A Victorian Chequerboard Puzzle

A computer analysis by Jacques Haubrich took just seven seconds to show that there are 114 theoretical solutions.

This handsome brass, copper and mahogany puzzle was handmade, probably around 1890. It is very well made and it is very difficult to see the inconsistencies in the size of the squares.

It turns out that only one of the solutions fits exactly but there are so many "near" solutions that it is very difficult to solve.

The maker was probably not even aware of the possibility of having one puzzle with many different solutions.


It is not a "Checkerboard Puzzle" (INT-CART) as usually understood; because the pieces are not fully interchangeable.

It is much more difficult than a "Jigsaw Puzzle" (Jig-STD); because there is no certain pattern which will locate each piece. So it still awaits classification.


The pieces are shown opposite so you can try and make your own puzzle. Either one with 144 solutions or with just one or two solutions.


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