Maths Week

Four Rooks Puzzle

Suitable for 1st to 6th class who understand how the rook moves. Trial and improvement 

Aim: Place four rooks on black squares so that all white squares are attacked.

Students can work in pairs and use the trial and improvement approach to problem solving. This chessboard worksheet might come in useful.

Tips and solution


Wythoff’s Game

suitable for 3rd to 6th class students who understand how the Queen piece moves. Working backwards from a target

Making use of a physical chess board, place a Queen on h5 of an empty chessboard. The Queen can only move West, South or South West. Two players take turns moving the Queen. The first player to move the Queen to A1 is the winner. Who wins – the first or second player?

Tips and solution


50 Chess and Mathematics
Exercises for Schools

A (chess) game-based approach to problem solving

This book provides material for the much-sought-after link between chess and mathematics
for the classroom. We have fully tried out all these exercises and found that most children are
enthusiastic – often more so even than their teachers! Chess is a classic board game that
children enjoy at all levels. We use the chessboard and the chess pieces to convey
mathematical insights consistent with the syllabus for primary school (i.e. children from age
6-11) mathematics in most countries. Only a basic knowledge of chess is required – how the
pieces move. It is not necessary to be a chess player to use this book. The main emphasis is
on problem solving.
The 50 exercises are categorised by age and by the most natural grouping – individuals, pairs,
quads (two pairs), groups or the whole class. The relevant topic in the mathematics syllabus
is also displayed.

This resource was created by CHAMPS (Chess and Mathematics in Primary Schools) and funded through ErasmusPlus from the European Union.

Authors: John Foley (@ChessScholar)
Rita Atkins
Carlos Santos
Viera Haraštová

©Copyright the authors.
This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike
4.0 International License. See
Educators may use, reuse, adapt and share this material on a non-commercial basis provided
that attribution is given to the authors.


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