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Chess Mazes v.1.1


Chess Mazes is the fourth program in the Chess Puzzles Series. With its help you will learn how to plan your actions many moves in advance, to conduct highly complicated manouvering with your pieces, to transfer them safely from certain squares to other, more convenient points on the chessboard.
Does a chess player really need that expertise? Well, in the course of any chess game players have to perform such operations many times. And very often the success of the whole encounter hinges on the accuracy and swiftness of these actions.
But this program does more than train chess playing skill. It is also meant to develop - little by little, without you even noticing it as you play the games - your intellectual faculties: combinatory thinking, operative memory, ability to focus your attention and take decisions under conditions of time deficiency.

Game Rules  

By its nature the game resembles a maze through which the optimum way has to be found as quickly as possible. But the maze is not presented graphically, its 'air-castle' walls being shaped by squares guarded by enemy pieces. Your task is to transfer your single piece from the square it occupies in the initial position to a target square designated by a special symbol. But you have to do it without getting assailed by pieces of the other side (the PC).
You are to choose the colour of your piece and, accordingly, the opponent's pieces. Making moves on the board is also up to you alone. The PC's pieces just stand there motionless waiting for their moment to come... But when your piece has carelessly stepped on a square aimed at by a unit of the opponent the program will immediately capture it, and that will mean you have lost. But if you manage to reach the desired square within the allotted time interval and in no more than 70 moves, the victory is yours.
As soon as you hit the target, place your piece on a losing square, or exceed the limit of moves, the program displays an appropriate message on the screen - one of congratulation or sympathy. Along with this message you will be informed about the distance you have covered and the length of the shortest possible route. Both routes - yours and the theoretically shortest one - will be demonstrated on the chessboard by means of a curved line with dots on the squares your piece stepped on/should have stepped on. In case you do not enter your answer in time, if you exceed the time limit, the program will act in an analogous way.

There may be several solutions to a task, i.e. several routes leading to the target square through the maze. On order to win you only need to demonstrate any one of them. However, the number of points you get for your victory (when you lose you score no points) will depend on how close the route you have proposed is to the optimum one: if you have discovered the shortest route you get the most points. Therefore do not try to capture all of the opponent's pieces hastily. If an enemy unit is unprotected then you can naturally eliminate it. But that will probably make your route much longer than the optimum one.


The game has two modes: Play and Training. Play mode incorporates 7 levels of difficulty. The difficulty of a particular task is determined by the number of enemy pieces and the time interval in which you must cope with the task. The more pieces are on the board, the more complicated is the maze.
All playing tasks are newly generated by the program, their number being virtually unlimited and the possibility of encountering the same situation twice practically equalling zero.
For each task you have coped with the program gives you a certain number of points. The higher the difficulty level, the more points you get.

To unlock all the features you must register.


Here is an example of the game (6th level of dificulty). Try to solve it!

What is the best route to transfer your white knight from d8 to c6? Finding the shortest path will not suffice; in addition, the piece's journey has to be safe. Indeed, the enemy men stay awake... Small hint: the shortest route - 23 moves!

Download the latest version (1.1, November 11, 1998)  

Chess Mazes © 1999