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Sherlock Holmes
April 4, 2005

A friend of mine sent me this puzzle which he said came from The Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes: Fifty Tantalizing Problems of Chess Detection  by Raymond M. Smullyan. New York: Knopf, 1979.

According to

In each problem the solver has to deduce certain events in a game's past. For example: On what square was the White queen captured? or, Is the White queen promoted or original? Since these problems involve the same sort of logical reasoning that lies at the core of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Raymond Smullyan has aptly set each one within its own Holmes-Watson dialogue. In each case Holmes, by his remarkable powers of deduction, is able to demonstrate to his awed admirers precisely what must have happened, move by move, at the "scene of the crime" -- the chess table. For example: what the missing piece is; what square it should be on; whether or not either side can castle.

If this is a typical example, I'd wholeheartedly recommend the book.


The Puzzle

You happen upon this position on my board and I tell you that during the game
No pawn ever reached the 8th rank.

Am I telling the truth or am I lying?

This isn't a quiz, so I don't need anyone to send in the answer. However, I'll post the answer at a later date.

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