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They say that Bobby Fisher could play a game of chess, and one year later, see his opponent on the street and recount the game from memory.

Warren Buffett has a phenomenal memory, too, and a mind for numbers that would marvel Deep Blue.

So that brings us to the feature articles I have planned for this week at the Dough Roller–Chess and the Art of Personal Finance. As an avid chess player, I’ve long realized the lessons the King’s game can teach us about money and investing. My mini-series this upcoming week looks at specific aspects of the game and applies the principles learned to personal finance. Here are the articles you can look forward to this week:

At the end of each article there will be a chess puzzle for you to solve if you’re up to the challenge. I’ll provide the answers to each puzzle at the end of the week. In addition to these feature articles, I’ll post daily links to other great articles around the blogosphere and will also publish other short pieces throughout the week to pass on useful or interesting personal finance items.

21z7ssendyl_aa_sl160_.jpgFinally, if you or somebody you know enjoys chess, check out Deep Fritz 8. This is the chess playing program that tournament players use. I own a copy and trust me, if you set this at the highest playing level, YOU WILL NOT WIN! Now, to kick of this week, here is an “easy” chess combination for you to solve. It is Black to move and win. If you think you’ve got the answer, leave a comment. And if you think this one is too easy, just wait. They’ll get much harder later in the week!


Author Bio

Total Articles: 1082
Rob founded the Dough Roller in 2007. A litigation attorney in the securities industry, he lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, their two teenagers, and the family mascot, a shih tzu named Sophie.

Article comments

paidtwice says:

I am really looking forward to this series!

You know, I consider myself a decent chess player, and I can’t even solve your easy example. I’ll have to look at it some more tonight. 🙂

Pinyo says:

This is cool. I don’t see a mate move, but a win move would be:
Qg1 (check)
KnightxB (check)
K move

winning the bishop. My notation is a bit rusty. 🙂

DR says:

We have a winner! Well done, Pinyo.

Brian says:

As a non-chess person, how did that create a win?

I’m with Brian. What does “winning the bishop” mean?

Pinyo says:

In that series of exchanges white lost both the Queen and the Bishop, but black only lost the Queen. Therefore, black is ahead of white by one bishop.

paidtwice says:

Dangit and all this time I was trying to find the mate move.

Not that um… I would have figured it out if I understood anyway. 🙂

So by “winning the bishop”, do you win the game, or do you still have to get mate?

DR says:

Well I seemed to have created some controversy here. Winning the bishop gives black a winning position, but it’s obviously not checkmate. I should have said something like “White to move and gain a winning position.” White to move and win is my shorthand, as opposed to White to move and mate. Sorry for the confusion. By the way, any doubts that Black has a won game following the combination?

OK, now I get it. I “know” how to play chess to the extent that I know which moves each piece can make, but all this endgame terminology is new to me. Thanks for taking the time to explain. 🙂

Pinyo says:

You mean black right?

DR says:

Pinyo, yes. Black to move and gain a winning position. And I thought this was simple!

Bobby Fischer can teach us a lot about thinking. As brilliant as he was, he was overly materialistic on the chess board and in life. Studying his life you can see how his attitudes toward moeny affected him on the chess board. You can read more at