Does anyone know what the record for most mates-in-2 is for a composed problem?

Example: this one has 58 different moves that mate in 2.

[FEN "6R1/8/8/8/3Q3B/5K2/7k/1R6 w - - 0 1"]

3 Answers 3


Sir Jeremy Morse, in Chess Problems: Tasks and Records, Introduction, cites this construction by E. Luukonen:

[Title "E. Luukonen, Uusi Suomi, 1936"]
[fen "kr6/pnPPPPPPPP/P2N4/R7/3BBN2/1Q6/3K3P/6R1 w - - 0 1"]
[StartFlipped "0"]

All of White's 117 moves lead to mate in 2. White has no mate in 1, but if Black's rook were to move, or if (after White captures that rook) Black's king were to recapture, White then has a mate. Thus a waiting-move is enough.


I assume you want positions where a mate in one is not possible. Also, these kind of records are often two-fold: one with promoted pieces and one without.

Here is such a position with 76 different mate in twos. I don't think this is anywhere near a record though.

[FEN "8/PPPPPP2/3N2pQ/6Rp/3B2p1/1B4Pk/R6P/4N2K w - - 0 0"]

The main idea is to play a waiting move; Black's only move is h4 after which Qxh4 is mate. This works for all 24 promotions, 10 knight moves, 18 bishop moves, 11 moves by the rook on a2, Kg1, Rxg6, Qh7 and Qh8. On 1. Nf3 and 1. Nf5 Black can respond by taking the knight, but Be6 resp. Qxh5 mates. The moves Rga5, Rb5, Rc5, Rd5, Re5 can also be met with a black g5 (and Rf5 by gxf5), but Qxh5 is mate then. 1. Rxh5 gxh5 2. Qxh5 is mate (also in reverse order). Finally, 1. Rxg4 Kxg4 2. Be6 is also mate.

  • Yes, I was looking for a position with no mate-in-1's. Thanks. Commented Jun 27, 2016 at 15:06
  • I've upvoted in anticipation of you explaining the position a bit (like in the accepted answer).
    – hkBst
    Commented Jun 30, 2016 at 6:34

When promoted pieces are allowed, William Shinkman has the record with 216 mates in two. I came across it in the Die Schwalbe Chess Problem Database.

[Title "William A. Shinkmam After S. Hiatt, Brownson's Chess Journal 1886, Mate In 2"]
[FEN "1Q5R/4Q1K1/B1Q5/B4Q2/N2Q4/pQ4Q1/pn2Q3/krQ4R w - - 0 1"]

Another category to be considered is no promoted pieces with no promotions allowed. Here is my try with a count of 93 mates in two.

[Title "me, chess.stackexchange.com 2/24/2020, Mate In 2"]
[FEN "R7/2R5/8/1K3BBN/3Q4/1P6/4N1pp/5nrk w - - 0 1"]

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