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Congratulations to Macalester's programming team of Karim Farouki, Tamas Nemeth, and Vahe Poladian, who finished 28th at the recent international finals of the ACM competition in The Netherlands. In their honor, here is a problem that can be attacked by hand and also by computer. It was originally posed in 1849 by Kling in a slightly different form. This version is due to S. Skiena, The Algorithm Design Manual, Springer, 1997, sec 5.4.Place the 8 major chess pieces on a chessboard so that the number of squares attacked, when blocking is ignored, is as large as possible.

Notes:

I will add the hint that it is possible to place the 8 pieces so that all 64 squares are attacked.

- The eight major pieces are: king, queen, 2 knights, 2 rooks, and 2 bishops (which must occupy squares of opposite color!)
- "Ignoring blocking" means that, for example, a rook will attack an entire row and column no matter what other pieces are in those rows or columns.
- A proof of maximality is not required. Of course, if you can attack all 64 squares then that takes care of that.

## Curious Trivia

In what year was the suggestion made that the 1914-1918 war be called World War One, as opposed to "The Great War"?Answer: 1918.

I had one request for my source on the World War One comment. It is in a book review in the latest Atlantic Monthly. A British historian or strategist suggested, in 1918, that the Great War would be the first of several....

© Copyright 1999 Stan Wagon. Reproduced with permission.

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22 April 1999