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.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
0 votes
1 answer
49 views

Difficulty of problems for different rating levels

For club players, it is pretty well-known that certain types of problems are harder than others. Of course, mate in 4 is usually harder than mate in 1, but I am talking more about things like the ...
Peter Flom's user avatar
0 votes
0 answers
74 views

What are the longest "golden sequences" in chess? (sacrificial middlegame attacks)

Initially, I was interested in the question "what are the longest sacrificial middlegame attacks?" ([Kasparov's Immortal] is one of the most famous sacrificial middlegame attacks). But this ...
Flowy Poosh's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is there a mate in two moves for white?

How is this a mate in two? I can't see it. [fen "k4r2/1rQ1b1p1/2Rp1n2/1p2p2p/P7/1P3PBq/5P1P/4K2R w - - 0 1"]
chess_newbie's user avatar
4 votes
6 answers
7k views

How many queens can check a king without it being checkmate (with no other pieces on the board)?

I am going to write an autobiographical story. The motive is therapeutic. I suffered abuse from my father, and at the age of 20, I developed delusional disorder; the psychosis lasted for 20 years, and ...
Universal_learner's user avatar
7 votes
4 answers
2k views

Most mate options after 6 moves

Found this construction problem from '83 and liked it. I don't know the best solution (yet), and maybe you can top it anyway. Consider the (help) "game" 1.e4 a6 2.Bc4 a5 3.Qh5 a4. Now White ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
9 votes
2 answers
2k views

The 50 moves game

Play the longest game from the starting position such that each move resets the 50 move rule (i.e. is a pawn move or a capture). As I see it, each pawn quartet on adjacent lines has maximally 4+6+6+6 ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
191 views

Longest *fairy* chess problem

Longest orthodox chess problem One for the specialists. In the newest SCHWALBE I saw some titanic lengths (one problem had 2^59+2^57+3 ~ 10^18 moves!) As you see, this scales with O(2^(n^2)), where n ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
135 views

Max percentage of mating pieces

In the newest SCHWALBE, positions are given where any piece on the board can give a check (any being surprisingly high). A quick dabbling seems to prove that it is not possible that any piece can mate....
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
195 views

Questions about legality of last move

Question for FIDE Arbiters and similar knowledgeable folk... FIDE Law Article 5.1.1 The game is won by the player who has checkmated his/her opponent’s king. This immediately ends the game, provided ...
Laska's user avatar
  • 11.6k
5 votes
3 answers
292 views

Most imbalanced (but equal) chess position?

I recently found this beautiful position, Position 11 where White sacrifices a bunch of material and then there are a bunch of crazy variations that all end in draws. For example this variation which ...
Hank's back rank's user avatar
6 votes
2 answers
181 views

What position has the most possible moves that all lead to being checkmated?

Inspired by this position from a game I played. [FEN "r1b2rk1/p2p1p1p/2qb1PpQ/2p1p3/2p1P3/5N2/PPnP2PP/R1B2RK1 b - - 0 1"] Black has almost all their pieces, is not in check, and can make 27 ...
Comic Sans Seraphim's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
514 views

Is there a real version of the chess puzzle from The Yiddish Policeman's Union? If not - can it be made?

I will preface this by saying that the following contains a spoiler for Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union, so tread carefully. Chess features heavily in the book and a major plot point is ...
AKemats's user avatar
  • 477
1 vote
0 answers
60 views

Searching games by chess positions

I have a somewhat weird question that is only indirectly related to chess. I am trying to solve a chess-related puzzle in which I have to find games played by Soviet chess players based on positions. ...
Vosoni's user avatar
  • 11
0 votes
1 answer
135 views

A puzzle where you must find the mate in 3 solution but avoid mate in 2 and mate in 1 solutions?

I want to see if a puzzle could exist where you must avoid finding mate in 1 or 2 but just find the mate in 3 solution. This is not subjective it is a hard math problem to make a move that forces mate ...
Mur's user avatar
  • 51
0 votes
1 answer
70 views

Good chess puzzle that involves queen running around the board?

Basically title. Ideally not too difficult or too many steps, but if you have any good puzzles where the queen traverses across the board. Thanks in advance!
Tim Ratigan's user avatar
14 votes
1 answer
3k views

Checkmate in ω² moves with finitely many pieces

The post Checkmate in ω moves? has inspired a lot of discussion and mathematical research into positions on an infinite chessboard where white can mate in a transfinite amount of moves. The current ...
Andreas Tsevas's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
233 views

Mate-in-N problems where N scales indefinitely with board size

Motivation - Long range mating patterns This question is inspired by my recent interest in infinite chess and the post on MathOverflow Checkmate in ω moves?. Since my chess endgame skills are quite ...
Andreas Tsevas's user avatar
4 votes
0 answers
100 views

Grimshaw in practical (OTB) game

Does anybody know of an example of the Grimshaw-Theme being used in a practical game? For the Nowotny there are several examples (e.g. Navara-Dergatschova, Ordix, 2007) and for the Plachutta there is ...
bakunin's user avatar
  • 194
3 votes
2 answers
338 views

Are there any hard mate-in-2 problems?

I'm interested to know if there are any particularly challenging mate-in-2 problems. Since the second move will be essentially forced, the problem essentially comes down to 1 move. Typically, the ...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
73 views

Longest sequence of moves where White's number of available moves does not change

There are challenges for the longest sequence of moves in which white's available moves increase or decrease. This challenge is for the longest sequence of moves (from the opening position) in which ...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
2 votes
0 answers
91 views

What is the longest sequence of increasing White moves with only White pieces?

Inspired by a comment by @Evargalo on this question, I ponder how long a sequence can last where each turn, White has more available moves than the previous turn, in a situation with only White pieces ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
62 views

Is there a Chess 960 position in which White's moves can be decreased to zero without check?

Inspired by this question, koedem proved that, from the starting position, White's legal move amount can be decreased sequentially from 20 to 0 in 20 moves. However, doing so required some checks. I ...
Rewan Demontay's user avatar
6 votes
4 answers
624 views

Longest sequence of moves where white's number of available moves decreases

An easier version of this White has 20 available moves at the start of the game (from the standard position). After 1.h3 h5, white has 19 available moves. (The h pawn has lost the ability to move two ...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
6 votes
3 answers
241 views

Longest sequence of moves where number of available moves increases

White has 20 available moves at the start of the game. After 1.a4 e5, white has 21 available moves. (The rook has gained 2 moves, while the pawn has lost 1). What is the longest sequence of moves ...
Steve Bennett's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
98 views

Roundtrips with no shortcuts

In the picture, you see the longest roundtrip of a rook such that there are no "shortcuts" - imagine the target squares are given, then at each square you have exactly two other given ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
166 views

Forced Mate (differently)

I was wondering if there was a move so bad in chess that if you played it the only move your opponent could do was checkmate you back, through blocking your piece or through moving the king. It would ...
Esther Sai's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
241 views

Longest sequence of unique legal moves for one player, always in check and ending in checkmate

I recently played a bullet game, in which I thought I was in checkmate, but then realized I had one legal move, this then repeated again and again 6 times until ultimately I was in checkmate. I share ...
Mur's user avatar
  • 51
0 votes
2 answers
178 views

What is the maximum total number of piece points possible on the board?

Maximum number of non-pawn pieces on the board notes how to get the maximum number of non-pawn pieces on the board. But what about the maximum number of points possible? It seems like this starts ...
aschultz's user avatar
  • 1,388
7 votes
2 answers
1k views

Legal positions with one color to move only?

Most positions in chess can be reached with both black or white to move. Some positions are only legal with one color to move. One such position is the starting position, which famously can't be ...
SE - stop firing the good guys's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
217 views

A little Silvester puzzle

A regular game has been played where White still has all 16 pieces. White promoted only a single pawn, and not to queen. In the final position all 16 pieces of White have (at least) one mating move. ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
22 votes
1 answer
3k views

Basic "mate in one move" puzzle - what am I missing?

I am extremely new to chess and have been working through some "mate in one" problems on chesspuzzles.com for practice. This one has me very confused though: The stated answer is: But why? ...
ConfusedInOneMove's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
198 views

Piece Peace Puzzle

Place the whole army of White and the black king on the board, such that no piece is attacked or defended. (Obviously you must use double pawns.) That's fairly easy, so tie breaker will be how many ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
2k views

Position where neither player can force an *exact* outcome

There are three possible outcomes of a game of chess: white wins, black wins, or the players draw. Typically, we consider a win better than a draw, so when we say "white can force a draw" ...
A. Rex's user avatar
  • 780
7 votes
1 answer
278 views

Do any unique proof games feature an en-passant capture?

Most positions that could be reached, in a specified number of moves, after an en passant capture could be reached just as well without one, suggesting that such positions could not occur in unique ...
supercat's user avatar
  • 1,182
11 votes
1 answer
430 views

Open problems in chess involving maximum material imbalances

I am posting the present question since here Very unbalanced Chess Positions I have introduced three open problems (i.e., the third one, the fourth one, and the sixth one from the above), regarding ...
Marco Ripà's user avatar
8 votes
4 answers
2k views

Longest sequence of unique series moves

Clearly a spawnoff of the preceding question, but far easier to analyze, and maybe helping a bit to solve that one too. Take the starting position, remove all black pieces to simplify and now make ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
9 votes
0 answers
734 views

A fun game (for problem composers, mostly...)

A game leading to a given position is called a proof game. Of course any proof game can be prepended with 1.Nf3 Nf6 2.Ng1 Ng8, so we defined a shortest proof game as, duh, the shortest possible proof ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
128 views

Minimal forced checkmate

A forced checkmate is a situation in which the player whose turn it is has only legal moves which put the other player in checkmate. I’m searching for the minimal forced checkmate (the smallest amount ...
Alfe's user avatar
  • 123
5 votes
2 answers
1k views

Where does the term “cook” originate?

What is the origin of the term “cooked” for a chess problem with an additional, unintended solution?
Laska's user avatar
  • 11.6k
4 votes
2 answers
955 views

Fastest stalemate in Duck Chess

Seeing the meteoric rise in popularity of Duck Chess (full rules), I'd like to ask how to stalemate the fastest (from the starting position) in this variant, because the stalemated player wins here. ...
Benjamin Wang's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
186 views

How many more squares can you attack?

(Inspired by this cool problem) Let’s say it’s White to move. Let A = the number of squares currently attacked by White, and B = the number of squares attacked by White after White’s next move. What ...
Benjamin Wang's user avatar
23 votes
7 answers
4k views

Why do chess puzzles need a unique solution?

Why do chess puzzles need a unique solution? This is different from real games, where such situations do occur, but more frequently, there are multiple avenues to success. Contrary to what one might ...
Hauptideal's user avatar
  • 6,172
2 votes
2 answers
146 views

Maximum futile material (in illegal position) neither winning nor forcing stalemate

We assume standard (P1BN3R5Q8) value (personally I prefer 1,3,3,4.5,9 but so there). To get a drawn position with maximum material difference, not caring about that it's illegal, we just have to ...
Hauke Reddmann's user avatar
12 votes
3 answers
1k views

Position where neither player can force a win and neither player can force a draw

One sometimes sees the claim that in every chess position, either White has a forced win, or Black has a forced win, or both players can force a draw. While this claim is "morally" correct, ...
Timothy Chow's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
108 views

Pinned piece chain

How long a "Pinned piece chain" can you make? Here a "Pinned piece chain" is a chain of pieces where each is pinned by the last. Here for example is a chain of length 3. The ...
blademan9999's user avatar
3 votes
1 answer
117 views

How can I mate the black king in 4 moves or less (helpmate)

In this helpmate puzzle, it is White to move.
David Meléndez's user avatar
11 votes
4 answers
5k views

Is there a position with the stupidest possible move?

I define a stupid move as a move that puts the opponent in zugzwang so that all their moves result in mate in one (weaker version: a loss); is chosen instead of a move that gives mate in one (weaker ...
Bob Jansen's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the maximum number of moves in a position of Crazyhouse?

We know that the maximum number of moves for a given colour in a legal position of standard chess (or at least record so far) is 218. What is the record we can come up with for Crazyhouse? Note that ...
Mobeus Zoom's user avatar
  • 2,279
-3 votes
4 answers
167 views

Least amount of "points" to mate a berserk king

"Berserk king" is my own invention ;). It means that you play according to the normal chess rules, until a king is mated. At that point the mated king is allowed to do TWO moves, in a last ...
Carlo Wood's user avatar
9 votes
1 answer
1k views

A helpmate in 15 moves

I recently came across this ChessBase India article on "engine defying problems." Here's a problem from the helpmate section. We need to reach the helpmate in 15 moves. I thought for a long ...
Abhyuday Vaish's user avatar

1
2 3 4 5
8