How to Write the Best Chess Move in the Password Game

The Password Game is a puzzle browser game where you must create a password satisfying 35 rules that get increasingly complex.

The 16th rule requires your password to include the best move in a generated chess position, written using algebraic chess notation.

In this guide, I explain how to find the best move and write it in the required notation.

Of course, the generated position is random, but we’ll go over 2 examples to illustrate the thought process in a clear and concise manner.

By the end of this guide, you will emerge a better chess player, but if you’re too lazy and just want to know how to find the best move to carry on with the password game without necessarily understanding the nitty-gritty, you might want to jump ahead to the lazy method section.

A Brief Overview of Algebraic Chess Notation

Algebraic notation represents each square on the chessboard with a unique label, combining a letter and a number.

A chess board is 8×8, so the letters go from a-h and the numbers go from 1-8.

For example, the square in the bottom-left corner is a1, while the square in the top-right corner is h8.

Moves are recorded in algebraic notation by denoting the piece moved, followed by the destination square.

Pawns are represented by a lowercase letter only indicating the square they move to, while other pieces are represented by uppercase letters:

  • N for knights
  • B for bishops
  • R for rooks
  • Q for queens
  • K for kings.

For example, Nf3 means the knight moves to the square f3, whereas c6 simply means a pawn moves to the square c6.

Captures are denoted by an x between the piece and the destination square. For example, Bxe5 means a bishop captures the opponent piece on e5.

A move that puts the opponent’s king in check is denoted by appending a + sign. For example, Qh3+ means the queen moves to h3, putting the enemy king in check.

I have written a detailed and thorough guide on algebraic chess notation, so if you’d like to learn more, go have a look at it and come back to this article.

Two Example Positions

Let’s take a look at 2 positions and find the best moves together.

Position 1
The first example position from The Password Game.

Whenever you’re trying to find the best move, it’s always helpful to look for:

  1. Checks
  2. Captures
  3. Attacks

With White to move, we can see that our pieces are working together nicely, aiming towards the Black king.

In this case, we have two possible checks:

Option A: We can play queen to g6, capturing Black’s rook and checking the king.

Option B: We can play rook to h6, capturing Black’s bishop and checking the king.

If we choose option A, Black can simply capture back either with their rook on g7 or their pawn on f7. We will have lost our queen for a rook — not a favourable exchange.

However, option B is much more attractive.

Since Black’s rook on g6 is pinned by our queen on e4, Black will only be able to capture our rook with the king.

A pin restricts the movement of an opponent’s piece.

In chess, it is not a legal move to put your own king in check. This means that in our example, Black’s rook on g6 is not allowed to move, as it would expose the Black king to the queen’s attack.

Black's rook on g6 is pinned to the king thanks to our queen on e4.
Black’s rook on g6 is pinned to the king thanks to our queen on e4.

If the king captures our rook back, we can play queen to h4, capturing Black’s pawn and checking the king.

Since there are no pieces that can block the check and Black’s king has no safe squares to escape to, it is checkmate. White wins.

Checkmate. White wins.
Checkmate. White wins.

What if Black decides not to capture our rook with the king, and instead run to g8 — the only possible alternative?

Well, then we can play queen to a8 and also win by checkmate!

The only other option Black has also leads to checkmate.
The only other option Black has also leads to checkmate.

Therefore, option B leads to a forced checkmate that Black can do nothing to stop.

Now that we know the best move in the initial position, how do we write it in algebraic chess notation?

We’re moving the rook to h6, so we write Rh6.

We are capturing a piece on h6, so we put an x between the R and h6: Rxh6.

This move puts the Black king in check, so we add a + sign afterwards.

The move is Rxh6+.

Position 2
The second example position from The Password Game.

Again, let’s look for:

  1. Checks
  2. Captures
  3. Attacks

In this position, we only have one possible check: knight to g6.

Let’s see if it works.

Black’s king is stuck in the corner and cannot move, but Black can capture our knight with the pawn on h7, so does that mean we lost a knight?

Well, yes, but checkmate will follow on the next move!

Since Black was forced to capture with their h7 pawn, the king is now exposed — we can play queen to h4, putting the king in check.

Since no pieces can block the check and the Black king has no safe squares to escape to, it is checkmate. White wins.

Checkmate. White wins.
Checkmate. White wins.

Therefore, the only possible check in the initial position is indeed the best move. Let’s now write it in algebraic notation.

We are moving the knight to g6, so we write Ng6.

This move puts the Black king in check, so we add a + sign afterwards.

Unlike the first example, the knight didn’t capture any enemy piece on g6, so we don’t add an x this time.

The move is Ng6+.

The Lazy Method

If you’re not particularly interested in chess and only want to complete The Password Game by any means, then there is a systematic method you can apply to find the best move every time.

Use a chess engine.

Of course, you should never do this if you’re playing an online chess game, as that would be cheating, which is not only morally wrong but also not a good idea if you’re genuinely looking to improve at chess.

But we’re doing a puzzle here, so there’s no harm in firing up a chess engine and seeing what it has to say about the position.

How to Use a Chess Engine

On Chess.com, hover over the Learn section and click Analysis.

Hover over the Learn section and go to the Analysis board.
Hover over the Learn section and go to the Analysis board.

From there, you can immediately start making moves and the engine will begin evaluating.

However, we want to set up the position to be the same as that in the puzzle, so click on the Set Up Position button on the sidebar.

Click Set Up Position on the right sidebar.
Click Set Up Position on the right sidebar.

To empty the chessboard, click the trash button and then start placing pieces by dragging and dropping them to their positions.

Click the trash icon to empty the chessboard and set it up as you wish.
Click the trash icon to empty the chessboard and set it up as you wish.

To demonstrate, let’s set up the first example position that we solved together.

Once the position is set with White to move, click the green Load button to see what the chess engine has to say.

Once you set up the position, click the green Load button.
Once you set up the position, click the green Load button.

On the sidebar, you will now see the top 3 moves, with the best option being the first one.

Notice how, in describing the move in algebraic notation, the engine puts the symbol of the piece instead of its letter, so it’s even easier for you to understand.

The top computer move is displayed first.

The engine says that the best move is Rxh6+, which agrees with our solution of example 1.

Final Thoughts

As in any chess puzzle, like those on Chess.com, the solution is usually a forcing move that leads to an immediate win or a major advantage.

The solution is very unlikely to be a subtle positional maneuver, especially since the target audience of The Password Game is everyone, not just serious chess players.

The way to find the best move is to look for checks, captures, and attacks, as we saw in the two example positions.

Alternatively, you can consult a chess engine if you prefer to do so.

If you have any questions or insights you’d like to share, feel free to leave me a comment down below. I’d be more than happy to have a chat with you.

2 thoughts on “How to Write the Best Chess Move in the Password Game”

  1. Hey Yusuf 🙂 

    I’ve been a chess enthusiast since my childhood, but this article on the best chess move in the password game has opened up a whole new dimension of the game for me. I love playing chess and have always enjoyed the classic strategies and tactics involved, but I must admit, I’ve never dived that deep into extracurricular chess activities like the password game discussed here.

    Your article is not just informative but truly fascinating. It’s interesting to see how traditional chess knowledge and skills can be applied in such a unique and creative way. This adds an intriguing layer to the game, making it even more intellectually stimulating and fun.

    Thanks for sharing this insightful piece on chess wisdom. It’s always exciting to learn about different aspects and innovative approaches to the game I’ve cherished for so long. Looking forward to exploring more of these lesser-known yet captivating chess activities!

    Danny

    Reply
    • Hi Danny,
      Thanks for your comment.

      It’s not so much of a chess extracurricular activity — it’s just a chess puzzle integrated into a browser game that brings together all sorts of things.

      For example, one of the rules in the Password Game asks you to include the name of a country that is the solution to a GeoGuessr quiz. Another rule asks you to include the solution to the Wordle puzzle of the day.

      Nonetheless, I’m very glad you liked the article!

      Reply

Leave a Comment