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I found this hilarious problem and hope people will have fun solving it:

Niels Hoeg, Skakbladet 1907

[FEN "8/8/6p1/5pP1/5P1K/5PpP/4p2p/2Q2Bkr w - - 0 1"]

White to end the game in two moves.

In this case, that means that white plays moves so that, no matter what black moves, the game is finished after black's second move at the latest.

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We do allow puzzle questions like this, don't we? – RemcoGerlich Jan 6 at 14:21
We sure do! We've done a few other tactics/strategy problems before – Bad_Bishop Jan 6 at 14:37
As Noam pointed out, my try doesn't work. ​ (I completely missed gxf2.) ​ ​ ​ ​ – Ricky Demer Jan 7 at 7:02
up vote 9 down vote accepted

Very nice puzzle! Looks like the solution is as follows:

[FEN "8/8/6p1/5pP1/5P1K/5PpP/4p2p/2Q2Bkr w - - 0 1"]

1. Qe1 g2 (1... exf1=Q 2. Kxg3 Qxe1#) (1... exf1=R 2. Qxg3#) (1... exf1=N 2. Qf2+ Kxf2 (2... gxf2)) (1... exf1=B 2. Kxg3) 2. Bxe2# 1-0

Interestingly, in the different lines, following results are achieved:

  • White gives a checkmate
  • Black gives a checkmate
  • White is stalemated
  • Black is stalemated
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Yes, four different promotions, leading to four different outcomes of the game. I had never seen anything like it :-) – RemcoGerlich Jan 6 at 16:30
Yes, very striking. Is the Black pawn on g3 needed for soundness? If not then normally one would remove it; the extra variation 1 . . . g2 2 Bxe2# feels less like a bonus than a distraction from the theme. – Noam D. Elkies Jan 8 at 1:06
Well spotted! As far as I can tell, the g3 pawn is not needed... – GloriaVictis Jan 8 at 8:28
Thanks, but later I noticed that the pawn can't be removed because without it Ricky Demer's try 1 Qc5+ Kxf1 2 Qf2+ would be a cook. True, this cook can be eliminated in other ways without adding the 1 . . . g2 variation; but there'd still be a dual in the variation 1 Qe1 exf1=B when White could choose between stalemating (2 Kg3, as in the solution) and being stalemated (2 Qf2+, the dual). So if the 1 . . . g2 line is a distraction it's an unavoidable one. – Noam D. Elkies Jan 9 at 13:38

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