5

I am looking for a position in which all possible moves are checkmate. This means, that if the player does not want to checkmate the opponent, because for example he feels sorry for him, even in that case he is forced to checkmate him. He cannot avoid it. Can you tell me an example? White or black does not matter.

Also, I feel this can be done only if there is a very small number of possible moves. For example 1 or 2.

  • 6
    Search for "selfmate" problems, in which White has to force Black to checkmate him. The positions before the last move of such problems are answers to your question. – RemcoGerlich Mar 25 '19 at 13:18
10

I just remembered a class of chess problem; see item 267 of Tim Krabbé's Open Chess Diary (his whole site is highly recommended):

[Title "White mates in 7, Noam Elkies, 2004."]
[FEN "KBk5/P1P4p/2Pp3P/P6p/2p3rP/2P3pB/6P1/8 w KQkq - 0 1"]

Spoiler: White has some choices here, he can choose different move orders. But it's always checkmate on move 7, no matter what.

| improve this answer | |
6

The current record for most forced checkmates in a legal position with no promoted pieces is 29:

[Title "Harold Holgate Cross, The Problemist FCS Apr 1936, 2251"]
[StartFlipped "0"]
[fen "8/1b6/p1N5/P1r5/P3KPr1/QBk1NRP1/P2R1P2/4B3 w KQkq - 0 1"]

PDB has it at id P1178654. White is to move.

(For the record where the position must be legal and may have promoted pieces, see Rewan Demontay's answer.)

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    One source is Dickins & Ebert, "100 Classics of the Chessboard", no.94b. – Rosie F Mar 31 '19 at 6:08
3

I found two cases of 55 forced mates with promoted pieces in Tim Krabbe’s Diary Entry 383.

[Title "Ludwig Zagler Feenschach 1972"]
[Site "https://timkr.home.xs4all.nl/chess2/diary_17.htm"]
[Date "2019.04.17"]
[Round "-"]
[White "?"]
[Black "?"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "1rB1Q1Q1/1PRQ3Q/2b2k2/2pQ1N1Q/4KRPp/5N2/1R6/B3nn1b w - - 0 1"]

[Title "Sampsa Lahtonen, Tim Krabb'es Website 2008"]
[Site "https://timkr.home.xs4all.nl/chess2/diary_17.htm"]
[Date "2019.04.17"]
[Round "-"]
[White "?"]
[Black "?"]
[Result "*"]
[SetUp "1"]
[FEN "B3n1bb/1R6/4pN2/4KRPp/2pQ1N1Q/2b2k2/1PRQ3Q/1rB1Q1Q1 w - - 0 1"]

@Rosie F’s answer contains the record without promoted piece,

| improve this answer | |
  • Your second position has a simple cook of under-promoting to a bishop or knight, either of which will not result in checkmate. – Herb Wolfe Mar 25 '19 at 19:51
  • The first sentence is "I am looking for a position in which all possible moves are checkmate." Your second position fails that requirement. – Herb Wolfe Mar 25 '19 at 20:39
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    In your later updates, the bishops can move in a way that does not produce checkmate. – D M Mar 28 '19 at 3:10

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