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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Penny for your thoughts » » The Knight's Tour. What a stunner! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

dr chutney
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Last night I made an all too infrequent performance at a small social evening for about fifty people. Amongst the ESP, card effects and Swami the one that brought the house down was the Knight's Tour.

I was determined to try it out, and to live dangerously and not use a crib sheet. I knew I'd be almost surrounded anyway so I memorised one version. I had one person hold up a large pad with the 64 numbered squares and they crossed them off as I called them. Another person moved a Knight over a numbered board and acted as referee to ensure each call was a valid move.

It's definitely down to presentation with this one. I faltered at times, then quickened. I made gestures as if I was trying to position the Knight on an imaginary board. Near the end I said "If I'm right I have only ten moves to make", which was true and added to the idea that I somehow had the board in my head.

The noise when i finished was amazing. My father-in-law said that a friend of his was concentrating on the squares being marked off, willing me on to succeed. All in all I was so glad I took the time to learn it. Now on to the next level where you are given a starting square and a different finishing square.

Anyone else obtained a similar reaction with this feat.
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mystic1
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Congrats on the personal satisfaction you appropriately feel.

Now try and make it interesting to the audience. Since, sadly, most folks don't know much about chess or appreciate what the mind is/is not capable of, the Knight's Tour is usually a snorer to modern audiences.

Ricky Jay jazzed it up in "On the Stem" this year by reciting recalled passages of Shakespeare and, I believe, incorporating math calculatons amidst the moves in the Kinght's Tour. That seemed to increase the audience's interest somewhat.

Still, I think the Kinght's Tour has a hard time finding a place in a modern mentalism/"powers of the mind" repertoire--alas, unfortuanely so.
AllThumbs
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If anyone is interested I wrote a Knight's Tour trainer program that uses the sequence in 13 steps. If anyone is interested then Private Message me and I'll send you the URL.

Regards,

Kris Sheglova
The above is all rubbish, except that which you chose to believe
McCritical
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Quote:
On 2002-11-25 04:37, mystic1 wrote:
Now try and make it interesting to the audience. Since, sadly, most folks don't know much about chess or appreciate what the mind is/is not capable of, the Knight's Tour is usually a snorer to modern audiences.

Still, I think the Kinght's Tour has a hard time finding a place in a modern mentalism/"powers of the mind" repertoire--alas, unfortuanely so.


Try this on for size....

Four knights (horsemen) moved by four volunteers on a dry-erase chessboard superimposed with a map of the world. The movement of the knights are directed by the performer, who calls out the moves for each volunteer. Follow the move with a related Doomsday prophecy or passage from a traditional source (like Nostradamus--whose predictions are fairly obscure and can be used to fit the performer's needs).

For the Knight's Tour, I suggest using the Leonhard Euler version. By having the volunteers mark each move in sequence (place a 1 at each starting point) and breaking the board into 16 moves for each volunteer (The first volunteer starts at position 1, the second at position 17, the third at 33, and the fourth at 49). Euler's board can be broken up in this manner and the horizontal and vertical values will total 68 (instead of 260 with only one knight travelling the entire board). The revealed number of the resulting magic square can be used to tie in with something even more apocalyptic (although I haven't quite decided what).

If you want to check out Euler's tour (which doubles as a magic square), here's the link.

http://www.inficad.com/~ecollins/knights-tour.htm

NOTE: Mixing Nostradamus prophecy with Biblical imagery might not set well with some purists, but the average person is not likely to be as discerning towards the source of a good healthy scare.
ddyment
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If you'd like to learn how to do this for real (i.e., not simply memorizing, or using a crib sheet for, a single solution), which then allows you to begin and end on squares of the audience's choosing, visit http://members.aol.com/beagenius/knighttour1.html.

... Doug
Doug Dyment's Deceptionary :: Elegant, Literate, Contemporary Mentalism ... and More
dr chutney
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Mystic1
As I reported, my audience on Saturday were interested, intrigued and 'up for it'. You could hear a pin drop as I covered the board. I do appreciate though you can't take that reaction for granted every time you perform it.

Kris
I was using the version in 13 Steps and by repitition memorised the sequence. Interestingly if you get stuck without a crib sheet you can only be 6,10, 15 or 17 away from the next number. That has helped me in practice runs.

Doug
Thanks for that, although I am aware of the site and I will have a go at the next level.

McCritical
Not sure the Four Horseman would work as it stands but there is something there. A brainstorming session could come up with a stunning piece of mentalism. Perhaps revealing thought of numbers from a previous effect, or you have placed envelopes in view with numbers on. As the Knight reaches that number you pause to have the envelope opened and a revelation is made that was set up earlier.

There is certainly much more to this feat than simply calling out a sequence of numbers.
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McCritical
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Quote:
On 2002-11-25 11:35, ddyment wrote:
If you'd like to learn how to do this for real (i.e., not simply memorizing, or using a crib sheet for, a single solution), which then allows you to begin and end on squares of the audience's choosing, visit http://members.aol.com/beagenius/knighttour1.html.

... Doug


Not to mention practicing the technique at the site greatly improves your game.

I'd recommend the "Be a Genius" site as a an excellent suppliment to "Step 3: Mnemonics & Mental Systems" of Corinda's 13 Steps.
MrX
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I just performed this last night for a relative and his chess buddies and boy did it blow them away.

I did it straight up, right out of Corinda - but what really helped was using a real chessboard and having one of them move a real knight around - and - using chess coordinates (i.e. e4, g7, a1, etc) instead of just numbers from 1-64.

Smile
shooz
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Hi, I'm new to the Café but not new to mentalism. I have watch several people do the knight's tour and it has gone both ways. Once I swa somwone get stuck. This made me re-think using the knights tour. i would only feel like attempting it if I had a crib and a good place to hide it.
call me chicken...
With you in thought(s)

Scott Shoemaker...Shooz
rrubin98
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I have considered performing this effect since it is easy for me (I'm a memory trainer). However, my concern has been that most people won't appreciate the effect unless they play chess. Perhaps quoting some mathematical facts about the feat's "impossibility" beforehand would help the audience appreciate the difficulty(?) of the task. I'd love to read some suggestions regarding how to make the presentation of this effect more entertaining.


Thanks,

- Richard
dr chutney
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MrX
I toyed with the idea of real chess co-ordinates, but with the number route (a la Corinda) it keeps it simple for the audience and, more to the point, it keeps it simple for the performer.

Shooz
Depends on how and where as to using a crib. I memorised it because I knew the audience would be close. A useful tip if you're using the numbers 1 to 64 is that if you do get stuck you will only be 6, 10, 15 or 17 away from your next number. Those four 'gaps' are useful cues.

Richard
I can only talk about my own presentation but a good build up ( how difficult it is, especially given a number from the audience to start ), plenty of variation in pace, the odd stumble and recovery ( a bit like a high wire act ), occasional hand movements as if visualising the board and a triumphant last two or three to end on a high. Worked for me.
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tiptophat
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I personally think the knights tour is a great puzzle but have been a member of the audience twice when it was performed. The audience was dying both times. The shows for both performers were very good til they got to that performance piece and it went downhill from there. I think it takes a very strong dynamic personality to pull this one off. I think we all like to consider ourselves in the above light BUT do some real soul searching before putting your audience through this effect.
AllThumbs
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tiptophat...it seem 'Dr Chutney' overcame this problem in his presentation. I do think its important not to spend too long labouring over it (Dr Chutney explains how varying his pace worked for him) and you really need to get the audience involved e.g.

"hmmm what square do you think I should go for next this one or this one"

I think the Knight's tour and magic squares can still have a place in mentalism today - even if they are seen as memory or maths tricks it shows you have a diverse range of extraordinary skills.

Regards,

Kris Sheglova
The above is all rubbish, except that which you chose to believe
Slide
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Anyone who has seen Marc Salem perform the Magic Square or Ricky Jay do the Knight's Tour will understand that it's not the effect but the performer that will make it or break it. Ricky Jay, as someone mentioned above does it by mixing a Shakespeare recitation with Field Hollars (not mathematics as noted above). The audience was on the edge of their seat especially as he got close to the end.
Bill Cushman
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Please check out the Hypnosis in the U.K.? thread for an idea i contributed on a very different spin on the presentation of the magic square that has recieved some nice feedback, even from some who don't like magic squares as a rule. If anyone knows if the square has been done this way, please let me know because i don't want to take credit for something that isn't original.
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