Chess in the National Gallery
Budapest 2019

Judit Polgar Chess Foundation

Chess & Math

Hungarian National Gallery, Building C, 2nd floor


You probably love chess, but little did you know that there are many other imaginative games that use the chessboard and the chess pieces as their medium.
Chess, with its humble eight-by-eight grid and pieces that have a variety of moves, is one of the best board games ever. The mathematical characteristics of this constrained domain is also very rich: it gives rise to fascinating problems in geometry, combinatorics, game theory and
computer programming.

It this sounds too good to miss, come and play some creative mathematics during the Global Chess Festival!

Your host Rita Atkins awaits students aged 14-16 years for this journey.


11 – 11:45 Combinatorial games on the chessboard
Race to the corner games
Wythoff’s queens
Cutting up the chessboard

12 – 12:45 Tour of the pieces
Open tour of the rook on a mutilated board
The shortest closed tour of the rook
Investigating the open tour of the knight
Closed tour of the knight with the edge hugging algorithm

14 – 14:45 Nim games on the chessboard
Simple strategies for Nim games
Finding winning strategies with binary conversion
Sliding rooks
Northcott’s game

15 – 15:45 Problem solving on the chessboard
Tiling with dominoes
Tiling with trominoes
Jumping kings
Tiling games




Rita Atkins is a chess tutor in Cambridge UK.  She holds a degree in Mathematics and Physics as well as a Diploma of Education from Eötvös Loránd University in Budapest, and an MSc in Computing Science from Imperial College, London. She has spent over ten years as a teacher of mathematics and physics in the UK and in Ireland.
Rita is a Women International Master of chess. She uses her experience in competitive chess to coach her students about the mysteries of the royal game.
Rita strongly believes that chess is a great educational tool. She is the co-author and course leader of the ’Teaching Mathematics through Chess’ course designed for school teachers and accredited by the European Chess Union.

Global Chess Festival - Budapest - Program

Judit Polgar Chess Foundation
Judit Polgar Chess Foundation