None other than Telly Savalas! He's a hunk, but between you and me, he had a boil on his neck that looks like it needed to be lanced. So anyhow, I got the control of the center. No worries for me--snug as a bug in a rug! But then Telly starts leaning over the board... and he sweats. Like little raindrops, drip drip dripping on my pieces, and it starts pooling in that little round thing on the top of my rooks, you know? So I say, "Telly! This is making me sick." Then I make a move, and hang my queen! It just goes to show: if it's not one thing, it's another.

SOLUTION: NN vs Judy, 1851
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The two paragraphs are reminiscent of two Gilda Radner characters from Saturday Night Live. The first is the hard-of-hearing Emily Litella, and the second is the crude Roseanne Roseannadanna. The title hints at a third Gilda Radner character, a young girl named Judy Miller.

clue #12: prize claimed by chancho!
The Early Notes

SOLUTION: P Short vs Short, 2013
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Pictured is the band The Royal Teens (which is an anagram of "The Early Notes") performing their famous song "Short Shorts", so all you had to do was search for short short.

clue #13: prize claimed by BVer!

MP3 playing ability required; if your browser cannot play MP3 files try downloading it
to your hard-drive (right click; Save As...) then play it in your favorite MP3 player.

Hint: This clue is indeed a reference to the Borislav Ivanov scandal.

SOLUTION: Deep Thought vs Dlugy, 1989
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: This fragment of the Frank Zappa song Stinkfoot is a reference to Borislav Ivanov's 2013 incident involving his refusal to remove his shoes for inspection. There were suspicions that Mr. Ivanov may have been hiding electronic devices in his shoes, but he refused to remove them, adding that his socks smelled. His openent, Maxim Dlugy, won the point on forfeit. The winning game is an example of GM Dlugy playing a computer: exactly the experience that the grandmaster did not want to repeat.

clue #14: prize claimed by MostlyAverageJoe!
Amateur Commentary

What a game! It's at the 4th! It's at the 5th! It's at the 6th! It's on the sevennnnnnth rank! And now the rook! Oh my, the ex-champ is taking a real beating here folks, what can possibly stop this monster pawn? The champ reaches out... and casually shifts her queen. Oh. Oh dear. Um, I see. Yes, that should stop the pawn, alrighty.

Hint: It's a recent game.

SOLUTION: I Gaponenko vs Koneru, 2013
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: One of Koneru Humpy's nicer wins from the recent European Women Club Cup tournament.

clue #15: prize claimed by MostlyAverageJoe!

First Chessgames pioneered Guess-the-Move, the chess training game in which you guess the moves from GM games. Now we've added a revolutionary new training tool we like to call Guess-the-Game.

SOLUTION: Van Wely vs Mamedyarov, 2004
PRIZE: A signed copy of Introduction to 1993 World Chess Championship by Ray Keene
COMMENT: In order to solve this, you'll have to use the advanced search on the homepage. Through trial and error you can determine that any game with less than 48 moves is "too short" and anything more is "too long", that anything prior to 2004 is "too early" and anything after 2004 is "too late", and that the result must be 0-1. Finally you learn that the game itself has kibitzing on it, which reduces the possibilities to just a handful.

clue #16: prize claimed by AnimusEtOblivio!
One, Two, Three...

Cigar cutter (4)Prudential Financial Inc. (1)
T.S. Eliot play (3)Legal (5)
πάπυρος (4)Tarantino movie (8)
Kite (0)Wax or wall (6)
Zig Zag (6)Toronto Lacrosse Team (9)
Burroughs's bestseller (2)Sugar-crystal candy (7)
Hanna-Barbera hit (7)Glass house taboo (1)
Escape from Alcatraz (3)Ron Howard movie (1)
The London Times (1)Thinning or Safety (9)

SOLUTION: N Gogadze vs V Vepkhvishvili, 1993
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Each item refers to either a rock, paper, or scissors. Your job is simply to play Rochambeau (Rock-Paper-Scissors) and pick the winning numbers, skipping over the rounds which are tied.

Notes: Prudential's logo is "the rock". T.S. Eliot published The Rock in 1934. πάπυρος is Greek for "papyrus". There is a Lacrosse team, the Toronto Rock. Ron Howard directed "The Paper", 1994. Quentin Tarantino directed "Pulp Fiction", 1994. Tim Burton directed "Edward Scissorhands" in 1990. Augusten Burroughs published Running with Scissors in 2002. A Hanna-Barbera hit is "the Flintstones". A size of paper is called legal. Alcatraz is nicknamed "the rock". Zig Zag is a type of cigarette paper. The scissor-tailed kite is common in Africa.

clue #17: prize claimed by adoresome!
Rank and File

SOLUTION: J Markiewicz vs A Neoral, 2006
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Determine the military rank implied by each picture: Colonel Sanders, Commodore 64, Major League Baseball, private eye/detective, Captain Crunch, and corporal punishment. The indexed numbers spell NEORAL.

clue #18: prize claimed by AnimusEtOblivio!


Hint: It's a straightforward clue.

SOLUTION: M Greslik vs J Srokowski, 2000
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Unscramble to get ITEMIZE. Note that each letter in ITEMIZE is composed of straight lines. Count the lines: I=1, T=2, E=4, etc. This produces the game ID 1244134.

clue #19: prize claimed by SwitchingQuylthulg!
Don't Be Shortz with Me!

❒❒❒❒❒ = President who ran against Clinton
❒❒❒ = Parallel to the radius
❒❒❒❒❒ = Miller nonce
❒❒❒ = Tourney type
❒❒❒❒ = Corkboard game
❒❒❒❒ = Tudball's secretary

SOLUTION: G Diamandis vs G Mastrokoukos, 2005
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The answers are: Madison, ulna, pompatus, open, darts, and Wiggins. The circled letters spell DIAMANDIS.

clue #20: prize claimed by Aware!
Sleeper Cel

SOLUTION: J Ragnarsson vs M T Popovic, 2008
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Woody Allen disguised as a robot in this scene from the movie Sleeper. The robot's name was "Milo".

clue #21: prize claimed by Domdaniel!
Computer Chess

The aging chess programmer scratched his sideburns, wondering what enormous Elo his software would attain. To the computer, the board was just a grid of cartesian coordinates; its memory akin to Morse code; the pieces mere silhouettes. Soon he'd travel to Delaware and obliterate the competition: their puny machines would surely be reduced to smoldering plastic and flying shrapnel.

SOLUTION: S Nyman vs S Aarseth, 1968
PRIZE: The book Techniques of Positional Play from New in Chess
COMMENT: Some of the words in this narrative are eponyms, and your job is to identify them and find the namegivers. They are: 1. sideburns (Ambrose Burnside), 2. Elo rating (Arpad Elo), 3. cartesian (Rene Descartes), 4. Morse code (Samuel Morse), 5. silhouette (Etienne Silhouette), 6. Delaware (Thomas West, Baron De La Warr), 7. shrapnel (Henry Shrapnel). Stringing together the first letter of the first names spells out AARSETH.

clue #22: prize claimed by Sastre!
Flip a Coin

SOLUTION: C Brenner vs L Levy, 1975
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Shown is the obverse of a 1909 "VDB penny", which boldly presented the initals of the coin designer (Victor David Brenner) on the reverse. Widespread criticism of the initials' prominence resulted in their removal midway through 1909, the design's first year of issue.

clue #23: prize claimed by shrdlu!
My Top 10 List
  1. Frederick Esling
  2. Christopher Eagle
  3. John Emms
  4. Louis Eichborn
  5. Peter Enders
  6. James Aitken
  7. Jaan Ehlvest
  8. Keith Arkell
  9. Wang Yu
  10. Max Weiss

SOLUTION: Staunton vs Horwitz, 1846
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Every last name starts with the sound of a letter, e.g. Esling is S and Eagle is E. This spells out: SEMINAL RUY, which this game is.

clue #24: prize claimed by JonathanJ!
Raising the Bar for Education


SOLUTION: Kasparov vs R Ballantyne, 2008
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: If you type these letters, shifting your fingers one row up on the keyboard, it will spell out IS318, the Brooklyn Middle School featured in the 2013 documentary Brooklyn Castle. One of the students featured in the movie was Rochelle Ballantyne.

clue #25: prize claimed by netlava!
Extra, extra! Read all about it!

SOLUTION: Capablanca vs R T Black, 1911
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: From the web archive of the New York Times. In the article, you can even make out his opponent's name: Black.

clue #26: prize claimed by SwitchingQuylthulg!
Irony Man

And Annie Apocalypse Cannonball Die Easy Easy Let Liver Halal Moan Monkey Noon Raider Rain Rune Snow The The Thigh Tony

SOLUTION: O Taranenko vs O Lelekova, 2001
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: These words can be grouped into nine titles of movies, except that each has an extra letter added. Once you find the nine movies, place them in chronological order: 1. Thigh Noon (1952), 2. Easy Raider (1969), 3. Liver and Let Die (1973), 4. Annie Halal (1977), 5. Apocalypse Snow (1979), 6. The Cannonball Rune (1981), 7. The Tony (1982), 8. Easy Monkey (1983), 9. Rain Moan (1988). The extra letters spell "TARANENKO".

Errata: We realize now that there was an error in the puzzle construction: Apocalypse Snow has an extra S and not an extra N. Our apologies.

clue #27: prize claimed by Sastre!
Math Confusion

g modulo k = n

Hint: "g modulo k = n" means that when you divide g by k, you're left with remainder n.

SOLUTION: D Reinderman vs Kasparov, 1999
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: "Confusion" was a hint that there was going to be some anagramming. The term "modulo" simply means taking the remainder of a division, so this equation means that g/k has remainder n. If you anagram "remainder n" you get "Reinderman", and here he is playing GK.

clue #28: prize claimed by M0rkeleb81!
    Description: One red Swingline stapler, as good as new. Staples not included.
    One well used sled, good condition. Only one owner. Has pretty floral design.
    Well cared for .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world.
    One black bird statuette. The stuff that dreams are made of.
    Hockey mask, fair condition. May contain a few blood stains.
    In search of one weather worn soccer ball lost at sea. Has great sentimental value.
    This black umbrella is in great shape and has top-notch aerodynamic qualities.
    Original Delorean DMC12, drives great. Fully loaded. Some modifications.
    One briefcase with combination lock. Contents are beautiful.
    Antique chest, 2.5 x 1.5 x 1.5 cubits in size, gold plated. Still quite functional.

SOLUTION: P Mithrakanth vs Anand, 1985
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Each of these ads refers to a famous object from a movie. Determine what the movies are: OFFICE SPACE, CITIZEN KANE, DIRTY HARRY, THE MALTESE FALCON, FRIDAY THE 13TH, CAST AWAY, MARY POPPINS, BACK TO THE FUTURE, PULP FICTION, and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. Now notice that every email address has a number in it: use those numbers to index into the movie titles (e.g. the 6th letter of "OFFICE SPACE" is an E) to spell out the game description "EARLY ANAND".

Errata: The ball dubbed "Wilson" in the movie Cast Away was a volleyball, not a soccer ball.

clue #29: prize claimed by kevinatcausa!
  • Because if we did, we'd probably be struck by traffic. (6)
  • You should leave, troublemaker. (4)
  • Yes, I have a very impressive resumé. (5)
  • 93.7 megahertz, Michael. (8)
  • Yes, it would be dandy; youth is overrated. (5)
  • Of course; I see it anytime it is precipitating. (1)
  • Yes, the Bureau International des Poids et Mesures knows it to great accuracy. (5)

SOLUTION: D Knox vs R Donahue, 1991
PRIZE: The book Techniques of Positional Play from New in Chess
COMMENT: Each of these are answers to a song title which is phrased as a question. The songs are: 1. Why Don't We Do it in the Road? (The Beatles, 1968), 2. Should I Stay or Should I Go? (The Clash, 1982), 3. Are You Experienced? (The Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1967), 4. What's The Frequency, Kenneth? (REM, 1994), 5. Wouldn't it be Nice? (The Beach Boys, 1966), 6. Have You Ever Seen the Rain? (Creedence Clearwater Revival, 1970), 7. Does anybody really know what time it is? (Chicago, 1969). Now place the songs in chronological order, and use the numbers to index into the song titles. (For example, the earliest song is "Wouldn't it be nice?" and the (5) indicates to use the 5th letter D.) This process will spell out DONAHUE.

clue #30: prize claimed by Sastre!
Pride Goeth

SOLUTION: C Vlagsma vs A Babel, 1952
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Depicted is a detail of The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder.

clue #31: prize claimed by OBIT!
Surrogate Cipher

Encyclopædia of Holiday Puzzles © 2013, Chessgames Services LLC

SOLUTION: O Girya vs A Moskalenko, 2007
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Surrogate Cipher, or "alternate code": this is a clue based on keyboard alt-codes for special characters. The æ ligature is alt-code 145, and the © symbol is alt-code 0169. String them together for 1450169. (Credit for this clue goes to member OhioChessFan.)

clue #32: prize claimed by OBIT!
Stuck in Clue Purgatory


SOLUTION: Hjartarson vs I Sokolov, 2003
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: "PEG'S LAW" is a mnemonic for memorizing the seven deadly sins (pride, envy, gluttony, sloth, lust, avarice, wrath). According to Dante's Purgatorio the sins have numbered terraces in order of severity, which are (from worst to least): 1. Pride, 2. Envy, 3. Wrath, 4. Sloth, 5. Avarice, 6. Gluttony, 7. Lust. Therefore, PEG'S LAW corresponds to the number 1264753.

clue #33: prize claimed by shalgo!

SOLUTION: Short vs G Gajewski, 2013
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: In June 2008 McDonald's released a Happy Meal toy wearing the Devo Energy dome that they named "New Wave Nigel". The band Devo initiated legal action against the hamburger giant for stealing their distinctive look. The solution is a new game of Nigel's from the European Team Championship in November.

clue #34: prize claimed by kevinatcausa!
Decompression Sickness


Hint: Statistically, one would expect about 1/2 of the digits to be 1s, 1/4 of them to be 2s, 1/8 of them to be 3s, etc.

SOLUTION: Reshevsky vs H Hopper, 1921
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The string uses run length encoding to describe a long binary string that reads 010011010100000101000100010001010100001101001111010011010101000001001001010011000100010101010010. Using a tool such as the binary-to-text convertor you find that this string spells out "MADECOMPILER". The inventor of the software compiler is regarded to be Grace Hopper.

clue #35: prize claimed by BVer!
Rabbits in the Precambrian

SOLUTION: A Kovacevic vs M Perunovic, 1999
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: According to biologists, these classes of creatures appeared on earth in the following order: sharks, dinosaurs, salamanders, flowers, ants, bats, and butterflies. (See timeline of life on earth for more details.) When you assemble the pictures in chronological order, you get the game ID 1327546.

clue #36: prize claimed by JamesBJames!

Try this taxing quiz. Try in vain finding subparts, Jack. What's missing?

SOLUTION: A Elo vs H Burdge, 1940
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: "Pang" is an incomplete pangram: every letter of the alphabet is used, with the exceptions of E, L, and O.

clue #37: prize claimed by wienke7!
It's Not Farago-Khmelniker, 2008

amine binary car chuckle digit fog fork hijack hotel motor smoke snort spoon vital

SOLUTION: A Baroska vs S Hoferik, 2000
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The words can be grouped into portmanteaus: bit = binary + digit, carjack = car + hijack, chortle = chuckle + snort, motel = motor + hotel, smog = smoke + fog, spork = spoon + fork, vitamin = vital + amine. Arrange these words in alphabetical order (like the initial word list). Now take the ID number of the game referenced in the title (1542154) and use those digits to index into the words (letter 1 of bit, letter 5 of carjack, etc.) and you'll find the name BAROSKA.

clue #38: prize claimed by kevinatcausa!
Don't Mention It!

Hint: When you finally hear the answer, it will be music to your ears.
Hint #2: Don't bother checking Larsen's games. It's not a Larsen game.
Hint #3: The inning number is important.
Hint #4: The answer involves a decimal approximation.
Hint #5: Did we say inning number? We should have said game number.
Hint #6: P _ _ _ _ _ _    _ _ _ _ _

SOLUTION: Delchev vs M Sciortino, 2004
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The title refers to the baseball superstition to never mention a no-hitter while it's in progress. Pictured are Jackie Robinson, Gil Hodges, and Sandy Amoros, who were three players to bat against Don Larsen in the famous perfect game of the 1956 World Series. A perfect fifth game and a perfect fifth inning makes this a perfect fifth, which in music has a decimal value of approximately 1.498307. (Credit for this clue goes to member OhioChessFan.)

clue #39: prize claimed by Check It Out!
Confused Clue


SOLUTION: Wang Yue vs Svidler, 2008
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: "Confused" was a tip that this was an anagram clue. "A NEW GUY" is an anagram of Wang Yue, and "DRIVELS" is an anagram of Svidler.

clue #40: prize claimed by SwitchingQuylthulg!
Chess Boxing

SOLUTION: H Buckle vs J R Medley, 1849
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The string around the edge CMSLIOAXNSEGPDS is a "caesar box": if you write the letters in a 5x3 grid you get:
A "clasp" is a buckle, and "mixed songs" is a medley, so the answer is Buckle-Medley.

Photo AFP/Getty Images

clue #41: prize claimed by Pi Guy!
ASCII Shall Receive
--- --
Hint: If you can't make sense of it, try approaching the puzzle from a different angle.

SOLUTION: Van Wely vs Huzman, 1994
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Turn your head on its left side. Reading down the first two columns, you see 7 roman numerals: II, II, IX, V, I, IV, II. Put those together to get 2295142. Now read the top line sideways; if you squint it says "NOW HALVE", and 2295142 halved is 1147571.

clue #42: prize claimed by kevinatcausa!

❒❒❒❒   ❒❒❒❒❒❒51.500705-0.124575
❒❒❒❒❒   ❒❒❒   ❒❒❒❒❒❒❒48.858229(a',c)(b',d)
❒❒❒❒❒   ❒❒   ❒❒❒❒❒❒❒-13.163622-72.545926
❒❒❒   ❒❒-33.856870151.215279
❒❒❒❒❒❒❒❒❒   ❒❒❒29.97526931.137567
❒❒❒❒❒❒   ❒❒❒❒   ❒❒❒41.889968(a,c')12.492185
❒❒❒❒❒❒   ❒❒❒❒51.178882(b)
❒❒❒❒❒❒❒   ❒❒❒❒❒   ❒❒   ❒❒❒40.689249-74.044500
❒❒❒❒   ❒❒❒❒❒(d')-43.210495

SOLUTION: Morphy vs A D Ayers, 1855
PRIZE: The Reykjavik II Series Chess Set courtesy of the Chessgames Store
COMMENT: The rightmost columns are latitude and longitude coordinates, each to a famous landmark. The names of the landmarks are on the left column, but not properly aligned with the coordinates. Use a tool such as Google Maps or to determine what these locations are, and fill in the blanks: MACHU PICCHU, CHRIST THE REDEEMER (-22.951915 -43.210495), COLOSSEUM, STATUE OF LIBERTY, BIG BEN, BUCKINGHAM PALACE, SYDNEY OPERA HOUSE, EIFFEL TOWER (48.858229 2.294388), STONEHENGE (51.178882 -1.826215), LEANING TOWER OF PISA, and GREAT SPHINX. (Note that for three of the landmarks, only one coordinate is given and you are expected to figure out the other one.) The red letters spell gibberish, until you reorder the landmarks to match the coordinates, at which point it spells out "B TIMES A PLUS C PLUS D". Now refer to the labeled coordinates, and do the math with (a,b,c,d) to get -25.34747, then again with (a',b',c',d') to get 131.03779. (Your answer may be slightly off from that, depending on the exact coordinates you came up with.) Once more, use an online tool to locate the coordinate (-25.34747, 131.03779), and you'll find it's right in the middle of Uluru in Australia. Another name for Uluru is Ayers Rock.

clue #43: prize claimed by JamesBJames!
Do Appreciate You Being 'Round

(Hong Kong) * 700 + (USA/Canada) * 1000 + (Haiti) * (New Zealand) + (Venezuela) * (Philippines)

SOLUTION: Hracek vs T Heinemann, 2011
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The key is to substitute emergency help numbers for the various countries. This turns the equation into 999 * 700 + 911 * 1000 + 118 * 111 + 171 * 117, or 1643405.

clue #44: prize claimed by Domdaniel!
Another Disheveled Clue


SOLUTION: S Urusov vs Ben, 1862
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The title suggests we might be dealing with an anagram, sure enough: "PLAYS LOTTO" is an anagram of TOLSTOY PAL. Prince Sergey Urusov was a friend of Tolstoy.

clue #45: prize claimed by kevinatcausa!
Sweet Sixteen

SOLUTION: I Bilek vs Korchnoi, 1965
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The notes are F-A-D-E-D. Combined with the title, this should get you thinking of hexadecimal numbers, wherein FADED = 1027565.

clue #46: prize claimed by JamesBJames!
Guess-the-Game 2.0

Our previous "Guess-the-Game" was such a big hit, we're now releasing Guess-the-Game 2.0!

SOLUTION: O'Kelly vs W Adams, 1950
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: This game is much like the popular board game Mastermind. Through trial and error you can eventually discover the answer.

clue #47: prize claimed by tpstar!
Nail Polish

NN loses again.

SOLUTION: B Brinck-Claussen vs N J Fries-Nielsen, 1981
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The NN in this case is Niels Nielsen, playing the Polish Defense (1.d4 b5).

clue #48: prize claimed by adoresome!
Less is Morse
  1. — •••• •    ••— —• •—•• ••— —•—• —•— —•——    —• ••— —— —••• • •—•
  2. • •••— • —•    •——• •—• •• —— •
  3. •—• ——— —— •— —•    —• ••— —— • •—• •— •—••    •••—
  4. —• ••— —— —••• • •—•    ——— ••—•    —•• •—— •— •—• •••— • •••
  5. •—    —•• ••— —•—• —•—    •• —•    •——• ——— —•— • •—•
  6. •—• •• ——• •••• —    • —••— • •—• — •• ——— —• •••
  7. —•—— — — • •—• —••• •• ••— ——    —• ••— —— —••• • •—•

SOLUTION: S Stantic vs C Bonanzinga, 2001
PRIZE: A signed copy of Aron Nimzowitsch: A Reappraisal by Ray Keene
COMMENT: Decoding the items with Morse code yields seven numerical clues: 1. The unlucky number, 2. Even prime, 3. Roman numeral V, 4. Number of dwarves, 5. A duck in poker, 6. Right Exertions, 7. Ytterbium number. The answers to these are fairly easy (or at least easy to Google): 13, 2, 5, 7, 2, 4, and 70. Now notice that the initial letters of each clue form the acrostic "TERNARY", leading you to convert your answers into base-3: 111, 2, 12, 21, 2, 11, 2121. You'll notice that against all odds, there are no zeros. This is because the numbers have been crafted such that a 1 is a dot, and a 2 is a dash. Now read the new Morse code, and you get the seven letter name STANTIC.

clue #49: prize claimed by MostlyAverageJoe!
Zombie Chess

SOLUTION: Vitiugov vs Ni Hua, 2011
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Shown is the character "The Governor" from the AMC series The Walking Dead overlooking a chess board. This lifeless game was from the Governor's Cup, 2011.

clue #50: prize claimed by Pi Guy!
  1. Favorite type of sock?   _ _ _ _ _ ◯
  2. Favorite noble gas?   _ _ _ _ ◯
  3. Favorite kind of salad?   _ _ _ _ _ _ ◯
  4. Favorite kind of bread?   _ _ _ _ ◯ _ _

SOLUTION: D Arenas vs A Garcia, 2008
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The first questions imply talk like a pirate style jokes: "What's a pirate's favorite type of sock? Arrrrrrgyle!" The answers are: 1. ARGYLE, 2. ARGON, 3. ARUGULA, 4. ARTISAN. The circled letters spell ENAS, to which you now add the AR- prefix so that you can answer the implied fifth question (favorite chess player?) which is ARENAS.

clue #51: prize claimed by JamesBJames!
Clue Clue

SOLUTION: Reshevsky vs Tal, 1970
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Very easy: just connect the dots like this and the letters caught in intersections read TALA65. A65 is an ECO code; just search for "Tal A65" and this is Tal showing why his Benoni blitz was the best in the business.

clue #52: prize claimed by Sastre!
A Picture Worth 2,922 Hours

SOLUTION: Blackburne vs Bird, 1882
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: On the left is a depiction of "Black Death", which is also a nickname for Joseph Blackburne. To the right is a bird--a sparrow. (2,922 hours is how long a 4-month Chessgames Premium Membership lasts!)

clue #53: prize claimed by DRENNAN507!
Marshall in the Marshmallows
  • _ _ _ _ ◯ _ ◯  is hiding in CARBONIZATION
  • ◯ _ _ _ _ _ _  is hiding in BARNYARD
  • _ _ _ _ _ _ ◯ _  is hiding in CHANDELIER
  • ◯ _ _ _ _ _ _  is hiding in SHELLING
  • _ ◯ _ ◯ _ _ _  is hiding in CONSTELLATIONS
  • _ _ _ ◯ _ _ _  is hiding in SANDPAPERING
  • _ _ _ _ ◯ ◯ ◯  is hiding in GOVERNING
But where is  _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ?

SOLUTION: H Behling vs Z J Szabo, 1999
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Each word has the name of a player embedded in it. The answers are: Aronian, Barnard, Chandler, Helling, Collins, Sandrin, and Goering. The circled letters spell "IN BEHOLDING", the intended answer to which is Behling.

clue #54: prize claimed by sleepyirv!
Prime Games of 2013

Reid vs
De Haan
Radjabov vs
Belous vs
?Navara vs
Guseinov vs
Paehtz vs
Carlsen vs
Kovalenko vs

SOLUTION: Ponomariov vs A Moiseenko, 2013
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Notice that the number of moves in the game are all prime numbers. More than that, they form a magic square adding up to 177 horizontally, vertically, and diagonally:
   17  89  71
113 59 5
47 29 101
The missing number is 113, so your goal is to find a 113 move game from 2013. There are 7 in the database; this is one of them.

clue #55: prize claimed by BVer!
Open Wide and Say...

SOLUTION: R Hopton vs F Eastwood, 1860
PRIZE: A signed copy of Introduction to 1993 World Chess Championship by Ray Keene
COMMENT: This is a cryptogram where every symbol is the capital letter "A" in a different font. First turn it into a normal cryptogram, then using a tool like Decrypto you end up with the plaintext, "A DUTCH OPENING WHERE BLACK WINS IN SIX MOVES".

clue #56: prize claimed by MostlyAverageJoe!
Wrote Memory

  • Tiffany's measurement (WA)
  • Game stopper (D)
  • Greek letter (E)
  • Like Swiss cheese (C)
  • Conceited (T)
  • Low poker hand (B)
  • Swell places? (ME)
  • Sacred (U)
  • Caviar, e.g. (W)
  • Editor's mark (R)
  • Witnesses (E)
  • Gold source (O)
  • Trim (Y)
  • Live like a king? (E)
  • On a bit (W)
  • Altogether (E)
  • Partridge's tree (E)
  • Confiscate (T)
  • Have a stroke? (E)
  • Points on a farm? (O)
  • Proverbial incentive (E)

SOLUTION: Miles vs A J Butcher, 1969
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Every one of the items on the left column combines with one in the middle column and one in the right column, in that they are all homophones. For example: Like Swiss cheese is HOLEY, Sacred is HOLY, and Altogether is WHOLLY. The answers to the left column are: CARAT, RAIN, RHO, HOLEY, VAIN, PAIR, SEAS. The answers to the middle column are: HOLY, ROE, CARET, SEES, VEIN, PARE, and REIGN. The right column answers are REIN, WHOLLY, PEAR, SEIZE, ROW, VANE, and CARROT. Once you find the triplets, string the letters in parentheses together to get these seven words: WARE DEW EWE CUE TOO BYE MEET (Where do you queue to buy meat?) which indicates the answer, "BUTCHER".

clue #57: prize claimed by JamesBJames!
Memoirs of a Vegas Clown

He stared at the carbon copy in disbelief. What an invoice! After years of being a professional clown, he finally made the bigtime. Over two thousand bucks for handing out helium balloons to kids! When the day was done, he strolled down the neon avenue with a pocket full of cash and a golden future ahead.

SOLUTION: J L Llapasset vs P Chenaux, 1989
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Four of the words in the narrative are found on the periodic table: carbon (C), helium (He), neon (Ne), and gold (Au). That spells CHENEAU.

clue #58: prize claimed by sleepyirv!
Where is the Woman?
  • (zip code for Unionville, Virginia) * (the number of human chromosomes)
  • (A Spanish liqueur) * (the number on Herbie the Love Bug) * (submarine in 2000 film)
  • (first Mersenne prime) * (Reggie Jackson's uniform number) * (area code of Lafayette, Lousiana) * (area code of Newcastle upon Tyne)

SOLUTION: Adler vs Maroczy, 1896
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: First do the math: 22567*46 = 1038082; 43*53*571 = 1301309; 3*9*337*191 = 1737909. These are game IDs, and the winners are all characters from Sherlock Holmes: Watson, Mycroft, and Moriarty. "The woman" of Doyle fiction is Irene Adler.

clue #59: prize claimed by goldfarbdj!
First and Last
  1. So you're telling me there's a chance... YEAH!
  2. Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
  3. Daddy, I got cider in my ear.
  4. That's my puck, baby, don't you ever touch my puck!
  5. He gave life to a body that he made from parts of other bodies that had died.
  6. We won't get any older, and we won't ever die.

SOLUTION: Ivkov vs I Bilek, 1966
PRIZE: The book Techniques of Positional Play from New in Chess
COMMENT: Each of these quotes comes from a movie. They are: 1. Dumb and Dumber (1994), 2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), 3. Guys and Dolls (1955), 4. Happy Gilmore (1996), 5. House of Frankenstein (1944), and 6. Cocoon (1985). If you take the first letter of each movie, and the last digit of each year then you end up with a list of chess squares--for example, "Dumb and Dumber (1994)" indicates "d4". The squares are: d4 f6 g5 h6 h4 c5. Now go to the Opening Explorer and interpret these squares as a chess opening: 1.d4 Nf6 2.Bg5 h6 3.Bh4 c5. This is the only game that starts like that.

clue #60: prize claimed by BVer!
Waiting for Cluedot

  • VERA
  1. _ _ _ _   ◯ _ _ _ _
  2. _ ◯ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
  3. _ _ _ _ ◯ _
  4. _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ' _   _ _ ◯ _ _ _
  5. _ _ _   _ _ _ _ _ _ ◯
  6. ◯ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

SOLUTION: M Porges vs Steinitz, 1874
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The reference to Waiting for Godot was to get you thinking in the direction of "unseen heroes": characters from literature and television who never fully appear in scenes. They are: 1. Twin Peaks (Diane), 2. Home Improvement (Wilson), 3. Cheers (Vera), 4. Charlie's Angels (Charlie), 5. Don Quixote (Dulcinea), 6. Seinfeld (Steinbrenner). The circled letters spell "PORGES".

clue #61: prize claimed by Oliveira!
Missile Toe

SOLUTION: B Hoenlinger vs H Steiner, 1951
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Pictured is Baldur, the Norse god, slain by Loki's dart made of mistleloe. In the game, Baldur Hoenlinger is pierced by a bishop.

clue #62: prize claimed by Spuddy!
Christmas Math

SOLUTION: J Ramakrishna vs B S Shivananda, 2005
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: Returning to the theme of upside-down calculators: if you multiply 461375 (SLEIGH) with 040404 (HOHOHO) you get 18641395500. Now divide that by 13650 (OSGEI) to get the game ID, 1365670.

clue #63: prize claimed by AnimusEtOblivio!
Yummy Christmas Treats


SOLUTION: J Emms vs J C Hawksworth, 1986
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: There are 20 Ms, which brings to mind John Emms. Here he wins in 20 moves.

clue #64: prize claimed by Pi Guy!
In Closing

SOLUTION: D Papadopulos vs D Podesta, 2000
PRIZE: A Four Month Free Subscription to
COMMENT: The 3rd, 7th, 10th, 16th, 17th, 25th, and 26th words are red. Use these numbers to index into the closing "Happy Holidays, Chessgames Staff" to reveal the letters PODESTA. We hope you've had fun during this contest and wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


  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 (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.) 1,700,000. So you don't have to examine all 10 million numbers, "only" about 700 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 last year, 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. 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. 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. 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:

  23. 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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