How to play 1D Chess

Learn the rules to the Gardner Puzzle game 1D Chess quickly and concisely – This video has no distractions, just the rules.

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The object of this single player puzzle game is to figure out how white can checkmate black’s king. On a 1 by 8 board, place white’s pieces from left to right: King, Knight, and Rook. Mirror this setup for black. The king moves 1 square in either direction. The knight jumps 2 squares in either direction. The Rook moves any number of squares in either direction. You are not allowed to castle. The game is a draw if you stalemate, have insufficient material, or repeat the same board position 3 times in a game. Can you figure out how white can checkmate black? Check out the link in the description for where you can play online for free.


  1. The most frustrating thing is that "draw by stallmate" happens only when you are in the better position, than the enemy :/

  2. Is it possible to checkmate with both knights on the board? I know 1 knight is impossible, but maybe…

  3. Easiest puzzle, took me less than a minute to solve. But only co-op checkmate is possible here. If black were real player who don't wanna lose – they will never lose.

  4. The Royal Game of Ur, the oldest known board game as far as I know, is kind of a cool version of the 1-dimension chess

  5. White knight to the 4th square, then black knight to 5th, take black rook with knight, check, king moves one square to the left, take black knight with rook, king moves back to the right, Discovery checkmate.

  6. Answer

    1st rank

    1. Nd1 Rxd1
    2. Rxd1 Ne1
    3. Rxe1#


    1. Rd1 Rxd1
    2. Nxd1 Ne1
    3. Nf1#


    1. Nd1 Rxd1
    2. Rxd1 Ne1
    3. Rxe1#


    1. Rd1 Re1
    2. Rxe1 Nxe1
    3. Nd1 (Black can checkmate with Nc1#) Ng1
    4. Nf1#

  7. Knight to 4, rook to 2, knight to 6, checkmate.

  8. Use your knight to take the rook as soon as possible and put king in check. BKing moves out of way. Move Rook out of square that BKnight can take. BKing takes knight. Move King out of square BKnight can take, King moves back. Rook takes BKnight, White wins

  9. White rook would be really op since it could just rush the back rook and black can't fight back

  10. Low elo here, but I think Knight to 4th tile is best opening.
    At this point Black have only 3 moves available: Rook takes, Rook to 5th tile or Knight to 5.
    – bR takes W.Knight will result with wR taking bR, bKt to 5 is forced, wR takes, checkmate.
    – bKt to 5 will result with wKt takes bR (check), bK to 7 is forced:
    — wR takes bKt is a stalemate as bK has no legal moves. As long as wKt is blocking wR, White can't win.
    — wR to either 2 or 4 are the only options with 4 being best move. wR-2 allows bKt-3 (check) and forcing wR to take bKt and a stalemate. wR-4 leaves space for wK to escape in case of bKt-3. wKt-8 is mate in 2 as it doesn't matter what Black does next, all White needs to do it to take the black knight with the rook.
    – bR-5 is best for Black:
    — If wKt-6 (check) forces bR-6. wK-2 is best for White only because all Black has to do if the rook and king are touching, is to move bR right in front of wR. Then either wK-1, bR-3 (checkamte for black) or wR-4 and stalemate.
    — wK-2 is best for White:
    —– bR-6, wKt-6 (checkmate).
    —– bR-4, wR-4, bKt-5 (forced), wR-5 (checkmate)

    Short summery:
    – wKt-4, bR-4, wR-4, bKt-5, wR-5.
    – wKt-4, bKt-5, wKt-6, bK-7, wR-4, bKt-3, wK-2, Black moves somehow, wKt-8 (possible checkmate), Black moves somehow, wR take bKt.
    – wKt-4, bR-5, wK-2, bR-6, wKt-6.
    – wKt-4, bR-5, wK-2, bR-4, wR-4, bKt-5, wR-5.
    There might be more ways.

  11. We all her from Walking on Glass, or is it just me?

  12. There is no way to win, the line suggested of N4 can be refuted by Rxf4!! If rook takes its a stalemate, if any other move than the black rook can just take white’s rook, so white has no way to win.

  13. Finally, a game with the same dimension as my brain so I can finally understand it.

  14. Basically in the moment that white rook eat the black rook it's a checkmate, message black horse can't eat The rock and the only move that black can do is to jump over and the next move of white is eat the black king

  15. Looks less complicated than Tic Tac Toe

  16. If anyone wants to know the solution:

    1. Na4 Ra5
    2. Ka2 Ra6
    3. Nxa6#

  17. Easy castle takes castle. knight moves to the left castle takes king. or if u prefer knight moves right once castle takes knight castle takes castle knight moves left once castle takes knight checkmate.

  18. When they port chess to inferior hardware

  19. Isnt this technically 2 dimensional chess?

  20. 1-D chess is technically a trading card game

  21. Solutions I’ve found, spaces labeled left to right, 1-8.
    White knight to 4
    Black can only move either Rook or Horse to 5, or take knight with rook.
    If black takes horse via Black rook to 4,
    Take Black rook with White Rook to 4. Only legal move is black knight to 5, which cannot escape the white rook to 5 move, placing king in check and mate.
    If the rook stalls taking your piece by going to 5, move white rook to 2. Black will either take your knight, leaving black rook and knight susceptible to a linear dash from the white rook for a checkmate, or stall by playing rook to 6, in which case take black rook with white knight, for check and mate.
    If black pushed forward with their knight to 5, just keep pushing forward with white knight going to 6, taking their rook in the process. That places their king in check, giving you mate.
    Any other solutions would be appreciated!

  22. isn't the solution literally just taking their tower with yours?
    the only move they'd have is moving their horse over your tower, which they can't do because it'd put them in check
    no possible moves left, checkmate

  23. If the knight can jump over other pieces, isn't it a 2d chess?

  24. The solution I found uses five moves. I'll label the positions as 1 through 8 from left to right. Whites on the Left, Blacks on the Right.

    White Knight (2) to Position 4. Opponent responds Black Knight (7) to Position 5.

    White Knight (4) takes Black Rook (6), Check – forcing Black King (8) to Position 7.

    White Rook (3) to Position 4, Black King (7) takes White Knight (6)

    White Rook (4) to Position 2 and at this point black cannot prevent checkmate, so it'll either move the Knight or King. Doesn't matter

    Rook takes the Knight, leaving the king checkmated.

  25. took me an embarrassing number of tries but i got it. Move the knight first. Black cannot take it otherwise it risks stalemate so they mirror the move, take rook with knight and force a check, black must move the king. Move the rook forward but do not take the knight, Black will take white knight with the king as only possible move that does not result in immediate stalemate. Move white king forwards. Black moves the king one space back with only available move. Take black knight with rook and checkmate.

  26. Would be cool to see a 2D variant of this puzzle!

  27. I have to call bull on the game's particular version in the link. I've been able to setup one or two instance where I can setup a proper Checkmate where (White K6, Black K8) and it's Black's Turn where Black has to move or at least concede, not call a Stalemate where I still have another piece to perform more legal move's (My Knight).

    ….. I thought Stalemate's occurred with neither player has anymore LEGAL moves, not when one player has no more legal move's. I'd consider this game quite useless.

  28. Finally something I can play with my flatworm friend Vitaly (he's a bit silly fella)

  29. So, you just make the first move with the knight, and whatever is the black move you have a setup for win?

  30. This was supprisingly complicated. Of course rook 3 capture rook 6 causes a stalemate due to no legao moves

    White's opening move is complicated. The only move that wont lead to fast stalemate due to repeating moves or loss for white is knight to 4

    If rook takes from 6 to 4, white rook takes back, black moves knight 7 to 5, white captures with rook 4 to 5 and checkmate

    However, if the rook doesn't take and instead moves their own knight to 5, white knight capture rook causes check, forced king move forward, white moves rook to 4. Now black has two moves;

    – If king captures knight, white moves rook to 2, either king or knight moves and white captures knight for checkmate

    – If knight moves to 3, king moves to 2;

    — black knight to 1, white knight to 8 checkmate
    — Black knight to 5, white knight to 8, king to 8, white rook to 5 mate

    If however, black moves rook to 5 as their first move, it is not possible for a checkmate to occur, only stalemates by no legal moves, or repeating moves

    This took me about 30 minutes to figure out, hope anyone seeing this finds it useful! ❤

  31. I haven't seen any really in depths analysis of this game. just winning sets of moves

    You can only really checkmate with Rook

    King can only be used to pin a checkmate never be the primary cause of check

    Knight in this actually has the issue bishops have they are locked to half the board. The only possible position to checkmate with just a knight in 1D chess is if the King cannot move in the corner being blocked by its own Knight. Which is easily preventable.

    That means if our Rook ever gets captured we cannot checkmate assuming the opponent is playing optimally

    Opening moves has 4 options N4, R4, R5, R6+

    R6+ immediately causes a stalemate so that is immediately ruled out

    R5 allows Black to capture your Rook with 0 risk so that's ruled out

    R4 looks promising our Knight is guarding the Rook so Black cant immediately capture the Rook but they can respond with N5 which pins you into only making a move that gets your Rook captured

    That leaves N4 as the only real option as an opening move. This threatens Black's Rook immediately while defending your own. In which Black responds with the same move N5 to threaten your Rook.

    State of the Board

    WK – WR WN BN BR – BK (Captured: -)

    From here you are again reduced to not many options all possible moves are K2 R2 N2 and Nx6+

    N2 is easy to remove its creates the exact checkmate scenario only a Knight can cause with black responding Nx3++

    R2 doesn't help much either it just creates a scenario where you either have to undo that move giving a free chance for Black to capture the Rook or create a stalemate if you decide to capture Black's Rook with the Knight.

    K2 seems to have promise where you are defending your own Rook with the King while also preventing a check from Black's Knight but the issue is Black will mirror it which again creates a scenario where you can either undo that move giving up your Rook. Or you can capture the black's Rook in which black has no choice but to just force the game into a stalemate by capturing your Rook.

    Nx6+ seems like it would create the exact same situation where black captures your Rook in response but because you put the King in check they have no choice but to do K7 in response which gives you the opportunity to put your Rook back into safety.

    State of the Board

    WK – WR – BN WN BK – (Captured: BR)

    WK – BN WR – WN BK –

    Again our goal this turn is to get the Rook out of the Knights line of sight. As long as our Knight stays where Black is very limited in terms of moves next turn either being N3+ or Kx6

    The only 3 options to move the rook to safety are R2, R4 Rx5

    Rx5 immediately creates a stalemate

    If you do R2 N3+ forces you to capture the knight with the Rook which causes the same stalemate of Rx5 so black will always choose this.

    R4 is the best move because both responses from Black lead to a checkmate. Because both lead to a mate lets look at both boards

    Stare of the Board (N3+)

    WK – BN WR – WN BK – (Captured: BR)

    Obviously the only response is K2 to get out of check as Rx2 is a stalemate. In which black can only response with either N1 or N5. N1 is a mate in 1 for White with N8 so Black will choose N5.

    Board is now – WK – WR BN – WN BK – (Captured: BR)

    Rx3 is again a stalemate and K2 puts us back 2 game boards which creates a looping set of moves and R3 just gets the Rook captured . This leaves N8 as the only move. This pins black into having no choice but to capture the Knight which was actually helping Black more than us right now by creating many stalemate scenarios.

    Board is now – WK – WR BN – – – BK (Captured: BR WN)

    At this point Rx5# is mate.

    State of the Board (Kx6)
    WK – – WR BN BK – – (Captured: BR WN)
    Despite not putting White into check this does defend Black's King from being mated this turn as capturing the Knight is a stalemate now. However Black is put into a terrible position here. If Black ever tries to move that Knight then they are putting their own King in check so they cant move the Knight. That means if i stall a single turn is K2 then Black has to shift their King. Which then reopens checkmate for White. Or if you do R2 black can only respond with N3 or K7 both of which are mates in 1.

    This creates 4 distinct mate options for 1
    N4 N5
    Nx6+ K7
    R4 N3+
    K2 N5
    N8 Kx8

    N4 N5

    Nx6+ K7

    R4 Kx6
    K2 K7

    N4 N5

    Nx6+ K7

    R4 Kx6
    R2 K7

    N4 N5

    Nx6+ K7

    R4 Kx6
    R2 N3

    What I find interesting is despite N3+ is a mate in 3 for white and Kx6 being a mate in 2 for white. The program in the description chooses the response Kx6 which makes it lose faster. is also chooses K7 no matter which of the 2 optimal 4th moves you make therefore you only ever see 2 of these 4 mates in the program but all 4 mates are realistic if both players are playing optimally

  32. This is a game in Loot Box Simulator. I have never won

  33. Explanation at 100 likes (requirement expires in one day, after that, it's 10 days until the explanation comes out)

  34. To win:

    1. N4 N5
    2. N6 K7
    3. R5 K8/N3
    4. R3 checkmate

  35. I prefer 0d chess, there is no board or peices. The players argue who is in checkmate until someone says that he is checkmated

  36. bro just take the rool its checmate

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