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index 2008
Letter #04 -  2008

Sub:    The history of a bored King
Date:   1/25/2008 10:10:07 A.M. MST
From: 
lumina_854
To:      service@chess-poster.com

Hello.

Where can I find the history of the bored King about 1 grain of wheat on the first square of the Chessboard, 2 grains on the second, 4 on the third and so on?

Thanks.


Dear viewer,

The story goes like this:

In an ancient Kingdom, a brave and mighty King in India named Kaid who had fought in many wars and won them all, had built a huge empire 1500 years ago, and after having accomplished all he wanted in life, found himself very bored.

The King sent out a proclamation to all his domains and lands that whosoever could relieve him of his boredom would be granted anything he wanted in his Kingdom. The word spreaded out quickly and people from all lands showed up and tried to relieve the King's boredom. Poets, Jugglers, Philosophers, Acrobats, Clowns, Dancers, and Jesters, all tried to interest the sullen King. But to no avail, the King remained very bored.

His Minister Sassa hereupon bethought himself of a rare game, the invention of an ancient Grecian sage named Hermes, which had recently been introduced into India by Alexander and his soldiers, who used to play it at times of leisure.

Sassa procured and modified the game and board from 112 squares and 56 pieces to 64 squares and 32 pieces and explained it to the King who played it with both satisfaction and delight, finding the game so amazing and a perfect substitute for war, that he was a happy man again. Soon the whole court was playing the game for hours.

The King asked Sassa: “How can I reward you? Gold or Jewels? Perhaps you want to marry one of my daughters? Choose anything you like.” Sassa replied “Your Majesty, all I ask for is this: put 1 grain of wheat on the first square of the board, 2 grains on the second square, 4 grains on the third square, and continue to double the grain on each square until all 64 squares have grain.”

They all wondered at how this silly Minister was, since he only wanted a few grains of wheat after winning such a prize. The King Kaid at first thought he'd gotten off easy and readily agrees.

First the King's Ministers sent for a few stalks of grain, then they sent for a few buckets of grain, then they sent for a few bushels of grain and then... they sent for a few fields of grain!! After that, they sent for a Mathematician. The Mathematician told the Ministers and the King that the amount of wheat that Sassa requested would take all of the wheat in the entire world!

The King immediately sent for the Minister Sassa. When the King asked him why he had done such a thing knowing that the King could not possibly fulfill the request, Sassa answered him with a story: "One day while your highness was coming home from the wars you came upon a man who you had heard was wise. You asked him to tell you the meaning of life. You said that you had not a lot of time because the business of the state had taken all your time.

He bent down to the ground and picked up a grain of wheat and holding it in his hands, held it up to you and said: All of life mysteries, intrigues and adventures were found in a grain of wheat. You were very angry because you thought that wise man had wasted your time. I was that man. I did not want the wheat I just wanted to teach you a lesson."

The King and the Minister laughed together and became good friends. They played Chess together almost every night until the end of their days.


Now, if you like to know how much grains of wheat it would have actually been, here they are:

Square 01 = 1
Square 02 = 2
Square 03 = 4
Square 04 = 8
Square 05 = 16
Square 06 = 32
Square 07 = 64
Square 08 = 128
Square 09 = 256
Square 10 = 512
Square 11 = 1,024 (Thousands)
Square 12 = 2,048
Square 13 = 4,096
Square14 = 8,192
Square 15 = 16,384
Square 16 = 32,768
Square 17 = 65,536
Square 18 = 131,072
Square 19 = 262,144
Square 20 = 524,288
Square 21 = 1,048,576 (Millions)
Square 22 = 2,097,152
Square 23 = 4,194,304
Square 24 = 8,388,608
Square 25 = 16,777,216
Square 26 = 33,554,432
Square 27 = 67,108,864
Square 28 = 134,217,728
Square 29 = 268,435,456
Square 30 = 536,870,912
Square 31 = 1,073,741,824 (Billions)
Square 32 = 2,147,483,648
Square 33 = 4,294,967,296
Square 34 = 8,589,934,592
Square 35 = 17,179,869,184
Square 36 = 34,359,738,368
Square 37 = 68,719,476,736
Square 38 = 137,438,953,472
Square 39 = 274,877,906,944
Square 40 = 549,755,813,888
Square 41 = 1,099,511,627,776 (Trillions)
Square 42 = 2,199,023,255,552
Square 43 = 4,398,046,511,104
Square 44 = 8,796,093,022,208
Square 45 = 17,592,186,044,416
Square 46 = 35,184,372,088,832
Square 47 = 70,368,744,177,664
Square 48 = 140,737,488,355,328
Square 49 = 281,474,976,710,656
Square 50 = 562,949,953,421,312
Square 51 = 1,125,899,906,842,624 (Quadrillions)
Square 52 = 2,251,799,813,685,248
Square 53 = 4,503,599,627,370,496
Square 54 = 9,007,199,254,740,992
Square 55 = 18,014,398,509,481,984
Square 56 = 36,028,797,018,963,968
Square 57 = 72,057,594,037,927,936
Square 58 = 144,115,188,075,855,872
Square 59 = 288,230,376,151,711,744
Square 60 = 576,460,752,303,423,488
Square 61 = 1,152,921,504,606,846,976 (Quintillions)
Square 62 = 2,305,843,009,213,693,952
Square 63 = 4,611,686,018,427,387,904
Square 64 = 9,223,372,036,854,775,808

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