No, I am not asking if a KNN vs. K can be forced if those are all that's on the board. It is well known that this is impossible.

(I wasn't quite sure om if I should have put this in here or in the Puzzling Stack Exchange, do I chose here due to their being an actual chess viewer here. I apologize in advance if my decision was wrong.)

Basically, we've all seen those puzzles where no matter what defense one side employs, they will always end up checkmated in a certain amount of moves or something.

What I'm asking here, is if anyone could make a puzzle like this, of some sort but the end result is a KNN vs. K checkmate. I would prefer if these were the only materials left in the board. Only include other material if you must. Try to keep it to a minimum though, pretty please.

Now, if there is already a puzzle if this sort, please to leave a link to it in an answer.

Here's a small composition I made, not a puzzle but a game in which Black plays terribly in an obviously winning scenario, to give an idea of what I wish to see:

[FEN "Q6b/8/4q3/1NN5/8/7r/3KN3/1k6 w - - 0 1"]

1. Qa1+ Kxa1 2. Kc2 Rc3+ 3. Nexc3 Bxc3 4. Nxc3 Qb3+ 5. Nxb3#
  • 1
    You did almost everything correct, except that there must be a blank link line between the FEN tag and the move list. – Glorfindel Mar 26 at 10:56

To get the following position as a checkmate, the last move must be Nb3#.

[fen "8/8/8/8/8/1NN5/2K5/k7 b - - 0 2"]

Prior to Nb3#, black must have made a non-king move, so must have moved something to b3. If it were anything other than a pawn, it could choose to avoid the b3 square, so it's not a forced win for white. If it were a pawn on b4, it could capture the c3 knight, which is also not a forced win. Thus black must have had a pawn on c4, and be forced to capture on b3 on black's previous move.

So here's one such puzzle (LiChess):

[fen "8/8/8/8/2pN4/2N5/1PK5/k7 w - - 0 1"]

White to move and mate in 2.

It's possible to move black's pawn back a bit, and give a slightly longer puzzle with the same idea:

[fen "8/8/2p5/8/7N/2N5/1PK5/k7 w - - 0 1"]

White to move and mate in 4.

I haven't exhaustively checked all possible flips and rotations of the board (which makes more difference than I initially thought). There's also a few possible mating patterns, but I expect the idea is going to be much the same in each case.

  • While this is technically s puzzle, or is very obvious. And it’s not like black has much of an option here but to move his pawn. I was thinking of a bit more variety. – Rewan Demontay Mar 26 at 11:05
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    "If it were anything other than a pawn, it could choose to avoid the b3 square,..." Is not quite correct. For instance (one of many counter examples): white Kc2, Nb3, Nc3, Nd4, black Ka1, Rb5. – user1583209 Mar 26 at 15:44
  • 2
    Your #4 is cooked: 1 b3, 1 Nf3 and 1 Nf5 all work. The play after 1 b3 and 1 Nf3 has further duals, but that after 1 Nf5 is sound. – Rosie F Mar 28 at 14:27

Here's a #4 where White has just KNN and there are no Black units blocking Black king flights:

[Title "C. Barton; Family Herald 5 Nov 1859, no. 65"]
[StartFlipped "0"]
[fen "8/8/8/8/8/6K1/4p1N1/4N1k1 w - - 0 1"]

1.Ne3 Kh1 2.Ng4 Kg1 3.Nf3+ Kh1 (3... Kf1 4.Ne3#/Nh2#) 4.Nf2#

Here's a #5 where White has just KNN and the play is a bit more interesting than in Barton's #4:

[Title "Otto Dehler; Denken und Raten 31 Dec 1934"]
[StartFlipped "0"]
[fen "8/1p6/8/8/3K4/N7/8/k1N5 w - - 0 1"]

1.Kc3 b6 (1...b5 2.Kc2 b4 3.Kb3 bxa3 4.Kc2 a2 5.Nb3#) 2.Kc2 b5 3.Nb1 b4 4.Nd2 b3+ 5.Ndxb3#


This is a real puzzle solving interface for one of the mate in 4 ideas given in another answer. There are many alternative solutions ending in 4.Nb3#

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