Questions tagged [problems]

Chess problems consist of a board position and a task. Most ask for a line of play that mates black in a set amount of moves, or a combination that results in a winning position. Many other types exist, including, but not limited to, construction tasks for various positions and proof games that have numerous goals, selfmates, helpmates, and retrograde analysis. Tournaments and championships exist for composing of original problems and for speed-solving.

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-2
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1answer
104 views

Can there be a position in which a player blocks check with checkmate?

Let's say that the first player gives a check to the second. player. Then the second player blocks and gives a checkmate. Is it possible?
5
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1answer
156 views

Is KQB vs KP generally sufficient to force a selfmate?

User Hauke Reddmann noted in a previous answer that there should be a straightforward way to secure selfmate against a substantially weaker opponent (i.e., force them to checkmate you): win all the ...
3
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2answers
749 views

Longest *shortest available* fixed sequence of moves leading to checkmate?

What is the longest fixed sequence of consecutive moves you can find in any legal position that guarantees checkmating the opponent regardless of their responses (whether by forcing particular ...
11
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1answer
2k views

How to solve proof games?

The following question deserves to be asked! "I see a lot of proof game problems, where I am given a diagram and have to find the unique way to reach that position in the specified number of ...
3
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0answers
116 views

What does “control” mean in a chess problem?

When interpreting the instructions to a chess problem, is a piece automatically considered to "control" the square it's on, even if that square isn't threatened by any friendly piece, and an ...
4
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2answers
199 views

The quickest mate in n

Obviously inspired by the analogous selfmate question. (Helpmate would also be possible in principle, but looks a bit silly.) Thus, 1.f3 e5 2.g4 allows Black a #1, and 1.f3 e5 2.h3 a #2. 1.f4 e5 2....
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1answer
70 views

Reach this position in four moves [duplicate]

I recently came across this chess problem. The requirement is to reach this position (starting from a basic board set up board) in 4 moves. How do you do it? [FEN "rnbqkbnr/pp3ppp/2p1p3/8/4P3/8/...
1
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1answer
178 views

Longest sequence of forcing moves?

What is the longest fixed consecutive series of moves for one player such that the other player's response is forced every move? Assume draw rules must be obeyed (threefold repetition, 50-move rule, ...
3
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1answer
96 views

A mobility puzzle

[FEN "8/8/8/8/pp6/kp6/1p6/1K6 w KQkq - 0 1"] This is a well-known position: both sides are stalemated (if it's their move). It's the lightest position with this property. Devise the ...
5
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1answer
325 views

Trying to remember a zugzwang puzzle/study position

I am trying to remember a puzzle position, or maybe was it originated from a real game, i dont remember. Something like (white to move): 7R/rp6/pk6/p7/P7/8/1K6/8 w - - 0 1 I would like to know where ...
1
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2answers
887 views

An interesting positional chess riddle [duplicate]

I was thinking about a situation on a chessboard. You can call it a riddle, but I am not sure whether it is solvable or not. Let's say that there are more than 5 pieces for both Black and White, ...
4
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1answer
805 views

Mate in 1, then No Mate in 1, then Mate in 1

Anand and Bobby both are members of their school's chess club. And while cleaning up the games room at the end of the day, they saw a board with the following position: [FEN "rbR1B1Q1/k1n1nN1p/...
3
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1answer
879 views

Find a KNP-KQ endgame in which Black loses

How do I find a position where Black, on move, cannot save themselves from defeat, having a king and queen against White's king, knight, and pawn? Furthermore, Black is not in check.
1
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2answers
198 views

Checkmate with only relevant pieces

What is the maximum number of black and white pieces which are relevant in a checkmate position (by White)? That is if any piece (black or white) was removed from the board, the checkmate would not be ...
9
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4answers
2k views

Website or program that creates puzzles from blunders in your past games

I'm looking for a website or program that would look at your past games on Lichess or chess.com and find moves that you played that were blunders and create puzzles around those
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2answers
108 views

Black to move and mate in 3

I found this interesting problem on Reddit. If this position appears in Britz's game of mine, I also would miss this. [FEN "5r1r/ppk3p1/8/2bB4/3n4/7b/PP4PP/RN1QR1K1 b - - 0 1"]
15
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2answers
3k views

Can you solve this queen + 3 pawns vs bishop + 3 pawns chess problem?

[FEN "7k/8/8/8/6p1/4QpPb/5PpP/6K1 w - - 0 1"] I found this interesting and unique chess problem online while surfing on the internet. Disclaimer: This is not necessarily a position from a ...
18
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2answers
3k views

Can you solve this chess problem of king and pawn against all opposing pieces?

[FEN "8/8/8/2p5/1pp5/brpp4/qpprpK1P/1nkbn3 w - - 0 1"] I found this interesting and unique chess problem online. Disclaimer: This is not a plausible position from a game, however it is ...
8
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3answers
307 views

What is the most defended structure?

Let's say the opponent has no pieces on the board but you have all of your pieces. In what way should you place your pieces on the board so that you have the absolute maximum of support for each piece?...
8
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1answer
2k views

Can you solve this chess problem of a lone knight against numerous opposing pieces?

[FEN "8/1nq5/bppp4/1p1k1K1N/1rrp3b/2pp2p1/8/n7 w - - 0 1"] I found this interesting and unique chess problem online. Disclaimer: This is not necessarily a position from a game. It's just a ...
34
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1answer
6k views

Can you solve this unique chess problem of white's two queens vs black's six rooks?

[FEN "3Q4/7Q/3rp3/2rkr3/2rrr3/7K/8/8 w - - 0 1"] I found this interesting and unique chess problem online, on the internet. Disclaimer: This is not necessarily a position from a game. It's ...
3
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1answer
166 views

Reasons why castling may be the only winning move

I recall at least one game of mine where my last move was castling (around move 20 or so :-), it saved my ugly posterior, it was the only move and we immediately agreed on a draw after that. (Do not ...
1
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1answer
86 views

Chessboard Materials

[FEN "rnbqkbnr/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR"] Starting a game with a total of 78 point-value, how many legal moves are required to produce the maximum total point-value on a ...
7
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3answers
1k views

Square Free Position

[FEN ""] For the purposes of this question, a “square” is a set of four occupied cells on the chessboard whose centres form a geometric square. The cell may have any orientation. For ...
15
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2answers
4k views

Is the position in this trick question reachable?

I found this trick question on r/Anarchy chess:White to move, mate in two. [FEN "2R2RK/6PP/5P/3PN/P/1pQ3p/n1p1qbp/5brk w - - 0 1"] [StartFlipped "1"] The trick is that But is ...
2
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1answer
303 views

Quickly losing a queen in style

I accidentally ran into this game again. [FEN ""] [startply "7"] 1. e4 e6 2. d4 Qf6 3. e5 Qf5 4. Bd3 What would be the fastest way to lose a queen by a direct attack on ...
6
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2answers
216 views

The slowest Fool's Mate in Chess960

The fastest Fool's Mate in Chess960 is obviously 1. d4 g5 2. Qxg5# with any ..Q.BRKR setup, which even beats standard chess. But which is the starting position with the slowest mate? I checked a few ...
17
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3answers
5k views

Is there a double-forced mate position?

A usual forced mate position is where the winning player can play in a way that ensures checkmate, no matter what (legal) moves the opponent makes (unless the game ends due to a non-play reason, i.e. ...
2
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3answers
320 views

Why is Ng5 a draw here?

Was shared a chess position and reached this position. I didn't understand why Ng5 is a draw. I analyzed h6 and h5 as responses but they fall to the same checkmating theme of rook checkmate on h8. ...
13
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4answers
3k views

Difference between chess puzzle and chess problem in this episode of The Queen's Gambit?

While a chess puzzle is any puzzle involving aspects of chess, a chess problem is an orthodox puzzle in which one must play and win or draw a game, starting with a certain composition of pieces on the ...
12
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3answers
724 views

Chess positions that are easy for humans but near impossible or confusing for computers

I noticed that one student is performing exceptionally well and beyond his level during an online class. I was wondering if there are particular chess positions that I can use during class to find out ...
11
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3answers
6k views

Why is the queen considered lost?

In this game, white just moved the queen from b7 to c6, and the computer marks this as a "critical blunder" (and suggests that the bishop should take the knight). In this position it ...
3
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2answers
181 views

Cyclic attack puzzle

I saw this puzzle and a solution sometime in the previous century, I don't remember where, and I don't remember the solution. Place the 16 white men on an otherwise empty chessboard so that the ...
6
votes
1answer
224 views

A New Year's Math Riddle

Here's a fun and clean riddle for the New Year! I found the material for it on Krabbe's site. I will provide the link when it is solved. How many times can this position be repeated, with both sides ...
4
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4answers
374 views

Positions in which only a single long sequence of correct moves avoids forced checkmate sequences

So for n steps, one player can only choose one out of many moves, because all others lead to forced checkmate sequences. Only one path from the root to the leaves of the game tree avoids a certain ...
-1
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1answer
79 views

Is there a position where it's possible to claim a draw by both the 50 moves and threefold repetition rules?

It doesn't matter which one the player chooses in that situation, but I'm wondering whether someone can come up with a game where this holds true for at least one move.
2
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1answer
53 views

Helpmate in four and a half moves

Merry Christmas everyone! Try this problem out that I made yesterday for SuperProblem.ru. With White to move, solve this helpmate, meaning White and Black work together to checkmate Black, in 4.5 ...
6
votes
1answer
495 views

In this position why shouldn't the knight capture the rook?

The white knight is going to move to e6. However, the computer advises the rook to capture the pawn in b2. Even after the knight moves to e6, forking the queen and the rook, it advises to NOT capture ...
8
votes
1answer
142 views

Selfmate problem

[FEN "8/7P/8/p2p4/P2p4/pB1p4/3P4/k2K4 w - - 0 1"] Composed by IM Geir Sune Tallaksen. White moves first, and must force Black to deliver checkmate. Give the sequence of moves that force ...
3
votes
1answer
75 views

Coordinates probem

[FEN "8/8/8/8/8/4R3/2N2R2/3N1k1K w - - 0 1"] Given that this position could be reached in a legal game of chess, and that no piece was captured on the last move, are we seeing the board ...
4
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2answers
185 views

A mate in two problem

[FEN "8/8/4R3/8/2kBn3/K2pQ3/8/8 w - - 0 1"] 1. Re5? With White to move, here is a mate in two problem that I couldn't figure out. My opinion is that the first move is 1. Re5, but Black ...
3
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2answers
632 views

Where does the black king stand in this specific position?

[FEN "7r/pppppKpP/6P1/8/8/8/n7/8 w - - 0 1"] Assume that the following position was reached in a legal game of chess. In the last 5 moves, no pawn has moved and no pieces were captured. The ...
6
votes
1answer
439 views

Brainteaser puzzle

So... initial position is [FEN "7k/8/6KB/8/p7/8/Q7/8 w - - 0 1"] Now... Neither white's king nor queen has moved in the previous five moves. In addition, no pieces have been captured by ...
5
votes
1answer
225 views

Is it possible to reach King vs King by moving each piece at most twice?

I'm interested in short games that reach a King vs King endgame. Sam Lloyd reached King vs King after only 17 moves. This has since been improved to 16.5 moves. (See this and that.) One can show that ...
10
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1answer
605 views

Find color of the pieces

Given the following position, what colour are the pieces and what was the last move played? [FEN "B1KRN3/PP6/2QK1R2/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"]
5
votes
1answer
707 views

Do you know this proof game?

I'm not familiar with this proof game. [FEN "r2qk1nr/ppp1pp1p/2n1p2p/8/8/1P6/NPPPPPPP/R3K2R w KQkq - 0 1"] What square was the white queen captured and how?
3
votes
1answer
317 views

Retrograde analysis problem

Given that this position is legal, and could be reached in a legal game of chess, what were the two last half-movess, or one move for White and one for Black? [FEN "5K2/8/6Pk/8/5Q1R/8/8/8 w - - 0 ...
5
votes
1answer
175 views

Can you help me with this serieshelpmate problem?

I found a different kind of problem, a serieshelpmate. I'm trying to get better by thinking outside of the box and solving different types of puzzles. So I found this one but I'm kind of stuck. [FEN &...
4
votes
3answers
283 views

What's the deep idea behind this puzzle?

I'm trying to get better by doing many tactics puzzles a day. This one I found very interesting. [FEN "6rk/6rp/p3pQ2/3pP3/3Pb3/1PP1PRR1/4q2P/6K1 w - - 0 1"] 1. Qxg7+! Rxg7 2. Rf8+ Rg8 3. ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

Is there more than 1 solution?

In this selfmate puzzle is there more than one solution? I think I found one but I was curious to know if there is more than one. 4N2k/5P2/3p1rP1/2pP4/2p1K1R1/2B1P1N1/6Pp/8 w - - 0 0 Credit: J. C. J. ...

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