Mathematical
Problem Solving

The Chessboard Problem - A
Printable Puzzle

**Task**:

Using
a chessboard and 8 pawns the teacher explains how the pawns must be placed on
the board so that there is only one pawn occupying each vertical, horizontal and
diagonal. ie there cannot be any other piece on the same line as another. Sounds
easy, but it is a little harder than you think.

The
teacher should also demonstrate the fundmentals of 'guess and check' ie put the
pawns on the board and check to see if there are any clashes.

**Demonstration:**

To
add a little humour to the task and often demonstrate how ineffective whinging
that 'I can't do it' and putting my head on the desk is as if I wait and stare
at the pieces the solution does not come. Mind you, there are those special people
who can just visualise the answer but I'm affraid I'm not one of those.

**Options:**

Have
the students design a creative version of the task that can be displayed on the
wall with the solution stuck on so it doesn't fall off. In the past my students
have made boards and glued coins to it, used stickers, lollies, cartoon characters,
fridge magnets, etc. Encourage them to use their imaginations.

Have
the children download the puzzle below at home so they can have a colour version.

Laminate
the puzzle and have it as a learning centre activity