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Questions tagged [problems]

A chess problem consists of a board position and a task. Most often the problem asks to find a line of play that mates black in a given number of moves, or to find a combination that guarantees a winning position. There are many other kinds of problems, some far removed from standard chess play. Tournaments and championships exist for both the composition of original problems and for speed-solving.

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Searching for a “where is the black king” puzzle?

Sometimes ago, a friend showed me a position where he had the black king removed. The goal was to find where is the black king using some pretty weird reasoning. I tried to remember the puzzle but I ...
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Benko's three-mover that stumped Fischer

In Christian Hesse's book The Joy of Chess one reads about a mate-in-3 problem composed by Pál Benkö that stumped Bobby Fischer. Hesse gives the following diagram: [FEN "8/8/8/4k3/8/8/8/2BQKB2 w - - ...
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Using the king to prevent castling

What is a more difficult problem which involves using the king to prevent castling than the following problem? White to play and win: [FEN "r3k3/5p2/2K2P1P/b1N1P2P/8/8/4n3/8 w q - 0 1"]
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Is this selfmate solvable or fixable?

This is a kind of a repost of a fascinating chess problem that appeared yesterday. The original poster got shy or something, and bafflingly deleted his own post, which was beginning to attract some ...
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321 views

Can you mate with each of your 16 pieces on its original square?

An opinion poll conducted by problem composer Roberto Osorio over 10 master-level chess players in the Argentine Chess Club produced 100% wrong answers! :-) When the right answer is posted here, I ...
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E.Umnov's chess problem, 1944. Checkmate in two moves

White to play and checkmate in two moves. [title "E.Umnov's chess problem, 1944"] [FEN "k7/5QK1/3n1pb1/1R1p1r2/5p2/8/1p6/4R3 w KQkq - 0 1"]
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Beautiful retrograde analysis problem by Alexsey A. Troitsky

I saw this beautiful, subtle & accessible problem a couple of days ago, and wanted to share it with you folks. (It's by the ground-breaking endgame theorist who e.g. invented the "Troitsky line" ...
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What was Black's last move?

White to move. What was Black's last move? And what could have happened before that?
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Prove color of pawn and position of knight

I was recently given a retrograde type of puzzle to solve, even though I've managed to at least intuitively get close to an answer, I don't know how to put it in the form of an acceptable proof. For ...
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Win the game by just moving king?

How short can a game be in which (after the first move) one player moves only his King, and yet checkmates their opponent? (Assume that the players co-operate: i.e. this is a kind of "helpmate". This ...
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Euwe-Aljechin Amsterdam 1935 problem

I came across this puzzle that I couldn't solve and after looking at the solution I am still not sure what is going on here. [FEN "5k2/p5pp/r7/2pB2p1/b1P5/6P1/4PP1P/R5K1 w - - 0 1"] The best move ...
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Mutual Stalemate

You are required to find position such that: 1) Any move made by White or Black leads to stalemate for both sides immediately. 2) The position can be reached from the starting position of a chess ...
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Biggest Possible Material Advantage But Still Losing

Assuming: Queen=9, Rook=5, Bishop=3, Knight=3, Pawn=1 The below position is evaluated at +411 for White but he still loses by force (mate in 9, pawn promotes to a bishop just for the fun of it) Is ...
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How can I control my nerves during chess tournaments?

I always get nervous during a chess match and that really affects my performance. I can easily beat a 1400-1500 in a friendly match but when it comes to a tournament, I can't even win against 1300s. I ...
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“Knight rebus”. Decipher an encoded chess position

Here is a rebus: Each letter represents a different type of piece. Uppercase is one colour, lowercase is the other. Determine the position. If possible, also determine the last moves ...
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Where to find specific endgame practice exercises/puzzles/practice bots?

I'm looking for a set of exercises (contained in a book, website, or chess engine) where I can practice what I know in regards to rook and pawn vs. rook endgames. I could find a friend to randomly ...
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Where to find Tactical Exercises on the Decoy

A decoy tactic is forcing an enemy piece to move to a square that prevents it from guarding an original square. For example, if the black queen is at c7 and the f7 square is being attacked, getting ...
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390 views

Checkmate in 6 moves

Can somebody tell me the right six moves, what has to be done? [FEN "n1N3br/2p1Bpkr/1pP2R1b/pP1p1PpR/Pp4P1/1P6/1K1P4/8 w - - 0 1"]
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“chess problem” software (free/paid) to download for PC?

I tried one a while back but it was quite elementary, it had a few thousand problems but did not give detailed answers, just one single move as correct and that's it! I do play Chesstempo sometimes ...
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1answer
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Generate Simple Mate In 1 From Tablebases (for kids)

I was trying to find a kid's app for chess that has some incredibly simple problems. However, all the apps I found had rather tricky problems. So I thought I would download 3 piece table bases and use ...
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1answer
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A chess problem (need help with analysis)

my question is about the position below. This is, if I copied it correctly, from a book called "How Good Is Your Chess" by Evans. I'm an amateur so pretty much every single problem is difficult and ...
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1answer
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Is there a master list of FEN chess positions for advanced beginner/intermediate?

I'm an advanced beginner. I don't have internet access as much as I like to, so I'd much rather have a series of chess position FENs that I can put into some free chess engine and then try to play ...
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1answer
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Where can I find collections of chess problems (ideally direct mate) with solutions?

I'm working on a chess program that gives the user various compositions for them to solve. So far I'm only including mate in n problems where 1 < n < 5, and I'd prefer to only deal with this ...
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Is the chess problem a dead form?

Or, to ask the question a bit less opinionatedly, "what new ideas have been introduced in chess problems over the last 20 years?" I imagine many problems have been composed in that time, but it seems ...
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Problems: record for most mates-in-2

Does anyone know what the record for most mates-in-2 is for a composed problem? Example: this one has 58 different moves that mate in 2. 6R1/8/8/8/3Q3B/5K2/7k/1R6 w - - 0 1
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Prove that white is not allowed to castle here

A friend recently gave me the following weird chess problem to solve, and I'm afraid I'm struggling to see the key ideas, that would ultimately count as proof. From the position, intuitively speaking ...
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1answer
265 views

How is this retrograde analysis position legal?

On his page on Harry Goldsteen's "horse concoction", Tim Krabbé gives this position by "N. Höeg, 1935": With the stipulation "add 10 white rooks; black mates in 1". He then claims that "Retrograde-...
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Standalone chess problem solver for Android

Which android app can: Solve chess problems without internet connection as well. Support manually edit board according to the problem. Ideally this app should allow a person to step back on any ...
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Source of this chess problem?

[FEN "8/8/8/6pp/6pk/R7/6KP/8 w - - 0 1"] 1. Rh3+ gxh3+ 2. Kf3 g4+ 3. Kf4 g3 4. hxg3# 1-0 What is the source of this simple chess problem (White to mate in four) which somebody showed me at a chess ...
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Does FIDE give titles to chess composers?

If so, do share more insight about the how-tos and other links to read. Thanks!
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Creative chess puzzles!

What are some of the creative chess problems that can never be solved by computers? Question changed to Creative chess puzzles! What are some of the creative chess problems that computers can never ...
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White to force the end of the game in two moves

I found this hilarious problem and hope people will have fun solving it: Niels Hoeg, Skakbladet 1907 [FEN "8/8/6p1/5pP1/5P1K/5PpP/4p2p/2Q2Bkr w - - 0 1"] White to end the game in two moves. In ...
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Chess challenge #10: A beautiful knightmare

This time I bring you a beautiful composition. White is down material but is about to queen the d7 pawn. The only problem is the knight fork on f7 and if he doesn't act very quickly Black is going to ...
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Chess challenge #9: Can you solve it in less than 5 minutes?

Today I remembered this position that I saw a few months ago in a tweet by Sergey Karjakin: [fen "2k5/8/8/BQ6/4K3/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"] It seemed very easy to me because there are just 4 pieces left but ...
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Chess challenge #8: British knockout championship

The British Knockout championship is taking place now as a warm-up to the London Chess Classic that starts this Friday. There have been very interesting games (especially the ones played by Nicholas ...
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Chess challenge #7: Women's European Team Championship

In the recent Women's European Team Championship Anna Muzychuk won a quick game against Almira Skripchenko. [fen "r3qrk1/1b3ppp/ppp5/2nBp1N1/P3P3/7P/1PP1QPP1/R2R2K1 w - - 0 1"] Skripchenko has just ...
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Chess tactics #6: Yugra Governor's cup again

The one that I posted yesterday Chess tactics #5: Yugra Governor's cup wasn't the only blunder that happened yesterday in this tournament. In the game between Alexey Sarana (2426) and GM Pavel ...
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Chess tactics #5: Yugra Governor's cup

I took this position from a game that has been played today at the Yugra Governor's Cup between GM Aleksej Aleksandrov from Belarus and GM Ivan Bukavshin from Russia. White (Aleksandrov) has just ...
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Chess tactics #4: Black to play and win

After the last problem which was very hard I'm bringing you another one which is easier than the previous one. The position is: [fen "K4R2/RQ4B1/2n5/3q2p1/4PP1p/3p4/pp6/1kr5 w - - 0 1"] White has ...
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Chess challenge #3: Pinned knights

Here it is a new chess problem much more difficult than the previous one. The diagram position is the following: [fen "3rr2k/6pp/p2q1p2/5P2/3Nb3/1P1RQ1NP/6P1/7K w - - 0 1"] Black has just played ...
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Tactical challenge #2 - Attacking the kingside

The previous challenge was solved very quickly so here I am with a new one. Still a very easy one but hopefully a bit more challenging that the previous one. Black has just played Qb6 and it is White'...
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Strategic challenge #1 - C.Hansen - J.Hellsten

This is the first of a series of strategic challenges. The answers are supposed to provide a move (or sequence of moves) and the right plan for the corresponding player. In this occasion we have the ...
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Chess challenge #1: Mate in one

This is the first of a series of challenges I'll be posting regularly. In this case it is just a simple mate in one. This is the position: White plays and gives mate. It seems very easy but there are ...
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Why bishop does not eat knight in this position?

In this position http://it.lichess.org/xTbJYOfO/black#13 black to move, computer suggests bD4, and then suggests O-O for white. Why after bD5 the bishop is not taking the knight in E5?
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Theoretical limit for the number of consecutive checks?

The known record for the longest sequence of consecutive checks (i.e. white checks, then black checks on the next move, white checks next, and so on) in a legal position without promoted pieces, is 37....
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Pawn Promotion Endgame Problem // White to move - mate in 1

So I have not been this interested in chess for a very long time indeed. This problem was posed to me by someone who has recently become experienced in chess and also participated in a chess ...
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183 views

Indian theme in real life

We all know this beautiful theme of self-interference: [Title "Loveday, mate in 3"] [fen "3R4/5K2/8/4k1P1/4p3/7B/4p3/8 b - - 1 0"] Spoiler: Now the question: did such motive ever occur in an OTB ...
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What is the most complex chess problem?

There are many chess problems and studies that are very nuanced and can take ages to properly figure out. What is the chess puzzle/problem with the longest (proven) solution?
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Resource with chess problems in electronic format with solutions

I am looking for a database of chess problems in electronic format with solutions. Ideal variant will be a database with something like: FEN starting position * description (Mate in 3 moves, Win ...
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Could you show me some very easy mate in 20?

I am looking for some puzzles where there is a forced mate in as many moves as possible (ideally 20 or more). Yet the puzzles need to be as easy as possible! You will probably need to find some ...