Problem Solving – Chessboard Puzzle


Mathematics Education – Problem Solving Activity – This classic chessboard puzzle is a mind-bending challenge. Perfect for classroom use.


Mathematical Problem Solving

The Eight Pawn Chessboard Problem 

Classroom Problem Solving - Eight Pawn Puzzle

Classroom Problem Solving – Eight Pawn Puzzle

The Problem Using a Chessboard & Pawns:

Using a chessboard and 8 pawns the students must place the pawns on the board so there is only one pawn occupying each vertical, horizontal and diagonal line. 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 fundamentals of ‘Guess, Check & Refine’ ie put the pawns on the board and check to see if there are any clashes.

The Problem Using the Printable Version:

For students and classrooms who do not have access to this printable version of the puzzle is great. Just add it to the Cart and proceed to the checkout.

Taking it Further:

Have the students design a creative version of the task & its solution that can be displayed as a wall display. In the past, my students have done things like – made boards and glued coins to them, used stickers, lollies, cartoon characters, fridge magnets, etc. Encourage them to use their imaginations to come up with something unique.