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
4
votes
6answers
1k views

Is there a forced stalemate although the superior side is to move?

Here is a position in which white is to move and white can force a stalemate. Are there positions where black is to move and white can still force a stalemate? I'd expect that to be very difficult ...
1
vote
1answer
58 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 ...
7
votes
0answers
245 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....
17
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
98 views

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

In this ancient r/chess thread, several uses 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
194 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
585 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
137 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
191 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
88 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
105 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
169 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
votes
1answer
187 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
votes
2answers
804 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
129 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
468 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
72 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/...
3
votes
1answer
218 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
122 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
331 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
902 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
812 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
888 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
289 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
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
112 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
308 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
171 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
92 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
votes
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
votes
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
votes
1answer
341 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
votes
2answers
233 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
322 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
votes
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
votes
3answers
775 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
votes
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
votes
2answers
187 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
226 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
380 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
votes
1answer
82 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.

1
2 3 4 5
7