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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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 ...
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3k 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
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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"]
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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 ...
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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 ...
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344 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?...
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 ...
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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 ...
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237 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 ...
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1 vote
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
374 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. ...
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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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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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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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.
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Helpmate in four and a half moves

Merry Christmas everyone! Try this problem out that I made yesterday for SuperProblem.ru. With White to move, solve this helpmate, meaning White and Black work together to checkmate Black, in 4.5 ...
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In this position why shouldn't the knight capture the rook?

The white knight is going to move to e6. However, the computer advises the rook to capture the pawn in b2. Even after the knight moves to e6, forking the queen and the rook, it advises to NOT capture ...
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Selfmate problem

[FEN "8/7P/8/p2p4/P2p4/pB1p4/3P4/k2K4 w - - 0 1"] Composed by IM Geir Sune Tallaksen. White moves first, and must force Black to deliver checkmate. Give the sequence of moves that force ...
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Coordinates probem

[FEN "8/8/8/8/8/4R3/2N2R2/3N1k1K w - - 0 1"] Given that this position could be reached in a legal game of chess, and that no piece was captured on the last move, are we seeing the board ...
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A mate in two problem

[FEN "8/8/4R3/8/2kBn3/K2pQ3/8/8 w - - 0 1"] 1. Re5? With White to move, here is a mate in two problem that I couldn't figure out. My opinion is that the first move is 1. Re5, but Black ...
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Where does the black king stand in this specific position?

[FEN "7r/pppppKpP/6P1/8/8/8/n7/8 w - - 0 1"] Assume that the following position was reached in a legal game of chess. In the last 5 moves, no pawn has moved and no pieces were captured. The ...
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Brainteaser puzzle

So... initial position is [FEN "7k/8/6KB/8/p7/8/Q7/8 w - - 0 1"] Now... Neither white's king nor queen has moved in the previous five moves. In addition, no pieces have been captured by ...
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Is it possible to reach King vs King by moving each piece at most twice?

I'm interested in short games that reach a King vs King endgame. Sam Lloyd reached King vs King after only 17 moves. This has since been improved to 16.5 moves. (See this and that.) One can show that ...
655 views

Find color of the pieces

Given the following position, what colour are the pieces and what was the last move played? [FEN "B1KRN3/PP6/2QK1R2/8/8/8/8/8 w - - 0 1"]
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Do you know this proof game?

I'm not familiar with this proof game. [FEN "r2qk1nr/ppp1pp1p/2n1p2p/8/8/1P6/NPPPPPPP/R3K2R w KQkq - 0 1"] What square was the white queen captured and how?
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Given that this position is legal, and could be reached in a legal game of chess, what were the two last half-movess, or one move for White and one for Black? [FEN "5K2/8/6Pk/8/5Q1R/8/8/8 w - - 0 ...
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Can you help me with this serieshelpmate problem?

I found a different kind of problem, a serieshelpmate. I'm trying to get better by thinking outside of the box and solving different types of puzzles. So I found this one but I'm kind of stuck. [FEN &...
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What's the deep idea behind this puzzle?

I'm trying to get better by doing many tactics puzzles a day. This one I found very interesting. [FEN "6rk/6rp/p3pQ2/3pP3/3Pb3/1PP1PRR1/4q2P/6K1 w - - 0 1"] 1. Qxg7+! Rxg7 2. Rf8+ Rg8 3. ...
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Is there more than 1 solution?

In this selfmate puzzle is there more than one solution? I think I found one but I was curious to know if there is more than one. 4N2k/5P2/3p1rP1/2pP4/2p1K1R1/2B1P1N1/6Pp/8 w - - 0 0 Credit: J. C. J. ...
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1 vote
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Another good chess problem

[Title "The Chess Monthly, 11/1860, Helpmate In 3 Moves (Version)"] [FEN "6R1/7q/8/5k2/3K1B2/8/8/8 b - - 0 1"] [startflipped ""] Now, in this chess problem by Samuel ...
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Help needed with a problem

On an empty board, how can you place a White king, two White, rooks, and a Black king so that White can give mate in 4 ways from that position?
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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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What is the fastest way to reach a position in which one side is forced to choose between checkmate and stalemate?

I had an interesting idea recently. While there are many proof games ending in checkmate or stalemate, why not both, I thought. So, thus I wondered, what is the fastest way to reach a position in ...
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How to solve this puzzle of Martin Gardner?

Martin Gardner mentioned the following "chess" problem in his column, Mathematical Games, for Scientific American (he got it from Smullyan, who learned about it from a high school math ...
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How many moves needed to reach this position?

"Homebase" is where all the surviving pieces are apparently on their starting squares. Here is a very easy new example proof game: can you find the unique shortest game that leads to this ...
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From Mate-in-3 to Mate-in-1

Here is my new problem in 3 steps - the key designates here the piece that moves first in the solution. An other way to reach a mate in one I hope you'll enjoy... [Title "From Mate in 3 to ...
117 views

Fastest way to get both kings to the other side of the board?

Say that both players collaborate to get White's king to the eighth rank and Black's king to the first. What's the shortest sequence of moves that achieves this?
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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 ...
289 views

Puzzle - Mate in 5 - #001

I've been writing some chess puzzles lately and I thought I would post some of them up here. I'm quite fond of this one so I thought I would share. I traditionally am not a fan of problems that are a &...
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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 &...
108 views

Timeline of key historical changes to FIDE Laws & WFCC Codex?

A well-answered question here: FIDE Laws of Chess pre-2017 asks for locations of historical sets of FIDE Laws. I am asking for something which partially builds on that. Is there a timeline of "...
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