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The Great Chess Challenge – Bhaskaracharya

Lilavati Defeats Akbar

Once a young girl played chess with Emperor Akbar and defeated him. She was Lilavati. Amused at Lilavati, the emperor swore to grant her any wish. Lilavati demands nothing but grains on the chess-board – one grain on the first block, 2 on the second, 4 on the third, 8 on the forth, doubling the number every day until all the blocks were filled. All multiplication. Not thinking of the complication that multiplication would cause, the emperor agreed!!!

  1. How did Akbar honor those who defeated him at chess?
  2. Who was Lilavati?
  3. What did Akbar ask Lilavati when he was finally defeated by her?
  4. What was Lilavati’s request to Akbar?
  5. Why was Akbar amused by Lilavati’s queer demand? Why did he willingly agree?
Store of Grains is Depleting

Lilavati came to the palace to get the first

  1. Why was Birbal upset and the courtiers amused when Lilavati came to claim the first grain on the first day?
  2. “Don’t underestimate anyone.” How could Akbar had escaped the near ruin of his wealth if he had known the meaning of the above statement?
  3. What had Lilavati meant to teach Akbar? How?
  4. Bhaskaracharya, the original author of this story, was a mathematician. How does he apply mathematics in this story?

What do you think?

One Word Substitution

The Beauty of Difference – Suomynona