Noam D. Elkies is a

Harvard mathematician whose main research interests have to do with

lattices and elliptic curves. He is also a very talented composer of

chess problems. The problem to teh left is a proof game

in 14 moves. That is, find the UNIQUE legal chess game leading to the

given situation after the 14th move by black. Elkies has also written a

beautiful paper On Numbers

and Endgames applying combinatorial game theory (a la Winning

Ways!) to chess-endgames (mutual Zugzwang positions correspond to zero

positions) and a follow-up article Higher Nimbers in pawn

endgames on large chessboards. Together with Richard Stanley he wrote a

paper for the Mathematical Intelligencer called The Mathematical

Knight which is stuffed with chess problems! But perhaps most

surprising is that he managed to run his own course on Chess and

Mathematics!

# Elkies’ puzzles

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