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
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Can all 64 squares be attacked or defended by the eight pieces?

Can you place the eight (non-pawn) pieces of one color on an otherwise empty chess board, such that every square (including the squares that pieces are on), is attacked / defended? This is a problem ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

Two seriesmover stalemate constructions

Easy one: Starting position, but Black never moves. White makes n moves (no checking!) until Black is stalemated. Minimize n. Hint: You don't need to capture all Black pieces, pawns can also be ...
4
votes
1answer
153 views

What should Black do?

I am reading “Ten Ways To Succeed In The Opening“ by Tim Onions and David Regis. On page 48, there is a problem I am trying to solve. However, I can’t figure out what Black should do next.
3
votes
0answers
36 views

Add as many potential moves as possible by move

8/8/7K/p7/R3b2k/6rP/4p3/4B1N1 w - - 0 1 This is an age old record by Shinkman: Black is stalemated if having the move, but the White move 1.Bb4 grants 32 moves. (Don't bother trying to top that...) ...
1
vote
0answers
55 views

The quickest mutual selfmate in 1

How long would it take for a game to reach a position wherein either side could selfmate? Pretend you pass by the board at that moment; you wouldn't know who has the move. I found an answer in 13 ...
3
votes
1answer
238 views

What is the shortest sequence of moves to move all of White's pieces up to at least the third rank?

What is the shortest sequence of moves to move all of White's pieces to the third rank or beyond? Assume in this situation that Black is cooperating in trying to achieve this goal, and as such is ...
7
votes
2answers
188 views

What checkmating move takes the most moves to set up?

An extension of this question. What checkmating move requires the greatest number of moves to be played in a game? A move is distinguished by: what colour is moving [unlike the previous question] ...
34
votes
12answers
5k views

What move requires the greatest number of moves before it could be played in a game?

The move e2e4 could be played on move 1. (One half-move) The move e7xd6 could be played no earlier than by black on move 3 (6 half-moves). What move(s) has the latest "earliest possible move it ...
4
votes
2answers
183 views

What is the longest possible forced checkmate sequence?

As title says. My question is about legal positions (positions which could be reached in actual games), but if there is a known solution with an illegal position to start the sequence, I'd be ...
3
votes
2answers
253 views

What is the chess position with biggest X, where no matter what legal move black/white does, a specific player will be mated at a max X moves later?

There are positions where no matter what legal move black or white does during this sequence of moves, an specific player, will always be mated after X moves (sometimes earlier, but after X moves its ...
1
vote
1answer
337 views

Smallest number of moves needed to mate a lone Black king on e8 with all White pieces [duplicate]

Imagine that all White pieces are in their initial position and Black only has their king on e8. What is the smallest number of moves needed for White to give checkmate?
3
votes
1answer
144 views

The quickest selfmate in 2

Duh. Clearly, the one shown there with Qxh5+ Rxh5# can be easily turned into a s#2, by e.g. B-e2-f3, Qe2 from White and c6, Q-a5xd2-d1 from Black. 9.0 moves if I added correctly. Someone care to beat ...
1
vote
1answer
90 views

The fastest dualed mates in n

Hauke Reddmann asked a cool question about the quickest dual-free mates in n's from the starting position. But this is a rather limited scope. I wish to attack this idea from a different angle. What ...
6
votes
7answers
3k views

Can a stalemate be forced even if it is the opponent's turn to move first?

Here are examples in which the side that desires a stalemate can force a stalemate, provided it is their turn to move. Are there positions where the side which desires a stalemate does not presently ...
1
vote
1answer
66 views

How many unoriginal pawn moves can be made in a single game?

Consider an "unoriginal pawn move" to be a pawn move whose notation matches a move already played in the game. For instance, after 1.e4 e5 2.d4 exd5 3.e5, there is one unoriginal pawn move, ...
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Can there be a checkmate with maximum points of material (103) while covering 64 squares?

Is it possible to compose a game where these three conditions are simultaneously satisfied? No White piece is gone but every Black piece except the king is. All the white pawns are promoted to a ...
12
votes
1answer
473 views

If repetition loses, who wins KvK?

Suppose we're playing a version of chess where you lose if you repeat an earlier position (position = arrangement of pieces + who's move it is). We're down to the wire, and we've just arrived at the ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How many times can the same pawn move be made in a game?

How many times in a game can "the same pawn move" be made? By "the same pawn move", I mean, a move made by a pawn that would be notated the same way. For instance, after 1.e4 e5 2....
18
votes
1answer
1k views

Can White avoid a loss in this endgame study by Lazar?

This is the position with White to move. This was created by Lazar in 1935 according to Susan Polgar in a Chess Daily News article from 5/27/2008. [FEN "8/3P4/3b4/8/8/1p2k2p/1Pp4P/2K5 w - - 0 1&...
7
votes
4answers
2k views

Can black convert a +5.6 game into a draw (assuming both players play optimally)?

This shows a +5.6 winning for white at depth 33 (Stockfish 13+). White does have a bit of material advantage (knight) and black has more pawn islands. Can black convert this into a draw (assuming both ...
3
votes
1answer
196 views

What is the shortest 1:16 mutual stalemate with the White king at home?

In this ancient r/chess thread, several users explored the shortest possible 1:16 mutual stalemate. StoofBuzze provided a record in 42.5 moves. However, what is the shortest such game in which the ...
2
votes
2answers
209 views

Another mobility puzzle

This is the "opposite" of A mobility puzzle - I held it back because it could have interfered with Schwalbe 2021 construction challenge. Thus: Put a maximal number m of pieces on the board ...
5
votes
2answers
594 views

In Crazyhouse, what is the minimum number of moves to achieve maximum material difference?

If one side captures everything and promotes all pawns (including the opponent's re-placed pawns) to a queen, it is possible to achieve 206 points of material difference 18 queens, 4 rooks/knights/4 ...
0
votes
1answer
189 views

I have discovered a selfmate requiring 1,351 moves to enforce. How does this move-count stack up against the 'record holder'?

I've discovered a selfmate requiring 1,351 moves to enforce. What is the highest move-count known for a selfmate? {The starting position is provably legal}.
3
votes
1answer
208 views

Longest forced win after 3 moves

It is possible to reach (exactly) #8 after just 3 moves: [Title "#8 after 3 moves"] [FEN ""] 1. e3 f6 2. Qf3 Kf7 3. Nh3 Qe8! 4. Ng5+ Kg6 5. Bd3+ Kxg5 6. Qf4+ Kh5 7. g4+ Kh4 8. Qg3+...
-2
votes
1answer
90 views

Illustrative puzzles for chess themes [closed]

This is a big-list question regarding chess themes (mostly tactical). There are some puzzles that illustrate important aspects of a tactic (esp. useful in a chess coaching setting). For example, the ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Turton theme in OTB play

I regularly surprise opponents - if unprepared - with an obscure side variant of the Sicilian which most often ends up in a pericritic Turton reversal, like e.g. so: [FEN ""] 1.e4 c5 2....
-1
votes
1answer
177 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?
4
votes
1answer
209 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 ...
2
votes
2answers
842 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
votes
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 ...
4
votes
0answers
142 views

What does "control" mean in a chess problem? [duplicate]

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 ...
6
votes
3answers
508 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....
0
votes
1answer
78 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/...
2
votes
1answer
295 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
votes
1answer
128 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
votes
1answer
341 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
vote
2answers
909 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
votes
1answer
819 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
votes
1answer
895 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.
0
votes
2answers
297 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 ...
10
votes
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
2
votes
2answers
118 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
votes
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 ...
19
votes
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
votes
3answers
319 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?...
7
votes
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
votes
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
votes
1answer
197 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
vote
1answer
94 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 ...

1
2 3 4 5
7