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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3
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2answers
739 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 ...
5
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1answer
145 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 ...
11
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4answers
658 views

Studies that have been cooked by computers

A study is unlike a regular chess problem. Instead of "mate in 3" (for instance), a study's instructions are something like "White to draw" (for instance). What this means is to find a line of play ...
8
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4answers
1k views

Longest forced sequence that ends with checkmate and every move is a check

What is the longest move sequence that ends with checkmate and every move is a check by both players?
5
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2answers
490 views

List of famous, but incorrect, chess problems

Surely it has happened, that a famous chess problem turned out to be incorrect because some move was overlooked. Maybe a chess engine found out that a classic problem was incorrect! Is there a ...
6
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1answer
402 views

What is the record for the most stalemates in one?

Is there a known record for the most possible stalemates in one in a legal position, for with and without promoted pieces? I did some constructing myself for a start. For without promoted pieces, I ...
19
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6answers
3k views

What is the 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....
21
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4answers
3k views

Is there any position where not promoting(illegally) would be the best move?

Is there any position, where moving a pawn to last rank but not promoting it to any piece would be the best move? By the way, I know this is an illegal move. Assume it is legal. Edit: Now we have a ...
13
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3answers
978 views

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"]
11
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7answers
1k views

Helpmate of arbitrary length

One of the FIDE rules states that if someone's flag falls, and there exists a legal sequence of moves such that the other player mates the first player, then the position is a win for the second ...
10
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5answers
1k views

What is the longest known stalemate your opponent in x-moves problem?

What is the longest known stalemate your opponent in x-moves problem where the given stalemate is the fastest one from the initial position? A win is not possible, but stalemating your opponent so ...
4
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2answers
265 views

Does anyone have a version of the 50x50 article by Nikita Plaksin?

In 1979, Nikita M. Plaksin published a reportedly fascinating article containing 50 problems all related to the 50 moves rule. Unfortunately I can't find it anywhere, the only links that I could find ...
6
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3answers
379 views

Maximum number of ways to get out of check

What is the maximum number of legal moves in a legal position, given that the player is in check? It's easy to see that 43 is an upper bound. Let's suppose the white K is in check along a diagonal by ...
3
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3answers
300 views

What is the quickest way to reach a mutual, symmetrical stalemate?

What is the fastest known game that ends that in a mutual stalemate position that is symmetrical?
13
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5answers
2k views

Is it possible to have a double self-smothered stalemate?

I came up with this rather amusing and bizarre stalemate where Black stalemates itself by self-smothering. [FEN "8/8/8/8/8/3p4/pp6/krb1K3 b - - 0 1"] 1...d2+?? 2. Kd1 The peculiar feature of ...
8
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3answers
2k views

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 ...
3
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2answers
663 views

What is the highest number of pieces from one side that can be involved in a checkmate?

What is the highest number of pieces from one side that can be involved in a checkmate? "Involved in a checkmate" is defined below. A non-king piece is involved in a checkmate 'if removing ...
9
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1answer
1k views

What is a pure checkmate?

Recently I heard something about pure checkmate. This is a special kind of checkmate where each of the squares around the king has to be covered by just one single piece. One simple example of this ...
10
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4answers
874 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 ...
8
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3answers
507 views

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. [FEN "6R1/8/8/8/3Q3B/5K2/7k/1R6 w - - 0 1"]
46
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4answers
15k views

How fast can checkmate occur by just moving the king?

How short can a game be in which (after the first move) one player moves only their king, and yet checkmates their opponent? This is assuming that the players cooperate, i.e. this is a kind of "...
6
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3answers
309 views

Online resources for medieval Persian chess games or problems?

I am looking for any collection of chess games of al-Suli or anyone medieval scholar's composition of games. Any resources would be appreciated.
12
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3answers
2k views

THE longest problem ever (much longer than the mere 549 mover…)

The "Fireside Book of Chess" by I. Chernev and F. Reinfeld includes the following diagram [fen "3nk3/3NN3/3PP3/3BB3/3PP3/3PP3/3PP3/2RQKR2 w - - 0 1"] Composed by J.N. Babson for ...
6
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3answers
303 views

Maximum number of non-pawn pieces on the board

In a reachable game, what is the maximum sum of queens, rooks, bishops, knights, and kings on the board? For queens only, see Maximum number of queens possible
4
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2answers
413 views

Puzzles that highlight the finiteness of the chessboard

I'm curious as to whether there are compositions of chess puzzles/problems where the solution really emphasizes the boundedness of the board. Put differently, cases where the solution would be ...
5
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1answer
479 views

Longest possible game of Horde Chess

The longest possible normal game of chess has been calculated, but I want to know what the longest possible game of Horde Chess is. What makes this an interesting case is the crazy amount of pawn ...
5
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1answer
556 views

What are the shortest possible games with a) 20 Bishops, b) 20 Knights, and c) 20 Rooks?

The fastest way to get to 18 queens is known. But what are the shortest possible games with a) 20 Bishops, b) 20 Knights, and c) 20 Rooks? Here are my own attempts. Can anybody find/create a faster ...
4
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3answers
471 views

Piece And Pawn Only Massacre Games

What are the fastest possible games in which only all pieces and all pawns are captured? I did some searching myself. Pieces Only [Title "me, chess.stackexchange.com 3/2/2019, Non-Unique Proof ...
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2answers
606 views

An Interesting Idea: Pinned Pieces Stalemate

I had an idea for a type of stalemate: One side is stalemated with 8 pins in a legal position with as many pieces as possible, with all of the stalemating side’s units being “necessary.” ”Necessary” ...
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2answers
271 views

What is the fastest en passant checkmate after all other such captures?

I had an odd idea. What is the fastest way to checkmate via en passant after all other en passants have been completed?
3
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1answer
333 views

What is the highest number of forced checkmates in a legal position?

Having been inspired by a similar question, what legal positions have the most forced checkmates for one side and for both sides?
0
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2answers
636 views

The highest amount of moves by the losing side in a zugzwang

In zugzwang, the usual idea is to limit the number of moves that the opponent can make. But they can also have many moves in certain scenarios. What is the highest amount number of moves by the losing ...
3
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2answers
296 views

Where can I find these mentioned chess problems?

In his article “The Horse Concoction", Tim Krabbe mentions retrograde analysis problems that involve placing 10 rooks, knights, or bishops on the board for a mate in 1. The 10 rooks problem shown ...
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 ...
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2answers
343 views

A question regarding “The Horse Concoction”

Long ago in 2000, Tim Krabbe presented, a now classic, problem by Harry Goldsteen in his article “The Horse Concoction” on his site. It has blossomed across the Internet, as some of us know. The task'...
2
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2answers
273 views

Attempting to create a retraction problem

I am trying to create a retraction problem, but I am unsure if it is sound, and I do not know where to find resources on them. I have two questions. Is my problem correct? I am not giving a solution ...
3
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1answer
443 views

What is the maximum number of en passants possible?

Out of curiosity, how many en passants can theoretically be done by both sides and the fastest way to achieve that result?
9
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2answers
928 views

What is the maximum number of passed pawns in a position?

Something I have wondered about recently is the maximum number of passed pawns that is theoretically possible. What is the answer, and the fastest way to achieve that result?
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3answers
378 views

What are unsolved problems in chess? [closed]

Are there any problems in chess that remain unsolved?
6
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2answers
215 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 ...
4
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2answers
364 views

Black only has pawns: Mate in what?

In a standard opening position in chess, imagine that all Black pieces are removed except for the king and pawns. [FEN "4k3/pppppppp/8/8/8/8/PPPPPPPP/RNBQKBNR w KQ - 0 1"] What is the ...
1
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3answers
357 views

What are the quckest helpmates delivered by the rook, knight, bishop, and pawn?

What are the quickest helpmates, which is where both sides help administer checkmate to one side, delivered by the rook, knight, bishop, and pawn? The said piece has to deliver the checkmate on the ...
9
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2answers
545 views

Pal Benko's final problem

EDIT: Link added One of my chess heroes, Hungarian GM Pal Benko, is no longer with us. He overcame many difficulties in his early life to live one which was rich and full, and reached the age of 91 ...
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2answers
461 views

Is 6 the limit for the most pawns possible on a single file?

As far as I can calculate, 6 is the limit for the most number of pawns on a single file possible. Is 7 possible at all, ignoring promotion? I only took into account using the edge of the board, not ...
1
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1answer
176 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, ...
4
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2answers
197 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....
3
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0answers
115 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 ...
3
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2answers
376 views

The quickest selfmate in 1

How quickly can a legal game reach a position where one side must give checkmate? This is in effect Evergalo's reading (see his (now deleted) answer) of Rewan Demontay's Question 33154; that question ...
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 ...
6
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1answer
2k views

A conditional retrograde analysis problem

Here is the problem-find a chess game that begins with 1. e4 and ends on the fifth move with knight takes rook mate, which determines who gives the mate. This is a famous puzzle. For additional ...

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