Rice on a Chess Board

An Advanced Mathematics Lesson Starter Of The Day

There is a famous legend about the inventor of the game of chess. It is said that the Shah of Persia offered him a reward and when asked what he wanted he replied “1 grain of rice for the first square of the chess board, 2 grains for the second square, 4 grains for the third square and so on with the number of grains doubling for each of the 64 squares on the chess board.”

How many grains of rice would have been in the reward?


Estimate the weight of an average grain of rice. How heavy will all the rice in the reward be?

Nowerdays rice can be bought in 500g boxes. Each box is 12cm by 19cm by 4cm. Calculate the volume of one 500g box of rice.

Boxes of rice can be transported in vans. Estimate the volume inside a van used for transporting boxes of rice. How many vans will be required to transport all the rice in the reward?

If the rice was placed on the chess board at the rate of one grain per second. How long would the task take?

Research task: Find out how much rice is produced in Thailand each year then relate that information to this situation.


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