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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20
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6answers
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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....
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5answers
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Longest sequence of mutually forced moves

In this position, the black move 1. ... Qc3 results in two consecutive forced moves, Kxc3 and Ke7: 2rkr3/2p5/2q5/8/8/8/3KP3/3R4 b - - 0 1 1... Qc3 2. Kxc3 Ke7 What is the longest sequence of ...
13
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3answers
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Maximum possible movement in a turn

I've read that for any position, there are on average approximately 35 possible moves. But what's the maximum number of possible moves for a position?
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3answers
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Shortest possible game with 18 queens?

The selected answer to this question shows a game in which all 16 pawns promote to queens so that there is a total of 18 queens on the board. It takes 80 moves... What is the shortest sequence of ...
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3answers
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Solvable studies that computers fail to crack

Are there chess studies that require an outside of the box thinking that goes beyond the concrete calculation capabilities of today's engines (e.g. Stockfish)? I have sometimes seen certain endgames ...
12
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1answer
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What is the longest proven forced win (including 50 & 75 move rules)?

What is the longest (currently discovered) number of moves for a forced mate position where players will use both the 50-move draw rule and the 3-fold repetition rule if it will help them avoid losing?...
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5answers
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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 ...
14
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3answers
534 views

Fastest King vs King endgame

What is the fastest possible game that ends in a King vs King endgame? Please post a game and tell me the number of half-moves you've achieved. By some simple logic, I can prove that this number is ...
34
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1answer
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When was it possible for a player's king to be attacked by 3 of the opponent's pieces?

According to the current FIDE Laws of Chess: 3.9.1 The king is said to be 'in check' if it is attacked by one or more of the opponent's pieces, even if such pieces are constrained from moving to ...
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4answers
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Stalemate situation with all pieces on the board

Suppose all the pieces are on the board. Does there exist a position such that A) one of the players can't make any move (a stalemate)? B) neither player can make any move (a double stalemate)?
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3answers
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A mysterious mate in one

Here's a question that's a little off the usual format, but problem questions like this have been done before and are on topic, so here we go! Question: Can you find the mysterious mate in one? The ...
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1answer
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Maximum number of queens possible

I was thinking about what the maximum number of queens can be on the board after only legal moves. The theoretical upper bound would be 18, the original 2 queens plus 16 promoted pawns. However, to ...
19
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4answers
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Fastest possible checkmate by en passant

En passant is somewhat of a rare move in chess. Checkmating by en passant, however, is an even rarer occurrence. But suppose both sides had the same goal to help cause a checkmate to their opponent ...
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3answers
752 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 ...
12
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3answers
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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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3answers
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Maximum number of pieces on board in dead position

It is possible in a chess game to have a dead position in which both players have all eight pawns, one bishop, and a king--20 pieces total. If the two players' pawns are interlocked in "zig-zag" ...
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2answers
974 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
721 views

Problem: reconstruct the game

In the following position, each side has made exactly 4 moves (8 in total). [fen "rnbqkbnr/pp3ppp/2p1p3/8/4P3/8/PPPP1PPP/RNBQK1NR w KQkq - 0 1"] I need to find what these moves were.
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3answers
507 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....
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1answer
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Searching for a "where is the black king" problem

Sometime 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. There were only a few pieces on the ...
4
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2answers
574 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 ...
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3answers
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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 "...
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3answers
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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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2answers
414 views

Giving moves as odds, what's the least number of moves by White which forces checkmate by the time it's Black's turn?

If one player (Black) gives another player (White) odds of x moves, stipulating that White must not move any man beyond his fourth rank until Black has made one move, what's the smallest value for "x" ...
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4answers
696 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 ...
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2answers
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Identify a problem where a potentially winning move draws because of the 50 move rule

I'm trying to recall a particular chess problem. It's related to retrograde analysis. All what I can remember is this: it's an endgame where there is only one way to reach the position, and during ...
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2answers
3k views

From the start of the game what is the longest possible series of consecutive white moves where white can do those moves no matter what black does?

From the start of the game what is the longest possible series of consecutive white moves where white can do those moves no matter what black does? So I want the longest list of moves white can do ...
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4answers
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What is the longest known sequence of forced moves leading to a checkmate for one side?

By forced move, it is meant that the player has only one legal move. [fen "7k/q5Q1/p4PPK/6PP/8/5P2/8/8 b - - 0 1"] 1... Qxg7+ 2. fxg7+ Kg8 3. f4 a5 4. f5 a4 5. f6 a3 6. f7# Above is an example with ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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7answers
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Is there a computer program that generates quality chess problems?

Is there a chess engine that automatically generates quality chess problems. For example I will input 3 - it produces a mate in 3 problem. But the problem shouldn't be so obvious that one can solve in ...
7
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1answer
291 views

Gyula Breyer joke composition cooked?

I recently bought the delightful book Outrageous Chess Problems by Burt Hochberg, which among other things contains some interesting joke compositions. I have a question about Problem 102 (diagrammed ...
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3answers
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Full board with full point mutual zugzwang

I have two questions. 1) Is there a position with all pieces on board such that the side to move loses? 2) Is there a position with all pieces on board such that the side to move is checkmated in 1? ...
6
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1answer
731 views

Make checkmate with pawns without promotion

I have a chess puzzle here: [FEN "7k/8/8/4KPPP/8/8/8/8 - - - 0 0 "] Can White force mate without promotion? And if such exist, where can I find some more chess puzzles like this, which feature ...
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5answers
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Another Unusual Mate in One

Here is another mate-in-one of my own i.e. a not quite usual one... [title "Mate in one"] [FEN "3b4/R3P3/2kPR1n1/P1p1n3/4K1p1/2Nr4/5p2/1b6 w KQkq - 0 1"] Imagine, you ...
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4answers
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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 ...
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2answers
612 views

Which piece combinations can mate a lone king without being aided by the attacking king?

Clearly not a practical question since the king can and should be used in the endgame, but I was curious if anyone has done a comprehensive analysis of which combinations of pieces (including some ...
10
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2answers
548 views

Uniquely Satisfying Puzzle

Here is a fun puzzle I found some time ago. It was created by Karl Fabel in 1952 and published in Rätselstunde. Goal [title "White to move and NOT checkmate in one!"] [fen "B5KR/1r5B/6R1/2b1p1p1/...
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4answers
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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?
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1answer
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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 ...
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3answers
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About retrograde analysis

Raymond Smullyan wrote some great books with Retrograde Analysis chess puzzles. I know of two, are there others?
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1answer
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Mate in One the Missing King

The post "A mysterious mate in one" made me think of one of my last problems which is also a Mate-in-One with no black King: [Title "White to move and mate in one"] [FEN &...
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2answers
511 views

Longest series of mutual "!" moves

Normally I'd pester the/a computer chess forum, but I couldn't register yet... On the Matplus chess forum, the following construction task came up. Both White and Black are on the brink of ...
5
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1answer
357 views

Shortest sequence of moves to create biggest material imbalance

What is the shortest game with the largest material imbalance? This of course means that one side will have 9 queens, 2 rooks, 2 bishops, 2 knights, and a king, and a bare king on the other side. From ...
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5answers
875 views

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 ...
4
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1answer
362 views

Maximum number of captures in a position

I was wondering what the maximum number of captures in a position is, either in a real game or a problem.
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1answer
531 views

What is the longest checkmate problem a human has composed?

Well, I looked at some long checkmates, and I wonder, what is the longest checkmate a human has composed?
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3answers
460 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 ...
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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 ...
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1answer
365 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?
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12answers
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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 ...